Help with boat ideas keep or replace?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Ray Cover, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Ray Cover
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Missouri

    Ray Cover Junior Member

    Hey all new guy on the forum here. Below are pics of my 17' whitehall. She is a very unique custom boat that I put together 20 years ago. She needs the hull buffed but other than that she is still in great shape.

    Boat specs
    AOL 17'
    LAW 17'
    Beam 4'8"
    Draft 6-8 " board up approx 3' board down
    12' cockpit
    Sprit rigged 90 sq foot sail with unstayed mast.
    Hull is heavy and laid fiberglass with oak and eastern red cedar trimmings

    Anyway here is my situation. This is the only sailboat I have ever owned and it is the only boat I have aver sailed. I live in Missouri and my only sailing experience has been on inland lakes. This boat has been our putter around the lake boat for years.

    That is why I am here looking for folks with a wider range of experience to get some ideas and advice from. I am considering either making some modifications to this boat or getting another boat. Reading about the whitehall boats I have learned that the originals were used to ferry people and cargo across and along bodies of water. This boat is true to that form. The heavier you load her down the better she performs. As a matter of fact to get any real performance out of her you have to pile her full. The fastest I have ever had this boat running was on Mark Twain Lake when we had 8 adults and two kids in her. She was running like a bat out of Hades that day under full sail. When loaded down she is very solid and stable, heels great and that long skinny hull zips along the lake.

    However, when you only have yourself and maybe one other person in her, she is a bit wobbly. Both of my kids are in high school so it won't be ling until my wife and I are empty nesters. I would like to add some stability to this boat so it is a little less nervous with only the two of us in it.

    Looking around on the net I found this boat. It sounds exactly like what I am looking for but I don't have a spare $18K laying around.

    http://www.sailboatlistings.com/cgi-bin/saildata/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&view_records=1&ID=8186&mh=1

    Here are some of my ideas so far.

    The first thing I realize is that I need weight in the form of some kind of ballast.

    I have thought of fabricating a 303 stainless centerboard to add weight but I fear it being so heavy that pulling the centerboard back up would stress the rope too much and break it. Furthermore, I don't think that would add enough weight to achieve what I would like.

    I have though of making encapsulated lead weights to attach in the bilge. I could add about 400 lbs that way.

    I have thought about adding either lead or stainless weights along or on top of the gripe.

    I also am planning to have a new sail made by Stuart at Dabbler sails over the winter. He said he would take a look at my boat specs and pics of her and make suggestions for a better sail rig if he sees anything that needs to be refined.

    I could load it up with sand bags each time I put it in the water but that's a hassle. One of the things I love about this boat is that five minutes after you back the trailer down the boat ramp your sailing away.

    Any suggestions folks?

    Ray
     

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  2. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Ray,

    A few thoughts...

    Putting a steel centerboard on could be done, and don't worry about the weight. A 1/8" piece of dyneema has a minimum breaking strength of 2500lbs. Costs about 1.20 a foot. Of the suggestions you put forward to modify your boat this to me would be the most desirable one, though I might also think about putting a bulb on the end.

    The problem with this is that the loads from this will significantly increase the righting moment of the boat, concentrated in the centerboard trunk, and if it isn't designed to handle the loads could cause the truck to crack/break. I don't know this, but it is a serious concern for me.

    Personally I would seriously think about finding a good second hand boat. The one you linked too is certainly pretty, but there are a lot of boats available that while they may not have the curb appeal will sail just as well. Before recommending a boat though I would really need more information about what you use it for, where you keep it, water depth where you are, and if you want a true day sailor, weekender, ect...

    Just off the top of my head however.
    J-24 available for less than 5k
    J-22 slightly more, but much easier to set up from a trailer
    Flying Scott less than 3k in good shape
    Vanguard-15 more of a two person racer for about 3k
    Ensign not sure of the price
    .... I could go on.
     
  3. Ray Cover
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Missouri

    Ray Cover Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply Stumble,

    I certainly don't want to do anything to ruin this boat. I would much rather save up and buy a second or third boat. I just can't save up 20K. 5K is withing my reach but 20k is a bit out there for me when I have tow kids hitting college just around the corner.

    I have a plan to eventually have two boats. I would like to have something like an Alberg designed Kittiwake or Cape Dory25 for a weekender/pocket cruiser that my wife and I can spend vacation time on the lakes with. And I would like a daysailor that we can just pull to the lake drop in, spend the day on the lake and then take home.


