Hogfish Maximus - 44ish sailing sharpie?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by DennisRB, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The real sharpies that Chapelle wrote about had the high chine aft, because the boats needed a considerable volume in this area, when loaded up. Race versions removed much of this capasity, simply because they didn't need it and this served to flatten the run, for more speed potential.

    I've never thought much of Meddow Lark, which likely the same as the original commissioner, as he had LFH do another design in a common vain, Golden Ball. Comparing the two, you can see why it's hard to have a modest length sharpie. The SOR was about the same, except headroom was desired and it took 44' to get it in a sharpie hull form. This the real butt kicker in cruising sharpies. Most insist on headroom and you simply need enough length to pull it off, without it looking weird. Narrow accomidations is another issue, as most insist on elbow room too.
     
  2. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    I've wondered about that myself. It could result in an extremely tough bottom, which might save your bacon should you and a reef come into unwanted proximity.

    I've also wondered if plywood topsides could be matched to a steel bottom side? Angelique got me thinking such may be possible in a post she made earlier in this thread regarding a Botter Bössel, which has a steel bottom and laminated oak topsides. Alas, I didn't pursue further information from its Dutch owner, as she suggested.
     
  3. gilberj
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    gilberj Junior Member

    Probably the biggest drawback of the Meadowlark is that it is a biggish sailboat at 33 feet long and has only sitting headroom. even the 37 footers are ugly if you try to get standing headroom. LFH designed the Golden Ball to get headroom.
    Still within the design mandate the Meadowlark is very good. She is not at her best in light winds, but performs well when there is a sailing breeze, and is by far the easiest boat I have sailed in really snotty strong winds. this last being largely because of the rig geometry.
    the discussion of flat bottoms and sharpies etc. is not really useful. Few modern sharpie yachts really represent the original sharpie. They were long and narrow. the stern counter was to give a clean exit for the water, particularly as they had to be rowed or poled when there was no wind.
    Modern sharpie derived boats are best described as "modified sharpies" ballasted, arch bottom or shallow v bottom, more beam to length, LFH Meadowlark is a good example or a "Skiff" Norwalk Island Sharpie, or a "Barge" such as Bolgers Manatee, or HFM. Then there is the "Dory yacht" like Bager
    The truth is most modern boats have shallow hulls, and hanging a ballast fin keel under does not change the basic hull form.
    Commodore Munroe considered the Presto a development of the sharpie, and Thomas Clapham considered his V bottom designs developments of the sharpie.
     
  4. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    Don't know if this has been posted. A schonker, flat bottomed, internally ballasted. [​IMG]
     
  5. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Colleagues,
    A fascinating discussion, full of interesting and usfull information.

    Gilberj, I do not think it worth while trying to 'catorgise' these different boats as 'Sharpies' or 'Dories' though it is interesting. Clearly the original oyster tounging boats were purpose 'designed' (if they were in fact designed in the modern sense), and built specifically, and fulfilled that task superbly, as evidenced by their continuous and largely unchanged form for decades. Early attempts at using this hull form as a 'yacht' resulted in some rather ungainly efforts.

    It was only, in my opinion, after The Commodore, and LMH, started looking at the actual hydrodynamics of the boat, that successful 'sharpie like' boats were built. Yours, and the 'Presto' being just two of them. Golden Ball being roughly a Meadowlark with standing headroom.

    I for one only discovered recently just how much ballast weight The Commodore put in his round bilge 'Sharpies' and I was astonished, but should not have been.

    Looking at his lines, and comparing them to a modern ULDB shows them to be remarkably similar. He just had to use far more ballast to compensate for putting that ballast inside, a very short moment arm.
    Atkins, 'Missie and Laurie' being another example, at 45', to get standing headroom, and good appearance, in a flat bottom hull.

    Hogfish, and her sisters in the Bolger, Loose Moose (Fisher), Maurice Griffith, and other Barge Yacht type designs, are all worthy attempts to combine modern creature comforts in an otherwise simple 'square' hull.

    I applaude them, and fully expect to build one, one of these days.

    Angelique, and Imaginary Number. I did build what amounted to a barge yacht, and used a steel sheet as ballast. In fact the hull shape would have worked quite well in steel if I could weld.

