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Thread: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

  1. #1
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    Default Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    This design has captured my fancy, and I'm considering adding these plans to "the library". Poor as I am, the tendency to buy plans for boats I may never build is hard to resist when I feel like supporting the work of the designer.

    In the case of Michalak, the hours of enjoyable reading about his designs in events like the TX200, OBX130, EC, etceteras make me inclined to at least build a model of this one.

    Other attractions are that I believe it could fit on a trailer that would also carry my GLD around. ( made of BC pine she's horrible to cartop single handed ).

    The boat would be used for ponds, litoral rivers and creeks, the Delaware and Rehoboth bays. A common recurring fantasy concerns the lower Nanticoke river, some of the Chesapeake Islands, and cruising "the ditch" via the Dismal Swamp.

    More realistically, it's a boat I could get the wife to spend a day on ( womens like privacy for the privvy ) it can be rowed but my no means a rowboat, looks idea for that newfangled 3hp electric torqueedo that has a folding solar panel which will recharge it in about 10 hours. Cuddy for solo camp cruising, and it seems that one owner just planted a 13' sail on a mizzen mast to good effect.

    For a sailing camp cruiser with shelter and ability to be used with oar or sweep what designs would others recommend?

    My sailing level of skill can generously be described as novice, and that long ago. No bluewater fantasies, more interested in the ditch and beach cruising, lakes, etc. Maybe brief expeditions in bays under choice conditions. Building skill is "moderate", have managed a box and a Gloucester Light Dory.

    (Tow vehicle would be 6cy XLT exploder 4x4 but a lighter boat my sonata could manage is very attractive )
    Last edited by perldog007; 02-22-2011 at 02:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Its an oddball even for Michalak. Build something with more room in it.


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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I like the rig. But with the same amount of plywood and epoxy you could build a Ness Yawl instead. And if you build a pretty boat like the NY, your wife will simply have to come along with you to fend off all the cute girls who will want to come up and talk to you--so you'll either get her to come, or you won't miss her anyways. Two birds, one stone.
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Anything big enough for a cabin and privy will be too big to row comfortably in any sort of wind, current or tide. So don't let that influence your decision.
    Last edited by Thorne; 02-22-2011 at 02:53 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    As James points out, for the same amount of wood and epoxy you could have a better boat, that sails far better, is more attractive, and actually has some resale value. {It would be a longer and more complex build, however}

    But, there is little excuse in our times to build a small cabin boat, when marinas and backyards across the country are chock full of near derelict small fiberglass sailboats - already equipped and to be had at fire sale prices. An O'Day Daysailor, a Rhodes 19, a Com-Pac 16, West Wight Potters, San Juan 21's, etc, are all up to your specs, and there are dozens more. Craigslist!

    As an aside, your non-enthusiastic wife isn't likely to become more enamoured of sailing by sitting for hours on end in a small boat (which are hot/cold, wet, slow and uncomfortable), even if she can use an awkward WC in semi-privacy. Taking someone out for a quick, fun sail is a much better way to get them hooked! My thought is that you should buy or build the smallest*, but best sailing, boat that will fit your needs, because 98% of the time you'll be the only one in it.

    *After the initial love affair, the larger and more complex a boat, the easier it is to decide that it's too time consuming, or too much of a hassle, to take out and use.
    And, of course, you might find that you only want to go boat camping once a year, and the rest of the time you don't need all that other stuff slowing you down. Once you re-learn to sail, you will definitely appreciate a better performing craft.

    I'm a fan of Mr Michalak, but I think the this boat, like most of his, really only has utter simplicity going for it. I think you are ready to move beyond that, to something more rewarding both visually, and performance wise.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    The wife has demonstrated her enthusiasm and willingness to boat by taking a ride in my 8'x3' Big Tortoise. Y'all know I'm a big boy and we don't discuss the scale weight of our lasses (if'n we love indoor sleep on occasion as I do ) but we can safely say the Mary Margaret was down on her lines and then some.

    Unfortunately, the Mrs. didn't take heed of the Skipper/Crew relation speech and was in fact my first man overboard in over forty years of pond skippering. Thank goodness it was in shallow warm water by the boat ramp.

    She has been out with me since, but taking a lady out in an inflatable kayak, or other open craft with the ladies I hang around means a trip of a limited time ( between bathroom breaks, say maybe four hours at the outside ) except for a couple of rugged ladies I know. Regrettably my betrothed falls outside the latter group.

