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Introduction: Designing and Building a Light, Car-top-able Outrigger Sailing Canoe [March 2016 Update]

By Wade Tarzia
More by the author:
About: If you read blogs, come vist mine: www.tristramshandy21st. blogspot.com where right now I am posting chapters of my humorous and philosophical nonfiction, "" among other things. More the 1 last update 2020/08/08 About Wade Tarzia »More About Wade Tarzia »

[ UPDATED MARCH 2016, SEE LAST STEP -- WT ]

Small Woodshop Dust Collection Systemshow to Small Woodshop Dust Collection Systems for (Comment on the Photos: Short Dragon is a good boat, but it started rather heavy and gained weight as I added new features such as watertight compartments. He has undergone many revisions, but the revision to very light kayak-replacement and car-top-carried sailing canoe is impossible.)


There is an ancient saying: "" I am not so sure about that anymore, because you can be spread thin, as in, too much bread, too little butter, sort of the way Frodo felt after carrying The One Ring for too long. Apt metaphor. Our things can weigh us down and thin out our attention span. Buddhism is good for that trouble. But anyway, here I am thinking about another boat.

I have my reasons. Now, I already have a trailerable outrigger sailing canoe (you have seen "" here on Instructables). That will be retired as I build a longer one (a Gary Dierking design, Tamanu), but I suddenly noted something: I was often driving by scenic locations on visit back home, where I have always wanted to launch a boat for a day -- but these places were not trailer-boat friendly, or at least trailer-friendly. Therefore I needed a boat to go on the roof of my small car.

Don''s World of the Ideal Forms, and sadly, once there, you cannot move, because perfection implies that any movement in the Land of the Ideal is a movement away from perfection. The wind would be forever fresh but held in stasis, so too the wave, and you and your thoughts.... That world is just plain static, gleaming like a variegated crystal, no doubt, but motionless just the same. Good news! Our sad, imperfect mortal world is the only place to get things done.

I intend to get a little done. This instructable will show the entire process, from rough sketches, to finished product. I will be pissing off a few people because I will build this instructable in stages; my thought process and physical attainments will be posted bit by bit. Viewers may even influence the process with thoughtful comments along the way.

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Step 1: Step 1: Dream, Talk, Sketch, Write, Reiterate.... Until a Vision Forms

(Comment on the sketches:  The current in a series of increasingly more precise sketches, which tells you how rough the previous ones were!  The two important ones are (1)  the profile with bottom rocker curve (influences how the water flows around the bottom and where the center of displacement will be, and how much displacement), and (2) the cross-sectional profile setting the maximum beam at waterline and the character of the edges -- flat bottom to rounded bottom, which influences things such as lateral resistance, displacement, and surface friction = paddling efficiency).


I have nothing against having a new Instructable appear fully formed for the public delectation like Athena from Zeus''t it also another kind of method?  One method, call it the "" method.  Pretend the doer/thinker/writer lives a charmed life, linear, logical, efficient.  Another method: show the dirty process, stop pretending it was ever just-so; leran a lesson from the genre of stream-of-consciousness.  Well.

The dream started as a light boat to bring to the sailing/paddling/rowing expedition race known as The Everglades Challenge (www.watertribe.org).  The contestants must be able to drag their boats from beyond the high tide mark to the water unassisted. They can have no shore support or resupply.  They have eight days at the start of each March to get from St Petersburg to Key Largo, about 300 miles. (There is also a shorter event in North Carolina in September).  Even for a "" type like me, it is an inspirational event.  I never win anything, ever.  But I do experience. I wanted the experience, and to meet like-minded people and out-there people.

I started dreaming about a boat designed just for the race a few years ago -- fast and light, and able to survive being swamped and capsized, sailable and paddleable if the wind died.  Outrigger canoes fit the need.

In 2009 I was invited to crew, but our boat sank after several hours from a leaky fitting.  I thought my current boat would work OK, and towed Short Dragon there in 2011.  I lost my rudder blade after 22 hours, and thought I was disqualified because I could not make the first checkpoint by deadline (wind in our face that first day, took that long to go 30 miles -- but I was wrong about the disqualification; note to self: read the manual better next time).  But I learned something: having dragged my nearly 350 pound loaded boat to the water, and having had to recover after the abort, I knew that Short Dragon was not an EC boat.

