View Full Version : Caledonia fishing sloop with patent pending mast
01-12-2007, 09:29 AM
This is the kind of thing that can happen when a fish crazed fisherman gets a hold of Caledonia Yawl plans. The story is pretty simple. My loud, obnoxious, and entertaining fishing buddy of twenty years complained about the straight conventional mast being in his way when we were fishing. It dawned on me that I could glue up a mast that would curve around him when stored and I wouldn’t have to hear anymore of his vocal majority. The prototype was very successful (no more complaints) and since then I thought of about ten different ways to make it even better. In fact, the second-generation mast got so good in my mind that I decided to pursue a patent.
Not wanting to spend the funds for a patent myself, I gave the idea to Florida State University, my employer. Now Florida State University has a provisional patent pending on the sickle-shaped mast and they own 60% of the rights to the design while I retain 40%. Although they own the lion’s share of the patent rights, I figure that 40% of something is a whole lot better than 100% of nothing. Furthermore, if it does amount to something worth stealing, FSU will have the funds and lawyers to defend it.
I have bought a new 4HP Yamaha four stroke to provide the muscle early in the morning when the Gulf of Mexico is glassy, there’s no wind and us fishermen like to toss top water plugs for big speckled trout. The mast will be stored then and completely out of the way because it will curve over to the sides of the boat. When the afternoon breeze kicks up, the plan is to step the mast, set sail and troll for mackerel in deeper water. I like the daggerboard because it gives me that space just aft of the center seat for standing and casting. I will experiment with using aluminum beer bottles as sacrificial crush zones so that grounding out the daggerboard will not be a big deal (except that we will have to drink more beer to replace the crushed bottles). I also plan to carry a shorter backup daggerboard for use in thin water. By doing these two things I think I can overcome the bad side of daggerboards and enjoy that space I wouldn’t have with a longer centerboard case.
The wheel steering is something else I’ve come up with to make the daggerboard more user friendly. I figure I can at least stop the wheel with my foot while I’m messing with the daggerboard. Of course it will take a bunch of fine tuning to make it all work properly but heck! That’s half the fun, isn’t it?
Your comments are welcome and appreciated. I could especially use some help with the rigging, sail design and remote steering. I’ve been in contact with Iain Oughtred and I’ve confessed to him what I’m about to do with the Caledonia Yawl hull I’m building. He’s been very encouraging and even sent me some pictures of a Dutch boat with curved masts. He said that he found my mast design to be “entertaining” and that the daggerboard “should work fine.”
Since my correspondence with Mr. Oughtred I’ve abandoned the ketch rig I showed him for a simpler sloop. Most times in the afternoon on the Gulf the problem is too much wind not the other way around so I don’t think I’ll miss the additional sail area the storable ketch rig had to offer. Besides it will be fun to watch my fishing buddy dodging the big genoa on every tack. He’ll be complaining like the good old days in no time at all!
01-12-2007, 12:29 PM
The picture you linked to only show 1/4 of the sail plan. Would be cool to see all of it. What was vissible looked cool tought...
01-12-2007, 02:02 PM
Keep hitting reload and you'll get the whole thing.
01-12-2007, 02:03 PM
Is that better? I still haven't figured out how to have it display as part of the text like everyone else. My tech guy is not in today.
I think you're going to be denied for "prior art"; I've seen a very similar set of mast, yard (or gaff, don't remember), and boom, curved to fit the gunwale, in a photo and description in an issue of "Watercraft".
01-12-2007, 03:30 PM
Well, like I said, it's not costing me anything to try for the patent. My mast does have a straight section with a round cross section in the bottom portion so that it can rotate unstayed in the mast step and that may set it it apart from what has been published before. In any case, we home builders will be able to try to duplicate the construction for our own use as long as we do not set up a business selling them (from what I understand). The construction will be challenging to say the least. The round cross section of the lower part transitions to a tapering air foil shape for the upper curved part. I'll be gluing up the blank with many small pieces of Sitka spruce and shaping the blank with routers on lever arms, mini routers for depth of cut guides and then a final shaping with a power planer. It should be fun but I'm still trying to finish the hull and get her out of my garage so I'll have some room to work on the mast.