    For rowing, I like my GLD. Almost sorry I didn't make a traditional banker that can take a sprit rig for down wind work but it wouldn't row like the GLD so there's that compromise thing. I actually built the GLD for it's looks and to learn how to join ply panels for bits longer than 8'. Finding out that it was so much fun to row was an added bonus. Initially the plan was to try and sell it for the cost of materials. Not so much anymore.

    Visually, the NY has me. We have some pretty old double enders here and there doing duty as planters and signs for Seafood joints hereabouts. They look more like the CY, but that aesthetic definitely does things for me. Honestly, the build scares me a bit. I've muffed both of my builds in some way or other, thankfully they both do what I want them to.

    From looking at the shots of Dragonfly in action, I'm pretty sure the performance will make me happy as well.

    While I definitely want a sail and oar boat in the fleet, the camp cruising on this side of the world quite often means sleeping on the boat. The cabin is appealing. having been caught out in a summer deluge here on the coast I don't fancy trying to pitch a tent on a rowboat under those parameters.

    The Frolic2 pictured has two shark's tooth pendants to her skipper's credit for finishing the Everglades Challenge twice. So that merits some consideration from me as that's exactly the kind of work I'm interested in.

    If I could find a small used cuddy sailboat with that kind of draft it would be a build killer for sure. Although I do know of a Potter skipper who uses oar auxillary.. hmmm I think it's a 15. Have to ask him about the draft.

    Rowing in the chop against a headwind isn't really a big consideration, I would be fitting this one with a torqeedo electric 3hp. It would spend a good deal of it's time as a non-planing motorized launch.

    What I would rather have than this boat is one of those nice Oughtred Haiku boats for bay work, one of Parker's 23' Seabright Skiffs for the Ditch and like situations, A Buehler designed Hagar for Carribean cruising, and a Ness Yawl for the sheer unadulterated fun of a capable sail and oar boat. But Pat Sajak and Vanna White ain't returning my calls

    Sail is the main thing, and I might even go small and do a Cartopper. Does anyone know of any other "Raid" ( OBX130,TX200,EC style as opposed to formal European raids ) boat designs they would take over the frolic2? I may not be doing the EC, but the ability to hauled on/off the beach by the crew ( Lemans style start) and make the checkpoint under a 9' overhead and between two pilings 10' apart, sleep aboard for one, and able to handle a little chop without incontinence are all desirable things.

    James, to be honest if I felt up the NY I might just have to go ahead and build a ST. In order to keep you from further injuring me, I'm working on a plug in for my browser that will replace images of Rowan with a ranger bass boat autoJmagically . That's one fine looking boat you have built there.

    But so far there are two others to consider, the NY and a used boat like a potter 15. Honestly, if there was a NY that I could buy for the cost of this build I would be sorely tempted to go that route and damn the cuddy.

    For those advising against the Frolic2 what kind of easily trailer-able sailor would they recommend for East Coast "raid" work?

    ETA - I see the weight of 275 lbs being thrown around for the Ness Yawl. James, How accurate is that?
    Last edited by perldog007; 02-22-2011 at 06:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    How does this Frolic2 compare dollar for dollar and pound for pound with a Bolger chine Chebacco?
    the Chebacco sure has nicer lines on a similar 2chine ply hull.

    What level of finish will this boat recieve, if it is to be a wood butcher type craft looks may not matter.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    How does this Frolic2 compare dollar for dollar and pound for pound with a Bolger chine Chebacco?
    the Chebacco sure has nicer lines on a similar 2chine ply hull.

    What level of finish will this boat recieve, if it is to be a wood butcher type craft looks may not matter.
    Actually Dan, wood butcher results have required some considered effort from me on my first two builds. A carpenter I ain't and anyone who has seen me try ( worse yet had to use me on a job ) is dumbfounded that anything I made floats.

    I plan to keep on building until I have skills, but ain't quite there yet. I do like the lines of he Chebacco in all it's forms better. One: all reports are that the Chebacco is miserable to row under any circumstances, even a short ways in the calm. Two: I really don't need the beam and weight for what I want to do.

    We can count on the finish being "work boat like" if I'm lucky.

    ETA - this boat is an enlargement of Michalak's Toto double paddle canoe, a theme that recurs in 25' and 32' designs.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    How about a long, narrow sharpie?



