An extremely cheap, easy to build proa, cat or tri for Okinawa island hopping?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by paradoxbox, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Percyis

    Percyis Previous Member


    Have you sailed, or built, an SOF boat before?
     
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

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    I'm simply amazed.
     
  3. Percyis

    Percyis Previous Member

    Here's the statement from Richard Woods that created the obvious question above.


    Here's the proof that an SOF boat can handle serious conditions. http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/05/columns/wasey/7/index.cfm

    Read that book and you will be more than simply amazed.
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

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    I wasn't amazed at what you said just that it was you(man of many names) that said it. There are probably better ways to approach such a discussion with a man of Richards Woods design ability and sailing experience.
     
  5. Percyis

    Percyis Previous Member

    You're suggesting that a person should ignore his statement that runs contrary to known facts?

    One might assume that Richard has heard of the Brendan voyage. He has spoken many times regarding Wharram's designs, which use lashings to hold the beams to the hulls. So, we have a strong piece of evidence that SOF boats can handle big water conditions. We also know that lashings for beam to hull junctures are also more than strong enough and that pretty much makes the deal for what we all know as a catamaran. That reality draws one to ask if Richard has any experience sailing, or building SOF craft.

    A simple question based on solid facts. I'm guessing that you think it's wrong to ask such questions of established designers?

    I get the feeling, here, that you are trying to bait me into a confrontation.
     
  6. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    No I haven't

    But then have you sailed in the English Channel?

    I was sailing a 22ft Wizard catamaran in the Summer Splash race a couple of weeks ago from Marina del Ray to Catalina Island. A few years ago I raced from Santa Barbara to Redondo Beach on Richard Spindler's Profligate catamaran. (That is basically the LA area for those who don't know Californian geography)

    I have also sailed the whole east coast USA from Bar Harbour, Maine to Biscayne Bay several times and most of the west coast from Juneau south to La Paz, Mexico. I have finished first in the Swiftsure race and sailed round Vancouver Island. Most of that sailing was in multihulls.

    And I've done a bit of small multihull sailing in the English Channel as well.

    Pete Goss, who is a friend of mine, and who has sailed both ways round Cape Horn, as well as sailed a 26ft catamaran in the OSTAR, said that the worst weather he ever experienced was on a day sail out of Plymouth, UK: my home port.

    I have had a summer house on Saturna island, BC for the last 6 years. During that time I have only reefed once (off Cape Scott on a F31R). I will be spending much of the next few winters in Port Townsend, Wa, where I will be sailing my 18ft Strike trimaran whenever work and weather permit.

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  7. paradoxbox
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    paradoxbox Junior Member

    thanks for the interesting posts guys.

    keep in mind i'm going to be sailing in okinawa, not the english channel, while i'm sure there are some similarities the basic climate is completely different. okinawa is nearly tropical with good weather most of the time but it can get dangerous during typhoon season and of course there are the occasional storms and cold water that come down the west coast of japan/east coast of china

    anyway, here is another link that has the kind of design i am gravitating toward
    http://www.wingo.com/proa/micronesia/flying_proas_of_the_Ladrone_Islands.html

    note, carrying 5 people is not an absolute necessity, just a bonus, and i wouldn't dream of doing an offshore passage i.e. naha to ishigaki (can that be called offshore? only 120miles..!) with 5 people on a cheap boat. but for light coastal cruising no problem, i think. i used to paddle in canoes with 4 people and gear loaded into them all the time, though a bit heavy they handled it. performance obviously suffered though.

    skin on frame is definitely the cheapest option but i worry about damage, especially because i want to be able to drag the boat up onto the beach upon my destination then unlash it and store it somewhere while i'm visiting the new island. but the inuit/eskimos used skin on frame to good effect for hundreds or thousands of years in their kayaks and the native peoples around ontario made canoes out of birch bark.. so i'm sure it can be done.

    of course when i do make one of the longer passages it will be done during opportune weather and current considerations. i'm not looking for a permanent cruising solution here, i'm looking for a way to get between the okinawan islands quickly, cheaply and have lots of fun doing it. that's why the proa or a double canoe based design is appealing to me.

    anyone seen the ontong java? asymmetric hulled double canoe, something like that might also be cool..scaled down of course, and with cheaper hull construction
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Percyis

    Percyis Previous Member

    That's great, Richard and I'm satisfied that you have been sailing in various locations and have hopefully had a great time doing so.

