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Thread: Whisp B&B

  1. #1
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    Default Whisp B&B

    I've mentioned in a couple of threads that I've been planning a sail and oar experiment with my Whisp. This boat is 30 years old. It was well-built by my late father-in-law, under the paint is hardwood marine ply upsized from Steve Redmond's specs to a 9mm bottom and 6mm on the sides. He named her Margalo after Stuart Little's little bird friend. Despite the heavier ply, the hull as pictured here only weighs somewhere around 75 pounds. It's a fun day boat, rows easily and sails fairly well. But as you can see, there's no positive flotation and, being very low-sided, it doesn't need to heel far before the water starts pouring in over the side.

    So below is the to-do list to make a boat that is more handy to sail, safer, and can be camp-cruised aboard by one.

    Add generous buoyancy tanks fore and aft. (Second photo shows framing for this)
    Add decking over bow and down sides, about 6" wide, with low coaming (second photo shows glue-up for what will become the mast partner and deck shape/support.)
    Add small mizzen
    Replace single leeboard with an off-center daggerboard
    Replace fixed rudder with a kick-up design
    Rig center thwart so it's easily removable for sleeping. (Side decks will take care of structural issues.)
    Upgrade all rigging for ease of use and more durability.

    Comments always welcome, of course. I'm making these changes on my best calculations and hunches as to what will get what I'm looking for. A lot of the thinking was shaped by several discussions here concerning buoyancy and capsize issues -- thanks to all the considered advice on that topic. But I emphasize this is an experiment in progress. I've never had a boat that I didn't continually make changes on, and this will be no different. It's mostly seat of the pants, although I have done some rough calculations. For example if the side decks are 6" wide, I'm certain the hull will not downflood if she goes over without me in it. (Assuming the spars check the roll at 100 degrees or so). And even with me on board, it will be close and probably entirely dependent on exactly where my weight is centered. Now, a capsize with me and 100 pounds or more of stores, and I'm pretty sure she'll flood. But I'm reducing the internal volume as much as I reasonably can and still leave room to roll out the bivy sack. She'll roll back up very easily (the beam is just 42"). And being so low sided, should be easy to climb back in and bail out. That last part will be the most telling part of this experiment.

    So I squeezed her into the basement workshop for the balance of the winter.

    Before



    Progress to date:



    -Dave

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Don't recall your rig. A balanced lug dropping onto a high foredeck and coaming always sounded a little unhandy to me. I don't favor lazyjacks for quickly knocking the entire rig down.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    An interesting experiment, not too unlike my Bolger Pirate Racer which I cruised pretty extensively--that was 39" across the bottom panel, 14' 6" long. Large buoyancy chambers in the foredeck and smaller aft deck made it easy to recover from a capsize. On the other hand, not much freeboard, either. But on the other other hand, the small size made it easy to drag that boat up on a beach or a rock anytime I needed to. Wave size was definitely the limiting factor in what the boat could handle.

    I may be in the minority, but I doubt I'd bother with a mizzen in a boat this size. I, too, am curious about the rig you'll use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hvalsoe View Post
    Don't recall your rig. A balanced lug dropping onto a high foredeck and coaming always sounded a little unhandy to me. I don't favor lazyjacks for quickly knocking the entire rig down.
    My Bolger boat had a balance lug with a big foredeck, and it was a little unhandy--but only a little. With the rig lowered and the downhaul still tight, it did not lie neatly in the boat. But once the downhaul was slacked, it was fine.

    The side decks can be a bit unhandy, too--many times the end of the boom caught under the side deck when hoisting the sail. Until I finally got smarter about making sure the boom was on top of the side deck before hoisting. After that it only happened occasionally.

    Maybe the best part of making a cruiser out of a small cheap boat like this is that even small adventures start to seem pretty big. I look forward to seeing your progress.