    20’x 5’6’’ ultra simple light weight stitch and glue sharpie. Can be constructed in 3 sections for easy transport and storage. Also optional cubby and water ballast tank.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    How does this Frolic2 compare dollar for dollar and pound for pound with a Bolger chine Chebacco?
    I'd ask a related but slightly different question: Why a Frolic2 instead of Bolger's Birdwatcher?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I like the boat. Gary Blankenship's Oaracle has served him quite well in the Everglades Challenge. He has oar ports, so that the boat can be rowed. In last year's Florida 120, he wasn't as fast as my little Slider, except in very light conditions, but he wasn't much slower than a Daysailer II, and appeared to be a lot more comfortable than the folks in open boats.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by slidercat View Post
    I like the boat. Gary Blankenship's Oaracle has served him quite well in the Everglades Challenge. He has oar ports, so that the boat can be rowed. In last year's Florida 120, he wasn't as fast as my little Slider, except in very light conditions, but he wasn't much slower than a Daysailer II, and appeared to be a lot more comfortable than the folks in open boats.
    You're not going to talk him out of it that way, Ray.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    RE: the birdwatcher, I might go with a smaller Michalak version that has chines. McMullen has bewitched me into believing that my head will explode, and even worse my soul will vaporize if there comes occasion to work upwind in any kind of chop. Same/same a sharpie.

    There is a BW style boat in the running, but it is butt ugly and as simple to build. What gives me pause is that as my skill sailing develops I'm sure I'll want to go out in the bays and those flat bottoms worry me at this point. I actually have toyed with the idea of the "River Yawl" in ASCC even lofted it out 1/8 scale.

    Even though I seldom ever meet a boat I don't like, am forced to confess that the Frolic2 ain't being considered for being pretty. A Cape Ann would be prettier to me.

    ETA @JimD, I do like that sharpie in spite of the flat bottom pounding thing, whose is it?

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Oh, I wouldn't trust what that McMullen guy says. He's really opinionated. Lots of people think that sharpies are worth the price. Why would you want to work your way upwind in a chop anyways?
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    with wind in the sails a flat bottom becomes a V bottom... and a V bottom becomes a flat bottom.

    generally if there are waves it means it is windy, wich means sailing to windward a sharpie hull will be heeled, reducing pounding to a significant degree

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Except perhaps in a small boat where you might hike out to catch more wind and go faster. This size boat is still quite dominated by crew working as active ballast. You could also use one of those outside chine logs to mix in some extra turbulence to go along with your pounding too.
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Yeah,
    I've never been a fan of those outside chine logs... Bolger lost me there
    Last edited by Daniel Noyes; 02-22-2011 at 10:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I've sailed on Gary's Frolic as well as sailed in company with him. It's good little boat, IMO. It sails quite well on all points. If she were mine I'd put a little more horsepower on her for downwind sailing, but otherwise I'd keep her pretty much as Gary has her. The cabin isn't great for sleeping more than one, but you can store a lot of stuff there nice and snug and out of the rain.

    I have a feeling he's going to wear me out down the FL coast in about 10 days.

    There are prettier boats, yes, but you could do worse than sail a Frolic. I'd build one long before I ever build another sharpie.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I built and sailed Jim's Caroline in the '09 Tx 200. I chose the design after seeing how well Chuck Lienweber's Caprice performed in '08. The hull shape is used on a number of Jim's designs and does well in a chop and is easily driven. It is an easily built boat, it took me a little over 2 months to build mine (sloppily) working evenings and weekends. While I do love my boat I don't think I would go with a bird watcher cabin again, while it's lovely in the cool weather, it's not for nothing that she came to be named "Easy Bake".
    This year I'll be sailing a Bolger Light Schooner that I found on craigs list, though if I were building a boat of this type I would build Michalaks Laguna it's a better boat in every way.
    With the new route of the 200 and the high probability of having to drag your boat up wind through the shallows to Cedar Bayou I think, where boat size is concerned, less is more.
    Over new year's weekend a few of us sailed down lake Travis in Austin. One of the boats was Michalak's Family Skiff built by Stan Roberts, I think this will make an excellent 200 boat. Simple to build, rig and sail and she performed nicely.
    This is my Caroline next to Stan's family skiff.


