Modify a soling or Etchells 22 to include a wheel?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by EdgewaterMD, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. EdgewaterMD
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    EdgewaterMD Junior Member

    My concept is a larg-ish single hand daysailor keelboat to grow old with. easy and convenient to use, classic look, and as much performance as reasonable given the first 2 criteria are met.

    the soling and etchell's look great and are affordable starts. i think either can be sailed single but are probably easily overpowered w/o movable ballast (3 more for crew).

    seems possible to bolt 300-400 lbs additional lead on sides of lower portion of keel assuming they're a bit overbuilt to help out a bit, and otherwise avoid winds over 15kt. maybe create a whole new bulb keel and lower the center of ballast at same time.

    also seems reasonable to have new sails made to fit new requirements of a more-easily over-powered boat.

    i've sailed beachcat with aysmmetric spin. one string raises and lowers and thereafter it's sheeted similar to jib. seems like reasonable addition for light winds. maybe add a small fixed sprit to accommodate that.

    now the aesthetic of the concept - standing behind the wheel of a larg-ish single hand classic sailboat that sails well with 20 deg or more heel, snapping from tack-to-tack effortlessly. the deck would be modified to enlarge cockpit to behind traveler and lead all lines aft. i realize the wheel is not as responsive and at least on the soling, may look out-of place entirely due to scale of driver/boat?

    both soling and etchells are great looking but the solings are very inexpensive for project boat and can stay at my current boatlift (that saves +$5K). the concept is a boat that essentially 'belongs' to the summer, the family, and is very easy to use on the occasions when it is used. roller furling, self-tacking etc.

    to some extent, my concept is the ruination of a boat that has near perfection by virtue of its one-design and pedigree. on the other hand, there are unwanted boats that are just good starting place for my idea. i've seen old solings listed for 2K. the entire project including new paint for maybe less than 15K? there's not a new boat option even close that i know of. a 'new' used colgate 26, j80, or ultimate 20 might be an option (not to be modified) but lacks the classic aspect of the concept.

    i saw a nice blog about fellow that was looking for a nice "knockabout" and saw post about fellow wanting to gaff-rig a soling to look like 12m. i think they are different versions of the same dream to some extent; maybe no version is quite entirely perfected yet.

    i'd appreciate earnest comments regarding aesthetics and/or practical considerations for such a project.

    thanks
     
  2. schakel
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    schakel environmental project Msc

    For reasons of weight it is very advantageous to move the helmsman to the front sitting next to the rest of the crew as close to the mast without losing contact with the hanging bands inside of the pit. By doing this you reduce the wet surface. So very few yachtsman would modify the Etchell or Soling into a steering wheel configuration. You need a joystick for that. Click my avatar and you will see what I mean.
     
  3. barks
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    barks Junior Member

    Now this is easy. Forget these 2. What you really need is a Dragon."The International Dragon is one of the great sailing boats of all time. At the forefront of international yacht racing for over sixty years, the Dragon's winning combination of performance, competition and timeless elegance have given it a unique place in the hearts of yachtsmen the world over." You could pay someone else to sail it and just enjoy the site of its beauty as it sails past.
     
  4. schakel
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    schakel environmental project Msc

    Hi Edge water,

    You have send me an email but you blocked the possibility to let other members send you an e-mail. But to answer the question: The dragon in the photo is not mine. Mine was less fast but more wooden classic look head turner. Nice for flirting on the water but bad for results in regattas.

    I had one for 14 years and she was 50 years old. I sold her because she had to be restored and after 12 years of ownership that is too much money and time. The guy who bought her did a marvelous job however in Letland which is much cheaper in both wood and labor cost. He practically had her rebuild.

    Although very beautiful and active and very very nice to sail I recommend the class that is biggest in your area because than you have more fun match racing simply because there are more potential opponents. Don't forget not every body always wants to race.
    The American version of the dragon, and I hate to say that, is the Etchell and she is faster.
    I guess as an American you want to sail an American classic which is good as well.

