Pirogue... for sailing.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by white crown, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. white crown
    Joined: Feb 2017
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Washington

    white crown New Member

    Hello, I'm absolutely new to boat design/building and am looking for advice on what to start sticking together to put in the drink. I recently moved from Hawaii to Washington, and sold my 22ft MacGregor sloop as well as my truck. During the 4 years I had that boat, I found some wood sailboats that I would like to eventually build when I retire from the Navy in 9 years and/or when my girls get older (5 and 3 now). For now, with the intent of gaining experience for that, I am looking to build a smaller wooden boat that meets the following criteria:
    1. Car toppable (don't plan on buying another truck soon)
    2. Fits myself and my two daughters somewhat comfortably
    3. I can load/unload myself by hand
    4. (More of a benefit than requirement) can be rigged to sail.

    After discovering the pdracer I began scouring the web for something that also rows well(easier?), and have arrived at the 16' Pirogue. What appeals to me is that it seems to be easy to drive with an oar but could also be rigged to sail like the Wharram Melanesia or a duck punt. For the record I have zero experience with any of these boats. Also looked at the "lazy weekend and bateau canoes, both of which I would build with internal chine logs. Did I mention I don't want to use fiberglass? Just prefer to force my carpentry to improve with this build. I learned to stitch from my grandmother when I was 6 and I'd already been glueing before that... Never hand planed wood before though. :p I am open to any suggestions, in fact if you feel the need to, please try to convince me to build a completed different boat. Then I will have some design questions already queued up, for now this is becoming a long first post. Thanks in advance for your advice, I'm happy to be here and at this phase of my project.
     
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 2,666
    Likes: 114, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    t will not be easy to combine all the things that you want in a small boat or any boat for that matter. Requirement 2 is somewhat in conflict with 1 and 3. You can come to unwelcome compromise however.

    A pirogue is traditionally narrow and long and dead simple to build. That it is narrow, means that the amount of sail you could use is pretty small and probably only downwind. The PDR would likely be safer and more commodious for the two little girls, than the pirogue. The PDR could be made car toppable if you used Ocumee ply for lightness. The pirogue would certainly perform better under oars or paddles.

    This set of wants is common and has been addressed many times here on the forum and elsewhere. Acceptable compromises are available.
     
  3. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 2,425
    Likes: 45, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 579
    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

  4. white crown
    Joined: Feb 2017
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Washington

    white crown New Member

    messabout- Do you have any helm time in the pdr? The only thing that concerned me about the three of us in one pdr is how far forward I would have to sit to operate the tiller, it seems tiller-steered sailboats usually all lose the last 2 ft. to the rudder components and boom traveler. I thought about building one with side air-boxes as seats to get myself up and out for more space, but then I would have to worry about crossing to the windward side on tacks/jibes and getting fouled up in the boom/lines/kids (I am 6'2" and 235 lbs). If you don't see these as issues, you may have just convinced me to build two boats, one pdr, one pirogue, which is probably the better choice over forcing one to do it all.

    upchurchmr, I like that trimaran, how much do you think it would cost to build that sail rig? Perhaps I could build it as a proa with longer akas on one side with only one ama? Have you build this boat yourself? here is the one I was bouncing ideas off of: https://www.wharram.com/site/catalog/building-plans/ethnic-designs/melanesia but yours is a nicer boat hands down. I have kind of been restricting my ideas to boats with sail rigs that I can make out of wood/white polytarp, I'm not ready to invest a lot of capital into a home-made boat [rig]... I'm new to this. I'm still not sure I wont build crappy boat (I'll try my best!).

    I have very limited experience wood-working: high school shop class, small projects like slapping 2x4's and plywood together for a work bench, built a crude table for my last sailboat's cabin, etc. However, I am an aircraft electrician by trade, so I am exceptionally good at following directions from a book!!! And diagrams!!! haha as long as i have a decent set of plans I should be alright.
     
  5. Alex.A
    Joined: Feb 2010
    Posts: 348
    Likes: 9, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 108
    Location: South Africa

    Alex.A Senior Member

    Have you looked at Gary Dierkings boats? Wa-apa might suit you.
     
  6. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 2,425
    Likes: 45, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 579
    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    I haven't built the Trika.
    Don't go changing the design since you have no experience with boats. Its a sure way to make something that doesn't work.
    You are going to pay for the designers experience.

    This is a low powered (small sail area, short mast) boat - you certainly can make a polytarp sail. Just follow Todd Bradshaw's directions on making a sail.

    Boats are generally expensive, but this ought to be relatively cheap. If you are going to cut corners until the boat doesn't work, find another hobby.
    Your girl's lives are going to be out on the water. Not that it should be all that hard.
     
  7. white crown
    Joined: Feb 2017
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Washington

    white crown New Member

    Bad news, my wife has been following this project, and she has decided that I am not going to take the kids out on a scratch-built home made boat. If she gets even an inkling something is unsafe, its done. She's a great mother.

