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Thread: Phil Bolger consensus?

  1. #246
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    Really shallow draft depends on two things to make it a requirement.
    First ....... generally shallow water with lots of shallow water anchorages.
    Second.... Can you push off easily if you do run aground.
    I have a shallow draft sailboat... 18"...... I do not run aground by accident.....I cannot push off by hand.....(I frequently put her on the hard intentionally).... Going aground by accident means you may be on boulders or a rock outcropping. When the tide goes out my boat can puncture the bottom or roll over on its side and fill when the tide comes in.
    Where I live the tidal range is fairly large, I could do pretty much the same cruising with a boat draft of 3' to 5'...6' is really not a huge problem.
    By the way I like drying out upright.....
    Shallow draft makes it much easier to trailer sail which listening to Bolger was one of his reasons for pushing such craft. Exploring close inshore, enjoying more of the blue stuff was also a second benefit.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    Tink, many of the same rig factors apply to your Streaker - and yet you seem to enjoy it (which is great). For example, storing and transporting a longer mast is probably more of an issue in a dinghy than in a yacht. If you believe that the tradeoffs are worth it for you with the Streaker, why can we tall rig fans not believe that the tradeoffs are worth it in our yachts?

    Bolger never seemed to give a lot of evidence for those claims, and often did not compare like for like. For example, in the Furled Sails interview he never outlined what areas of the current rating rules unfairly favoured tall masts and deep draft. I note that some of the similar claims made by Sponberg, another stayless rig advocate, are completely and utterly false, just as Bolger's claim that catamarans were banned from racing is completely and utterly false.

    Yes, a stayed rig has more parts. However, neither Bolger or anyone else I have ever found has actually provided an objective comparison of matters such as the reliability of stayed versus unstayed masts in comparable situations. Many insurance companies only require 10 year inspection and replacement of stayed rigging, which is hardly evidence that it's breaking all the time.

    Whether the issue of lowering and raising tall masts is significant is a question for the individual, not for blanket condemnation. Here in Australia we have many trailable yachts that raise and lower stayed bermudan masts routinely. It doesn't have to be hard. Over in Perth, the vast majority of yachts have to drop their masts to go from the main storage and sailing area to the main cruising and offshore racing area under low bridges. Bermudan rigs on boats as large as 60ft are sometimes dropped twice a day. I see from Three Rivers Race videos that the big bermudan Norfolk Broads cruisers of about 36ft long can have the mast lowered from 7 to 20 seconds of the time they drop the main. Is that really so slow and difficult?

    The point is that there is an enormous number of people who are fully aware and very practised in the issue of raising tall stayed masts who find the downsides to be more than compensated for by the benefits - just as you do with the Streaker. We don't need to be told that our boats are "appalling" because we choose to prioritise different things to Bolger. Ironically, the Bolger that is probably closest to me rarely goes out because the owner says the mast is too hard to raise - and that's on a Micro!

    Other claimed advantages such as being easier to transport and store and windage appear to be extremely minor matters for many people. Having spent four years living aboard I feel that I am a reasonable judge the issues Bolger and Suzanne raised about tall masts in marinas, moorings and anchorages, and I don't feel that my tall-masted boat is "appalling" because of the windage of its slim topmast and stays.

    Shallow draft is NOT always critical - many of us live in deep areas. Yes, in SOME areas shallow draft is critical to some sailors, but that does not justify blanket claims that modern boats are "appalling".

    One final point. In reading "Boats with an open mind" and other Bolger books, and in reading interviews with him and articles about him, I still have to find much evidence that he was a particularly experienced sailor himself, or that he had actually sailed a wide range of craft. Firth-Jones actually wrote that he didn't think that Bolger even really liked sailing. That may have influenced his views.

