Bieker 24' Proa and other equilivents

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Boatguy30, May 4, 2015.

  1. Boatguy30
    Joined: Dec 2011
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    So I'm never been much on the proa idea, but this 24' one really strikes me. I've been thinking about a 18-25' boat for some winter coastal sailing racing in the SE and a few weeks in the North Channel in the summers.

    Did a 38 mile race on a 23' mono Saturday with about a 3.5 knot average VMG. We were leading our class for about 25 of those miles but it certainly wasn't much fun especially when the cats passed us going around 5 knots faster!

    Is anyone aware of other proa designs like this Bieker 24? PT boat works tells me plans "are not available" Perhaps if it goes well enough in the race Bieker will sell some basic drawings to experienced builders?
     
  2. Russell Brown
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    Russell Brown Junior Member

    "Selling basic drawings to experienced builders" is not as easy as you make it sound, especially with a proa.
    If Paul sold you (or anyone else) all the drawings and engineering for this boat, it would still be far less information than you would need to build the boat. Where does the rest of the information come from? Phone calls and e-mails. Buckets of them.
    How does one put a value on all that time, stress, and thought?
    What I'm saying is that selling someone a set of "Basic drawings" is like marrying them and that is before even taking into account the liability issues.
    If all you need is "Basic drawings", then draw them yourself. I'm saying this encouragingly.
    Proas are an under developed concept, there's lots to learn, and there are some boats out there to look at for inspiration, It's not magic.
    Russell
     
  3. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    Don't really know about the liability, never discussed that with Richard. I would guess "Woods Designs" holds no US assets and collecting in a commonwealth court would be difficult. guess a USmall designer would need to be more careful.

    I can certainly understand your concerns about the technical advice side, but I had imagined (a more here's what you get for $X and "good luck") not some vague open ended thing.

    I'm really not interested in building something 24' of my own design. Tons of people ask me if I designed my 34' cat. I tell them I'd be a fool to have spent the time and money to build my own design. Would it sail OK? Sure I'm sure it would sail alright if I copied a bunch or ideas and mashed them into a design. Would it be faster boat for boat than Morelli Melvin Leopard 40 and 46s and a Catana 58 in Bahamas racing. 9 minutes slower over 18 miles than a custom foam and glass Crowther 42??? Do 16.5 knots fully loaded?? With used sails 20 y/o sails? I doubt it.

    So, I'll stay tuned. A well built and designed Proa raced around here a bit would explode the Proa interest in the SE US. Wouldn't be starting anything till August. But I want to build a proven design or perhaps a new design from a proven designer like the Vardo was.
     
  4. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    I have been selling proa designs from 15'-70' for amateur and professional builders, beginners and experienced sailors for over 10 years. The aim has always been boats that resolve the shortcomings of conventional boats, including other proas. In particular, speed, safety, ease of building/sailing and low cost.

    Speed:
    Primarily a function of light weight, sail area, length and righting moment. Light weight comes from building the minimum possible boat with the lightest materials, sail area is obvious and it is easier to make a long proa than any other boat. Righting moment should be maximised with crew and equipment weight, the same as on any other boat, then water added or sail reduced as necessary.
    Safety:
    Proas are sailed the same as other boats, apart from shunting and when they are caught aback. In the caught aback scenario a stayed rig is unsafe and can result in the rig falling down and/or the boat capsizing the wrong way. Unstayed rigs resolve this. Mainsail only rigs eliminate having to raise and lower jibs and time on the bows hanking/unhanking them. Schooner rigs with flexible masts provide enough sail that spinnakers and other extras are not required.
    Rudders/daggerboards which can be lifted and which kick up on impact have been a big development area for harrys and one that is now pretty well sorted out.
    Easy building:
    We have just completed the lee hull drawings for the Cruiser 60. This will be built with no sanding, grinding or cutting of cured laminate and no wet laminating or bogging apart from the small foam collision pieces on each bow. All components, incl hatches, doors, beam sockets, bunk/bulkhead/furniture locations and local beefing up are infused in 3 operations (bulkheads etc and 2 half hull/decks), with no mess, minimal waste and perfect resin/fibre ratios. The infused components are ready for undercoat, inside and out and on the edges. The weight, cost, materials and time savings are huge. The rest of the harry range is being changed to include these techniques.
    Easy sailing:
    Proas shunt. This is slower but safer than tacking or gybing, particularly in big breezes and waves. There are a number of ways to speed it up, depending on the athleticism of the crew. There are also a number of ways to slow it down. Rudders and jibs that need raising or lowering and sliding mast feet are good examples.

    Proas have long been pushed as something strange and exotic. They aren't. Now that they are becoming mainstream, more designers will see the obvious benefits and offer them. Many of them will have a lot to offer, so ask around.

