Restoring Crowther Buccaneer 33 - Rigging Advice

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by SteveMc, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. SteveMc
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    SteveMc Junior Member

    Have enjoyed reading about trimaran design and history through this site, so have registered to see what more I can learn while I am restoring a Crowther Buccaneer 33, first built in Townsville QLD in the early 1980s. Her name was Stormtrooper, changed to Aquilla II. Her sister boat (built at the same time?) was Minotaur and reputedly was a Brisbane-Gladstone race winner.

    Her main hull has been completely replaced ply and re-glassed, with a new bow deck, cabin top, and raised stern section to provide a wider aft deck area. To make use of this space, I have set about attaching a wheel (cable steering to external rudder) to a small box like bulkhead I have built between cockpits. The 1.8m traveller will run atop the aft beam.

    In the final stages of painting, so I am soon ready to stand the stiff old 'canberra lamp post' mast, reset all the chain plates, and replace all running rigging. So now would be a good time to ask if anyone has had experience sailing on these 33's and might have some suggestions on how the rigging performed.

    She will be a day-sailor on the bay mostly with the occasional trip just outside the bay, some racing for fun when crew is able, some short camping... I'm attracted to all her lines, wide deck area, the shallow draft, flat sailing and stability (for inexperienced crew), speed in light breezes, comfort when touring, and setup cost compared to $100+k cats.

    Some rigging items I am curious to hear about are:

    - The performance of these box-beam ama's when fully loaded up to windward/abeam - how do they, and the rig behave?
    - The sails are spent and will be replaced soon - how appropriate/useful would a more roached, full-battened main be?
    - Would it pay to attach light, running backstays (using Spectra rope) to the rear of the ama's for use when running, in addition to the bridled backstay?
    - Headsail sheets run back to tracks along the rear outside top edges of the cabin, as opposed to along the cabin's narrow lower deck?
    - Use of spinnaker, both star-cut and asymmetric - how best to optimize rig for handling, use of prodder possible?
    - Performance when reaching, how high do they go, better than cats?
    - Would it pay to reduce all weight from the bow, e.g. run the anchor chain via PVC pipe aft toward the centerboard case?

    That's too much info already, my enthusiasm is growing as I near re-launch day and bring her home to Manly Harbour.

    Comments welcome.
    Steve
     

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  2. catsketcher
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Bucc 33 experts

    Hello

    Your project looks good. AS I recall the Bucc 33 always had alloy tube beams. Yours must have had different beams installed. I have never sailed a Bucc 33. You could try contacting Dudley Young, he used to be the Commodore of MYC. 11 years ago he lived near the centre of Brisbane. He now has a cat. Look in the last few multihull world mags to see his stories. Also contact Jim Stubbings at Multihull Yacht sales. He had a nice Bucc 33 too.

    Cheers

    Phil Thompson
     
  3. TriDave
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    TriDave Junior Member

    your Buc project

    I have owned one of these for the last 9 months with it out in my yard for repairs for the last 6. My boat has foam sadwich hulls, with plywood cabinand decks. The little bit of rotten plywood decking turned out to extend into the sheer timbers and the cross beam. I am replacing it all at this time and hope to be back in the water in a couple of more months.
    I can talk on some of your points from my experience with my boat though I only sailed her 6 times.

    My beams are alloy with a wooden box structure across the bottom. Even with the wooden lower section substantially rotted, there was no evidence of flex or movement, but this is quite a diferent structure from yours.

    The prior owner replaced the main sail with a large high tech full batten racing sail. It has 12 or 13 full length battens with the bottom six or seven all the same length. It is a huge sail which extends about 1.5 meters beyond where the backstay used to be. This is a very powerful sail and easily exceeds windspeed below 8 knots with a pretty dirty bottom.
    I have a rather massive oval section mast, which is not the best shape for this type sail. If I had a mast section more like yours, I would rig it rotating to take advantage of the full batten sail.
    The back stay has been removed and replaced by a Y shaped arrangement linking the upper shrouds to the ends of both crossbeams. Originally the shrouds went to the ends of the forward beam but now are arranged in a Y shape with the upper shroud linked with a bridle arrangement about 2 meters above the ama and about 2 meters aft of the forward beam.
    I do not think you can add any significant roach without getting rid of the backstay. I am also thinking about runners, though with the main sheeted in, the rig looks pretty stable off the wind. I intend to increase the length of the mainsheet track when re assembling it all.

    The boat came with a spinnaker, but I have not gotten to play with it yet. She is so easily driven, that I am hoping to mostly bring the wind forward and close reach off the wind. I need to sail more to really see if this will work with this boat, but have had good luck on a couple of smaller cats with this technique, and am optimistic that it will.

    With a lot of barnacles and a few oysters on the bottom, the boat pointed higher than any cat I have sailed and with the board fully down tracks very well to windward.

    I have thought so far that the bow is very light and bouyant, and hadn't considered trying to lighten it. I have however cut a rather heavy extension off the stern of the boat which was holding a rather heavy electric start 4 stroke outboard at its extreme end. I am sure this aspect will be quite diferent when I next sail her, as the aft end was a couple of inches low on the water line and the bow was actually about 3 inches high at rest.

