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Thread: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

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    Default Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    The following recently completed 3D renderings of a Yangtze Pelican birdwing ketch are from the desk of JF Bedard of Bedard Yacht Design. The boat design itself is the work of Captain William Short, a legendary tugboat captain of the San Francisco Bay area. The birdwing masts are my invention, U.S. patent # 8,739,720. The sail design is by Jeff Frank of Sailrite Interprises.









    The history…
    When Captain Short, died in 1986, he left behind a legacy of popular Pelican boats as well as some unfinished business. The Yangtze version of the Super Pelican (18’) design was an unfinished project at the time of Captain Short’s death but thanks to his friend and business associate, Richard Campi, several more drawings of the Yangtze variant were drawn by Mr. Campi in 1993 making it possible to build the boat.

    Mrs. Muriel Short, Captain Short’s wife and keeper of the Pelican plans, has kept the captain’s legacy of tough little seaworthy boats alive for over thirty years now. When I bought my Yangtze Pelican plans back in 2006, Mrs. Short included in my plans packet a beautiful color print from Valentin Sokoloff’s book, “The Ships of China.” My print is a beautiful example of Sokoloff’s watercolor illustrations of Chinese junks that he himself painted for his book. The Yangtze Pelican boat illustration that Mrs. Short sent me is the last color plate in Sokoloff’s book. Under the Yangtze Pelican illustration Sokoloff writes... “East meets West! American boat designers adapted oriental methods in building a Family Pocket Cruiser. The Great Pelican Yangtze type shown below is self-righting 18 feet long and 8 feet wide. It was designed for home building and safe sailing by Captain William H. Short and associates…”



    When I received my Yangtze plans back in 2006, I was very much a novice boat builder and a bit intimidated by the lack of actual measurements of the Chinese superstructure of the Yangtze version. So I decided to build a different boat and that was three boat-builds ago. A few months ago, a guy named Frank on Woodenboat forum was asking about “Grand” pelican plans as he was having trouble getting his hands on them. Knowing that he meant “Great” Pelican, I told Frank in a PM that I had those plans somewhere around the house (they were included with the Yangtze plans) and that I’d look for them. While Frank was eventually able to get his plans directly from Muriel Short, I soon found myself pouring over Yangtze Pelican plans that my eyes hadn’t seen in over ten years. What seemed sketchy and incomplete ten years ago now seemed self-explanatory. Suddenly I realized that, yeah, I think I could build this boat. The following ketch rigged drawing of the boat is the one that I eventually submitted to JF Bedard as the basis for what I wanted in a Yangtze Pelican boat.



    Both the long inboard motor well and the idea of twin offset centerboards were both eliminated from the final design as the Yangtze in displacement mode is not especially fast so those features that could make her even slower were discarded. I also became aware that those same hi-drag features could inhibit the boat’s ability to plane. It remains to be seen how much Muri-Maru will want to plane but any skipping across the water she does will extend her daily cruising range as well as make her safer when driven hard in storm conditions. At least that is my take on making her as fast as reasonably possible. For that same reason, she was given lower drag, higher aspect foils with true NACA foil cross sections. The twin easily reefed birdwing sails should also offer quite a bit more power to work with than Captain Short’s original as-drawn junk rig.
    Last edited by kenjamin; 07-13-2017 at 08:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    The rig…
    Captain Short originally drew a junk rig for the boat that I sort of copied a bit with a birdwing yawl rig that I drew on top of the junk rig using my scanner and laptop.



    However in looking at how big the main mast would be, it looked to be a handful for a guy like me to step and unstep on the boat even when using the main halyard as a control line during the procedure.



    I also realized eventually that the ketch rig offered two, much more manageable masts to handle rather than the one big one of the yawl or junk. Even so, my birdwing ketch main mast for the Yangtze Pelican will be the largest, most challenging prototype I’ve ever built. It presses the limits of space that I have available in my backyard where I build my prototypes in aircraft quality spruce. Birdwing masts designed in carbon fiber are also possible in my opinion but for now they seem to be just ahead somewhere in the future (or they can be dreamed up in virtual reality as seen at the beginning of this thread). My goal for my birdwing Yangtze ketch rig will be for it to be as user-friendly as a junk rig yet better able to work to windward and in a size and rig type that I can step or unstep in a few minutes at the launch site or possibly even on the water or perhaps on a beach somewhere all by myself.

    The ketch rig choice for the boat solidified when I realized that the main mast for my Welsford designed Saturday Night Special, Bernadette, was the perfect size for Muri-Maru’s mizzen mast. Here are a couple of photos showing Bernadette setting birdwing sail at this year’s WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.






    I should also mention that I was recently very impressed with JF Bedard’s ketch, RoG, which JF skillfully handled in the heavy air at this year’s Cedar Key event. I also noticed last year in the Texas 200 that the ketch rigged boats seemed to be the happiest and most in control boats in the heavy air there, especially wing and wing downwind. As a side note, it may be coincidence, but the boat on the cover of Sokoloff’s book is also a ketch.



    Choosing a name…
    For my Yangtze Pelican boat name I was thinking about Marisa Tomei as she really cracked me up in the movie, “My Cousin Vinny.” However, after talking again with Mrs. Muriel Short for the first time in over ten years, I hung up the phone thinking “what a neat lady.” I looked at my Yangtze Pelican drawing that I had done on my computer and it was titled Marisa. It stuck me that the boat really should be titled “Muriel” as she’s the one that means so much to the Pelican boat legacy. Well, I ran that idea by Mrs. Short via e-mail and she said “Muriel” was much too stuffy a name for such an exotic boat. She suggested “Muri-Maru” as she knew I had originally named the boat “Marisa” because that was the name on the drawings that I had sent her. Muri-Maru now sounds just about perfect for my Yangtze Pelican boat name especially knowing that Muriel Short was the one who came up with it.

