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Tom Lathrop

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Everything posted by Tom Lathrop

  1. All the early B&B cat ketches did. We just did not reef them, although a few people made some apparently complicated arrangements for reefing them. Some traditional sharpie workboats reefed by brailing up the sails to the masts.
  2. Dale, I don't have a drawing of the CS17 so don't know how much space is available in front of the mast. Some builders have installed a tabernacle on a CS17 so there may be adequate room for the flop board mast lock, which I think is a plus to have that way up in the bow so you don't have to go there underway if you need to. I have seen a similar mast lock on another type boat but nothing quite like this or part of a tabernacle. You would be the beta model although I'm pretty certain it would work. There are other methods for rigging a gate at the bottom of the tabernacle that don't require any additional room forward of the mast. The purpose of any of these base locks is to avoid the need to manually set up the bolt.
  3. There is a line between rolling while tacking and tacking in order to do a roll for the purpose of propelling your boat. The judges will decide if you are guilty. Of course, you will already know if you are guilty. Very few know how to execute a roll tack well anyway, especially in a two or more crewed boat. Getting everyone well synchronized is not easy without lots of practice. Locally, we often have 18 or more college teams from all over the east racing in scheduled events. Some of these kids can roll tack well in a wide range of wind speed. Many do not get good coordination or execution and do not get good results from their efforts. Those who do are generally the winning teams. http://www.sailpack.org/2018orientalsailpack
  4. Dale, I see that there has been no rush to offer a new wizbang tabernacle for you so I have gone to the drafting board to draw one that was in my head a while back. I also liked the rotating mast I had on my Bay River Skiff LOON for its simplicity, ease of rigging at the launch and permanent storage of the sails. Going to sail tracks and battens with leech roach changed all that. Some performance was surely gained but at the loss of a lot of time and convenience and I really missed the former ease of handling in launching and docking, especially into a downwind dock or beach. With the years catching up to me, I also was starting to need a tabernacle on the main and about two years ago I designed a tabernacle that would accomplish both objectives. Details were not completely worked out and some things needed refinement when it was actually laid out on paper following your request. This sketch shows the resulting unit. I actually gave LAPWING to my son Mark and it now sails on coastal Maine where he and Jan live on Georgetown Island. It should be pretty clear in that there is little difference in the actual construction other than the ears on the side that allow for the pivot bolt to attach to the mast tube. I would make that collar of fiberglass bonded to the tube. Based on past experience the sides of the tabernacle should be made very strong to take the stress of a bending mast in a breeze. I’d wrap it in 1808 biaxial non-woven glass and add a through bolt near the top. The added ears should be made strong to take the expected stress as well. Another change from the normal CS tabernacle is the lock at the base. The bolt works fine but often calls for some fiddling hands on work to get it fitted and secured. The flip board shown should hold the mast in place securely at the base with no hand-on needed. If the spring loaded hinge is not considered secure enough in the event of a capsize, a magnet under the board near the mast should add more security. A trip line could be rigged so the release could be done remotely for easier single handing. If it were mine, I would have no battens in the sails and wrap them on the mast permanently. There is a sailmaker in Florida who makes sails with vertical battens that may look a bit off to traditionalists, but seem to work well. These can be wrapped around the mast.`As on LOON, the masts/sails would be stored in a canvas sleeve and placed in cradles above the mast tubes. This is great for traveling as well as a tarp support for storage. Tom Lathrop
  5. In light air, heeling the boat is advantageous for several reasons. One is that heeling reduces wetted area, two is that heeling adds weather helm which is an aid in pointing high, three is that adding weather helm helps in tacking, finally heeling gives the sails a better shape because of gravity. Position of the crew is adjusted to maximize the other variable mentioned. Heeling reduces the height of and horizontally projected area of the sails to the wind and those are negatives. All of this changes with the particular boat and the wind speed. Nothing is as important as going in the right direction and that can change if you need to go off the closest course to chase spotty wind around the lake. You absolutely need to learn to read the water as an aid in finding where the wind is. Tieing off the tiller on centerline and sailing around through tacks and jibes by moving your weight around will teach you as much as anything about these conditions but you can do that with moderate wind also. At some point you may wish to learn how to roll tack which can actually propel the boat forward in a dead calm even if its not legal in racing.
