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Thread: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

  1. #1
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    Default Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Hello all,


    Newbie wannabe boat builder has almost taken the plunge to build a caledonia yawl.

    I was always fascinated by wooden boats and have some sailing as well as wood working experience. My basement shop has almost all the needed machinery (router, table saw, thickness planer, jointer, bandsaw, jig saw and so on) and the actual building space would be a pretty oversized two car garage. My plan is to make the pieces in the basement where the machinery is, and put everything together in garage. Fortunately I have straight stairs from the basement into the garage, which will make things much easier.
    I am thinking about this project since over a year now, in the meanwhile I have read two books about boat building (one was from Iain Oughtred), and lately I saw the videos on Off Center Harbor with Geoff Kerr building a Caledonia Yawl. Finally in a weak moment last Monday I ordered the plans for a Caledonia yawl II from WoodenBoat Magazine, unfortunately they were not in stock so I am still waiting. However, the last decision is still pending, so maybe somebody can get a set of unused plans for a good price in the near future.
    For me time is (still) crucial, because that's what I actually not have. Not that I want to finish the boat in a couple of weeks, but I wanna finish it in a reasonable amount of time, actually it should not end as an endless project. Sure, the journey is the destination (and also the fascination), but I also want to get on the water. In the videos from Off Center Harbor they are building the boat using a (more or less) hull kit from Hewes & Company. This kit is not really inexpensive but I would assume it can save some time and might prevent some mistakes.
    Anyhow, I will wait for the plans to arrive, and in the meanwhile discuss with my wife the occupation of one half of the garage by most likely two years.

    Any experience out there with this kit Hewes&Company?

    Thanks
    Chris





    And there is a "boat" project in my basement that needs to be finished first, see attached picture.


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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Cute boat! A 'baby tender'?

    Looks like you're ready form another build - wood shavings on the floor, plenty of clamps here and there - and, of course, you know exactly where each one is when you need it (same way I work!).

    Welcome to the Forum!

    Tom

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    [QUOTE=PILOTARIX;4260219]
    Finally in a weak moment last Monday I ordered the plans for a Caledonia yawl II from WoodenBoat Magazine, unfortunately they were not in stock so I am still waiting./QUOTE]

    Cancel the order and order them directly from Iain Oughtred, he accepts PayPal. Its is an easy process.



    [QUOTE=PILOTARIX;4260219]Fortunately I have straight stairs from the basement into the garage, which will make things much easier./QUOTE]

    I have the same set up and it works very well.

    [QUOTE=PILOTARIX;4260219]Any experience out there with this kit Hewes&Company?/QUOTE]

    I am not using a kit for my CY and so far so good. It is more work but I just could not bring myself to the kit idea.
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Welcome! I think with your experience and equipment, a kit isn't necessary. You could definitely build a CY. I have seen some real beauties go together from kits, though. Check out "An Ilur in Vermont" on this forum.

    One thing I will say having seen a few CY's this summer-they are HUGE. I also sailed a Ness Yawl, and it was a really lovely boat.

    Good luck!

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    @Mad Scientist
    Yes a baby tender, I build it for our newborn, but he decided to arrive much earlier than expected and during the first 4 month there was absolutely no time to work on that. Hope I can finish it during the winter, I will make a four wheel trailer for it, then we can use it as a handcart for him.
    I always try to work less chaotic, especially when I start a new project, however, most of the time it didn't last very long.

    @Steamboat
    Normally I wouldn't consider a kit. For the money you "only" get some pieces of plywood, even though they are cut very exact. However I understand the kit as a kind of "shortcut" to have a chance to finish the project in a reasonable time frame.

    It would be nice to hear some experiences from other people with that kit.

    @Mike
    Thanks for the info. I checked the "Ilur" thread and the producers website, very appealing idea with all the CNC parts and some other interesting boats.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    I think you will be happy with a Caledonia Yawl. With its limited buoyancy in both the bow and stern it may buck like a wild horse but youll get used to it. Fine choice and good luck with the build.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Well, if it does buck like a wild horse I've yet to see it. My experience has shown the CY to be a very well behaved boat, easy to single hand and great for the family too.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Chris, if you can afford the plank kit, I would get one for the Mark 2 CY. It has nearly double the number of strakes, which takes proportionately more time to plank up. You sound like you really want it on the water, not a long build and have a baby to occupy your time. The US kits are supplied by info from Jordan Boats I think, and they are supposed to go together perfectly. The kits also come with the molds, at least here in the UK. If the US kits come with a scarf/ finger joint arrangement you'll save even more time. Or go for the mark 1 with 4 strakes which will be quicker than 7, though ultimately stems, fit out, spars and foils are the same for either. The Mark 1's might be more stable than the Mark 2 in terms of dipping a rail from observations. Something to ask about.