Since this picture I've finished the planking and much of the exterior sanding. The space is very tight. The bow actually had to penetrate the back wall in the build. My wife was not too happy about it.:o
The motor will hang on the forward bulkhead of the center seat and its well will double as a live well. Hope to have the ability to completely swing the motor up and have doors that will seal off the huge hole in the bottom that makes that possible. Daggerboard box will also function as a live well. Both will provide water ballast for sailing and fresh sea water to keep the bait fish alive.
01-12-2007, 09:07 PM
The motor will hang on the forward bulkhead of the center seat and its well will double as a live well. Hope to have the ability to completely swing the motor up and have doors that will seal off the huge hole in the bottom that makes that possible. Daggerboard box will also function as a live well. Both will provide water ballast for sailing and fresh sea water to keep the bait fish alive.This raises a lot of questions in my mind:
1: If the well is open for the motor, how will you seal it up tightly enough to act as a ballast tank? (If the water can slosh around or spill or drain, it's not acting much like ballast.)
3: If the centerboard case is also a bait well/live well, how big will it need to be? What stops that water from sloshing around, spilling or draining -- it wants to be tight for ballst, circulating for the fish, right?
4: How much buoyancy are you giving up here? Looks like a big chunk in the middle of the boat.
But the sail looks sharp. Does the geometry allow reefing?
01-12-2007, 11:47 PM
What I called ballast is really more like negative boyancy – helps keep her windage down and adds momentum for punching through a chop. The compartments will be difficult to seal but they are large and located in the deepest part of the boat so they represent a substantial amount of water especially with the boat weighed down with fishing and safety equipment. The sloshing means there's seawater moving around in there and the live bait will be healthy. Fresh live bait means big strikes so the sloshing is like music to our ears. Hatch covers keep the noise down and the bait cool. The sail plan is under canvassed but represents about all we are gonna want to mess with and still be able to store completely away in the first part of the day fishing the flats. Got no idea about reefing really but assume we'll strike the big genoa first and put up something smaller. First few battens will be parallel to the boom so we'll just reef them in as needed, I guess.
The four horse motor might get up to twenty miles to the gallon at hull speed and with favorable winds, we could do much better than that. We might be the cheapest fishermen on the water.
01-13-2007, 01:33 AM
"First few battens will be parallel to the boom so we'll just reef them in as needed, I guess."
Guess again, cause that's not going to work unless you make the mast between them straight. If, as it would look in the drawing, you're also planning on attaching the sail and battens to the mast with a boltrope, slugs, slides or similar means, you've created a sitiation where it's pretty much impossible to raise and lower the main as well. How about the possibility of some sort of lug-type system, rather than one with the luff attached to the mast? You could still keep the curved mast, but things get a heck of a lot easier as soon as the sail luff is free from being attached to the back of it. If you want a real-life demonstration, build a mock-up and try to raise the mainsail with a halyard. My hunch is that it will start jamming when only raised 25% or so and soon jam to the point where raising it any further without tearing the sail apart is impossible.
He might be able to do it if the inside (aft) curve of the mast and outside (fore) curve of the yard are arcs of the same circle, lowering would be effectively rotating the sail around the center of that circle. The design and construction of such a sail would be a work of art.
01-13-2007, 09:55 AM
Guys, I've already built a full sized prototype for my dory skiff and it all works just fine including the sloshy oversized daggerboard box / bait well. On the prototype the curvature of the mast was not of constant radius so the bow (as in arrow and bow) extention had to be a complicated two part car system but I won't make that mistake again. I'll post the prototype pictures next week as I'm home on my wife's computer and the pictures are at work. The trailing edge of the mast will be an arc of constant radius (of a 16' circle). Total mast height is 17' 8" but of course that is extended by the sliding bow (a good place for carbon fiber application). A graduate student at the FSU Physics Department helped me figure the size of the pieces of sitka spruce I'll need to glue up the two halves of the blank that will be shaped into the final mast. It was weird cutting perfectly good 12' 1x8" sitka spruce boards into 4' pieces but it had to be done. I'll be the first to admit I'm more of a woodworker/fisherman than a sailor but it does work and I think it will work much better on my second generation mast.
