Bolger single handed schooler

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Chikokishi, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. Chikokishi
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    Chikokishi Junior Member

    Has anyone built the Bolger single handed schooner? How much did it cost? How hard was it, etc? I really want to build it as my first *official* boat build. Iv made a cardboard boat, and a small sailboat from a sheet of plywood, but i want to build a reputable boat now!
     
  2. Brasstom
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    Brasstom Dedicated Boat Dreamer

    Not I, but I've recently been doing some research on it myself! Bolger's schooner's are pretty and (apparently) VERY lively sailors! The single-handed schooner seems like a great compromise for someone who wants a fantastic looking boat with relative ease-of-construction and exciting performance! One big "downside" to the single-handed notion is the 150+lb dagger board in the middle... makes it a bit tougher to haul around on your own!

    There's a few good building blogs/sites for the Light Schooner I found last week. I bookmarked em at home, but if I find them again this morning I'll send them your way!
     
  3. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    My ancient Snipe has an 80 pound steel daggerboard, and it isn't as brutal to move as you would think. The weight makes the boat a lot less tender than just about any current designs, and if you leave it in the water at a mooring it is not problem. You do have to absolutely make sure the board is tied in, as a capsize will cause it to head to the bottom without hesitation.

    Back in the early dinghy days a removable but heavy daggerboard was a risky high performance option compared to the small keel boats of the day.

    You have to take a lot of the performance claims made with a grain of salt (maybe a whole shaker). I've read on the "internets" (a series of pipes!) that a Bolger Light Schooner will pass anything on a broad reach except maybe a C Class catamaran. This may have been somewhat relevant in 1955, but not today.

    --
    Bill
     
  4. Chikokishi
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    Chikokishi Junior Member

    Iv been googling for the SHS but the best i can find is that page by "mike" where he built one. but not very detailed or anything.

    Most of the waters around here are just lakes. and the ones close to me isnt very deep even, is it mavauverable enough for a lake, oh.. ill say the diameter is like half a mile, takes like a minute or two, if that, to get to the other side doing about 30mph. the other lake around here is a bit of a drive away, but i wouldnt mind making it for a decent sailing experience!

    i talked to "mike" he said he spent roughtly 800 on epoxy, 1000 on sails, and then about 75 for the ballast, and then the other materials like wood. Sounds a bit pricy for a college student!
     
  5. Chikokishi
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    Chikokishi Junior Member

    You know, you could probably build a pulley system for the dagger that allows you to raise and lower it from the cockpit!
     
  6. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    I've got a soft spot for the Light Schooner, but the "faster than anything but a C Class cat" line is complete bull***, and the racing record has to be seen in context. According to its handicap in South Australia, the Light Schooner is less than 3 minutes quicker than a Catalina 22 in a two-hour race - and I think that handicap comes from races on an open lake, that would probably suit the LS.

    The Light Schooner is rated, for instance about 1% faster than the Hartley TS16, a 16' home-built cruiser from the '50s; about 8% slower than the 1947 designed 20' long Flying 15 keel yacht;it's about 20% slower than the ancient 21 footers of the 1930s. The fastest 23 foot yacht in that system rates about 25% faster than the Light Schooner.

    Those figures indicate that the Light Schooner is slower than a Vanguard 15 or Laser, and about half the speed of a 49er.

    Light Schooner owners write of 4-6 knots upwind and bursts of 10+ reaching in a breeze....that's a far cry from being able to beat a Hobie 14, let alone a C Class.

    Great boat, yeah - absolute screamer, not so much. In fact, that sort of claim from Bolger pretty much destroys any claim he has for credibility, IMHO.
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Does anyone have plans or photos of it? I am not familiar with the design.
     
  8. Perm Stress
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    Perm Stress Senior Member

  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I've never been much of a fan of Bolger's looks. The website claims simplicity, but the rig is rather cumbersome. I can understand wanting that rig for appeareance.
     
  10. Chikokishi
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    Chikokishi Junior Member

    lol, im actually interested in the single handed schooner, not the light schooner. I do not have a crew, or access to one.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I had a Chapelle 32' sharpie with a self standing schooner rig. They were both marconis and it was easy to singlehand. I think that for one person staysails and gaffs are difficult.
     
  12. Perm Stress
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    Perm Stress Senior Member

    A link to Light schooner was posted to answer Gonzo .... :)
     
  13. Chikokishi
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    Chikokishi Junior Member

    the light schooner is really pretty, and the SHS is basically the same boat but smaller right? Why cant the light schooner be made for single hand?
     
  14. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Most small boats can be single handed, but the problems creep in when the wind starts to rise. Unballasted boats generally require live moving ballast (on the right side of the boat) in all but the most calm conditions to stay upright.

    One person is not enough to keep the Bolger Light Schooner upright according to Bolger and others in any wind over 2-3 knots.

    From the sounds of things (and I could be wrong) you would greatly benefit from spending a little time out sailing to allow you to distinguish between the romantic sailing one does in books and on the Internet versus the kind of sailing we do in small boats. Often the "real" sailing can be as magical and fun as "virtual" sailing, but it does differ in many ways.

    If you are really interested in building and sailing small boats, now is a great time to start hanging around your local lakes that have sailing clubs. You live in Scow country, and there are lots of fleets of Buccanneers, Thistles, Lasers and the like around you. All you have to do is show up, let people know you are interested in sailing and within one or two visits you will be offered chances to go out and try sailing. Once you get on the water, you will suddenly have an appreciation for stability, the need to move at the right time and hopefully not have a chance at swimming lessons!

    One day on the water is a revelation. And you can do it for free - all you have to do is show, listen and have fun.

    Helping launch and retrieve a dry sailed boat will give you instant appreciation for lightweight boats that are easily moved. Bolger's Schooners are NOT exactly dry sail friendly. Two people hauling a Thistle up a ramp on a dolly are working hard - one person will NEVER be able to pull a Bolger Single Hand Schooner up a ramp unaided with a dolly.

    Do your self a huge favor and go spend time sailing a little and hanging around sailing clubs - your perspectives will become much more clear, and you will quickly find out about the social and competitive aspects of sailing that aren't present on the Internet and books.

    Cheers,

    --
    Bill
     

  15. Chikokishi
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Chikokishi Junior Member

    I built this boat last summer, and i taken it out a few times. I think its really fun! Iv never seen a small sailboat in this area, ill do some googling for them!
     

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