    Muri-Maru’s qualities…
    From reading Captain Short’s comments about the Yangtze Pelican design, there’s no doubt that he intended her to be blue water capable with ballasted self-righting ability, broach-resistance, and to be nearly unsinkable. He also claimed a 6” draft for the boat but with a bit taller skeg on my modernized version, JF Bedard has told me that the draft is looking more 8”, which still in most cases eliminates the need for a dinghy. And many will consider the Yangtze just a dinghy herself at 17’ 5” although one with huge volume, great sea keeping ability and generous load carrying capacity. For the curious among you, Captain Short did say that without the bowsprit and its support board, she would be the shorter length of 17’ 5”. I should also mention some other modern touches that Muri-Maru ended up with such as the crown to her forward cabin roof, fold-down jump seats, wheel steering, travelers for the purchases and the as mentioned higher aspect foils – all different than what Captain Short had in mind when he originally conceived her. Her ballast may be a mixture of water, hi-strength cement, lead and batteries – all of which to be determined at a later stage of the build. My own immediate intentions with Muri-Maru are for her to take good care of me in a future Texas 200. She will have a balanced simple rig to handle, she will keep me out of the harsh wind and comfortably in full shade most all of the time, and also have the ability to carry lots of ice for cooling comfort. This will not be a quick build for me although the hull should go together quickly. I’m figuring two years for this build and it should be a lot of fun. And who knows, someday after a successful Texas 200 under my belt, I may get a wild hair and head off to the Bahamas in her. Lots of people have done crazier stuff.

    As my parting shot for this thread, here is a photo by Dave Ender of my now-sold-to-someone-else Welsford designed SCAMP, Gabrielle, shown here sailing her birdwing yawl rig during a tornado watch on Lake Efaula at Sail Oklahoma in 2014. At the event Gabrielle was awarded “boat that looks the most like a pirate ship” and to this day, I’m very proud of that!

    Last edited by kenjamin; 07-14-2017 at 06:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Delighted to see you found some use for bamboo as a shade top! I have had the plans for the 12ft and 16ft Pelican, and was most curious about the one in this picture....





    Seemed to me to be one of the most easily built load carriers possible. I did think about a 20ft version, and how much faster it would be to build compared to the Mariette pram, both would have the same benefits of shoal draft, easy beaching and trailer loading. Big , simple, capable boat. Birdwing ketch rig is going to look great i reckon.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Hey Ian, thanks for the kind comment on the birdwing ketch rig.

    Another of my inspirations for going with the Yangtze Pelican was in last year's Texas 200. I was able to chase down Donovan's "Big Bird," a Great Pelican that he had trailered all the way from way out west, California I believe. The only reason I was able to overtake him in such an overloaded boat was because he had broken his yard on his gaff rig and was operating under a jury rig.



    Donovan took this shot of me and Bernadette motoring by with my over-heated self under my Protech Sunshade. Life was pretty good in the shade until my motor quit and I had to rig for sail and store the sunshade.



    I took a bunch of pictures of Big Bird but of course managed to lose my camera the next day when I accidentally fell out of a boat that was towing Bernadette against the wind to Port Mansfield. What an adventure that was! I did learn everything I needed to know to successfully complete the event next time but educations are expensive things. In large part, Muri-Maru is my educated solution for dealing with the Texas 200 30 knot winds and 100° F temperatures.
    Last edited by kenjamin; 07-14-2017 at 07:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Ken,

    Those pen and watercolour images are an inspiration. When compared with the digitally mastered images.They leave me with an impression of the difference between natural fibre and a synthetic resin matrix product, like the carbon spars you envisage for a future Pelican build.
    If you do get around to making them, you might be interested in hearing about the way I made curved and hollow spars in composites with aid of very simple and low cost tooling,

    My spars were made with glass composite and the curvature did allow uncontrollable twist, so stiffer carbon composite might just be the answer to remedy that problem.
    It would even be possible to do vac assist resin infusion with the same tooling, so there is the possibility of turning numbers of them out if you keep on thinking that there is a future for the birdwing spars.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Hey Lugalong,

    Good to hear from you. Yes I'd like to hear more about your adventures into creating curved and hollow spars with simple and low cost tooling. But first I have a confession. I had to laugh a little inside with your last statement about if I keep on thinking there is a future for birdwing masts. As long as I am alive there is a future for birdwing masts. I will be building them, testing them, and continuously encouraging others to take a look at the possibilities their unusual shape can offer in a sailing mast. I waited seven years for FSU to get the patent on the design. I waited a year and a half for them to do something with the patent. And it's taken me another year and a half to figure out what to do with the design now that I own the patent.

    At my age, I do think about simply running out of time to affect the future of birdwing masts. The patent has a limited life span and the heck of it all is, so do I. Have to freely admit that it's taken me a very long time to figure out what the birdwing has to offer besides the obvious talent of storing out of the way along the gunnel of the average boat. Aerodynamically, it has only been the last couple of prototypes that have opened my eyes to the possible advantages there. The hardest thing to understand is the incredible balance of the thing – the way it can rotate on its own (using just wind power) to seek the lowest possible wind resistance even while setting sail. It does this with just a simple single one-piece spar. It also has the ability to present a swept back, aerodynamically slick shape along the entire length of the mast in the airflow. It can also utilize extremely aerodynamically slick cross sections along the entire length of the mast in the airflow. And don't forget that it's self rotating! Another bonus is that it can present balanced sail area for downwind work with just that one single spar. What other single spar can do that?

    Heck yeah, there's a future in birdwing masts. The question is will it be in the next five years or will it be twenty years from now when I'm long gone and everybody and their grandmothers will want curved masts on their boats.

    I'm currently reading another book on the Wright brothers. Those guys almost gave up when their second big glider performed so badly. They went back to what worked so well on their first big glider to build a new improved third glider. They went the extra step to build a small wind tunnel to test lifting capabilities of different wing shapes. They were surprised to find that existing lifting calculations for wing shapes were seriously flawed. There greatest progress with wing shapes and propellors only came when they discarded all previous accepted data and used their own calculations and shapes for producing lift from an airfoil. Right about now several people are out there are thinking I'm comparing myself to the Wright brothers. Man, I wish I had a close brother who could keep me on track, a sister that ran the household and a living father that encouraged me to succeed. Wish I had friends that would come hang out with me and help experiment and record progress of my prototypes. Wish I had a printing business run by a friend that funneled money into my experiments. Wish that everyone who is trying to do what I'm trying to do was failing miserably at it and making me look very good by succeeding. None of that is happening with me and my birdwing masts. But I'm still optimistic. It's just my nature, I can't help it.

