Slocum`s Spray

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

  1. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Joshua Slocum is a legend. Period. His sad disappearance in his latter years was very sad. His book and the beautiful Spray will be with us forever though. There's a bit of Joshua in every good sailor.
     
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  2. Paul Vawter
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    Paul Vawter Junior Member

    Slocums Dory

    There seems to be to much interest in sprays design. What I find more interesting than spray was the Dory slocum
    did build from scratch that he sailed his family safely for months at sea for thousands of miles and got them all home safely. Slocum must of had as much faith or more in his dory as he did spray, to put his own family at that great of risk. Maybe everyone would be raving about virtues of his simple dory and building replicas of that design had he elaborated on that adventure!
     
  3. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    You are very right. Are there any photos of it?
     
  4. Paul Vawter
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    Paul Vawter Junior Member

    Had Slocum found a large dory in that pasture for free, then I guess his book would have been " Sailing around the world alone in my dory". Jay Benford sells simple dory plans easily capable of circumnavigation. Slocum himself had tremendous confidence in dories but was so broke he couldnt even afford to buy a good boat, that's why he ended up with that old rotted oyster boat laying in a field for free because no one wanted it. he completely had to redesign and rebuild it because he had no other options. Slocum definitely sold the dream, its amazing how many people would build that replica for the fantasy of slocums life. That's how powerful of a writer he was, Hemingway had nothing over slocum when it came to picture words.
     
  5. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    My boats were built in 1968 and 1971. Same design, same manufacturer. I looked long and hard to find the first one. WHY?
    More than 40 years old and no hull blisters, no delamination, very well built, very stable, ideal for what they were intended for.
    Made it onto Motor Boating and Yachtings list of 100 Best Built Fiberglass Boats.
    Some boats are 'classics' in the BEST sense of the word. :)
     
  6. Paul Vawter
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    Paul Vawter Junior Member

    Hi Joseph,
    Not to my knowledge are there any photos of that dory. Not much is known to my knowledge other than it was about the same length as spray. It probably was typical of the day, flat bottom and narrow beam, im sure it sailed better than spray going to weather being narrower and when healed would form a V to the water further helping the boat go to weather, im sure Slocum knew all this, it would have been common knowledge. remember, he had to get back home from South America.
     
  7. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    http://www.stexboat.com/slocum/liberd1.htm

    liberdade.jpg

    Above is a link to a recreation of Slocum's Liberdade, plus a picture of the original. I believe she has already been discussed in this thread or others. google is a great resource guys.....

    Bataan knows more but I believe he mentioned that, according to Joshua's son Victor, Liberdade's hull was not built by Slocum, she was part of another business enterprise and became his sole asset when Aquidneck was lost ashore.
     
  8. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    In reply to Ilan Voyager as to the 'rage' for old designs.
    Water has not changed, nor the sea. Just because we now have superior (and much more expensive) materials to improve the strength/weight ratio of hulls does not mean we can design a superior boat, just a lighter and more specialized one.
    Look at the America's Cup cats.... good for racing under a narrow range of conditions and certainly not 'seaworthy', but beautiful, incredibly powerful and astronomically expensive both in build and operation.
    Most modern sailing yachts are designed as weekend playthings and this they do very well being low-maintenance with good performance to windward, though so many motor upwind with the sail covers on I wonder why they did not buy a motorboat.
    SPRAY and her derivatives are 'work boats', which means they had to work for a living and were not the playthings of the rich. Think of a short-haul truck compared to a hot Mustang or a Ferrari.
    Take your average modern 39' sailing yacht and the rig with sails will cost more than BERTIE's entire hull, rig and engine did. Again take that modern, high-performance-to-windward yacht and load 15 tons of bricks aboard to deliver to an exposed, remote beach so someone can build a house. Can't be done but BERTIE can do it easily with her strong hull and large cargo hold. Or take that modern, 'improved' sailboat and run the ballast keel into a rock at 5 knots or so and see what the yard bill is (I repaired one once and the bill was over $40,000). BERTIE bumped over a rock in British Columbia this summer but her practical shape and stout keel shoe prevented damage. It all comes down to what you want a boat for. Is it to impress people with how much you spent or to safely go to sea? Modern boats can and do perform very well at sea but are usually impossible to repair without yard time due to the high-tech nature of the beast while the workboat type with solid spars and simple rigging can be repaired at sea by a good seaman, though the simple low-stressed rig will seldom give trouble, unlike a modern very light and highly stressed yacht's. In my time in boatyards there were many many broken hollow wood, aluminum or carbon rigs we repaired or replaced, but I can't remember a single weather related damage repair to a solid spar other that rot from neglect. The same goes for hull damage. BERTIE was rammed amidships by a Bristol 27 while tied to a pier, holing the B27 below the water line so he was in a sinking condition while not even cracking the paint in our seams. Another time at anchor in Morro Bay a racer ran his mast into our bowsprit, collapsing his rig into the cockpit with terrified screams from the crew but no injuries. I looked and looked but could not find where he had hit us as there were no marks left.
    Stability? Off of Punta Gorda in California we were knocked down with the masthead in the water but she came up so fast and hard we had to hold on.
    Old fashioned, yes, Practical, yes. Seaworthy, yes. Expensive, no.
    Many times we've been caught out in gales but seldom take water on deck as BERTIE's shapely shallow draft hull seems to slip out of the way of breaking seas again and again, while we eat well, sleep comfortably and wait for the weather to moderate. Not so much the case with a more modern and lighter design of the same length which is tossed about and requires constant steering and vigilance, exhausting the crew. I've gone to sea in small boats for over 50 years and never felt so safe on one, not even the USCG Surf Boats I used to crew on in the '60s, though on those we used to do very dangerous and foolhardy things as it was our job.
     