    Good news, she is OK with me buying a $1700 canoe. I'll have to wait until I live in a place again with space for a boat, then if Chesapeak Light Craft is still selling "Pocket Ship" kits, I will re-attempt to enter this hobby. That is the boat that I want to eventually build, and buying the hull and sail components as a kit will ensure proper materials/methods are used.

    As far as design, I had collected about 20 free sets of plans just using them to study different building methods and attachments/materials. I was thinking more along the lines of using the Trika hull shape because it looked very efficient, with someone else's pre-designed dimensions on a single outrigger but using the same ama. I also have saved guides from people who claim/seem to be experienced, on building different styles of sail rigs from different materials, how they perform, and how to calculate sail area and where the center is. I wasn't planning on winging it, but you are absolutely right, I don't have the knowledge to positively ascertain if an amalgamation of two or three plans will be safe. I claim to be good at following directions, and here I am trying to follow several different directions at the same time, which isn't following directions at all. That's why I posted here, to see from you experienced folks before I actually did it. Sometimes the best advice is the advice you don't want to hear.

    Thanks all for your advice. Time to go paddling! Any time on the water is good time, and well spent. Fair winds and following seas.
     
  8. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 2,425
    Likes: 45, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 579
    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    What a pity.
    No way to ever prove that your self made boat is good.

    Good luck in the future.
     
  9. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 2,666
    Likes: 114, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    That is a Bummer, WhiteCrown. I figure that since you are an aircraft electrician you are damned careful about what you do and that you are accustomed to getting things right the first time. You could almost surely build a serviceable boat. Please do not validate your argument by telling your wife that some old fool in a forum said so. :)

    All joking aside, I understand and respect the misgivings that your children's mother may have.

    In the beginning, I see no reason to spend $1700 for a canoe. Sure that would buy a very nice one but for the sake of experimentation, why not buy an approximately $400 dollar canoe. If you learn that the little ones do not take to canoeing or that both you and they want to try something else.....you can see where I am going with this ....right. Price and the degree of safety for a canoe is not a directly equated factor. Degree of Elegance, yes.

    In any case, welcome to the forum. It is a fun, informative, and friendly place.
     
  10. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 61, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Not entirely true. But true if you are planning to power it with just one sail.

    The trick to rigging really narrow boats with sufficient Sail Area (SA) is to spread the SA out along its Length. This will mean a cat ketch or even cat schooner with two masts and low Aspect Ratio sails.

    I can imagine one rigged with two boomed lateen sails with just 7 ft booms and yards. All six spars would then be able to fit inside the boat. This would provide a modest but effective sailing rig for times when the wind starts making paddling a chore. This modest rig of approximately 40 sf would then be at its best.

    A third mast step could provide for quick reefing, allowing one of the sails to be struck and the other to be moved to a more central location.

    The ends of this boat could have bulkheads and decks, providing dry storage and emergency flotation.

    As for the wife. I'd take her out in it first (after making damned sure there were no leaks, of course). I'd even "accidentally" capsize it, with her in it, to show her how easy it would be to recover and get back sailing again.
     
  11. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 2,666
    Likes: 114, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    SharpieII you are setting this nice man up for a divorce..... or worse if the wife happens to be the type inclined to make use a shotgun. :D
     
  12. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 61, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    You have a point there. Perhaps the wiser approach would be to have the boat in capsized condition to start out with, then have him swim out to right it and recover it. Being a very narrow boat, with flotation in the ends, this should be quite easy.

    I once designed a boat of similar proportions for a design contest for WOODENBOAT magazine. It was for very young sailors, and one of the requirements was that it would be easy to self-rescue. I decided on a very narrow scow with a deep rocker. Flotation was to be made of blue construction foam fastened to the inside of the sides. This foam only provided about 50 lbs of buoyancy per side, and did not extend to the very bottom of the boat.

    This way, it was hoped, the boat would swamp but resist turtling when capsized. The young sailor, if thrown overboard would be able to pull one side down under her/him, then swim back on board. Then, the theory goes, his/her weight, on the bottom would help stabilize the boat until it could be bailed out.

    I didn't even place in the contest, but I thought of a what if.

    What if I built one of these for my nieces (around the right age at the time)?

    At what point would I feel comfortable to turn a 7 or 8 year-old loose with such a vessel?

    I decided that it would be when each proved she could rescue the completely swamped boat by herself, in deep water--and maybe even with the boat turtled, on top of that.
     
  13. BobBill
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 693
    Likes: 10, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 157
    Location: Minnesotan wakes up daily, in SE MN, a good start,

    BobBill Senior Member

    Pirogue

    I am late to this...smart wife who understands, but has doubts about hubby's skills...?

    Build the Pirogue as a pirogue. Build a sailboat or outrigger as sailboat or outrigger...and while building remember it is a boat...no assumptions; no shortcuts. Screw-ups must be removed and fixed...etc...only then put life and limb in harm's way...PM me you want a view.
     

  14. BobBill
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 693
    Likes: 10, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 157
    Location: Minnesotan wakes up daily, in SE MN, a good start,

    BobBill Senior Member

Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.