16|30 REDUX Sail Canoe - advice needed!

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by parrottdesign, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. parrottdesign
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    parrottdesign Junior Member

    Hi Everyone! I need some advice on a new project I'm working on for a roto-molded redesign of the 16-30 Sail Canoe. I'm hoping to lean on the experience of the boatdesign.net community for some advice on design changes and funding.
    There's more information and images on my website, here.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Basically, I'm trying to create a low cost, modular sailboat for the light air sailing in the interior lakes of the US. The link above explains the project itself. I'm looking for input on two things:
    1. Are there any obvious design changes that you'd suggest? (In particular, I think the steering system might need some work.)
    2. How are projects like these typically funded? Are there crowdfunding avenues for manufacturing a boat like this? (Many of my clients have used crowdfunding services like Kickstarter and Crowdsupply, but I never see boat projects on those sites, probably due to prototyping cost. Do you know of crowdfunding services (or investors) geared specifically to the development of marine projects?
    Once the final changes are made to this design, I hope to determine whether there's a market opportunity by soliciting quotes for the tooling and a small run of hulls. If that looks good and there seems to be a value proposition here, I'll create a prototype and a Kickstarter video -- unless someone can suggest a better avenue for funding...
    My concern is that this isn't an ideal product for Kickstarter, because it's a slightly large, slightly expensive item for someone to casually support (buy). If there are investors in the boating community, they might be more geared to supporting a project like this. Any ideas? How do other small outfits fund this type of project? Out of pocket?

    Any help you can provide on either of these questions would be fantastic!

    Thanks,

    David
     
  2. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    David,
    welcome to the board!

    regarding your questions, I could pick away at the design but I don't think that would be productive -at least not until you know me. You have created an attractive image, you know what you want to say, and what you want it to be.

    The suggestions I will make are that you consider staying in fiberglass. This boat is a handfull to sail -there aren't many people capable and those who are capable prefer (demand?) higher performance glass. Rotomolding is heavy, not stiff enough for the un-stayed masts and sliding seat, and has high tooling cost. Your break even would be too high for the risk you don't create a market.

    Wind surfing masts are designed to have righting forces applied to the boom. They will break as a cantilever if you don't reinforce the base.

    About variations -there is something unique about sailboats -the greater the number of identical boats, the greater the value of each boat and the franchise. The reason for this is that the best competition in sailing is 'one design'. I understand the business case for line expansion but the right goal from the start is to achieve a thriving one design class.

    About finance, my observation is that the majority self finance or have an angel investor. They mostly started working for someone else, developed a reputation and saw a market to fill. I have not seen any sailboat projects on kickstarter either. The closest I have seen was the origami kayak, and it successfully funded. I was planning to give kickstarter a try for my concept. I have mentioned crowdfunding on this site and the professionals had nothing positive to say. According to them boat building is a long hard road of developing a reputation and the sooner you realize that only the high end pays the better.

    Your project could go either way on crowd funding. Your industrial design capabilities show well. It is by far the cheapest way to fail and likely the cheapest way to succeed. On the other hand your target sales channel is so small you could just visit them with your prototype.

    My question for you is why are you going into boat building? You are a talented general designer, you could design things that pay. Do you have enough passion for this product that you would dedicate your life to it? Have you sailed IC?

    My last question is are there any good MOOCs for industrial design? What would you recommend for a mechanical engineer who wants to study design?
     
  3. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    Its a truism that the way to make a small fortune in boatbuilding is to start with a large one, but the statement has value...

    I suspect that the design issues you are running into are also the ones that caused the 16*30 to lose popularity in the first place: one ends up with a complicated and difficult to sail craft but which isn't actually spectacularly fast. Two rigs are necessarily more expensive than one and the rest of it. Have you researched the history of racing canoe sailing and how it ended up as it is: it may prove enlightening and there is much available on line: the International Canoe website is a reasonable starting point. http://www.intcanoe.org.

    The design issues are complicated: the reason the Laser 2 was not a great light airs boat was very little to do with the transom per se, but very much to do with the rest of the shape and its ancestry in an even shorter fast planing development class. One can have a long thin boat and a canoe stern and still be a planing oriented boat - to a good extent that is a description of a modern International Sailing Canoe, and one can have a transom and still be a light airs oriented craft. Transom sterns are nice for static stability apart from anything else.

    The european lake boats ought to be a good source for inspiration for lighter airs oriented craft, but they aren't documented well on line in the english language to my knowledge, and I've never found out much about them.