    Some other boats that did really well on the 200 were the Core sounds and the EC 22 by B&B. I liked the Potter 19s but after helping recover a swamped Potter 15 I don't think you could give me one. In '08 I sailed a Harpoon 5.2 and was happy with the performance, but it's not the same using a production boat.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by Plumbtex View Post
    This year I'll be sailing a Bolger Light Schooner... Michalaks Laguna is a better boat in every way.
    .
    interesting, could you be more specific?

    I like the styling of the Light Schooner quite a bit better than Laguna but have not sailed in either boat.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I'd build a Frolic before I built another sharpie too. My last sharpie was one of those Bolger Light Schooners and I couldn't wait to get rid of it once the initial novelty wore off.
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    with the balanced lugs it can be rigged in a fraction of the time and is easily single handed. It's lighter and faster in most conditions ( maybe a better way of putting it is: speed comes easier to the laguna with the schooner you have to work for it) The kick up lee board works much better in the shallow Texas bays. The schooners big daggerboard is cumbersome and when raised will hit the boom.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Have any of you heard what a Laguna is capable off?
    http://www.andrewlinn.com/100622_tx200/index.htm
    Built on a beach. Leaked like a sieve but out sailed most of the boats there. Including some that looked really pretty! I'd call the results of empirical testing pretty good for the Laguna. Of course you won't have to burn yours
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    @James,

    One of life's great mysteries there. When I was a sunfish ace, for some reason I loved sailing into the wind. Seemed like any fool with thirty minutes instruction could sail with the wind, but getting exactly where you wanted to go upwind was more coolerer somehow.

    That and the wind on the Delaware Bay can get wonky depending on where you be at. So I've been told by a fellow whose grandfather used to take a schooner up the mouth of the Murderkill, turn that sucker around in the creek, then bring her back to her berth without benefit of engine power. ( The tide rip in that rivermouth ain't no joke, confounds experienced power boat skippers to this day. )

    I really like the notion of a sharpie workboat, and will have one somewhere along the way. But I am starting to form the opinion that I would be better off with at least a little roundness in the hull. I think the 21' Egret is beautiful, but I ain't no Commodore Munroe.....
    Last edited by perldog007; 02-22-2011 at 11:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Exactly! Dandelion tufts can sail downwind too. Going upwind is funner because it rewards you for being crafty. I like rough water and stronger winds for exactly the same reason.
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Ahh, sailing to windward. Here's a pretty picture. Is this the course of a square rigger? Not quite, but it kinda looks like it. Rather, it's said Frolic 2's course, from their EC report. A bit off putting, to me.
    Of course, there are lots of possible factors, but perhaps it would perform better with a centerboard? It would kind of ruin the accommodations . . . .


    James, if you really want to be rewarded for crafty upwind sailing, you should get yourself a Laser! You're a good size for racing one . . . and they are a joy to sail (downwind, on a screaming plane).
    Last edited by DGentry; 02-23-2011 at 12:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by schoonerpacket View Post
    Have any of you heard what a Laguna is capable off?
    http://www.andrewlinn.com/100622_tx200/index.htm
    Built on a beach. Leaked like a sieve but out sailed most of the boats there. Including some that looked really pretty! I'd call the results of empirical testing pretty good for the Laguna. Of course you won't have to burn yours
    James, good to see you again as it were. How's the Montana fleet coming along? Any camp cruising going on there?

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Fleet is coming along well! We have one Teal being finished. I've got a One Sheet Skiff finished and will be building a Summer Breeze for our messabout and hopefully CWB this summer! And camp cruising is definitely on the menu!
    http://inlandpacket.blogspot.com
    Now back to your scheduled thread!
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I actually got one better than a Laser at the moment, Dave. Greg's got an old 505 he's a-fixin' up. I expect to have serious trapeze harness rash by the end of this summer.
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Good on ya! The 5o5 is waaaay better. You'll get to plane while sailing close hauled! Downwind is even more exciting.
    And, there is - or was, I should say - a fairly active group of 5o5 racers in both Bellingham and Seattle . . . .

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    I actually got one better than a Laser at the moment, Dave. Greg's got an old 505 he's a-fixin' up. I expect to have serious trapeze harness rash by the end of this summer.
    I have this visual of the 505 restored to glory, with a painted row of small jetskis' under the reg number on the snout with red hash marks running through them.....

