View Full Version : Thoughts on Elorn?
05-03-2007, 06:18 AM
Elorn has caught my eye and is described as being inspired by Norwegian Faerings and American Peapods. I am looking for a very seaworthy rowing/sailing boat that I can easily launch singlehanded (from a beach) and which will row easily and fast with one rower and still sail well. The boat may also have to cope with 2-3m swells and 20kt winds on occasions as I run for home
This boat looks the business and according to Francois it is well suited to this role. I would welcome the learned opinion of forumites as to how they think it might fare.
I have also looked at the:
Matinicus Double-Ender by Walt Simmons - may not sail so well?
Tirrik/Arctic Tern - good sailors but slower single rowers?
Harrier - good sailor but slower single rower?
Phoenix 111 by Ross Lillistone - new design so no real feedback yet?
Walkabout by John Welsford - may not sail so well and untested?
Youkou Lili by Francois Vivier - too large to row well with one person?
I would welcome any thoughts about how Elorn might compare in such company and whether my thoughts about the above boats are correct.
ps. I would just like to add that Francois Vivier is a pleasure to correspond with and real gentleman to boot. Following my enquiries about various boats his replies have always been polite, prompt, informed and honest, which is really refreshing in this day and age!
05-03-2007, 09:05 PM
I am sorry I cannot answer your question about the ideal rowing sailing boat, however I could not resist the temptation to make it known that I absolutely concurr with your opinion about Mr Vivier. I want to become an amateur boatbuilder and recently I have also written him and I also got a very prompt encouraging and informed response, just as you stated. He is also very honest, his answers are educative, he does not try to just simply promote his designs, I think he tries to give good sincere avise.
I am sure all you have listed have their merit. For some choosing the design that best suits and then getting on with it works for them. Others enjoy the the contemplation and, if still around, engagement with the designer. I'm in the latter catagory and think it leads to a very satisfying process.
Elorn looks very sweet and capable and of late I have been very drawn to Francois Vivier's designs. Having now communicated with him by email and phone several times I can say he is most gracious and helpful. I suspect this would make for an enjoyable association.
He is very well credentialled with a body work in this area and it's hard to imagine he could design a dud that didn't fufill its stated purpose capably.
Unfortunately I have been seduced by a much more ambitious project of his, Meaban! http://vivierboats.com/Img/meaban.pdf
Currently trying to decide between this, and on the other hand, my need to earn a living, pension plan and relationship. Its driving me crazy!
I have on file a Watercraft mag March 2004 that has an interesting article about Francois. Let me know by PM and I will forward a copy.
(My mothers family is from Albany, fond memories).
05-04-2007, 12:14 AM
I have owned several different sail & oar boats including one on your list; both (first) a Ness Yawl and (currently) an Arctic Tern that was slightly modified by being stretched to end up the same waterline length as the Ness Yawl. These boats are actually so similar in performance that I can pretty much describe them as one. I would say that these are sail & oar boats--excellent sailboats, but ones that row well enough that you can absolutely abandon any need to carry a noisy, stinky outboard along with you. They certainly row very much better than a typical sailing dinghy, and they are very, very seaworthy for a small open boat. I use my Rowan for camp-cruising in the San Juan Islands, a place with 8-10 foot tide swings with all the associated swirling currents, eddies and tide rips. However, they probably wouldn't be the very first boat on your list if you were primarily interested in mostly just rowing and would only be carrying a sail just for those times when the wind was relatively light and favorable.
Elorn looks like it is a boat more in that latter category, an "oar & sail" boat, if I may. . .a boat more optimised for rowing than for sailing, though certainly capable of sailing OK. With her narrower beam and symmetrical hullform she won't be able to stand up to her sails as well or be able to reach the same speeds under sail as a more sailing optimised hull shape--but then that's the price you pay for dedicated rowing qualities. You'll have to decide for yourself just what the balance between sailing and rowing is you prefer. (Me, I'd rather be sailing, but I hate outboards, so I need a boat that can be rowed 10 miles in an afternoon when necessary. Rowan has the right balance for me.)
As far as the other boats go, the ones I know about: the Tirrik is a slightly smaller version of the Arctic Tern that I currently own which is my absolute favorite boat out of all of the several dozen boats I have owned in my life so far. I couldn't be happier with the performance and seaworthiness of Rowan, and I can wholeheartedly recommend Oughtred's designs. I think the Welsford Walkabout is conservatively rigged and sorta undercanvassed compared to the Oughtred designs. The Matinicus peapod is an oar & sail boat more than a sail & oar boat just like you suspect. The Youkou Lili looks to be very much the same sort of boat as the Ness Yawl--but I'd have to say that personally, Oughtred's got 'em all beat on aesthetics though. I don't know anything about those others.