    A CY is indeed a 'big' small boat, a day boat perhaps rather than a dinghy on account of its greater beam over say a NY/ ST. A great choice with a future family to get it built now. The Oughtred double enders have the most poise, motion comfort and dryness you'll find for a given LWL available.

    As a family daysailing boat, unless you have a preference, you might want to consider how you can minimise rigging/ derigging time off the water, and perhaps go unstayed lug/ lug yawl rig so they are not hanging around for too long.
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 08-17-2014 at 02:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Quote Originally Posted by keyhavenpotterer View Post
    Chris, if you can afford the plank kit, I would get one for the Mark 2 CY. It has nearly double the number of strakes, which takes proportionately more time to plank up. You sound like you really want it on the water, not a long build and have a baby to occupy your time.
    I agree with this, I am doing a 7-strake and cutting my own planks and it is not a fast process. I am retired and kids are out on their own and I wanted the experience of spiling, cutting and fitting my own planks. I can't imagine doing a non-kit with a new born in the house!
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    My Ness Yawl has a lovely, gentle motion in chop - the exact opposite of a bucking horse. The Caladonia Yawl is six inches longer and a foot beamier, a much bigger boat.

    The kit will certainly help, but depending on how much interior you want for your boat (decks versus open, etc.) more than half the work is in fitting out the hull, making the spars, etc. etc. etc. However, you will be rewarded with a boat that is as fun to sail as it as lovely to look at.

    Cheers,
    Garth

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Quote Originally Posted by PILOTARIX View Post
    Hello all,

    Anyhow, I will wait for the plans to arrive, and in the meanwhile discuss with my wife the occupation of one half of the garage by most likely two years.
    Greetings Chris,

    I am 3 years plus into a 4-plank CY build. Your plan to occupy the garage for 2 years is reasonable, unless you can work full time on the build and nothing else.

    Looking at your Baby Tender it appears you have all the skills necessary for the CY. I also built the Baby Tender (in riveted lap), and the CY in my opinion is a less demanding build from a technical standpoint.

    I can't comment on the kit option, except that building the boat from scratch presented no difficulties. The full-length stakes are light enough for one person to handle, but very bendy. A second set of hands getting those planks up the stairs will be a great help.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Agree with Garth Jones. My CY has a wonderful gentle motion in chop. If you want a bucking horse try a Hobie 16.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Especially for a first boat, I wouldn't sneer at a kit at all. If there had been one for the design I am building, I would have done it. I would be on the water this summer instead of being halfway done.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Quote Originally Posted by KMacDonald View Post
    I think you will be happy with a Caledonia Yawl. With its limited buoyancy in both the bow and stern it may buck like a wild horse but youll get used to it. Fine choice and good luck with the build.
    I laughed out loud when I read this! I've had my CY for a couple of years now and certainly don't agree. Good luck with the build! I'll be watching with great interest!

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Hi,

    thanks for all the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    .......... and great for the family too.
    this is what I am looking forward to. BTW I have seen some of your videos and pictures, very nice very inspiring

    @keyhavenpotterer

    Thanks for the info about jordan boats in the UK.
    It was my plan to go with the CY mark II. There is a kit manufacturer here in the US http://cnc-marine-hewesco.com they deliver their kit (molds, planks, centerboard case) with scarf joints. I checked Jordan boats in the UK, the price seems to be very competitive and they offer a decked version. They also offer finger joints on the planks which has also some time saving potential. You see, I am really looking into every oportunity to cut down on assembly time. Don't get me wrong, I would love to do everything from scratch but then I would estimate almost a decade to get it done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamboat View Post
    ............ I can't imagine doing a non-kit with a new born in the house!
    That is exactly the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garth Jones View Post
    ........
    The kit will certainly help, but depending on how much interior you want for your boat (decks versus open, etc.) more than half the work is in fitting out the hull, ........
    That is a good point and I also thought about that. According to Geoff Kerr who is building the CY in the OffCenterHarbor videos you will need 1/3 for the hull 1/3 for fitting out the hull and the last 1/3 for painting and rigging. So using a kit you can only save time during the first 1/3 and some during the second 1/3 of the construction. As far as I could figure out, the kits coming with bulkheads, deck and centerboard case. Altogether it might save a reasonable amount of time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert W. Long View Post
    Agree with Garth Jones. My CY has a wonderful gentle motion in chop. If you want a bucking horse try a Hobie 16.
    I had the experience, not with a Hobie but a Dart 18, if you want to have action and don't mind to get wet, this is a cool toy. However it is a different type of sailing and not necessarily the one you want to do with your family.