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by DGentry View Post
    Ahh, sailing to windward. Here's a pretty picture. Is this the course of a square rigger? Not quite, but it kinda looks like it. Rather, it's said Frolic 2's course, from their EC report. A bit off putting, to me.
    Of course, there are lots of possible factors, but perhaps it would perform better with a centerboard? It would kind of ruin the accommodations . . . .


    James, if you really want to be rewarded for crafty upwind sailing, you should get yourself a Laser! You're a good size for racing one . . . and they are a joy to sail (downwind, on a screaming plane).
    See, when I saw that I was immediately thinking about rig tinkering, and how I would have done that differently... different strokes I guess.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by perldog007 View Post
    See, when I saw that I was immediately thinking about rig tinkering, and how I would have done that differently... different strokes I guess.
    My experience is most people think their boats get to windward better than they actually do. We all look at our tacking angles and think we're doing well. I see lot of people say things such as "my little hooker is very close winded, tacking through 95 degrees...." This is probably perfectly true, but the reality is most of our little centerboard and leeboard boats make a LOT more leeway than we take into account. Gary's boat points just fine, but it does make a bit of leeway which costs a few degrees of windward progress. I've looked at GPS tracks from a number of other boats, from my Sunfish and Daysailer to Catalina 22s and 30+ foot Beneteaus. It's only very well sailed boat with with good sails and all the rigging tweaks that actually gets tacking angles of 90 degress or less through the water. None of my boats do. Old bagged out sails and very basic rig tuning have their impact as well.

    We've all watched the GPS tracks of IACC racing sloops on TV and we think our boats are only a little bit less weatherly. The reality is we aren't even close. We all ignore the effect of leeway on our windward progress.

    I challenge anyone to post their GPS tracks going to windward with their small, traditionally rigged boat. I'll bet there aren't many of us doing very much better than above.

    Edited to add: the track above is also in some very shallow water in Florida Bay. This is an area where keeping the boards down all the way all the time simply isn't possible. Mean water depth is 4-5 feet and vast areas down there have even less.
    Last edited by John Bell; 02-23-2011 at 07:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I'll post some tracks if I can figure out a way to extract them from my ancient handheld GPS. But my boat really only sorta looks traditional. She's got CNC machined NACA section foils and modern computer lofted Dacron sails with plenty of sail shaping controls and twitchers built in so it's really apples and oranges. I find that these things make a huge difference, but only if you're the kind of obsessive personality enjoys spending all the time tweaking and tuning like me. But I do understand and agree with what you're saying to some extent, John. Especially in higher winds and rougher waves a small boat will makes more leeway. And of course in many conditions the optimal VMG comes from falling off slightly to improve speed through the water rather than pinching as high as possible.
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I still believe that the thing that made me a terror to the other kiddies in the action packed world of sunfish/sailfish racing was an embracing of the concept of leeway as opposed to denial or decrying. Them boats just plain old get blown sideways. I did notice the same on a hobie 16' and when I finally got to go sailing on a plastic 21' sloop I marveled at how much less leeway we made.

    Of course the skipper had downsized from a much bigger sloop ( Island Trader 50' I think ) and did not share my amazement.

    To me, 50 degrees off the wind is excellent for anything in the size range I'm looking at, 55 would not have me in tears. I have enjoyed many hours in an old catboat with some kind of makeshift sprit that wouldn't manage that, but getting there quickly was never a big thing with me.

    When I was pressured into racing at Scout Camp and other adult organized mind humps I think i only did well because my object was to have fun. Getting every last drop out of whatever is fun to me. Whether it was a 17' aluminum canoe with the crew holding their shirt up overhead, a sunfish, sailfish, raft with a poncho
    , whatever.

    One day I remember sailing home down lake Goshen by sitting in the stern of a 17 canoe and sailing with the nose. Pretty much a dead run or nothing but it was mad fun to me. Steering was only possible by shifting forward and getting the nose out of the wind and taking whatever momentum you had before the nose had to come up again and swing the whole enterprise dead downwind again.