    I am very encouraged by the recent JF Bedard renderings of my birdwing masts in carbon fiber. Don't get me wrong. I love working in wood for my prototypes. The new all aircraft spruce ones are light, strong, and darn-right pretty. But everybody knows that state-of-the-art is carbon fiber. It's difficult to be taken seriously with just wood. Isn't everything better in carbon fiber? Race cars, aircraft, boats, rigs, bicycles, you name it – they all performs better in carbon fiber construction. With these new renderings even the imagination challenged people can begin to think of birdwing masts as a new state-of-the-art shape in sailboat masts. Of course they will perform better in carbon fiber! With less mass aloft, how can they not? The racing under sail population will want to tweak birdwing masts every which way to eek out every last once of performance out of birdwing masts. So why is it many of them think there's no way to control mast bend in a birdwing mast? They see an unstayed wooden prototype and automatically think they will not have any adjustments to make to affect performance. With birdwing masts rendered in carbon fiber, it helps those high-end carbon fiber boys imagine that birdwings could compete with straight masts and who knows they may actually present advantages. Seen in carbon fiber, it may also help riggers to begin to figure out how to shape a sail set with a birdwing mast. To me at this point, it's just a matter of time.

    I may never make a dime's profit on the birdwing mast design but one thing you can say for me is I'm having a heck of a good time trying.



    Rant over, tell me about your building processes, Lugalong.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Even if the birdwing works no better than a straight stick, it still looks much better. It makes the boat look racier and faster.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by ulav8r View Post
    Even if the birdwing works no better than a straight stick, it still looks much better. It makes the boat look racier and faster.
    but it doesn't even have foils...
    Seriously, it's "nice"
    but kenjamin your rig deserves better.
    and only 4 or 5 lightening holes/ladder rungs on the arse end should suffice
    Better to build with lighter stock than do a woodpecker's work.

    clear off those dead marines!

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Got no idea what you mean by "doesn't even have foils" – even the dad-gum mast is a foil, son!

    Yeah the rudder is a beast but if you've got any one part on a sailboat that you definitely do not want to fail, it's the rudder. That's my 2¢ worth and it's worth every penny of that.

    And how do you know that the rudder is not an all carbon fiber affair with a wood veneer for looks???

    Quote Originally Posted by bwd View Post
    but it doesn't even have foils...
    Seriously, it's "nice"
    but kenjamin your rig deserves better.
    and only 4 or 5 lightening holes/ladder rungs on the arse end should suffice
    Better to build with lighter stock than do a woodpecker's work.

    clear off those dead marines!

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    kenjamin, explanation on where you been and where you are going with the birdwing is appreciated and since you are enjoying what you are doing, this is probably enough reason to continue at it, given your age.
    Suggested info on building hollow cf spars can be supplied when time allows.
    Right now I had better get back to the workshed and make way to finishing maybe the last 30ft boat I will ever build; Well, actually a double canoe SO (shunting Oceanic) Pahi, rather than a singular boat.
    But yeah, time marches on and little bit of obsession helps to keep on at it. So maybe my own perseverance at strange forms of craft helps me see something in similar work of others……maybe it is a bit of the old art aspect too?.

    Your work at creating a thing of beauty is admirable and I do share an appreciation of the possible practical benefits on offer.
    Being taken seriously because of the using cf composite rather than spruce is not really the deal maker as far as I am concerned, although, the increased stiffness very likely is so, if it in actuality is key to success in the way of function, which we can justifiably accept as being the case.

    I too had a rotating spar, and the idea was to imitate a bird’s wing in having a radius-ed leading edge with a sail pocket creating a 3d foil as it tapered to meet the trailing cloth area – much like a sailboard rig, but with built-in bend, rather than the bend being created by downhaul tension.
    Difference between this type and yours is that there is no track, but then I would have been able to add a track, along with the particular structural configuration(using the curved mandrel moulding system), and thus do away with the luff pocket.
    Before getting around to doing this, test sailing showed that a small amount of twist along the spar resulted in a large deflection at the masthead.

    Increasing torsional rigidity by composites engineering using cf is obviously the first step in this direction and is fine for weight reduction as well, so there is no getting away from the fact that it really is the way to go and will make the difference between either the glass(that I used) or the wood that you are using.
    Extra torsional rigidity gained by composite engineering in cf could possibly allow just enough twist to match the wind gradient higher up the spar, making the swept back upper part of the spar truly functionl rather than just a thing of elegance.


    My spar had no taper and it was supported higher up, than is the case with a free standing one like like yours --it was supported by stays (fore and aft) and a strut/shroud support system for athwartship bracing.

    Stiffeness and torsional rigidity was thought not to be an issue in this application and maybe your heavier keel stepped configuration is going to make the difference between what I tried and what you have.
    So in learning from what I have tried and applying this to what you probably need, I think that a hollow tapered cf spar with an integral cf slotted tube track could do the job of getting the required torsional rigidity as well as keeping the weight down.
    I hope this all makes sense….. thoughts strung together in time available between other tasks have not allowed more than the above, in answer and I might have dismally failed in coherence.
    Ah well, at least I did manage to make a bit of progress on the Pahi, and simply must turn in for the night.

    Having another stab at explaining my thoughts on possible design and build solutions may work out better later on?.
    cheers

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Ken, i got curious enough to pull out my Great Pelican plans. Was the Super Pelican just a station stretch? I hear some have been pulled out to 20ft, leaving the beam and sheer heights much the same as the original 16ft Great. Your deck structures are obviously way different, but i assume the side planking still comes from 4ft wide ply sheets?