I say go for the Tirrik or the Arctic Tern for the prettiest boat afloat! Here's some links to some pictures taken at the 2006 Port Townsend Wooden Boat Show where you can see pictures of Tirriks, Ness Yawls and Caledonia Yawls as well as my own Arctic Tern, Rowan.
05-04-2007, 05:01 AM
If I had to be out in 3 meter seas I'd want a boat that was decked fore and aft and had flotation chambers. Those are pretty big waves.
05-04-2007, 05:54 AM
Thanks for the replies, it's good to hear that Francois is sharing the good oil around.
Hi James, thanks for the thoughtful reply. My problem (expectation?) is that I have got used to rowing my Light Dory at a fair lick, it cruises at about 4 knots and I am getting a real buzz out of the rowing at the moment and the exercise is doing me the world of good! Walkabout and Elorn apparently will also row at this speed, hence my interest in them.
I really like Arctic Tern and really it is probably the best choice, as I have a couple of young kids who are keen to jump in the boat and seem to be growing exponentially, I'm just loath to give up the dedicated rowing experience.
Rbgarr you're dead right, I really need a decked boat with plenty of buoyancy for the conditions I am likely to encounter. Elorn has built in buoyancy and I have asked Francois about decking the ends, but it is made more difficult by the length needed to store the mast when rowing. I suppose I could leave it up but that brings on windage concerns.
Aside from the usual stuff I have a longer trip in mind. I want to row/sail along the coastline of a National Park on the south coast of Australia. While it's only 100km the sea conditions can be pretty rough and I am certain to encounter swells of 2-4 m and summer easterlies which can quickly top 20kts. I will need to be able to make effective progress in these sort of conditions, as there are only so many places that I will be able to run for cover.
My predicament is that I want a boat that can do this and still be easily manageable single-handed and preferably a decent rower to boot.
All suggestions apart from don't do it will be gratefully received!
05-04-2007, 06:04 AM
It sounds like Walkabout may be a good boat for what you describe. It has flotation, room for camping aboard and a short rig. The tiller line arrangement may even be rigged so you could steer with a pivoted foot stretcher while rowing.
05-04-2007, 07:45 AM
pardon my intrusion, but how "coquina" would rank here compared to all these other beauties?
(picture taken from http://www.dhylanboats.com/)
05-04-2007, 09:28 AM
Not to be ghoulish, but I wonder what will happen to Dave Corcoran's COQUINA.
05-04-2007, 09:57 AM
4 knots speed under oars for a Walkabout? This sounds a bit like advertising copy to me--should more likely read "capable of four knots under oars in calm conditions in a lightly loaded boat" but I somewhat doubt that 4 kts is a realistic sustained speed for a loaded boat in open water. The Walkabout and the Arctic Tern are really very, very similar in overall size and shape--different details, to be sure, but pretty much designed for the same purpose and for the same reasons. I would be absolutely shocked if the Walkabout was substantially better of a rowboat than a Tirrik or an Arctic Tern!
I will say that I think the Oughtred designs are undeniably more sophisticated in their construction method. Welsford uses a heavy and cumbersome arrangement of sawn frames and stringers and bulkheads compared to the elegant and lighter monocoque Oughtred hull. The specs list the Walkabout as being a full 25 kilos heavier than the Arctic Tern, empty weight. She's nowhere near as pretty as an Arctic Tern either, with that soft, flavorless sheerline, truncated run, and odd, triangular-ish transom.
I have never thought to bring out the GPS and see how fast my Rowan goes under oars, but I am planning to head to Lake Samish this weekend for a canoe messabout (Rowan is sorta a canoe yawl, you see?) and I will make a point to bring the GPS along so that I can measure my speed under oars.
I will report back to you about how fast she goes under full effort and under what I would consider a typical cruising pace.
Mr Vivier has graced our forum before when there was another discussion of his plans. Perhaps he will again. There are some lovely designs coming off his drafting board.
05-04-2007, 04:59 PM
I agree with RBgarr, you certainly want a partially-decked boat for heavy sea conditions.
I'd also say that you'll want a small outboard, either in a well or on the transom, if you are really doing offshore stuff with this boat, particularly if you will have passengers. Rowing under calm to average conditions is fine, but if you are close to the lee shore in a small boat in high winds, you'll want more power than oars can provide.
05-05-2007, 09:02 PM
Okay, here's the report from rowing trials in my stretched "Arctic Tern" this morning. The measurements were taken with a GPS on a landlocked lake so there weren't any issues with currents to subtract to get an accurate speed through the water.
Under oars at a casual pace--what I would consider an easy travelling stroke that I could keep up for hours if necessary I was getting 2.9 to 3.0 knots on the GPS.
Working harder, at a sprinting pace--like to get out of the way of an approaching ferryboat quickly or something I was getting 4.1 knots or so.
