Pontoon Boat Conversion to Sailboat

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by lowe210, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. GOTTABSOMEWHERE
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    GOTTABSOMEWHERE Junior Member

    Iowe



    HERE'S AN IDEA FROM 100 YEARS AGO

    Go to www.gundalow.org

    Check out that sail................it works..........I did it

    Go to stabiliyty section here and check out photos
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Scaling that down to typical pontoon boat size gives you 100-200 sq ft so the previous posts are on the right track. Leeboard need not be very large if upwind work is not intended, say 3% of sail area. The only problem I can see is the starter of the thread appears to have gone away; only one post!
     
  3. souljour2000
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    I say go for it... sometimes you just want to have fun and you know pretty much what you can get away with and what you can't. Who is going to take a friggin square-rigged former Sunray 24' pontoon boat out in more than say 12-15 knots of wind which is way more than enough to get this thing going good anyway? If one did then they should be a fairly experienced sailor with some different boats and lots of miles under their belt, not to mention a good basic understanding of physics. In the meantime I say lots of fun with this project and consider putting an A-frame mast or a "stump" mast on it with a real big lateen sail hangin off it or in the case of the a-frame mast "between it".Some slots welded against the insides of the each pontoons and toward the rear...and then with slots in the deck above these lower slots will allow for two big keelboards to be raised and lowered...let us know how it turns out...you'll have to make some adjustments after the first trial I am sure but sounds like a hoot!
     
  4. danerandall314
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    danerandall314 New Member

    20 ft Tri-Hull Pontoon Coastal Cruiser

    [​IMG]

    In November of 2009 a friend and I bought a 20ft old pontoon for $150. For the last 2 months we have been converting it into a sailing tri-meran. We used the pontoon flanges to install deckboards, Iako mounts, storage containers, and a paddle seat. We built Iako's out of PT 2x4 (rather use aluminum tubes but too expensive). We built the outriggers out of four 6'' thin walled PVC piping. The ends were heated and bent upwards and we installed two saddle mounts using PT wood to each outrigger. They were eventually capped, painted, and we installed drain plugs on each one. We used bamboo for a lot of applications on the boat. We split 5' bamboo into four sections and built 5'x8' platforms to set up our tents on. The stubmast, mast, and boom are all made out of spar varnished bamboo. The sail was made out of using thick polytarp. It was cut, taped, sewed, and grommets were mounted on the luft. The centerboard was created out of laminated red oak, sanded and varnished, and installed with a swing mount to one of the pontoon flanges. There is no rudder, we used a 11ft 2x6 piece of black locust, cut, routed, sanded, and varnished as our steering oar. If you want to check out our boat and designs go to www.apacolypso.wordpress.com, and yes we know we spelled it wrong. Check it out!
     
  5. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    Cool...nice pics..those oars are stout-looking..I miss my old rowboat now...well I am in the market for a dinghy...either to build or buy..anyways...let us now how she sails...the main thing is you have something that will get you onto the water.... so you's can have FUN....
     
  6. GOTTABSOMEWHERE
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    GOTTABSOMEWHERE Junior Member

    danderhal 314

    Looks like you are having fun..............I have no idea if that will work but I would comment on is your choice of sail.

    Take a look at these pics of my "tridory"
     
  7. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I love its 'Flight of the Pheonix' look.

    I just wonder if its going to be a bit under canvased with only 80 sf of sail.

    It looks to me like you have 300 to 400 lbs of boat here. Add to that two 200 lb sailors and maybe 200 lbs of provisions and equipment and you're around 1000 lbs., giving you an S/D of 12.8, or there abouts.

    That would be like a modern trimaran reefed down. A lot of them have S/D's in the high teens or low 20's. Of course, Polynesians did not have any way to reef.

    Still, I think its kinda cool. An alternative for the multhull concept, to the stressed out, hyperlight, over sparred, don't ask the price, speed machine.

    It will be interesting to see how it performs.
     
  8. kalalaukind
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    kalalaukind New Member

    Thank you for your feedback. I imagine it is quite obvious that this is the first boat I have ever designed and built. She was designed as you have described, "an alternative for the multhull concept, to the stressed out, hyperlight, over sparred, don't ask the price, speed machine." We wanted a slow, stable coastal cruiser that you could camp on if need be and that cost less than $1000. If she breaks 4 knots I will be thrilled!

    As you also mentioned, Polynesian rigs were not built to reef and my greatest concern was putting up too much sail area and being accidentally caught in heavy gusts. I would rather cruise slow for two months than paddle back to the land onetime with a busted sailboat. We have incorporated a spiller/brail line for spilling some wind in those conditions. However, the natural strength of our large diameter bamboo mast, yard and boom are essentially untested and the last thing I wanted to do was build a sail that might shred them in gusts.