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Thanks guys for participating in the discussion.

    Lugalong, you've made a very good point about twist along height of mast. Sure seems like amount of twist could be controlled in carbon fiber construction to limit greatly too much twist but also it could be engineered to provide for a certain amount of twist that would be beneficial for dealing with the different wind speeds at different heights above the water. There's so much testing that could be done to optimize not only the best shape for a birdwing mast but also the scantlings that would determine which parts of it move in the right direction at the right times. In other words, it's kind of like finding the right action in a carbon fiber fishing pole. You need the stiffness near the grips to efficiently use the action of your wrists but its also got to have that flexibility for that little flip at the end of the cast. Interesting too that you brought up the subject of art. Technically on paper, that is the only subject for which my opinions are bona-fided. My art degree has been a blessing and a curse over the years. It seems very weird to me that my utility patent could have such a huge style element to it and that some sets of its sail can look so much like a bird's wing. It certainly wasn't my original intent. When one considers all the possible variations available to anything sickle shaped, the patent could certainly turn out to be a powerful one. You could quite literally have a different sickle shaped mast for any situation or any desired performance benefit. I may be dreaming big here but the birdwing mast's best application may end up being sail-assisted shipping where the design's automatic, balanced self-rotation to face the wind could really be put to good use.

    Skaraborgcraft, I certainly hope the side panels will come from 4' x 8' sheets because that's where they will be coming from. A huge plus for me is JF Bedard says he will be able to take the exact shapes of all sides, transoms, and bulkheads and define those shapes for me as if they were laying flat on ground so I can cut those shapes out and slap them together to form a boat. I, of course, will build a jig to hang everything on but in theory at least, computerized plans allow you to cut the parts out efficiently to the correct shape the very first time around.
    Last edited by kenjamin; 07-16-2017 at 12:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Why not save the carbon fiber until you have done more testing and refining with cheaper wood? Anyway now onto more important matters:

    Quote Originally Posted by kenjamin View Post
    Choosing a name…
    For my Yangtze Pelican boat name I was thinking about Marisa Tomei as she really cracked me up in the movie,
    [...]
    She suggested “Muri-Maru” as she knew I had originally named the boat “Marisa” because that was the name on the drawings that I had sent her.
    I submit you've got it named after the wrong Marisa. If you are going to be culturally diverse like borrowing from Chinese design, you should likewise pay tribute to the most epic foreign movie star named Marisa. Countess Allasio was an intelligent Sophia Loren, an alpine Marilyn Monroe; check out her sizzling movie clips on youtube. Here are some example posters of her you could print on your sails:


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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Looks like a great project, Ken. One aesthetic point -- I do hope those portlights are installed parallel to the rail, not the waterline. (Or to really complicate matters, parallelograms with the top and bottom following the sheer and the sides vertical. )
    I think you may be putting together the ideal old fogy's boat that was debated in that other thread for some time. It has all the right elements - not too expensive, not to complicated, but still secure and comfortable. These are the boat qualities I've been thinking about lately.

    FYI, I assume living on the coast you've seen all those ???? Maru ships. I just looked it up in Wikipedia to see why. Interesting.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Rudderless, thanks for the injection of colorful humor into the equation for a Yangtze Pelican ketch. I know you just meant it for the laughs but those sails do offer a lot of advertising space so maybe its just a question of finding the right sponsor for help with the build budget. As a poor retired illustrator for the State of Florida, this old geezer has to keep his mind open to new ideas and new ways of doing things – especially when it comes to the building fund. So exactly how bad would you like to see Marisa Allasio movie posters on the sails of my boat?

    Woxbox, I blame the portlights and their placement on Captain William Short. Not sure if they were drawn by Richard Campi or Captain Short but that's the way those guys had them placed. The nice thing about round portlights is that this question never comes up. Thanks to rudderless's input, I guess if you're willing to pay for all eight of them, I'd be willing to install them however you would like!

    Just kidding, of course, there is a very slight advantage to being poor enough to have to pace your build on the amount of funds coming in each month. It gives you plenty of time to think about the build in between influxes of cash. And you never have somebody who has the right to tell you how to build your boat. But yeah, I did play around with at least ten different ways of placing those portlights but my indecision landed me right back at the beginning with the way they were drawn over thirty years ago.

    As far as the old geezer design ideas, I just needed a full-time sunshade and was also fascinated with the Yangtze's self-righting capabilities in combination with a boat that could be rowed in a pinch and at the same time could have an 8" draft and also it sure can carry a heavy load of camping gear and safety equipment as well – fairly rare stuff in the world of boats.
    Last edited by kenjamin; 07-17-2017 at 07:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Quite a lump if run hard aground though ,no? I do not recall seeing any weight figures, but loaded up for a T200, a lot for one man to kedge off. What kind of rating will the trailer need to be? Hows that for thinking ahead?

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Sometimes a project has to proceed decisively in order to not get bogged down in the happenstances of life. How about a reverse mortgage? http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the...ges-2016-04-10 claims there are new safeguards like the gov't assuming risk of falling prices, so that almost any retired homeowner should get it's new kind of line-of-credit. Even if you don't withdraw from it, it can take the place of an emergency fund which you can now spend down. I guess you don't have to pay back what you withdraw anyway, so little reason to delay boat build? You just become house-poorer and boat-richer over time.
    Last edited by rudderless; 07-17-2017 at 09:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Kenjamin, I have nothing to add to the discussion, aside from the fact that an open version of the GP has always been on my list of interesting boats. I just would like to say that I hope you build this, I think it deserves it!

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    The good news on running Muri-Maru hard aground is that in most cases we are only talking about 8 inches of water. Not impossible but darn difficult to drown in 8 inches of water. As far as kedging off anything, that's a good case for having laminated spruce masts rather than carbon fiber. Laminated spruce masts can do a lot of kedging and then just need some sanding and a new coat of poly. Carbon fiber masts would not fair as well if they had to pry a boat off an oyster bar in Texas in the middle of June.