Rowing as fast as I could go I would surge forward at about 4.7 knots.
Once I raised the sails, the boat was making 5.4 to 5.8 knots effortlessly.
Certainly this boat is more sailing oriented than rowing oriented, but it is not a chore to row at that relaxed cruising pace, and she moves at just about the same speed under oars as I comfortably paddle my loaded touring kayak--yet she sails much better than my kayak.
For your comparison to the other boats on your list Rowan is 19'8" LOA with a waterline length of 17'2" and max beam of 5'4".
I have a Youkou Lili, have not yet got huge experience with her - but I can vouch for her excellent rowing characteristics even single-handed. Quite a big boat to row, but she is designed for it. Once you have momentum and a steady rhythm, she glides along, leaving no wake. She can handle moderate seas OK -I have had her out in 3-4 foot swells with no anxiety. She's designed to hold flotation at each end for added safety. Under sail she's quite quick, tippy but with excellent reserve stability (can kneel on the gunwhales etc). As you have discovered, M Vivier is but a quick email away when you have a question during building.
I think Elorn is really beatiful, but am not sure she would handle the sea conditions you have.
All the boats you list are beauties-good luck!
05-07-2007, 03:16 AM
Thanks for the insightful replies, it's good to know that there is so much interest in these sort of boats.
Lion - ta for the offer of the article, but I already have it, it is one of the reasons I started looking at Francois Vivier's designs. Good luck with Meaban!
James - thanks for taking the time to measure Rowan under oar and when sailing, good and useful info. and she is certainly quicker rowing than I thought she would be. I quizzed John further about Walkabout and this is what he had to say:
"Hi Adrian, its the longer waterline that allows Walkabout to row faster than
the Light Dory, but it will take a little more energy to do so. On the
commentary on WoodenBoat forum, Walkabout is not a dedicated rowing boat,
she is a rowing boat with the compromises neccessary to make her an
effective sailing boat and like any compromise there are costs in terms of
potential performance in both the rowing and sailing functions.
Reports back from owners though suggest that she rows very well, and sails
even better which means that the compromises are working out well. One owner
tells of regularly cleaning up his freind who sails a laser ( in light to
moderate weather) but I have no idea as to the relative skill levels of the
two skippers, but its nice to think about. The same owner had a Seagull
rowing boat ( one of mine) and reports that the Walkabout is noticeably
faster and at top speed is easier to pull, so she works pretty wel in both
If you want to quote me on the forum please feel free to do so.
On outboard motors, Walkabout was not intended to have one so no
consideration was given to a motor mount, but it would be workable to build
a well in just aft of the mizzen mast, far enough forward from the transom
to allow the motor to be tilted up, you'd need to build a door to close the
opening through the bottom though as the tunrbulence would mean appreciable
drag, especially under oars."
Thorne as you can see a well is also possible and it is certainly worth considering - belt braces and a bit of string!
Patrick - Youkou Lili was the first boat I looked at and in my opinion she's a beauty, but after talking with Francois I thought she might be just a tad too big for me, especially for beach launching singlehanded.
Where to from here? Well I must admit that Walkabout seems the most appropriate choice especially as John says it could be built 20% lighter with appropriate wood selection and it will take a slightly larger sail plan (mast 450mm higher). The ability to incorporate a well is also a big plus. But..... James you are right it is not so instantly attractive to the eye as some of the double-enders, but it's definately growing on me!
05-07-2007, 03:41 AM
I will say that I think the Oughtred designs are undeniably more sophisticated in their construction method. Welsford uses a heavy and cumbersome arrangement of sawn frames and stringers and bulkheads compared to the elegant and lighter monocoque Oughtred hull.
Yes and no. I think Oughtreds approach is more closely related to traditional building methods and would be more of a challenge to put together (not necessarily a bad thing), but then you have to fill that elegant and lighter monocoque Oughtred hull with frames and bulkheads so you have something to sit on, something to provide bouyancy etc etc.
Welsfords construction method is a bit more user friendly for a first time builder - yes, I'm building one of his designs (Pathfinder), and there is definitely an element of over-engineering there. When my novice sailing skills mean I smack into something I suspect I'll be grateful for that.
05-07-2007, 09:16 AM
Not to be too much of a home team booster but. . . .
Arctic Tern is already substantially lighter, has a larger sail area and already includes an option for a motor well. . . . .:D
Oh, Adrian, I'm sure that you will enjoy whichever of these designs you end up building. Oughtred and Welsford and Vivier all know what they're doing and all of those boats are just different riffs on the same sail & oar theme. It's like making a choice between a pint of Guinness, a pint of Foster's or a pint of Toohey's--all good chioces though some people may prefer one or the other.
(I'll have the Guinness, thanks.)
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