    Here is what I want in a daysailer.
    -I want a boat you sit in not on.
    -fixed ballasted keel / no centerboard to deal with
    -draft 3' or less
    -easily trailers and launches at a standard boat ramp
    -Has a rig that is fairly easy to set up. I know nothing I upgrade to is going to be as easy and quick as the sprit rig and unstayed mast but I don't want it to take me two hours to rig the boat every time I take it to the water.
    - I want a boat that is stable enough that you don't have to move to the other side every time you tack.
    - I don't need a hot rod but I don't want a slug either.
    - I make my living as an artist so aesthetics are important to me.

    I have thought of getting a used boat and refitting it similar the one I linked to. Here is a list of boats I have looked at and considered as candidates.

    Alberg's Cape Dory Typhoon
    Alberg's Ensign
    McVay's Minuet
    McVays Vitoria 18
    Bristol 18
    Sailstar Corinthian
    Com Pac Sun Cat

    All of these tend to be pretty expensive boats when you find one in really nice shape. However, I have found examples of all of these as project boats with solid hulls that I can pick up for well under $3K. Most of those include the trailer at that price.

    I am very confident that I can take the bare hull and build it up to what I want. I have done it before. What I would need help with is the sail rig. I don't know enough about the rigs to properly place the mast, size of rig for the boat ect. to do that without some advice and guidance.

    Would it be possible to take one of the hulls above make it an open boat daysailer, put a traditional lug or gaff rig on it and make it a decent sailing boat?

    ray
     
  4. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Location: USA

    BATAAN Senior Member

    Back in the pre-Jurassic when I was learning this stuff we had a ballast trick that worked well. Take some 10x20 truck inner tubes, or smaller if that's all you can find. Cut the tube into three pieces. You now have 3 curved sleeves open on both ends. Take one of the sleeves and sew one end shut with SS heavy wire. Fill the resulting 'bag' with sand or gravel, then tie the other end shut with heavy cord.
    These ballast bags cost almost nothing, can be positioned in the boat where needed and don't shift around when heeling, don't rot, are easy to hose off, can be emptied or just jettisoned in need and are generally a good way to ballast small boats like your Whitehall.
    The boat in photo was ballasted like this very successfully.
    It's easy to get lost in the endless quest for perfection and the 'best way', but there isn't one, just lots of choices.
     

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  5. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Yes, you can put almost any rig on any boat if done with research and thought. But really look at the original set up before you change anything. It may be simpler and easier than you think.
    The usual applies: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
     
  6. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    here's an idea out of left field.

    Why not make your Whitehall a trimaran.

    That way you could keep the original rig, you wouldn't have to switch sides, every time you tacked, and you would only have to build the floats and cross beams (which could be removable when you have a crowd to go sailing).

    Or you could have a strap on single outrigger.

    With this, the float would be ballasted (probably with water), so when it's to windward, its weight would keep the boat upright. The float could be a scaled down Whitehall with the station spacing increased considerably.

    It seems the real problem with this boat is that it doesn't sit low enough in the water with just two people on board to develop sufficient form stability.

    Both of the above ideas would take care of that by adding form stability, while allowing the hull to sit higher in the water. Since the Whitehall type has long, flowing lines quite low in the hull, keeping it upright, while letting it sail higher in the water, may make it faster still.

    I don't think you would find a 3 ft draft fixed keel boat easy to trailer.
     
  7. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Take a sailboard, cut it in half down the middle. Now you have 2 amas. Put some aluminum pipes across your gunwales and lash to the inwale with nylon cord, lots of it. Fasten the 1/2 boards to the ends with the same. Voila, instant trimaran that does not harm the original hull.
     
  8. Ray Cover
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Ray Cover Junior Member

    Sharpii2,

    You mentioned something that perked my interest. What would make a 20' long 3' draft fixed keel boat hard to trailer?

    I have a full size pickup with a V8. I don't see pulling the weight to be any harder than pulling a couple tons of hay or logs on a flatbed. As long as the trailer has electric brakes puling it shouldn't be too hard. Are you talking about floating it on and off at a boat ramp? Is it the height it sticks up in the air when setting on the trailer?

    Ray
     
  9. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Here's a 24' Pacific Seacraft FLICKA.
    While cruising on BERTIE in Mexico in 96 we met a couple who owned a similar craft to the photo but not exactly the same. They lived in Colorado and kept it in their driveway in the summer. When it got cold they towed it with their big V8 pickup to the head of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), launched it, stored the truck and trailer at a garage, and cruised all winter in Mexico, then when it got too hot they went back to Colorado or sometimes lakes and other places, and were having a fine time on their third year of doing it.
     

