Slocum`s Spray

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

  1. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

  2. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Very good question.
    And Culler leave aboard the one he built for twenty years, no complaint, good boat, you just need to sail and be a good seaman. Not everybody is.
    About illogic, the 100 kegs of beer is a good one. Yes this is illogic like comparing oranges and apples.
    Flying, train, automobiles, horses, everything is illogic or logic, depend the number of beer one have I suppose.
  3. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Slocum made four major changes to Spray after setting off on his voyage.

    1.) he shortened the boom by seven feet and shortened the mast,
    2.) he shortened the bowsprit and replaced the twin jib with a single one,
    3.) he added a standing lug mizzen sail to replace the area lost to shortening the mast and boom, and finally
    4.) he added a bamboo extension to the bowsprit and a new jib to fly from it.

    Most of these steps were to make the largest sail smaller and to spread the sail area out lengthwise. I imagine he regretted shortening the bowsprit, but I could be wrong. I imagine the sail flying from the bamboo bowsprit extension was smaller than the single working jib.
  4. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Its funny that some people who profess to like 'plain, practical, low maintenance yachts' are the ones that get so upset over the Spray and its copycats, since the biggest reason Joshua bought it was its cost, it was cheap !!!

    Also, a lot of discussion about 'Sprays' was also done in 2008 at this thread

    where I said was not in favour of them, due to their uninspiring sailing performance.

    To my mind, the most usefull comment made in favour of the 'Spray Configuration' was :

    Many people rank sailing performance as the holy grail, but often people just need something cheap, cheerfull and roomy (and solid, in the case of the steel ones) to go exploring in. You sure aren't going to drop a keel and sink like many 'exotic' yachts have done in the last few years.
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    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).

    The simple way to get by this is not to use the most modern sailboat stuff , (Now string for standing rigging) , but to step back either to the old 50's 60's 70's style deck gear and rigging on a modern cruiser

    OR go all the way back to dead eyes and use solid spars on a lower performance cruiser.

    Certainly a Spray variant would see no improvement from carbon spars and Kevlar rigging.

    Since most travels are reaches or down wind a square yard is cheaper and far more small crew friendly than a Spinnaker and all the gear , winches etc.

    I have been aboard boats with 60-70 year old Merriman Bronze Turnbuckles , the rigging wire was changed many times,, but good properly sized gear is forever. Although not easy to purcha$e .

  6. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    No Watson you read wrong again.
    I was upset at Robert. Which is not the same.
    If I see a Spray with air conditionned and sauna I will be upset
    Read the post and don't try to put thought I don't have and never wrote.
    Simplicity plain and practical for ALL sailing boat.
    Don't try that, you are to obvius.

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  7. souljour2000
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    Good points Fast Fred...alot of the new stuff is crap...some of it has it's place though but not much of the rigging that I can tell...I use lots of older 70's and 80's fittings on my Hunter and make my own rigging...I find great used stuff all the the $2 pair of shiny 1-foot sections of SS 1/4" chain I'll add to my shroud bases at the chain-plates because they can be jerry-rigged quickly if a fitting gives way and they don't catch on the sails...The new barrel-type turnbuckles are crappo....I still have alot to learn but I am finding the old gear to be preferable in most cases and very nice-looking as well. I just bought two old Shaefer snatch blocks on cars at the local used nautical trader shop for my boat and that ran me all of 40.00...the delrin or nylon sheaves are in great shape and no corrosion on them other than some slight discoloration here and there that can't be removed easily...they should look ones that look tacky with red plastic and so forth would have set me back close to two hundred bucks I am sure..I don't want stuff that looks like it came out of a Happy Meal sack (TM)on my boat ...thanks very much...Jest Marine is the only retail dealer in Florida anymore...since aquiring their only competitor and they are absolutely being highwaymen now...we all knew they would but I still did not expect this level of sticker shock...but it's good news for the used trader outlets..they're niche should be improving a bit...
  8. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Well, he did survive getting around the world - but he didn't survive his later voyage. And the second or third Spray replica built was also lost without trace, after sailing from Australia. So the early Sprays were running at a loss rate of about 66%..... dunno how safe that is.