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  9. Paul Vawter
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    Paul Vawter Junior Member

    Hello Battan,
    Are you still in Moro bay? great place, I stopped in while sailing from Monterey to Santa Barbra, wasn't expecting that flood tide to be as strong as it was, I was glad I had a motor.
    I agree with what your saying about different boats serving different purposes, Im one that enjoys them all, I've owned many sailboats including 3 hobie 16's and the biggest sailing thrill was sailing with my partner in 30-40 knts with 10-12 ft swells, we were in our wet suits laughing and we could actually get completely airborne on some swells!. I now have a 40ft ketch mid 70's full keel and it sails like a house boat compared to the hobie. I taught a friend to sail on a Santana 20 last weekend in Oxnard, the small craft warning was out and we had a blast , my friend said Paul I thought we were going to just sail around the harbor, when I saw those 6 -8 ft swells I didn't think my little boat would handle it. I had allot of fun that day and it reminded me how much weather a sailboat can handle, even a modern light weight fast one like the one we were on. We did not have a motor so we had to sail through traffic in and out of the harbor and sail back to our slip up wind which tested our skills in how fast we could tack. My friend at the end of the day said he had no idea sailing was that much fun considering he had been out on my 40 ftr in similar conditions and he didnt have that thrill of speed and acceleration. I have to admit I hadn't had that much fun sailing in a long time. I own a comfortable fat brunette thats 40 x 13,5 but I was reminded last weekend, fast blondes can be allot of fun!. I even like motoring. I sailed 80 miles to Catalina island over a 3 day weekend and had to be back at wrk on Monday morning. I couldn't of done that had I sailed to weather to get Hm.
    P.s. I even go over and have a few drinks on my neighbors power boat. I like it all, life is good on the water!
     
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  10. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Good on you Paul. The main thing is to expand our horizons and educate us in being in the here and now and modern fiberglass boats can do this quite well given one willing to learn, and we are all still learning.
    Remember the 3 basic rules of boats:
    1. Don't be stupid.
    2. S**t happens. (especially if you disregard rule #1 above)
    3. Bring beer. (but remember rules #1 & #2, which would suggest great moderation)
    rule #3a. See rule #1.
     

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  11. HakimKlunker
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    HakimKlunker Andreas der Juengere

    I totally agree with PAR.
    The pictures shown: Was that - emm - thing designed in a pre-school project? I cannot believe that someone with his wits above his pants (drypers level or advanced) can seriously consider even its possible existence.
     
  12. Kojii
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    Kojii All is remodelling

    Peter,
    Read these posts in light of Bertie's recent mishap.
    It occurs to me that my old old bosun chief who drilled into us the importance of watertight integrity might explain why good boats go down when hit by rare sea and wind states (combinant wave, severe squalls, etc).
    What role did watertight integrity play in the loss of Bertie, and what can we learn regarding best practices related to watertight integrity?
    Regards
    Kojii
     
  13. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I say two things:

    1.) there are lots of ways to make a seaworthy boat. Deep, heavy, with lots of ballast works (Temptress). Wide, shallow and heavy works (Spray), long light and narrow works, as well as light, beamy with deep ballast (Treka). The designer has to know what she/he is doing. And the skipper has to know the strengths and weaknesses of his/her particular vessel. And, IMHO, that's it.

    2.) The sea can destroy anything created by man. For every strength a vessel has, there is also a weakness. In poor Bertie's case, it was range of stability. Now during most circumstances, this was not a fatal flaw. This is because the balanced ends the buoyant, bluff bow, and the long shallow keel reduce the chance of a severe knock-down to such a degree that such is highly unlikely to ever happen. But it can and it did. But it did only after decades of Bertie roaming the North Pacific sometimes in very rough conditions.
     
  14. Kojii
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    Kojii All is remodelling

    Regards. Noted, but boats roll over and come back up.
    You did not, respectfully, and I have read your many thoughtful additions to the forum over the years, so I ask again, what role did water tight integrity play in the loss of Bertie.
    Regards
    K
     

  15. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Kojii, from the original account Bertie was hit by a squall and apparently took on water when she rolled over.

    "We were literally swamped and swallowed under within 60 seconds; water rushed in and we were catapulted off the boat and into the ocean."

    Ref:
    Bertie Lost off New Jersey - Latitude38 https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/bertie-lost-off-new-jersey/
    Click here to support Help Bertie Sank In A Squall ! organized by J Wilder Bailey https://www.gofundme.com/f/1niftccdio

    Thus, had all hatches + companionway been secure there is a good chance the vessel would still be sailing to this day. When a vessel takes on water though and rolls over, this can change the seaworthiness of the vessel in a short period of time.

    [​IMG]

    It's quite clear from this USCG pic her sails were still up, which would definitely not help her return to her upright position. He goes on to claim the boat was upside down after the water poured in and with sheer luck they were able to fetch the EPIRB. Had he been closer to shore a recovery could have been possible in my opinion (e.g. lower/cut away sails, insert air bladders to displace water so she can return to upright position, tow to port).

    Of course, Battan would be the best individual to respond. He owned Bertie and is a member of this forum, but has not chimed in for a while. You might want to send him a private message. No sense debating with others who were not present.
     
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