    PS - to repeat - none of this means that his boats did not have good points. I wouldn't mind a Pirogue or Light Schooner. However I believe many of his criticisms of other craft were unfounded.
    Apart from tinkering with designing and building I like too race dinghies, my club sails Streakers, they suit me so I sail them. It is however a conventional rig that Bolger would very much have approved of. It has a very slack rig and minimal controls: vang, Cunningham, outhaul and rope traveller. The boat stays at the club all season coming home only for the winter so mast length is not an issue.

    My other interest are more Bolger-esk. My third proa was box shaped, balanced lugged schooner rigged and moveable leeboard the only form of lateral resistance. Oh and poly tarp sails.
    In addition to the Streaker I have an open canoe, to my own design. The hull is not particularly Bolger, a conventional 4 plank. The hull does have both fore and aft and side to side symmetry which simplified building, something that Bolger would have approved of I am sure. The canoe has a standing lug, and with the simplicity and short spars I can get out on the river, have a sail and be back home in a morning.

    I accept that Cats where not banned, it has been a widespread myth that many people have believed for years, this artical may be much closer to the truth
    https://sailcraftblog.wordpress.com/...ng-catamarans/

    The Norfolk Broard cruisers I would imagine are inspired my the Norfolk Werry which Bolger liked. These used a heavily weighted counter balance at the base of the mast. The cruisers use the same system and I am sure were the inspiration for Bolger.

    As for evidence I would concede that much of what Bolger says is based on opinion and in his own works he quickly got bored and moved on too something else. People do however buy into his design ideals and people still see the value in the type of boats Bolger strived to promate. The internet is awash with simple boat plans, with people like Jim Michalak carrying on where Bolger left off.

    I think this question can only be answered in fifty years time and we see if Bolgers influence is still felt.

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  4. #249
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Going back to your OP, tink, most of my string of sailboats over the years (sailing since age 5; now 78) have been fitted with leeboards. Contrary to what lots of others opine, I think they lend a bit of visual interest to the average sailboats topsides. One of my boats was an aluminum 14' Larson Crestliner to which was fitted a stout thwart which supported the leeboard pivots and a mast step. It sailed well enough, thanks to an oval hull sections aft instead of the typical shallow-V exhibited by brands like Strarcraft.

    One of the E&D Shearwater yawls had been fitted with a pair of modified NACA foil section leeboards made by the owner. It outperformed my Shearwater (std flat leeboards) so dramatically that I built my own pair of foil leeboards utilizing a laminar flow foil instead of the more common NACA. After making a couple of other modification to other areas of my boat, I was able to substantially match the performance of my friend's Shearwater.

    We cruise in an Albin-25 Diesel Motor Cruiser now, but were I to ever be in the market for a sailboats, I'd be interested in leeboards. I found that everything Bolger ever said about them to be true.

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    It was not me but dirc that started the thread. I like leeboards they have a lot of pluses and if, IN MODERN TIMES, they had been developed as much as more conventional boards I think they would be even better. I also like the offset dagger board that Bolger used on Boats such as Windspirit and no used on a proper racing boat (probably not view as such by some contributors) PD racer.



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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by tink View Post
    It was not me but dirc that started the thread. I like leeboards they have a lot of pluses and if, IN MODERN TIMES, they had been developed as much as more conventional boards I think they would be even better. I also like the offset dagger board that Bolger used on Boats such as Windspirit and no used on a proper racing boat (probably not view as such by some contributors) PD racer.


    ...
    --- I sailed a friend's Puddle Duck on a Texas 200. He built his with a centerboard off-set as in the Windsprint shown here. Since that was a cruise with lots of shallow water (three or four times we were dragging those boats through long grass-flats with 5 inches of water) and oyster bars, I really appreciated the centerboard, though those boats were slow enough (4x8 boxes with rocker) that we could have probably run full speed into rocks and not damage a dagger board case.

    The other Duck sailors had daggerboards and did not suffer that I could tell, though raising the dagger in a shallow might interfere with a boom and risk getting knocked over in a wrong-sided gust, not that that would have been critical in the context.