    I think I will definitely start with the build in the garage. I thought about to get a 24' x 14' garden shed and use that for the build, but I am in a development, thus it is not so easy with big sheds.
    Although this might not be ideal for the construction, the ladder frame with the molds has to be movable, so I will ad some rollers like the ones used for heavy workbenches, after you moved the construction around the rollers get released and the frame stands sturdy on its legs.
    I would like to start with building the ladder frame but don't have the plans yet. It is correct that the length of the ladder frame should be 228" and what is the recommended width?

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    It is correct that the length of the ladder frame should be 228" and what is the recommended width?
    I don't recall the exact length, but I made the ladder frame about 40" wide and decked the middle 16' with two sheets of 3/4 ply. You'll spend a lot of time under the boat cleaning up the epoxy drips as each plank goes on, and the ply decking provides a degree of comfort. The 2" overhang on each side is a nice clamping lip.

    Last edited by TerryLL; 08-17-2014 at 01:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    I think build time is hugely dependent on the level of finish and complexity of the interior that you want. This is not a boat that should take ten years to build, even from scratch. Once you've lived with the boat for a while there will probably be changes you'd like to see. I would advocate for a simple bench interior with fore and aft buoyancy chambers/decks, which gets you done and out of the shed sooner.

    Our CY Sparrow took eleven months of actual building with a five month break in the middle of that for winter. My goal was to get something done on the boat every day, even if it was only five minutes worth of work. Our younger daughter was nine months old when I set up the strong back and had just turned two when we splashed the boat.



    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    @Terry
    good Idea to have the plywood over the ladder frame, I can see how it will make crawling under the hull easier and it will stiffen your ladder frame as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    I think build time is hugely dependent on the level of finish and complexity of the interior that you want. ..............
    ..................... My goal was to get something done on the boat every day, even if it was only five minutes worth of work. ..........
    These points are well taken. I want to keep it as simple as possible, as you said, something can be done later if really wanted or necessary. I also agree that continuity in the building process is key for success.


    I used a part of the afternoon to figure out how much space in the garage actually is. To my surprise there is more space than I thought. If I make the ladder frame movable I can put the boat aside when I am not working on it and both cars will still fit into the garage while there is still comfortable space between the cars.
    The tape measure in the picture is 20' long and the two pieces of wood are 6' long, that should mimic appropriately the area needed for the hull. Or do I miss anything here? It seems small to me but the boat is a little over 19' feet long and 6 wide, or?


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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Having the space to set the hull aside is good, but you'll need a minimum of 3 feet on each end and on each side for building space. If you can roll the frame out for more clearance you'll be OK.
    Last edited by TerryLL; 08-17-2014 at 08:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Did you look at the Wesford Navigator? Just a thought.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    I wouldn't plan on parking in the garage during the building. I'd even suggest 'building' a wall (tarp or fancier) to protect your wife's side. your picture indicates you might have room to store the boat (once finished) inside. To follow Jim's very sage advice of doing something every day you don't want to spend any time setting up every day.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    The "wall" is a good idea. That sawdust gets everywhere. I had only 18 inches to spare at either end for my Whilly Boat, and three feet on the wall side. I wish I had more but it was enough. Despite the visual clutter, I am a very neat person. I often told myself, "I'll just go tidy up and put things in order for twenty minutes," then, an hour or so later, I'd have tidied up, and then made some progress on the build. My two big tool purchases were a 14" bandsaw ($1,100 or so) and a 12" portable planer ($500 or so.) I use both all the time. Didn't buy until about 6 months in though.

    Cheers,

    Mike





    BTW, my garage is 17'x17', and the boat is 14.5' long. G'luck!
    Last edited by Falcon1; 08-18-2014 at 07:42 PM.
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Quote Originally Posted by KMacDonald View Post
    I think you will be happy with a Caledonia Yawl. With its limited buoyancy in both the bow and stern it may buck like a wild horse but youll get used to it. Fine choice and good luck with the build.
    Quote Originally Posted by kelso View Post
    I laughed out loud when I read this! I've had my CY for a couple of years now and certainly don't agree. Good luck with the build! I'll be watching with great interest!

    I laughed out loud at this post, too. Obviously KMD has never been in a Caledonia Yawl. I'm still chuckling a little. Too funny.

    Steven

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    PILOTARIX, Sorry, typo. My garage is 17'x17'. My boat is 14.5 feet long.

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryLL View Post
    Having the space to set the hull aside is good, but you'll need a minimum of 3 feet on each end and on each side for building space. If you can roll the frame out for more clearance you'll be OK.
    What you can see in the picture is the situation with both cars and my motorbike in the garage, with only one car I will have plenty of space.


