Slocum`s Spray

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

  1. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Many thanks, very beautiful explanation. It's true that a lot of so called modern designs, particularly motorboats, look like plastics toys franchised by the Japanese mangas. But you can get the best of both worlds; "archetypal" look, modern engineering and performances. We have some examples: Tad, Gerr and Nigel Irens boats just to mention a few...

    But it seems that you have never tasted multihulls; it can be very addictive. Some multis, when the designer didn't tried to get a heavy floating condo, are amazingly good cruise boats.
     
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  2. Perm Stress
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    Perm Stress Senior Member

    Spirit yachts also...

    Unfortunately they normally cost substantially more as mass-produced plastic toys. :(

    No I did not sail on REAL multihulls. The 12 meter long homebuilt plywood trimaran I happened to sail for a season was total crap -in anything above Force 2 it was a constant fear for total disintegration...
    Although lightning fast in lightest of air and 0.7m draugth -a delight to cruise in shallow and protected waters!
     
  3. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    First of all, I don't think its fair to compare a traditional sailing work boat based on at least a thousand years of technology to an automobile or airplane designed from an only eight year old technology. The world's first real airplane was probably the '08 Wright Flier. The '03 version did get off the ground but had bad CG issues and, as replicas have proven, was practically un flyable. A 1911 Model T was based on an even younger technology. The real world problems of automobiles were not likely to be discovered until more ordinary people had cars. It took a long time to design a front end system that was stable at any kind of speed, as old car buffs have told me.

    Second. The SPRAY had wonderful course keeping qualities and was not all that slow. She is reputed to have maintained 8 knots in a good wind. That's a lot faster than I can swim. More importantly, it could do that while keeping a course with no one at the helm, without late 20th century equipment such as wind vane, and later autopilot steering. And that included down wind sailing which, even today, is the usual choice for long voyages.

    Modern sailboats are lighter displacement and can usually sail well past 'displacement speed'. Heavier traditional boats really can't (surfing down waves doesn't count). Modern boats are more maneuverable because they have separation between keel and rudder. This same maneuverability can make them some what more squirrely going down wind compared to a properly designed long keel boat. Modern boats tend to have deeper keels that resemble airplane wings. They require a travel lift to get them out of the water and a cradle to store them on land, as well as to repaint the bottom.
    A long keeled boat can set on its keel as the tide goes out and have first one side then the other scraped and repainted. Try doing that with a more modern design.

    Modern multihulls are really based on mid 20th century airplane technology. They are designed to have minimum weight to maximize speed. At least two early trimaran designers were aircraft engineers. Modern multihulls combine light weight with high loads. They are not only capsizeable (as SPRAY was), but they also sometimes come apart. The modern trimaran has full buoyancy floats. As far as I can tell, no Pacific islander trimarans had those, so they are really a mid 20th century invention. Pacific catamarans were made of large trees, hollowed out, and built up with planks. These hulls were joined by heavy beams and had, by today's standards, very small sail plans. Still, under the right conditions, they were capable of sailing quite fast. But slow by today's multihull standards. A modern multihull, like a super model, always has to watch its weight, because rigging loads and hull loads are directly proportionate to weight. On most monohulls, especially more traditional ones, this is often not the case.

    Now I am not knocking modern monohull or modern multihull design. These boats have all proven their seaworthiness when properly designed and intelligently handled. But, as with a more traditional design, you have to know what you're getting into and what the trade offs really are.

    I think there will be plenty of room on the sea for more traditional designs, such as SPRAY for a long time to come. And that more modern designs, with their strengths and weaknesses, merely add variety of choices.
     
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  4. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Sharpii:

    Nice balanced perspective. Over the years here I've come to notice there is a huge, unbridgeable chasm between active sailors who have practical time on the water, and people who have developed interest in yacht design through romantic interests (books or Internet readings) or unbalanced love of particular technologies (foiling perhaps?) and niche markets.

    It is very hard (impossible in many cases) to argue logically and objectively with romantic interests and unbalanced love. Spray & Slocum are a couple of those topics on which the romance overpowers all possible logic and reason. Your perspective is fair, as you are willing to resolve that the romance of Spray is reason enough to accept it without trying objective dissection of the design.

    Is it possible for today's naval architects to exceed every single design criteria of Spray? Sure. Does that matter in the slightest to someone who has succumbed to the Spray mystique? Not at all. Lighter, faster, safer, more comfortable can't compete with mystique.