    Guess this is a convoluted way of saying that having a race boat ain't even on the radar. That track across the Florida Bay would suit me just fine. If I'm ever lucky enough to be in something like the E.C. my idea of winning will be having the best hot buttered rum in the fleet.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Aw perl, to me you'll always be a winner just for abandoning the lure of the metalflake bassboat with 450 hp worth of engines on the transom for the sake of building your own boat. I only keep trying to nudge you towards something like a Ness Yawl because I want you to have some of that sheer amount of extra joy on top you'll discover from having a boat like that. You deserve it, man!
    If this post did not meet all of your needs, please consult this thread for more options.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I think it's true that most of us over-estimate how well our boats get to weather. I can say, however, that my 16 foot traditionally-rigged boat is much faster to windward than a Frolic 2. Last year's Florida 120, the first 2 days were heavy air, big chop, dead to windward, and in mostly narrow waterways. The first day I started about 4 hours after the fleet, but caught up to them before dark. The second day, I think I was among the fastest boats, and these included a couple pretty slippery ones. The only boat that I'm sure was faster, was a boat that was described to me as a "30 foot peapod"-- a great-looking boat with a powerful sail plan and a hard bimini. I passed Gary's Oaracle near the Gulf Breeze bridge, pointing higher and going much faster.

    Naturally, the main point of this post is to brag about my boat. However, the secondary purpose is to say that I really didn't have any idea that this would be the case until I took her out and sailed her against a bunch of other little boats, even though that didn't stop me from bragging about her. Events like the Florida 120 and the Texas 200 are good for finding out what boats can actually do on the water, as opposed to what they can do in their builder's imagination. The grand-daddy of these events, here in the States, is the EC. Gary's Oaracle has done pretty well in that event, and it's a fairly tough one-- 300+ miles in all conditions. Many of the boats suggested as alternatives to the Frolic 2 have not proven themselves in this race, or in similar events, so far as I know.

    Anyway, I agree with John Bell. Most of the folks who think their small boats are much better to windward than that Florida Bay track Oaracle posted are probably kidding themselves a little.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Trust me, when I was making my pond box my mind was on grander schemes. But you gotta start somewhere and for a fellow who was known to be a certain hazard to the concept of craftsmanship with any sort of implement that exercise was a triumph. I really like Ian's designs and when my skill gets near "moderate" I'll have to give one a whack.

    Ive read his clinker ply book at least three times and passages are beginning to make sense. My feeling is that after two more builds I'll be ready to try planking something up. Wouldn't it be cool if bamboo planking were to be had? But first I have to get the hang of plumb, square, and all that. Much as I love my home brewed fleet of pond and sea rowers, they are like their admiral a bit warped.

    Then there's that dream that won't die of something like a lug yawl concept like the Billy Ruffian but using the lines and offsets for a 30' Swampscott instead of the St. Pierre..... but first I need to discover what a lug and mizzen are, how to operate them, and so on.

    I think this might be the boat. Resale isn't really on my radar. I am also interested in learning more about Wellsford's SCAMP. As well the Tread Lightly is one I admire but don't know of too many that have been built. The "Gizmo" comes to mind but that Skipper's usage and my intended use are somewhat different.

    All in all, given the problems I had with two simple builds so far, this one needs to be simple and that means giving up other things. But someday....

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Have you considered John Welsford's Sweet Pea? It doesn't look like it would be any more difficult to build, has the small cabin and looks like it would fly. A sloop and yawl version are shown. I'd be tempted to make the cabin top look a little more salty though

    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/jw/sweetpea/index.htm

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    That's one I hadn't checked out, thanks for the suggestion.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by slidercat View Post
    I think it's true that most of us over-estimate how well our boats get to weather. I can say, however, that my 16 foot traditionally-rigged boat is much faster to windward than a Frolic 2. Last year's Florida 120, the first 2 days were heavy air, big chop, dead to windward, and in mostly narrow waterways. The first day I started about 4 hours after the fleet, but caught up to them before dark. The second day, I think I was among the fastest boats, and these included a couple pretty slippery ones. The only boat that I'm sure was faster, was a boat that was described to me as a "30 foot peapod"-- a great-looking boat with a powerful sail plan and a hard bimini. I passed Gary's Oaracle near the Gulf Breeze bridge, pointing higher and going much faster.

    Naturally, the main point of this post is to brag about my boat. However, the secondary purpose is to say that I really didn't have any idea that this would be the case until I took her out and sailed her against a bunch of other little boats, even though that didn't stop me from bragging about her. Events like the Florida 120 and the Texas 200 are good for finding out what boats can actually do on the water, as opposed to what they can do in their builder's imagination. The grand-daddy of these events, here in the States, is the EC. Gary's Oaracle has done pretty well in that event, and it's a fairly tough one-- 300+ miles in all conditions. Many of the boats suggested as alternatives to the Frolic 2 have not proven themselves in this race, or in similar events, so far as I know.

