Slocum`s Spray

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

  1. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    why a roberts spray??

    It seems that the wonderful literature, where the noble Captain really little mentions the reality of his feelings during the long passages, which were inevitable with the cut-down rig, has carried many of us away with the romance of tropical shores, dusky maidens and mint juleps.
    His Spray circumnavigation, carefully planned as he'd done most of his professional seafaring life to find strong favorable winds and use them, went well, and it tells these lessons.
    Don't try to work a Spray that has less than 1800 square feet in the working rig to windward in any sort of chop. Bertie has shown this many times sailing against Spray replicas like JOSHUA and Pete Culler's 1929 SPRAY.
    Learn to use tides and currents, as they are always present, and affect boats with weak windward power like the Sprays more than the modern, efficient boats with their resultant technology/expense ratio that is quite different.
    Sprays are immensely cheap per ton with their simple and efficient-in-its-own-way shape. Lots of bang for the buck. The trade off is you have basically an 18th century small coastal cargo boat that is immensely under-rigged for the displacement, and of course becomes a slow disappointing vessel when used for modern recreational sailing. I mean.... "duh".
     
  2. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Nice picture.
    This design have absolutly nothing, but nothing to do with the Spray.
    The secret of the Spray is on her lines.
    Look attentively, and you will see the difference.
    Robert still the lousiest designer you can find.
    He has to take the name Spray to make himself knowne.
    And even that will not do.
    Daniel
     
  3. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Thanks for the advice.

    The object with my design is to come up with something sea worthy yet as easy to build as possible. With cylindric developement, The chines and clamps have a constant bevel, so can come straight out of a table saw. With straight sectional shapes, bulkheads will be quicker and easier to fit.

    Comparing my 'Lola' to a Weston Farmer design is like comparing gulash to caviar.

    Lola' major fault is that she is wetted surface area rich and sail area poor. To get more sail area, she needs much more ballast. To have that ballast and have the same cargo carrying capacity, she needs to be scaled up. Hence my crack in my last post about "learning why boats look the way they do" from working on this project.

    To get decent sail carrying ability, you need Beam or ballast. Beam is the most efficient way to get it. Ballast insures a better stability range and, if placed very low, can begin to compete with Beam.

    All in all, Lola is not a very good design. But she does have her vertues. With her easy construction, her large stability curve, and her twin keels, she could give the DEA fits;)

    But for what she was intended for, a simple, inexpensive, boat that can cross an ocean and be built by someone who is not an expert craftsman, she'll do. For a first design by a rooky designer, who is unwilling to play follow the leader, she may be great.

    It's interesting to hear that you worked 'in Hollywood'.

    I am an aspiring screen writer. I have written three screen plays. One of them has a lot to do with sailboats. I even designed the star boat, the ficticious 'JC 13' dinghy, which is central to the plot of the story.

    How did you get those big fat ceder planks to bend around that apple bow?

    Can you steem ceder?
     
  4. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    design

    Good thinking by a beginning designer, know limitations and design accordingly. Port Orford cedar is actually, along with Alaskan Yellow Cedar, technically a cypress. It also has definite limits in its ability to bend under steam. On BERTIE the plank is 1 3/4", while SPRAY had 1 1/2" yellow pine. I broke some planks until I learned the old timers trick of spiling and sawing out the plank, then starting at the front end, saw it in half vertically, almost to the butt, at least well past the bend. Then steam it and bend it on the boat. After it's cold, I would pull it off, butter the saw kerf with epoxy, then shore it back on the boat and spike it off, carefully cleaning the caulking seam of epoxy. Boat was caulked with cotton and oakum in the normal way. The CHARLES W MORGAN at Mystic Seaport, has oak bow planks done this way, tarred in the kerf and fastened with trunnels, while her side planking is yellow pine. The INTERCEPTOR model for Pirates 1 is a copy of the LADY WASHINGTON, a 1790 brig, and has a very full bow. The 1/4 scale model is 20 feet long, has 3/4" ponderosa pine plank and I bent the bow planks the same way, but without steam, using yellow glue in the kerf. She looks great in the film and you can't tell when they're using the full size ship or the model. Too bad she's not around any more.
    Like all my film work, we blew it up and threw the bits in the dumpster, because we make movies, not models, no matter how good they are. Our models have to fool a camera and until you've done it, you don't know how hard it is.
    Screen writing is fun. I am presently shooting nights on an ultra low budget horror/suspense film I co-wrote and am co-producing and filling several crew positions. Remember, people go to films for an emotional experience, not history lessons or anything technical. The broader the audience you write for, the more likely it'll get made into a film. For instance, all humans lose their virginity, fall in love, die etc. so a film about one of these subjects appeals to every human on earth. Very few sail, so a film on the subject is of interest to a limited audience.
     

