Pocket Caravel, asking too much?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by JamesG123, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Hi, New member here and new to wooden boat building, although I've sailed a few. Thought I would cut to the chase and post my question as my first post.


    I have an idea for a design, one that originated as an idea of a sailboat shaped playhouse for my kids. I thought it would be neat to have a small boat that could both serve as a playhouse for them and their friends in the backyard when out of the water but was also a functional boat as well.

    Okay, you are probably thinking, lots of people do that with their "real" boats. Here is where it gets interesting, my kids love "pirate ships"... So of course it needs to look like an old sailing ship. The complication is that Georgia limits unregistered, uninspected (I am NOT hauling my playhouse to Macon, GA!) to 12' LOA or less. So that is my size limit.

    Sooo.... I am trying to cram a classically shaped ship into 12 functional feet of boat that is safe and fit for fair lake sailing for two adults and a pair of half-pints. There in lies my doubt. I have sketched out the following design:

    [​IMG]

    It's notionally a late 16th century Caravel, lanteen rigged, with enough space aboard to sleep 4 with head and minimal galley (kids gotta eat and poop). It would NOT need to follow historical building techniques, in fact, it needs to be rather lightly built. My main concern is that it seems like it needs to be excessively tall in order to accomodate adult headroom in the fore and aft castles, and I want the midships to be high enough to have useful "holds" for sleeping below or storing the "stuff" that Moms like to bring with them on outings. I don't think I can get CG sufficently low even with concrete ballast aside the keel board for stability to be high enough to allow people to actually walk the maindeck (not to mention climb up on the castles!)

    Am I right here in thinking this isn't practical? Or do you think I could get away with it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    I would recommend two changes: an extra 2' or 3' of length will make her prettier; below the waterline a more modern keel set up will be safer ... maybe twin keels so it won't need to be lifted on and off a cradle when on land.

    Beyond that there was a thread on square sails not too long ago and I posted some links about rigging, in particular how folks making model boats, for RC or set-up-and-sail, were simplified for easier management that should translate over to manned boats.
     
  3. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Hi, Thanks for the reply.

    Yeah, length would solve a lot of problems, but its a pretty hard restriction. Twin keel/hulls would make the classical lines hard to pull off. One of the things I was planning would be a wheeled cradle trailer for moving it around anyway.

    Thanks for the tip on the rigging threads, I'll search them out if I decide to pursue this project.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    The drawing isn't possible, nor particularly practical. A 2 ton (quick in my head math) 12' boat seems frankly silly, just to avoid some registration fees. You'll need a tandem axle trailer just to haul it around! Now, I realize you don't understand yacht design, but you can have the play ground equipment or the faux pirate ship, but both, especially if a 2 ton, 12' long thing, just will not be a reasonable expectation.

    Above the LWL is all you need to focus on, as below, no one is going to know, nor understand. I don't think twin fins or bilge keels is reasonable or necessary. Hell, you don't even need one really, with the extreme burden this will have and it's likely resulting performance envelop.

    Given the unique and odd nature of a vessel like above, you should consider discussion with a professional, as self designing something like this, so it can offer the safety you'd likely require for the kids, isn't something to be left to chance or some good guessing. At 12', you can just kiss off the idea that you'll sleep 4, have a head or standup headroom. It's just not possible, without a pirate shaped Winnebago parked on it's deck. The simple thing would be to get a couple of refrigerator boxes and cut them up into shapes that will permit you to standup, offer berthing space, etc., very quickly you'll note you need considerably more length. You'd be hard pressed to do this in 20' of length.
     
  5. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    "pirate shaped Winnegago..." LOL.

    Thanks for your input. I pretty much concur. Sometimes it fun to daydream silly dreams.
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Build a rough mock-up to see what it is like to have 4 people couped up in that space, you will realise the impracticability of it from that alone, without all the other worries you would have making it work.
     
  7. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Kids have great imaginations , find a clapped out 25 ft sail boat on a trailer , and just tell them they are Pirates!
     
  8. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    True. I laid out the length of keel and beam with tape measures and... yeah.

    Sure. But where's the fun for Dad? ;)
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The OP has drawn some nice pictures though, and I am starting to see the appeal of it ! :p
     
  10. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    One way to overcome the stability issue is to increase beam, and have more tumbledome... Might look a "bit" funny thou, flat bottom, 12'LOA and 11'Beam :D
     
  11. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Hi again. Twin external ballasted keels is what I meant.

    BTW: I glanced at Georgia's exception list and it's under 12' for a sailboat; however, for human powered vehicles it's simply "human powered". Texas is more explicit as says no matter the length. So how about a pirate galley instead? You would not be restricted to under 12'. William Kidd's Adventure was a Galley equipped with sails. You could use your masts to support a comfort awning rather than sails (which would permit a lower, prettier sheer line). It would then be like any large canoe for rowing.
     
  12. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Might as well make it look like a floating hamburger bun (which... I have actually thought about before). :D
     
  13. claydog
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    claydog Junior Member

    Best way to go, IMO, careful visual mods to an existing old boat would let you have a functional boat that can be registered, then let the kids imagination do the rest.
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Kids will have comfortable sitting headroom in three feet
     

  15. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    By the time it all came to fruition, the kids could be just about guaranteed to have lost interest in pirates, and moved on to other fascinations !
     
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