    If we say that a successful voyage proves the seaworthiness of a craft, then we'd have to say that a Finn dinghy is a seaworthy craft for crossing most of the Pacific, because one did just that.

    We'd have to say a beach cat is a seaworthy craft for crossing the Atlantic, because one of them did just that.

    We'd have to say a converted Sydney Harbour 18 Foot Skiff class racer is a seaworthy craft for a singlehanded voyage across the Pacific, and schoolboy singlehander in a a converted Sydney 16 Foot Skiff class racer is a seaworthy combination for a 700 mile trip in the Tasman Sea, because they've done both.

    We'd have to say that a leather boat is a seaworthy way for six men to cross the Atlantic, because it's been done.

    We'd have to say the IOR Farr One Ton is a seaworthy craft for racing singlehanded around the world, because one of them did just that.

    We'd have to say that a windsurfer is a seaworthy craft for crossing the Atlantic or sailing around Cape Horn, because some of them have done that.

    We'd have to say that 14-16 foot trailer sailers are seaworthy craft for Atlantic crossings, because that's been done repeatedly.

    We'd have to say that a Laser was a seaworthy craft to sail Bass Strait, because it's been done.

    I seem to recall that Joshua made many positive comments about his 35' canoe Liberdade - so does that mean a 35' unballasted canoe is an outstanding modern cruiser?
  9. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    sounds like there are a lot of sea worthy boats out there :p :p :p :p :p :p :p
  10. souljour2000
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    Certainly more than seaworthy captains probably:D ...
  11. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Funny. I read CT249's post as "stupid things people got away with".

    Just because someone got away with being stupid doesn't automatically make them smart because they succeeded. Just because a boat made a passage doesn't mean the boat is automatically a seaworthy passage-maker. It just means the person sailing it was lucky.

    The good news is that 98% of the people sailing or building Spray replicas will never leave a 10km radius of their dock, so they will never have to find out if they are lucky or if the design is truly brilliant.

  12. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Slocum whas lucky? I wish all seaman was half talented and we will have less bad things happens.
    As for his last trip, nobody know's, so speculation are not realy interresting.

    98% what ever is the boat will never leave 10km radius of their dock. Anyway, so what is the point? they even will not know if their German Frers in carbon fiber is a good boat.
    The statistic are hawfull. The marinas are making a lot of money!

    And by the way the Spray as a coastal cruiser is a dream. Not everyone goes around the world, coastal cruising is very nice too. It is a very nice family leave aboard boat, stable, a lot of inertia, sail on her bottom, can cook by any weather. Of course I am talking of the original type of Spray, built of solid timber, not the steel crap some designer call Spray.
  13. souljour2000
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    IMHO...the boat is only about 20 percent of the equation ...afterall...In the early eighties someone went around the world in a 12-foot boat...These days with all the excellent weather reporting it may be less than 20 percent..not that you can really quantify these things at all but if I had to give numbers that'd be my guess...20 percent boat....80 percent human beings and their judgement and the size of their balls...
  14. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Daniel, if you re-read my post you will see I made no conclusions regarding the abilities of helm or the capabilities of the boat .... I was pointing out the real danger with drawing conclusions. A Laser crossing the Bass Strait? Sure, it was done, as it was in a B14, but the potential for trouble was a lot higher than doing so in a different boat.

    Conclusions drawn from insufficient data are misleading, and that was my point. In Slocum's case, it is easy to conclude he was brilliant, the boat was brilliant - most likely both in some measure. The data series from which we draw conclusions in his case is very extensive in comparison to most. Lots of passages, safely done.

    Given the era in which he did this, I'd venture that he was a great seaman - there was no GPS, no EPIRBs, no real auto pilot and little to no safety net. Today's passages eliminate a lot of doubt that haunted those before us, due to tools available now that did not exist.

    Slocum's voyages were carefully crafted around the capabilities of his boat, rather than drawing a time-line series on a map and forcing the boat to comply.


  15. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    I misunderstanded you, I apologize for that.
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