    Captain Short calls for 500 lbs. of ballast for self-righting the Yangtze but he also said that much of that can be water ballast. JF Bedard and I have plans to analyze the righting moments and such for Muri-Maru next year so the issue will be well addressed if everything goes as planned.

    My target weight for the plywood on Muri-Maru is about 750 lbs. and add in the ballast and subtract the water ballast and the trailer weight could come down to 1000 lbs. so no new trailer in my future, the one I got will work just fine. Bernadette won't like being put on sawhorses for a week or so now and then but that's life. You can't always get what you want. Not having to buy a new trailer is a huge cost savings. Those things are expensive especially for a quality galvanized trailer. It was $1200 for my present one but it can handle 3500 lbs. (I will upgrade my hitch, however, as it is just a ball on my bumper right now) Will spring for a bolt-on receiver hitch before taking Muri-Maru to Texas.

    Rudderless, I have thought about a reverse mortgage but knowing that my house is paid for makes an old man sleep better. Going into debt just to build yet another boat is not part of the story I'm writing. I already seem to have more disposable income than most folks I know. It's just me and the cat so with no mortgage and two retirement checks each month so there's decent money coming in for boat building. My biggest problem with building boats are my bicycling habits. When you're 67 and you bike 26 miles and climb four bridges, that doesn't leave a much energy at the end of the day for carpentry. Plus I do not boat build during the summer. It's just no fun when it's this hot. When I'm flying along on my bicycle, I'm always working with a 10 to 15 miles per hour breeze. Boat building in summer around here is just a constant battle to keep the sweat out of your epoxy. Boat building is definitely a cool weather sport in my world.

    Brian, I sincerely hope I get to build and sail Muri-Maru in a future Texas 200 but only a fool would say that it's definitely going to happen.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by kenjamin View Post
    there is a very slight advantage to being poor enough to have to pace your build on the amount of funds coming in each month. It gives you plenty of time to think about the build in between influxes of cash.
    If any home boatbuilder is in this crunch (apparently not Ken) I just want to clarify the new solution I linked to. It is not debt and it is not a conventional reverse mortgage, although it is called something like a reverse mortgage line of credit. I hate financial gyrations, but if I am not mistaken (please correct me!) the new laws on this may be too favorable to ignore.

    Here is how it may work, say for a home boat builder with some expensive component that otherwise may take years of saving for. Or even for the regular parts.

    1) Apply for reverse mortgage line of credit. You don't even have to ask for $$ ever, but now have a ton of emergency money at your beck and call. Normally you should have X months of emergency living money instantly available anyway, and this can extend or replace that.

    2) Say you are saving for 2 more years to get the right $10k marine diesel. But urgency comes early, like you are ready to install it or maybe you found some closeout sale for $7k. Buy it with home credit, and you get a bite out of your equity (not debt; no payback needed) OR try #3 which brings you back with the same clean balance as if you never got involved with this.

    3) You can optionally pay back into your account those small saving installments which you were putting aside anyway. Optional because you don't "owe" it. In 2 years you would zero out the negative balance and financially you are exactly back where you would be in 2 years anyway except with boat parts avail 2 years early. Oh, there may be some little fees or taxes... perhaps you end up paying interest to yourself like for an IRA loan, which triggers a few cents taxes.

    I am not "advocating" such a thing which is beyond my pay grade to fully understand. Rather I point to possible maddening sort of gov't giveaway (referring to new almost irrational consumer protections they include) that leave retired homeowners behind if they don't look into this, regardless if they never want to spend or borrow for boat parts or other stuff. Confirm my every word elsewhere before using; there may still be pitfalls.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Rudderless,

    There may well come a time when I need to move faster on my build and that information you provided will come into play. Right now, however, it's so hot here in Florida and the humidity and the bugs are so bad that boat building is just no fun at all. To me it's like the off season for boat building here like when it's too cold to build up North in the middle of winter. Now is the time for planning and finding good deals on stuff I'm gonna need, like a new anchor and stuff like that. Think I'm gonna need a couple of hundred pounds of lead too so keeping my eyes open for that. I already have most of my plywood as I was all set to build Welsford's Long Steps before I got side-tracked onto the Yangtze Pelican.

    Getting back to the Yangtze Pelican design, don't know how much use guys are into reality TV but I was noticing how much like the Yangtze Pelican is similar to a "Tiny House" only for the water. It's certainly tiny and it is big enough to support life as least for a week or two – maybe longer with the right equipment on board. Any thoughts on that?
    Last edited by kenjamin; 07-19-2017 at 06:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    kenjamin, your analogy of carbon fishing pole structure is onto it…….variation of the cf laminte will achieve exactly the differing flexural rigidity as desired.
    All you need to do is shave off some wood from one of your birdwing masts to make a male form which represents a composite mast minus the proposed cf laminate -- something like - 1/8” over the top part, tapering out to as much as about 5mm at the partners, should be good to start with.
    Then the ‘fun’ starts with setting up this basic tooling to create a vac assist resin- infusion laminate inside a polythene bag.
    There are a few simply fabricated props required as well as bagging consumables and the know-how.
    Know how is best gained by getting connected with the CFA (composite fabricators association).
    I started out learning about vac bagging and infusion, by attending a CFA conference in Orlando, then followed up by attending other conferences in other places like Texas…… there is an annual CFA conference at one or other USA city.
    Helping you with practical info and diagrams should be possib when there are less demands on my time.

    If you do get down to doing the infusion assist lamination, the basics need to be learned from the technical info that is already out there. CFA might even put you in touch with a local shop who will allow a visul or practical demo.