    @ Barks: The view of a dragon is very magnificent sight indeed. And when you are on board this doesn't always show. So you are right. The owners however who do not sail them in the Netherlands are close to zero. But I heard this is getting more and more the fashion in Le voiles de Saint Tropez. http://www.snst.org/ If you like the view of the dragon that much why not visit this fantastic event.

    Saves a lot of money as well!

    If you really want a fantastic looking yacht with a steering wheel try the M-series from Morris yachts. http://www.morrisyachts.com/M-Series The price tag is 3 Rolls Royces however.

    See you
     
  5. EdgewaterMD
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    EdgewaterMD Junior Member

    Thank you again for the courteous and helpful reply. The M series is very attractive but I don't feel the need for a cabin. In my concept, it's comparable to a turtle that carries its shell. Or maybe the concept is more related to the idea of a beautiful girl that doesn't have to do dishes, too. Simply beautiful and fast.

    I had actually photoshopped the dragon to remove crew, and added a wheel and driver but could not figure out how to get the thing online. That's OK because the hull seemed a little small and so it really didn't make the best selling point for my idea, but was not unattractive. If that modified boat was available at a reasonable price, I would be interested.

    My single-hand concept might apply to a Melges 24 with some additional lead on a beefed keel, though there would certainly be additional expense as compared to starting with a $2K Soling. As that goes, there's a very attractive boat called Esse 850 but again - the expense is even less ignorable for me.

    I'm in the Annapolis area and Solings are raced nearby. I race one design Flying Scot and am looking to try Formula 16 catamaran next year for my racing needs. If I took on a Soling or Etchells, it would be for use as a daysailor from my home, but not to race. I don't think there are Dragons in my area, certainly at least, not a fleet of them.
     
  6. EdgewaterMD
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    EdgewaterMD Junior Member

    photoshopped Dragon

    I hope I managed to get this one on board - I have intended to upload a modified dragon photo that includes a wheel, modified cockpit, and single-hand crew. the sailor might be placed too low but I attempted to slide original sailor position straight back. but the original sailor was probably standing in deeper portion of boat.

    is it terrible what's happened to the boat, or appealing as a nice way to 'sail away' for a couple hours? Besides other iconic value, I see the wheel (with a brake) as being nice aid for single-handing. I'd say ideal would be a foot-operated brake for wheel to provide for two-handed sail handling with minimum of bumbling. forther mod - convert from spinnaker to aysymmetric spin or furler screecher on bowsprit possibly.
     

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  7. schakel
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    schakel environmental project Msc

    Good idea but

    Hi Edge water,

    As I can see in your Photoshop reconstruction you intend to place the wheel to a position that you can stand up without kneeling for the boom when you gibe or tack. But consider to place the wheel some what more to the front.

    This for reasons that your yacht will lean backward and put his stern in the water. You will lose 2 or 3 knots of speed and when there is hardly any wind you lie like an anchor in the water.
    When I start reengineering the old classics I always come to the conclusion they are better left as they are.

    I am looking forward until in the "new J- class" http://www.jclassyachts.com/svea/index.html the replica of the Reliance will reappear. She was the most extravagant one. http://www.photosofoldamerica.com/index.cfm/Transportation-Yacht_Reliance_182.htm
     
  8. EdgewaterMD
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    EdgewaterMD Junior Member

    i think you're right or course and that is the introduction of the problems that would have to be overcome.

    There are some classic beauties like Etchells, and especially Solings available at low price. However, they are intended to be sailed by crew of 3. Assuming new intended use of single-hand sailing, one could add lead to keep boat on design waterline. But to move single sailor weight back as shown in photoshop, would also need to address the static balance problem you mention :

    Let single sailor weight X distanceA from original c.g = distance of 2 sailor's worth of lead X distanceB from original c.g.. Solve for distanceB and design new bulb keel (keep center of lift in same location). unbolt old keel, bolt on new keel. Still have to modify cockpit, add wheel, re-rig, repaint,..., $$ and time.

