the Whistler Monster Project

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by JD11, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. JD11
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    JD11 New Member

    Not sure if this the specific place to post my questions. But here goes:

    I acquired a 1965 Whistler 11" sailboat. Somewhere in its life time it was converted into a rowboat/dingy. The conversion job was very good. The centerboard was completely removed and in its place a center seat was created with reinforced oarlocks, etc. There's no keel per say and the bottom was sealed up quite nicely. The transom was reinforced with a nice outboard mount. Someone spent time making this small sailboat into a nice looking little rowboat/dingy. Its built like a tank. This boat weighs close to 200 pounds.

    I was thinking about keeping the boat as a rowboat, but also turning the boat back into a little sailboat. Monster fashion. I'm not interested in returning the boat to Whistler specs or opening up the bottom to go back to a centerboard. I'm thinking of something a little more unconventional. I've restored several sailboats from sailing dinks to a classic thirty footer, and I've amassed a functioning amateur boat shop in my garage. Lots of spares and odds and ends, that I'd like to put to good use. I've got no actual Whistler parts for the boat, but I have a 10ft mast section, misc. rigging, odds and ends, and means the to fabricate a rudder, tiller, etc.

    I'm thinking of putting what I guess would be a a small shoal draft keel on the boat, but unsure how to do it. Maybe 6-12" deep and unsure how long. Ballast or no? What would be easiest, bolt on a steel keel? Or maybe just a glassed on keel? What would be the easiest way to fabricate something like that?

    I'm also thinking of putting the stubby mast forward against the tinny cuddy, or thru the cuddy deck, cat style, with maybe a junk rig. I even have a old bowsprit lying around...

    This is a monster build, so if monsters frighten you, please don't rain on my mad scientist parade.

    Any thoughts and assistance would be appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Canracer
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    Canracer Senior Member

    Honestly, it's a good looking boat. It might sail ok just the way it is (a bit off the wind obviously.)
  3. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    Think practicalities first. If you have a bolted in section on the bottom it will hit the ground, and frequently so it needs to have a very shallow entry angle and be strong enough to take the weight of the boat and quite possibly crew.
    If you allow half as much area again as a reasonable dagger board will have you'll probably be able to make usable ground upwind.
    The rubbing strips each side of the keel will not touch any more, so you'll need new ones out near the turn of bilge.
    Ballast will do little or nothing of any benefit.
    I presume the boat is all glass fibre?
    I would have thought a metal keel would be damn expensive, especially by the time you've corrosion proofed it unless you have serious metal bashing facilities, but wood coated in glass would be a major rot trap, so glass over foam maybe, which is also not cheap especially as you'd need one hell of a layup to protect from mechanical damage.

    Not sure I altogether see the point I'm afraid. If you want a centreboardless boat there are those who rave about leeboards, although the complication and aesthetics would kill that for me.
  4. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Someone has done quite a neat conversion as you say, to a row/motor dinghy. Personally I'd leave her like that, to make that type of shape, sail even half decently is a lot of work and it would still be pretty disappointing!. Much more fun if you find something near half the weight and more modern that actually does sail properly.

    Apologies if that comes across as a bit brutal, but you'd be better off putting the same time into a new build that is a sail boat, rather than reworking an old plodder.
  5. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    I second Suki Solos vote for a new build. A new one might cost a little more but it would be far more likely to provide sailing satisfaction. The boat in the pictures is a pretty little thing. I can see why it would be tempting to restore it. If you do restore it consider a centerboard or dagger board, not a keel. A dagger board case is easy enough to build and install.

    Know what the dimensions of your sail will be, and the mast location, before you establish the location of the board. A bow sprit implies that a jib is to be used. Probably overkill for such a small boat. If a jib is used then that implies shrouds, maybe even a backstay. Too much unnecessary clutter for that boat.
  6. abc
    Joined: Nov 2017
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    abc New Member

    Old thread, I get it. How far from Monroe mi. is the Whistler. A" monster" dinghy is of interest to me. Free labor, sailing skill, very good all around fabricator, looking for a project 30 knot winds 4 - 5 foot waves self righting, self bailing lake Erie. big sails, small brain. P.S. adjusable fin stabilizers. Why not go new with carbon fiber? I'm cheap. You said monster first. If interested send e-mail.

  7. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    A long keel of about 7.5 ft in length would have to be about 6 inches deep, to provide adequate windward performance. Such a keel would add about 4.3 sf of whetted area, but far less parasitic drag than a deeper, shorter one. It would also be more row friendly, as it would make the boat tend to track straighter. The penalty, of course, is slower turning. Structural strength could be another issue, as this boat seems to have little rocker and very little dead rise. Proper floor timbers would have to project some distance into the hull, maybe two or three inches. Several threaded rods, three to five, would hold the thing on. The keel itself could be made of two inch nominal lumber, epoxy coated (but not fiberglass sheathed), and watched for wear and rot.

    The exact fore and aft placement of this keel will depend on the sail rig chosen, as well as the mast placement.

    The keel I envision would have a leading edge raked back, at the bottom, about ten inches. It's likely CLR (Center of Lateral Resistance) would be about 53 inches forward of the vertical trailing edge.

    This is with a presumed sail area of around 60 sf, which would be adequate with two aboard, and more than adequate single handed.

    You might consider opting for an even smaller rig, if you intend to row as well as sail.

    A traditional square, sprit rig might work well to keep the mast and spar lengths within reason, as windward performance is not going to be this boat's strong point anyway (it might be able to do 100 deg. tacks, and maybe not even that, but close).

    As for the bowsprit, I suggest you consider using it for a specialized down wind sail, which will not require a whole lot of sophisticated craftsmanship to make. It also wouldn't need a lot of different sheeting angles. When set, it would keep the bow dutifully pointed down wind, and add sail area when it's needed most.

    The main itself doesn't need to be all that fancy to work reasonably well. Chinese Lugs are notoriously flat, but seem to do OK.

    A flat cut square sprit sail will probably work a little better. They've been made that way for around a thousand years.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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