01-13-2007, 12:01 PM
What I would like to know is do you guys or gals think that it will work to have the boom vang and the main sheet tied together in one pully system as shown? They are both pulling almost equal distant from the peak so shouldn't it work OK? Thanks, Kenjamin
01-13-2007, 01:21 PM
Get your paws on some image-resizing software and use it -- it looks as if you are posting images straight from the camera at super-high resolution. This makes 'em not visible to most of us, or only to those with fast connections willing to hit "reload" multiple times. Lower the dpi to 72, as anything more isn't visible on computer screens.
01-13-2007, 03:13 PM
Thanks Thorne, I'll go in to the office tonite and take care of the problem. Didn't mean to leave anyone out. :o Kenjamin
01-13-2007, 04:15 PM
I've never seen a vang/sheet arrangement like that. My hunch is it will be an ineffective vang that fails to maintain the tension you need. Consider that as you ease the sheet and lessen the tension there, you actually need more tension in the vang to keep the sail flat. The loads on the two work inversely most of the time. In other words, the vang takes over the job of keeping the boom down when the angle on the sheet is too far off to do the job.
01-13-2007, 06:31 PM
Your hunch is correct. The vang's job is to control/reduce upper sail twist when the mainsheet can't do it - like when the boom is eased out and under minimal downward mainsheet tension. When the sheet is trimmed-in tight for upwind legs, it takes over the twist control job and a vang isn't needed.Having both the sheet and the vang tight at the same times and loose at the same times isn't what you want. A simple self-contained vang tackle running between the lower mast and a boom bail which could be totally seperate from mainsheet tension (or lack of it) would be much more effective. You can, however, use a similar mainsheet routing system to self-adjust downhaul tension if you have a sliding gooseneck and it works quite well. It tensions the luff when the sheet is trimmed hard to help flatten the sail when sailing close-hauled and eases luff tension, allowing more sail draft when the sheet is eased and you're sailing a lower course. This type of system is used on boats like the Sunfish, as well as most modern iceboats.
Even if the curve in the mast is circular, I'm still getting some pretty strange results when trying to draw-in a reefed mainsail - even without taking into account the fact that the luff curve of the sail can't match the curve of the mast if you want any sail draft. Full battens and the forward pressure they normally exert on the back side of the mast may complicate things even more. If nothing else, it's an interesting mental exercise. If I come up with any brainstorm drawings. I'll post them.
Todd, are assuming the mast is rotating, it's really go to for it to work. It seems the advantage he cites is that the curved mast is less obtrusive when down
My loud, obnoxious, and entertaining fishing buddy of twenty years complained about the straight conventional mast being in his way when we were fishing. It dawned on me that I could glue up a mast that would curve around him when stored and I wouldn’t have to hear anymore of his vocal majority.
01-13-2007, 08:15 PM
I believe he stated above that the mast rotates and that a major point of the rig is out-of-the-way storage, so I'm not sure what you're getting at. My major concern is trying to raise, lower and/or reef a fully-battened sail on a curved spar without creating an even bigger headache than the storage problem. My initial drawings have already comfirmed that just pulling battens down to the boom as you might slab-reef a catamaran sail absolutely won't work. As far as I can tell, the sail only goes up and down or assumes it's designed profile (reefed or not) when it's luff maintains a similar curve to that of the mast. Any kind of straight vertical motion (like trying to pull a batten down to slab reef) will either jam almost immediately or rip the boltrope or whatever might be connecting the battens to the mast out of the track.
I'm waiting to see Kenjamin's other drawings to see if there is something I'm missing.