The dream melded into the other requirement mentioned in the introduction: why not have a boat proper for an EC, but also good for those places where I cannot bring a trailer boat?  I spent a few afternoons at my local bar (which is, the Barnes & Noble cafe), drinking skim lattes and doodling in my daybook. This "" emerged:

(1) light and plug-and-play --  a car-toppable, sailing single-outrigger to permit home-territory sailing and paddling from certain lovely shore parking areas that are not trailer-friendly (thus it does not replace any current trailer outrigger I will have); the parts must easily lift out of the cockpit, deploy, "" into the hull, and be quickly attached by lashings and cleats; similarly, the rig must be drop-in -- no stay or shrouds.  Repeat: this boat must not replace the planned 20 foot outrigger with its larger rig.

(2) EC-adapted -- as the name implies, a boat I can bring to a North Carolina Challenge and/or an Everglades Challenge. For this purpose the light, car-toppable design permits easy beach-launching and recovery (and transport back to start-line parking area) whether things go well or ill;

(3) storable -- elegantly storable: the cockpit of the main hull must accommodate the ama (outrigger float) and akas (crossbeams), leeboard, and the sail on its spars (right now planned to be a 113 square foot lug and 10 square foot mizzen).  Given the need for permanent stiffening bulkheads (which intuitively I thought should have no more than 10 feet of separation), that would limit the ama to 9 or 10 feet (also to be a glassed foam construction).  For the EC, of course two inflatable 16 foot amas used during the 2011 Everglades Challenge are an option.

Now free the mind: sketch.  Much must be planned: length (16 feet), width (19 inches amidships), depth (15 inches for the wooden hull, and some inches of shaped and fiberglassed closed-cell foam on the bottom: this provides efficient bottom shape and also flotation to permit a self-bailing cockpit).

To be continued.....

Step 2: Talk to Betters and Peers; Modify the Vision As Needed, But Do Not Lose Important Things

Step 2 in precise directions for people who are the movers and doers of the world:

Step 2.1 -- Talk to friends and colleagues who know your hobby/lifestyle.

Step 2.2 -- Take their good advice, be diplomatic with any advice that went awry in the telling.

Step 2.3 -- Reject some advice to remain in control of your project.  Rejection should not be arbitrary, though it may not always accord with the strictest of linear science.  But since the testing of alternative hypotheses is in the highest of scientific tradition (what philosophers call ""), your final decisions sort of do take the best of many ideas (synthesis).

Step 2.4 -- Despite what I said in 2.3, formulate an honest apology + explanation to your colleagues,because you will be coming to them again, and they must NOT be discouraged. 


Step 2 in a more relaxed and wandering mode for people like me:

I began on a ""  That is, of course I already talked to people!  We constantly stand on other people''ve been talking for years.  No doubt much of my new design incorporates the ideas of others already.  I know the origin of my foam bottom right now -- it was gotten from John Wright aboard the sailing sharpie '' somewhere off the Texas coast, inside the Laguna Madre, during the Texas 200 cruising event, in summer 2012.  I did not press the "" button on my GPS at the time, but I hope this attribution is good enough. 

John was my skipper and boat-host for this 5 day sailing cruise, and you will not be surprised to know that we talked about boats sometimes.  He has an idea for a new boat that will be a little like a scaled down racing boat he once owned, albeit with a modified keel that can kick up in shallow water, and an encapsulated foam bottom to insure self-bailing.  That idea immediately went into my "" scheme. In fact, he had incorporated the idea into a previous boat and found it good.

Eventually I post my plans to my outrigger canoe (proa) discussion forum.  I am mostly worried about the bottom shape, but they were worried about all the other things too, as is right.  In those days (months back from current date  of ~April 2013) I was considering a 24 inch wide main hull, 16 feet long.  This is what we call in the trade, "" though ethnographic precedent does exist in Indonesia (checkout Tim Anderson''jukung''m sorry, I could not think of attractive and/or useful graphics for this step, but I may think of something later).