    Questions to ask them:
    How does it shunt?
    On a harry, you release the current main sheet and pull in the new one, then steer onto the new course. No need for headsails, lifting and lowering rudders or moving mast bases fore and aft.
    What happens when it is caught aback?
    On a harry the sails weathercock and you have time and control to steer it back onto course, thanks to the self vanging rig and the unstayed mast. Stayed masts mean the sail cannot weathercock so you are on the wrong tack with little or no control and some risk of the mast falling or capsizing the wrong way.
    Where does it get it's righting moment?
    There are 2 approaches to proa sailing. In one, the crew sits to leeward and pumps water or moves ballast to stop the ww hull flying as the breeze builds. In the harry, the crew sit to windward and shift to leeward when the breeze drops. The all up weight is lower (much lower in a breeze) and the windward hull can be designed for the weight it usually carries. ie the hull will often be ballasted, but not flying (lulls or shunting) and should be designed for this.
    Capsize avoidance?
    There are 2 approaches. One is to build a pod on the lee side of the lee hull which pauses the heel at about 45 degrees. This is added weight in an inefficient location and means that if the boat is blown past 45 degrees, or pitchpoles, it will be very hard to right. The other is to have a buoyant mast and or boom which stop the boat going past 90 degrees from where crew weight and windage will right it. A variation on this, is to cant the mast to leeward, so the boat is self righting.
    Quantities of brushes, rollers, gloves, overalls and sandpaper needed (the cost of these is not insignificant, but ask so you have an indication of how many times you will be getting sticky and dusty) and how long it takes to fit all the bulkheads, shelves and furniture?
    On a harryproa, the current answer is zero, zero, one box, zero and a couple of sheets until paint is applied.

    To answer your specific question, the harryproa nearest to the Bieker boat is Elementarry. http://harryproa.com/?portfolio=elementarry-75m25 The prototype started as a 2 person schooner, then became a single handed, single masted boat and is now being developed as a kite foiler. Other versions have included a camper which solo cruised 1,000 miles up and down the very inhospitable west and southwest Australian coast. This boat was built very cheaply by a sailing novice and is now in Thailand.
    Developing options and thinking outside the box is what we do, so customising it to your requirements re sailing weather, crew numbers, race/cruise balance, accommodation etc would not be a problem.

    Pretty much everything you need to know about harrys is on www.harryproa.com. The Bucket List video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttXu3pRTzs8 may give you something to think about. If you have any questions, please ask.

    There has been a lot of discussion about the different types on discussion forums, much of it focussed on personalities rather than boats and almost all of it is now out of date. Hopefully, this thread will stick with discussing the boat types.

    Sorry for the long post, but there are a lot of myths to dispel and short answers usually provoke more questions than they answer. Plus, I enjoy discussing proas.
     
  5. Russell Brown
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    Russell Brown Junior Member

    Boat guy,
    I guess what I was trying to say is that there's not much incentive from a designer's point of view in selling a design for a boat that has so many unknowns. With this kind of boat there are few comparisons to be made to other multihulls, so virtually everything in a proa is unique. There are so many parts and pieces that need to function as intended, so without very thorough design, prototyping, and documentation of the process a designer has no control over the outcome.
    I have always had the belief that if I was going to do something involving other people then it should be done well or not at all. Recent experience has reinforced this belief.

    Designing a decent boat takes a hell of a lot of time and really good designers value their time.

    All that being said, a proa could be the easiest multihull for a savvy person to design and build if that builder was observant and inventive and willing to rebuild parts that didn't work so well.

    Yes, there are always designers willing to sell you anything, whether it has been tried, tested, engineered or if it is just a good looking image with little practical merit.

    We have one such multihull designer here in the US who has sold many designs to clients who were mostly dreamers eager to believe the designers claims about speed, economy, build times, etc. The designer I'm speaking of sold many more designs than one of my favorite designers, who not only designed great boats, but provided a very thorough set of plans and was actually honest about costs, weight, and build times.
    One provided great images, one provided great designs.

    Hopefully modern proas will now rapidly evolve and some of the issues and compromises will be better understood and there will be more designs available.

    Russell
     
  6. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Russell I'd argue you have very little control over the outcome no matter how thorough you are ! There will always be someone who will build in packing cases and polyester or pre preg and nomex. Some designers plans are offsets and a sailplan some show you how to make your own shoe laces. Some guys will want a drawing of a ringnail others you won't hear from till the boats wet.
    You can't please everyone you just do your thing. If it was me I'd say sign this disclaimer, here is what we have. :D
     
  7. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    Rob

    I did have a look at your site prior to your post. The 25' looked pretty beach cat is compared to the Bieker. Must be a big difference in L to beam ratio of the 2 designs.

    I'll also be looking to build in ply not foam, but we'll see how things develop.

    what's the story with your dinghy design? Has one been built and tested? What length. I need to replace my RIB before next winter.

    thanks.
     
