Scout Project

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by dinodr_neil, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. dinodr_neil
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    dinodr_neil Junior Member

    Hello, I am looking for information on how to design, and build a sail boat that will accomodate 8 or 9 men for a six week cruise. I know very little about ships and ship building, but it will be a project for my Boy Scout Troop. The Boys are Cub Scouts now so there is time to do the required research. Any help I can get will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Neil Sullivan
    Cub Master Pack 587
    Willard Elementary
    Moline, IL 61265
     
  2. mighetto
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    mighetto New Member

    Walt Weinberg should be contacted. He is responsible for the Pacific Challenge which is a rowing and sailing event that gathers replica vessels of the kind used in the 1790s. Boats come from as far away as Sooke BC to Grays Harbor in Washington State. There are from 15 to 20 boats involved and the 4th annual regatta will take place on May 20, 21, and 22 2005 at Boston Harbor in Washington state.

    There are 8 events broken in to categories such as rowing, sailing, and a row and sail event where the choice is made as to which legs of the course are rowed and which are sailed. The boat sizes range from 22 to 40 feet and the courses are designed for testing tactics. A Coxswain In Command concept is followed.

    The boats are crewed by 13 to 18 year olds, many associated with scouting and there are navigational drills involved. The Pacific Challenge doesn’t yet have a web site, though one is planned, so keep googling. It sounds like this is the kind of thing you are trying to do in Chicago. Great idea. All the vessels in the Pacific Challenge were built by young men and women as you are looking to do. You might want to think about visiting, Washington State in may. Oh get the scouts interested in the Koch Cup if you can. http://www.seascoutcup.org/wikcup.htm. Thank you for you efforts.
     
  3. SailDesign
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    migh - which part of "six week cruise" weas so hard to understand? The Pacific Challenge is raced in replicas of pilot gigs (specifically, IIRC, Bantry gigs), which are open boats.

    Neil, go to a library, and find a book on yacht design - there are plenty out there, and all will give you the basics. I will ad that in my opinion, a full design for a 9-berth cruising yacht is not something I would invoilve newbies in, unless it's just an exercise. :)

    Steve "not much help, either, but..."
     
  4. Skippy
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Skippy Senior Member

    In all the reading I've done on boatbuilding, including both books and project websites, there is one universal rule that almost every author has insisted on:

    *** START SMALL ***

    With a big project, it's very easy to find you've bitten off more than you can chew, abandon the project, and have nothing to show for your effort. With a smaller, simpler boat on the other hand, you'll probably be able to complete construction of your own hand-built boat and be able to sail it around the local water any time you want. Most authors recommend starting with a small rowboat, although a 1- or 2-man dinghy might not be too hard. And of course, if you build two or more of them, then you have a race!

    These are some books I've found interesting, instructional, and enjoyable to read:

    Design
    John Teale, How to Design a Boat
    Ted Brewer, Understanding Boat Design
    Lars Larsson & Rolf Eliason, Principles of Yacht Design (haven't read it but it's highly recommended)

    Construction
    Robert M. Steward, Boatbuilding Manual

    Fun
    David Gerr, The Nature of Boats: Insights and Esoterica
    Philip C. Bolger, Boats With and Open Mind

    Bernard Smith also wrote a couple fascinating books starting in the 1960s about very fast sailbots, but these are much more radical designs, not necessarily appropriate for a first project.

    I also know of one high school on the East Coast that has a boatbuilding instructor on staff:
    http://shs.westport.k12.ct.us/staplesLMC/Boatbuilding%20Links.htm
     
  5. JEM
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    JEM Senior Member

    I have to agree with building a large sail boat for the first project is not such a hot idea. And your signature says "Cub Master". This isn't for Cub Scouts (1st - 5th graders) is it?

    Might I suggest a canoe project? Contact me if you'd like some help with canoes. My family is very involved in Scouting.
     