    My memories of my first real girlfriend has attained the mystique level for me. I doubt the reality of her today 30 plus years later can compete with the images I have in my memories. Funny thing is, I doubt I could even see her as she is today - all my eyes would see is the girl I once knew. Spray is like that for many people.

    --
    Bill
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Sailing is not about logic, regardless of the vessel type
     
  6. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    gonzo, I doubt many would agree there mate, I for one love sailing for the sake of sailing, nothing to do with logic.

    I can sail a dinghy with a bedsheet held up just as much fun as an 18 footer...it is sailing just for the sake of sailing.

    The reason yacht tenders today use outboards is because the yachts are so ugly that the owner does not want to look at it as he rows away.
     
  7. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Sailing is perhaps to most logic way of transportation.
    I don't know in which context you find it illogic, but using with intelligence the wind, to go even almost against it, to have the freedom to go anywhere, for free I don't see any "Illogism" in that.
    Spending a ton of gallons of fuel to go for a weekend in motor boat that is illogic.
    But as I say, if you elaborate I will understand better what you mean.
     
  8. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    actually sailing both in up front costs and in maintenance costs ends up more expensive than motoring

    every couple of years if your actually out sailing round much you will need new sail's and such

    ends up cheaper to both build and operate a motor yacht from what I've been able to learn so far

    who would have guessed it but it does appear to be true

    cheers
    B
     
  9. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    You talk about modern sailing boat.
    I never spend a dime more than necessary. Old fashion or classic fashion rig cost very little. Everything can be repair at sea, and all the wood, well treated on oil, never gave concern.
    The tools to repair are simple, and cheap
    Even the rope, well treated with tallow, the wire (galvanized) cost close to nothing, well maintain with black varnish.
    The cooking made with kerozene and the heating with coal.
    Everything you need is in the boat.As for the sail, sawn repair is not rocket science, just patience.
    Don't use any electrecity, which you don't need anyway, and keep the ship simple.
    no Boston, sail do not cost much than a engine. The engine without fuel can't run. At $4 the gallon, it start to be expensive
    The spending start at the marina, bunch of money carnivore, and that is the same price for every one.
    Daniel
     
  10. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    you got it dskira......sooooo true.
     
  11. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    ends up cheaper to both build and operate a motor yacht from what I've been able to learn so far

    who would have guessed it but it does appear to be true


    This really depends on the distance of the cruise.
    A sailboat modern sails will take about 5 years of sunshine , so an extended cruise can be really inexpensive , before the sails are shot.

    Power for 50,000 miles may be done on a HD industrial engine , but it wont be cheap to do.

    Inshore day boats or coastal cruising , not much difference.

    The sails rot in the sun dockside,
    the diesel dies from not bothering to follow the engine mfg on "out of service" requirements. .

    FF
     
  12. Perm Stress
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    Perm Stress Senior Member

    To put this in perspective:

    Most of sailing boat stuff is highly overpriced (like alcohol and everything related to "pleasure", and possibility to "show yourself").
    Most sailboat stuff is NOT designed for endurance (as most of sailboats are VERY lightly used).
    Most sailboat stuff have no use outside of recreational sailboats (hence small production quantities and no economy of LARGE scale production).

    Most motors and related are built with reasonable pricing in mind (like all the tools/materials/services you buy for earning money from their use).
    Most engines are designed for reasonably long service life (as most of them are built for commercial use, not for lightly-used pleasure boats).
    Most engine parts are common to many engines outside of pleasure boating (for reasons stated above, what enable LARGE quantities to be produced, at respectively lower prices for single unit).
    Fuel is made is astronomical quantities when compared with consumption in pleasure boats (and pleasure motorboats are able to use lower prices born in incomparably larger scale production).

    Summing all of this, we get the comparison between :
    *boats using high-tech, small-scale, "price is not overly important" parts and services, generally not used for any other or larger-scale markets
    with
    *boats using medium-tech, very-large-scale, "reasonable price is a major factor" parts and services, mostly universally produced for much larger and more pressed for low prices markets.

    No wonder sailing come out more expensive.
     
  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The cost of any boat, sail or motor, is the equvalent to hundreds of kegs of beer. If you enjoy it, is a good decision, but not logical from the transportation point of view. You can drive or fly cheaper.
     
  14. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    I might start a new thread on this rather than detract from the bashing the Spray is taking on this one

    cheers
    B
     

  15. Perm Stress
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    Perm Stress Senior Member

    Agree.
     
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