    Hope this is of some help and look forward to reading more about your progress.

    cheers
    David Busenbarrick
     
  4. SteveMc
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    SteveMc Junior Member

    Crowther 33

    Thanks for your feedback, the roachy main sounds like the direction I will go in one day. I look forward to keeping in touch. Where will you be sailing out of? -Steve Mc
     
  5. TriDave
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    TriDave Junior Member

    I am on Tampa Bay, FL. I plan to do some bay sailing, mostly as shakedowns for forays into the Carribean.

    A little more about sailing her, she is quite quick in light air. I suspect she will sail circles around pretty much everything in less than 10 knots, but not be nearly as fast as say an F- boat in more than 18-20 knots. I had no reefing lines run when i got her and she is pretty easily overpowered with the big main and the large genoa that came with her. When overpowered, she just buries the lee ama and slows way down. The halyards were not run to the cockpit and it was a pain to go up and drop the main at that point. I intend to run the halyards and reefing lines to the front of the cockpit before any trips.
    I am also looking to run a small jib and probably forgo the genny.
    .
    Looking at your photos, i get the impression that they took a good bit of personal liberty in design features with your boat. My cross beams are truly massive and seem like overkill to me. The tube runs the width of the boat with a heavy beam running the width of the main structure with a massive stainless strap along the bottom and up to the amas. I really cannot see what is connecting it all in your boat, but am curious about the details. I was tempted to re-design mine in composite, but my spousal unit overruled that idea in hope that she would get back on the water some day.

    All the other Bucs I have seen had spade rudders, with tillers. Your prop strut is about where my rudder is. You running an inboard diesel?

    I am planning on using electric propulsion on mine, but that is another subject altogether.

    Keep in touch
    David
     
  6. SteveMc
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    SteveMc Junior Member

    Crowther 33

    I bought her from a previous owner in September last year, he had worked on the boat then left it for the last 3 years! Her box beams had rotted and he replaced them all. He was getting her ready for cruising to Nth Queensland.

    The box beams run right across the beam and are bolted to the amas and have s/s straps over the top and bolted down too. We have built the 'wings' on the front of each beam, with compound curves and all, these maybe ad some strength, but are more about reducing windage and the odd wave. They also make it super comfortable walking about. Ali sections would be lighter, but I can't imagine getting about on them.

    The cabin front on mine is almost flat, there are no sloping angles toward a middle as shown on the original plans. I assume they made this modification to provide more cabin head room. Also makes working near the mast more safe.

    I too am running all sheets aft to the cockpit area... the traveller will only be about 1.8m long, restricted by the side of cockpit comings, unless I put them on risers that will straddle the sides - providing an extra 5-600mm maybe. How will you lengthen yours?

    She has an old BMW D12 diesel that was reconditioned. Weighs about 130kg, plus fuel, but runs well. If/when that becomes inoperable one day, I will look at shedding the weight with a 15hp outboard, or might look into electric systems.The rudder is exterior, hollow, and made of aluminium plate, I am having a new rudder box made of aluminium, with an 80 degree quadrant build into it to accept the cable steering from the 660mm wheel helm. I like the rudder being well aft for steerage - time will tell if it can be balanced well. The aft deck space provided will be well used with seating built into the pushpit.

    Your overpowering and dipping lee amas sound... exciting. What is your weight distribution like? What speed are you doing at that point? Mostly main or genoa doing the overpowering work? Apart from reefing back, have you any ideas on how you might balance her back out?

    Cheers, Steve
     
  7. TriDave
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    TriDave Junior Member

    My cabin front is sleek and slick, i can see where yours would be safer. I don't care about the headroom, as the area in front of the fwd crossbeam is tiny and hard to get into. I have seen bucs with a marine head installed up there, but it and a tank pretty well take up the whole space.

    That end of the boat is pretty much vacant save for the storm sail, spinnaker and anchor( cqr 25# with about 3 meters chain and nylon rode). I will try to keep the ends extremely light in this boat.
    I have heard that they tend to hobyhorse because of the fine ends and adding any unneeded weight fore or aft will amplify the effect. Mine had a plywood and timber extension added to the stern which weighed aobut 70kgs plus the o/b at 60kg which probably made it much worse.

    The spade rudder on my boat seems small, but I really never thought about balance because it worked so well, the faster you go the lighter it gets.
    when I buried the amas, it was hard on the wind in 20 knots(forcast was 10-12 of course). we were going about 10-12 knots at the time with the boat just trying to round up the whole time. I don't think more rudder would have mattered at all, the main was just way too big for the conditions. I couldn't bring her off the wind with both sails up, just stalled and rounded back up a couple of times. I dropped the main and ran back down wind at 12-14 knots. I think it would have been a lot faster with about half as much sail up and the motor not dragging aft.

