Eric Greene Marine Composites

My friend Eric Greene has his composites book available for download at no cost at

Its a little more technical than an in-the-trenches constructional manual.  Where else can you find the various kinds of sizing in fiberglass?
I first met him at one of the MACM conferences in Melbourne, FL. Most of his work that I am familar with concerns performance of composites in fires. He does a lot more than that also.  See


Who Builds these Things on the West Coast (of US)

James Betts Enterprises, Inc.
3301 T Ave.
Anacortes, WA 98221
360.299.2311 (ph)
360.299.2330 (fax)

Westerly Marine
3535 W. Garry Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Attn Lynn Bowser or Steve Lee
(714) 966-8550

Townsend Bay Marine
919 Haines Pl.
Port Townsend, WA 98368
Paul Zeusche
(360) 385-6632

Dencho Marine
1517 W. 15th St.
Long Beach, CA 90813
Dennis Choate
(562) 432-3487 office

Schooner Creek Boat Works
3255 N. Hayden Island Drive
Portland, Oregon 97217
Phone 503-735-0569
Fax 503-289-7444

Little Hoquium Shipyard.
Howard Moe

Let me know if I have missed anyone.

Pro Boat Issue 133

30' x 30' plywood trimaran

Lots of interesting articles in it. KHSD got a line on page 97 where Mark talked about scaring himself on his KHSD 30′ x 30′ trimaran. I’m honored that I got to be mentioned in the same article with all the multihull rockstars he hangs out with.

I did go sailing with him on that tri once. Windward side of Oahu. Leaping fully off of waves going to windward and reaching at way over 20 knots. They did indeed rage as they called it.   I do have video of that sail;  when I dared bring the camera out of the cabin. I am surprised that the video camera survived.  I will convert  the VHS to mp3 and post soon.

Professional License

I have never given the professional license much thought. Once every few years it comes up though. It just came up for a second time this year as a builder in the Middle East needs a PE stamp on the plans. In general, the less the governing body knows about the boats, the more likely they are to demand a stamp. Stamped plans are the refuge of the inept.
I have thought about sitting down and taking the test cold. There is no aspect of it that I do not know inside and out, better than anyone I know.
My friend Eric Sponberg did and passed. The requirement that one however first take the college science and math test, stops me. I understand that if you are out of school for a while, months of study are required to pass that prerequisite test. I don’t have months to waste.
So, I have several thoughts on this.
First, on previous occasions where stamped plans were required, I heard about it after the customer contacted a famous Naval Architecture firm with licensed PEs. On every occasion, the PEs had no idea what to do so they retained me to verify my own design. Cool. On at least one vessel, the fee (not my fee) cost several times the cost of the original plans.
Next, most of us know what we are doing. Or enough of us know enough. (I do see some bad, bad laminates out there still.)
Could you imagine some bureaucrat telling Newick that he needs to prove he knows how to design a boat? Apologies to Pete, but the best people I know in this field are not PEs. David Jones, my structural engineer, is the best there is. Period. He’s not one. Nigel. Go down the list.
In my experience, most licensed naval architects in this field don’t know first ply failure from….whatever. That came in sharp focus when I was an expert witness in a court case. Opposing counsel asked if I had a professional license. After saying “no”, it occurred to me that the things that define a modern multihull design practice didn’t exist when I began this. A license test then didn’t even know about hull lines software or 3D CADD modeling. I was among the first to use them. The same is true for advanced composites and even epoxy. Naval architecture didn’t even know about them. What about the loads on multihulls? Naval architecture had no idea. It may now, but they learned it from us. In the late 80s, I got the USCG to adopt a rule to design to, with the help of then congressman Miller. We were there first.
It’s a damn irony to now have a bureaucrat use our work, including the rule I chose, to decide if we pass or not.

New Power Shuttle

25' shuttle cat

This new 25′ x 10′ power cat design has been created for Uganda, and other places. It will be built using the very rapid CM plywood epoxy construction. The flat parts are ply/core/ply sandwich.  15 hp per side will give 20 knots fully loaded. It could also work with a single motor in the middle.
As configured it seats 10.  It could also be arranged for 12 persons. The plan is that I will lead a mass building over there were we build several of them in a few days and video the whole process.

Out a Couple of Days

I was, am and will be out for a couple days. Friday last was out for surgery. Today and tomorrow are to be the only sunny days for a while so have to hit the outdoor epoxy and 2 part poly paint on some projects.   At least I don’t just sit in the office and opine. I spend time in the trenches doing it.

Close Call

heart stopping

This could have been a disaster. And only in service what, 2 years?  The cap shroud.  It was sized correctly but had some defect in it.

People. These COI boats need someone inspecting the rigging every month. This could have been very very bad. The Coast Guard is all about rigs these days, and something like this gives them a chance to be a hero and you the villain. Climb that mast.

Bagging Mesh

The best vacuum bagging frog material is this mesh from Hypervent, part number 3950. .
It is intended to go under mattresses in boats, but is also unmatched under the intake of a vacuum pump.  Good under your laptop computer too, keeping the airflow going.

It is sharp enough to damage the bag, so I put a batt of bleeder cloth over it to protect the bag.

Below, the lot sucking.  With my favorite corner seal, Liquid Nails Projects. $1.75 a tube.  After a day it dries out and can be pulled off of the bag easily so the bag can be reused.

OK, the intake missed. It still worked well.

Design Fusion

At first glance, this has no multihull content, but in fact relates to boatbuilding.
I had always wanted to see if taking the SIP panel method way forward using composite technology could make better land buildings. Could boatbuilding help land building? I decided to try it out over in the desert of eastern Washington.   See


Last May I met with Grant County Building Dept. They told me if I met code on things like egress and wiring, and got the plans stamped, they would approve it.  I did both.

I also did some research and contacted the people who write the IRC codes to see if there were any avenues to take that would give the county some extra cover. They suggested some, which I forwarded to the building dept.

Dave Nelson, the Building/Fire Marshall head there did not take it well. He rejected the submittal and reminded me that “the IRC gives me, the Building Official, the sole right to interpretation of the building Codes.” Basically saying “we don’t need no city people coming over here and telling us what we can do.” And he then stated that he intends to make it as difficult for me as possible. “…the building official can require testing to be done by qualified testing agencies… This would be required on almost every component of this project.”

 It looks like they are going to make me work for it.  Innovation is a tougher and more expensive slog than I thought it would be.  I didn’t expect them to be so rigid.