Lie down small sailing boat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by alyne, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. alyne
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Somerset UK

    alyne Junior Member

    Hi all!

    I am sure the reason I cannot find anything on the net about this idea is probably because it is a bit daft! I had this idea to build a very light, lie down sailing boat with a modest sailing rig. The link here shows pics of my prototype on her first sail

    http://rxsailor.blogspot.co.uk/

    Yes, I know there are many reasons why you could just say buy a windsurfer, it would be much quicker, or why not sit on it normally, but I fancied a go at making something a little different and I think I have achieved it.

    I need to add more buoyancy on the sides and transom, and also improve the steering mechanism for the next test sail, but I have to say it was rather fun moving along under sail with my head so close to the water!

    The idea of the transom cutout is for alternative foot propulsion with flippers if needed.

    This is about the first sailing contraption I have built that is actually well balanced with regards to helm, and she tacks through the wind very easily, which is a design first for me :p

    I am hoping that in modest wind and sea conditions this might be alot of fun! It will sure make windsurfers dinghy sailors take a second look!! :)

    All the best
    Andy - Rxsailor
     
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  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If it floats, moves, steers and you have fun, I would call it a success.
     
  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  4. alyne
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Somerset UK

    alyne Junior Member

    Hi Doug
    Unfortunately I got distracted with Kayak sailing and I never followed the skiff project through. Silly really, I sailed it a couple of times ironing out problems, had I spent a little more time on it I think it would have been quite a fun little boat! Same as the plaing catamaran I built, now that really was good fun off the wind, but as usual my mind drifted to new ideas rather than spending more time sorting out the problems of a nearly complete boat :confused:

    This time, as my first test sail was so successful I have the determination to continue developing this particular idea.

    I just showed my wife the Minuet youtube video, she found it most amusing, what fantastic boats!

    All the best
    Andy
     
  5. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    It's good to see guys who are willing to experiment: keep it up!
     
  6. Steve Clark
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve Clark Charged Particle

    Kind of interesting as a minimalist vessel. Sail assisted swimming. A kick board with enough stability to support some little rig and a centerboard. Lie on on it and steer with your legs or feet. Add an underwater viewing panel and it may be the best way to view lots of brightly colored fishes.
    SHC
     
  7. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Reminds me of my childhood.

    I was so desperate to get a boat.

    I thought of strapping a 6 x 2 ft piece of plywood to an air mattress.

    The plywood would have a mast step and a 2x2 frame around it. Side keels would be bolted to that frame, along with some kind side rudder,
     
  8. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Andy: I took a second look at the lie-down sailing boat.

    So long as the deck isn’t awash, I doubt that more buoyancy will improve performance. If it is awash when you are fully supported by the hull then adding buoyancy should allow you to pickup speed more readily IMHO. I think the cutout maybe causing a lot of added drag; if you were to fill it in with a flat piece of plywood, leaving the cutout open at the stern, it might raise the stern as spped starts to build and maybe improve both speed and steering.

    What is the sail area? It is hard to estimate sizes but with such a low center of gravity I would think the boat could easily handle a bigger sail. Just some thoughts . . .
     
  9. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    Welcome to the list.

    A lie down sailboat, what a great idea for a warm water area. if you can rig it for both face down and face up operation, than you can get a tan on both sides while you sail around the bay! Add a cup holder and a water proof holder for an ipod, it would be perfect. Make them out of cheap rotomolded recycled plastic and you can sell a lot of them to resort rental concessions.

    lots of fun little projects on your blog site. Share some more!
     
  10. alyne
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Somerset UK

    alyne Junior Member

    Hi all

    Thanks for the interest. I guess the idea of the transom cutout is that I always llike to have an alternative propulsion method if needed, in this case using flippers.

    She definately needs a little more buoyancy - not much though (I have already built up the sides by 50mm with a bit of closed cell foam.) It could do with being 1 foot longer aft as this would solve the issue of the transom sinking too low, but that will have to wait a while as I am keen to get out for another sail and extending the transom will be a little more time consuming.

    The steering setup I have now changed to a central foot controlled rudder mounted on the transom cross bar. Keep it Simple! - I nearly did that in the first place but I went for the hand control so my son could sail it. On a subsequent test he is actually tall enough to reach the new steering arrangement with his feet anyway so problem solved.

    As for sail area I am using a 35 square foot Opti rig. I love sprit rigs and their inherrent low centre of errort.

    Although I say it is for tootling about in flat water, the next stage is to add a very small 20 square foot assymetric spin to spice things up off the wind! I reckon having 55 square foot of low down sail area and a fairly beamy super light platform I might have some chance of getting up on the plane in ideal conditions.......Either that or the whole thing will disintegrate in a heap of styrofoam and wood splinters - but I'll have fun trying :)

    All the best
    Andy
     
  11. alyne
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    alyne Junior Member

    I forgot to mention, another unplanned for advantage of the transom cut out is that it makes it possible to sit up facing aft if I need a break....very comfortable. It guess it will also make re entry from deep water very easy now I have built up the sides slightly
     
  12. alyne
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Somerset UK

    alyne Junior Member

    Hi Terry

    I mounted the rudder centrally and had a test sail controlling it with my feet. Although this was successful it now makes the cutout a little redundant as the rudder impedes paddling with my feet. You make a good observation about the drag this cut out probably causes, so I am going to fill in the cut out - I wish I had kept the piece I cut out..:eek:

    Also it will help with buoyancy in the aft section as it is still riding a little low at the transom. Anyway the second test sail was fun, not much wind again but that is fine whilst I iron out the kinks.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  13. Steve Clark
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve Clark Charged Particle

    Have you tried steering with your legs and swim fins?
    The simplest solution is no rudder at all.
    SHC
     
  14. alyne
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Somerset UK

    alyne Junior Member

    Hi Steve
    I thought about using the fins for steering when the idea first entered my head. I also thought about steering with the leeboard by pivoting it fore and aft and mounting a fixed fin somewhere under the boat to balance it. I think this might actually work from the tests I have done, the leeboard is very handy where it is positioned.

    On my list of projects is actually a more compact version of this lie down board concept, with a small offset 1 metre rig (like the FEKS Flat Earth Kayak Sail) that will fully retract. If I could make it with just a skeg and some how steer with fins I could go out in small surf, sail out and surf back!!!......

    Cheers
    Andy
     

  15. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Its great you are having fun, but personally, I cant think of a single reason why anyone would want to sail laying down - unless they were physically impaired in some way.
     
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