    I think the centerboard set up was a bit quieter because there was not the endless gurgling of the water on the top-part of the leeboard and its bearings (experienced during another T200 on a lee-board boat).

    But the centerboard did jam once with gunk getting in there, especially a concern if you run-up on a shell/pebble beach, so something to ponder.

    I have a Windpsprint hull someone gave me to finish; the first builder opeted for a central daggerboard and rowing thwart instead of the offset -- don't know yet whether I should be disappointed. -- Wade

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    foil leeboard (2).jpgThe laminar flow lifting foil leeboards I made for my Shearwater Yawl featured circular bearing surfaces which offered a bit of space between leeboard and bilge to let water to flow past.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Some have pointed out that Bolger could be harshly dismissive of other desigers work. But for one thing he could be quite self deprecating about his own designs in his "open mind" book, so he set a high bar. And for another thing, his "100 rigs" book has a preface that basically says to read his sentences with an imaginary "I conjecture" at the beginning. Or other various shades of that meaning, something which is rarely explicitly done in our culture because it sounds too wishy washy.

    I read a translation of Italian archeology which was so interesting because they include the degree of certainty of various historical "facts" that we take for granted, like how the impressive Villa Poppaea (now tour-able as a tribute to female power) had any connection with Emperor Nero's wife of that name. It was just a very weak best guess translated to a certainty in english. In a police stop we may be bullied into false certainty. You could say you know of no drugs in the car but there have been 5 people messing with the car recently. That approach sends you to jail if they find something because you didn't admit the drugs location (unknown to you) and refused to be bullied into saying there was zero chance of any being there.

    Anyway, I flipped the "100 rigs" to find some statements testable for false certainty. I believe he said that battens should theoretically be more flexible in the front, but in practice it doesn't seem to matter. My latest rig has an amazing two part batten system that allows the belly to go way forward like a C-47 wing type of NACA airfoil. Each stiff batten (stays conveniently in place even when folded) is paired with a high tension high flex batten that is inserted for the forward 20% span. So convenient to rig with a leash to each short batten and gives an elegant shape of unknown effectiveness.

    Another issue is he trashes luff slots for putting the mast disturbance over the critical backside of the sail. I have a tall aluminum one with an annoying catchy luff slot (no slides) and another tall carbon fiber one using sail sleeves. I think only the latter mast rotates, but that can get stuck at the wrong angle for me and I expect the sleeve to give me efficiency (if not dousablity on the go). All of this can't be total conjecture by Bolger because he mentions experiences like lacing sails to mast rarely leading to the distortions one might imagine.

    P.S. for other thread on wood vs modern materials. I have had wood spars which would bend a bit too easily. I thought the robust solution was aluminum, but my new carbon fiber mast steals my heart. It comes with a skinny aluminum boom which seems like a lead weight in comparison. My masts come in 4 parts for storability, just like my kayak paddles, and the carbon fiber ones sleeve into each other like a unified stiff piece vs rattly aluminum. Carbon fiber is less brittle than I feared, and seems worth the premium if only for the sensual taut but springy feel (ever try a carbon rowing oar?).
    Last edited by rudderless; 01-22-2018 at 10:43 PM.

  9. #254
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Good point about 100 Rigs preface - that's one I haven't read. And thanks for looking for statements that can be tested. I'll preface the following by saying that it may be over the top, but here goes......

    Trashing mast slots is just the sort of thing that gets my goat about Bolger. If luff slots are bad then why were they used by designers like Jack Holt who is actually credited with creating the concept and has a record in high speed designing and sailing that is incomparably greater than that of Bolger.* In this case Bolger also apparently thought that he knew far more about rigs and performance than Ted Hood, Lowell North, the Ratseys, Paul Elvstrom, Ted Wells, just about every Olympic medal winner, Olin Stephens, Phil Rhodes, Uffa Fox and all those other schmucks who were stupid enough to use luff slots. Oh, what ignoramuses they all were!

