One boat that will do all

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by sjptak, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. sjptak
    Joined: Mar 2011
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    sjptak Junior Member

    OK, here goes. I want to build a boat. Albeit, a small boat. I want to do everything with this boat. I want to sail it close to shore on Long Island Sound, use it to drift down rivers with mild white water and camp along the banks, use it for rowing and even under power (trolling motor) on the lake I live on. I think I'm zeroing in on the boat. It is here. My questions are simple. What are your thoughts on using this boat for all of the above? Could I use a folding sprit rig on this? Could it sail with a stem to stern 3/4" keel or will I have to build in a daggerboard or use a leeboard? Is it crazy to want to make all the necessary comprises to do this? I'm an inexperienced novice when it comes to sailing but am eager to learn, so go easy on me.
     
  2. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Nice choice in a small boat. I'd say skip the keel, maybe add a daggerboard and a sailing thwart for a sprit rig. What did you mean by 'folding' sprit rig? This is a rowing boat and the sailing rig would be for downwind and reaching only. If you want a sailboat, pick another design. Don't change this one much. A Peruvian leeboard works as well as most daggerboards and just needs a thwart to work, has no fittings and costs almost nothing, plus it can be moved fore and aft to balance out the steering. It's 5 or 6 feet long, a foot wide and has a 24" long 2x2 at right angles to the axis mounted about 18" from the top. A piece of lead in the bottom keeps it down and a rope from the top to a hole in the center of the thwart sets the angle. To tack, just pull it out of the water and throw over the other side, the 2x2 sits on the gunwale and the rope never needs adjustment.
     
  3. sjptak
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    sjptak Junior Member

    Until yesterday, I had no idea even what a sprit rig was until I googled it. I was talking with a friend about what to do and it was something he came up with, but he's a kayaker and he said it was small and lightweight. You said that the sprit would be for "downwind and reaching only". Could you explain, please? My sailing experiences include only a sailfish and hobie cat style boat. I've got to learn the lingo. Thanks.
     
  4. MastMonkey
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    MastMonkey Junior Member

    That is a very beautiful small boat. When I was reading your post, my first thought was some type of sailing canoe. It seems the design already has a small inboard well incorporated for the use of a motor, this could be modified for a dagger board case. Lee boards are a good suggestion. This give you much more room inside the boat. When adding sails, one thing to consider is to spread the sail area out horizontally. Two sails are probably better than one.

    http://dragonflycanoe.com/stephens/sails_and_rigging.html

    Also, considering where you want to sail it, I would want to deck over more of it.
     
  5. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    If you wish to sail to windward, some sort of lateral plane is required. This is often in the form of a dagger board or variant thereof. The small, canoe-like boat you fancy is not a sailboat, but a more a rowing peapod or dory without a transom. Google 'sailing canoe' images to see other designers take on the problem of making this type of hull sail at all well.
    A sailboat is a sailboat and a rowboat is just that. It's hard to make a hull that does both very well, but not hard to make one that does both jobs reasonably well. Check out the kit offerings from Chesapeake Light Craft and Pygmy Boats, both stitch and glue kit manufacturers with a good range of designs. Many workboats were row/sail, but few were row/sail/motor.
    Always remember, the job designs the boat, and you are arbitrarily picking a rowing boat you like and trying to design jobs for it instead. Long Island sound is notorious for light winds in summer, so you'd need a large sail, which means a bit more stability to carry the taller mast etc. plus a rudder and tiller and lateral plane of some sort. Running white water means a rock protected bottom, rocker for maneuverability and forward facing oar position. Motoring means an outboard well and room and displacement to carry it all.
    Don't fall in love with a design then compromise it greatly by modifications outside its originally designed use envelope. You'll find great disappointment this way.
     
  6. sjptak
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    sjptak Junior Member

    Mast Monkey, that is an outstanding link. I've bookmarked it for some serious digestion when I have the time. I'll have to read all that with a very clear head as I am still learning the lingo.

    Bataan, very wise words. That is exactly why I am throwing this up to the knowledgeable and experienced people here in this forum. I understand that I am wanting a boat that will have to wear many hats. I, myself, am a jack of all trades, but certainly master of none. That is what I am looking for in this project. Compromises on performance will have to be made and I am seeking the best platform that could handle all these jobs fairly decent. I think that base boat would be some sort of row boat. A sail boat would never be able to handle any white water and I would think it would only make a less than fair row boat, but would be fine with a motor.

    What I'm getting at is I need help from you guys before I make a final decision using your input as a guide. Ultimately, I hope to make an informed decision on what compromises will have to be made to what platform to make them to. My boat won't be the best rower, the best sailboat, the best river runner or the best motor launch but I do hope it will be a lot of fun to row, sail, run rivers and motor around with. That will make it the best boat for me.

    That's what I'm looking for and I appreciate all the help, info and recommendations to date. Keep 'em coming, guys. I want to get back out on the water......
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Well...Its a boat. An all to typical boat.

    First off, no Floorboards. Your feet will be forever wet. Second....Foot rests ? You will never be albe to move...walk...fore and aft in that boat.

    who the hell needs foot rests on an all purpose utility boat.