  6. I started out in a competitive Windmill racing fleet before I really knew how to sail. Had read all the library books on sailing boats but in 1966, that was not very many. In our first couple races with Liz as my crew, we dumped in blustery conditions at the leeward mark. The early Windmill was completely open and did not have any flotation other than the wood in the boat so flipping it back up and sailing on was out of the question. I was able to bring it back vertical with tons of water inside and tossed out the anchor which brought the boat head to wind. With Liz hanging on to one rail, I bailed with a bucket until the water was below the daggerboard slot and climbed aboard to get more water out. Finally I was able to pull my long suffering crew aboard and hauled the anchor. We finished the race and and Liz asked me if that was the worse that could happen. After I assured her that a capsize was about it, she said "well I won't worry any more" and we went on to years of more racing capsizes, some easier, some worse and a few much more difficult. The experience gained from easy situations stood in good stead whenever Murphy decided to try new tests of our skills. After this episode, I installed port and starboard air bags that allowed for much easier recovery. One crazy capsize occurred in a regatta in Chick's back yard at a small lake just south of Asheville on the first week of November. While attempting to get relief from very blustery wind, I sailed into a downwind cove. I immediately saw that this was a stupid thing to do as the wind remained high as well as having large shifts side to side in the cove. Managed to tack around but one shift just flipped the boat over. My boat "Don Quixote" rolled mast down and on through a 360 and came back upright. By this time the capsize practice paid off and I just walked the boat all the way over and stepped back inside, where the water finally came over the top of my boots and got my feet wet for the first time. The lake is cooling water for a power plant and is so tepid that tropical fish live there. Of course on the first of November, the air is cold and we sailed back to the club dock for my crew to get out and dry out in the warm clubhouse. I was ashamed to admit to my crew that I was all dry and he may have never forgiven me. Many capsizes in Lasers and many other boats came along at regular intervals while racing. It is a general truth that if you do not capsize from time to time in a high performance boat while racing, you are probably not sailing on the edge that is necessary to win. A boat can go under water with out a normal capsize. Racing against Graham in frostbite races in Spindrift 10s, I sailed the boat under the water down wind in strong wind. With the sail of a Spindrift so far forward, the pressure overcame my ballast sitting on the transom and just went under a wave. Graham just looked over at my swamped boat as he sailed by and won the race. In all 50 plus years since 1966, I have never capsized when not racing. Capsize drills, like all drills are intended to make the real thing less serious and allow you to follow your training and do what is necessary without having to think for the first time about how to go about it.
  7. Chick, One of my "yacht" design books offers the dictum that slope of a coachroof should intersect with the top of the bow. As may be, but that probably holds only for boats that aspire to being a "classic" design. Probably few boats seen on the water today satisfy that rule and probably none of the smaller ones that hope to house humans inside. I would not have any opinion on perfection, having never seen any. There was this girl once but then, I never got to meet her so could be wrong about that as well.
  8. I dislike the battens that come with most sails as being far too stiff toward the luff. It may or may not create a big loss in performance but the typical vertical sail crease along the forward end of battens is just ugly. My solution is to make my own battens. I used to make them of ash when racing regularly but now make battens from fiberglass. Wooden battens tend to develop the bends over time unless treated with great care. Regular woven fiberglass is no good for this job as it is much too flexible. I use biaxial 18 oz or heavier with long linear strands taken from biax laminated inside. More strands aft and fewer forward until you get the shape you want. The forward end should be very flexible. The sandwich is laid up between plastic sheets and clamped with straight wooden planks on the outside. It takes some experimentation to get the stiffness and flex where you want it but a great sail shape is the reward. The first try will probably be too limber but you cans simply add more on top of the earlier one. If you have access to small diameter linear fiberglass rods, that is ideal. Admittedly, this is a bit of trouble but it is only time and I always enjoyed fiddling with such stuff if it resulted in better performance. Even if the increase in performance is not measurable, your mental state may be improved and that is just as important.
  9. We found out about how little the charts and markers can be trusted on Core Sound a couple years ago. Depth about one foot over large areas where chart calls for relatively deep water. Deep for Core Sound, that is. Anywhere near Drum Inlet is questionable since Hurricane Irene. Best to stay nearer mainland when near Atlantic, I think. I don't think any waters similar to Core Sound even shows up on the NOAA Gov. to do list for new soundings work. One of you young computer wizards need to develop technology for depth charting from satellites or such. Unmanned surface drones aught to be doable with existing technology and small money.. We plan on doing the Sound from the Neuse through Thorofare to Beaufort soon so will make sure to have push pole and spare prop aboard. If Taylor is still on speaking terms, civil speaking that is, you are set for the long term. Tom
  10. Mike, Now that you have the bow pulpit finished you should get the boat in the water. There is only one day left in the Big Rock Marlin Tournament. Largest marlin so far is, I think, 518 pounds, which is quite a bit smaller than usual, leaving a great oportunity for local knowledge fisherfolk like you and Linda. Big bucks to be had and marlin will be atracted to a new boat like yours.?
  11. These unexpected shocks do take a bit out of us. Paul and I were often on the same wavelength in forum discussions and had personal confabs on topics of mutual interest as well. The boats we designed had enough similar goals but were also enough different to afford a wide array of discussion topics. The forum will be a more bland place without his daily contributions that were always on point and helpful. While his sword could be a bit sharp at times, those who could take the jabs most always benefited from the encounter. We glide along, not thinking that any major disruption is about to happen, when the loss of another forum friend stirs our mental pot. Its a singular occurrence that we could develop such a close relationship with an unseen friend in almost any far away place on our planet. We almost never had such experiences before the internet put others thoughts and ideas so easily into our individual lives. RIP, PAR, we will miss your presence. I will miss your presence.