    People with an open mind would have noticed that as far back as the 1930s, devices used to streamline the backside of the luff had been proven to be slow; ask Sandy Douglass, who tried one with such poor results in the International Canoe challenge. People with an open mind would have looked at development classes like the Moth, where very smart people like Taffy Bowen (a radar pioneer in WW2 and then a radio astronomer of world renown) tried and then abandoned luff pocket mains. Someone with an open mind may have thought "well, if I pick up a foreign sailing magazine I can read of many hundreds of people who race every weekend in classes that choose to use luff slots after trying other devices..... well, gee, maybe those people aren't that much more stupid than I am. Maybe I could learn from them instead of trashing their ideas?"


    * Out of interest, what was Bolger's experience in the conventional craft that he derided? How many ocean miles had he done, and where? How many races had he taken part in and won? Is there any evidence that he was a particularly good and experienced sailor?

  10. #255
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    Good point about 100 Rigs preface - that's one I haven't read. And thanks for looking for statements that can be tested. I'll preface the following by saying that it may be over the top, but here goes......

    Trashing mast slots is just the sort of thing that gets my goat about Bolger. If luff slots are bad then why were they used by designers like Jack Holt who is actually credited with creating the concept and has a record in high speed designing and sailing that is incomparably greater than that of Bolger.* In this case Bolger also apparently thought that he knew far more about rigs and performance than Ted Hood, Lowell North, the Ratseys, Paul Elvstrom, Ted Wells, just about every Olympic medal winner, Olin Stephens, Phil Rhodes, Uffa Fox and all those other schmucks who were stupid enough to use luff slots. Oh, what ignoramuses they all were!

    People with an open mind would have noticed that as far back as the 1930s, devices used to streamline the backside of the luff had been proven to be slow; ask Sandy Douglass, who tried one with such poor results in the International Canoe challenge. People with an open mind would have looked at development classes like the Moth, where very smart people like Taffy Bowen (a radar pioneer in WW2 and then a radio astronomer of world renown) tried and then abandoned luff pocket mains. Someone with an open mind may have thought "well, if I pick up a foreign sailing magazine I can read of many hundreds of people who race every weekend in classes that choose to use luff slots after trying other devices..... well, gee, maybe those people aren't that much more stupid than I am. Maybe I could learn from them instead of trashing their ideas?"


    * Out of interest, what was Bolger's experience in the conventional craft that he derided? How many ocean miles had he done, and where? How many races had he taken part in and won? Is there any evidence that he was a particularly good and experienced sailor?
    L. Francis Herreshoff held a patent on luff pocket mains, and had very good luck with them on Suicide Class boats, foreshadowing the success of the idea on the Laser. Phil Rhodes did use a luff groove on the Penguin, but he also used a rotating mast. It used to be the job of the crew to rotate the mast if there wasn't enough wind to make it happen.

    Our ideas about masts have changed. Most fast sailboats used to use a "streamline" cross-section in their masts, until someone realized that the pear-shaped cross section makes more sense unless you have a rotating mast.

    If I recall correctly, Bolger didn't argue that lacing the sail to the mast was better, only that it wasn't worse and was a simpler solution. I'm not a big Bolger fan, but I think it only fair to recognize that he was trying to find simpler, less expensive solutions to the technical problems in sailing. It wasn't so much that he thought the 'yachty' solutions were so terrible as that he thought there were simpler solutions that would cost less.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Luff Grooves are efficient and effective when the sail is to be taken off and put away each time it is used, more popular on boats primarily used for racing.......Most cruising boats leave the sail bent on and covered. I agree with Johnw WRT lacing being a better solution if simplicity and cruising needs are the dominating factors.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    I have failed to find where Bolger ‘trashes’ mast slots, please can someone let me know what page it is on. He does point out some positive points to the Luff sleeve, no halyard and associated stresses, no sheave, thinner mast, cheaper and lighter round section mast.

