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Thread: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

  1. #1

    Default Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    How viable would an Atkins Valgerda be for a first sailboat for a person who has basically never sailed?

    The plans call for 100 pounds of lead ballast?

    Sailing would be done in lake conditions only.

    Or would a more conventional design be better suited to learn how to sail?

    As always I appreciate your opinions and advice.

    Blue Steel

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Are you planning to learn to sail first before starting to build? It would probably be a good idea to take some lessons (formal or informal) first so you have a better of what it is all about.

    I think there are several aspects of that boat that would make it a good first sailboat.

    1. It has only one sail. No jib sheets to mess with.
    2. The lug rig is very simple and well suited to that design.
    3. It looks like it would also be a good boat under oars, although a bit large and wide to be optimal for rowing. So you can resort to the oars if you get frustrated with sailing or there is no wind.

    With the long shallow keel, it might be slow to tack (meaning to turn the boat through the direction from which the wind is coming), which could be frustrating for a beginner.

    What would you consider "conventional"? For the fjords of Norway in the 1800s, that design would have been very "conventional."

    Cheers,

    Brian

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Not my favorite take on the faering-based sort of cruiser. Any of the ones with a centerboard or daggerboard instead of that shallow fixed keel will sail better and row much, much, much, much better.

    Look at Oughtred or Vivier or Dias for superior designs for daysailing.
    Last edited by James McMullen; 07-14-2012 at 08:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    I don't have the experience with the type that James has, but have known several Valgerda owners. They seem uniformly pleased with the design as a sail & oar boat. But - as he says - there are several proven designs to choose from.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Valgardas a fine boat....but....i would just have a 4inch plank keel,sorry Mr Atkin. No doubt they work as is, but maybe not as efficient as some other designs. No reason why you couldnt add a dagger or centrboard and some sand-bag ballast should you need it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    I have experience with two of these. They are lovely, but disappointing sailers.

    (My use of the word "disappointing" is in kindness to Mr. Atkin).

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    No experience with them but I would be inclined to listen to Canoeyawl. Owners of the design may vouch for them but owners and especially builder/owners are notorious for being unwilling to acknowledge the faults of the boats they have worked so hard to build. I agree its a beauty to look at but you might be happier with a more conventional design where convention means a design for modern recreational use and not a historic replica designed for a different purpose. Personally, I would want something lighter weight and with a firmer bilge to provide more buoyancy as the craft heeled. Compare the cross section of this Medway Doble by Paul Fisher to Valgerda:



    Valgerda:



    Are you sure you want to start with something as big and heavy as Valgerda? And pouring a lead keel when on other designs a couple sandbags will accomplish the same?The MD is much smaller, dry weight around 150 pounds vs 600 for Valgerda.
    Last edited by JimD; 07-12-2012 at 12:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Valgerda's have beautiful lines, and building one would attract alot of comment and interest when you launch her. Her design shape, waterlines and bilge profile should make her good in waves if your were rowing out and fishing. A valgerda built on this forum, was decribed as very good for this. It's for this use that the original Scandinavian boats were built.

    Your going sailing not rowing from what you say and going out on a lake rather than the sea. If your lake isn't massive with big waves developing, beautiful as Valgerda is you might not reap all the benefit of her shape as it will be mostly flat water. Also lake sailing can be more gusty with wind speed and direction changes. Because of this you may be better with a boat with more form stability to handle gusts and to hold up its sail better, especially if your are going sailing for the first time.

    Intrinsically a Valgerda can be made to sail closer to the wind by changing the keel for the long low aspect one to just a small keel and installing a deep vertical centreboard and rudder (the low aspect keel and rig means you won't be quite able to sail as acutely into the wind back to the car up the lake after sailing downwind, so it will take longer with more zig zags), but while a centreboard and a high aspect rig will make her sail upwind very well, this is your first boat, and you don't need this complication of changing a design either. As is, on a lake you don't have tide issues potentially making it harder to get upwind, so some loss of sail performance isn't so bad with the design.

    My personal opinion would be to build a John Welsford Scamp. This boat has plenty of form stability, adjustable water ballast when its windy, cute looks and just one sail to control in use and quick rigging off a trailer. Co designed by SCA you can buy a kit or plans. It has few planks and a relatively simple back bone arrangement which will get it done in a jiffy. Experienced sailers like this boat too and it has excellent buoyancy provision if you get it over. She is highly resistent to capsize anyway. She's got plenty of storage and women seem unusually attracted to the boat. Spars can be alloy to save a job there. Take a close look at this one. Can't think of a better boat to build to start sailing in and there are experienced sailers using them too for mini adventures rating them highly and fun to sail. She seems viceless and will install confindence in your sailing and any young crew you take out. Plenty of freeboard and seating.