Step 3: Step 3, Continue to Obsess About the Shape of the Bottom

Efficient Step-by-Step Summary of Step 3:


(1) The bottom shape is important, so continue to obsess about it.

(2) Summarize the advice of various friends and colleagues on a sheet of paper.  Cross out the outliers, discover the consensus.

(3) Un-cross-out the outliers, because the majority is not always right (also the problem of Democracy). 

(4) Bring in the considered responses of professionals. 

(5) After discovering you are no closer to the solution than you were before (engineering trade-offs mean there are many paths to the peak of the mountain), at least be happy that you are now better educated.  Restate all the positions in a considered way.

(6) Consult the Cylons (or hull design software).


Wandering Detailed Version:

There''t know a lot of the angle of the two wakes except that it the wake of the main hull interferes badly with the wake of the outrigger hull, that sucks). (5) Summary: We must attain the balance of the sacred trade-off.

The efficiency is important, but our skinny hull is already reasonably efficient. Perhaps the fine points of hull efficiency will disappear when we are sailing in a good wind -- free energy frees us from obsessing. Yet it is more of a concern if the wind is light, and a definite concern if you have to paddle for long hours in a calm. The rounded bottom -- for me, at least good radiuses on the edges -- reduce the surface friction of water against hull (“wetted surface”) (the hull will sink more, though, than a square bottom, which has other effects). As well, the water must closely follow the hull and not break away in turbulent eddies -- these eddies (which you could see if you injected dye in the water at different points as the hull moved through the water) affect the pressure of the water on the hull (Mr. Long will speak more on that, below), and also represent energy expended in making the water swirl rather than just flow straight. Another thing to worry about is water crossing laterally (side to side), around the keel. So much to worry about! Blessed are they who just enjoy the day(sail)!

So we have to worry about water breaking away from the hull in all its dimensions, but I will simplify and divide it into the hull sides and the hull bottom. I think it was Phil Bolger who thought that, if the curve of the planform of the hull (the lines as seen from above the boat) were similar to the rocker (bottom) curve of the hull, then the pressure was more likely to be equal on all sides (water less likely to divert laterally across the bottom and mess up the straight flow; as Bolger might say in his charming technical-humor style: “No doubt in Paradise water flows in ideal lines around a boat and stays attached, but here on Earth...”).

Now, if we just worry about the water flowing longitudinally, we want to encourage the water to not break free and cause eddies. Sharp turns in the hull make eddies likely -- flowing water has momentum as well as pressure, so the momentum of water can carry it beyond a sudden curve -- just like when you are driving your car in a high-speed chase in San Francisco, and as the hill drops suddenly, the car leaves the ground. Good for people watching Steve McQueen, good for automobile repair shops, bad for everybody else. A skinny hull is least likely to have this problem in planform, but one with a flat bottom could be at risk. Bottom water must also leave the bottom of the hull with as little disturbance as possible as it slides off the aft. That’s why you are here seeing me obsess about the rocker curve -- who is worse: me, or you, dear reader, patiently experiencing my obsession? Anyway, have a look at the cartoons offered below.

The for 1 last update 2020/08/08 final thing about the effect of water flowing along a skinny hull is the fact that the crew’s placement of body weight (and cargo) on the hull can suddenly change many behaviors -- crew/cargo weight shifts instantly alter center of gravity and center of lateral resistance (not necessarily bad -- this is how you can steer a rudderless proa or a rudderless St. Lawrence skiff). Also affected somewhat, the nicely planned water-flow lines. To avoid despair we must assume that our weight will usually be distributed “just so,” thus the flow will at least 51% of the time be about how you wanted it when you planned the hull form.

I do not pretend to have a handle on all this, so let’s add the words of someone who knows stuff. Here is Roger Long, contributing to a thread on hull design in the on-line Wooden Boat Forum (sub-forum, “designs and plans”) May 2010:

“...Water is incompressible and somewhat thick so, when a boat moves forward, it pushes up a hump in the water around the bow. The water level is higher in this hump so water pressure on the hull under the hump is higher than normal and is pushing back on the hull. This is a major component in wave making resistance.

