5th April 2006, 12:17 PM #121
Great to see the little craft up and sailing!
I see what you mean by stable and b****y hard to tip.
If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly
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5th April 2006, 08:45 PM #122
Well done, fellas. Great work!
6th April 2006, 03:52 PM #123
I thought I would write a bit of a spiel about how the little boats are going.
We (and several other people) have been sailing them over the last few days.
The performance is pretty much how I expected when I drew up our version.
In light winds they move along really nicely - as you can see from the videos which were all filmed in under 8 knots of breeze.
We had decided to put heaps of sail on them 80sq ft vs the more normal 60 sq feet - the rules restrict the hullshape only. We wanted the performance to really sparkle in the light stuff.
As you can see from the vids they steer pretty well and are capable of turning in their own lengths - far faster in fact than this sailor can move!
One of the points I wanted to prove is that the original designer said that the boats wouldn't plane - and that was the group opinion of the American Sailors.
A couple of days ago I went for a sail upstream in the Mooloola River - spent a coupla pleasant hours exploring and trying to make headway against the outgoing tide in the light winds.
In the end I gave up in one particularly light area (lots of trees both sides of the river - the tops were waving in a reasonable breeze, but there was nothing at water level where I needed it.
Anyway, headed back and the wind had picked up to between 10 to 13 knots.
This is the sort of wind speed where I expected to start having problems from the big rig.
No Problems and on the upside got the boat planing a couple of times in some of the stronger gusts.
The main reasons for us being able to do it is that our boats are about 1/3 the weight of the average, they have lots of sail, they have carefully shaped centreboards and rudders and though the sails are made of crap material (polytarp) the mast and boom and resulting sail shape are quite efficient in light and moderate conditions and downwind in these stronger breezes - though I am not happy with the amount of stretch distortion in the sails upwind in the stronger stuff.
Oh, yes - both Midge and I have a background in performance sailing craft too - so we both know how to cajole a boat onto a plane.
Holding together in stronger winds
The next day brought winds of around 10 to 15 knots - so the peak of the gusts was greater than the previous day.
So I spent some time generally getting a feel for the boat upwind and down.
Upwind the boat points quite well sailing at close to 45 degrees to the wind (that's those foils working). In a gust the mast bends as it was designed to do and spill some of the excess wind pressure automatically.
I was worried that the masts - crapiata floorboards - would be two week because of the poor grade of the timber - but they have stood up so far.
I was also worried that the boats would become a handful in a breeze - but in 15 knot gusts when they should be well and truly starting to give us a hard time - no probs at all.
Reaching is where the fun starts - going across the wind. As soon as there is enough wind pressure for me to put my feet under the straps and start hiking (not going for a walk with a backpack, but stretching my body out from the side of the boat to keep it flat and stop it from capsizing from wind pressure) - as soon as there is enough wind to hike out on a reach the boat planes efforlessly - at least in the smooth water in front of Midge's.
The only thing that you have to remember is to move about a foot further back just as you start hiking to stop the bow digging in. If the bow digs in the boat stops suddenly and is going too slow for the rudder to be very effective. But if you hike and move aft that little bit the boat accelerates, the bow rises into the air mightily (that's all the excess curvature of the bottom toward the back of the boat starting to suck the stern down) and you are moving along quite nicely.
Easy to sail
Almost anyone can jump in and have a great deal of fun - they feel faster than they are and behave just like little modern dinghies.
They are not too hard to hold up and with only one sail and the steering to take care of they are simple.
On launch day one of the ppl there took his two little girls out for a sail - he hadn't sailed a keelboat or dinghy before - only windsurfers - and he had no trouble at all.
Don from up the road dropped in the day after to take one out for a sail. The last time he sailed a small boat was when he was racing VJ dinghies about 30 years ago - he came back beaming.
These little boats are a hoot!
Rigging and unrigging
The other advantage is that they take about 5 minutes (tops) to get ready to go sailing.
Put hull upright.
Drop mast in hole. Unwrap the sail from around the mast and stretch it out.
