The cozy two-way: a total lubber's first probing at tender construction.

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by StormalongJohn, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. StormalongJohn
    Joined: Sep 2016
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    StormalongJohn New Member

    Good day all. First post and all, so if it's in the wrong place... I blame undercaffeination and high distractability.

    Anyhow, I've had a soft spot for sailboats my whole life, and have recently decided on the adventurous goal to craft a boat that I can row or sail alone by spring.
    The goal is a essentially a floating sofa with room for two adult guests and a cooler of light refreshments.
    I've a few designs in mind, but would like some experienced advice in discerning which (if any) is the best balance between the following factors:
    1.Size/weight manageable for one-man portage.
    2. Stability under sail.
    3. General comfort.

    The plans I'm currently waffling between are a 12 ft skiff/dory (or its 10.5 ft sister)
    http://koti.kapsi.fi/hvartial/skiff12p/skif12p.htm

    or the "D4" pram dinghy.
    http://boatplans.cc/bateau/prameke/
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    To answer #1, how much weight are you able to carry?
     
  3. StormalongJohn
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    StormalongJohn New Member

    I can carry 60-70 lbs for about a quarter mile if need be, though I'll probably get around to rigging up a dolly/cart for the times where I just... don't want to do that.
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    With that weight limit, the designs you show may not work. Maybe the small dinghy. Light weight will probably mean a narrow boat, which is in conflict with the stability. Also, a sailing boat usually is heavier than a rowboat, because of structural concerns plus all the rig, sails, etc. A canoe will probably fit your requirements better.
     
  5. StormalongJohn
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    StormalongJohn New Member

    Fair enough. Weight is less of a concern given that I can cart it without much ado, but the sailing is tied for importance with capacity, so I may indeed go with the dinghy.
     
  6. LP
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    LP Flying Boatman

    Blackfly

    I've always had a soft spot for this design. I thought of it immediately when I read your post.

    http://www.tdem.nz/blackfly
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Your best set of options, are to just go out and buy a used little sailboat and go find out, what you really want and like. If you lack experence, you simply have no idea what you want, what you like or what you need, so get some wet butt time. The fastest way to do this is volunteer for rail meat duty at the local sailing club. You'll sail a variety of different boats, with a similar variety of owners and skippers. In one season, your ideas of what you want will drastically change, as your experence evolves.

    If you do have some experence and must build (read a whole lot more costly), think light, simple and small. 12' is a minimum 2 man boat and the lighter ones will range about 80 - 120 pounds. 10' is a single person boat, but you can find them as light as 50 - 60 pounds. Kiss off the sofa, it ain't happening on a solo or two man boat. The cooler full of beer is possible, though boats of this size will suffer with a full one, so drink faster.

    If this is your first build, you should look at a flat bottom taped seam build. If the design is well suited to rowing, it'll be a poor sailor. The reverse is also true with a good sailor being harder to row. A boat that does one well, will not the other. A boat that does one fairly well, will be better at the other (usually). Identifying these things requires considerable experence, which most just don't have, though some think they do.

    Define what your true goals are, be honest about your skills, as a builder and a sailor and look for boats intended as first build projects. I like BlackFly, but would ask a novice to build one.
     
  8. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    I agree with PAR on much of what he says: forget the little 8 ft pram type dingy, they are handy because of their size but not very useful as boats, particularly as a sailboat (very sluggish). When I was in elementary school all of the "rich" kids had their parents buy them sailing pram kits like that to build in wood shop. I was so badly desiring one of them I designed and built my own out of heavy construction lumber scraps (it was more like a square crate, it did not perform well at all). 50 years and some 30 small boats (and a degree in engineering) later, I built one a few years ago out of scraps I had laying around. I was very disappointed at it's performance, and it very limited capacity. Good for a kid to learn in, but not a very useful small sailor for an adult.

    You describe a min of a 12 ft boat, if you want it to sail well than choose a good sailing design, and just live with the less than optimum rowing performance. A 14 ft sailing dingy will deliver everything you want, but is rather large to man-handle on your own. though I put my 14 ft dingy on the roof of my old Toyota Tercel wagon, it takes a lot of muscle and I am not often in the mood to take it out by myself becasue of it. Though I do also have a 16 ft demountable trimaran that is actually easier to self load/unload on my toyota (the individual parts are smaller and lighter), but there is much more to assemble on the beach once I have arrived. However, with a ten foot beam, it is a very comfortable ride, even in a fair blow.

    It depends on your intended use, if your intent is to use it as a tender for a larger boat, your rows will only be to get to shore for groceries, laundry, etc. So the rowing performance is not a particularly important issue unless you also want to use it for longer pure rowing excursions. As a good sailor however, once you anchor the cruiser, you can use it to explore up and down the coast, the shallows and up nearby inlets without needing to row it. So it just depends on your intended use, and in which means of powering it (muscle or wind) that you will mostly be using it, that will decide which one you want.

    Another consideration is perhaps a larger double kayak, easy to paddle and has lot of cargo space, that can mount a couple of beams, out riggers and a sail, and covert it to a small sailing tri. That would mean bringing along a lot of extra rigging and fittings of course, and the time to assemble it, but it would be an efficient, fun and useful boat in either mode.
     

  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I was working on a narrow 15' sharpie design a few years ago, to try to bridge the gap between reasonable sailing and comfortable rowing, for a buddy that likes to row and paddle. It was light and easy to paddle or row, but a little tender in the winds most find desirable, though in light air very manageable. It came in around 90 pounds, but would have been considered delicate by most sailors. With outriggers or an active two man crew, it could have been kept on it's feet in bigger winds, but it would have been a wet ride. The usual issues cropped up, like having suitable freeboard for human power, yet enough to not ship with any kind of heel under sail. As a two man, she'd be easy to carry to the water, but as a solo, you'd want a dolly, if much distance was required to launch.

    Lastly, the comfort and stability aspect of the design is a difficult proposition. In craft of this general size, particularly light ones, that have reasonable human power potential, stability is a relative term. Comfort can be governed by a good cushion, but stability requires some bulk, be this beam, heft or even ballast. What I might consider comfortable, may very well seem like a cat running on glass to you. Hence my previous point about you making some decisions about your real needs, based on your practical understanding, skills and experiences.
     
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