“The hump, as it falls back down due to gravity, turns into a wave. When operating near hull speed, the next crest of this wave is at the quarters. The water level around the stern is higher so water pressure on the run is elevated. In crude terms, the boat’s own wave system is pushing forwards on the stern. A more elegant way to say it is that the hull is recovering some of the energy it expended making the waves at the stern. It’s only getting back a small portion of the effort expended in getting the wave moving but it is enough to be a significant factor in overall resistance.

“Now consider the flow of water over the hull. It follows the hull fairly closely along the bow lines and around the midsection. Aft of the midsection, the water has to close in around the hull again and, if the flow lines are too steep, it can’t do this. The flow will then separate and kind of design a new “hull” for itself, leaving a space of turbulent water between the main flow and the hull that is largely moving along with the hull.

“Why should this separation be a problem? In the air, separation is often promoted as in the dimple on golf balls to reduce resistance. If the water isn’t flowing over the hull, there is less frictional resistance. The answer is in the wave train and the energy recovery from it.

“The wave train cannot “push” on the stern and energy cannot be recovered from it through a zone of separation. The stagnant and turbulent water under the separated flow insulates the hull from the higher water pressure of the wave train. Waterline length is such a significant factor in boat speed because of how it is related to the dynamics of wave making resistance. The boat’s length essentially ends at the point where a significant degree of separation begins. A 30 foot waterline vessel with a full stern and steep flow lines might then actually be only a 25 foot waterline craft. This is why double enders are often slow....” [I think he means here, the large monohull double-ended sailboats, with a squat curve to the stern lines.]

OK, let’s move on to what a computer program suggests about the bottom shape.Efficient Step-by-Step Summary of Step 3:


(1) The bottom shape is important, so continue to obsess about it.

(2) Summarize the advice of various friends and colleagues on a sheet of paper.  Cross out the outliers, discover the consensus.

(3) Un-cross-out the outliers, because the majority is not always right (also the problem of Democracy). 

(4) Bring in the considered responses of professionals. 

(5) After discovering you are no closer to the solution than you were before (engineering trade-offs mean there are many paths to the peak of the mountain), at least be happy that you are now better educated.  Restate all the positions in a considered way.

(6) Consult the Cylons (or hull design software).


Wandering Detailed Version:

There''t know a lot of the angle of the two wakes except that it the wake of the main hull interferes badly with the wake of the outrigger hull, that sucks). (5) Summary: We must attain the balance of the sacred trade-off.

The efficiency is important, but our skinny hull is already reasonably efficient. Perhaps the fine points of hull efficiency will disappear when we are sailing in a good wind -- free energy frees us from obsessing. Yet it is more of a concern if the wind is light, and a definite concern if you have to paddle for long hours in a calm. The rounded bottom -- for me, at least good radiuses on the edges -- reduce the surface friction of water against hull (“wetted surface”) (the hull will sink more, though, than a square bottom, which has other effects). As well, the water must closely follow the hull and not break away in turbulent eddies -- these eddies (which you could see if you injected dye in the water at different points as the hull moved through the water) affect the pressure of the water on the hull (Mr. Long will speak more on that, below), and also represent energy expended in making the water swirl rather than just flow straight. Another thing to worry about is water crossing laterally (side to side), around the keel. So much to worry about! Blessed are they who just enjoy the day(sail)!

So we have to worry about water breaking away from the hull in all its dimensions, but I will simplify and divide it into the hull sides and the hull bottom. I think it was Phil Bolger who thought that, if the curve of the planform of the hull (the lines as seen from above the boat) were similar to the rocker (bottom) curve of the hull, then the pressure was more likely to be equal on all sides (water less likely to divert laterally across the bottom and mess up the straight flow; as Bolger might say in his charming technical-humor style: “No doubt in Paradise water flows in ideal lines around a boat and stays attached, but here on Earth...”).