    Quote Originally Posted by KMacDonald View Post
    Did you look at the Wesford Navigator? Just a thought.
    I did, nice, but for me the CY is the way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by essaunders View Post
    I wouldn't plan on parking in the garage during the building. I'd even suggest 'building' a wall (tarp or fancier) to protect your wife's side. your picture indicates you might have room to store the boat (once finished) inside. To follow Jim's very sage advice of doing something every day you don't want to spend any time setting up every day.
    Your points are well taken, I was already thinking about the dust issue. Everything I can make in my basement will be made there. There is the dust collection system. I thought about a kind of plastic curtain, it would have to be huge, but yet couldn't separate both sides completely. Thus I will use a dust collection based on a Fein vacuum, this will not be 100% but I hope good enough to keep my wife happy. The car goes only into the garage when I expect a longer building stop or in case of severe weather what ever..

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    I laughed out loud at this post, too. Obviously KMD has never been in a Caledonia Yawl. I'm still chuckling a little. Too funny.
    Steven
    good to know...


    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon1 View Post
    ......... My two big tool purchases were a 14" bandsaw ($1,100 or so) and a 12" portable planer ($500 or so.) I use both all the time. Didn't buy until about 6 months in though.
    I am happy to have almost all of the tools needed, I will soon get a jointer, but this was on my list anyhow and is not necessarily for the boat. I will be helpful using rough lumber. BTW nice powermatic bandsaw.


    I recently laminated a bunch of 2X4's, the plan was to make a bigger work bench, I will skip this plan and use a piece of that wood to make a very small work bench for the garage. I might cut the longer pieces on the table saw and use them for the ladder frame. They are sturdy and being laminated they will not bent to much.


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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    If you've got a table saw, a bandsaw, a skilsaw, a decent block plane, a Japanese pull saw, a couple decent chisels, a cordless driil, and buckets of assorted clamps, you're good to go.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Sandpaper is the most used tool in boatbuilding.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    I wouldn't worry too much about a dust curtain. I didn't. Sure, the car on the other side got dusty, but a little drive in the rain and it was all clean again.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    You can't really go wrong with a Caledonia Yawl. Yes it is a huge boat but it is one your family will probably never outgrow. It sails with just a hint of a breeze, responds well to oars (although not much of a pleasure to row), and like I said, can hold a bunch of people. Depending on where you sail, with a boat this big, you may need to think about auxiliary power. Honda's 2.3 air-cooled motor is just about ideal for this boat although the salt water electric ones are getting better and better. It is possible to do without one with enough careful planning but tidal currents and wind conditions don't always agree with where you want to go. If sailing through a big bridge, sometimes the bridge will cut off your air supply and the tidal current will take over and that can be troublesome. In a case like that a 5' ash paddle is truly a great thing to have at hand. If your motor well is fitted with a plug that is flush with the bottom of the boat then you can leave the motor home when you can without any of the hydrodynamic penalties of having a huge hole in the bottom of your boat. Some carry a small motor in case they need it but otherwise leave it stored away out of sight.

    Think twice about the roll around feature for your building jig. It's nice to have the thing really solid to the floor when you're driving a screw home from the side for example but yeah it's nice to roll the boat outdoors when you have a lot of sanding to do. As far as moving the boat to a more central location every time you work on it, that will get very old in a short amount of time. Just have a long talk with your car and explain that it won't be more than a year or so that it will be exiled from the garage. Maybe buy it a nice car cover.

    I know you will enjoy your CY when it's done as it sails very well and is very versatile. Sometimes my sister borrows mine to go to dinner at a waterside restaurant with friends using just oars and a guy at the stern with that 5' ash paddle I recommend. Sometimes we leave the sailing stuff at home and use the motor to go fishing.

    Good luck with your build. Just stay at it and you'll do fine.




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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    I laughed out loud at this post, too. Obviously KMD has never been in a Caledonia Yawl. I'm still chuckling a little. Too funny.

    Steven
    Glad you liked it Steven.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Phwew!!

    Glad that's cleared up. For a while there I thought I'd have to invest in a saddle, bridle, boots, Stetson, et al, to properly sail my wild bucking horse CY.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    The hobby horse effect is limited to open waters with consistent wave periods. If the wave period matches the natural frequency of the boat, fasten your seatbelts if sitting in the ends of the boat. Puddles, streams, ponds, lakes, and inland sheltered waters won't have the problem. Really, you'll be fine.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    I guess I just missed all that hobby horse effect during my years (decades actually) boating in Southeast Alaska.

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    Default Re: Caledonia Yawl, newbie builder, pretty close to take the plunge.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryLL View Post
    I guess I just missed all that hobby horse effect during my years (decades actually) boating in Southeast Alaska.

    It's a good thing you did and are still here to talk about it.

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    Default

    Actually, as a general principle anyway, since nothing with respect to boats is a plus b equals c simple anyway, reduced buoyancy in the ends would limit pitch. It's exceed buoyancy that might contribute to hobby horsing.

    Just IMHO and experience.


    Kevin

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