Slocum`s Spray

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Elmo, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Elmo
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Elmo Junior Member

    [​IMG][​IMG]Replica

    What do people think of this " oldie " ?
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Without several modifications to the original (or what is commonly referred to as the original) lines, the boat is a pig, a wallowing tub, that can't get out of it's own way, let alone offer some reasonable level of assurance it will not try to drown you in heavy seas. It's stability curve is quite unimpressive and it piles up a huge lee surge wave, so forget about going to weather or crisp maneuverability.

    In short, it's a lovely boat for what it was, which is a well burdened oyster dredger, converted and fairly heavily modified for Slocum's use, which of course still took his life.

    On the other side of the coin, if you want a harbor queen that will serve as a liveaboard and not see much "sea time", then this is a reasonable selection. It has a huge hull, plenty of beam and can make a nice home afloat, just don't go very far.

    How do I qualify these comments? Well, I built a 41' version, not a Roberts, but it had similar upgrades that Bruce has employed on his Spray designs. It displayed all and more of the qualities I've mentioned. Put bluntly it's makes the double ended Tahiti ketches look fast.
     
  3. Elmo
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Elmo Junior Member

    That was a great reply , thank you.


    I suppose when you really think about it , it costs no more to build something that "performs" a little better.

    That great beam and good looks ( to me anyway ) were the attractions.

    Now , supposing someone intended to potter along Australia`s East coast
    with that " harbor queen " comfort ....( shallow draft desirable ) ,would this, in your opinion behave any better ?


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Smaller , similar type by Sam Devlin



    L.O.D 32' BEAM 11'9"
    L.W.L 28' DRAFT 2'3.5" Board up
    6'6.5" Board down



    Gaff-tops'l Sloop

    POWER Four-cycle outboard in well or Diesel auxiliary


    TYPE Gulf Coast scow -- Sailing houseboat

    ACCOMMODATIONS Two plus a child; settee sleeps one or two with convertible table

    CONSTRUCTION : QUICK-MOLDED plywood/epoxy/fabric. Bottom double-diagonal laminated using full sheets of 21/32" yellow pine form-ply; Topsides and deck -- one layer of same with buttblocks; Sawn beams of fir or yellow pine. Douglas fir spars. All exterior surfaces coated with epoxy-impregnated Xynole-polyester fabric. Paint systems use epoxy primers and linear polyurethane finishes.

    OPTIONS :This hull model can also be built as a power boat, with or without a small pilot house, as a Chinese junk complete with aft cabin, or as a gaff-rigged yawl. Options consist of custom design work to each clients specifications unless pre-existing.
     
  4. Ramona
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Australia

    Ramona Senior Member

    Looks like the sort of thing we see on Ebay occasionally. Why think out side the box? With the market stagnant there are real yachts out there that are tried and true. Check out what others are sailing up and down the East coast. Have a look at www.yachthub.com.au. Something like a 'glass Herreschoff H28.
     
  5. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    wel par is right
    I cruised with a replica up in ther Fiji islands in 1980, the thing tacked thru 180
    motored to stay with fleet
    Still ole Josh was no fool, just went the way of the trades
     
  6. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    I am sorry, a version is not the Spray.

    R.D. Culler don't agree with you (twenty year sailing a real replica) The Maynards (Round the world several time) don't agree with you.
    But yes other went desapearing, and other sailed very well.
    You have to use the boat for what is intended, and built the real one with the original scantling.
    If you try to "upgrade" you just destroy the caractere of the boat.
    I sailed a lot of bluff bow, they goes very well if the weight (mass) is here. The Spray had a D/LWL around 570. You go lighter, and it do not work.
    A good barge is 600, and it works pretty neat. The same at 200, forget about it. A tub.
    Cheers
    Daniel
     
  7. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    The Spray of R.D. Culler. (1930)

    [​IMG]
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Roberts has made most of the upgrades I would to the original hull form. He has increased the boat's draft and removed the hollow in the lower portion of the sections. He's removed some volume forward and aft at the tuck, reshaped the entry, plus several other fundamental changes to the original lines (as if we actually know what there really look like). His 40' Spray carries about 490 D/L with his advertised displacement and a 13.7 SA/D under his published ketch area. This a directly in line with the original Spray, though in Daniel's defense he has dramatically increased the ballast/displacement ratio to over 40%, which seems difficult to say the least, assuming robust scantlings.