Now, if we just worry about the water flowing longitudinally, we want to encourage the water to not break free and cause eddies. Sharp turns in the hull make eddies likely -- flowing water has momentum as well as pressure, so the momentum of water can carry it beyond a sudden curve -- just like when you are driving your car in a high-speed chase in San Francisco, and as the hill drops suddenly, the car leaves the ground. Good for people watching Steve McQueen, good for automobile repair shops, bad for everybody else. A skinny hull is least likely to have this problem in planform, but one with a flat bottom could be at risk. Bottom water must also leave the bottom of the hull with as little disturbance as possible as it slides off the aft. That’s why you are here seeing me obsess about the rocker curve -- who is worse: me, or you, dear reader, patiently experiencing my obsession? Anyway, have a look at the cartoons offered below.

The final thing about the effect of water flowing along a skinny hull is the fact that the crew’s placement of body weight (and cargo) on the hull can suddenly change many behaviors -- crew/cargo weight shifts instantly alter center of gravity and center of lateral resistance (not necessarily bad -- this is how you can steer a rudderless proa or a rudderless St. Lawrence skiff). Also affected somewhat, the nicely planned water-flow lines. To avoid despair we must assume that our weight will usually be distributed “just so,” thus the flow will at least 51% of the time be about how you wanted it when you planned the hull form.

I do not pretend to have a handle on all this, so let’s add the words of someone who knows stuff. Here is Roger Long, contributing to a thread on hull design in the on-line Wooden Boat Forum (sub-forum, “designs and plans”) May 2010:

“...Water is incompressible and somewhat thick so, when a boat moves forward, it pushes up a hump in the water around the bow. The water level is higher in this hump so water pressure on the hull under the hump is higher than normal and is pushing back on the hull. This is a major component in wave making resistance.

“The hump, as it falls back down due to gravity, turns into a wave. When operating near hull speed, the next crest of this wave is at the quarters. The water level around the stern is higher so water pressure on the run is elevated. In crude terms, the boat’s own wave system is pushing forwards on the stern. A more elegant way to say it is that the hull is recovering some of the energy it expended making the waves at the stern. It’s only getting back a small portion of the effort expended in getting the wave moving but it is enough to be a significant factor in overall resistance.

“Now consider the flow of water over the hull. It follows the hull fairly closely along the bow lines and around the midsection. Aft of the midsection, the water has to close in around the hull again and, if the flow lines are too steep, it can’t do this. The flow will then separate and kind of design a new “hull” for itself, leaving a space of turbulent water between the main flow and the hull that is largely moving along with the hull.

“Why should this separation be a problem? In the air, separation is often promoted as in the dimple on golf balls to reduce resistance. If the water isn’t flowing over the hull, there is less frictional resistance. The answer is in the wave train and the energy recovery from it.

“The wave train cannot “push” on the stern and energy cannot be recovered from it through a zone of separation. The stagnant and turbulent water under the separated flow insulates the hull from the higher water pressure of the wave train. Waterline length is such a significant factor in boat speed because of how it is related to the dynamics of wave making resistance. The boat’s length essentially ends at the point where a significant degree of separation begins. A 30 foot waterline vessel with a full stern and steep flow lines might then actually be only a 25 foot waterline craft. This is why double enders are often slow....” [I think he means here, the large monohull double-ended sailboats, with a squat curve to the stern lines.]

OK, let’s move on to what a computer program suggests about the bottom shape.

Step 4: Step 4, Consult Some Machine Intelligence

I hope you are as worried as I am about the way increasingly more complex and capable technology removes something from the human. I understand the daily hypocrisy I engage in, by the bye. I gladly take in all the Novocain my dentist cares to pump in, I happily mix batches of epoxy to enable my low-skill boat-building projects, and I love as much as anyone the way I can climb aboard an airliner and get to a foreign country quickly. But we humans must ever be paradoxical and hold contrary ideas in our minds: here we must admit too, that for every labor-saving device, short-cut, or computer-driven idea, the human has one less thing to do, one less thing we need to do, and one less thing we eventually can do. How to balance the convenience of technology and some desirable level of capability of the human, is one of our most pressing questions, second only to killer asteroids, and I hope someone does an instructable about that.