  6. SeaDrive
    Joined: Feb 2004
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    SeaDrive Senior Member

    As much as I hate to agree with Mighetto, I read the original question in the same light he did, i.e. that the six week cruise would be of the Outward Bound variety in a (more or less) open boat. It seems to strange that anyone would be setting out to design a build a 50 foot center cockpit ketch...

    The suggestions on books to read are all good. I would add Gerr's book "The Elements of Boat Strength" which is the closest thing to a suitable cookbook on the hull structure. Others have said that it might lead to a boat that is over-sturdy but better that than the opposite.

    With a little looking around, you an find some designs for open boat expeditions. I think that a design for replacements for the original Outward Bound boats appeared in Woodenboat. A slightly smaller boat on the same theme is John Welsford's 6 meter whaler. Of course there are many traditional designs from which to take inspiration, including the original whaleboats. Mystic Seaport has several designs. They served the crew of the Essex pretty well....
     
  7. mighetto
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    mighetto New Member

    Oh I forgot to mention. In the summer the replicas are cruised on a water trail for months. This is a trail that runs from Olympia Washington to Canada with spots for beaching to use the facilities and to camp. You have to remember that in the 1790s lots of commerce was handled in open boats, canoes, kayacks etc and large distances were covered.

    BTW, it is very annoying to be sailing in light wind and have one of these replicas break out the sweeps :) But many boats meant for fishing miles offshore are also open. I haven't yet seen the largest of the fleet. She is out of Tacoma and may have a portion of the deck covered. Anyway, wonderful design build kind of thing. Well worth following.
     
  8. SeaDrive
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    SeaDrive Senior Member

    Of course the northern Europeans were pros at this 1500 years ago. The Vikings are best known, but everyone else was doing it too. See Colin Mudie's book "Sailing Ships" for details. A copy of the Argo would stand out in most fleets.
     
  9. John Perry
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    John Perry Senior Member

    You do need to tell us whether you are planning an ocean cruise or a coastal cruise. If a coastal cruise is planned (which in any case would probably be more enjoyable for youngsters than weeks at sea) then I think you should consider several small vessels rather than one large one. For example, 9 persons could be transported in three sailing dinghies of around 16foot length or in one sailing yacht of say 40 foot length. The three smaller boats would definitely be the cheaper option regardless of whether you build them, buy them second hand or buy them brand new. The cheapest of these three options is to buy second hand, a robust second hand 16 foot sailing boat can be purchased for, say £1000, which will not buy the materials to build such a boat. Also, that would ensure you get sailing, not get bogged down with a boat building project which is never finished. However, if boat building is a desireble part of the experience there are simple plywood designs intended for this kind of project, one I came across recently was by Nigel Irens, there are plenty of others I am sure.

    I edit a web page for a group which has done this kind of cruising, but with adult participants and not for periods as long as six weeks – see www.sail.btinternet.co.uk

    Good luck

    John.
     
  10. dinodr_neil
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    dinodr_neil Junior Member

    Thanks for all the info. I do not actually know how long the cruise will take. The entire plan is that though the boys are all 8 and 9 now. As Boy Scouts when they turn 14 they will be old enough to go to the Florida Sea Base. In the year or so before that I would like to build the boat (with the Boys) then sail it down the Mississippi River to the Florida Keys where the Sea Base is. There we would get our SCUBA certifications, then sail back home. I was afraid it might be too big of a project. That is why I have started researching it 5 years in advance. I will still be very greatful for any help, I seam to have been bitten by a bug since I started research and just might have found myself a new hobbie. Thanks again everyone.
     
  11. dinodr_neil
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    dinodr_neil Junior Member

    By the way. I would prefer wood to any other material to work with. One of the main ideas behind the project is to provide the boys with a really powerful confidence boost the summer before thier freshman year in High school. They would build the boat in thier 7th and 8th grade years then the summer before HIgh school we would sail it to the Sea Base.