    The leeward disturbance caused by the mast is well documented by Marchaj for one and is the reason rotating masts where developed.

    Marchaj sail performance fig 84, clearly shows what a negative effect a sail coming from the rear of the mast can have, tests for round rather than a more streamlined mast.

    Luff ties do allow a unique control the sail not offered by a Luff slot sail. Top Optimist sailors will fanatically adjust their sail ties depending on wind conditions, I am just making a point.

    I don’t think the OP was intending that the thread would dig so deeply into every word Bolger had written.

    Has Bolger made a unique impact to sailing as simple as that and in my opinion it is a big YES. Sailing is a richer pastime because of Bolger.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    If I recall correctly, Bolger didn't argue that lacing the sail to the mast was better, only that it wasn't worse and was a simpler solution. I'm not a big Bolger fan, but I think it only fair to recognize that he was trying to find simpler, less expensive solutions to the technical problems in sailing. It wasn't so much that he thought the 'yachty' solutions were so terrible as that he thought there were simpler solutions that would cost less.
    This, I think, is a very good summary of Bolger's positions in general. There is a great deal of satisfaction that can be derived from seeking out the simpler, less expensive solution. Will it get you the absolute best performance, which seems to be Chris249's emphasis on this thread? No. But will it get you 90% there with significantly less investment? Maybe so.

    That's the main reason I find Bolger's thinking interesting. I don't really see much evidence that he has trash-talked other sailors and designers as Chris249 has argued here consistently, though I certainly haven't read everything Bolger wrote so maybe I missed some of that. I see this phenomenon a lot, though--when someone really does question fundamental guiding principals in any field as Bolger did, people heavily invested in that field tend to view the questioning as an attack. I suspect Bolger was curious and open-minded enough that his non-orthodox approach really was more about considering alternate possibilities to see where they might lead, and not attacking anyone. He has never struck me as particularly arrogant--I did exchange a couple of letters with him, and he was very helpful.

    Tom
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    I don't have a particularly strong opinion about Bolger,I do know that he did design a vast number of boats and some were good looking while some were "functional" at best.I find it a bit amusing that Marchaj has been brought into things as the late and much lamented Jack Knights once questioned whether he was often seen afloat.He seems to have been more of an academic and there was the tale of a lecture he gave to a gaggle of Finn sailors a long while ago during which a large whiteboard was covered with vector diagrams and equations which led to the conclusion that if the boat was rolling violently on a run,pulling the mainsheet when it lurched to windward was a good idea.I understand that some of the gathered sailors wished he had been a bit more concise so they could have got to the bar a bit sooner-it was a long time ago and training regimes were different then.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    This, I think, is a very good summary of Bolger's positions in general. There is a great deal of satisfaction that can be derived from seeking out the simpler, less expensive solution. Will it get you the absolute best performance, which seems to be Chris249's emphasis on this thread? No. But will it get you 90% there with significantly less investment? Maybe so.

    That's the main reason I find Bolger's thinking interesting. I don't really see much evidence that he has trash-talked other sailors and designers as Chris249 has argued here consistently, though I certainly haven't read everything Bolger wrote so maybe I missed some of that. I see this phenomenon a lot, though--when someone really does question fundamental guiding principals in any field as Bolger did, people heavily invested in that field tend to view the questioning as an attack. I suspect Bolger was curious and open-minded enough that his non-orthodox approach really was more about considering alternate possibilities to see where they might lead, and not attacking anyone. He has never struck me as particularly arrogant--I did exchange a couple of letters with him, and he was very helpful.