One end of the boom is already attached at the back end of the sail - but you have to thread the rope on the other end through a pulley (nautical = a block) and then tie it off around a cleat.
Thread the mainsheet (rope that controls the sail) through two blocks
Put the rudder in its housing.
Put the elastic shock cord line on the centreboard
Put the boat in the water and go sailing.
It's faster than me typing this.
For the performance minded
If there is anything "wrong" with the boats it is the attention required to stay in the right place fore and aft for whatever conditions you are in.
This will be one of the main skills required to sail these boats efficiently when racing. When cruising around it doesn't matter at all.
The PDRs are very sensitive to fore and aft crew placement - the huge curve of the bottom makes them like a rocking horse. Move too far forward and you can hear the bow starting to kick up water (in light winds) or the sudden deceleration of the bow digging in (in strong winds).
If you time the move aft so the bow doesn't dig in the boat accelerates and the bow rises mightily - so you can move close to your original position to trim the boat a bit better for speed.
You can just sit in the back position all the time but it means the boat will be going slower because the stern is dragging in the water - you can see the turbulence in the wake (turbulence always means lost energy that could have been used to drive the boat forward).
The optimum solution is just watch what happens and move fore and aft as needed.
6th April 2006, 04:09 PM #124
Get thee behind me Satan
Reading the thread, and in particular your descriptions of the trial trips, and looking at the videos almost makes me think of deferring the project of building the Tamar (like the one in my avatar). But I will persist with the Tamar project, once it is done, a PD Racer may need to be built as well.....Cheers
If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly
6th April 2006, 06:04 PM #125
The record round the Island in front of Midge's house is
2-up - 60 mins - Sunday April 2 - very light winds
Record held by Sue Close (skipper) and Michael Storer (tactician)
1-up - 45 mins - Wednesday April 5 - fairly light winds
Record held by Michael Storer
The island is at Google Earth
That includes starting from the kitchen clock, putting the boat in the water sailing, pulling the boat out of the water then checking the time on the kitchen clock.
Make sure Midge doesn't cheat!!!
8th April 2006, 09:26 AM #126
Well done guys.
Going back to the very first post in this thread we already know that the build time blew out a fair bit, but how many hours did go into the project? And how close to budget did you get? refering back to https://www.woodworkforums.com/attach...7&d=1139482563When I die I want to go like my grandfather. Peacful in his sleep.
Not screaming like his passengers.
8th April 2006, 11:14 AM #127Originally Posted by ChasingRainbows
The build-time did extend a bit, but there were a few reasons:
We complicated the construction for ourselves, by fiddling and fussing around to make it as simple and elegant as possible for anyone following a plan, and at the same time we wasted several mornings poking round in hardware and camping shops looking for cheap/alternative ways of doing things.
We also spent more time than necessary on the paint preparation, (more on that later) and we were held up for days with the humidity hovering at ninety-something percent stopping us painting. The first varnish coat took a couple of weeks to harden because we got a bit impatient.
We think that a top-quality boat could be built from the (not yet published) plans, in less than 60 hours work, with about half that time in the painting/finishing.
It's more than possible to go sailing in two weekends with a few night's sailmaking in the middle, and not too much effort on the paint.
As for cost:
Our boats have easily come in around $275.00 but there are a few caveats there: I wouldn't use the el-cheapo ply again. It was an experiment that merely confirmed all the reasons I have espoused in the past, and we have already replaced the bottom on one boat. (More on that later too!)
All our timber was free, and meant quite a lot of extra work, but even the masts of 12mm Radiata wall-board are working surprisingly well!
We did save considerably in paint cost by building two boats. A 4 litre can of paint is almost the same cost as 2 x 2 litre cans, so it may pay to share paint costs with someone.
We have also eliminated almost all deck fittings and hardware, which I will illustrate on a post later this weekend.
We now know that a cheap, scrounged boat can be built for about $250, but we both feel that if we were doing it again there is a certain false economy in that, and would use better materials, and do (as we have) a decent paint job.