    On a side note though aside from the project I was curious. Has anyone seen or heard of a Ship design for a minitureized replica of some of the larger ships. For example the Lady Washington. She is the Ship used in the Pirates of the Carribean as the Intercepter. She is 112 long and has a mast of 90 feet that would be way too big of a project to be completed at home I think. But if there was a way to scale her down somewhat say by half or so then it might be interesting to see if the Ship was still functional and sea worthy. Just a thought.
     
  12. A couple of obersvations:

    First, if you want a sailing craft the Thunderbird is a nice project for the yard can be done with regular tool set and minimal knowledge and sails great. It is an old design and many were made in the backyard. It was built out of plywood with cedar mast and boom. Alot of information is available.

    Second, if you are going down the Mississippi a sailing boat is probably not the best thing. You can't travel at night in most part. The current runs pretty good and you will have a long "sail" back up the river. Shoal draft is definitely a plus and there are several bridges that would require the mast to be stepped in order to pass. Generally from about 50 miles north of New Orleans until you get through town.

    Nice project please let us know what you decide to do. By the way the Thunderbird (while not by any means the only backyard design but the one I was capable of building and actually have it be good sailing) will sleep 4 as designed. I have seen a super version built that could sleep 8. I think building 2 or 3 is a better idea as they could be trailered back since down river you would have right of way at least but still I would trailer it to New Orleans and then sail to Florida, the barriers islands along the gulf and in Florida there is some great islands that can be visited and it will be a great trip for sailing.
     
  13. tspeer
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    tspeer Senior Member

    Unless your objective is to learn how to build a boat, I'd buy a used one. The Thunderbird is a good choice - you can sometimes find one available just for paying the back moorage fees. And you can sell it for what you paid for it when the project is done.

    If you have two or more adults in your group, you might consider buying two boats instead of one. You could probably pick up two Tbirds for what you'd have put into building one of whatever you originally had in mind. 9 on one boat either means a big boat, or very cramped quarters. But there are lots of boats that can accommodate 4 - 5. Even just 4 boys and an adult is going to be close on a Tbird, but may be doable. The Tbird is also small enough to for the adult to singlehand if necessary.

    With two boats, you can put 4 boys and an adult on each boat and every boy will have a useful crew station to perform, instead of some of the boys sailing and some getting in the way. The natural competition between the two boats will also make the sailing more fun. Plus, you have the enjoyment of watching the other boat, which is cool. Each evening you can raft up together and tell stories of what happened on your boat. And you can swap crews to get a change of faces or to defuse a conflict situation.
     
  14. dinodr_neil
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    dinodr_neil Junior Member

    Thanks for the Help. The T-Bird sounds like a great boat. Right now the group I have is only five boys, but with BSA policies there must be at least two adults when there are any boys present. That way we can protects the boys from abuse and protect the leaders from false accusations. So I will need twice as many adults to sail two ships. Add another ship and you need even more adults. so I was hopeing to keep it down to one ship. I did however want to build a ship that would be large enough to include more boys in case we accumulate a few more in the next few years.
     

  15. SeaDrive
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    SeaDrive Senior Member

    If a greater portion of the voyage is to be on a river, I would think twice about a fin keel boat with substantial fixed draft. You want to be able to use parts of the river that are quite shallow. In addition, my impression is that most river voyagers end up using power quite a lot. The wind is not always helpful, and the sailing upcurrent is heart-breaking.

    I suggest you look up Phil Bolger's Rondo II design. This is a three masted schooner about 40 feet long, but a much smaller boat than that sounds. Its sharpie about 7' wide and the cabin is empty crawling-around space about 4 feet high (if that). The point is not that it would be a good boat for you, but that it illustrates how difficult it is to satisfy your specs. You could possibly fit 4 boys and 2 adults (i'm not sure), so you would need two. It will reach, run, and go under power just fine.

    I was involved with BSA when the sex/safe regs came down, and they are a bummer. Even if you all go in one boat, then you will be short on leadership if one of two is required to leave the main group, e.g. to go buy food.
     
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