    Ply decks on otherwise steel boats can work very well. A 'flange' about 6-9" wide is welded all the way around the gunwale facing inwards. The deck beams are steel, usually angle, too gauge, and with one 'flat' at deck level. The ply is bolted, or possibly self tap screwed to the deck beams. This is then covered with the wood strip decking proper, each strip 2" wide, and perhaps 3/4" deep. As these strips are laid, a recessed hole is drilled through the deck strip, through the plywood, and through the steel deck beam. A bolt is inserted through al these elements, and the hole in the deck plugged in the usual way. Galvanized, or SS gutter bolts work well. This looks like a traditional wood deck, as the plugged holes are in the middle of each strip, and in lines along each beam. The ply and deck strips finish a few inches before the gunwale, but over the flange, sealed watertight. The exposed bit of flange acts as a gutter to collect water. I used tar like compounds for sealant everywhere, but modern sealants should work too.
     
  6. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Alan.

    What are the wood strips for? Seems they will all have to be well bedded, lest moisture get between them and the plywood and cause rot.

    I'd just coat the plywood and sheath it and be done with it.

    Either that or just build the deck out of timber and caulk it, like in the old days. The steel flange makes an excellent covering board.

    Seems to me that if there is a place to stop the water on a deck, it should be on top of it.

    That Dutch boat seems to have a rather hefty displacement.
     
  7. gilberj
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    gilberj Junior Member

    I'd have to say having a steel bottom, married to wooden sides seems to be inventing problems where none really existed before. The steel and the wood interact with the environment in very different ways. Steel expands and contracts linearly with change in temperature. It can also change dimension up to 19 times in thickness, as it oxydize's ...rusts. Wood expands and contacts with moisture. I am sure it is possible to build a good boat this way, but why?
     
  8. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    To get a more rugged bottom that can stand some hard groundings.

    Also to take advantage of the weight of the steel in a low point in the hull.

    If I were doing it, I'd have the steel plate come up to just above the waterline, or about one tenth the Beam above it. There the wood planking/sheeting would begin. The wood will be out of the water most of the time, and not subject to marine borers, which are the major hazard it faces.

    The wood topsides is much easier to insulate safely, as there is no fear of corrosion, though there is some of rot.
     
  9. gilberj
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    gilberj Junior Member

    You can build strongly and heavily with wood. The Meadowlark has a extra thick bottom, 1.5" or thicker planking. Whimbrel broke her mooring in a storm and went ashore on a shelving beach, pounded for an hour before we got her off. There was no damage beyond paint.
     
  10. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Gentlemen,

    For clarification.

    My steel plate bottom was several inches thick, and added below the original plywood bottom. It was roughly cut with a torch, faired with wood, and the gap between this wood and the steel filled with a tar like compound. The steel was attached by many small, random, bolts, bedded in a tar like material, and cold galvanized before paint. My boat building is pretty rough and ready. It was primarily for ballast, but the boat dried out every tide so it protected it from abrasion too. This was in, or near Pool, UK.

    The decking was a hybrid, and dated from my boat building in NZ. Some people did indeed bolt decking strips across the top of the steel angle deck beams, to give a traditional look, but also typically suffered from the same issues, leaks after dry weather.

    Yes, you could simply bolt down plywood, and this was definatly used, but the most common such decks used plywood for water proof, and the wood strips for a traditional deck appearance.

    The most important point being to have the complete decking system ABOVE the flange, so water of any kind can drain onto the exposed flange area, and then directly overboard.

    I have never considered a steel hull below the waterline, and wood above, but it makes sense. Steel boats are not usually insulated below the waterline, but are above, so wood above the waterline makes sense too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  11. gilberj
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    gilberj Junior Member

    LFH specified a bronze plate on the bottom of the Carpenter. In this case it was to be bolted to a wood bottom.
    Whimbrel ballast keel is a steel welded box, about 20 ft long and about 15". Wide for about the middle 1/3. This steel box is filled with heavy stuff. It took the brunt if the beating on the rocks, and it was an impressive beating. The 2*2 laminated frames and the thick bottom did the rest.
    Ballast is one thing but mixing shell materials, while possible, but usually presents more problems than it solves
     
  12. chris morejohn
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    chris morejohn Junior Member