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

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    It is a balanced lug. The mast will be stepped just behind the V formed by the coaming, so the bulk of the sail and the yards will drop into the boat. Additionally, if raised, the top of the dagger board will be off to port and serve to keep everything inboard. That's how I imagine it working, at least.
    -Dave

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Sounds reasonable. I'm just used to the way open arrangement with that rig. My fore and aft decks are below the sheer.
    Your daggerboard will be braced against the side deck or what?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Your daggerboard will be braced against the side deck or what?
    The daggerboard will exit through the side deck, so when it spits water it will drain overboard. Decks below the sheer wouldn't fix the water shipping issue on this low, narrow boat. Otherwise I'd favor it, too. When done, it will probably bring to mind a gunning skiff, which were usually partially decked for similar reasons.
    -Dave

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    The framing for the buoyancy tanks and a few other odds and ends are out of the way, so I rough cut some cardboard to see what it will look like when the ply is on, and also to run a quick reality check on my thinking. My overriding concern is making sure that there's room for all the gear and that things are orderly both while sailing and rowing. Here the two longest of the five spars I'll have on board are in their stowed positions to port. To starboard, the oars and tucked behind them, the anchor. There's enough room, with nothing to spare, really, for an access hatch up forward between them. It will be off-center so that it can be opened even with everything stowed, which wouldn't occur under most circumstances. If rowing, the oars aren't there, and if sailing or set up for an overnight, the mast won't be there.

    The stowage volume in the tanks looks better now that I can see it than it did on paper. Way more space than in a touring kayak, and we know one can get by with that space. I'm still thinking this will work out, but won't be surprised if I get one of those "doh" moments, encountering some serious oversight. (I have put off solving the toilet question. There's barely space to stash a decent sized bucket.) I do have a folding bucket for bailing that will tuck behind the daggerboard case pretty neatly.

    That center thwart will be made easily removable so it's not in the way for sleeping. It will also double to carry the sheet block. Details to be worked out on that, along with much else.

    PS - I have this running in the build thread, but there's not a lot of building going on. It's more about thinking out loud about how to turn this wisp of a boat into a minimal sail oar cruiser. Observations always welcome, of course.

    -Dave

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    That center thwart will be made easily removable so it's not in the way for sleeping. It will also double to carry the sheet block. Details to be worked out on that, along with much else.
    A fairly minor contribution - Mik Storer's arrangement for a mainsheet block seems clever to me, and works out very well on Laika, my GIS. Details easily available if you Google 'Goat Island Skiff rigging'. Basically it consists of a bridle attached through the limber holes with the block running free on it. Drops out of the way when not needed and doesn't take up center thwart real estate for rowing or sitting etc. I'm sure attachment points other than limber holes could be worked out if needed. Simple, adjustable and easily unrigged - might be handy if your center thwart is to be removable for sleeping. From the rear, it seems like the GIS and the Whisp share some heritage - looking good so far!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Thanks for that suggestion, I think I'll go with it. I hadn't considered the comparison with the GIS. The two boats are about the same length and shape, but the GIS has a full 18" more beam.

    So I've been perusing photos of the GIS, of which there are plenty out there. The other day I sketched up a plan for a new rudder that would slide up in it's case. It seemed workable but possibly more complicated than need be. Checking out the GIS images, I came across this. Now here's an elegant piece of engineering. I'm going to borrow the concept and adapt it for my boat.

    -Dave

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Yes, I agree - the cassette rudder is a cunning piece of work. From memory, I think Mik says it's derived from Australian dinghy racing tech.

    One caveat: it is important to make sure it's the correct spacing to accommodate the foil. It needs enough friction to keep it in place (with the assistance of shock cords) but not so much as to make it too difficult to raise or lower. I managed this, but failed to leave enough room for my padding of choice (some adhesive strips of the soft side of hook-and-loop, or 'Velcro' as we call it in Australia). No big deal, but the sprayed finish on my rudder has picked up some scratches from sliding up and down. Definitely better to make the cassette after the foil.

    I'd be happy to answer any other questions about its construction if you should need it!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Dave and Bright, much as I am a fan of Mik, this type of rudder assembly was fitted to the 12' Cherub (# 871 ) I bought in 1965 from her builder in Auckland, New Zealand. And, yes, the system worked well waaaaay back then.
    Cheers from Martin B.
    Mandurah, Western Australia
    mcbunny09@gmail.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Martin,

    Reread my post - Mik doesn't claim to have invented it and I'm not saying it's new Or are you just saying that it originated in NZ rather than Australia? If so, I wouldn't know. Either way, it works - though I've never sailed a boat with a kick-up rudder to compare it to.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Bright, all I can offer more is that #871 was not the first Cherub with that style of rudder box in NZ back in '65. At the end of '66 I brought that Cherub back to Australia as Royal Brighton YC ( my then 'home' club), was seriously considering Cherubs as an intermediate class between the venerable Aust 12' Cadet Dinghy (rivetted clinker 3 person open dinghy) and the very new at the time 5O5 .
    My Cherub was an amazing example of the home builders art in NZ where all spars were home made hollow timber since alum yachting sections were not available in NZ; centreboards and rudder blades were strip laminated even tiller extensions were laminated all the way out to the cross piece for finger gripping ! For the record, the Cherub builder was Graham(?) Scott of Auckland; built for his son; Graham's daughter was the wife of Chris Bouziad (sp?) winner of the World One Tun Cup.