  12. Looks very neat Mike. What kind of latch do you plan? Will need to keep them from swinging about when underway.
  13. Picture shows a BRS but it appears to be running more like a BRR.
  14. Chick, I have wondered how the Bay River Runner would fare against the BRS in sailing. I think Graham only flattened out the BRS aft rocker on the BRR. Heeled a bit with crew weight maybe a bit more forward, it might do very well. Maybe the Jessy would do this as well. As for power, I ran both a 8hp and a 9.9hp on Loon at times. The 8 seemed ideal and the 9.9 was OK. Searching for a couple more MPH, I added a couple wedges to the transom which did gain the extra speed with 9.9 hp but it was easy to make the boat wet with too much wedge.
  15. M.C. Escher would be proud Chuck.
  16. I think you might get away with Paul's idea of a rabbet but you'd need to be careful of the sharp plane edge biting into the topsides. My first thought would be to attach a guide block to the rabbet plane that rides on the deck. The depth would of course be set to the deck thickness. I've used this idea on different jobs and even drilled and tapped a mounting hole(s) in the plane body. To me, a tool is a tool and I don't mind modifying them.
  17. Lots of boats like to sail around at anchor and I've had a fair share of them. Bluejackets like to swing around and maybe someone who has tried a steady sail can offer some results of that. The lack of a keel and lots of above windage plus light weight all conspire to promote sailing about. One sure way to prevent sailing about is to shift the anchor line tension off the bow. I set the anchor and bend on a rolling hitch about 15 feet or so out from the bow. This second line can be taken aft and pulled in enough to shift the bow off to one side. This biases the anchor pull off center so the boat cannot pass through the neutral point of the normal swing. How much offset is used will depend on the particular boat and other conditions. In light wind conditions, I often anchor by the stern which will prevent sailing about as well as make for a quieter sleep. Of course many use two separate anchors at an angle off the bow and is some cases where a shifting tidal current is expected, both bow and stern anchors may be necessary to keep your boat away from other in the anchorage.
  18. I doubt that the crane in the photo is aluminum but you can ask Rick Lapp for better information. Most dinghys will be too heavy on a cantilever for aluminum and steel will be needed. It is certainly possible to have a wood mast attached to the pilothouse bulkhead and use it for both a dinghy hoist and a steady sail. Don't forget that the height of the mast can cause problems in some areas unless it is in a tabernacle It will also need some guy wires unless it's very strong and heavy. Flapp@evanhospital.com
  19. I agree with you about Russell's PT-11. I discussed it with him some time ago and he filled in some points of the design that were not so obvious. Of course, I have forgotten all about it by now. Its a bit long for the pilothouse top though.
  20. Two years ago I had the urge to build another boat just because I had not built anything much recently. The Kudzu SOF boats caught my eye and the Stonefly is certainly a handsome example of a nice canoe. The book was purchased and the technique studied to evaluate just how it might work out and compare with the B&B Birder kayaks I build in the past. One study was to predict the weight of a finished SOF Stonefly, which resulting in some disappointment. My fully decked Birders, built of 4mm occume ply weighed 32 1/2 pounds while calculated weight of the SOF Stonefly came to at least 40 pounds, using the best materials suggested by the designer. Some discussion with other builders verified that these predictions were reasonable if a bit conservative. These are single handed sport boats that would weigh quite a bit more if designed as good tender for a Bluejacket. Considering that all of former calculated weights of small boats have turned out to somewhat optimistic, the project was placed on the shelf. Reluctantly, I concluded that if a reasonably rugged SOF boat cannot be built lighter than a known plywood version, the project loses its luster. I'm sure a Platt Monfort type would be lighter but they look too delicate to me. I think the crane hoist system that Rick Lapp uses to hoist his dinghy on to the pilothouse top works very well. He has a commercial fiberglass dinghy which is probably heavier than a homebuild plywood one. I built an 8' B&B Catspaw which weighs 52 pounds. It is admittedly less rugged than most would want as I used 4mm ply but it does work. That dinghy is available and could be beefed up for a suitable tender by adding a sheath of Knitex glass to the bottom. 52 pounds is light enough to lift up on top but any such sized dinghy is really too awkward for most people to handle.
  21. Graham, I did not know anything about iceboats in 1960 when I built one in Northwest NJ, having never actually seen one. I must confess that I still don't know much more about them. My creation had angle iron filled sharp for runners and awning material for a lateen sail. Not fast but when ice crystals are hitting you in the face, you think its fast. So badly balanced that I had to recruit three kids to sit over the runners while hanging on to mast guy wires to get get decent steering. Yes, it was great fun until one day I was driven downwind fast, could not steer at all and rammed the dam, breaking the thing into many of its original parts. Last ice seen on my creek could not support a duck, which kept crashing through. Oh, and I also did not know how to sail either.
  22. Daja appears to approve of progress so far.
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