Quick and Daring design/build/race challenge this weekend

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Petros, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    All of you in the Puget Sound area may want to check out the wooden boat show at the Center for Wooden Boats at the south end of lake Union in Seattle Washington. free sailing, wooden boats on display, live music, maritime heritage museum displays, food, etc.

    My building partner and I have again entered the contest. We will be building our entry at the event on Friday. Other teams will be building on Thursday and Saturday as well. and than the boats and teams race on lake union on Sunday july 7th.

    The contest is based on a max of 24 hours build time, and completing a three legged race where at least one leg is mandatory sail power, one leg is muscle powered, and third leg is crews option.

    total score is based on the time to build, the weight of the tools used, the cost of the materials, the workmanship, design and of course the race results. No testing is allowed before the race, the first time the boat goes in the water is at the race. Consequently as many as half the entries sink.

    It is always a blast to watch. We will be there in a boat I designed that has a wood frame and a composite skin made from recycled cardboard and adhesive. over the last three years we have won the race once, but came in second on the points total twice, and also sank one year! Hopefully we can win this year.
     
  2. tomas
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    tomas Senior Member

    Hi Petros

    Good luck and post some videos on youtube.
     
  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Good luck, Petros-sounds like fun!
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Best of luck, Petros. I hope you win by more than a nose. '>
     
  5. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    We are rooting for you Petros. Actually we have confidence that you will smoke the competition. That event sounds like a helluva lot of fun no matter who wins. I'd be a cheering spectator except that I live in Florida which is about as far as one can get from your venue.
     
  6. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    OK Petros, the weekend is over and I trust that you did not drown or otherwise come to grief. We are anxiously awaiting your race report. :?:
     
  7. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Results are in. We won the race by a long shot, but came in a close second by total points. We had the best looking boat by far, but our build time was high, and of the various categories where we get points the judges were not keen on using cardboard for the hull material. It was an experiment to use corrugated cardboard, that I covered with cotton fabric and Tightbond glue to form an all natural and non-toxic fiber composite. It worked quite well, no leaks and made a fairly stout hull skin. The only problem is it pushed our time out to the longest build time at 10.5 hours (much of that was doing a fairly good construction compared to the others, that were kind of crudely built). we also had the low tool weight of only 14 lbs of tools used, cost to build was about $140 in materials, not counting paint.

    had we shaved some build time off, or even went regular skin-on-frame hull, we would have been far ahead in total points. The judges are traditional wood boat builders, and I guess do not take keely to the "innovation" of using cardboard as hull material. Innovators are just not appreciated I guess.

    We built a trimiran, about 17 ft long main hull, with a modified junk rig sail, the amas were about 3 ft long and a foot deep, sharp keel line so they acted also like a keel for the boat. It was by far the best sailing boat there, both the rig and the ama/keels made it sail well, fast and controllable. the others used a square tarp and both had rig failures.

    I attached two pictures, more later as they get sent to me from those that took them. first picture was our wining as we cross the finish line (I am in front), you can see the blue float right in from of my partner Carlin. We took our flags out to wave them as we crossed the finish line. In the first picture the next boat is coming in (the white one, the mast failed, and the oar locks failed so they are paddling in). the other picture is where we came back to the dock, you can see the construction better.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    more pictures:

    First one is the start, before any of the boats touch the water, the white boat behind us is a canvas skin-on-frame rowing dory with a blue tarp sail. the third competitor had to launch at another site, their boat was too large and heavy to carry to this dock. there were only three competitors this year, the others dropped out before the contest started (they usually have six or seven "quick and daring" builds, more fun and usually some of them sink).

