collaborate on sailing-rowing-cruising design?

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by scotdomergue, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    I've taken the concept some way, AND would enjoy collaborating on it.

    Current approach/idea: small (20 feet), light (corecell, S-glass & epoxy, carbon/epoxy spars, under 200 lbs including all sailing and rowing rig), fun to sail, easy to row (sliding seat), cabin the size of a 2 person backpack tent, seaworthy (using ideas from ocean rowing boats).

    Seems to me it could be a good 1 or 2 person RAID boat, though that's not my focus.

    Anyone interested? Suggestions on where/how to find others interested?

    Thanks!
    Scot
     
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    Sounds like a fun project. I have been contemplating a similar design: something small enough you can store it at home, easy to tow and launch, but large enough to use for weekend trips.

    I even though it might be kind of interesting to incorporate some kind of pedaled drive (hidden under the floor boards) to drive a prop instead of oars. IT would allow much longer periods of "muscle power" and not be hindered by a roomy beamy hull.

    Would you use a weighted keel or simply a dagger board and use crew weight to counter balance. This too has been a delema with me. A weight keel greatly improves comfort on the water, but also makes land transport/lauch and loading more troublesome.
     
  3. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    more specifics

    Hi Petros,

    Rick Wills and others have done some things with pedal drive you might want to look at . . . if you're interested, I'll try to find you some links.

    I have an old Venture 17, with 200 lbs of lead on a swing keel - which has the advantages you note for weighted keel, but is still very easy to load and unload off it's trailer, and I can pull the nose up onto a beach (keel comes up with a winch, like a centerboard). I use oars for auxillary power, but it's a pig to row!

    I think that minimising weight is one of the keys for rowing. Even the ocean rowing boats, which are designed specifically and only for rowing, make only a couple of knots because they are so big and heavy - which is neccessary to carry all the equipment and supplies for the months they take to cross oceans.

    My current design for the new boat has a centerboard, crew weight out to the side to balance wind on the sails - intended to sail more like a racing dinghy (my standard is an old Capri Cyclone I had some years ago and loved to sail). With weight well under 200 lbs with all sailing/rowing gear, and displacement from 400 to 600 lbs depending on crew and gear/supplies, she should row pretty easily. And one can row for extended periods of time - sliding-seat rowing - there are many examples of people who do this. Even with beam of over 5 feet (to mount oarlocks on the edge of the hull) I expect to be able to row at 4 to 5 knots for hours at a time in calm conditions - and sail at similar or greater speeds when there's wind (the beam being an advantage for that).

    I'm a minimalist on accomodations, and travel extensively on a bicycle, so a cabin the size of a small backpacking tent will be more than adequate for me to cruise for weeks or even months. I spent 6 weeks on the Venture one late summer. What are your personal needs/wants/desires for a weekend cruiser? Have you considered an open boat, beach cruiser? Such are common.

    If you search for "sailing rowing cruising" you'll find a thread of mine, in March, I think, that includes some drawings as well as some very good input from Rick. My life got side-tracked, and I'm just getting back to the project now. Take a look at the drawings, etc. and let me know whether you might like to team up in some way.

    Thanks, Scot

     
  4. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    My ideal sail boat is right along the same lines as yours. When I was younger I spent many days, summer and winter, backcountry skiing and mountain climbing. When I started sea kayaking (I have built 10 or 11 sea kayaks, including a folding one), I could not understand why the sea kayakers would bring so much junk (usually over 100 lbs worth!). And although I've been sailing a number of years too, the only overnight trips were on larger charter boats (35 ft). And I notice at all boaters, both power, sail and oar/paddle, tend to bring too much junk, stuff that they never use but bring along anyway.

    Now I want to own a minimalist sailboat, mostly for day sailing, but with a cabin large enough for weekend or short duration multiday trips (I might consider a larger boat for later when I retire and can spend more time maintaining it). I have spent 20 plus days at a time living out of backpack and tent, no reason a cabin in a small sail boat needs to be any bigger. Also, after reading the books by the Pardees, I see no reason to even have motor on it either. And if it is small enough to keep at home than it will not cost much to own either. And I guess your thought on the weighted keel issue is a good one, less weight to haul around and the weight of the crew makes a perfectly good counterbalance since it is going to be on board anyway.