    My traveler is only about 1.2 meters long, and I will just go to the 1.8 or so width of the cockpit. Bigger would be nice, but elevated would make the cockpit even less habitable than it is now.
    Without a backstay or runners I was unable to sheet the main out without chafing it on the shrouds, perhaps runners would change this. I was also thinking of using synthetic light weight runners as you mentioned. The aft hung rudder may be just the ticket if you get a full batten main.

    If I had a good running inboard, I would stay with it. This boat had one when new, which was then replaced with a saildrive(again too much weight in the ends) and then the outboard setup. I imagine the original engine placement gave good balance to the boat, but it would cost a fortune to do a new one at this time.

    I am leaning toward high thrust trolling motors, a couple of solar panels and a wind generator at this time. I want the solar panels on a bimini at the very aft of the boat with a couple of comfy seats back there in the shade.

    keep it coming,
    David
     
  8. zigzag
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    zigzag Junior Member

    Buc Rigging

    Just an idea, why not ask Mike Bloomfield, Bloomfield Innovations as he worked for Loch Crowther as a designer. Might cost some $ however, but could save R&D time, both Mike and Grainger (also ex crowther I believe) seem to be carrying on the Crowther tradition.
     
  9. zigzag
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    zigzag Junior Member

    Rigging Buc 33

    Old sailor on the buc 24 thread has had / built other buccaneers.It may be worth directing mail to him or post on the buc 24 thread as he is very familiar with buc designs
     
  10. jmolan
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    jmolan Junior Member

    Your boat looks great. I just went through alot of what you did on my similar age 34' Searunner. I re-rigged with synthetics and there is a lot of info at some links I left on another post:

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/synthetic-fibre-rigging-26373.html

    I know they are doing a lot of boats now in Aussie land with the same set ups.

    http://www.strongrope.com/fibre-rigging.htm

    All the best on your project, it is great to keep the old woodies alive and kicking!...you must be getting stoked to be getting so close to launch time.....:)
     
  11. zigzag
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    zigzag Junior Member

    Hi Tridave, I am looking at a crowther buc 33 project boat with lost plans. Do you have any information /plans on setting out the main hull frames/ bulkheads?
     
  12. TriDave
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    TriDave Junior Member

    plans

    Sorry, I have no documentation on it at all. All I can offer you in this area is the measurements on mine. Mine is foam glass, so the hull shape is not chined.
    If I were actually setting up the main hull frames, I might go with a rounder hull shape and fuller stern if starting from scatch.
    PM me if you have specific measurements you need and I will try to help out.
     
  13. gunnabe
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    gunnabe New Member

    Minotaur

    Steve

    As catsketcher mentioned, Dudley Young (ex commodore of MYCQ and WMYC) owned Minotaur. I was one of his very regular crew from when he owned and well beyond the time he sold Minotaur. In fact, I still sail with him on his current boat on his cruising trips (when work commitments permit). Any story you read in the mags about "Dud and Dave go to....." and there have been quite a few over the last 30 years or so....well....I'm the Dave.

    Minotaur was the first multihull I ever sailed on and won many races with MYCQ, WMYC, CYC (and the occasional RQYS race though multihulls "in those days" were looked down upon). Minotaur was a winner on handicap of the Brisbane to Gladstone (though unfortunately I wasn't on board that year). It was a very well tuned, maintained and raced Buc 33 (and I mean sanding the hard antifoul with 1000 wet and dry to try get any advantage against the new breed lightweight flyers). Ahh - the memories - going to King Island in July or August to give the bottom a scrub before a race -brrrrr.

    Without doubt, Dudley is the man to speak to. He knew the Buc 33 inside and out, from top to bottom. and managed to get it to perform exceptionally well. Minotaur had alloy beams, a rather stiff rig with adjustable (wheel) inner forestay and backstay which put limited bend in the rig. We found it performed best if you didn't over pressure the rig. I don't know about a big roached main, to me that would move the centre of effort and upset the balance of the rig. It did suffer from weather helm and cavitation quite readily when "pushed" - particularly with its stern mounted rudder and the big masthead rigged headsail. When he owned Minotaur, things like prodders, big roached mains were still in their development stages with quite severe handicap penalties.

    If you want to get in touch with Dudley (he still lives in Bris Vegas) send me a PM and I'll send him an email on your behalf with your contact details. He's very generous of his knowledge and just loves talking boats.

    Dave
     
  14. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Bloomfield and Grainger

    Hello Zigzag

    Stuart Bloomfield worked for Brett (not Lock the designer of the Bucc 33 and the famous Crowther designs) Grainger never worked for Lock or Brett - always had his own shingle - first design was Born to Run a 7.5m tri. I doubt either would have any deep background on the Bucc

    cheers

    Phil
     

  15. SteveMc
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    SteveMc Junior Member

    Updated Photos of project

    The feedback here has been great. I have applied to join MYCQ and look forward to learning what I can, especially chasing down the former Minotour skipper - Thanks Gunnabe!

    Here are some recent pics to reward your contributions... the mast goes back up next week... we are only days of work away from a first timid re-launch. And her new name has been decided... 'Strait-n-Narrow'.

    Cheers, SteveMc
     

    Attached Files:

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