    Its a boat... Nothing special.
     
  8. MastMonkey
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    MastMonkey Junior Member

    Bataan has very good advice. Have you ever thought about something like this:

    http://www.seaeagle.com/paddleski.aspx

    It looks like a lot of fun. And if you are set on building the boat, it is possible to build something similar to it.

    If you want something more traditional, a skiff type boat will meet many of your wants. They were traditionally rowed or sailed and many of the type are used as motor boats for cruising around. The hull is easily driven and wouldn't need a powerful motor. For going down rivers you could add buoyancy bags for safety. Still, they would not be as maneuverable as a drift boat. Skiff type boats are used for fishing rivers though because they can be designed to have very shallow draft.

    CLC has a kit: http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/wooden-sailboat-kits/jimmy-skiff-rowing-sailing-kit.html

    There are many rigs you could consider. A square type sail like a sprit rig or lug rig will help you fly more sail with shorter spars, useful for keeping all the gear in the boat when the wind dies. You could also consider a Gunter rig.

    Some other examples:

    http://www.thomasjhillboatdesigns.com/wizard_river_skiff.html

    More on canoes:

    http://www.westsystem.com/ss/modern-decked-sailing-canoes/

    And a canoe can do white water. Notice the buoyancy bags: http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/Ww/WW.html
     
  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    And whatever design you choose skip the dam plywood and epoxy. You come from a world of cedar, oak and cheap bronze....the rest off us can only dream of these materials. Build a real boat...be proud
     
  10. sjptak
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    sjptak Junior Member

    Mast Monkey, Just befor Christmas, I came very close to putting down the $$ to get the Sea Eagle 4 seater fold cat. It could go down river, I could row it, I could sail it and I could throw a trolling motor or a 3HP outboard on it, plus transport it in the back of my GEO Tracker ragtop. I want to build a boat, though. Sounds silly, doesn't it? I'm trying to clean up my bucket list, though and this build will allow me to check off a lot of things if the build is successful. At 61, I'm young to some and old to a lot. We just spent 7 months going down Route 66, wintering in FL, both were on the list. Now, I really want to build a boat. Nothing big, nothing that'll impress anyone but me.

    I've pretty much ruled out a skiff because of weight. I've got to be able to cartop it on my Tracker by myself. I thought about drift boats, but they'd be useless except for river running and camping and they got ruled out because of weight. I've already owned several canoes and don't care to go that route.

    Mike, I don't have a problem with plywood or epoxy. It's better suited to my budget and would take less time and that, my friend, is a very precious comodity.

    What can I say, I'm complicated, but still open to criticism and comments. My mind isn't made up yet.

    Stan
     
  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  12. MastMonkey
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    MastMonkey Junior Member

    There isn't anything silly sounding about it.

    Have a look at these:

    http://gaboats.com/boats/

    A hybrid SOF, plywood bottom, may make a great boat for you.

    I like this one: http://gaboats.com/boats/classic10.html
     
  13. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Check this out. No motor provision but an excellent sail and row boat in modern light materials, all proven, complete kit and available so you could build it in a month. By doing this you get a boat almost immediately, don't make discouraging mistakes, have a great deal of fun learning the boat, and establish a personal knowledge base to design your next one, from experience that isn't as much of a risk. Plus it's easy to sell. Light enough to car top with a little ingenuity.
     

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  14. Dirteater
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    Hi Bataan,

    Good advise as always :)
    I am working on a very similar design and one of the areas that concerns me is the sail and rigging. I do believe a lug sail would be best for my situation and I would like to build my own sail and rigging. One of the things that I've been wanting to ask you is "what materials (cloth?) did the use? say in the early 1900's? for say.. Sailing Dories, Sharpies, etc.. I find the modern materials quite expensive and I guess I'm hoping there's a more economical and personal approach. A simple mans rig if you will.
    thanks

    DE
     

  15. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Painter's dropcloths to start with. Cheap cotton drill for a fisherman's sail that would last a year. Duck for 3 years. Sew it on your home machine with straight stitching. As a lad I learned to make small boat sails by hand quickly and it's not hard with light cloth if you follow the proper methods.
    Read "Pete Culler's Boats" or his "Skiffs and Schooners" for a deep education in all this stuff, plus many lovely small boat designs. I've made trial sails from duct tape and Tyvek house wrap and they work for months with a little care, and the mistakes are easier to correct until you know what will work in cloth.
    There's not much rigging to a small lug sail, just a single part halyard over a masthead sheave or a block to a ring traveler on the mast that the yard hooks to. Oh, yes, it also has a sheet which usually hooks under a pin sticking down from a quarter knee.
    Total blocks=1. Total ropes, excuse me, lines=2. A cleat on the mast for the halyard.
    Mast can be various things but usually made from a clear, 1/4 sawn piece of spruce or fir. Yard is a good hard 2x4 tapered to 2x2 on the ends and there is no boom. Proper stepping with as much bury as possible is essential since there are no shrouds. A separate 'sailing thwart' that fastens to the gunwale helps here. The mast should rotate freely so you can dump sail in a hard gust by releasing the sheet and it just blows to leeward, relieving the pressure and keeping you out of the wet stuff.
     
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