01-13-2007, 09:52 PM
Todd, is the boom angle change in the reefing process the thing that's bothering you? The entire luff is attached on the same constant radius trailing edge of the mast so it all just rotates downward but yes the boom angle has to change a bit. I was thinking of a loose attachment of the boom to the mast – maybe just an oak crook bound in leather to protect my precious sitka spruce. The lowest panel on the sail on the right would actually be folded and tied to the boom along with the next lowest batten.
I'd still like to try tying the boom vang to the main sheet just to see if it would work on any points of sail (would be nice to eliminate a sheet to simplify for fishing). I'd also like to try tying the forward batten ends to the luff slugs with the top batten hinged to the lower end of the bow (as in arrow and bow) extention.
01-14-2007, 01:12 AM
OK, I think we're on the same page now. Three different reefs would get you something like these pix.
Boom angle gets a little steep, but I don't see it causing a big problem. I think I'd lengthen the boom enough to keep the reefed sail on it - as having the clew corner hanging off in space doesn't do much for creating decent leech tension. I think the sliding crook/jaws or whatever is a good idea and though I still don't think the built-in tackle up front will make a decent vang, it will make a good luff downhaul.
Full battens tend to jam slugs up against the slot in the mast (trying to turn them sideways) and even on aluminum masts they can scrape-up the track area. In the process, they also tend to create massive amounts of friction. I might lean toward teflon boltrope tape with the rope in the slot. There are a couple brands of plastic batten pocket end protectors for bolt-roped sails that twist less in the slot and which have small ridges along their front ends to reduce friction. The day I removed the slugs from the batten ends on our trimaran, teflon-taped the luff and installed the right type of endcaps, life with the fully-battened rig got much easier. You may find the same thing since you'll be trying to pull the sail around a curve when you raise it..
01-14-2007, 11:50 AM
In an effort to get this to work, I'll be trying 3/4" Zurpex (or equivalent) water pipe for the liner of the luff channel and 4" segments of 3/8" Zurpex for the slugs as Zurnpex sliding inside of Zurpex is a very slippery action. Zurpex is extremely light, stiff and slippery. The trick will be to get it glued in place and become one with the spruce. My hope is that if I rough up the 3/4" Zurnpex and sleave it with an E-glass sleave, it will bond to the E-glass and it in turn with the spruce. I was tempted to use a carbon fiber sleave but I need the luff channel to be flexible enough to move with the spruce instead of resisting it. The mast will be like a Zurnpex sausage sandwich on a spruce bun with epoxy/E-glass dressing. I want most all of the strength of the mast to be sufficent with the laminated spruce but the three sleaved Zurnpex pipes will surely add some stiffness to the whole assembly. The spruce will be laminated up with a tremendous amount of pieces so it will not be flexing very much either. If it works I'll be happy. If not, it will be back to the garage for more fun with epoxy.
01-14-2007, 12:00 PM
Todd, your figuring on the reefs seems right but keep in mind that this storable rig starts out as under canvassed so it's got to really blow to need a reef to begin with. I suspect normally it will only need one reef at the most especially after striking the jib. Do you think the helm will be too out of balance under main alone?
01-14-2007, 05:05 PM
Probably not once you're on course. A lot of big-roached sloops are pretty sluggish to tack without the jib up though. The mainsail with all that roach does a great job of weather-vaning the boat, but getting the bow to go ahead and cross over far enough that your main can start producing power on the next tack can be pretty tedious. Usually, you can learn your way out of this dead-end by paying attention to what kind of tack timing, heel angle and rudder application works best and understanding how much speed you need to carry into the tacking maneuver. I wouldn't be surprised to see you get stuck in irons a few times at first, but especially on a monohull, it should get substantially better with practice and getting used to the quirks of that particular boat.