    Anyway, I agree with John Bell. Most of the folks who think their small boats are much better to windward than that Florida Bay track Oaracle posted are probably kidding themselves a little.
    Ray is pretty spot on about last year's FL120. In our defense of how long it took to get to the stop on Day 1, we did have the tide against us through the narrowest part of the course. Also, several us us stopped for 90+ minutes at Big Lagoon St. Park. Four hours later would have seen less foul current, I think. Not that I'm demeaning Ray's boat however. I was feeling pretty good about my boat going upwind after the first two days. On day three however, Ray wore my ass out on the 20 mile downwind. His traditional rig out-performed my modern marconi by a large margin. He could sail deeper and maybe little faster than me. Even though Ray left after me, he caught and passed me 5 or 6 miles from the finish. Sailing shorter distance really helps get you there faster.

    I think Gary's Oaracle has the better of me downwind due to being longer, lighter, and able to sail very deep. I'm a few percent better upwind.

    Just to be humble, I'm posting my own GPS track for last year's FL120. The tacking angles are abysmal, but it must be understood it was pretty windy and choppy which isn't a light centerboarder's best conditions. Also we were sailing against an ebb most of the way as well.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by slidercat View Post
    Anyway, I agree with John Bell. Most of the folks who think their small boats are much better to windward than that Florida Bay track Oaracle posted are probably kidding themselves a little.
    That could well be true with most traditionally rigged small boats - something with which I haven't enough experience with to have an opinion. But I have sailed and raced a whole slew of "modern" rigged dinghies and keelboats, and have called many hundreds of windward laylines - and few, if any, of those (assuming no current) have resembled the tracks in that pic!

    Makes one wonder how a square rigger, which could barely point that high in any case, got to weather at all!

    As for alternatives, I certainly like the looks of that Welsford Sweet Pea. Looks wise, I also kind of prefer Michalak's Toon 19 to the Frolic 2, as well. About the same size, still multi chined, but with a longer water line. Perhaps the bow might not be as good downwind in waves.
    Toon 19





    Another, easier to build and lighter option might be Bolger's old Cynthia J catboat. Not a sharpie, but hard chine plywood, no ballast, leeboards, bigger cabin than the Frolic 2 or Toon 19, only one set of spars to build.


  43. #43

    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    John, you're right about the tide. It really helped me the first day. Still, I think Slider was a little faster to windward as well. On the second day, you left well before I did, and that afternoon on Santa Rosa Sound, I was very slowly reeling you in. In fact, trying to catch you kept me occupied all afternoon, and my mind off the broken bolt in one of my beams. I think if I'd had a couple more miles, I'd have got you. I did catch the Windrider 17, which surprised me a lot. We blew away the Precision 18, also a surprise. But Merlin was the class of the fleet, I think. (And also the biggest boat, I believe.)

    I think the sprit-sloop rig has some major advantages for small fast boats that are not yet recognized widely. I caught all kinds of hell for putting that rig on a little cat, but despite her very modest sail area, Slider goes pretty well.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I caught the first Windrider, but judging from how much beer those guys drank it wasnt too surprising! I think I passed the other one as well. If you want to talk about leeway, those boats have it in spades.

    I don't know for sure if you are faster upwind, but I should give you a little more data to consider. If you look at my track, you can see a couple of places where I reached back and forth a bit for a bit of a break and because I was worried about Scott in the little black coffin scow and waited until I heard he'd been picked up by Charlie and Isabel over the VHF. The Hobie AI tandem and I kept pace together pretty well, but he was pedaling full time. IIRC Merlin (my favorite boat of the week, a 23' 1.5x scale-up of Bolger's Sweet Pea) caught me mostly because I gave up a lot of ground on those breaks, but he did pull away when he got ahead. He clearly made less leeway than me. I felt like I wasn't giving that much on speed, but his extra 5 degrees made good to windward just broke my heart and spirit.