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  10. Ray Cover
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Ray Cover Junior Member

    That's kinda what I'm thinking. Here in the Midwest I see bigger heavier boats than that being hauled down the highway and being launched at boat ramps. Granted most of them are power boats around here.

    Most of our lake boat ramps get to 4ft of water within 30 feet of length. Most of the trailers I have seen for this type of boat have telescoping tongues to make them longer for launching. I can see where it would be a little bit of work and you need to pay attention to what your doing. As long as your boat ramp gets deep enough quick enough I don't see it being overly tricky or difficult to haul and launch such a boat yourself.

    Ray
     
  11. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Ray,

    For the day sailor I would really think about a Flying Scott. They are cheap, easy to rig, and while not fast by today's standards they can plane downwind. The boats stability pretty much comes from it's wide stance so you don't have to switch sides, but it will help speed and to some extent comfort.

    If you want a true ballasted boat then you have two options. A lifting keel like a modern Melges 24, or go with a fixed keel. The lifting keel boats that I am familure with are all outside of your price range though, and the fixed keel boats are much harder to ramp launch though it can be done.

    Assuming you go with the fixed keel think about the Rhodes-19. Again they are cheap, plentiful, and you can buy other people's used racing sails for a fraction of new. In this range of weekenders (as I consider them) the critical specs for you will be a deck step mast (eliminating the j-24) since the set up and break down times for a deck step are a fraction of a keel step.

    The boats you linked too are certainly pretty, but my concern is this.... When buying a boat you can almost bet that any savings you get from condition will cost you at least that much to fix. Sadly inexperienced buyers very often wind up with a boat that cost them nothing, then costs more to repair than a decent boat would have up front (I have seen this happen is sizes from 10'-54' personally).

    If you don't mind, where in Missouri are you? There may be a local sailing club that has either storage or boats available to use for not very much (mine charges me $200 a year storage for a j-22). And may have some suggestions for boats that are commonly sailed in your area
     
  12. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    +1 on the Flying Scot. Same goes for a Thistle which is aimed at the similar crowd. Smaller version of those would be an Albacore. Smaller than the Flying Scot, but more stable than the Albacore is a Wayfarer (or the CL16 which is identical). The Wayfarer has a symmetrical spinnaker option as well. In your area a Y-Flyer (big stable scow) might be a good choice as well.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  13. Ray Cover
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Ray Cover Junior Member

    Stumble,

    I am just south of the St Louis area. Carlyle lake is probably the closest for us. We have also sailed on Mark Twain, Lake of the Ozarks (although I will never make that mistake again. I'll only spit in deaths face once:!:) Kincaid, Clearwater and Wapapello.

    ray
     
  14. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Ray,

    I am not familure with that area, but take a look at http://www.midwestsailing.com/club.shtml which has a list of yacht clubs in your area of the country. If one isn't nearby call the closest and see if they have any suggestions. A lot of people think of yacht clubs as being expensive, and certainly there are some, but mine for instance, charges $60/month in dues, and provides unlimited use of all of our club boats to members. So probably less than maintenance cost on them.

    Cut once also had some good suggestions, and there are others. Though most of the boats I know well are more performance oriented. Particularly things like a 420, laser, vanguard-15, international 420... You could also call the local university and see what their sailing team uses. Often they will be sailing low cost boats that can be had locally in large numbers.

    Basically I think spending 20k for a boat for what you want to do is a little excessive. Though you shire have found some beauties.
     

  15. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    The problem is finding a ramp deep enough to float the boat off. Some people have had to push the trailer some distance from the ramp to get the boat to float off.

    Imagine getting the boat back on the trailer in those circumstances. It can be done and people have done it. But there are probably plenty of waters their boats have not sailed in due to insufficient ramp depth.

    A boat with a traditional, long keel that has considerable drag (down slope going aft) might be less of a problem in that regard, as the forward part of the keel will be much shallower than the aft end, which ends up in deeper water as the boat slides off the trailer.

    I actually worked on a design for a rental sailboat for lake St. Clair. I drew it with a long keel, so there would be something to protect the propeller of the expensive outboard engine it would require. The boat would be 18 ft long, 5 ft 4 inches wide, and have a draft of 2 ft.

    IMHO, trailers are for center boarders, lee boarders, and swing keelers.

    I used to sail my Siren 17 with me on one side and my crew on the other in most reasonable weather. The boat had a heavy center board.
     
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