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Everything posted by ScottWidmier

  1. Sorry I am little late in putting forth my 2 cents but I have been too busy working and building. Besides, it is getting hard to keep up with email, facebook, twitter, and all of the forums. Feel like half my life is spent in front of a computer! :? Front hatch: Living in the South (and even on warm days in the North) I would definitely and strongly recommend that you put the hinges in the back. It is amazing how much cooler an open hatch can make the inside of your cabin especially when you do not have opening ports. Even with opening ports, the hatch hinged up faces into the wind when at anchor bringing a cooling breeze making it possible to actually sleep, not sweat, in your boat. A windscoop helps this amazingly well. There are plenty of nice options out there for how to dog the hatch down to stand trailering or spray over the bow and how often do we face strong enough spray to lift up the forward hatch on these boats anyway? You can buy adjustable hatch arms or, even better, spring arms at www.duckworksmagazine.com fairly inexpensively. The spring ones are real quick to raise and equally quick to lower and a small line attached at the middle of the spring would allow you to lower the hatch from the cockpit or inside your warm sleeping bag without having to move a muscle. Cleats : These things are an evil necessity on a boat because they have a tendency to bruise toes and catch on lines at the most inconvenient of times. As such, I would minimize their use as much as possible. All you really need are three cleats. One should be in the bow mounted on the bowsprit and the fancy bits of wood the Stevenson's have in their design to hold down the bowsprit work perfectly fine. Anchor line chocks on the rubrail can protect your varnish. The other two should be mounted towards the stern. This provides enough cleats for dock and anchor lines. The Weekender, Pocket Cruiser, and Vacationer have enough other places to tie fenders and spring lines in the form of grab-rails and shrouds. An open-based toe rail (raised toerail supported by blocks) is a real salty looking addition that allows infinite places to attach lines without catching them like cleats do. BTW, grab rails are the best place to attach fenders as they allow you to raise the fenders to the level of the rubrails.
  2. Well, progress on Knot Yacht, my secret weapon, has stalled as I get over some sort of bug. However, I have spent the time in my sick bed thinking about sails for the boat and I need everyone's advice. First, a big thanks to PAR (Paul) as he has been a great sounding board on things. My original plan was to cut down the old worn out mainsail of my MacGregor 26D as a way to get out on the water quicker. In addition, I would reuse a nice mast I built for a previous boat. I went ahead and cut down the sail but found the combination of bad material and length of mast left me with too small a sail for a boat that I want to see fly. So, I am buying some polytarp and plan on making up a new sail for my October 9th deadline. I have used the Sailmakers Apprentice and Gavin's wonderful sail area calculation website (http://home.clara.net/gmatkin/bd_sailcalc.html) and have come up with three sail plans that have a CE that will fit my boat. Two of them have the additional advantage of not requiring me to add length to my existing 12'6" mast creating a possible point of weakness. The first of the two sails I so favor is a low-peak gaff sail with a luff of 8', Gaff of 7.67', Foot of 10', a Gaff angle of 31 degrees, and a total area of 88.65'. I have about 10' of height above the boom leaving me an additional 2' above the gaff jaws for leverage or possibly more headroom under the boom. I have a sliding gooseneck I bought from duckworksmagazine. The second sail is a four sided sprit rig with a luff of 10', Head of 6.66, Head angle of 60 (both of these go into the gaff blank on atkin's calculator), a foot of 9.44', and a total area of 91.77'. The luff is the maximum on this mast but I can get away using all of it on a sprit rig. There is no additional room for the possibility of raising the boom. Both sails will be attached to the mast by a zipped on luff tube for greater performance. I stole this idea from the Wharram catamaran designs. The advantage of the sprit rig lays both in the brailing line and free-rotating mast. The brailing line, with one pull, folds the sail up against the mast out of my way in the cockpit. In strong following winds or when beaching, you can let go of the mainsheet and the sail will windvane out over the bow. Both of these are an advantage with a small boat sailing in windy conditions. I would use a boom with this rig to help the leverage but I have a simple design to use the brailing line with the boom. The advantage of the Gaff rig is it has no bad tack (no sprit to cut the shape of the sail on one tack) and you can do more fiddly adjustments to it in order to improve performance. Of course, it takes a lot longer to raise the Gaff sail than it does to deploy a spritsail. So, which rig do you think I should use and why?
  3. I would love to have a weekender and even a super shipjack come on the Florida 120. Be a nice trip to test the long-distance capability of these boats as the setting is beautiful, there is civilization around for resupply and to pull out the boat if the weather gets to hairy, and you get to sail in all different wind directions as you make the course. Go to this story to read about last year's event: http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/09/gatherings/fl120/index.htm The 2010 event will be May 13th to the 16th.
  4. Next Florida 120 is May 13th to the 16th 2010. This is the weekend after mother's day and will be the traditional day for this event until people don't want to do it anymore! Dynel is already on so no weighing. I like carefree beaching and I already had the cloth so not using it wasn't an option.