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    My personal opinion would be to ignore the guy who is obsessed with John Welsford's Scamp and who seems to consider it to be the answer to every boating question whether or not its even remotely close to what the original poster is considering. And instead look at designs similar to Valgerda but that might have better sailing characteristics. A few have been mentioned. Its probably hard to beat the Oughtred designs. I don't personally know them well enough to help you select but for starters there are the smaller Elf and Elfyn faerings http://jordanboats.co.uk/JB/IainO_Ca...0&%20Elfyn.pdf or Tirrik? http://jordanboats.co.uk/JB/IainO_Catalogue/Tirrik.pdf. Ness Yawl http://jordanboats.co.uk/JB/IainO_Ca...ess%20Yawl.pdf



    Have a look at this thread for some ideas http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-double-enders

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    A Valgarda can be built far quicker and easier and at far,far less cost than a SCAMP.If the OP wishes to look at scamp as an option thats fine,its his choice. Any of the Oghtred dory types will be good performers, but it depends what you want to use the boat for. I have plans for Valgarda, but an Oughtred John Dory, would possibly be a better all rounder. You may be better of ,as KHP suggested with a more stable design to start of with. Hows your building skills?

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    What got you interested in the Valgerda in the first place? It looks elegant, but in a few ways is extreme compared to other double-end, row and sail designs.

    I do not like any boat, of any size, that has the deepest draught towards the stern. This makes it much harder to get free when you go aground, as I suspect you will do a lot of as a beginner on a lake. It will be that much harder again if the boat is heavy.

    I wonder why atkin chose that keel. One of the photos on the site shows "great liberties taken with the keel".

    True, the profile is utterly different to the design. No way would that boat behave the same as the designer's version.
    A l'eau! C'est l'heure!

    Buchie

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Back in the late '60's or early 70's ??? Tony Skidmore built a modified version of Valgerda with more of a keel, pretty much fully decked and a small cabin, which he did coastal cruising here on the BC Coast It was pretty cute, but I imagine it was pretty cramped inside. Somewhere in my personal archive I have a copy of a magazine article about her.

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Valgarda has similar lines(or vice versa) to my vattern snipa. As designed,a shallow plank on edge keel is not as efficient as a deeper "foil", and outside ballast is better than interior sandbags....but i wouldnt put that kind of keel on what is principally a rowing first and sail boat. Sure it could be used as a small coastel boat,but if you are thinking of regular trailing and beaching,i think you would prefer the more traditional straight keel,even if it does not perform aswell up wind....you could always add a daggerboard at a later date,should you wish for better upwind performance,best of both worlds.
    Gilberj....would be nice to read that article.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    I have always liked the shape of the double ender. Aestetics. That is what drew me to the Valgarda. I am not hooked on the Valgarda I would be happy with most any of these.
    Then someone said something about difficult to tack or jib because of the full length keel? I already dont know how to sail, I dont think I need to make it even more difficult.

    My carpentry skills are up to any task, but to date I have only made a PDR. So boat building techniques are still scratching my head and trial and error. Believe it or not the PDR was a great confidence builder. I now know that it is not magic to craft a boat. Now I feel confident to tackle what catches my eye.

    I have ordered and recieved Jim Michalak's book. I have since purchased wood. I am going to stick with the original plan and make a Mayfly 14. The plan was to get a proper sailboat in the water this summer and learn the basics on how to sail.

    This winter, I plan on starting on another sailboat. Something like Ross Lillistone's Phoenix III or John Welsfords Truant. But the Double enders keep catching my eye...

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Just met up yesterday with Michael Bogoger of the Doryman Blog as he returned to Anacortes after a couple of weeks cruising in his Valgerda Saga. His boat is awfully damn salty indeed. Very cool to look at.

    But, here's some big issues for non-cruising sailing:
    He keeps an outboard clamped to the quarter as the boat is really too heavy to row any distance.
    The keel keeps the boat from being easily beachable so he's nearly always anchored out or tied to the dock at night.
    The keel also prevents him from launching at most boat ramps so he can only go in or out where there is a hoist or slings available.

    All of these are perhaps more than a bit sub-optimal for a daysailer on a small lake.
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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    If you happen to be around Puget Sound, there are two Chesapeake Light Craft skerry's for sale right now...one's in Long Beach...15 miles north of the Columbia, and completely finished.....the other is in Shelton, a partly finished kilt.

    They're both selling for the price of the kit. Seriously, if I was looking for something like this, I'd get in the car and DRIVE to Washington to buy the one in Long Beach. From the pics on Craigslist, it' looks like he did a stunning job of it.

    I've rowed mine....just took the Mrs. out for a 3-hour row on Saturday and it's a delight. You could spring for the stock sail, but there are also several people on the forum who have rigged the boats with lug sails....which I am doing right now.