01-14-2007, 07:23 PM
Thanks, Todd, for the information. It will be interesting to see what the rig will do on the Gulf. As said before, most days fishing we will not set sail until we've done our top water plug tossing and working live pin fish under corks. It's when the wind kicks up and ruins that kind of fishing that we will step the mast and troll for larger deep water fish under sail. That is why I'm showing full length battens because most times when we set sail there will already be a stiff breeze to work with. Here's my next question and at the risk of showing my ignorance, I'll ask it anyway: Do fully battened sails rely soley on the battens for camber or is it also broad seamed into the sail somehow? I know that on some junk rigs there are cambered panels between the battens but I've been told that Hobie Cats rely solely on the battens for camber. I think I like the quiet power that battens may offer in the anticipated heavy air they will be used in and the added roach will be helpful too but should there be some cambered panels between the battens? I hope to sew my own sails so it's tempting to keep the sail cut simple and flat but I'd really like to do what would be best. What would you reccommend?
01-14-2007, 07:51 PM
I'll let Todd get technical, but fully-battened sails have a funny habit in light air of remaining "inside-out" after a tack. You sometimes have to jerk the sheet to get the sail to pop into the opposite curvature. They sure look like they're sewn throughout to that shape. And very carefully sewn, too, the battens lock in the panel shapes in such a way that it would be hard to stretch the wrinkles out of a poorly made sail. A poorly home-made fully battened sail always looks far worse than one without battens.
I will disagree with you, Todd, on one point. I don't see a problem tacking under mainsail alone, mostly because the boat will want to pivot on that daggerboard and will have a fair bit of carry with the weight of two adults, fishing gear and a livewell full of fish.
01-14-2007, 11:20 PM
And an outboard motor, three gallons of gas, oars, two anchors, a paddle, marine gel battery, trolling motor, sunshade, etc. Yes Xena will have good momentum and the hull, while not the fastest around, does glide nicely like a double ender should from what I hear.
As for the sail's finish, I'm not too concerned with a polished look on the first sail my wife and I sew, but I'd like it to work well. I've thought about basting the panels over a hard form with set camber. I don't want a lot of camber but I don't it completely flat either. Xena will have more of workboat finish so the sails don't have to be too pretty but it would be nice if they worked well in a good stiff breeze. I've bought several books on sail design but they don't provide much detailed information on full battened sails from what I can tell. My sails will be tan bark so splattered fish blood will not be so noticeable.:rolleyes:
01-15-2007, 02:03 AM
The only sails that I know of which are truly cut flat are small batwings and genuine traditional junk sails. Both use full battens. The batwings use flexible battens and they generally are not under tension to produce camber, but they are soft enough that the wind will put some draft in by bending the battens. These shallow-draft sails are used on light, easily-driven hulls which tend to accelerate quickly and without the need for a lot of power (usually sailing canoes, many of which are somewhat over-canvased to start with). I am not aware of any batwings being successfully used on boats much larger than a canoe.
Real junk sails are cut flat and use heavy battens to keep them that way. They aren't really known for either pointing ability or light-air performance, but most of the folks that use them seem pretty happy with them. I've built a couple small ones for people and they worked fine, but I haven't studied them enough to say much about how a truly flat sail interacts with the wind and moves a boat.
All other types of fully-battened sails that I can think of off the top of my head are designed, cut and built with camber. The battens are just there to reinforce that shape and support the roach. Hobie sails actually have quite a bit of shape built into them using both luff curve and panel shaping (rather than broadseaming, they cut the panels with curved edges and sew them together with constant width seams - a more modern way to arrive at the same result). Even the very shallow-draft, full-battened sails on modern iceboats are built with shape. In general, if a sail is made of modern fabric and it is not truly dead flat in use, 99.9% of the time the shape is sewn in there - whether it has any battens or not. - and Wox is right...if you make a cutting/shaping error on a fully-battened sail it can be a real bear to remove. Hobie made some sort of minor shape goof on the bottom panel of our Hobie 14 sail that makes a pretty nasty wrinkle between the clew and the first batten pocket. If I ever get energetic enough to fix it, I'm going to have to take the whole bottom of the sail apart and re-assemble it.