  5. This is the new boat I am building and, no, it hasn't suddenly grown a crop of hair . Rather, I have found at the stage where the epoxy is still a little bit soft and advantage to taking a sharp chisel and using it to knock off the high spots caused by the filler used to thicken the epoxy. Really helps knock down on the sanding. Another note is on using dynel cloth which helps abrasion resistance on the boat...it drinks epoxy like crazy! It also cures with all sorts of hard points and a raised edge. I found using a chisel (old one) helps knock down these points and really helps in fairing the ridge on the edge to the hull. Really happy with the results! My new boat of my own design, plans and photos undisclosed on purpose, has a completely flat bottom with no protrusions like a keel or runners so I ended up putting the cloth over the entire bottom. Probably added a few pounds..not good..but does take some of the worry out of beaching the boat. As for my top secret design...you have to either come to the puddle duck world championships on October 10th at Lake Allatoona or to the Florida 120 in order to see it!
  6. She is looking real good! Still planning to build one but am working on a 12' boat of my own design currently. Epoxy potlife can be frustrating especially when it is hot outside. Having the epoxy start to go off in the pot just creates a feeling of frustration.
  7. There is no keel on the bottom of the boat. I hope to have the bottom of the boat flat and smooth for less wetted surface. Plan on using up the rest of my dynel cloth on the bottom so I can beach it without worry. Given the size of the boat, I think my preference would be to sleep with the boat on the beach if possible. The dual boards are interesting. Didn't know too much about them and had to do a little research. However, I think I still prefer one board at the center of resistance for crisp response to the helm.
  8. I like the block plane approach! Thanks for the suggestion.
  9. This is one thing I love about sailboats, there are so many different ways to go that give different strengths and weaknesses. I guess my big concern is for the dimensions of the centerboard I can fit under the cockpit floor. A 7" wide centerboard would necessarily have to be fairly long whereas a 12" wide daggerboard could be shorter (more shoal draft). Am I wrong in thinking this? Is there any utility in as narrow a board? I considered an offset board which I have done on some other boats but there is just a lack of crispness when turning one direction I don't want in a performance boat. The small leverage 7" will give on a daggerboard trunk is a valid concern! I was going to have bulkhead's fore and aft of the trunk and a hardwood beam under the cockpit sole at the midpoint of the trunk. I always put my trunks in with logs which should help reinforce the deck attachment. The kick-up daggerboard trunk means you would need notches in the trailing edge of the daggerboard to run with it partway up for any distance. Notches means turbulence when the board is down which is why I am thinking two boards with one being for maximum upwind effectiveness and the other for shoal water work. Any board I build would be out of solid wood laminated together with a good foil shape. Again, I have used and still use plywood boards on some of my boats but those are light lower performance boats that I am willing to take the risk on. I definitely am not willing to take the risk on a long-distance performance boat especially after reading the stories from the Texas 200! I think based upon the advice here I will go with the dagger board for its performance, simplicity, and that I can make it wider than 7". Unless someone has another idea? I am dying to share this boat but will hold off. I used Hulls to design the shape which is a good thing as the panels turned out fairly complex in shape. Amazing how everything fit together though. I am planning to use this boat as a testbed for a couple different rig types.
  10. I am building a self-designed boat for participation in trips like the Florida 120, Texas 200, and OBX 130. The boat is 12' long, looks wicked, and is designed to go fast (plane) but that is all I will tell you because I want a grand unveiling with this boat at the next Florida 120. Now, the question I have for you is if I should go with a centerboard or dagger board. Whichever I choose the trunk will have to fit under a 7" high deck. Not a big problem with the dagger board but does this make for a skinny centerboard. Here are the positives and negatives for each: Centerboard: + able to kick up which is a big advantage in shallow water + no open slot to spray water on me - added complexity including waterproofing pivot bolt - long large slot creates drag Daggerboard: + much more efficient with no drag due to long slot + I can make it as wide as I want since I am not trying to make it fit below a 7" high deck + simple, rugged, and easy to repair/replace - doesn't kick up as well as a centerboard which is a negative in Shoal waters (see solutions below) - open daggerboard slot can spray water at speed (boat is self draining) I guess I am leaning towards the daggerboard myself since the objective behind this boat is performance. I do know a way to make the daggerboard kick up by slanting the front of the trunk and making a lip at the back of the trunk that the daggerboard tucks under. Hit bottom and the bottom of the board goes back, front goes forward against the slanted front of the trunk, the daggerboard slips out from the lip, and boyancy pops the board up. This works some of the time. Another solution is to carry two daggerboards on-board with one being long for performance and the other short for shoal water ability. I can choose based upon the conditions I face. Gives me a built-in spare as well. It just that the centerboard gives such care-free sailing in shoal waters.