    All of this is not to say I think your boat is slow, because it's clearly not. I really don't know if we're close to windward or not. Hopefully we'll get chance to sail in company again so we can try it head to head. Slider is clearly the superior cruising boat and I'd trade with you in a minute. I spent many minutes drooling over the two Sliders in attendance. I'd trade out my boat in favor of Slider in a minute for this year's Everglades Challenge. I honestly think it would be less challenging and more comfortable in Slider compared to my grotty 30 year old DSII "ALOBAR".

  45. #45

    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Yeah, I was knocked out by Merlin too. I wish I'd got a chance to talk to her owner. Someone told me she was a 30 footer, and I took their word for it, as she looked pretty big to me. I have a mental image of her launching out of the first night's anchorage, going to windward like a train. I heard the owner built her in 8 months, which seems pretty amazing.

    I think you're right about the Windriders and their foils. They have a shallow molded in keel, and are obviously not at their best to windward, in spite of their rotating masts and fully-battened mains. As I was coming pretty close to Navarre, the first Windrider was way up to windward along the island, where I assume they went to escape the chop. As you know, that last couple of miles before Navarre turned into a reach, and I thought for sure they'd catch me then, but if anything I increased my lead.

    Don't be knocking Alobar; she was the second fastest monohull in the event, as far as I could tell, faster than a number of larger boats. That's a slick little boat, and you're clearly a very good sailor. I think the chop that day suited Slider a little better than a light shallow-bodied boat like Alobar. Slider tends to cut through big chop, and when I drew her, I was very concerned about pitching, one of the principle banes of fine-hulled craft. Her hulls were designed to damp out pitching, and along with her low rig, she is very resistant to it.

    I'm betting you'll do fine in the EC. Are you going to the Florida 120 this year?

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Re: FL120

    I don't know. The EC is testing my bride's tolerance for solo vacations this year. I'll need to get her to a beach somewhere with no boats other than a brace of kayaks before then if I have any hope of making it.

    Do I want to go? Yes!

    Back to the topic at hand, Frolic2. I still say if the OP wants her, he should build her. Yes, there are prettier boats with higher performance potential. So what? With Frolic, he could build her in 4-months leisurely evening and weekend work and wind up with solid, simple and seaworthy, fun-to-sail boat. She'd be very inexpensive to build in terms of materials and require little in the way of specialized tools and fancy joinery. The rig is easy to build and the sail is literally an off-the-shelf Windsprint sail available relatively cheaply from Payson and others.

    Here's another shot of Oaracle. I'll bet you didn't know she had a carbon fiber mast?




    And here is Merlin, the 1.5x Sweet Pea.



    And finally here is Alobar, looking a bit like a yard sale.

    Last edited by John Bell; 02-23-2011 at 06:06 PM. Reason: adding pictures

  47. #47

    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Curious about the 3D shape of Frolic2, and wanting to share, here is a pointer to the URL of some quickie lofting I did...

    A couple impressions and questions. I wonder about the safety of having Wiley windows on a light weight hull like this which seems prone to knockdown, at the very least one would need to be very strict about closing them tight whenever sailing. I didn't quite understand how the motor well co-exists with the rudder mount, probably one or the other is off-centered, but which? And, that 'five panel' bottom style is certain a signature boat structure of Jim Michalak. (Caprice, etc..) Is there any other designer using that style of panel boat? I am guessing that the twist in the bilge panels near the stem might be tough, but I didn't study the degree of torturing necessary.

    http://hallman.org/boats/Frolic2


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Rudder is off-center. Windows are fixed. It takes a lot more than you think to knock it down anyway.

    This is a shot I took at the start of last year's EC showing the off center rudder.



    Purists may cringe, but it makes no difference as a far as anyone can tell.


    And since I like making purists cringe, lastly I offer you this:



    (Meade Gougeon, yes THE Meade Gougeon and his YELLOWTHING)
    Last edited by John Bell; 02-23-2011 at 08:18 PM.

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bell View Post
    And here is Merlin, the 1.5x Sweet Pea.


    Anyone know what Merlin is using for foils? Surely not the slip keel that Sweet Pea uses??
    What about ballast?
    Regardless, that boat looks great.

    IIRC, Meade Gougeon didn't get very far last year? Rudder troubles or something.

  50. #50

    Default Re: Talk me out of Michalak's Frolic2

    I'd sure like to know more about Merlin. Looks great, sails great. If I weren't a multihull guy, I'd love to have one just like it.

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