    There are modern beauties that marketing says are designed for single-hand :

    http://www.esse850.com/

    Love that boat and appreciate that it has a modern concept of beauty than old classic, but a different budget also.

    I notice of course that it has no wheel, and I would not think of adding one all things considered. But I have noted that more common boats have been designed to include wheel, even in 'small' boat sizes where a wheel is dis-advantageous compared to tiller. It might not be yachtey, but some designers have recognized that there is apparently desire for a wheel in some markets. I've only noticed this trend in the 'pocket-cruisers', not sport boats.
     
  9. schakel
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    schakel environmental project Msc

  10. EdgewaterMD
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    EdgewaterMD Junior Member

    WOW - the Brenta's are beautiful in a modern and classic way. Get rid of the winches and the price tag and I'm all set!

    ps - I appreciate the J link also. very nice. That is the spirit - how to get it for cheap is my actual problem.
     
  11. BeauVrolyk
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    BeauVrolyk Sailor

    Edgewater,

    A few thoughts. I grew up racing in Solings and Etchells, along with a lot of other boats. Now that I'm older I find that I'm returning to long sleek boats that are much easier to sail than things like the Meges and other sportboats. I have addressed almost exactly your desires in the following way.

    First, I own an IOD. Designed in 1936 (mine was launched in 1946) they are drop dead beautiful. I've attached a picture. Also, they are easy to single hand, I do it all the time, and are tough enough to sail nicely without bothering to reef here on San Francisco Bay in 30 knots of wind. I'd suggest you think about one of these. See http://www.sfiod.org/ for a lot of pictures and links. I also own a Moore-24 which is more of a sport boat. While it's a blast when I'm racing with my kids etc, and is much faster than the IOD off the wind, the two boats have exactly the same PHRF rating and on a windward leeward race course end up at about the same place. Both of these boats are just slightly slower than the Etchells, except that the Moore can kill 'em all if it blows by planing down wind.

    Second, regarding a wheel, please don't do this to the poor boat. I have quite strong feelings that a wheel detaches you from the sailing in a way that reduces the fun substantially. As a very young man I had a chance to race aboard Ragtime, a 62' sloop, who had a tiller. It was amazingly fun to sail such a powerful boat and she responded like a dinghy. It was a blast. Much much more fun than a wheel. In the 1920s even the 12 meters had tillers. It is only once the hull shape became difficult to handle that they went to wheels. You'll notice that many of the top designs today are reverting to tillers, if sailed by competent sailors.

    Third, the narrow boats you're talking about (Soling and Etchells) will not need more ballast unless you add sail area. Certainly, the boat will be slightly faster if you were to take a couple of 300 pound guys along and make them topsides hike, but it isn't necessary. Unlike a modern boat, that has so much beam that the crew weight can be moved a long way from the centerline of the boat and thus add a lot of stability, on a narrow boat the crew can't get further outboard. Indeed, on the IOD the best place to hike (furthest to windward) is down below sitting in the cabin with one's back against the windward hull. That's about a foot further to windward than the weather rail when the boat is heeled. So, I think you're onto the right sort of boat with a soling or etchells.

    Fourth, do keep in mind that these boats are heavy and many don't have positive flotation. There are at least four or five of these boats on the bottom of San Francisco Bay somewhere because they sank. One of the problems with these boats is that to make them comfortable for the crew to hike on, they have no cockpit combing. When they heel way over, water pours into the hull - a lot of it. Originally, solings (I don't know about etchells) had bulkheads in the bow and stern to create tanks that would keep the boat afloat, just barely. But, over the years people put so many holes in these that the boats sunk when flooded. If you choose one of these, insure that you've got positive flotation, they will sink and have sunk. The IOD has a cockpit combing that protects it from most of the water, although folks have sunk these too.

    Finally, the amount of sail area a boat like this might need is dependent (primarily) upon where you sail. I don't think anyone ever wishes they had more sail area on a soling or etchells on San Francisco Bay, and I have personally cursed their small rigs when in San Diego and Long Island Sound. So, think a lot about where you're going to sail and change things accordingly. Do keep in mind that a bowsprit will move the center of effort forward (if you're using a code zero or something like that) and the balance of the rig will be changed. I've attached a few URLs of boats you might want to have a look at.