  11. The long keel on the Vacationer makes it slow to tack. There is no one sharply defined point to rotate around so you have to tack like a multihull (catamaran) boat rather than a monohull with centerboard or daggerboard.
  12. I bought Dynel at www.duckworksmagazine.com and put it on the bottom of the kids mouseboats. Really sucks up the epoxy and requires a lot of work to smooth. However, regular fiberglass, even multiple layers, won't protect from abrasions. So, if you want a worry free bottom... Now on Little Gem it seems I lucked upon a bulletproof bottom. I did put a strip of Kevlar down the V bottom but I think what has really helped was my ineptitude in applying a graphite epoxy finish. I just couldn't get it right so ended up applying a lot of layers. Seems to have handled tough beach landings well. If I had it to do over again, I would have used Dynel and plan on using it for my newest build.
  13. It was his own design. He started skin on frame then decided to redesign a bit and do it lapstrake. Absolutely beautiful finish! . He was the second slowest boat on the trip with the first being the grumman canoe with homemade rig and amas. Of course, both proved very fast the last day as both were easy to row!
  14. http://s300.photobucket.com/albums/nn17/swidm/Florida%20120%202009/ Short summary of the Florida 120. The first Florida 120 went surprisingly smoothly with a bubble of good weather accompanying the fleet. The event primarily attracted small boat skppers seeking a long-distance cruising challenge in their small boats. These boats ranged from a 10
  15. Seems like everyone had fun and were mentally preparing themselves for 2010. Accordingly, we will have the FL120 in 2010 on the only date available and what will be the traditional date for this event: The third weekend in May, the weekend after Mother's Day, which will be May 13th to 16th of 2010. Hope to see you there! Details and photos for 2009 will be forthcoming. ;D ;D
  16. Hard choice there. Test the Spindrift out as a possible boat for the FL120 or finish the bigger faster boat. Have you sailed the Spindrift before? Finishing a boat always takes 3 times longer than you think it will. I always find myself rushing to finish new boats for an event or rushing to finish a project on a boat. In fact, I can't remember a boat I built that didn't get finished in a bit rush for some sort of event! I was attaching cleats and block to my first boat in the campground at the event. On the plus side, this does give a predetermined time that kicks you in the tail to get the boat finished. On the negative side, rushing leads to cut corners which leads to more projects to fix the things you rushed. So, I guess the question is how desperate are you to get the Core Sound finished and on the water? If the answer is lots then aim to finish it for the Florida 120 and be prepared to cut corners. If not, then use the Spindrift and give yourself the time to finish the Core Sound.
  17. The Florida 120 challenge is to go 120 miles in 4 days under sail (though we do allow motors). It runs from May 14th to the 18th and takes off from Pirates Cove in Josephine, Al. For more information go to: http://www.texas200.com/florida120.htm I have already started on updates to my boat for this event and just can't wait to sail on that beautiful water! We have 40 boats signed up for the innagural event so come join in on the fun! I have also decided to do a poker-run during the Florida 120 where you will be collecting cards at the start, finish, and different stopping points along the way. For those who are coming, bring something boat related that you don't need as a prize and the best hand will pick from the pot first. Maybe we can have card piracy going on to....arrrgggghhh!
  18. Beautiful boat! I love the clear skin which shows off all of the wonderful work you have done inside. I have been thinking about skin on frame for some future boatbuild especially after lifting my dory off the top of the van a couple of times. You gotta love the weight savings! I would love to hear more detail on your build and your experiences.
  19. We have 34 boats signed up for the Florida 120 including two kayaks. Join the fun! See the list at: http://www.texas200.com/florida120.htm
  20. Thanks for the warning! I think I may try soaking the section in warm water before stitching or kerfing the backside and later filling with thickened epoxy. I have had good luck with wet-bending plywood especially if you take it very slow and not try to bend it all at once. Of course, we may end up with matching bows anyway! ;D
  21. So, what was your work-around? In case I ever get started :'( .
  22. Thanks Frank! Here is the website Chuck set up which has some additional information: http://www.texas200.com/florida120.htm . As of right now I estimate we have 22 boats committed to the event. A number of folks are doing the Florida 120 and leaving their boats at PMSC for the BEER cruise.
  23. I have the plans and will take a look and see what I think. Only one of these boats have been built to my knowledge and I have only ever seen photos of the build with no descriptions. I will probably start my build late spring and take my time building. Gotta enjoy the process!
  24. Steve, sounds like there are a lot of good options to keep involved. Maybe even tossing a tent and a bag in your dink for the night? Anyway, we will definitely have to do some "playing by ear" on this trip. A fair percentage of the time the most enjoyable occurances on a trip come from being flexible anyway including putting up with a night-time airshow!
  25. No motor mount on Plum Crazy so I guess it is oars only...right? ;D Bring along a case of Beer and I am sure you can get a ride with someone if there is no wind. Plum Crazy tows really well. I could also find you a berth on one of my club's boats that is coming along if you are not up to the small boat challenge.
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