What would Blondie Hassler design today?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Krauthammer, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Krauthammer
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    Krauthammer Junior Member

    A life and location change is forcing me to investigate cruising singlehanders that are comfortable to live on, easy to handle and safe to sail in big water.

    I've been looking at Gary Hoyt and Yves Tanton designs in the used market, as well as the Chris White MastFoil and the unavoidable Junk rig for new builds. Building a new boat in the 40 ft range is the more attractive avenue but I need to narrow down the options before I start looking for a designer.

    What say you? Mono or multihull, keeping in mind that the rig must be easy to handle by an operator with very little physical strength and without any assists.

    The subject has been beaten to death but I have yet to find a treatise that ends with a definitive recommendation, instead they end with the platitude that all boats are compromises.
    There was no compromise in Blondie Hassler's thinking and the results proved him right. What kind of hull and rig would Blondie design today?
     
  2. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    Any 40 footer will be a handful for a single hander who is not reasonably fit. Its not so much the rig that is the limiting factor as the anchor gear. And not just the normal working anchor, think about the conditions that require hauling out the BIG storm anchor.

    As a fit 28 year old I find that a 20kg anchor is the most I want to deal with on a heaving for-deck, and 15kg is much better.

    And every boat is a compromise, Hassler's very much so, but the good thing is most any well built boat will do just fine for what you want.
     
  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    get a motor sailor with relatively small sails. than you do not need to expend your energy or efforts messing with sails at all if you choose not to. Small sails are easy to handle and maintain.

    Sailing a 40 ft yacht solo is not for the infirm. You will have to depend on many automated systems like electric winches, halyards, windlass, etc. which will be a constant source of maintenance and headache. Not likely you will be able to keep it all working all the time. I heard one story where an elderly couple were stranded on a remote island anchorage because their electric windlass stopped working and they could not haul the anchor up themselves. Some local fisherman came along after a few weeks and helped them haul it up. One break down after another forced them to cut short their dream trip.

    Either choose a much smaller boat, or one designed to be motored about.
     
  4. Krauthammer
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    Krauthammer Junior Member

    Faced with being shackled to a deserted anchorage for several weeks and they didn't let go of the anchor? BTW windlasses fail on motorsailers as well and the prudent mariner has at least two of them.
     
  5. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    If you have a sheet winch or two, or a simple handy-billy, you can get the anchor up.....lack of seamanship applies to any size boat.

    Hasler was a pragmatist, he did not design Jester, he bought an existing boat and modified her. One supposes he would do the same thing today. Buy an existing production boat and modify the rig. I'm currently doing this to two different production cruisers, an Allied Princess which will be a junk schooner (with jib) and a Columbia 36 (Crealock) which will have a single junk sail.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If you look at a cruising boat average speed as the main requirement, an under-rigged multihull is a great option. The anchor will be proportionally smaller than a monohull because the displacement is less. The windage may be higher, so it is not a direct proportion.
     
  7. Krauthammer
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    Krauthammer Junior Member

    Amen.



    Yes to the multihull and dismiss the anchor issue which is not worthy of discussion.

    Multihull, a cat or a tri? Single mast is probably a tri. And under-rigged, are the MastFoiler and the Junrig under-rigg? Fixed keels or boards? And what kind of rudders?
     
  8. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    Being able to anchor securely in (most) all conditions is probably the #1 requirement of a safe cruising boat. When everything else is going wrong it is your last resort. It is also very much a limiting factor in boat size. I worked on a 65 foot schooner and could manage the sails on my own if need be (slowly, but I could do what needed doing), no way I could deal with the ground tackle without the rest of the crew.

    It is not the windlass that is the problem, anyone can haul a big anchor from the bottom to the bow with a bit of ingenuity, where it gets tricky is when that anchor needs to be rowed out in the dingy, or swapped out for a different type.
     
  9. Krauthammer
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    Krauthammer Junior Member

    True. My choice of anchors for the boat in question would be a 60 lb CQR, a 33 lb ROCNA and two 21 lb Fortress. I can heft them in the dinghy and row them wherever they need to be. A vertical electric/manual windlass at the bow and another one at the stern.

    But ... this post was not intended to be a discussion on anchors.
     
  10. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I sailed a junk rigged boat for the first time yesterday. Slowest boat to windward I have ever been on, and I was surprised by the number of ropes drooping into the cockpit and the effort required to adjust the sail. It might have had a place 60 years ago, but not now.

    Blondie Hasler designed a junk rigged boat for the 1960/64 OSTAR but IIRC a hard chine 40ft plywood boat for the 1966 Round Britain race, so which Hasler boat did you admire?

    You don't need a 40ft multihull, especially if you are singlehanded sailing. A 30-35ft would be plenty big enough even for a couple. I have made 2 Atlantic crossings in 10m catamarans, 3 on board for one trip, two on board for the other. No problems.

    I lived on board a 32ft catamaran for 5 years, then changed to 34ft for two years and then one winter on a 38ft catamaran. We thought the latter was way too big for a couple, a totally unnecessary amount of space, with much bigger gear to handle. It had over 1000sqft of useable living space, that's twice the floor area of the house I'm in right now.