    Getting around to this little follow-up on the thread has taken me a while because I am raally pressed to get as much work done on my SO Pahi (double canoe) before my workshop is sold…… as well, the place needs to be kept tidy with all lawns mowed and trimmed while estate agents are bringing people around.
    With some luck, in a few more days I might even get things to the point where a few presentable pics can be taken to show what this is all about.......the Pahi I mean, not the lawn trimming.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by kenjamin View Post
    Rudderless,

    There may well come a time when I need to move faster on my build and that information you provided will come into play. Right now, however, it's so hot here in Florida and the humidity and the bugs are so bad that boat building is just no fun at all. To me it's like the off season for boat building here like when it's too cold to build up North in the middle of winter. Now is the time for planning and finding good deals on stuff I'm gonna need, like a new anchor and stuff like that. Think I'm gonna need a couple of hundred pounds of lead too so keeping my eyes open for that. I already have most of my plywood as I was all set to build Welsford's Long Steps before I got side-tracked onto the Yangtze Pelican.

    Getting back to the Yangtze Pelican design, don't know how much use guys are into reality TV but I was noticing how much like the Yangtze Pelican is similar to a "Tiny House" only for the water. It's certainly tiny and it is big enough to support life as least for a week or two – maybe longer with the right equipment on board. Any thoughts on that?

    Well yes!,

    The graphics on the Pelican and discussion here on this thread got me thinking about a small chine structure plywood boat, which is a reoccurring bug…..last recent attack was when I realized my home and workshop needed to be sold and a garage made do of for building space.
    Looking at John Welsford’s designs and talking to him kept me going, and side tracked too, from progress on the Pahi,until I had figured out a way to continue working on the double canoe without having a proper workspace.
    This(Pahi) will be the culmination of roughly 40 years of part time work, learning and planning.
    All the while, falling back onto something really small has always been the back-up plan if a seagoing sailing canoe did not work out. This plan never seems to
    Go away.
    Over the years I have worked out that a minimal cabin length of close to 14 ft will do for living afloat. Beam dimension is largely determined by required stability if not available building space and this is where it can get more than simple.
    Just before I got back on track with working to finish the 30ft SO Pahi, a friend, who himself lives on a small boat, had got me thinking of talking to John Welsford again about a small “boksy” bilge keeler.
    There is apparently a design which John has of a boat called a “boks” (spelling ??) and on this type/design, all I have is a verbal description from someone other than John, which sounds as though it could be similar to a Yangtze Pelican……although I may be quite wrong in this.
    Left to my own devices, I imagine a single chine 16 footer of a bout 7ft beam, although I think that add-on end compartments could create more length for a boat that could still be built inside a garage having 4.6 M clear space in the length and a doorway 7ft wide.
    The boxy shape is good for stability, and ballast in the way of twin keels will help in creating dual purpose sleds for taking to the bottom as well as making an integral trailer “chassis”, by the addition of an axle with wheels located on notches on the bottom.
    There is an argument for avoiding the cost of a trailer and it’s licencing, including storage issues, by hiring a flatbed trailer for occasional needs,and so, a boat that can be it’s own dolly might work out just fine.
    Sure the twin keels will be additional drag and I am thinking of ameliorating this by having a sharp bow instead of the blunt pram end.
    Adding a sharp nose compartment onto the bow end could be a way to save on building space until the final stagewhen moved outside for finishing.
    Last edited by Lugalong; 07-22-2017 at 08:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Lugalong View Post
    Well yes!,

    The graphics on the Pelican and discussion here on this thread got me thinking about a small chine structure plywood boat, which is a reoccurring bug…..last recent attack was when I realized my home and workshop needed to be sold and a garage made do of for building space.
    Looking at John Welsford’s designs and talking to him kept me going, and side tracked too, from progress on the Pahi,until I had figured out a way to continue working on the double canoe without having a proper workspace.
    This(Pahi) will be the culmination of roughly 40 years of part time work, learning and planning.
    All the while, falling back onto something really small has always been the back-up plan if a seagoing sailing canoe did not work out. This plan never seems to
    Go away.
    Over the years I have worked out that a minimal cabin length of close to 14 ft will do for living afloat. Beam dimension is largely determined by required stability if not available building space and this is where it can get more than simple.
    Just before I got back on track with working to finish the 30ft SO Pahi, a friend, who himself lives on a small boat, had got me thinking of talking to John Welsford again about a small “boksy” bilge keeler.
    There is apparently a design which John has of a boat called a “boks” (spelling ??) and on this type/design, all I have is a verbal description from someone other than John, which sounds as though it could be similar to a Yangtze Pelican……although I may be quite wrong in this.
    Left to my own devices, I imagine a single chine 16 footer of a bout 7ft beam, although I think that add-on end compartments could create more length for a boat that could still be built inside a garage having 4.6 M clear space in the length and a doorway 7ft wide.
    The boxy shape is good for stability, and ballast in the way of twin keels will help in creating dual purpose sleds for taking to the bottom as well as making an integral trailer “chassis”, by the addition of an axle with wheels located on notches on the bottom.
    There is an argument for avoiding the cost of a trailer and it’s licencing, including storage issues, by hiring a flatbed trailer for occasional needs,and so, a boat that can be it’s own dolly might work out just fine.
    Sure the twin keels will be additional drag and I am thinking of ameliorating this by having a sharp bow instead of the blunt pram end.
    Adding a sharp nose compartment onto the bow end could be a way to save on building space until the final stagewhen moved outside for finishing.
    Im sure there might be others with thoughts on this, and i dont know if Ken wants thread drift going on. just to say that i lived in a cabin space 12ft x 7ft for several years, with limited headroom. Take a look at Tads Little Harry, for example. Tiny house or floating dock box, certainly comfort enough.
    http://tadroberts.ca/services/small-boats/sail/harry16

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Thread drift??? I live for thread drift. In regards to the Yangtze Pelican, I've noticed from watching "Tiny House" episodes that the builders involved with the tiny house revolution sure do come up with some great ideas for using space efficiently. They also make things that are specific responses to the clients special needs and desires. It's very much the same kind of problems that come up from making a tiny space livable in a small microcruiser. I do find it a bit funny when some folks expect a little too much out of a tiny design - like a full sized kitchen appliances and a full sized tub in a tiny house. It's much like the folks who want their boat to daysail four adults and yeah, by the way, it's got to be car-toppable. There's a balance that has to be found where needs are met without packing too much stuff in too tiny a space. That was one of my main problems when I took my Welford Saturday Night Special to the Texas 200. I brought so much camping gear and safety equipment with me that poor Bernadette had no chance of sailing on her lines. My whole purpose of being there was to race against the lug rigged Specials with my birdwing rigged Special but that was impossible with my boat containing a week's worth of camping crap, lots of ice, water, gasoline, 4HP outboard, and lots of safety equipment. I woke up the morning of the second day with the realization that my overloaded boat could not race anything, I was badly sunburned and I had managed to wrench my neck in the high wind conditions. My only consolation was that I learned everything I needed to know to complete the event successfully in the future and that was my main reason for latching onto the Yangtze Pelican design.