    I have looked over the drawings on your other thread, I like the design and concept. Light and simple, sleeping shelter from the elements, lots of storage, no motor. A few thoughts come to mind:

    I would make the cabin roof a bit larger (not necessarily longer or taller), more head room (the tapered sides will be claustrophobic) in case you have to spend several days waiting out the weather, it would allow more ability to move around inside. With a larger flatter top, climbing up on top to stretch out, inspect/clear the rudder, etc. would be much easier. Also gives you an area to lay things out for drying. And if you fall overboard, or go for a swim, sometimes the only way back into a small boat is over the rudder and transom, so a larger flat area aft will facilitate getting back in without swamping it.

    Another item, noted in the other thread, is the depth of the keel. I do not think the efficiency increase is worth the weight of that high aspect ratio of a keel. Consider that a high aspect ratio keel (and rudder) is easier to stall, not good in rough conditions. I would use a simple dagger board too, much less weight, easier to build (the trunk vs. a slot), less chance of fouling or having a pivot to worry about. The dagger board can be as long as you want, and it can be removed and used for something else when at anchor (bench, table top, shelf, etc.).

    Also, if you put the cabin forward in the traditional configuration of a sailboat, the cabin roof will actually improve the efficiency of the sail. With the boom or lower edge of the sail near the cabin top it acts like an end-plate on the sail, improving the efficiency and actually reduces heel a bit (the effective center of effort on the sail is lower). Right now your center cockpit design means you will have an even less efficient arrangement than a conventional configuration. The effect of this is not insignificant. Of course this means the rowing position might have to shift back a bit, not too much with careful design.

    My other though is to use a junk rig sail, which has a number of advantages. The forces are lower so all of the components can be lighter,including the fabric weight, it is fast to rig and easy to sail single handed. It allows easy, from the cockpit, adjustment for camber and twist, easier solo reefing, and with careful design can be very efficient. I want to build a modified junk rig to experiment with my dinghy and perhaps develop a simple rig for use on my own micro cruiser.

    One other issue that I have mulled over: hull size. For cruising with up to 4 people it seems, with careful cabin design, that it can be comfortably done in a 26 to 28 ft sailboat, but that would be a bit too large to "muscle" power when there is no wind, or for entering the marina and docking, etc. However for two people, it seems the 18 to 20 ft length can be enough, and than it occurred to me that in our state (Washington), you do not need to register or license sailboats under 16 ft in length, making your cost to own even less (and I hate dealing with government BS if I do not have to). So if you reduce the length to 16 ft, you would have true liberty and freedom from registration in a micro-cruiser. So I have been sketching out designs for 16 foot cruising sailboat recently (Including an 8' x16' cruising catamaran). But I like the monohull better since it allows for a deeper cabin.

    Personally I would build the first one using less costly materials (plywood and glass) to test out the hull, sort out the rigging and cabin arrangement, etc. Inevitably there will be things you want to change, this will give you an inexpensive "mule" to play with and refine the design before you build the "real thing" with more costly materials.

    You live a few hours drive from me, but you live far from the ocean there. Do you sail on lake Chelan? Or do you come to this side of the mountains? If so perhaps we can get together some time.
     
  5. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    Lots of good thoughts in your post! It sounds as though we have very compatible ideas about stuff - less is better, minimalist! And at least somewhat similar desires for use/performance of boat.

    When I started the process of designing my boat, the original version was 16 feet with forward cabin, probably close to what you've been thinking. As a SAIL boat, I think that can work very well. But I've come to realize the power of sliding-seat rowing, and want a boat that will perform well that way as too (5 knots for hours at a time, fully loaded for cruising). The rowing position on a 16 ft, forward cabin boat is so far aft that it really messes up trim unless you have a LOT of weight that you take out of stern storage hatches and throw WAY forward whenever you want to row. And greater length also is better to minimise "porpoising" from the for/aft weight shift when sliding back and forth rowing. Another issue with forward cabin is having the mast come down through the middle of the cabin - but makes the cabin effectively less roomy and easy to move around in. I suppose one could mount the mast on the cabin roof, but it would neet to be really strong and therefore much thicker and heavier I imagine.

