Colin archer rudder

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by astevens, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. astevens
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    astevens Junior Member

    hello.
    To preface this, I am, and have been considering a traditional CA pilot cutter build for a while now. I am only gathering information at this point.

    I am curious about your thoughts in regards to adding an inboard motor to a Colin Archer pilot boat design from the original linesplans. I have seen it done on original boats( both rescue and pilot cutters) where the stern timber is left original and a pocket of the rudder is cut away to make room from the prop. I have also read (jep-jul Nielsen’s site) that this can result in poor performance in comparison to a complete redesign of the stern where the rudder would be left original and the stern would cut way to make room for the prop.

    Ideally, for aesthetic and traditional reasons, I would rather leave the stern timber as designed in the original plans and modify the rudder. Would increasing the size of the rudder to make up for the cutaway section be a good solution? Any unforeseen reason not to?
    Thanks
     
  2. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Velsia on this forum is probably the best person to ask - he has extensive knowledge of the Colin Archer of the same name.

    There are four Colin Archer designs on the Atkin homepage -
    Atkin & Co. - Sailboats and Auxiliaries 30' and Over http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/index4.html
    Dragon, Eric and Ingrid all show cutaways in the rudders for the propellers; none is shown for Thistle, although mention is made of an inboard engine, hence I guess that she would also have a cutaway in the rudder.

    I have sailed on a 39' Colin Archer gaff ketch - very heavy (19 tonnes), but she has a very comfortable motion. She also has a veritable barn door of a rudder which is very heavy to steer. Her owners (when I knew her) very rarely hand steered, leaving the steering to the Aries wind vane (when sailing) or the autopilot (when motoring) as it was so heavy. But they took her around the world in the 70's / 80's, and on a couple of Atlantic circuits in the 90's.

    Chuck Paine has come up with a novel idea for having semi-balanced rudders on canoe sterns and transoms - his 30' Annie and 36' Expannie both have transom hung rudders, while Frances II has a canoe stern with an outboard rudder; on all three vessels the hull forward of the rudder is cut away to allow some rudder area forward of the pivot point.
    Here is a link to Frances II -
    26’ Frances & Frances II Double-enders – Chuck Paine Yacht Design LLC https://www.chuckpaine.com/boats/26-frances-double-enders/

    And a link to Annie II
    ANNIE 2 – A 30′ Offshore Voyager – Chuck Paine Yacht Design LLC https://www.chuckpaine.com/boats/annie-2-30-offshore-voyager/

    And a PDF about Expannie -
    https://www.chuckpaine.com/pdf/36EXPANNIE36.pdf

    I wonder if a modification to the hull like on Frances II would / could work on a heavy displacement Colin Archer?
     
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  3. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Whenever the rudder is cut away for the prop there's adverse drag . Always better to redesign the keel TE to fully accommodate the prop . But the hull building material has some significance as to whats sensible.
    Other stock options are a twin prop setup or an offset prop.
    Large rudders on heavy boats always have a high load, if it's too hard than change the steering gear to a greater reduction. Large rudders need less articulation for the same effect so it's not as bad as it seems to have say 10 turns lock to lock on a big rudder.
     
  4. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Hi,
    Really a Colin Archer pilot cutter in 2020? It's naval archaeology...It's not a critic, simply I'm curious to know why someone is ready to the work and the expense of building such a boat which objectively does not offer special advantages, but has serious drawbacks as many very old designs.
     
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  5. HJS
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    HJS Member

    Colin Archer designed these boats to rescue shipwrecked in extremely bad weather. Only for this particular purpose can they be suitable.
    JS
     
  6. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    And this was only because Colin did not have lightweight 2,000 hp diesel engines and high tech composite hulls available - if he did, I am sure that he would have made use of these instead. The modern rescue boats today will run rings (literally) around Colin Archers.
     
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  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If you like the looks of the Colin Archer but want a classic with similar looks but better performance, look at designs by Manuel Campos and German Frers senior
     
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  8. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    An article about Manuel Campos -
    SV Abrazo: Alaska to Cape Horn: Why a design by Manuel Campos? https://abrazobybaila.blogspot.com/2014/12/why-design-by-manuel-campos.html

    And a nice article about the Frers dynasty -
    Frers design: The family dynasty behind the world’s most beautiful yachts https://www.yachtingworld.com/features/frers-design-most-beautiful-yachts-124172
    German Frers Senior designed the heavy displacement yacht Fjord in the 1920's, based on the Colin Archers of the time, but I cannot find much info about her.
     
  9. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    All that is very old. Obsolete I would say.
    Archer died in 1921, 99 years ago. His designs were around 1900, 120 years ago. So it's naval archaeology.
    Manuel Campos designed Legh II, an Archer like, for Vito Dumas in 1942 for his circumnavigation by the south oceans in 1943. 77 years ago.
    German Frers senior designed Archer like boats in the twenties and a bit later, almost 100 years ago. After WW2 his boats became very similar to the Van de Stadt of the fifties.
    Kurun a Archer like boat was designed by Henri Dervin in 1946. Jacques Yves Le Toumelin sailed it around the world at the speed of a sick snail from 1949 to 1952. Fed up by the boat he put it in a hangar around 1960 and sailed later on other boats. Le Toumelin was a professional captain, so he knew how to cope with the limits of the boat, and always sailed very conservatively.
    Pic of Kurun
    [​IMG]
    Joshua, the boat sailed by Moitessier was also an Archer like and gave some serious frights to his owner in following seas. Also I've been said that it's a very tiring boat. You have to be Moitessier to use it. The boat sails now always very quietly, it's a tired old lady.