    Thanks for the link to Harry 16, Ian. The most interesting thing there for me is how completely different the Yangtze bottom curvature is to the bottom design of the Harry 16. The Yangtze bottom flattens out near the stern to encourage the boat to plane while the bottom of Harry 16 is definitely designed to be efficient as possible in displacement mode. Makes me think Harry 16 will do better in light air while the Yangtze can really take off in heavy air occasionally jumping the bow wave. At least that's the way it seems to me. In any case, my goal will be to keep the Yangtze light so she can sail up to her potential. I'm a slow learner but sometimes I actually do hopefully learn something.

    Be looking for a new view of Muri-Maru sailing wing and wing in the Texas 200. One slight correction and I'll be posting a view of Muri-Maru on a downwind wing and wing run much like she might encounter in the T200.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Here's that view of Muri-Maru wing and wing from astern. Birdwing masts have curvature that overlaps when going downwind. Also center of effort of each sail is closer to centerline of boat than generally possible with straight masts.


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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Thats a nice graphic, it also shows up something. How do you raise and lower your outboard, or are you going with an inboard well?

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser



    "Thats a nice graphic, it also shows up something. How do you raise and lower your outboard, or are you going with an inboard well?"

    Well, the rudder is a ladder so that could come in handy but if the outboard is electric, you just need to flip a switch to get it going so the only problem is getting it to slide down the stern so the propellor is submerged and ready to be engaged. I'm thinking a simple rail system sliding on polyethylene surfaces would do the job. I could pay JF Bedard to draw it in but that would cost money. So for now, just imagine the Torqeedo on a rail system that lowers the outboard into the water (with your imagination saving me a few bucks).
    Last edited by kenjamin; 07-24-2017 at 07:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Hey! That imagination of mine has intellectual property rights! Yeah, i can imagine a sliding system, had that sort of thing on my Folkboat, bought the engine right up onto the aft deck, that used steel/aluminium channel set up, not quite as slick as polyethylene might be. I cant imagine using a gas engine, how would you use a pull cord in a position like that without running an extension rope through some turning blocks......the gear shift could be tricky too. The inboard well can double as a sink and wc when off-shore.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Hey! That imagination of mine has intellectual property rights! Yeah, i can imagine a sliding system, had that sort of thing on my Folkboat, bought the engine right up onto the aft deck, that used steel/aluminium channel set up, not quite as slick as polyethylene might be. I cant imagine using a gas engine, how would you use a pull cord in a position like that without running an extension rope through some turning blocks......the gear shift could be tricky too. The inboard well can double as a sink and wc when off-shore.
    One of my biggest goals for Muri-Maru is to make her as fast as possible. So no extra keels or extra foils and no motor well although one that ran all the way to the cockpit space was on the table at one time (see early drawings). All I own right now is my trusty 4HP Yamaha so I have traveled through the thought process of applying my present motor to Muri-Maru. I can imagine my self crawling down the rudder/ladder, turning the Yamaha sideways so I could start it, turning it forward again for operation and then slipping it in forward gear at idle and then giving it more throttle as I'm headed up the ladder. So if I were desperate enough I could probably make it work. (could be the backup system maybe) But the 5HP electric would be the cat's pajamas as we say in southern USA.

    Here's the front view of Muri-Maru in wing and wing mode and I am really liking this (reminds me of another southern expression - "Made in the shade with lemonade")[you'll have to imagine your own cup holders]:

    Last edited by kenjamin; 07-24-2017 at 08:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    I confess, due to the outboard issue, and having a small boat chopped into 3 smallish compartments, it would not work for me like that; i would have to go for the boring aft cockpit and longer cabin for it to work. I do look forward seeing to how you resolve the issues, most likely with polyethylene and bamboo. Its a fault we all often have to critique a boat as if WE owned it, but i DO realise this is for an enviroment a bit different from mine, and needs change, but, can you imagine needing your engine in rough weather in an emergency and needing to climb down a ladder? Harness or no, seems a risky undertaking......there be sharks in those waters!

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    I confess, due to the outboard issue, and having a small boat chopped into 3 smallish compartments, it would not work for me like that; i would have to go for the boring aft cockpit and longer cabin for it to work. I do look forward seeing to how you resolve the issues, most likely with polyethylene and bamboo. Its a fault we all often have to critique a boat as if WE owned it, but i DO realise this is for an enviroment a bit different from mine, and needs change, but, can you imagine needing your engine in rough weather in an emergency and needing to climb down a ladder? Harness or no, seems a risky undertaking......there be sharks in those waters!
    I think the WHOLE POINT of this place is for us to discuss these topics as if they related to us directly. We should all be addressing these topics as "my" sail, or "my" boat, etc.
    That is what we are doing here, after all, is sharing personal experience and wisdom. Ken can take the thoughts YOU have about what YOU would do were this YOUR boat, and then relate them, or not, to HIS experience, desires, etc.

    Yeah, this is as it should be. "Were she mine..." is the perfect way to think about these proposals, eh?

    The breakdowns tend to occur when opinions are stated as fact, when only one skinning method is allowed per cat, or when personal issues and/or insults cloud the mix. Seen them all, on this forum and others, and they never help.

