Are we making any real design improvements??

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Wardi, May 3, 2004.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Does the canting mechanism work?

    If so, how? In Common Sense it is described as a worm gear mechanism.
     
  2. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: auckland nz

    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    the first canting keel

    Here is a quick drawing Jim Young drew to show the mechanism of the Fiery Cross canting keel. Incidentally FC was not the same beam as drawn by L. Francis Herreshoff; Jim Young increased it by a foot or so, still a very narrow boat.
     

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  3. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member


    That looks nearly identical to the drawing in Common Sense.
     

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  4. GAZZABO
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Whangarei,n.z.

    GAZZABO Junior Member

    Fiery Cross

    The canting keel was later(4-5yrs) fixed by Jim Young. He was not allowed to race with it! He has said there were balance issues with it as the cetre of lat. res. changed alot. Hence the dagger boards in the Volvos etc. However in the light it was devastating-- set the keel to LEEWARD the boat heals to leeeward the sails go to sleep, the keel vertical, nobody could keep up, this all in less than 5knots of breeze.
    As Gary B says now has 7 ft of beam by 45ft by 6ft by 10600lbs.
    I recently singlehanded down from the Bay of Islands- Cape Brett to Bream Head 44 n miles in 5hrs 25 mins Easterly (just forward of the beam) 1 reef full working jib 20knts reducing to 15 in the last 10miles
    She is now on the hard having been wooded back and new paint job. Hopefully launching labour day.
     
  5. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member


    Any chance you can post photos of the boat? It must be a blast to own such a piece of design history.

    The Herreshoff design was only 6 feet on the beam and about 7500 lbs (IIRC), a good bit smaller than the Young version.

    Whenever I read internet bulletin boards where nutters disparage lightweight boats, and try to invoke Herreshoff in their tirades, I crack open Common Sense and read what L. Francis really thought about boats. If he was designing today he would be happy to see the TP52s, Maxi Cats, and Open Class racers.

    I wonder if most of the "heavy is good" bunch has ever actually read what he thought about designs based on, or mimicking, pilot boats and the like?
     
  6. GAZZABO
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    GAZZABO Junior Member

    Will need help with getting image-stand by!
     
  7. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Fiery Cross

    Here's one - with owner Grunda rowing in the foreground.
     

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  8. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    I am surprised to see the Masthead rig. For some reason I assumed a fractional rig like the Herreshoff version.

    The house does have a NZ37 family look to it. I prefer the more minimalist look of the Herreshoff, but that wouldn't be useful for most people's idea of cruising.

    I would love to see more photos from different views. That 7 foot beam on 45 feet length must look crazy. My little 28 footer with just over 7.5 feet beam looks skinny.
     

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  9. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Three more Fiery Cross jpegs.
     

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  10. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    More stuff on Fiery Cross