    The Archer were very heavy, with an enormous wetted surface and do need tennis fields surfaces of sail to move. Kurun a 13 meters needs 95 m2 of sail to move at a pace extremely calm.
    In strong following seas in storms the wetted surface makes these boats tricky as there is too much wetted surface forward, it's like having a feet caught in a carpet. You fall. Long keels with a poor little thing called rudder behind in a turmoil of water are not the best. I do remember with emotion some RORC boats, heavy long keels built like tanks, while trying to stay alive with a spinaker in a moderate breeze. That was a long long time ago.
    So the formula has been obsolete at least in Europe since the seventies. 50 years ago...

    I do not say these boats were bad. They were pretty good at their time, but with some serious flaws. But surely they were better than the boats they replaced. 70 to 100 years ago...
    And I have not talked about interior volumes and quality of life. Because these old timers are pretty cramped inside, and do heel nicely.

    Naval Architecture has had a long evolution since, and most boats are far better now. But you can have a classic look boat with relatively modern hydrodynamics built with a stronger and lighter material. These contemporary boats are surer and easier to sail than the old timers.
    Some NA are specialized in this field.

    That explains why I asked Astevens about his motivation as I would ask a guy who wants to build a Deperdussin monocoque 1913 a slow plane with a strong tendency to stall suddenly as personal countryside plane.
    I would tell to him that the Deperdussin was a marvel in 1913 but now a simple amateur DIY in wood Colomban MC-30 flies at 200 kmh (125 mph) with a 25 HP, yes twenty five ponies, engine, sucking only less than 4 liters/hour (less than one gallon) of 95 gas at 150 kmh cruise speed (93 mph) and it's virtually impossible to stall. In 100 years design and engineering have made some progresses.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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  10. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Agreed these 100% traditional Colin Archer Redingskote type boats are certainly not particularly good performers, they are heavy slow and comfortable to live on when hove-to. They were designed to be on station with the fishing fleet and stay put, not to sail out from shore in heavy weather.


    They are well superseded by safer and more efficient hull-forms. It was a strong hull-form for trad wooden construction since it eliminated the transom, but the lack of reserve buoyancy aft makes them prone to being pooped in a following sea They also have a very unpleasant pitching action sailing to weather which is not a good seaworthiness characteristic.

    Modern double-enders are also generally referred to as Colin Archers, and they benefit from a fuller hull aft. There have been some very nice sea boats loosely referred to as Colin Archers that have been full keeled heavy boats that sailed very well. There are some very able sea boats that perform well that I know of.

    From the same era the engineless pilot boats that evolved around the world are superior in every way, and they had to combine speed comfort and safety. Colin Archer designed many different hullforms half of them have transoms and they are outdated as well.

    I do think there are significant benefits to be had from heavy cruising boats and even large keel areas depending on the SOR.
     
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  11. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    By experience I can say that modern medium displacement ballasted dinghies are the sweetest and most comfortable boats for cruising while obtaining decent speeds without great efforts. As these boats combine stability from shape and from a moderate ballast, they have very sweet movements. Not effect of pendulum.

    As these boats have an efficient daggerboard or centerboard and a good rudder they point well upwind, and have excellent performances downwind. All that combined with a wetted surface as small as possible. In fact these boats are now good around in all weather and very seaworthy.
    We have taken 50-60 knots downwind in North Sea on a Via 36 10.97 m (which has 2 centerboards 1 big aft, 1 small forward) and that was rather easy. No struggle nor thrills.
    Pics of a Via 36 on the sand similar to the boat I sailed, but with a very ugly doghouse, surely good in a very cold climate as Quebec. 1 meter of draft centerboards up, 2m10 down. Plans by Jean Louis Noir. It's that I call a good cruising boat. Pretty cozy inside. Lone con: high maintenance centerboards mechanisms.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Combined with I think as the best sail plan; a 3 reefs fully battened mainsail easily workable with the luff tension and chute tension, an small automatic 2 reefs solent jib and a two jibs (a medium 100%, and a gennaker) plus good hardware you cover almost all the strengths of wind. Brief, you sail without changing the sails every hour, with a moderate heel upwind, and downwind you do not struggle with a capricious spinnaker, while having a sensitive rudder at any allure. And no wet sails dripping in the boat.
    Plan by Francois Chevalier. It's the sail plan which is interesting.
    [​IMG]
    If you're sailing in a zone of big tides the boat will sit on the sand well upright and without fear at low tide. No need of "crutches". See the pics...
    In tropical zones you can beach or even pass over a reef (with all the due precautions). That can save your life.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    You can explore a lot of places without worrying about the draft.
    Relax but efficient.
     