    I'm not going to get into what Daniel has about Bruce Roberts, but the first published reports of the Spray place it's "tonnage" at 10 to 13, depending on load, though this suggests a D/L in the mid 200's, which isn't reasonable for this shape. In reality, her displacement was likely around 18 tons, placing her D/L in the 540 range and in line with Daniel's comments. The reduction of her D/L to 490 (or so) wouldn't affect her terribly and coupled with the increased ballast ratio, would make a better sailing boat. On the other hand her published sail area (927 sq. ft.) means she's not taking advantage of the changes.

    I'll stand by my original comments about the boat. It's a great live aboard base, but sailing ability of this model is quite limited, so be careful what you wish for.
     
  9. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    PAR, I would like you to buy the book:
    In The Wake Of The Spray by Kenneth E. Slack.(1966)
    He has an extensive and naval architectural anilisis of the Spray, very interresting.
    Pro or Con, the book should be in the librairy of a person like you, interrested in history and boat.
    I bought mine in Amazon for $19.
    Cheers
    Daniel
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I had it years ago (the book) , but lost it when the place I was storing stuff flooded in a heavy spring rain, many years ago. I've been on very close replicas (if anyone really knows what that is), but more importantly on oyster dredgers of the era that the Spray was from. I know how they are and we're in basic agreement, though I disagree that they approach anything that could be considered good sailing.

    They sail, I'll give them that, but not much more. It's much like saying the Santa Marie was a good sailor or a fine cruising boat. I will acknowledge what was done (in both vessels) and comment that the ability of the their respective skippers had much more to do with their abilities as historic vessels then the boat design did.
     
  11. dskira

    dskira Previous Member


    I am sorry for your lost (book) I hope you salvage the other books of your librairy. (I am a book lover and collector and you said you are an history buff, so 2+2 make you in my mind a book lover.)
    It is just interresting to see a good study of the Spray, plus a good deal of informations on the replicas.
    I think bad boat or not, Spray belongs to our boat heritage, and I was glad to find this book.
    Cheers
    Daniel
     
  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I agree whole heartedly about the Spray's place in history. From a design point of view, as you can guess, I'm not especially impressed, but the good skipper, now was as fine a master as you could want.

    Yes, I have quite a library, though a few books that were lost all those years ago haven't been replaced. The one I miss the most was a signed Chapelle (I watched him sign it) of his Boatbuilding book. I've replaced the book, but not the comments he made about me in the signed addition. Before you ask, it was a short note about not letting "them" get to me. A reference to the racing I was active in at the time. "Them" were the blue bloods that I regularly beat with my boat that was worth only a fraction of what "their" boats were. He got a real kick out of that and patted me on the back when he could.
     
  13. trev_online
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    trev_online New Member

    Get the facts

    Suffice to say that Guest20100203 has not done his or her research. Apart from the fact that Pete Culler who was also an expert on traditional boats and unlike Chapelle owned a Spray for 20+ years has nothing but good things to say about the Spray she was built to a design that sailed to the Grand Banks and fished east coast USA in all weathers and made it back! They built them for 70 years and only stopped when power and new fisheries made them redundant.

    The Spray was not a "yacht" by some modern (or 1850's) standards; but she successfully made a voyage that no fancy pants yacht was prepared to attempt.

    Trev
     
  14. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Guest20100203 is a respected designer and builder of yachts here in North America. He's left this forum because he tired of trying to help people who were abusive and failed to treat each other with respect and fairness. This forum is less for his departure. I never felt one of his contributions were inadequately researched or based on anything but experience and expertise.

    Just because a boat survived a long voyage is no indication of it's merits as safe and sound transportation. Slocum and Spray deserved the fame they both received, but I personally credit the sailor far more than the boat.

    --
    Bill
     

  15. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Nice, well balanced opinion, supported by indisputable facts and watertight logic - how can such a failure of a person, and such a lousy marketer sell millions of plans, and become and industry name ?

    It just doesnt make sense !!! :(
     
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