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  11. Krauthammer
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    Krauthammer Junior Member

    Thanks for the input Richard.

    Only brought up Hasler because he was an iconoclast and his Junk rig following is still strong. BTW some of the newer riggs with cambered panels are said to point very well. Hasler got enough feedback from Folkboat/Jester and then went to a different hull design. What would he do with a multihull and the space age materials available today?



    Good point. I singlehanded a friend's Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 39' from SoCal to Cabo a few months ago and found it to be no big problem to handle. With an easy rig it would have been perfect.
    What's an easy rigg? Maybe a Junk rig or maybe Chris White's MastFoil. Something that is self tending with no surprises and no big muscle/electrics/hydraulics required. Stay below with only a couple of lines for any and all functions.
    Is a 35'-40' used cat with an easy rig the answer? C.White could be the design source for a MastFoil to fit an existing boat (?). Junk rig experienced NAs?
     
  12. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    I think of Hasler's boat as a concept. Simplicity and reasonable cost are part of the concept of self reliability to some extent . What could be done today , with a modern rig that would be reliable, and easily handled from the inside?
    There are no small injurys when you are alone a long way from shore. and physical safety was paramount in Hasler,s thinking.
     
  13. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    I worked with Blondie Hasler very briefly in the early 1970s. He had the clearest-thinking, most receptive mind of anyone I've ever met. He would certainly be noting and evaluating all the advancements in design and materials that have occurred since he rigged Jester for the 1960 OSTAR.

    I caught the junk rig bug from him, after sailing on Pilmer and seeing what a tremendous amount of sense it made, for a cruising boat. I have sailed under no other rig but junk rig and derivatives of it since 1977, and couldn't consider anything else. But the question was, what would Blondie be doing? That would depend on what use the vessel was to put to. I do believe, though, that he would still be using one of the much-improved junk rigs that we have developed since his day, if it was appropriate to do so - and it still is the best ocean voyaging rig. Last year, I sailed single-handed from NZ to Tahiti (in winter), to Hawai'i. This year, from Hawai'i to Alaska to BC, Canada, in my boat Tystie, with a single junk sail. I couldn't do that kind of passage-making in a 35ft boat under any kind of rig but junk rig, at my age (68).

    But for 40,000 miles (out of her 80,000 total), Tystie has had a soft wing sail ketch rig, which was better to windward than any of the purer forms of junk rig, while being just as easy to handle and still having all the many advantages. Blondie was very interested in one of my early efforts at a cruising wing sail design, and my guess is that he'd now be working along similar lines if he were still with us.
     
  14. Krauthammer
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    Krauthammer Junior Member

    Thank you for responding David and congratulations on a beautiful boat. Here is a link for those who can't find it:

    http://www.junkrigassociation.org/photo_gallery?id=1672420

    My vision is a one handed cruiser around 35 to 40ft that will allow an old guy to make long open water passages with ease and safety and your rig looks very close to what I'm envisioning. Could you share some details about the boat and its builder?
     

  15. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    The design of Tystie was a joint effort between David Thomas, a well known designer in the UK, with many production and custom boats to his credit; and myself. David did all the naval architecture part for me, drawing the hull and making the calculations, and I designed the rig, deck and accommodation. She is laid out to be a comfortable long-distance, long-term cruiser for one or two people. She is at the maximum sensible size for a single-hander, I feel, and the accommodation is positively palatial for one, comfortable for two people who are used to living afloat. There is a central, rectangular double berth forward, with ample clothes stowage on either side of it and ample stowage beneath it for tools, spares and bulk food; a conventional saloon with settees/seaberths, table and dickinson heater; a galley to starboard and full-size chart table and heads to port. Because of the high, slightly 'chinese' stern, the cockpit is deep and well sheltered. Watchkeeping is done under a Hasler rotating pramhood. She is built of layers of thin ply and epoxy, and sheathed in glass. The hull, deck and accommodation were built in the UK, on the River Hamble, by a small boatbuilder who is no longer trading; and then I took over and built the rig and installed the engine, and all the systems. There is now a sister ship, with the hull and deck built by a different UK yard, Farrow and Chambers,and completed by its owner.

    As I posted in another thread, Tystie has had a single-masted junk rig for half of her sailing, 40,000 miles. For the other half, she had a ketch rig with soft wing-sails, very much based on junk rig, with chinese sheeting to stiff battens, but with articulating battens designed in the way that Tom Speer has described for designing a wing mast/ sail combination. I'll attach a cross sectional drawing. I used Wortmann fx77w153 section as the basis. This takes more work to make and assemble, but the performance is better than a pure junk rig. While it won't ever match the performance of a hard wing mast, because the soft sail is rougher and not held to a precise shape, when I've tested it by holding up a ribbon on the end of a long stick, the airflow was behaving very well around the luff and lee side. I'd rather like to go back to this rig, as it was actually even easier to handle than pure junk rig, on top of the performance advantage. Maybe next time, I'd like to try using UI1720 section as the basis of the design ( the section designed at the University of Illinois for use on double skinned hang gliders, so appropriate for building with a fabric cover). The articulating mechanism needs to be different, but I'm working on a solution to that.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
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