Race to Alaska Boat Design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by BlueBell, May 7, 2017.

  1. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 51
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    New to the forum, be gentle.

    A friend is wanting to build a fast, purpose built boat for the 2018 Race to Alaska. He too lives in Victoria and realizes the home advantage we hold. We both have some experience in sail racing here on the coast but seem to differ in our opinion of what would be a winning design.

    Any ideas you'd like to share?

    Thanks.
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    The R2AK race is a bit of an odd ball, but all you need to do is look at the boats that have previously won, to get an idea how to be competitive. There are serious things to consider, such as the lowering of sails in the inner, middle and upper harbor areas, so the boat needs to be light enough to row, sweep or otherwise motivate, without power. What do you guys think is a "winning design"?
     
  3. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 51
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Thanks PAR.
    What "guys" are you referring to, you're forum mates or us two guys?
    He's thinking along the lines you are, I'm thinking something wave-piercing.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Well you two, as what we think is going to be pretty irrelevant once you get underway. My thinking is I'd rather be on top of the water, while rowing, rather than trying to plow my way through, with a deck carrying the waves.
     
    kerosene likes this.
  5. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 51
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Thanks PAR.

    We are a long way from getting underway so your ideas and input are sought... please.

    A "winning design" isn't going to use rowing much. It's too slow.
    And when rowing is needed, it's usually pretty calm anyway so no plowing through waves.
    Worst case, white caps in the harbour making for a 1 1/2 mile row in, and out.

    I was thinking sailing from an enclosed, sealed cockpit with the whole vessel semi-submersible.
    It seems like most wave piercers suffer horrible velocity loss when penetrating.
    A lighter, lower profile boat would reduce, and hopefully eliminate that.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    From the little I know about the race, you can expect to row a fair bit. A semi-submersible would make a lousy sailor, if only from the dramatic increase in wetted area, compaired to a more conventional approuch. What you'll want is a naturally fast boat, that's good on all points of sail, that's light enough to row and carry your stores. Screw getting fancy or hopeful on speculative stuff, like sailing submarines or wave piercing attributes. Focus on a boat that is fairly easy to keep in the groove, easy sail handling in rough condisions and the capacity you need. Maybe a beach cat with a doghouse made from PVC pipes and some fabric, to keep things light and relatively dry.
     
  7. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 51
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Thanks PAR but we're interested in a winning, purpose built boat.
    Crew fatigue and comfort are to be a priority I would think, so no fabric on PVC pipe doghouses.
     
  8. Tiny Turnip
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Location: Huddersfield, UK

    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Hi Bluebell.
    PAR knows his stuff.
    There's some excellent detailed analysis on last years race on the R2AK website. Previous Races | Race to Alaska https://r2ak.com/previous-races/
    Seems to me that a big, modern multihull (or possibly a skiffy mono) with plenty of crew is going to win if there's any wind. Even if there isn't, they seem to do pretty well under human power. A lot of boats seem to go for pedal driven props. Bad Kitty had an interesting very large, hi aspect ratio surface piercing (mostly out of the water in fact) prop, and they reckon to have propelled it (a 34 foot catamaran) at 5.5 knots under human power alone. I think Mad Dog had pedal power too, not that they used it. And the nearest they got to a cabin was a bivvy bag.
    Anyway - best of luck - great project and a great race. Wish I was in a position to have a crack at it!
     
  9. Eric Lundy
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Vermont

    Eric Lundy New Member

    Hi all. I am new to the forum as well. I am also planning a R2AK boat for 2018. My thoughts are coming together as to a boat I'd like to build. There are several categories this year to win. I am unsure if all these categories will exist in 2018.
    They include $10k for the outright winner.
    $10k for the first crew to finish willing to sell their boat to the race comittee.
    Also $1k for the first boat under 20' long to finish.
    We'll not count the steak knives.

    To win outright. You will need a boat that carries 2+ people. The last winner kept sailing or pedaling day and night. Impossible for a singlehanded entry i think.
    To win every prize. You will need a 20' boat that is cheap and fast as all hell. If you forget the 1k prize then just cheap and fast. For a monohull to be fast enough it will need to be pretty big. Which isnt cheap. A multihull won the last two so starting there is good. Second last year was a big monohull i think but again not cheap or easy to go that big.
    My plans are leaning toward a 3 person trimaran. That keeps 2 sailing/human powering 1 sleeping.
    My design elements are a little odd but i plan on winning all 3 categories. So my boat will have some interesting features.
    Lightweight, cheap as all heck, 20' long , 2 masted soft reefable wingsails, foils... the human drive is still up in the air. But am going to design a simple fin drive like a dolphin attached to the back of the amas. Powered by just rocking the boat to make the appropriate sine wave. I will have the fastest cheapest solution by race day.
     
  10. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Your going to need 6 months of hard sailing to work out all your new inventions.
    Better get building.

    3 persons on 20'?
     
  11. Eric Lundy
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 4
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    Location: Vermont

    Eric Lundy New Member

    Yep. 6 months dev and build. 6m test and balance.
    3 person seemed like an ideal crew in general but I'd forego the 20' limit on the $1k prize and go bigger for 3 person crew.
    Otherwuse I'd run a 2 person crew on something 20'
     
  12. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: UK, USA and Canada

    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I drew the Salish 28 for a couple of guys who were almost the first to enter the R2Ak in 2014, just after it was first announced. Sadly they didn't finish it in time. But you can see the design and my thoughts on the race here

    Sailing Catamarans - Salish 28 minimum coastal racer http://sailingcatamarans.com/index.php/designs-2/3-25ft-to-30ft-catamarans-designs/432-salish-28

    Although the Salish didn't enter I did, racing in both events but sadly not finishing either. The first year I was on Golden Oldies, winner of the first leg. And the second year on Bad Kitty, second on the first leg. And probably a race winner this year. I have some videos of both races on my youtube channel Woods Designs https://www.youtube.com/user/WoodsDesigns

    The main thing I would say after that experience, as far as the design is concerned, is "forget the oars" go pedal drive. And forget any thought of "sail and oar" boat unless you are very tough and don't mind coming in last. Furthermore, you will want the boat in the water by say end January 2018 at the latest. Don't worry that you find it cold and windy to sail then, it matches the conditions north of Port Hardy!

    I am in Port Townsend right now, but will be leaving before the start

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  13. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Delta BC

    JSL Senior Member

    you are dealing with some currents and tides so speed is important.... unless you want to wait for a long while.
    Not sure about AK but here in BC 6 to 8 knots are common in passes. If that's too boring we have one that tops out around 17 knots on a full ebb or flood.
     
  14. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: UK, USA and Canada

    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    We went through Seymour Narrows at the top of the ebb - 11 knots of tide - into 30 knot headwind. "Interesting". The coastguard took photos, this is one with me steering.

    R2AKnicepair.jpg

    see more here


    The following year we did the same again, only this time 7 knots of tide. Less "interesting"

    Don't worry, you will do a LOT of human power. I think the longest we pedalled was 8 hours, basically past Hornby to the top of Texada, seen in this video

    Other boats pedalled even longer, 18 hours IIRC

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     

  15. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
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    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    If that was faster, don't you think the shorthanded offshore racers and the America's Cup teams would have thought of it?

    If you can out-think everyone in the world in an activity in which you only have "some experience" then your brains are being wasted looking at sailing boats when you could be bringing fusion power and universal peace to the world.
     
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