Barrelback 19

by James Hurley

Instead of using wood for the engine stringers I used 100 x 50 mm aluminium tubing and added transverse sections at the transom and bow frame. This added a lot of strength to the vessel both longitudinal and torsional directions. This allowed me to stretch the vessel to 21 feet.

When I was installing the planks for cold mould I used nylon shipping straps under the staples so that they could be easily removed. All of the parts have been coated with epoxy.

Being that this was the first time I worked with mahogany I was afraid I would not get the desired effect on the hull using the primitive tools that I had at my disposal. I decided to paint the hull black which is similar to vessels built in the 40's when mahogany was at a shortage.

I used maple between the planks of mahogany instead of filling. This took more time but in the end was actually cheaper because I saved on the epoxy and pigment filler. There are over 200 pieces in the deck. There are three pieces used on the margin boards port and starboard and the seam is at an angle instead of butted together at 90 degrees.

The engine is out of a Citroen XM and has 170 horse power. This is an all aluminium V6 with electronic fuel injection. Fuel consumption is very low and the engine only weighs 200 kilograms. I used a heat exchanger so that coolant can be used in order to protect the engine from corrosion. The water pump is driven from the crank shaft and after going through the cooler it exits through the stainless steel exhaust. There are no marine parts available for the engine and therefore I was required to make everything myself. The transmission is a Velvet Drive 1:1 and the adapter was also made by me.

The steering system uses a push/pull rod the same as on the original boat. I constructed all of the linkage from stainless steel and the steering box comes from a BMW 6 series. The rudder tube extends to above water line and I used double O-ring seals instead of rope cord. The shaft seal is a PSS unit and after 30 hours of use I do not have any water in the bilge at all. The shaft strut and seal support were also hand made from stainless steel. I use a stainless steel gas pedal instead of a throttle handle.

The fuel system consists of two 50 litre stainless steel tanks with a cross over. This allowed me to get to the steering gear for adjustments if required. All of the fuel lines are stainless steel. An electric fuel pump supplies the engine.

I made the cutwater from 2 mm stainless steel. Also the windshield frame was made of stainless steel. It does not hinge like the original but it has the same affect. The steering wheel was also made by me because a replica would have cost me 1800.00 USD.

The seats are the only item that has been made by someone else because I did not have time to do the work before my summer vacation began.

The climate in Holland is very wet and therefore it was necessary for me to construct a convertible top. I made a pocket behind the rear seat so that it can be completely removed and stored. The deck has 4 flush mounts that all of the parts attach to. Also I made a fitted cover. This is probably the only barrel back to ever be equipped with a top.

This project took me 1660 hours over a period of two years and two months. All of the parts were weighed before installation and the total came to 1118 kilograms.

We have just competed a three week summer vacation where the boat was in daily use. The handling was better than expected and steering is good even without a fin. The hull offered a better ride than expected being that the stern is flat. The bow has a sharp entry and this offers good wave penetration if you reduce your speed to 15 knots.

A project like this cannot be achieved with out the backing of my family and I wish to thank both my wife and daughter for their constant support.

For anyone having any questions feel free to contact me. (See Project Registry for contact information.)