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  12. astevens
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    astevens Junior Member

    Thanks everyone for the replies and honest feedback. Again, I am in a long planning phase so I really do appreciate having a lot of info to chew on. I have, for a long time now, been attracted to the lines and history of Archer's pilot cutters as well as English pilot cutters from a similar era. While it may seem frivolous and impractical to some, I can't shake the idea of building a traditional wooden working boat. The build and eventual maintenance is as much of importance to me as the final product and while many lighter and more modern materials to build a boat from exist today I prefer wood. Any opinions good or bad on English pilot cutters is also welcome. I am confident that I will have more questions for you all in the near future but until then, thanks.
     
  13. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    It's often observed in Naval Architecture that much of our science is not intuitive. A good example is that boats with poor stability are usually the ones that the operators feel safest on.
    The pendulum effect unfortunately is the very characteristic that comes with a robust righting arm.

    What does the GZ curve look like for that boat? I'd also like to see what we call the roll RAO.

    A snappy uncomfortable roll is actually countered quite well by the large roll damping factor provided by a generous keel area. Ultimately if you designed just for seakeeping you'd look for the largest deepest keel area, the heaviest design with the smallest waterplane area. At the other extreme is the large dinghy. In between is something practical that meets the requirements of the operator.
     
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  14. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    That depends of your goal. If you want an rather exact replica of a true Colin Archer around 40 feet, and accept knowingly the drawbacks go for it. You must have somewhere the quarter to the half million bucks. That is rather expensive, classic wood ask for expert builders and asks a lot of hours to pay. It asks also a rather simple, constant but expensive maintenance.
    In used boats, the Colin Archer similars in good shape are around the 150 to 200 K USD. Advantage they have engines, but often it's in steel.

    If you want simply a look of ancient boat, but easier to build and maintain in modern wooden materials like plywood and strip plank, also probably easier to sail you have a lot of plans in Europe and in the States for the American ones, the States and Canada have a very rich maritime heritage of working boats in any size. Look at Wooden Boat mag, there also are plenty of plans in the maritime museums.

    Arroyo Grande is in California, so you have a perfect pretext for a summer travel in Europe where there are several meetings of old boats, but also the re-interpretations, mostly French and British. For example the Fêtes Maritimes de Brest (16 to 20 July this year) will reunite more than one thousand old gaffers and similar from the pram to the four masts. There is an big British participation with plenty of cutters, pilots and old racers crossing the Channel. You have also several Old Gaffers festivals or meetings in UK. I counsel to make a search and contact the associations. There you'll have first hand information by people knowing perfectly their subject. Surely their opinion will be a bit biased as they are passionate, but extremely useful, specially about costs and seaworthiness.

    My personal opinion is these working boats are very interesting to study and navigate eventually. But to build, own and sail one of these boats is a very different thing. First you need to be rather wealthy because these boats, if you want a quality replica, are rather expensive. In France all the old gaffers replicas of more than 25 feet have been built, maintained and sailed by non profit associations.

    I've sailed as active passenger a few times on old gaffers, including a Fife yacht, but the most impressive was Marie Fernande a 1894 pilot 15.30 meters hull weighting 39 metric tons with 225 m2 of sail. It's very funny with a bit of wind -not too much-, needs lots of muscles, tacking asks for true skill and patience and when the breeze is good you can hope 6 knots. It attained once 9 knots but nobody felt easy. The cost of the reparations in 2004 was more than 400000 USD plus thousands of hours of work by dozens of volunteers. A boat for addicts of historical boats, as it has no other use than festivals.

    I've even raced on Dragon, a boat designed in 1929 in Norway by Johan Anker. 8.9 m long; 1.7 metric tons (including one ton of lead ballast) A lot of people love it, and the class is very active in France, a good regatta reunites easily from 30 to 100 boats. A true old racer in the style of the Scandinavian Skerry Cruisers.
    I always loved the fact that this boat is extremely technique, with plenty of small ropes for control, and at the smallest mistake it stops cruelly. Just for going graciously at a few knots if the breeze is good and constant like in the old movie reels of prewar regattas. It's sailing for patient but very concentrated people who love tactics, and match racing. Good thing the tactician/skipper has all the time to meditate his decisions at those speeds. Other good thing physically it's not demanding and I've known very aged skippers in this class. Besides it's a nice old style 2 people boar for coastal cruising with very cramped amenities.
    Good news it's affordable for an individual, the wooden ones needs a constant maintenance and hundred of brushes for the varnish and paints, the polyester ones are a easier to keep. A good one is around 35 to 60000 USD. But those in wood in bad shape are often donated. You can build one in wood, the plans are obtainable.
    But it's a total beauty, so you pardon willingly. This kind of boats will be far less expensive, far easier to maintain than a pilot cutter and just as rewarding for some short coastal cruises and nautical club activities.

    For voyaging seriously take a modern boat. You'll find plans at your taste, there are plenty.

    [​IMG]
     
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