Especially with the load that this boat will carry, I'd be careful about going much flatter than "normal" draft (which is usually around one foot of camber for 10' of chord). Too flat and you won't have enough power to push the hull through a chop or get it started moving efficiently with all that stuff aboard. Also, though this hull is pretty sleek, it's not a racing catamaran or other super-skinny shape that has a really high top-end speed. You're better off with a sail that performs well in the actual speed range that the hull will produce, rather than one designed to work best when going faster than the hull ever will. The other things that have to be determined and which are equally important are how far aft the maximum draft is positioned and how steep the entry angle is. You can play all day with draft amounts, but screw-up these two items on a fully-battened sail and your performance goes right down the drain. They are both products of broadseaming or panel-shaping during cutting and assembly.
Ideally, it would be nice to have the sail computer-plotted and cut - if anybody has software that can deal with the circular luff. My gut reaction would be to cut it as a radial, with the panels radiating from the clew corner. With proper panel shaping, you could add and position the draft as well as adjust the entry curve and twist without ever needing to add any addictional luff round. The luff curve could then be the same as the curve of the mast to reduce binding and friction when you try to hoist a curved, fully-battened sail on a curved track. The fabric would be normal stuff, but the panel-ization and shaping would be more like a section of a radial spinnaker than a typical mainsail. Kind of like this one, except all done in one big fan of panels. This boat, by the way was one where I boosted the roach when I built these sails for it. It became a screaming reacher and handled quite well, but without the jib up, there was no easy way to get it to tack. Even though it had a big daggerboard, it wouldn't pivot on it.
Sloops normally lead the CLP with the CE by as much as 15% or more of waterline length. Once the jib is down on Kenjamines boat, the CE is going to be well behind the board. That makes the first half of a tack easy (just let go of the tiller) but the second half can be a real bear until you get the timing nailed down.
01-15-2007, 10:13 AM
It shouldn't be a problem to hoist a smaller head sail to keep things running smoothly on the tacks if need be. I've had discussions will Jeff Frank at Sailrite about sail design but that was back when I was showing him a ketch rig. He wasn't too hot on the full length battens but I was thinking they were kind of necessary for the stiff breezes I was anticipating. After what you've told me, Todd, I'm more comfortable with just going with whatever Jeff and his computer cut for me. I will run your radial cut idea by him and see what he says. I need to leave some of this stuff up to the experts and let them do their thing. As long as I end up with fairly flat camber and good support of a generous roach, I think it will work well enough for my purposes.
My long range plans are to equip and have things sorted out enough to reach some of the artificial reefs that are 6 to 18 miles out in my home waters. It would be great to spend an entire day on the water especially if we could sail back with a load of grouper in the cooler. Such epic journeys would only be attempted during the large cold fronts of Spring and Fall when you can pretty much count on a couple of days of fair weather.
01-15-2007, 03:02 PM
Full length battens don't really have much to do with stiff breezes. Their initial use in cambered sails like catamaran and iceboat mains was primarily to maintain a full sailshape as these high-speed boats sailed through lulls, small wind shifts and puffs and frequently accelerated and decelerated as a result. At the same time, it allowed the addidtion of big roaches, which would otherwise flap without them. Aside from the oversized roach, this main could be built with no battens and would work just as well in heavy winds as the full-battened model will. This boat is never going to accelerate fast enough or sail fast enough to need them for maintaining camber. Cruising sailors (all the way back to the ancient Chinese) found other uses for full battens, like preventing flapping when luffing and various types of batten reefing or furling systems. Your boat can certainly take advantage of these things, but the only thing about the design that demands full battens, at any wind speed, is the roach.
There are also a couple of real drawbacks to full battens. To start with, they tend to be much more subject to chafe and little piddly (but often quite tedious and fairly expensive) repair problems than conventional sails. Secondly, with pre-cambered designs people have more trouble learning what the sail is doing. My pre-cambered iceboat sail and the main on my Hobie look great - from any angle - whether they're trimmed properly or totally luffing. If you know how to read telltales, you can tell whether their working and trimmed properly or not, but the sail's shape doesn't really change. Back when we used to run sailboard classes, we had a bunch of modern, pre-cambered rigs and one old Sailrider with no battens. Students invariably learned faster with the Sailrider because the sail would visibly luff, and even flap a little if it was pointed the wrong direction. The pre-cambered rigs looked full and ready to go whether they were trimmed properly, pointing backwards or down in the water.
