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Thread: sensible cruising design: Solitaire and H-28

  1. #1
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    Can i have some comments on those two designs?
    Apparently the Solitaire has been built in the 1940 and named "Normerry", is this the only one?
    What about the H28?
    Seems that the two boats could be directly comparable, or am i wrong?
    What if someone would use the lines plan and the offsets from the book to build one of them (the hardware list and the how to build H28 section could be used as help for building the Solitaire)?

  2. #2
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    With more beam and firmer bilges SOLITAIRE has a more powerful hull, but also has more sail area with a higher center of effort in her sloop rig. I have a friend who had a larger LFH ketch built but used the sloop rig from another LFH design. She was tender from the start. A couple of years ago he rerigged her as originally designed and found he had a very different, much better, boat. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the plan for SOLITAIRE at Mystic is not just as detailed as H28. I like the split rig myself, but I would suggest keeping her rigged as designed.

  3. #3
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    A couple of years ago he rerigged her as originally designed and found he had a very different, much better, boat. - Thad
    I have been fortunate enough to have worked on various aspects of several recreations of boats from the hand of L.H.Herreshoff and have come to the firm conclusion that there is precious little that we can do to improve on his designs. I have spent many hours fruitlessly trying to prove that statement wrong. About the only thing that we, with our modern technologies & methods, can improve upon is the weight of the hull structure. Fortunately this allows us to put in creature comforts like refrigerators and electronics that Mr. Herrehoff had never imagined. From this I have learned that it is not productive to tug on Superman's cape ...

  4. #4
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    Having learned the futility of tugging on Superman's cape, I hope you don't feel the need to attempt any experimentation with respect to spitting into the wind or pulling the mask off the old Lone Ranger

  5. #5
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    I don't, but I still have fantasies of getting tangled up in Wonderwoman's whip.

    EDIT: This is fun, Meer, but we are being silly in Corso's serious thread, and that is impolite. Sorry, Corso. Can anyone direct me to an illustration of Solitaire's lines? I'll try to make up for my frivolity by having a comparitive look at the H28 & Solitaire lines.

    [ 02-23-2004, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: mmd ]

  6. #6
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    Don't know about the Solitaire, but before you spend time taking on an H-28 I would suggest you go for a sail on one. There are enough of them around for someone to take you out for a spin.
    If I sound cautious, I am. I sailed the H-28 only
    once,and found her very tender and not at all well mannered. Admittedly, it was a gusty day, but
    it convinced me that not everything done in the name of Herreshoff was a unqualified success.
    Maybe she's the boat for you, but after that sail I went in an entirely different direction -- to build a Controversy 26. Compared to the H-28, it was much lighter, better initial stability, more useful room, closer winded, faster on all points of sailing, and a whole lot less expensive and quicker to build. Okay, tastes differ,but in this general size range there are a ton of boats to choose from. For any of them, certainly the H-28, try it before you buy it,if you possibly can, sez II.

  7. #7
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    ok, its not my intention to build an H28, sort of shallow for my tastes (saiyng that ill probably end with a flat bottom one..jinx), plus its a yawl (ok for gaff, bermudian, but not yawl, not shooners). My questions about the H28 was a pure curiosity, I like the Solitaire and since the "How to build" is only for H28 but the boats are, to me, really similar i was wondering why not take is as example for the construction of Solitaire (given the obvius differences the indication of sizes etc for the various parts should be the same right?).
    Anyhow lines of H28 are:

    and Solitaire:



  8. #8
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    MMD, SOLITAIRE is toward the back of Sensible Cruising Designs. As to using the How to Build I would expect it to be very useful, but to build a boat of this type you need to have all the information and building experience (even reading experience) that you can get. The LFH instructions are not step by step building guides. They are scarcely a discussion of details, though there is a little of this. They are more in the way of a guide to the LFH approach and I would think you well advised to keep them well in mind, but you must be ready to ignore them where that makes good sense or is necessary -- e.g. a motor such as he describes may not be available. Again I say, I expect that the full set of plans will be found similar in detail to that of the H28 and you will be well advised to buy them from Mystic Seaport if you plan to build the boat.