So I gladly downloaded the free version of "" software to consult it (really, its human designers, abstracted from reality) to see what it thought about the bottom shape. I''s formula for best bottom shape. As I said in the previous step, maybe the placement of crew weight overrides the finer points of these issues.

I may not lose as much displacement as I fear because the software produced a round bottom (see the third picture), and the form I sketched in my first step has a flatter bottom with large edge-radiuses, and also straight sides (the computer drew a very slight flare). I do not yet know how to ask the software to draw and calculate exactly what I want. I may not expend the time to learn how unless the manual makes it easy (yes, I did the first stuff here without reading the manual -- a bad habit I know, especially as I used to make a living as a technical writer). The rocker curve is more what I was seeking -- yet how would that be affected if the design were set to a flatter bottom cross-section?).

Here I remain at present. The workshop is now clear of the last small project (a kitchen utility bench), and now I can start making the workbench for the new boat, and get it into the garage, which is becoming warmer as the days go by. There is still time to think about that bottom as I set up the plywood topsides and get the basic planform of the wooden part of the hull (remember that the bottom will be stacked layers of closed-cell foam, epoxied and shaped, and glassed over). [I left this off at approximately April 2013, returned to it June 2013]

Step 5: Step 5, Re-Think Bottom Shape One Last Time; Get to Work

(Step 5, June 21, 2013) At the year''ll see. 

Step 6: Some Progress, Some Changes to Original Plan (8/20/2015)

Hello -- Apologies to people who expected much more from me. I am lazy or distracted with too many other projects (a job, a novel, a novella, fieldwork notes from folklore studies, and my girlfriend''s cat-yawl set-up could transfer right over (though would also carry over shrouds and forestay, which I may not be happy about). I also have a 113 square foot balanced lug -- a bit big maybe -- I could have a ~85 foot one built (we do get a lot of light air in New England). I gave away Short Dragon''d guess) is still useful to put a pole across to take a side seat (or last least a place to hold on to and lean out), and leaves just barely enough room to paddle.

Small Woodshop Dust Collection Systemshow to Small Woodshop Dust Collection Systems for Pictures of the hull and sheer web (rocker curve are shown in this step. The basic hull (without the sheer web or the foam bottom that will be glued to it, and without the fiberglassing) is about 70 pounds -- a little heavier than anticipated. It has to get heavier -- not just because of the bottom and glass, but also bracing to take the leeboard stress (double gunwale? laminated frame or two?), the decks over bow and stern, mast steps, and what else?. And the 7 foot long open cockpit is flexy (glass the inside? frames and double gunwales for both sides?). The basic hull simply will not be under 100 pounds, I suppose. Oh well. The ama will be foam and glass and I hope not over 25 pounds. The cross beams must be as light as possible -- maybe spruce or sitka spruce, or box beams. 150 pounds total? But the rudder and leeboard and rig must be added then. Ah! Such is life.

That''s for 1 last update 2020/08/08 the update for now -- WTThat''s the update for now -- WT

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    12 Discussions

    0
    RossB42

    3 years ago

    Who is the manufacturer of the inflatable outriggers pictured on your boat?

    0
    Wade Tarzia

    Reply 3 years ago

    The Watertribe organization (www.watertribe.org, also they have an old .com site) used to sell them; they were designed by Steve Isaacs collaborating with the company Jack''t until much later in life that I first came across a sailing canoe and thought ""

    I haven''t tried it yet, it will be my next boat project, and as fantasy goes, as close to the Platonic Ideal form as I''ve read your comments on SOF building and agree with you concerns, but when I''s been the easiest way to make sure the hull actually matches what I''t enough boat for a growing family. The hull somewhat resembled my drawings, but was far from a perfect match.

    0
    Wade Tarzia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Many catamarans have successfully completed the Everglades Challenge. They do not really fullfil my desire for a car-top outrigger. An outrigger canoe is indeed a canoe with a hull you can sit or lay down in, which is my goal. Catamarans are great for simple speed, and excitement, but I do not relish sprawling on a tramp net without back support. Add seats and now the catamaran simplicity is getting complexer-er, and then the simple outrigger sailing canoe is looking better for me particularly.