From a general, maintenance, durability and pain-in-the-butt standpoint, I still subscribe to the theory that any time you can get away without battens, especially full-length battens, do so. Most other sailmakers tend to agree, though there are certainly times and applications where there just isn't any other choice.
I'm still also curious as to why you're thinking about a fairly flat mainsail, since an undersized, flat-ish main on a monohull generally stands for lack of sufficient power and slow, inefficient sailing? I suppose it might be nice for maintaining trolling speeds, but if you have to travel very far and consider how many miles you often need to sail to reach something six miles away, you may be in for a very long day.
01-15-2007, 07:11 PM
Thanks Todd for all the great information. I really appreciate your help. The reason I'm not too concerned about light or even medium air performance is because us fisherman tend to get up in the middle of the night and go fishing so we can be out on the grass flats when its glassy and it's a blast to lure big speckled trout up to the surface to slam a mirror-lure. That's the kind of fishing I really like and usually until mid morning there's no wind at all. Originally on my little 16' dory skiff the sail was there just as a backup to a little 2.5 motor so if the motor broke down in the afternoon we wouldn't have to row back home. With my new boat (CY hull) it will be fitted with a more capable and probably more dependable (brand new) 4HP Yamaha four stroke. With just a three gallon remote tank it will have a tremendous range of about 50 miles or so. I can't wait to find out what it will actually be. The motor should hit hull speed at just over half throttle so there will not be a lot of strain on the motor. Some days we may motor all day and not even set sail. For the new boat the sail will be a big upgrade (like the motor and the boat) so I'm looking for it to play a more active role in the day's fishing. But chances are we will not set sail until our favorite kind of top water fishing is ruined by a stiff afternoon breeze. In the past we would crank up the motor and head home but with the new boat able to carry so much more safety equipment and being a much more seaworthy hull, I would like to set sail for deeper water and troll for mackerel in the summer and grouper in the winter (when grouper move in much closer). Here's what she should look like reefed
The whole idea of my new boat's storable rig is versatility. It's a fishing skiff in the morning, a sport fishing boat trolling in the afternoon, and a fun sailboat headed home in the evening with a cooler full of fish for ballast. I'd like to put the "sport" back into sport fishing and put some fish on the table in the process. There should be a fishing contest where the winner is determined by who caught the most pounds per gallon. Xena should do well in that competition. Thanks again for your help. Kenjamin
01-23-2007, 12:42 PM
Has anyone out there ever done any homemade wooden masthead work? I sure would appreciate comments about this plan of mine.
Because the lines inside my curved storable mast will be in much contact with the tubes they are in, I had to come up with a very slick surface on which for them to slide. I found some Zurnpex water pipe at my local home center and discovered that the 3/8" pipe slides very nicely inside the 3/4" pipe and the stuff is very light. After about three months of trying to get 20' lengths of Zurpex I finally settled on Vanguard pex pipe which is (from what I was told) the same thing. So I'll be using 6" slugs of 3/8" pex pipe sliding inside of 3/4" pex pipe. I ordered two each of three different sizes of sheaves from Harken so hopefully correct sizes can be chosen to use in my mast. I know this seems like a whole lot of trouble to go through to make a curved mast work but sometimes half the fun is just seeing if it will work or not. What do you think?
01-23-2007, 06:41 PM
All you can do is try it and find out. I don't know why you think you need that extra sheave to direct the main halyard. Looks to me like just another place for problems to develop. Also, I hope you have a plumber's snake that will reach the length of the pipe.
01-23-2007, 06:49 PM
Kenja, have you researched the way the boat from the Netherlands with the curved masts had their sails rigged? The one that was part of the Great Glen Raid a few years ago. You might want to track them down and see how they handled some of these issues.
My personal feeling is that people have been fishing for thousands of years from small boats like these and the rigs that evolved, (sprit, various lugs, etc), would be hard to improve on. Do you read Maritime Life and Traditions Magazine? Worth a look.