    But, it still doesn't answer the basic question here, which is being supported by some very well known facts of their own; That being that an SOF boat has sailed across the Atlantic in some very tough conditions going the wrong way, if you will. Further, that many lashed cats from several designers and not just Wharram, but his specifically, have circumnavigated with the same types of connectives that would be likely used for an SOF catamaran.

    So, I'm wondering why you think the boat wouldn't do in the channel when many others, including Wharram's engineering, think the opposite? For God's sake, those wacky automotive guys from the UK chugged their way across the channel in a Toyota Hilux pickup with a Honda outboard.
     
  9. peterchech
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    peterchech Senior Member

    SOF works better for monohulls than multis, sailing wise anyway, IMHO. Lots of twist develops in a narrow hull, and SOF isn't the best at fighting twist. I have built 2 SOF's myself so I have some idea of what is entailed. It might work, but you wouldn't spend much more to build an ABX fir hull with chine logs, if kept small and simple, and it would be far less damage prone. Also, I tend to step all over my sailboats, and SOF needs to be reinforce anywhere you will step on it. This would add to the cost and make it lest attractive IMHO. Again, it is possible, and has been done, but the advantage in cost and build time would be minimal compared to simple 1/4 inch CDX.

    Paradox, you are all over the place, no offense. If you want to drag it onto a beach, it must weigh under 400# if you're by yourself. Lighter is possible. I know this personally believe me I am a young 180# man and I can't beach my 450# boat by myself unless the beach has an extremely shallow incline. Even then, can't get it out of reach of the waves...
     
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  10. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    You could make a homestore materials Piver say a 24' nugget . The plans are very inexpensive from the Mariners Museum. Use tackle and rollers/large fenders or pvc pipe skids to get it up the beach. Consider the whole thing disposable for a few years of fun and don't get hung up on gloss and rot proofing. The best thing is they have done well in the English Channel. If you want to go large the 30 Nimble could work but in that size range you should plan on anchoring out.
    Saturna Island is great, we were there last year, this year boat chores have kept us from getting up to BC and I'm sad to have missed striking out with Canadian girls for a change ;)
     
  11. Percyis

    Percyis Previous Member

    SOF could work fine for cat hulls if the builder were to incorporate proper bulkhead spacing and correct longitudinals. The argument was not if it would be a competitive build scenario against other plank on frame, stitch and glue, or mold laminate designs. The discussion, as I see it, was about the OP and his desire to build a boat, affordably, that could do what what he outlined in his first post.

    To that end, I believe that a well built SOF cat could give him what he wants without the necessity of buying imported plywood, using heavy amounts of fiberglass, or resin and make a boat that could be built with local materials for the structure and a very affordable waterproof and glueable skin. Further strength could be added with well placed air bladders from pretty much the same material he uses to skin the beast. I direct you to the boats of Tom Yost if you want to discover how air pressure can stiffen a boat and make it much stronger.

    I would encourage all design oriented persons on this list to seek the full potential of the materials that are being proposed and look at the complete boat as a unit. It would be wrong to assume that we need to build boats only as we do in these modern times. Some of the older, more time tested, design genres are more than capable of providing the kind of craft needed for the OP's needs.

    This discussion isn't about going forth and busting through hurricanes and typhoons in order to justify a particular build regime. One can look, judiciously, at the boats built in modern styles that have been abandoned in big storms and the argument then becomes somewhat moot. For the person who carefully chooses his weather travel windows, there are many solutions for the needs expressed by the OP.
     