    Thin layers of glued wood in dinghies had been developed by Dave Marks but it was Jim Young who first used this building technique in a large yacht by constructing a very advanced light displacement yacht with a canting keel (over 30 years ahead of its time). This yacht Fiery Cross was based on theorist drawings from L. Francis Herreshoff and was built in two layers of diagonally laid kauri planks that were glued along with countless copper fastenings, on deep stringers. “I was going against the grain using glues and double diagonals, it wasn’t the done thing, not the way any self respecting builder would approach a job,” said Young.
    Working part-time while he built commissioned yachts in his Little Shoal Bay yard it took him five years to complete the yacht and Fiery Cross was not launched until late 1958 – coinciding with the launching of another light displacement yacht Ariel, a Scandinavian 30 Square Metre design by Knud Reimers, commissioned by Jim Lidgard. Ariel however, had been altered from original Reimers plans and had been lengthened to 50 feet and was carrying more lead “to wet the long overhangs.” Contrary to Young’s thin double diagonals that were glued and fastened, Ariel was built in three layers but also epoxy glued with the addition of metal fastenings. No-one then, trusted all glue, no metal.
    “When Des Townson and I first sailed Fiery Cross,” said Young, with the keel unpinned (I sailed her after launching with it fixed vertically as if she was a normal keeler) we were very tentative, thought the boat would flop over to leeward and we gingerly went about the process of unlocking the keel. You have to remember that no-one had done this before – it was completely new territory for us. But there was no problem because of course, there was plenty of ballast even with the keel to leeward; it was just higher internally in the boat. We would sail gently along, unpin, the keel would swing leeward, we’d lock it then tack and the keel would be set up properly for the new board.
    Compared to yachts of today Fiery Cross was shallow draft – 45 long x 7 ft 6ins beam x 6 ft 3ins draft – we didn’t know about these things then, really Fiery Cross should have had 9 foot draft. My idea was that the canting keel (we called it a pendulum keel) would make our narrow overall beam act as if it was eleven feet wide. But I have changed my mind now, narrow boats with a swing keel are not as fast as wide beam, form stability boats because there is not as much leverage with the narrow hull compared to that of the wide hull with its flared, shallow and flat bottomed hull.
    Interestingly I felt that Fiery Cross sailed better to windward in light airs with the keel in the supposedly wrong place, flopped to leeward – that is because the keel was really vertical to the water surface and therefore making best use of the boat’s shallow 6 foot draft, the boat heeled over above it and the sails nicely to sleep and at their best shape. But set up this way we found we had weather helm - in those days I was experimenting with early New Zealand spade rudders and they were, we know now, too small (I still broke quite a few stocks) – then Fiery Cross wanted to go into irons and if we ended up in this position, we’d sit there feeling foolish, not going anywhere. Conversely with the keel canted to windward in light air conditions, Fiery Cross had lee helm and wanted to bear away. All this is obvious and commonsense today from what we have learned on sailboards, but then it was a different story. However because Fiery Cross was very narrow for its long length and even though the rudder was small, we didn’t suffer the broaching problems of the wide beamed Stewart 34’s. Fiery Cross’s canting keel was looked at aghast in those days and because officials considered the boat had moving ballast (it did) was therefore considered illegal. I wasn’t allowed to race the boat with the keel unpinned and some years later, when I sold Fiery Cross, the new owner wouldn’t have a bar of the swinging keel and demanded it be locked up permanently before he took over the boat.”
     
  11. GAZZABO
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    GAZZABO Junior Member

    Baigentes---- Thanks for stepping in to help with the pics. When you come up on the 11th show me how eh! By the way FX was glued with Resoircinal Glue, which Im pleased about as I trust it more than Epoxy. This year Ive also replaced back to (smaller) the 4 forward windows. They are now rabbetted with lam. glass ( how I hate looking thru Plastic). She was originally launched with the fractional rig, but changed to masthead alloy 41 years ago, the chap from Aitchesons rowed over last year and said he buitit and it was the first keeler mast they built.
     
  12. GAZZABO
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    GAZZABO Junior Member

    Fiery Cross pics
     

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  13. GAZZABO
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    GAZZABO Junior Member

    More Fiery Cross pics.
     

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  14. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    My last two boats had sharp V foreward sections. Like clipper bows ,they would drop deeply into a headsea then stop the boat suddenly when the buoyancy built up suddenly near the deck. They pounded like hell beating from Vanuatu to Fiji. For my current boat I put an extra 3 inches of outside curve in the foreward sections, and she glides thru a head sea much more easly and smoothly, without the sudden buildup of buoyancy foreard, without slowing down much.
    Leaner bows and wider sterns drastically reduce a boat's directional stabilty and the ability to self steer downwind.
    My last boat was far too wide in the stern and lean in the bows. She had little directional stability. For my current boat , I added three inches in the bows, and reduced the stern lines by three inches. The difference was huge . This boat will self steer, without the vane , on a broad reach in 15 knots of wind on the quarter.On all points of sail I can leave the helm free for far longer than I ever would have dreamed of in my last boat.
    Brent
     

  15. White Knight
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    White Knight Chief

    Pardon a new guy buttin' in, but Superpiper's post (#131) hit a note I've been waitin' ta' hear. Like - what's being done to reduce drag? I've tried teflon based wax but didn't quantitate the results. It did feel sexy to be trying to be slippery! Seriously though, I've heard the Navy is interested in Bio-engineered shapes like the grooves on whale bellies and the dental patterns on sharkskin (have you seen them under a microscope?). Maybe similar results can be achieved with nano materials. We've used sandpaper too, to scratch long longitudinal grooves (it's supposed to hold minute bubbles on the hull). What about drag reduction in the rigging. Flying wires went out of vogue in airplanes long ago! Maybe struts inside the hull would help, or prestressed X-rods inside the mast. Perhaps, fabric hulls that can be reconfigured on the fly. Look guys, Wardi's project is a good if not perfected starting point. I've been soppin' up the free education and ya' know, work such as his must be carried out to establish baselines from which to measure further advances -- or we might as well all save $ and just sail old boats.
     
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