    One of the options used back in the day for the 18*30 steering was I think a lateral tiller. This effectively this was a rod across the boat and out to around plank width, pivoted ahead of the mast, and connected to the rudder by the linkage. One moved it forward and aft to steer. I can't help thinking it must have been enormously weird to sail with, but it seems to have been used for a long time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  4. Steve Clark
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve Clark Charged Particle

    David:
    Nice rendering, but many of your ideas show a pretty basic lack of understanding of how these little boat function. Fortunately you don't have to figure this out all by yourself. There are some modern 16x 30s built out of plywood to Jon Summers design, and some other replica boats currently sailing. That's before you tap into the International Canoe expertise. We are a pretty open group and willing to help get more people sailing canoe like objects. I have been designing building and sailing ICs for something like 35 yerars and can help out with some of this stuff. I also know so mething about vulume production in GRP and rotomolding.
    Send me a PM and we can discuss this off lne.
    SHC
     
  5. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    If ya only talk PM they won't learn nuth'n...

    I have some questions before you go...
    -Would it be correct to say that the vast majority of people with experience sailing a narrow sliding seat boats learned from ICs?
    -Do you have any idea how many IC sailors there are in north america?
    -What do you think their reaction would be to a one design class similar to their development class -welcome the expansion/minor league or 'kill it! we like the development/building'?
     
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    David,

    Startup boat building will not work the same way as 'startups.'

    For a startup to be successful, you need to convince an investor to gamble on your 'team.' It is not about selling a product, but selling a 'team.'

    If you want to sell a product, you would be much better off going slow, learning from your clients what they want, and continuing to grow self funded.

    The first think I would suggest is to build the boat and get on the water.

    Next I would suggest using amas (floats).
     
  7. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    David,

    I might be able to utilize your skills for one of my startup proposals ....
     
  8. Steve Clark
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    Steve Clark Charged Particle

    OK:
    Sliding seat should be watertight hollow structure with enough buoyancy such that it will act as a "kick stand" and prevent the boat from rolling over when at rest with the seat fully extended. This requires attention to Volume of seat, height of seat above water, Curvature of seat ( if any ) and vertical center of gravity of the boat.
    You need to look at "cross head" tillers,which are the traditional way of getting the tiller past the mizzen and still reaching the end of the seat.
    You need to think about capsize recovery and remounting from the water. How full will the tub be and how much will the free surface erode stability before it drains. Thes skinny boats don't have gobs of stability to spare.
    16-30s are notoriously cranky little boats to sail, they are endearing in spite of this, but given the skill level of most recreational sailors in the US, this design is probably too demanding. The Sunfish is just about as challenging as a "mass market" boat can be and succeed. Rotomolding is a fairly capital intensive technology. The tooling cost per unit of production isn't way out of whack, but you have to commit to a volume of manufacture that conventional GRP production doesn't demand. So that's a risk.
    Once again, I suggest you find out way more about the boats before you go much further.
    SHC
     
  9. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Parrotdesign,

    Steve Clark is a well respected voice on this forum, if you don't already know.
    I would jump on his offer of a PM discussion as soon as possible.

    Pity though, I also would like to see his suggestions/ comments.
     
  10. tspeer
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    tspeer Senior Member

    I learned to sail by rigging my 16' fiberglass canoe for sail. I used a lateen rig from a Sunflower sailboat, with the mast going through a hole in the front seat to to a block glassed to the bottom. The leeboards were mounted to a twart that was in turn attached to rails running from the front seat to the portage yoke so the balance of the boat could be adjusted. I never made a rudder for it, but steered with a paddle. No sliding seat.

    I think you may have to decide if it is a canoe or a sailboat. If it's a canoe and the winds are light, it's better to just paddle. Sailing is a boon when the wind comes up and you don't want to fight it. So you don't need a whopping amount of sail area, because the sail rig is just dead weight in the light stuff.

    For a canoe, as opposed to a kayak, there's a lot of torsion applied by the sail rig, and my canoe twisted visibly under load. It would have been good for me to have put in some diagonal braces between the front seat and center thwart to resist the torsion. But that would have blocked access to the forward half of the boat. OK if I'm single-handing, but pretty awkward for a passenger. A kayak, of course, has a closed section and its deck is better able to take the torsional loads.

    It's handy if all the spars can be fit within the confines of the boat when the rig is struck.

    But all that begs the fundamental question, what is the primary purpose to which the boat will be put?
     
  11. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    > primary purpose

    Well, we've got the aim "a low cost, modular sailboat for the light air sailing in the interior lakes of the US", which is fair enough, but I think the target for sailors also needs defining.
    As SHC implies, there's a wide range between a mass market boat which may well be someone's first craft, and which is mainly intended for causal recreational sailing, exploring creeks islands and inlets, that sort of thing, and something that is intended for serious committed sailors who would probably use it mainly for racing. They're both worthy targets, but difficult to hit with the same craft.

    Given the sliding seat then one would seem to be talking about a full on racing craft, because its not a beginner's piece of kit. But as soon as you have that then the cockpit starts being of minimal benefit because in any kind of breeze you're out on the plank, and incidentally out of any wind shelter, even for the legs, which might not be so hot in a recreational boat... I sail an International Canoe at a venue where I get to launch and rig my boat with dry feet, but its usually no more than thirty feet off the jetty before there's a firehose of cold water across my ankles...