  12. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Great to hear that it is easy sailing in south Japan. Sounds like it might make the next Sunsail charter base?

    Yes I have read the Brendan Voyage. I have also lived in SW Ireland and seen modern currachs. I always wonder how many traditional boats didn't come back from a days fishing. And how many oldtimers would prefer a boat built in modern materials, given the choice. Most traditional craft had big crews, often the youngest (or the women) were designated as bailers. You should read Tristam Jones book Ice for his comments on the SOF Greenland boats.

    I think that many of the posters on this forum don't take sufficient notice of how dangerous the sea can be. I'd suggest posing the same questions on say the SSCA or OCC forums and seeing what response you get from people who really cruise their boats. No one deliberately goes out in a gale, but the unexpected does happen. The Top Gear cross channel trip had several rescue boats at hand (in fact I believe that one car sank)

    I agree with all Peter Chech says. I had a friend who had fabric decks on his dinghy. One day he slipped and put his foot through the deck. Then he capsized. As they say, s**t happens.

    Coastal sailing is much harder on a boat than is ocean sailing. You have to anchor regularly (and in the English Channel (La Manche) tidal ranges are up to 40ft), so you need lots of warp, chain and a sharp fluked anchor. None of which are kind to a fabric hull. I'd also be very, very nervous about carrying any stores in the hulls, just because of skin wear and rips.

    And you'll often have to tie up to rough stone quay walls. Possibly with a couple of fishing boats on the outside.

    So as I say, you won't get far cruising a SOF boat in the Channel. I have designed and owned catamarans with rope lashings. But that doesn't make them SOF. I also helped build and later extensively sailed the protoytpe Wharram Pahi 35, which had rope lashed beams. We had to keep changing the lashings because of chafe and they creaked and groaned, which was disconcerting at best.

    30 years ago I built a 25ft racing catamaran using 4mm ply over stringers/frames. So maybe that could be considered SOF construction. It is still sailing. We didn't worry about capsize but did worry about hitting flotsam, especially when sailing fast at night. We sailed it extensively up and down the English Channel. Our best sail was 135 miles from Plymouth to Southampton in 13 hours.

    The OP has a very low budget, so I doubt if he will buy professionally drawn plans. After all the Tiki 21 plan price is about USD550, or half his total budget

    In his place I'd buy a used monohull. I have several friends who this year bought useable 25-30ft grp monohulls from the 1970's for under USD1500. I was in the San Francisco Bay area a couple of weeks ago and talked to a marina owner. He would have GIVEN me a 25ft derelict sailboat had I wanted it (he had a choice of four boats to get rid of)

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  13. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    The monohull angle did occur to me and I agree with the remarks about open water sailing though think it is what is under the water that affects seas most. I've been up to the Bering Sea but my time North of Canada was in commercial craft fishing. Working you actually go out in inclement weather! I would recommend the Aleutians, Shumigans and Kodiak Island as Northern SUMMER destinations but increasingly weather is changing quickly and you need a craft that can handle the bad weather conditions of your chosen waters. And don't feed the bears,,,,,
     
  14. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Since the skin of a SOF boat is handling loads in tension but not compression, how much weight is saved when the frame has to be made strong enough for the compression loads when compared with more conventional construction where the planking can carry loads? And where do you find the skin covering?
     

  15. peterchech
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    peterchech Senior Member

    ontong java reminds me of the tahitian ndruas, which had assymetrical hulls. They came into favor at the pinnacle of tahitian canoe development, right before european disease and religion halted the raiding/voyaging that had been going on.

    A guy on woodenboat forum just built a 16' wa'apa for $560 so it can be done if you are minimalist enough. Extending that boat to 24' would cost another $100 or so most likely, and would give him a minimalist camp cruiser for two people and gear. Extend it another 8' for another $100 and he has a minimalist camp cruiser for 4 people and gear. Hard to beat that...
     
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