    Tom
    I remember one chapter where he said he'd gone sailing in a Lightning, and enjoyed it a great deal, so he started working on ways to simplify it. The cartoon he came up with didn't look to me like it would get you 90% of the way to the Lightning's performance, but maybe it would get you 60% there for half the cost. Personally, I'd prefer to spend the money and have a Lightning, but I think I understand his perspective.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    My use of the term "trashing" was taken from Rudderless' description, so I assumed he was being pretty critical of luff grooves. Class after class moved away from lashings and mast rings towards grooves. Why didn't Bolger assume that not all of the thousands of people involved were not all idiots, and therefore they would have noticed if doing so disturbed the critical leeward side flow? Yes, Rhodes and LFH did use some alternative solutions, but they also used tracks and other systems that held the luff in the position that Bolger criticised.

    Yes, it's good to look for cheaper and simpler solutions that could work better in some situations for some people; it's just the "trashing" that is arguably not needed, and possibly an indication of counter-productive thinking or writing. Apologies if I am being hyper-critical, but given the object of the thread it seems reasonable to be as critical of Bolger as he was of others.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Tom, I'm absolutely NOT saying that absolute best performance is important. The point is that it gives us an objective criteria against which we can test relevant theories (such as the alleged claim that a luff groove was slower) to see if those theories and associated thinking are correct.

    Yes, people become invested in a field. That applies to Bolger fans too - they are also invested in a particular field and their own thinking is just as subject to bias as that of any stereotypical Royal Yacht Squadron member. I may mention in this context that many of my own mainsails have large pocket luffs or set on wing masts, which are both intended to resolve the leeside flow issue that Bolger apparently wrote about. If anything, therefore, I am invested to the tune of many dollars in believing what Bolger apparently said about a conventional mast's interference with lee side flow. However, there is objective evidence that indicates that it is not a significant factor in most craft, and only a tiny factor in those where it works.

    My own bias, I hope, comes from the belief that we should start off considering designs by respecting our fellow sailors enough to assume that they are fairly good at working out what works best for them in their situation. Almost all of my research into the history of small racing boats indicates that there are logical reasons why intelligent people have created the boats they have. Any inference that sailors have closed minds or are choosing the wrong boat or rig should therefore be subject to a critical review of available evidence.

    For some reason, a significant section of sailors has taken on a bunch of myths that say that that the mainstream sailors are making incorrect choices about how they should have fun. It would seem better if we respected them and learned from them, surely? By the way, much of my own sailing has been done in windsurfers of all types but one; I lived aboard for years and cruised the family cats, I own a cat and a sailing canoe - if you can find any evidence in that lot that I have conservative sailing tastes it would be surprising.

    It's good to hear from the personal perspective of your interaction. Thanks for that.
    Last edited by Chris249; 01-24-2018 at 10:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Tink, haven't Marchaj's tests been pretty much superseded by modern studies (see the WB Sails site, for example) that show that the mast in a sloop rig is actually a significantly creator of lift?

    In Sailing Theory and Practice at least, Marchaj was testing something that didn't exist in the context he was looking at. You did not find masts as big as those in his tests in real life. The smallest mast in his test was 7.5% of chord, and circular. A mast such as that on the 6 Metre Bob Cat (to use an example I can find easily) was one third of that. The spar on the old cutter Lexia was 2.1% of chord at the foot and tapered. Marchaj also used sails that were very flat and of very high AR, 5:1.

    I'm not aero expert, but such an unrealistic and exaggerated experimental set up would seem to be very problematic, especially dealing with an area as complex as turbulence. Even today, turbulence is extremely difficult to predict with supercomputers. Whether Marchaj's tree-trunks with skinny sheets hanging off them could have produced results applicable to real life would be worthy of an interesting CFD or wind tunnel study.

    The same underlying issue applies - the theory did not match real world experience, in which many intelligent people had spend many hours trialling different luff/mast arrangements and had not found the dramatic difference that Marchaj and apparently Bolger wrote about. Why apparently choose to ignore the practical experience of so many?

