Circular Sailboats?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by John Smithson, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. John Smithson
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    John Smithson Junior Member

    Been going down the rabbit hole of unusual boats lately, and circular boats caught my interest.

    Got to thinking that a personal yacht of 30-35 feet is nice, but would it be feasible to have a 20 foot circular boat instead? Being so wide would have more interior room than the conventional boat does.

    Would it be as comfortable as a cat is at sea? Most definitely slower, and has the capsizing problem to worry about, but other than that seems like it would be similar?

    Anyway, got more questions than answers on this one. Here are some examples of what I've found that's out there.

    First off coracles (or Kuphars), river boats / primitive cargo boats in antiquity.

    [​IMG]

    The Russians Novgorod battle ship. Crazy. Some accounts said it sailed horribly, but more digging debunked a lot of that and suggested it might have sailed pretty ok (though obviously not going to win any awards, or all our ships would be round now too).

    [​IMG]

    The Livadia (made by same guy who designed Novgorod). Probably more like what a yacht would aim for? Tear drop shape instead of round, but still pretty extreme. Also the flat bottom was causing it to get slammed by waves and ripping itself apart (so maybe more of a rounded or V bottom?)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Why don't you build one and see how it goes?
    Or were you just bored?

    Figure out the volume of your Catalina and see how big of a circular boat would be equivilent.
    Do you think the drag off of a round boat would be larger than a tapered boat like the Catalina?

    Why did you bring this up?
     
  3. John Smithson
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    John Smithson Junior Member

    Sorry, I meant for "cat" to refer to catamarans, not my Catalina.

    I'm the type of person that likes unusual things. But I'm not crazy enough to run out half cocked and start trying to build a 20 foot boat on a whim because I found some old boat designs that were interesting.

    So just thinking about if it's even that feasible. The capsizing problem alone is a big one (especially for sea use).
     
  4. clmanges
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    clmanges Senior Member

  5. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    @clmanges those circular coracle dinghies are very neat!
    Here is a video of an Ultraskiff in some rapids - but it was posted by the Builders, so they made sure that he came out ok :)
     
  6. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Look at cat boats. Wide with the mast near the bow. Very roomy.
     
  7. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    I like unusual things also.
    They just need to have some rational reason for existing.

    I can see the round gunship.
    Park it somewhere and you might have a good stable platform for accuracy.
    Of course then it is a sitting duck.
     
  8. John Smithson
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    John Smithson Junior Member

    The big advantage was ability to have much heavier armor / weaponry with a shallow draft. Making it a stronger coastal defense.

    I could see the same appeal with a cruising yacht. The smaller size with larger interior would give more living space than a larger yacht. And a shallow draft like catamarans have would have those same advantages.

    Then then the added bonus of much greater carrying capacity so you can haul around more stuff.

    So, in the end, gives you the advantages of a monohull in a smaller package, combined with a wider beam for stability / comfort (I imagine it would behave a lot like a cat, since they are a very beamy boat) and the cats shallow draft. The big sacrifice would be speed and the capsizing / turtling risk that cats have.

    And that it does it all in something like 20-ish feet (to be comparable to a 35 foot mono?) It's pretty interesting to me.
     
  9. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    But you do get to pay double bithtage.
     
  10. SolGato
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    SolGato Senior Member

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  11. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    I'd like unusual things that can -do what-or go where- traditional boats can't. I've seen a picture somewhere on the internet of a circular life raft floating with 150 people standing inside of it. So Maybe these circular things to do excel at some Niche applications? Some of the record-holding one man smallest boats to cross the Atlantic ocean by sail might have been essentially circular or vertical tube shape?
     
  12. Andrew Kirk
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    Andrew Kirk Junior Member

  13. clmanges
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    clmanges Senior Member

    You might be interested in Triloboats. They're box barges that are designed to maximize the use of plywood sheets, and have flat bottoms and flat perpendicular topsides. This also gives them the greatest amount of usable interior space and a shallow draft. Personally, I think they're hideous, but you could fake a curved sheer line with as little as a clever paint job. My browser warned me away from their website, but you can do a search within this site and find more about them.
     
  14. Howlandwoodworks
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    Howlandwoodworks Member


  15. John Smithson
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    John Smithson Junior Member

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