Aluminium Boat Building… First Update from Damir

New to all this, and very excited. Been wanting to build an ALU boat for some time now, dreaming about it is over.
Live in Serbia now, moved here recently from Australia, looking after elderly father here. So have some time up my sleeve and need to do something to keep me sane and maybe make some money also, best job is the one you love they say. Have a Fronius TSP 2700 on it’s way from England which will be here any day now. The ER5356 6 kg wire is on hand and so is the 40 Lt bottle of Argon. Have heaps of ALU TIG experience and zero ALU MIG welding behind me, but can’t imagine it being too difficult.

Will have all my build documented here and will be asking for advice, am a noob so bare with me.

The boat that I will be building is a river boat. But want something a bit more exciting than just a flat bottomed type, so going with a 7 deg deadrise the length of the hull. Large reverse chines to aid in static stability and dynamic lift. Also would like to build into it a dynamic water ballast that fills when stationary and empties when you start to move forward. The volume will be approx 80 Lt of water, expecting the total weight of the boat to be around the 180-200 kg mark. Surely that is enough ballast, any calcs for that??

Have included a JPG with some initial layout dimensions. Will model the boat in Solidworks and Rhino3D to develop the hull and all components will be laser cut out of 3 mm plate.

Dimensions are in mm…..

Haven’t decided on the material yet, considering building the whole thing from 6061 T6, depending on availability, as all panels will be developable and no stretch forming would be required. Some folks here that build boats form mild steel are saying that 6061 T6 is too brittle???? Now they have me doubting my self a little, I used to build back in Australia components for race cars, 6 sec drag cars, out of 6061 T6 and were under much more stress that would ever be put on a boat and there were only failures due to bad design, not the material. Am I wrong here guys???

One thing that I do want to do is insert an extrusion the full length of the keel and weld the hull plates to the extrusion as opposed to plate-plate, have found such joints much stronger in race car applications where possible. may even do the same for the chine welds, I’m doubling the welding but the load is spread over four weld as opposed to two. Plus would look nicer and the 3 mm plate would not pull as much due to the welding, a boat has to look good rite……

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