    Investigating the reason behind the disparity between the real world and the test results would have been of much more use than doing what many people did, which is to use Marchaj as a way of disparaging the majority of rigs and ignoring what had been found when leading edge devices had been trialled.

    Yes, I may be going over the top. On the other hand, in a previous life I interviewed many designers, and after some thought I can never recall any of them making the sort of remarks that Bolger did in some of his interviews and writing about the boats that many people chose.

    Yes, he was thought provoking and yes, the sailing world is probably richer for his presence.
    Last edited by Chris249; 01-24-2018 at 10:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    Tink, haven't Marchaj's tests been pretty much superseded by modern studies (see the WB Sails site, for example) that show that the mast in a sloop rig is actually a significantly creator of lift?

    In Sailing Theory and Practice at least, Marchaj was testing something that didn't exist in the context he was looking at. You did not find masts as big as those in his tests in real life. The smallest mast in his test was 7.5% of chord, and circular. A mast such as that on the 6 Metre Bob Cat (to use an example I can find easily) was one third of that. The spar on the old cutter Lexia was 2.1% of chord at the foot and tapered. Marchaj also used sails that were very flat and of very high AR, 5:1.

    I'm not aero expert, but such an unrealistic and exaggerated experimental set up would seem to be very problematic, especially dealing with an area as complex as turbulence. Even today, turbulence is extremely difficult to predict with supercomputers. Whether Marchaj's tree-trunks with skinny sheets hanging off them could have produced results applicable to real life would be worthy of an interesting CFD or wind tunnel study.

    The same underlying issue applies - the theory did not match real world experience, in which many intelligent people had spend many hours trialling different luff/mast arrangements and had not found the dramatic difference that Marchaj and apparently Bolger wrote about. Why apparently choose to ignore the practical experience of so many?

    Investigating the reason behind the disparity between the real world and the test results would have been of much more use than doing what many people did, which is to use Marchaj as a way of disparaging the majority of rigs and ignoring what had been found when leading edge devices had been trialled.

    Yes, I may be going over the top. On the other hand, in a previous life I interviewed many designers, and after some thought I can never recall any of them making the sort of remarks that Bolger did in some of his interviews and writing about the boats that many people chose.

    Yes, he was thought provoking and yes, the sailing world is probably richer for his presence.
    I will bow to your superior knowledge, the table in the Marchaj book is credited Crosseck from 1925 so will probably be superseded anyway. I know Bethwaite was concerned about mast turbulence and as far as I can understand his solution was a wing mast with a blunt back endge to cause turbulence. With the advent of Carbon mast where it is easier to produce round sections the advantage of rig weight must outway any turbulence issues, anyway we are well of topic and out of my comfort zone.

    I can certainly agree with the last sentence of your post

  20. #265
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    It's not about anyone bowing, Tink; just a discussion of whether certain experiments were carried out in a realistic fashion.

    Experience with Bethwaite's squarebacks is one of the things that led me to check the size of the spars Marchaj tested. They don't cause a massive performance boost, and indeed in later years Frank campaigned for the class to drop the squareback and go for a lightweight carbon spar, just as you say.

    Cheers

    PS- it looks like I'm going to be using a Bolger Nymph as a dinghy for a while. He did do some good boats.

  21. #266
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    "He did do some good boats." [#265]

    And he knew it. Bolger said he was guarenteed a place in Heaven because he designed the Gloucester Gull.

  22. #267
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    I just spent an hour in my bathtub, reading Paysons book on Bobcat. I had a Cartopper 20 years ago and that boat sailed very well. I think Bobcat would be fun to sail, and often fancied building her.

