Victoria Model Shipbuilding Society > David's IOM project

David's scratch build IOM project "HAM B.K. DOG" is proceeding well.

David Cook's Winter Project: HAM B.K. DOG

I've always wanted to design and build my own racing sailboat. My first boat design and build happened in 2005 creating a radio-controlled boat with the design criteria of fitting through a doorway sitting on my lap and looks racy. This project is still incomplete.

The decision to design and build an IOM (International One Metre) hit me in mid-October, 2009. I noticed my arms were getting weaker to the point I may loose arm-function within months so I wanted one final physical-related goal to keep my mind and body active over the winter. I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Like a lot of other people I suffer from the 'Daylight Starvation' when you feel down because it's dark so much during the winter.

For the first 2 months I worked on the design criteria and design using the 'old school' method, using pencil, paper and lots of eraser. I tried the 'new school', a 3D CAD (Computer Assisted Design) program and tried a few tutorials but had trouble learning how to draw a variable curve. I thought I could have the boat designed and built by the time I learn this program so that's when I decided 'old school' was the choice for me.

I bought or borrowed from retired shipwright David Bell the drafting tools, 6 feet of white bond paper and a few books on yacht design. I then overheard VMSS member Ken Ensore tell someone how much he likes passing his lofting knowledge on to younger people. For the next couple of months Ken came over to my house once a week and between visits answered many of my questions over the phone.

To overcome the potential problem of my weak arms not being able to complete the project, I asked a few friends if they'd like to help me out. The response has been incredible! On average I have 3 or 4 visits a week from a variety of helpers who are willing and keen to do almost any task. Some draw the line at stinky or messy resins. Some share their time evenly with my dog Rufus so he doesn't get too bored.

By late November I had my design (version 2) complete and drafted the line drawing on a sheet of frosted-mylar. The design is based on a little bit from a lot of different existing designs. To acknowledge the designers I've plagiarized ideas from I decided to take the first letter of the last name of each designer to make but the boat's design name. This is how HAM B.K. DOG or HAM DOG for short comes from…H for Herbert, A for Ashman, M for Martin, B for Bantock, K for Kirby, D for Dicks, O for Olson and G for Gibson. As a lawyer friend of mine told me "who could sue someone for plagiarism when they've named the darn boat after them?"

Since late November the process has been building the plug to get a 3D mould of what the boat is going to look like. Today, January 26, 2010 the first hull was laid up on the male plug. A momentous moment in the evolution of HAM B.K. DOG!

Stay tuned for more! David Cook....More from David here.