    Next one is us at the start of the race (the blue float in front of us is the starting line), first leg was supposed to be down wind under sail but the wind kept shifting, which helped us since we could actually make headway in a reach. The white rowing dory actually made a faster start and was off first (you can see them in the next picture out ahead), but we passed them under sail. Without a keel nor rudder (they used their paddles to steer) could not control their boat and actually missed the buoy, and than their mast failed so they had to row around the buoy (and lost points).

    the next one is after the start, the white boat is ahead (blue tarp sail), and the other competitor is trying to raise their sails and get their boat turned around. they had no functional rudder, and had massive sails that did not work very well, it was a large catamaran made from two cardboard tubes used to make concrete columns. We are underway and pointed towards the next buoy, you can see the white boat is not pointed in the correct direction.

    the last picture is the catamaran underway, last off the line. they could not finish since they could not control their boat and had to paddle it around the buoys.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Excellent!
     
  10. tomas
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    tomas Senior Member

    Congratulations.

    Did the 10.5 hours include the time for the glue to harden?

    Did they view the cardboard as unsafe and/or reckless?
     
  11. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    it was total hours to build the boat with two person team. they did not think the cardboard was durable enough to make viable boat. Total score is based on this (low score wins):

    Speed of building Minutes/3
    Cost of materials $/2
    Showmanship 1-6 x 10
    Originality 1-6 x 10
    Aesthetics 1-6 x 10
    Speed (sail & row) 1-6 x 10
    Design Worth Keeping 0-200
    Tool weight pounds x 2

    they have four "judgement" categories: showmanship, Originality, Aesthetics and Design worth Keeping. I did not get the score we got for each, but they did not consider the cardboard hull as a "design worth keeping" so I scored low in that area. But it seems to me that the design can be done in plywood, skin-on-frame, or any other hull covering, the hull covering material does not make up the design. Even if you were the low score in all of the objective measures, if the judges do not like it they can put you out of the running. So, like many contests like this, you have to get inside the judge's head and try to understand what it is they would score well.

    making a composite takes too much time, the frame has to get skinned with the cardboard (trim to fit, staple to the frame), and than the fabric covering has to get laid out, trimmed and the adhesive spread out on it. with plywood or fabric skin you go over it just once.

    We have entered skin-on-frame in the past, we will likely go back to that. fabric costs less than plywood, though the frame is a little more complicated to build. I had also considered a tortured plywood hull, but even with cheap plywood it drives the cost way up. As you can see, it is a complicated formula in trade-offs in cost vs. speed to build vs. tools. In the past we usually spent less than $100 on materials.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  12. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Looks like a pretty cool design.

    You said it could reach.

    Could it sail up wind.

    What did you do with it after the race was over?
     
  13. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    with a little more time to build a proper rudder, and perhaps putting some camber into the sail, it would reach better. As it was, it would not make much headway in a reach, we sailed around in a circle after we won (a victory lap), so it had some reaching ability. We did not have much time to experiment, the wind was constantly shifting. they needed us back for the race debrief.

    My wife warned me not to bring it home, we already have something like seven or eight boats, or boat projects, around our property. I saved the rig, and the good wood out of it and paddles, cut up the rest and put it in the dumpster. Several of the previous years boats I did save because they had more permanent skin and structure on them.

    We will stay with a similar overall design I think next year, but come up with ways to save build time and perhaps lower the cost, and use traditional skin on frame construction.
     
  14. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    Congrats! Second on subjective points is bothersome when your design did not fail in any way. I think they didn't appreciate the 'post consumer materials' but that is a big achievement. I am sure there were no wives among the judges -if there were, they would all appreciate that the boat comes from the dumpster and goes back to the dumpster. My cold molded 14ft was expelled from my parents lake house this weekend -back to Chicago to sell. That makes 6 boats at my house -8 hulls. Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

    If you want to make a more permanent version, maybe you could use plastic sign board.
     

  15. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    why is a having 8 boats a problem? I see no problem. You see the key to staying married is to compromise between your sometimes different goals and desires.

    My wife thinks having just one boat is reasonable, I think having 20 is about right (one for each of the different reasons you might need a boat). So a reasonable compromise would be ten.

    thanks for the congrats.
     
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