    Ahhh, those were the days - sorry no pics of #871 .... and for the Thread drift.
    Cheers from Martin B.
    Mandurah, Western Australia
    mcbunny09@gmail.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Cool project, and a good tune up for the old Whisp. The light weight of that boat sure is appealing.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Martin - unfortunately I'm still not sure what your point is, except that there's nothing new under the sun, in which case I agree (as would Mik Storer). But yes, let's keep thread drift to a minimum.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Some progress. The flotation/storage tanks are in and the mizzen step (socket?) is dry fit.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    And my version of that trick rudder is coming together. The blade is a repurposed leeboard. Seemed the right size. If not, the case will take a bigger one.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    -Dave

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Nice!

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Here's one to frustrate the purists. I'm fitting the daggerboard case off center and canted. As I mentioned earlier, the board will drop in through the side deck so any water spitting out will go overboard. But more importantly, it keeps the interior clear so there's footroom to stretch out to nap or spend the night. I know it will work because I'm repurposing what was previously a daggerboard for this boat, and in use as such it was also offcenter and canted. In this configuration, it actually gets a bit less angle to it. I'll also eliminate the turbulance and drag between board and boat and the whole affair will be a lot stronger.

    Another thing I've done is make the case 2" longer than the board is wide at the top, and 4" more at the bottom. I'll fill the wedge-shaped gap behind the board with foam so that if I hit bottom at speed, there'll be some give. The foam will compress and the board will pivot up a few inches. I'll have to admit this is also a bit of a cheat -- if the board position is too far forward I can tweak it -- straight back a couple of inches or angled aft -- but in the latter case I'd lose the safety provided by the foam packing.

    Foam in the daggerboard case is not my invention, by the way, Dick Newick specified it in at least one of his boats. I don't know if it was his invention.

    Last edited by Woxbox; 03-12-2017 at 10:09 AM.
    -Dave

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Nice work.

    The photos from freeonlinephotoeditor are showing up for me, but not the ones from googleusercontent
    Steve Martinsen

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Thanks for the alert on the photos. I stopped using Photobucket and have been experimenting with other processes. For some reason most photo tools don't have a resizing option, which is an issue here because the forum displays the full image no matter how big it is. Anyhow, I think I've corrected post #18 so the photo is public and not oversized.

    And here's a shot of the framing for the side decks, hopefully also viewable. I've taken to using a photo resize app on my phone to cut down the file size, and then uploading to a public Google photo album. From there it's a simple copy and paste. But is it working?

    Last edited by Woxbox; 03-12-2017 at 10:20 AM.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    I can see the google user photos. You must have fixed it.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwater View Post
    Martin - unfortunately I'm still not sure what your point is, except that there's nothing new under the sun, in which case I agree (as would Mik Storer). But yes, let's keep thread drift to a minimum.
    Yes, Mik - like one of his inspirations, Phil Bolger - is a bit of a historian. And he's quite good at plucking out the best bits and using them in his designs. That cassette rudder arrangement, no matter the provenance, is wizard. I have it on our GIS, and quite enjoy it. Good choice, Wox!
    David G
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    following your progress
    looks good to me so far
    pics working from here

  24. #24

    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    just a caution on cassette rudder boxes - if you go through a patch of jellyfish (maybe kelp is equiv for some) and the blade kicks back - is the 'cassette' strong enough to resist the twisting / wrenching forces of a screaming surf reach?
    or more mundanely, a brush with the bottom .....

    I went with the cassette but ditched the elastics and put in a pivot in the centre of the box so the blade could swing right up but still be braced.

    frank

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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Frank -- I've never had such an encounter with jellyfish, but there are crab pot buoys and lines all over the place on the Chesapeake, and lots of very shallow water. Time will tell, but the transom of the Whisp has a pretty strong rake to it. I'm banking on the rudder sliding up if it strikes the bottom, since it will be angled effectively for that. But before contact, initial interference from the daggerboard should tell me when I've encountered something solid or the water is getting too thin.