01-23-2007, 08:44 PM
Alright, I braved the archives (basement:)) and went through my old issues of Watercraft. In issue #36 there was an article about Raid Finland. Time & Tide was mentioned along with a reference to issue #25, the article I remembered about the Great Glen Raid.
Time &Tide is a Noman's Land boat from plans at Mystic Seaport. She is very similar to your CY. A 19'9 1/2" x 6'5" double ender.
"The essence of the rig is the freely rotating curved masts. The masts rotate through an 180 degree arc, from windward to leeward, supported in two bearings, one on the keel and the other at thwart height, made of a very tough plastic, Delrin. "
Sorry about the picture quality, I just took some snaps of the magazine article.
The article, by Kathy Mansfield, tells of her downwind performance:
"My higher expectations of her downwind performance with the two sails goosewinged were fully justified. The final race of the Great Glen Raid was a nail biting heat between Time & Tide and a slippery Ness Yawl designed and sailed by Iain Oughtred, who needed to pull out the stops to dash ahead at the last moment with a tactical change of course."
She was built by Kees Prins in Enkhuizen and is owned by the Wybenga family from Hoorn on the Ijselmeer.
01-24-2007, 10:23 AM
Thanks guys for your input. Iain Oughtred already sent me photo copies of the Dutch boat with the curved masts. I think where my design differs somewhat is that on my mast the curvature is centered along the axis of rotation of the straight section which is also straighter and longer. Mr. Oughtred has been very supportive of my experimental mast and has given me freedom to discuss its application to his Caledonia Yawl hull. He even wrote that the daggerboard should work fine. I only applied for the patent with Florida State University because it is costing me nothing and if it ever amounts to something worth stealing, I won't have to worry about that either. FSU would be the 60% owner and would probably bear the cost of defending it in court if that were necessary. The patent should not effect the homebuilder if he or she just wants to make one for themselves.
On a broader note, its true that people have been experimenting with storable fishing rigs for thousands of years but they haven't always had epoxy. They haven't had slippery super lightweight Zurnpex water pipe to work with either. The idea that if it really were a good idea, it would have already been thought of is a silly one to me. If all inventors thought that, nothing else would ever get invented again!!!
On a technical note, the extra directional sheave is there so that the halyard would lead cleanly into the center tube of pex pipe. A smaller top sheave would slove that problem but at the cost of smaller bearing surface and more friction. The other option would be to make the top of the mast wider but I didn't want it to look clunky (non-tapering.) I decided to make all the pex pipe tubes parallel to each other because it will greatly simplify the machining of the channels (in each half of the mast) that will accept the pipe.
My hope is that this mast will not only store better along the gunwales but that when stepped it will be very strong, and although unstayed, still able to set a nice large head sail effectively. Truthfully I don't know much about sailing but I'm pretty good with wood and epoxy. With all the glue lines and small pieces of spruce going into this thing, it should be very stiff and strong and also present a very efficient aero shape especially going to windward which is where the real "meat and potatoes" are in sailing from what I understand. In any case I won't have to hear about the mast being in the way of my loud, sometimes obnoxious, entertaining fishing buddy. I bet he's gonna hate that genoa, though. :D
"Time and Tide" is the boat that I was remembering. Thanks for finding that story!
The patent should not effect the homebuilder if he or she just wants to make one for themselves.
Technically, yes, it would. Under the law, no one can make patented devices without a license from the patent holder. Whether you make them to sell or for your own private use doesn't matter at all.
01-24-2007, 08:43 PM
Fortunately on this one the idea does not qualify for an international patent so even if a U.S. patent is granted, a successful mass production is created and the mast becomes a huge success, you will be able to buy a cheap Chinese knock-off cheaper than what you would spend on materials and tools to build one yourself. And besides if you're a poor fisherman like me, no big corporation is going to want to sue you for makin' one in your garage because there's no profit in it. If you're a rich fisherman, you may want to wait for the Chinese knock-off or buy the one made in the good ole U.S.A.
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