We have estimated the cost of a top quality, all-bought materials boat (gaboon ply, marine paint, pine framing) at $575.00 including sail.
So I guess that's the price range!
I still call them $250 boats, but budget $500 anyway!
Last edited by Wood Butcher; 12th April 2006 at 09:16 PM.
8th April 2006, 12:49 PM #128Originally Posted by bitingmidge
Mick"If you need a machine today and don't buy it,
tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."
- Henry Ford 1938
12th April 2006, 08:58 AM #129
Of course there is nothing to stop someone from scrounging materials and building a fantastic little boat for $250.
They could still use our mods for centreboard, rudder, mast, sail, buoyancy tanks and construction to make sure it is the best sailing and handling puddle duck to date.
Or not - if they just wanted something to stooge around in.
Or to enter a flight of fancy - the Americans have one built like a Spanish Galleon with two masts and square sails - and a brass cannon. It's not always speed that determines the outcome of the day's race.
Depending on how fast you can reload.
But whatever is done ... please use decent quality ply whether scrounged or not! That was our worst decision - but we were trying to prove a point about cheapness! Decent ply probably only adds about $60 to the project even at store prices
12th April 2006, 09:46 AM #130Originally Posted by bitingmidge
I meant SAIL!!!
12th April 2006, 09:17 PM #131Originally Posted by bitingmidgeHave a nice day - Cheers
12th April 2006, 11:25 PM #132
I'm interested in your experiences with the cheap ply.
When I bought for the mouseboats, I bought exterior ply. About $40 a sheet. But I explained to the bloke what I was doing and he did a lot of thinking before suggesting what I got. I think he said it was maple, but that might also have been a trade name description rather than the actual wood.
The ply itself? The first mouseboat is now over two years old and looks like the day I finished it ... with scratches.
The other boat was cut out, then left in the shed for eighteen months before I finished it ... and the ply was still good. That boat is 6 months old now and shows no sign of problems.
The ply was slightly better quality than the batch of gaboon you've heard me complain about before - better surface and no voids (like the gaboon had despite the fancy ASwhateveritis stamp). It did tear more when cutting which suggests the actual timber wasn't as good. It sanded nicely though and took both paint and epoxy nicely.
So cheap may not always be cheap. I think it's worth looking for if you're tight for cash, but you need to remember that the cost of ply, frightening though it may be, is only a small part of the whole ghastly adventure.
13th April 2006, 08:44 AM #133
As soon as I have a few minutes (it's an interesting experience having to work quite hard!), I'll post the pics, but $40 per sheet isn't cheap ply, we (Mik ) replaced the bottoms of both boats with Gaboon which cost $50 per sheet.
Our cheap ply was $19.00 per sheet, and it was the most brittle material either of us had ever seen. We gave each other a sort of funny look and decided to use it anyway to prove a point, and we did.
As I said, full report shortly, but the basic rule remains the same, and we made the point earlier as well: we could have completed each boat in quality ply initially for an extra $70.00, and have had a lighter boat which with a long life expectancy.
Instead, we have spent about that on repairs, and now have strong durable boats that weigh less!
Had we been building a larger boat, the cheaper (exterior grade) ply could have had disastrous consequences, and I am personally aware of a number of these cases, including a 40 foot catamaran which broke apart on it's maiden voyage when the main beam ply delaminated.
Building a disposable dinghy isn't a problem, neither is building in any particular species, just don't build in cheap exterior or other inferior grade if you want to guarantee a strong, light, durable, best value result!
P (I must check my shares in the ply industry)
13th April 2006, 01:22 PM #134New Member
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Wow, I just came across this thread while looking in the boat forums and it is fascinating.
I can't wait for the plans to be released cause I will be after them straight away!!!
Thanks for this Bitingmidge and Boatmik!!!!
13th April 2006, 03:43 PM #135
Thanks Gryphon, maybe we'll race one day!
I need your help, the first boatload arrives this weekend, and I can't tell them apart!
Last edited by Boatmik; 12th December 2007 at 08:45 PM.
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