  8. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    Russell

    And thanks for coming back again. I really like to not have to rebuild stuff. On my 34' cat the one thing I might need to change a little bit is the angle of the outboard mounts and the catwalk to the bow beam is a bit heavy and weak. So I certainly wouldn't want to have to make myself 3 sets of rudders or something.

    Anyhow, thanks for the info.

    Jeff Goff

    PS your friend Jill Beckham says hi.
     
  9. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    Elementarry is a beach cat. It was designed to be competitive with Tornados, which it was. Make a list of what you want in the boat and we can design it accordingly. Length is important for speed, so include any limits (build space, trailer, storage, racing limits, etc). Discussing ideas and figuring out better ways to do things are the parts of design that I enjoy, so no charge for talking and sketching.

    The foam method uses flat panels so no problem converting to ply, except the radii will be smaller unless you want to strip plank them. If you want to know all the reasons why foam is better, let me know. ;-)

    There are a couple of 4m/13'ters being built. The plans should be updated to make use of the mould method, so customisation is possible if you want anything to be different. This would be a good project to get to grips with infusion, if you were contemplating it.
     
  10. ThomD
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    ThomD Senior Member

    One option would be to look at the CLC Madness proa. Plans are reasonable, as are the kits, and there are regular sales.

    I think part of the promise of the Harry style proa is that it can be a lot longer than 25 feet for a given weight.
     
  11. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    Not just a given weight, but a given price as well.

    The CLC kit is great if you want to build in ply without having to do any measuring or cutting (which just leaves the joy of getting suited up to apply and sand the toxic chemicals ;-)). It is good value for what it is, but as John (CLC boss) points out: it is state of the art for 1975. You might want to ask the questions in my other post if it is of interest.

    The timber and composites kits costs $14,400 plus labour, beams, paint and rig. It took 1,800 hours to pro build Madness, future ones will be "somewhat less". 1,500 hours at $50 per hour is $75,000.

    Bucket List is 40' long (vs Madness 31') and weighs the same but has 74% more sail area and 2.3 times the righting moment. Your call on which will be faster.

    Professionally built, ready to sail it costs $50,000. The composite materials for the hulls, carbon mast, beams and rudders are about $15,000. There is no metal in the boat, so this plus the sail, tramp and cot berths pretty much covers the materials.

    Depending on why the length (rather than the cost or the speed) is important to the OP, Bucket List could easily have removable, bolted on ends, or just be shortened.
     
  12. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    As the OP, I'll just note I was looking for a small under 25' multi that I can race and camp cruise around the SE us and Great Lakes when I'm not island hopping on my 34' cat. So really 25' and about 8k are my max parameters.
     
  13. ThomD
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    ThomD Senior Member

    Sounds like what you really need is a trimaran. Despite all the talk proas are substantially unproven in racing. Not to say at all it won't happen, but it hasn't happened very broadly yet (I own a rare unsigned copy of project cheers... None the less)

    Pretty much a universal advantage of the proa is the ability to build a larger boat for the buck or other criteria. But I guess that doesn't get you out of the problem of not wanting a larger boat...
     
  14. ThomD
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    ThomD Senior Member

    I can probably get you some boat builders for 8-16 dollars an hour. I can get ply for 11 dollars a sheet. If one just bought the plans and built her oneself, madness could be done on the cheap. That is the problem with HG you can't cheap out carbon, foam, KSS seminars, vac bagging indoors in a climate where it freezes half the year, and the average house is a million, full size construction fascilities, etc... If there is one thing we know for sure, people in NA want to build plywood boats. Id rather have the foam boat, but the cost gap is just too large, and they even make corecell down the HWY and hour from here.

    Obviously since buying HG plans whenever years ago, I prefer the HG design, but the general unavailability of the power plant has always held me back. Today I am trying to source oil for my new tohatsu, and I can't find that. Hey it's just a city of 10 million on the great lakes, seems reasonable... Finding carbon is just a dream. though semi-pal down the road scored a gynormous roll he is using to make surfboards out of styrofoam, and I think it was free... There is a marriage made in heaven, 9 oz carbon over white foam.
     

  15. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    I wouldn't knock proa history because. although there have been some spectacular failures, there have also been examples of memorable success. For example I remember the Gilles Ollier 55 foot Atlantic proa Lestra Sport doing well in St. Malo/New Orleans race then, when returning, beating the Atlantic crossing record set by Tabarly's Paul Ricard ... but the proa came in second to the new crossing record holder (then) of the Ollier designed catamaran Jet Services 2 (if I remember correctly) ... so the cat got the kudos.
    Then of course there is the original Atlantic proa Cheers coming 3rd in the Transat. And then you go back to the true originators of proa design; the long voyages of the Pacific versions undertaken centuries ago.
    And returning to right now, what is the craft type (albeit a very single purpose design with specialized foil design, but still very much a proa platform) that has set the world's sailing speed record?
    Wouldn't write off proas if I was you.
     
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