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  5. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Bataan, that part I am curious. I don't understand your technic.
    Could you be kind to elaborate?
    I may copie you, who knows :D

    My own technic until know was using oil and coal fire or kerosen torche after a lengthly bath of the plank in kerosene. But don't tell the EPA :p

    Daniel
     
  6. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

     
  7. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    I once hitched a ride out of Maple Bay with a guy who once started a steel spray. He said that ,after a long time getting the extremely complex framing done , he calculated the huge amount of cutting , fitting and welding he had to do to get her plated.
    He then put his framework on a trailer, drove it to the dump, took the plates off the trailer and drove home without either, He said it was the wisest decision he ever made.
    The Roberts Spray is one of the most complex ,labour intensive, small steel boats ever designed.
     
  8. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Good luck with your film.

    My screen play happens on boats, but it is not about boats.

    It's about sibling rivalry, a May-December romance, and how people deal with tragedy.

    The sailing scenes, as intense as they are, are only there as back drop, and a way to move the story forward.

    Horror is an interesting choice. My first love, really. But I wouldn't dare write a horror script. I think it is harder to write than effective humor. Mood and atmosphere have to be king. And have to be maintained throughout. The less of the 'monster' the audience gets to see, the better. It's really easy to screw up.

    Humor is difficult because, to be good, it has to be about things that aren't really funny. There is probably more substance in good comedy than there is in most drama. I think there is a big difference between funny and merely silly.

    I never thought of partially kerfing the planks along their lengths. I would think that planking up with two layers of thinner planks would be easier. But then a lot of prime lumber would be turned to sawdust.

    'Lola' will likely never be built. I might build a sailing model, though.

    Right now, I'm concentrating on 'raid' boats. I have never been one to race around the cans. A 'raid' boat is more versatile than most dinghy size sailboats which tend to be more racing oriented.

    Do the jibs on your boat go all the way to the top of your mast?
    If so, do you have to dip the yard slightly to change tacks?
     
  9. ms.lau
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    ms.lau Junior Member

    daniel

    "So they put freeboard, and since Madame is scare shitless of sailing, so they put a washing machine and little bit of sail, with all the winches even Lewmar didn't invent"

    i've just joined the site so i'm late replying to your post. i'm enjoying the banter and the ideas, the bitching is a bit much. i like some of your posts, but please don't get sexist, there are many competent, even fabulous (we like ellen mcarthur here, kiwis will like naomi, etc.) female sailors. we're not all scared shitless of sailing, some of us really enjoy it. wierd, huh!

    laura
     
  10. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    some of the bitching gets pretty entertaining

    welcome to the crew by the way

    cheers
    B
     
  11. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    sharpii2--
    Head rig is pretty much Downeaster 1890 copy so has two stays, one to the top of mast and one a little lower. No yard dipping required, though sometimes the clew of the staysail catches the front of the boom if I don't time the sheet pull right. The yard is very docile in tacking and even when it's rough. I think it's the vertical attitude of the Swatow (south China) yard on this type sail. This doesn't tend to swing when rolling. Everything on BERTIE is basic industrial Sail, with no hint of marketing, yacht racing, or modern uses in mind. Again, big boat needs big rig or is DOG, therefore the 1000 square foot mainsail, 16 foot overhang on the bowsprit and 12 foot on the stern bumkin. When you cut the rig of a SPRAY type down you condemn it to a life of motoring and dockside drinking. Fat boats have advantages like we comfortably had 8 adults aboard for 10 days cruising Desolation Sound in Canada last month, yet I single-handed her for 3 days of Wooden Boat Festival last week. She sails well because she has good lines for the displacement and length and a very large and efficient rig.
     

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  12. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    The spray I have been sailing on was a Roberts Design and it seemed to have the hydrodynamics of a dead elephant. The highest it would point was a beam reach and it required a strong wind warning to move. The motion at sea was vomit inducing in any conditions due it is low speed. My mate quickly sold this lemon at a decent profit and has since purchased a Duncanson 35 so we can actually go sailing. If you like sailing you will hate a Roberts Spray.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Take a good design, raise the CG, greatly decrease the sail area, increase the wetted area, increase the parasitic windage..... and you have a slug that gives SPRAYs a bad reputation. Thanks Bruce Roberts for your design ignorance and great marketing skills.
     
  14. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Don't hold back for fear of hurting someone's feelings, BATAAN. Tell us what you really think....:p
     

  15. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    For some reason these are still popular. It only takes 5 minutes of research to figure out a BR Spray is a lemon, and as pointed out it is not more expensive to build a good steel design like a Vandestadt. After sailing a BR Spray, I can't see any logical reason why anyone would desire one of these boats yet they will remain popular. I guess the people who want these things haven't really sailed much and most certainly won't either if they stick with this design.
     
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