    Luckily our 11 oz polytarp sail(stuff is strong), material and labor only cost us $75. At less than a $1/sf I would be happy to replace it later with a larger one if the rigging can handle it. A hint for budget sail builders, common automobile upholstery shops will sew a sail with heavy duty UV treated thread for a fraction of the cost per hour of a sail shop and they will do a good job if you tape up the seams and show them where you want it sewed.

    I will update this thread when we have 'flown this phoenix' in the waters of South Florida.

    yaarrrggh!

    edit: This boat is more of a prototype for exploring the use of pontoons in affordable, trailerable and durable sail boats. The ultimate design of which is sketched out our site. A pontoon tepuke, in the style of the island of Taumako could be built with two pontoons secured stern to stern. This would make a double ended, single outrigger proa, driven by an enormous crab claw rig. As I see it, a welded aluminum box frame could be fabricated to span both the sterns of the pontoons and simultaneously provide an elevated tower to connect Iakos to and ample storage space for supplies.

    Link to my pontoon tepuke sketch: http://apacolypso.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/tepukepontoonboxdeck.jpg?w=510&h=265

    Link to a video of an actual tepuke from Taumako underway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXt4PL2R1aU
     
  9. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    Looks like a fun project...I do have a few words of advice. If you are not used to sailing South Florida in the winter...it would be good to know that it can get dicey out there when the winter cold fronts occasionally get further south. Frankly,the water will be cold whether a front comes down or not and you guys will be in a wet boat.....I would bring alot of wet weather gear and extra dry clothes .......It is an El Nino year so things are a bit screwy.Be safe...consider hunkering down somewhere if a cold front approaches..The winds are generally highest Before the rain actually arrives...Make sure you have at least a handheld VHF radio...keep it someplace where it wont fall overboard easily and have extra batteries...aarrggh! Okay..I'm done...Have lots of fun...let us know how your trip went..or we will check the website!
     
  10. kalalaukind
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    kalalaukind New Member

    Thank you for the advice, it is well appreciated. I just now noticed you are from Sarasota. I was born and raised in Venice by a family of true crackers. In fact, I have considered launching from the house my great grandfather built in Nokomis near Casey key. I am familiar with the variable winter weather down there, but what type of affordable wet weather gear would you recommend for such an adventure? Shorty wet suit maybe? Lots of wool?

    Last year danerandall314 and I took a bicycle camp trip from Tampa to Punta Gorda where we got a taste of those fronts moving south. We did as you suggested and hunkered down for a few days at what we thought was a hidden public beach park between Siesta and Casey Key. It turns out we had been camping in Stephen King's backyard, whom we met the day we left as we traversed his palatial estate at 7AM. We had been pushing the call button on his private gate which was separating us from the public road with no idea who lived there. We both got a laugh when we realized we may have in fact startled Stephen King himself.

    The beach camping bans and the ridiculous permitting process common to all of Florida is the number one reason we designed and built a vessel of this type. So, we can pitch tents on the boat when we have to and avoid statute and ordinance violations.

    We do have a handheld VHF, USCG 2 mile Scotty Sea Light for night time mooring, flares, preservers, a horn, and enough fishing supplies to open up an outfitters shop.

    Anyhow, thanks for the time. This site rocks!
     
  11. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Getting back to the original question, how about a standing lug rig for a motor-sailing pontoon boat? Short spars that can be stowed onboard, simple rigging, reasonable efficiency, no boom as a potential headknocker on a party boat. And a pontoon boat is certainly wide enough to set a loose-footed sail at a good angle...
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
  12. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    That story about meeting Stephen King is great...that area is strangely enough called...well..Midnight Pass....Rather apropos eh? The Pass was "closed" in the early eighties by an area artist who owned the first house on the north side of Midnight Pass.(Stephen King's is the first house on the south side of the old Midnight Pass.)Anyway..the artist-guy rented a bulldozer after getting permission from the County (my..my.. alot has changed)and shoveled sand until the tiny pass was closed...it changed the biology of the back bays along the ICW that were now isolated from the regular saltwater mixing. Ever since...many locals have been calling for it to be re-opened but last year the state DEP pretty much ruled out that ever happening...because alot of sea grass has grown in that back bay area now...and the Feds don't play with "established" passes anymore unless it's a federal channel...They still call the area "midnight Pass" and its a cool place to explore and chill out...with access for boats on the bay side and gulf...and trails winding amongst the sand dunes...
    It's going to take a direct hit hurricane to re-open that pass now...

    I can't recommend any rain gear or cold weather gear except I have heard hollowfill is good and probably gore-tex and so forth...I really don' know though honestly...anyone?
     
  13. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Attached Files:

  14. ThomD
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    ThomD Senior Member

    I always figured that the low hanging fruit with pontoon boats was creating them with better hulls rather than using bad hulls for other projects, though one works with what one has. I did a small cat with that idea in mind at one point. Pontoon boats can be pretty useful, though they sorta depend on low gas prices... Have fun with the project.
     

  15. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Bump....
     
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