    So it's coming along. Here's what she looks like with the decks on and trimmed out. Coaming to come next.





    And the interior a bit more finished. The boxed-in spot to starboard is to contain a couple of anchors. They fit snugly, so it won't take much to keep them in place. The idea is to keep the water and dirt from running all over the sole. There's just no room to put a dedicated anchor well up forward, and even if there was, it would be very hard to get at on the far side of the main mast.

    I've planned out where all the unused gear will be stowed while rowing, sailing, and at anchor for the night. Well, almost all. I didn't consider where the daggerboard would go if not in the case. But as dumb luck would have it, it will fit on edge to port, underneath the main thwart with one end tucked in behind the daggerboard case, which happens to wedge it pretty securely. Got to wonder what else I haven't figured on.
    Last edited by Woxbox; 03-30-2017 at 05:49 PM.
    -Dave

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Can's see the pics from your last post, Dave.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Thanks for the heads up, Kevin. I'm thinking that Google images is too complicated for its own good. Anyhow, I tried reposting the photos above after changing my procedures a bit. Hope they are visible now.
    -Dave

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Yep, your two photos from post 25 are visable now. Some of the photos on previous posts are still missing.

    Enjoying your thread!

    Woody

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Looking very good so far . . . I've been watching with interest.
    Dave

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    John Welsford mentioned yesterday in his thread that occasionally during the building process he likes to stop work and contemplate sailing in the unfinished craft. That got me thinking, now Margalo is on a pair of light sawhorses so I didn't climb aboard. But I did clear out the clamps etc. and drop the hatches and center thwart in place. She does look like a different kind of boat at this point. The big stuff is in place. Lots of details from this point on, and it's gotten warm enough to sail.

    -Dave

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Just curious - what is your mizzen sheeting arrangement going to be?
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Just curious - what is your mizzen sheeting arrangement going to be?
    I'm going to start by running two sheets to blocks on the quarters. The sheets will run forward about 3 feet to a cam cleats on the deck. I put the mizzen step as far forward as practical to allow for this (so the blocks are as far aft of the mast as possible), as well as to permit a simple tiller, which will be controlled by a continuous line around the perimeter of the boat. I say "start by" because the angles will get awkward running downwind. I'm judging that I can make it work, but time will tell. Plan B is a boomkin, a complication I hope to avoid.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    I told myself this project would be 100% pragmatic -- no undue fancy touches, certainly nothing to add unnecessary weight. And almost all painted surfaces, no showy varnish all over the place. Hardware? Simple and cheap nylon cleats and fairleads. It's a lightweight boat after all.

    Maybe it's following the other build threads around these parts, or maybe I'm just overdoing it again. But I couldn't bring myself to screw down a plastic cleat when I had scraps on hand to drop in a baby samson post. And sure it's boring okoume ply on those decks, but why paint it over when I have a can of varnish sitting over there on the bench?

    So here she is with a bit -- just a little bit -- of jewelry and a sealer coat of epoxy. And that's all the bling she's getting. I swear.



    -Dave

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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I told myself this project would be 100% pragmatic -- no undue fancy touches, certainly nothing to add unnecessary weight. And almost all painted surfaces, no showy varnish all over the place. Hardware? Simple and cheap nylon cleats and fairleads. It's a lightweight boat after all.

    Maybe it's following the other build threads around these parts, or maybe I'm just overdoing it again. But I couldn't bring myself to screw down a plastic cleat when I had scraps on hand to drop in a baby samson post. And sure it's boring okoume ply on those decks, but why paint it over when I have a can of varnish sitting over there on the bench?

    So here she is with a bit -- just a little bit -- of jewelry and a sealer coat of epoxy. And that's all the bling she's getting. I swear.



    good a bit of bling, the risk of a good looking boat though is people stopping and chatting. Where I sail there are birdwatchers, when I am bringing by boat home for the winter I always end up chatting, I think to the same man who asks all the same questions every year, maybe all birdwatchers look the same.

    Any idea what the weight has increased to?

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Whisp B&B

    I don't know what the increased weight will be. All the new parts are light, but it's getting to be a long list of additions. I'm hoping it's no more than 50 pounds. I have cut back a bit in places. The old rudder had lead ballast and that's gone. The new oars are longer but a bit lighter than the old ones. And the buoyancy tanks and hatches replace a pair of ash thwarts, so it's not all addition.
    -Dave

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