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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.

  2. #247
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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.

  3. #248
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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.

  5. #250
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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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  6. #251
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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

  7. #252
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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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