  9. #9
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    Ahh, yes! So 'tis. A scant 4 pages to inhale. The raked prow of the deckhouse is rather raffish. Wish the lines illustrated showed the plan view & diagonals. I'll have a closer look tomorrow.

  10. #10
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    Something to keep in mind, Corso, is that the comprehensive nature of the "How to build" section comes from the fact that H-28 was designed for publication in The Rudder around '41 or'43. The design is an enlarged H-12 1/2 (I've said this before, and may stand corrected. The source is the original Rudder article, LFH's introduction, and I can't find mine) and was meant to be a "How to" for experienced hobbyists(the backyard builder). The building narrative is pithy, but certainly not broken down technically to appeal to an absolute novice. This job would be about 1500 hrs for a competent full time enthusiast. Way more for those of us who go at it part time and have to figure out lofting, laying out and setting up.

    Carlsboats has a capital point, the H-28 is ubiquitous the world over. One malady the boats often suffer is a cast iron keel. The design is for lead, and LFH notes you may use cast iron with added internal ballast (generally not to exceed 8%). Obviously, the higher up we place ballast the shorter our moment arm becomes and we have a hull that jumps on it's ear given half a chance. Even with a lead keel, the design has a built-in ability to spill wind and head up quickly when pressed. The H-12 1/2 was a boys boat, and acknowledged for this virtue of inherent safety. It's pretty much on the opposite end of the spectrum from "racing freaks" like the Q boats, performance wise. It'd be a short change if you didn't embrace that going into the job.

    You're right to become intimate with the instructions for H-28 as they illustrate the designers style and educated opinions, and add that to the construction package of Solitaire as you get ready. And you said no yawls, but I remember H-28 being a ketch, mine certainly was. Be warned, though, if Solitaire looks as much like H-28 in real life as on paper, you will be peppered while cruising with the question "Is that an H-28?". While on paper, the different rigs and houses make each distinctive, in practice H-28s sprawl the globe with sloop/cutter/jury rigs and most have adopted a full house, raised aft for headroom in the galley. So be patient, if you go the Solitaire route Corso, we are all fools to someone, and it might be me dinghying up at cocktail hour, asking, "Hey..." Well you get it. Cheers.

  11. #11
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    The first thing most builders would change about Soliaire is the overhanging boom and running backstays. If LFH's designs are as resistant to tweaking as elsewhere implied, you would do well to have a new rig designed to maintain the boat's balance. It would probably involve moving the mast a bit. You could probably get away with a boomkin, but it would look really silly on that boat [img]smile.gif[/img]

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the replies, all of them are useful to me, even if only to learn something more.
    The fact is that any suggestion and opinion about a certain kind of boat helps me to decide which one ill one day build, or restore or maybe just look for if ill buy. Im sure im not the only one not able to say "this one" and go for it right from the beginning. On the other hand, for how much i could jump from one boat to another looking for the one that will give me the "perfect" feeling (and i dont think that perfect exist), i doubt ill ever have enough experience for not needing advices from someone that has already "been there", and the more they are the better it is. For sure i have my favorites, things im ready to give up and things i dont, but, still, the only sea im sailing in is the pile of supposed to be plans, drawings, ideas and... why not? ...dreams.
    I definately need a compass...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: sensible cruising design: Solitaire and H-28

    I see this is a very old thread but there's an LFH SOLITAIRE on the hard at Riverside Boatyard in Newcastle , Maine. See 'Sensible Cruising Designs' https://www.amazon.com/Sensible-Cruising.../dp/0877422982 She's been under a good cover for several years. The heirs might well be talked into selling. Contact Paul Bryant owner of the yard for any info: (207) 563-3398
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

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