  23. #268
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    I just noticed today that Boats With an Open Mind is back in print at Barnes & Noble. Not sure if that's news to anyone else but I thought it was worth a mention here.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  24. #269
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    I just spent an hour in my bathtub, reading Paysons book on Bobcat. I had a Cartopper 20 years ago and that boat sailed very well. I think Bobcat would be fun to sail, and often fancied building her.
    I had a Bobcat for several years. It was a great boat for me. Fun to sail singlehanded. I kept her on a dolly and I could be sailing 10 minutes after parking the car.
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  25. #270
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
    I had a Bobcat for several years. It was a great boat for me. Fun to sail singlehanded. I kept her on a dolly and I could be sailing 10 minutes after parking the car.
    And that is what many people want. A friend is building a Bolger Spartina. As a catboat she seems ok, but as a sloop she is in the same class as the Haven 12,5 imho

  26. #271
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    DSC_0618.jpg some years ago we had a Bolger boat weekend. A micro, a sheet plywood Chebacco and a Summer Ease, a boat for old codgers. All owners were satisfied with their boats and all had previously other, bigger, faster boats. The Chebacco's sail is several times recut, and works allright now

  27. #272
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    That's a great shot.
    The cure for everything is saltwater - sweat, tears, or the sea.

  28. #273
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by McKee View Post
    That's a great shot.
    Thanks, it cost me hours but it is rewarding that people appreciate it

  29. #274
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    That is a nice shot, thanks.
    Not seen a Summer Ease before, or even heard of her.
    Have to say, the lapstrake/clinker Chebacco is better looking than the ply. Obviously a personal view...
    I notice the Micro has a topping lift, is that common on sprit boom rigs?
    A2

  30. #275
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Summer Ease has a bottom that is flat aft and V shaped forward to avoid slamming. I think an article on her was published in Watercraft. She has a tiny cabin forward for gear but to her owners regret it is to small to sleep in, just for gear. I find the sheet plywood Chebacco grows on you: I also liked my Cartopper with that bold chine. I had not noticed the topping lift on the Micro and it is not necessary: With a sprit boom it is easier to roll up the sail to the mast, or brail it then hoisting it and you first attach the sprit to the boom, then to snotter to adjust draft

  31. #276
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Its an odd one, i also like the sheet plywood Chebacco. What i dont like is that outer false stem on the lapstrake 25, i do not understand why it didnt follow the line of the hood ends of the planking. I know you cant see it from the cockpit, but still. urgggh......




    I do notice some owners have indeed faired the stem back in a consistent depth, so its not just me!

  32. #277
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    ...since Bolger spent so much time criticising other designers and their boats I have no compunction in criticising his ideas.
    Can you cite an instance of Bolger criticizing the work of other designers? I've noticed that he goes out of his way to acknowledge his debt to L. Francis Herreshoff, C. Raymond Hunt, Howard I. Chapelle, and others, even when he took a different tack.
    Peter Belenky

  33. #278
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    DSC_0580.jpg This boat was also pretty enough for the cover of Watercraft. I have been wondering about the outer stem also. Can think of a few reasons: Bolger wanted her to look like a archetypical catboat with a straight stem. 2 To make the waterline longer, hence the vertical stern.
    Not very satisfactory answers I'm afraid.
    But I think he really tried to please the trad. boat aficionados with this design
    Last edited by FF; 02-16-2018 at 08:33 AM.

  34. #279
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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    I think this sort of François Vivier design shows the awkwardness of trying to please the "trad. boat aficionados" without adopting classical aesthetics. The stem follows a curve of fairly constant radius.

    Peter Belenky

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    Default Re: Phil Bolger consensus?

    ^ Sure. Just a personal opinion, but i prefer the Vivier stem anyway. If you look at the stem foot on that 25ft, its not even in the water, so im not sure its doing anything for added waterline. I think the chined ply gets away with the vertical stem a little better, but vertical stems are not visually appealing to me as something with even a slight rake or curve in, but again, just my opinion on what i like. Given the amount that have been built, it certainly does not bother many people, though a chined plywood boat looking anything of a traditional catboat is going to be difficult.......but the man has to be respected for even having a go, and despite the stem, actually doing a good job of it. Chebacco would be a great boat for the lake here.

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