    In general, though, many sailing canoes, monohull or outrigger, are proving to be the ultimately capable and affordable afternoon boat AND adventure boat. Read the blogs of the canoe sailors who do the the 1 last update 2020/08/08 EC and similar types of cruises. Look at the youtube videos. Check out Tim Anderson''ve always liked the AMF Sunfish with it''t wait to see your next installment.Many catamarans have successfully completed the Everglades Challenge. They do not really fullfil my desire for a car-top outrigger. An outrigger canoe is indeed a canoe with a hull you can sit or lay down in, which is my goal. Catamarans are great for simple speed, and excitement, but I do not relish sprawling on a tramp net without back support. Add seats and now the catamaran simplicity is getting complexer-er, and then the simple outrigger sailing canoe is looking better for me particularly.

    In general, though, many sailing canoes, monohull or outrigger, are proving to be the ultimately capable and affordable afternoon boat AND adventure boat. Read the blogs of the canoe sailors who do the EC and similar types of cruises. Look at the youtube videos. Check out Tim Anderson''ve always liked the AMF Sunfish with it''t wait to see your next installment.

    0
    Wade Tarzia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder if any Sunfish were ever entered in an EC? The main problem would be keeping track of your gear, but the stand-up paddleboard guys just lashed their waterproof baggage to their SUPs. My design needs only about 7 feet of free length in the "" That leaves most (some loss at the ends and where the masts will go) of 9 feet of 19 inch wide by 15 inch tall space for waterproof bags that are out of the wind and spray and securely centered in the hull (though at a minimum must be clipped to the hull).

    0
    RasmusMoller

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hello Wade,
    I guess you heard of Tom Yosts Falco folding kayak technique (glued PVC and plywood sides+evt. bulkheads) - I wonder if it could be used to build a both ama and vaka with bulkheads. You might even fix foam noodles under the bottom of the vaka for flotation and protection. Would be light and simple but perhaps too flimsy for you.

    0
    Wade Tarzia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I have seen them. Skin-on-frame boats are not for me, though they have done some amazing things. I prefer a solid hull that keeps its lines, does not need upkeep of tensioning, and has solid in-built safety features. Pool noodles would work, as would other things. Yes, I tried inflatable amas on Short Dragon as a rather expensive way to lighten and safety-ize Short Dragon for the 2011 Everglades Challenge. They seem pretty rugged. I loved their shape and performance. Fixing holes can be done but is a little problematic. And I shudder at the thought of what a random thug could do to those $1700 investments, with a pocketknife. I would rather use inflatables or skin-on-frame methods for a nonessential part of the boat. The safety-ama mode I have been using since last summer is an excellent application for an inflatable or skin-on-frame -- the safety ama is carried above the water and comes into play as the outrigger starts to be knocked down on the port tack. It delays catastrophe, but you could sail without it (and just be a little more aware). My philosophy toward inflatables and skin-on-frame may well have some attendant illogic, I admit, but not everything has to make sense :-)

    0
    espdp2

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Aargh, Wade! :-)
    Ok, consider this (from the mind of a sailing neophyte): something like a surfboard or sit on top kayak, powered by a kite. Little to no rigid structure, just fabric and lines. Very minimal. I don't know what an Everglades challenge is or if that meets any requirements for such, but it would easily go from car top to water and back.

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    Wade Tarzia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That would make a good boat for an afternoon, if you want to play with kites. Kites seem a bit of a bother unless one has a lot of room, practise time, and one that will survive a wander landing and can relaunch from the water. You still need propulsion for more clsoed in areas such as near-shore sailing, rivers, and crowded harbors. The boat itself need to let you sleep on it, and carry about to 70 pounds of gear for camp cruising or an expedition race like the Everglades Challenge. It must be comfortable for a at least two straight days of living aboard. I think my initial design suits these needs minimally. The structure of the bottom is a little like surfboard construction, though.