    You're right about the advantages of daggerboard over centerboard, but the dagger is problematic for the shallows and a bit more hassle when beaching, launching, and switching between sailing when you want the board down and rowing when you want it up. It also needs a storage place when not down.

    I want a very shallow draft boat (inches) that will perform reasonably in shallow waters. For example, a couple of years ago I sailed a canoe in Charlote Harbor, Florida, and was in water less than a foot deep much of the time. So, IF one goes with a centerboard that swings into the hull with only a couple inches exposed when fully raised, and IF you have sliding seat rowing with the seat rolling back and forth over the trunk, and IF you design for ideal sliding-seat rowing geometry and rails at ideal height for mounting the oarlocks, etc., you end up with a space for the centerboard that isn't very deep but can be pretty long - so the high aspect centerboard.

    Note that 5'4" is pretty standard spread for oarlocks for sliding-seat rowing which pretty much determined the beam in my design, though I've been thinking about a somewhat narrower (and therefore more easily driven) hull with flare above water (google: "Raider II sailboat" and click on photos, general for an idea of what I mean on a different kind of boat).

    Regarding cabin - yes, roomier is nice, balanced against windage . . . My current design (same in the drawings you saw) has an aft hatch through the cabin roof for dealing with rudder issues. I would not ever intend to get out on the cabin roof, for a variety of reasons. The boat I've designed has rails only 10 to 12 inches above waterline, and is fully sealed with self-draining cockpit. I expect that, with oarlocks to grab, it shouldn't be too hard to get back in. I could be wrong!

    Another possible difference in what we're looking for (other than sliding-seat rowing performance) is that I have in mind fairly serious cruising, for example sailing through the Caribbean Islands. I'd like a boat that is seaworthy in a VERY wide variety of conditions. I've taken design ideas from ocean rowing boats. I think/hope that my boat would self-right if properly loaded. All of this factors into the design as well . . . and could be achieved in a variety of ways.

    I'm very interested in your thoughts about the junk rig. I don't know anything about them. I'm somewhat biased toward the simple Marconi cat rig, because I've had so much fun sailing a one-man racing dinghy rigged that way (Capri Cyclone). Granted that the current design is a much different boat for a different purpose, I've still hoped to have a somewhat similar sailing experience - with the possible option of shortening the rig while adding a foresail and mizzen on small mast mounted on the aft cabin roof for longer distance cruising.

    I've thought a little about trying it in ply first, but think it would be quite a lot heavier . . . and . . . lots of reservations, but also can see possible advantages in sorting things out . . .

    So, all of the above is to share my thinking process. I am not attached to any particular aspect of the design, and am ready to consider a very wide variety of possible changes or whole new approach . . . It's SOOOOO much easier to make changes when playing around with design, and so much harder once it's built or even in progress!

    I'd love to get together sometime. Where are you located? I'll have to see if I can figure out how to determine that on the forum. Yes, I'm some distance from saltwater, but the San Juans and waters both north and south from there are mostly where I've sailed and kayaked. I'd be happy to come visit you sometime, and you're welcome here as well, though I can't offer much in the way of sailing! [I do have an old Chrysler 17 on a trailer in Twisp that can be fun to sail on local lakes, and my old Venture 17 is in Spokane, not far from Couer D'Alene and Lake Roosevelt.] We do have excellent back-country skiing, and that's one of my great loves. Let me know if you'd like to visit here sometime.

    If you'd like to use direct e-mail: scotdomergue@yahoo.com

    Enough for now.
     

  6. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
    Posts: 114
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    Ah, yes, I see - location is right there with the post, and you're in Arlington - easy to get there as long as the Hwy 20 passes are open, and not so hard via Stevens. I'll let you know if I'm going to be over that way.
     
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