Monday, April 9, 2018
My brother also enjoys spending time in vehicles that use the wind. See for yourself in this video I produced for the Puget Sound Soaring Association.
When I was exploring the idea of making a sailboat, one of the things about the Weekender design that attracted me was that it could be built with common hand tools. As the intended final product has morphed from the stock version outlined in the plans to what I am building for the R2AK, I have moved away from that to take advantage of other resources that go beyond "common hand tools."
Thursday, March 1, 2018
I visited Gig Harbor Boat Works this afternoon. Falk suggested a hardware change where the bobstay connects to the stem that will eliminate a potential water penetration point in my design. He also showed me an option for a stainless steel keel strip, and how to best use it on my boat. Then he gave me a tutorial comparing oarlock types—circular, oval, and "D."
I learned that compared to the circular oarlocks, the oval ones (oriented vertically) do a better job of keeping the oar seated properly while allowing good movement up and down. The advantage that the "D" oarlocks (combined with a flat face on each oar) provide over the other two styles is knowing precisely how your blade is oriented. A trade-off, however, is greater potential costs.
GHBW is sponsoring a sliding seat for rowing Kingsfold. Check out their sliding seat hardware here.
In defense of round oarlocks, Nate Rooks of Team Bunny Whaler (Full Race in 2016, Stage 1 in 2017) told me,
"Tim Penhallow used round oarlocks (just like you have) and oars for the whole way, usually rowing ~15 hours a day."
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
I've likely said it before, but I'll say it again here. Everything takes way longer than I think it will. Actually, I haven't really put as much thought into how long stuff may take to finish as I probably should have....(Although if I had, I may never have even started.) I am elated by how close to being finished this boat appears to be now, at least as compared to a few years ago.
Not only construction takes time. Jumping through the hoops to be able to enter the R2AK does too. And because Ed and I aren't seasoned—Dare I say salty?—sailors, we have to spend more time in order to demonstrate that we and Kingsfold are safe to be allowed on the course. Fair enough, actually. I want to be safe enough before I venture out there, too.
So Ed and I had a phone conversation today. It is clear that we will need to postpone our entry in the R2AK until 2019. We will not be idle during that time! Keep an eye on this blog for updates.[photo by Ed Heyman]
This video and a photograph with dimensioning on it, posted on the Team Facebook page, led to some valuable guidance from Nate Rooks, Former Director at Stanford Rowing Camps and Former Assistant Rowing Coach at Stanford Athletics. More importantly, he and his brother Cooper completed the full Race to Alaska in 2016 and reprized Stage 1 in 2017.
The result of all this wonderful help is that I will be lowering my oarlocks considerably, and now have proven information to optimally locate them on the side decks.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
It is the contributions from people like Falk at Gig Harbor Boat Works that are making this a successful project.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Here is a Photoshop approximation of the seats and raised cockpit floor. Now that I think about it, this is the next-to-last major construction step. The fin keel will be the last.
Lots more work remains before we sail away into the sunset. But completing the cockpit will feel really good!
Monday, January 8, 2018
“You’re provisionally accepted for the Race to Alaska 2018 Stage 1—subject to your heavy weather sailing and capsize tests.” ~R2AK Race Boss
So as soon as the boat is finished, rigged, and on a trailer, the plan is to create videos of a couple different activities. Find a small lake to launch in, pull her over and show we can right her again. Then, on probably multiple occasions, sail on some bigger water in stronger winds testing the boundaries of what we can do.
The footage will be posted on this blog.
The Weekender design and Kingsfold's modifications in particular have some useful features in this context. I shared Team Kingsfold’s status on a forum dedicated to the Weekender design, commenting specifically on the permanent foam flotation I’ve added, and the compartments that are sealable, and that I widened my transom 4” beyond the stock design. I received these comments from Paul Riccelli, a yacht designer and expert on the Weekender, and Al Stead who built and actively sails a Weekender.
The capsize tests previously done will be a fair bit different than your build, though I'll bet you'll be a little disappointed about the results. My capsize screen of a stock Weekender shows a max of about 70 degrees of positive righting arm, usually less, because they tend to be built heavy. I'll bet you're a little better than stock, because of the raised cockpit sole and hopefully some side and under side deck flotation you've installed. It'll still suck, compared to other boats, but this is not your fault, but a function of a relatively narrow, flat bottom, short LWL craft. This is common of boats shaped like this, in fact, you're will be better than the average, short and flat bottom boat, but not ideal in the conditions you'll see.
[What you described] is about 140 pounds of flotation, with the foam (not much) and another 40 pounds in the keel, though not very handy in this location for these types of tests. With the seat backs sealed, the forward bulkhead sealed up, you'll approach what is desirable in a swamping, but roll over prevention is more a function of hull shape and CG location. The wider butt should help quite a bit too. ... I'll bet she holds up to a press longer than the stock transom, with softer heel angles, though if she's heeled over a fair bit, so the transom drags, steering in particular and handling in general, will likely get cranky so reef early. The wide transom will also make following seas dangerous, without careful skippering (she'll want to broach more readily).
... The biggest thing to keep you safe is to be able to seal up the cabin in bad weather. If that stays dry, you are good to go.
That gaff rig is your ally. ... You can spill tons of air in a split second as well as lower the center of effort. [The peak halyard will be routed to the cockpit and clearly marked so we can scandalize the main in a moment.] That low aspect rig will help you on most points of sail other than going to weather. ...
After sailing Duckie for eight years, I think that the Weekender is a pretty reliable little vessel. She is not a blue water boat, but she's not bad in a blunder.