    For a recreational boat I might look more at something like the German Taifun or the Swedish canoes as a model.

    http://www.ksgh.de/tikiwiki/tiki-print.php?page=Taifun&PHPSESSID=bb543d2193ced27b9b10975baa47f7ce
    or
    http://www.lunne.se/lunne/International_1.html

    They have little winglets each side rather than a whole sliding seat, which is all a bit less challenging, and beings the prospect of a boat where you can actually keep your feet dry. They're a bit wider as well, which is a good thing I think: for a cruiser I think you need enough beam that you can sit comfortably one side or the other in order to have enough power to sail the boat without being completely unsheltered.

    For a racer: well you're gong to end up with something that looks like a modern International Canoe, so maybe no point in not starting there...
     
  12. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Lots of smart people posting here, but I'll join in too....

    As an IC sailor like gggGuest and Steve Clark, and like them with a strong interest in historical Canoes, I'd have to agree that this boat looks very difficult to sail; harder than an IC. As a reference point, guys who have done Flying Dutchmen worlds and who would never normally capsize a Laser have rolled my Canoe in within a minute or two when sailing it on the sort of narrow inland waters that many leisure sailors like. As I understand it, the 16 x 30s are much tippier than the Nethercott IC; so much tippier that authorities of their time largely blamed them for causing the collapse in canoe sailing.

    Why not take the booming interest in sailing kayaks and Hobie-type mini tris and develop something with a bit more performance but still with ease of handlking? You could perhaps still sit inside because you don't need a massive rig to get fairly reasonable performance by leisure boat standards; the US Open Canoe sailing guys demonstrate that and the Taifun, Swedish Canoes and old Australian canoes show that you can create a fairly quick boat without going for the skinny 16 x 30 style.

    I keep on wondering whether there's not a significant market out there for something like a more substantial sailing kayak in poly. IMHO it could be the cause of a resurgence in sailing as it would offer the same sort of cost reduction that we saw earlier when ply and 'glass arrived.

    PS - An excellent sailor/builder tried a pipe-style plank on an IC a few years back; it broke. They are used in some Aussie plank boats but they are pretty substantial as the loads are very high. And as Steve says, the plank must not "trip" when it hits the water and should be buoyant; it makes a huge difference.

    Can you get alloy windsurfer masts and dacron windsurfer sails (as mentioned on your site) these days? Like others, I'm very dubious about the ability of a windsurfer mast being able to withstand being end-loaded and stays would be a hassle especially with the extremely narrow shroud base. The torsion on the hull and rigging loads in a planked Canoe are enormous. Although I sail one of the oldest poly classes and love it, I find it hard to see that the construction could carry the loads in this craft.

    As an active windsurfer racer I'm generally sceptical of the idea that board rigs are more efficient. For an easily driven boat like this they could work but at the cost of high weight, major leach control issues, and handling and light wind problems. Have you seen the complicated downhaul on modern FW rigs, or their cost?

    Having said all that, there's some nice thinking in your stuff and IMHO the poly sailing canoe could be a great way to revitalise the sport.
     
  13. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member


    I love to hear peoples 'first sail' and 'first sailboat' stories. I was wondering if the two sail rig evolved from rudderless canoes (like your first) to allow sail steering?

    I also love to hear someone I (and others) respect so much come to the same conclusion I have -stop trying to sail when there is no wind. You get a better more versatile boat if it is simply able to adjust quickly to most conditions you are likely to see on the water. I find the adventure race boats a better target than the sexy fast race sailboats of the present or past. What I want my boat to have is a wind speed and heading graph that is equipped for the best speed for all conditions -double paddle from 0 to 7kn upwind 10kn down, sail configurations to 25kn up 35kn down, and get off the water or sea anchor and survival mode over 30kn.

    There is the risk of rejection from both camps -'not a true sailboat...' 'not a true kayak...' but I think the strength of reason will win out. Sailing needs new blood and my proposition is that nobody appreciates sail power more than somebody who has been paddling themselves around in the wind. And what good is a sailboat if you don't go anywhere for fear of the wind dying leaving you stuck? A boat is just an adapter for terrestrial humans to the water environment. If it covers the conditions well it's a good boat.
     
  14. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I am also kind of miffed that this OP guy gets good input from such excellent sources and doesn't even have the manners to reply! I thought he might bring some skills from outside the biz but I have lost all respect -he doesn't have what it takes to make it in business.

    Steve, Tom, all of you... thanks for the input! Your posts are 90% of what I come to these boards for. The other 10% is comedy.
     

  15. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    FINALLY!!! A CHALENGING BOAT FOR THE THREE HANDED SAILOR!!
     
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