    Bottoms

    Hi everyone,
    I will just put in food for thought here on grounding out. First off if you are off course enough to hit a shallow enough coral reef to worry about your bottom you will have way more to worry about once or when you make it through the surf line. Steel or krytonite will not save your rudder prop and your hull. But if the tide is right and the seas are big enough at your time of disaster your boat if built well and is very shallow could bounce over and into safer waters.
    But this is like saying I want to buy a Brinks armored truck so when I fall asleep at the wheel I might survive the crash.
    I have been aboard the original Golden Ball ketch 31 years ago. This hull and its sisters will not survive heavy grounding.
    All the aluminum French shallow boats I come across in my travels very rarely ground out because of the high cost of bottom paint and barrier coats. They do not want to take the chance of wearing it off. Steel on the other hand can take it all if you want to put up with its baggage of what it takes to live with. Not for me. On the HFM and her sisters I glass on 1/4" off glass over the bottom and the entire hull. So far after grounding out on two of my boats for over 1,000 days on sand, small rocks, conch, hard bottoms and gravel I have not yet puntured the skin yet. I have sat on my Bruce anchor many times on hard sand and have squished it through the sand. But I have not yet screwd up and run into a reef. Yes when racing with my board down I have clipped the edges of reefs but nobody ever noticed as my keel just pops up and down.
    Keep it simple. But that steel barge hull that is posted here can take it very well. You will just have to live with its up keep or it life span.
     
  13. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    The cause is often fatigue of the skipper when wooden boats are lost on a reef where steel would have survived after being dragged of the rocks.

    Below the stories of two beautiful wooden boats (too small for steel) that both were lost by this cause on their maiden voyage . . . . :(

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Benford design: 14' Long Distance Cruiser Happy -- first picture --
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    John Welsford design: Sundowner LOD 6.5 M 21'4" -- Diaries --
    Charlie's story: The Fate of Resolution
    John Welsford
    Scott's Boat Pages: A Dream Destroyed: Charlie's Resolution Shipwrecked
     
  14. gilberj
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    gilberj Junior Member

    An unplanned grounding is never a good idea. Most boats can take it, more or less. By that I mean they are not damaged irreparably, possible not at all. As Chris says there is the other stuff under the boat, rudder, prop etc. A lot of full keel or longer keeled boats fare better than fin keel boats.

    I remember a friends Rozinante broke her anchor line in a bit of an onshore gale and went ashore. The owner and his wife gathered their most valuables and camped on the shore. In the morning the boat was sitting upright on her keel in less than 1 foot of water, undamaged. It just needed to be dragged back into deep water. The lead keel took all of the impacts, and the planking never touched the rocky bottom at all.

    With the Meadowlark, I take ground regularly, always planned, touching after high water, so I can refloat on the next tide. If I am planning a longer stop I anchor bow and stern so I can somewhat control where I sit on the next tide.

    Over-running your DR ( and lee shore issues) as the two stories tell was a big problem in the old days. Now not so much, because of GPS, and better weather forecasting. The problem of course is the crew. I am not being hard on them. We all make mistakes and we all get over tired and make poor choices. No boats are designed to survive all possible scenarios. You run up on a sand bank you may easily get off with nothing worse than bruised pride. You hit a hard, sharp rocky shore it may be over with the first bang. Most often it will take some time pounding in the sea on the rocks to do irreparable damage, but once there you will not get off without help.

    Whimbrel went ashore in a strong gale a few years ago. I was not on board. The mooring broke ( it had been dive inspected less than a month before). She went ashore on a smooth shelving rock with only a few scattered boulders. The sea was 2 to 4 feet partially protected 1.5 mile fetch. She lay broadside to the sea rocking violently through about 60 degrees. It took about an hour to get out there and get a line on her and haul off using a powerful power boat, luckily available and manned. I was surprised both masts were still standing, and the leeboards appeared un-touched, and there was no leaking. I had been fearing a pile of expensive firewood. In the end there was no damage at all, other than a patch of wood about 2' x 2' stripped bare of paint. The Meadowlark, Whimbrel was built as designed with an extra thick strong bottom and heavy laminated arched floors. The ballast keel which took most of the beating is a welded steel box about 20' long and about 15" wide amidships, tapering towards the ends, and about 3.5" deep for most of its length, and filled with some heavy stuff to its intended weight.
    Whimbrel's survival is a credit to the builder first, the designer second and to my friends prompt action third. The point here is to illustrate how the designer and builder can improve the survivability of a boat to a hard chance.
     

  15. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    I don't know the ‘‘DR’’ abbreviation, please tell. Thing is, the second story was about 2008, Charlie had GPS . . .

     
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