    Honest expression of personal opinion should be the point, though, yeah? Perhaps one of us brings up an issue Ken never would have imagined, precisely because we imagined it as our own boat in our own waters? Sure, most may be moot, but a few may be gems, and exactly the type of constructive criticism I think we all look for, eh?

    I've long liked the Pelican. I have owned plans for some years, though I never built one. Mrs. Short was very pleasant to correspond with.
    I wish you great luck on your journey, Ken.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    Guys, I sincerely welcome your views, perspectives, experiences and opinions as they may or may not relate to my special flavor of the Yangtze Pelican.

    Skaraborcraft, if I had ambitions of ocean voyaging in Muri-Maru, I would definitely want backup auxiliary propulsion in the form of another Torqeedo already mounted on the other side of her stern. Or for much longer range, a small 4HP four-stroke could be mounted in a well that could be completely sealed off flush with her bottom so that for sailing or rowing, there would be nearly zero extra drag with the right motorwell plug or port in place.

    For my immediate purposes, however, Muri-Maru only needs to keep me out of the sun and in sight of land most times in the Texas 200. If there's any wind at all, I'll most likely be sailing. If there's no wind at all, I could always row my way out of trouble along the Texas coast if the motor fails. My Caledonia Yawl, Xena, had a clear Lexan port that completely sealed the motor well opening which was located midship on the boat. That could be done again on Muri-Maru if my expected use of her escalated to more ambitious voyaging like going over to the Bahamas from Florida. For now, though, I think the oars and a single Torqeedo will meet my needs in the Texas 200. I will not be fighting any hurricanes in her. When hurricanes come my way, I leave town in my Tacoma and my favorite boat gets to stay in the carport while I'm gone.

    Robert, I've enjoyed talking with and e-mailing back and forth with Mrs. Short regarding a birdwing Yangtze Pelican. She has been very supportive and she was the one who actually came up with the name for Muri-Maru which I think is very cool. She also wrote that my birdwing masts looked graceful and in harmony with nature and that was a banner day for me. So it's been fun to involve Mrs. Short with the modifications to rig and interior layout plus the funky Chinese style rudder/ladder combination piece. Speaking of design changes, I've redesigned the Yangtze Pelican logo for the mainsail and I'm hopeful of getting her OK on that too. I also need to tell her about the change from yawl rig to ketch.

    By the way, for the record, my interior layout is comprised of only two compartments – the aft cabin and the main cockpit space which extends forward into a cuddy space which is a continuation of the cockpit space. So there is no forward cabin space, just a small cuddy that is just an extension of the main cockpit space. The forward part of the forward cabin is just flotation to ensure self-righting capabilities. So no three compartments – one totally enclosed aft and one totally open midship. The midship cockpit space was extended forward so the side benches would be long enough to sleep on and to provide easily accessible space for storing gear, oars, anchor rode and stuff like that.

    Enjoying the discussion and especially these great renderings by JF Bedard. They have a way of extending my imagination into spaces I have only begun to think of (lousy English but can you hear what I'm saying?) For example, I'm gonna need cup holders and rod holders within easy reach of the helmsman. Also will need truck side mirrors for rowing conventionally and still being able to see where the heck I'm headed.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    OK, now I think I get what the Pelican design basically is….. a blown up Opti ??.

    On this hull, your birdwing ketch has a charming appeal…….as long as the package can be kept light enough to get up onto the surface almost all of the time. For this I think that carbon composites is going to be a necessity and using paulownia plywood is equally important. The hull and transom could be bright finish lightweight plywood, to achieve the aesthetic portrayed by the graphics. However, in aid of achieving the required low weight, the cuddy and after ‘cabin’ (white painted panels in the graphics), would be better made in something as light as EPS sandwich with very thin stiff skins (probably carbon composites here too.
    Bracing of the mast partners would be best with a carbon tube structure – something like a triangulated space frame made with round carbon tubes and joined with frapping of epoxy wetted tow.
    Bulkheads as structure to support the masts would be unnecessarily heavy, and using the superstructure as buoyancy for capsize recovery makes a cuddy structure at both ends feasible……if these are both stiff hoods of low density(EPS) cored sandwich parts.

    Weight saving should extend to doing away with electric powered motors and batteries……..oar propulsion is definitely the lightweight option as auxiliary to sail power.

    Justification for the lightweight composites comes with the rig (where lightweight composites is pretty much the deal), which can be offset by having wooden oars, gunnel caps in the cockpit area and in as many other places as possible (cockpit sole and trim, as well as transoms bow and stern.)

    To do the composites work, you should manage fine Ken, if motivated enough to finish what you have started with the birdwing spars.
    Talking about laminating these spars…… they will have to be made with a constant section tube below the gooseneck/boom crutch.
    Curvature above this point will draw from the male mould (if done in the way that I propose), and also if a separate former is used at the step end, which needs be a constant section or tube, as already stated.
    Building up of carbon laminate to achieve only just enough bulk for structural adequacy will help in developing a feel for the material.
    By the time you have made one good mast, you will be set to make all the parts (like the mast support space frame and sheet track), with light and stiff carbon composites.

    Having conceived enough to suggest the above, I realize that my earlier posting (about the ‘boksy’ design) is drifting way off track, as Ian said.

    For me a boat which simply must meet such low weight spec to fulfill it’s purpose, had better be a canoe of sorts.
    Last edited by Lugalong; 07-24-2017 at 05:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Muri-Maru, a 17' 5" birdwing Yangtze Pelican microcruiser

    I think the well you had on Xena would work very well with the flush plate, should you need to go down that road, otherwise, the electric with simple on-off (and perhaps polarity reverse for astern?) would work fine. Am i mistaken that one of those Torqueedos can be left in the water with the prop turning to charge its own battery?
    Try to keep your cup holders near the centreline, nothing worse than losing your first brew of the morning in a gybe with your tea mug on the "wrong" side, thats all i have to say about that. Truck mirrors have the possibility of blinding you if you are rowing into a setting sun, how about a cheap car reversing camera, set up discreetly in the bow somewhere? Might give you a wider range of vision too......

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