    The boats are light, handy and very pretty IMHO.

    Here's the one in Long Beach.

    http://portland.craigslist.org/nco/boa/3140166102.html

    you'd better hurry, I will be up there in two weeks and I might just buy the thing for the family summer house in the South Sound! LOL
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail



    Video of it sailing.





    http://dory-man.blogspot.co.uk/2011/...-valgerda.html




    Apart from the Atkins Valgerda,







    Selway Fisher took the lines off a real one destined for a museum (and added a small keel like Valgerda) called the Kari 2 faering (under dayboats then double enders). This one is drawn for stitch and tape or strip plank for those that want to build one this way.




    http://www.selway-fisher.com/DoubleEs.htm


    Ed
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 07-20-2012 at 06:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Poetry in motion. Nice Vid KHP. Nice job on the decking/coamings.

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    Doryman here.
    I have learned a lot from sailing my Valgerda in the last three years and one thing I can tell you - it is not a boat to learn on. My boat (the one in the video above) is heavily modified, so much that I have drawn criticism for deviating so far from W. Atkin's plans. I did not build this boat, but have redesigned it for sailing. It was never intended as primarily a sailing vessel - the Nordic faerings were rowing boats fit with a downwind/off-wind sail. My good friend, Brandon has one he built more to plan and it sails well, if you have nowhere in particular to go. It rows well, but is heavy for strictly rowing, so once again, not a sail-and-oar boat but fun to mess around in. (the traditional faering would have four single-oar rowers).
    I have accepted the challenge of adapting this boat to sail and have been vastly rewarded. It can handle any conditions but requires a good bit of skill. In certain conditions she sails like a witch. Beginners are best advised to avoid witches, no matter how pretty.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    What are her principle changes? Have these made her sail higher? What have you found you need to most careful to avoid when under sail?

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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    KHP, Doryman's blog has quite a bit about his Valgerda. A couple of changes I can think of are 1) 100 sq ft balanced lugsail rather than the 72 sq ft standing lug. 2) I think that Doryman added a jib this year. 3) The keel, as I recall, is not to spec.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    My Valgerda has a fin added to the keel which adds about 16 inches to overall depth, but no weight. I think the residual keel (design keel) that projects aft beyond the retrofit fin keel actually inhibits tacking performance but contributes to tracking. If it weren't for this additional keel, I could launch at a boat ramp.
    The sail rig is 119 sq ft and looks big for the boat but provides the power requirement, since the boat is heavily built (3/8" MDO plywood, clinker built, riveted).
    The most significant design modification is the half deck and coaming, without which the boat would be swamped continuously the way I use it (loaded down for cruising).
    That said, the boat handles a sea very well and it takes a deep wave to encroach on the gunnel.

    The reason I discourage a novice from this design is the narrow stern, which is extremely vulnerable in a jibe. The same feature that makes a good rowing boat is a liability in a sailing vessel. But it becomes an asset under oar or motor, so there are always compromises. My friend Brandon and I capsized his Valgerda on a brisk breeze in a jibe because we weren't on our game. We are both experienced sailors and should not have been so compromised. That was the first time I capsized in 35 years of sailing.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    the skerry is very simple beginner's sailboat and will teach you lots. it is a bit undergunned.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Atkins Valgerda First Sail

    The reason I discourage a novice from this design is the narrow stern, which is extremely vulnerable in a jibe. The same feature that makes a good rowing boat is a liability in a sailing vessel. But it becomes an asset under oar or motor, so there are always compromises. My friend Brandon and I capsized his Valgerda on a brisk breeze in a jibe because we weren't on our game. We are both experienced sailors and should not have been so compromised. That was the first time I capsized in 35 years of sailing.[/QUOTE]

    You have clearly written that yourself and sailing partner "werent on your game" and "should not have been so compromised". That clearly indicates that,you, the crew were at fault rather than the design of the boat.

    I fully understand why you may then suggest that Vagerda may not make a best first time sailboat,but beginers have been known to capsize all manner of supposedly stiff boats. I think learning to sail in a Valgerda would give someone an appriciation of a more "normal/satndard/wide stern dinghy" once they had the experience to try both. Clearly enough bouyancy needs to be in place to support boat and crew fully swamped,especially in cold water enviroments,unless the crew wear immersion suits at all times. We sail on a lake thats +4 to +8,and with not much traffic,if you go over and are unable to board a swamped boat,then the clock is ticking......
    My better half learned to sail in a Vatternsnipa,which is more like a traditional faering, jumping from that to a Michalak family skiff gave her an appriciation of hull form stability, but as my wife will tell you,in comparison to the other hull form ; "не стоит грести дерьмо!"........which i will translate politely as "it does not row as well".

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