    IOD stuff: www.sfiod.org

    12 Meter Kelpie (with tiller): http://www.classicyachtevents.com/yacht/ysingle11.html

    Spirit-46 (with tiller): http://www.spirityachts.com/sy-spirit-46.htm
     
  12. terhohalme
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    terhohalme BEng Boat Technology

  13. EdgewaterMD
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    EdgewaterMD Junior Member

    Good taste in boats above!

    The IOD is drop dead gorgeous and Moore 24 has nothing to be shy about either. I didn't get complete specs on either boat immediately but will look into them more.

    Right now, I'm sailing Flying Scot and planning to race Formula 16 cat next year. I've owned several other sailboats all throughout, but am mostly just getting back intoreal boats after 15 years shortboard WS'g obsession (that is not entirely over). All the while, I've appreciated the classic nature of monohulls.

    Matching the right boat to a time/place/person is critical. I have a 5'+ deep slip at my house on river avg 1/2 mile wide (so wind shadows and gusty conditions are the reality). I'd like a boat for casual sailing w/o giving up looks and performance.

    I probably deserve criticism about the wheel. What can I say. Check out the big J's or international match racing. Maybe I want to sail in a delusion. And there's a bit of - 'do you want to build a boat, or sail a boat' going on too.

    Regarding the 'detached feeling' you mentioned; you make it sound like a bad thing! from taking friends/family out; I've discovered my favorite form of boat sailing is sitting back as passenger/skipper telling people that don't know how to sail how to run the boat. I think they enjoy having chance to really run the boat and it gives me a unique perspective of the boat,water,wind when I can simply turn my attention where I choose w/o direct consequence on the boat.

    I also tried some remote control sailing and it sort of hit the spot. Probably better if it was in racing situation. The Brenta link above includes still photos that capture a detachment to some extent.

    Or maybe it's the 'zen feeling' that I like. sort of explains the WS enjoyment which is otherwise very physically attached.

    An other boat I'd like to mention is JS9000 -

    http://jsyachtsusa.com/js9000/reviews.asp

    I like everything about their design philosophy and note some similarity to a weighted soling and note dissimilarity in pricing also.
     
  14. schakel
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    schakel environmental project Msc

    The french version of a dragon is very nice as well:

    The French version of a dragon is very nice as well:
    http://requin.levillage.org/

    And for any beautiful wooden yacht you can contact this yard in Finland, Lots of skills lots of wood. http://www.jakobstadsbatvarv.multi.fi/jakobstad_boatyard.html

    The Corby Yard in Cowes builds any you want as well
    http://web.me.com/jcboats/CorbyYachts/Catherine.html

    And if you very much time the best thing you can do is restoring an classic.
    5.5 metres are beautiful and they sail terrific:
    http://www.5.5class.org/ and they are in polyester available as well.

    What about this one for 37000 Euro: http://www.botentekoop.nl/open-zeilboten/707180/INTERNATIONALE-55-1996.html
    You buy definitely the most attractive boat on the lake.
     

  15. BeauVrolyk
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    BeauVrolyk Sailor

    I could not agree more - getting the right match is the MOST important thing. BTW, I rarely hold the tiller or steer the boat with the helm when I'm out sailing around by myself for fun. I hold the mainsheet and steer that way. It's rather more fun to see if you can balance the boat well enough to do this.

    The Moore will do it on almost every point of sail, the IOD will NOT do it on a reach but does it beautifully up wind.

    One last comment, I have always felt that people pay too much for their boats and end up unable to really enjoy them because they've spent too much on it initially or find themselves putting too much into it each month in maintenance. I'd strongly suggest buying or building a boat that one can genuinely afford. There is little that takes the fun out of a boat quicker than seeing a boat one loves in disrepair because one can't afford to keep her up correctly.

    Enjoy,

    B
     
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