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Thread: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist parts)

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    going electric?
    Yes, an option, and without the downsides of the OB, Bruce mentioned.

    I would probably even use a solar panel to charge the battery. But than again I believe I will enjoy rowing enough to bring me out for little fishing trips and catch some squids. It is also much more simple. I am planning to get the boat out of the water every time and store it upside down on the beach. Haevy battery etc. would make things a bit more complicated, but it is doable, I believe.

    I really more tend to an oar and sailing boat option. Thanks anyway.
    Last edited by Indosailor; 05-18-2018 at 12:23 AM.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Now, after getting some useful answers and inspiration here, maybe I should ask the question differently.

    What would you do with this boat, if it would be yours?

    - Would you just keep it a pure rowing boat?

    - I personally like the suggestion of Bruce and others to use the optimist sprit sail and skull her and/ or maybe take John´s advice and use tarp sails to figure out the "correct" area / size of the sail.

    - Ian came up with the idea (and provided some useful links) to add a lee board (Sabot) and rudder to the setup. Whereabout someone mentioned, that
    he was "not satisfied with them and the boat did not point any higher with them than without", on a 17 ft whitehall.

    - I am bit surprised, so far no one suggested the dagger-board or centerboard solution as seen on a 14ft whitehall in Gardners book, for my boat.

    - Out-boarder or electrical engine are almost out, to be an option for me.

    - I had a chance to get in touch with the previous owner/ builder. And he said it is a whitehall and the plans (or inspiration?) came from "Mystical Seaport". He shortened the hull from 14 ft to 12 ft but proportions remain the same. Well, that is what he said.

    Here is also an interesting video about whitehall and tacking....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHDHfgFm3Bs


    Thanks a lot again, to all the contributors here. You are really a big help !!

    I would highly appreciate your further recommendations. Thank You.




    Last edited by Indosailor; 05-18-2018 at 06:17 AM.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    What is the beam (width) of your boat? You may be disappointed with such a small sail on a boat that looks very much larger and heavier than an opti. I know you are new to sailing and a small sail sounds easier.....but if you can barely get the boat to move it may be hard to learn to sail (especially up wind). It would also be easier to learn to sail on a boat with only one sail (no jib). Plus you said typical wind speeds are 5-10 knots? That's not a whole lot, but sounds perfect for learning to sail....just stay home if it's gusting to 30.....or 20 for that matter.
    Last edited by Stōs; 05-18-2018 at 06:03 AM.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Stōs View Post
    What is the beam (width) of your boat?
    The boat was supposed to be delivered today. Now they said it will be Monday. Once it is here I will measures and post the width here.

    I asked the previous owner/ builder about the weight of the boat and he said it should be around 60 - 70kg. That is around 150 pound. Than I need to add 175 pound for myself. I have seen sail area calculation that suggest to divide the total weight by 6. I understand that is extremely simple and many factors are not incorporated (like hull shape etc). Anyway, with this calculation I probably end up with 50 to 60 sft for a sail, but I do lack knowledge and experience to really know for sure. And an 35ft optimist sail would be not an option, which leaves me with the problem again on where to get my sail from.

    Yes, typical wind speeds are 5-10 knots here.

    Before moving to the optimal sail area I would like to focus more on lateral resistance with the different options. Than from there move on to the suitable rudder and suitable rig. From there calculate the sail area and than the placement of mast/ sail and lateral resistance. Not sure if that makes sense. Anyway. Thank you.
    Last edited by Indosailor; 05-18-2018 at 06:39 AM.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    What I read somewhere (and please someone correct me if needed) is a good estimate for sail area is Length x Beam x 1.3. This formula seems to hold up fairly well on existing sailboats although it is a bit low for racing dinghies (which is fine for you). So for a 12ft boat 4ft wide, that would be 62sqft of sail, not too far off from your estimate.

    The laser radial has a sail area of 62sqft.....
    Last edited by Stōs; 05-18-2018 at 07:01 AM.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Indosailor; The Optimist sail area is only 35 sf. Your boat will need sail area twice that amount to sail in light wind. Sailing would not be enjoyable with such a small sail. You will definitely need a dagger board or leeboard to do any sailing up wind. Your boat as is will only sail on down wind tacks.

    To make your boat balance correctly under sail you should align the center of effort of the sail with the center of effort of the boat. If these are not close you will have severe weather helm and or the boat will not point up into the wind.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Indo, go to: http://sailboatdata.com/firstpage.asp Search the site using the min and max LOA. It will create a list of boats close to the size of your boat. Look at the sail area data for similar boats. Or you could use the spirtsail, sail plan from a Catspaw dinghy.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Iain Oughtred has a design of a 11'6" Acorn Dinghy, looks like a light Whitehall, has a small sprit- or lugsail. Google it.
    My suggestion you could rig her as a schooner was serious: Many years ago the cover of WB showed a Whitehall with 2 spritsails, really stunning. Perhaps someone remembers and knows how to show it. Later that picture was used and you saw the boat sailing right in your letterbox.
    Www.oarandsail.nl

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    I think putting a split rig on a 12 foot boat is a quick way to get very wet, via swamping.
    One sheet.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Wow, thanks a lot. Now I have a lot of research to do. Please keep it coming....

    I first came across this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RxN4Dfkpk0

    Than I thought like wow. That is what I want, too. Really simple sailing boat. Not knowing anything about rig styles and sails I first did my research on the lug sail and found tons of information here: http://reallysimplesails.com/categor...acer-lug-sail/

    On that source I found this:

    "Hello,I am currently building a 16 ft lapstrake Whitehall with a centerboard based on a Chapelle design. I have seen several of these rigged with a balanced lug and was curious if you thought the GIS sail might be appropriate. Length is 16 ft, beam 4’10”, weight 350i sh?

    -I think the GIS and OZ89 sq ft sailsails will be too big for the Whitehall. The normal whitehall hull shape doesn’t have a lot of stability. This is also a characteristic of most good rowing boats and canoes. They give up stability to reduce drag so they can achieve good speeds rowing."

    Reallysimple sails offers a
    52square Annabelle designed by Dave Gentry – standingLugsail – white USD339.69 delivered to US I believe. They are based in the Philippines and that may make it easier to get it to Indonesia, since I believe this belongs to ASEAN and therefore no or less custom duties. Have not done my work here.

    I also have a broken 9 msq (abou 95 sft) surfing kite here, which I could convert (well, patchwork) my first own sail from...I believe the material is excellent for that.

    Anyway the guy finally said: "
    After some wishywashying, I have decided to just use a sprit sail of small dimension as Chapelle shows on his chandlery Whitehall of that size.I wanted to run more sail, but as you said the Whitehall is tender.That’s okay, she’s a beautiful rower with an auxiliary sail."

    and here is a pic he posted (I not know the sft of that sail, but that would be roughly 25% more than the Optimist sail on a 16 ft.)...and a compared to the Optimist sail, which I was thinking to install on a 12ft boat (
    25% smaller boat than the above). Damn wait, now I also have to loose 25% of my own body weight, right?

    But put into consideration that Chandlers Whitehall was probably designed with a cotton sail in mind, where about the Optimist sail comes in dacron, which probably is an improvement to performance.

    Aaaah, probably the optimist sail is really too small, especially for the light winds here. Anyway, let me know what you think. Please. Thank You.

    I will do some deeper research here:
    http://sailboatdata.com/firstpage.asp (thx navydog)

    Of course it does not make any sense to do all the work and finally find out with 35sft my boat is completely underpowered and does not move. But that is why I am here. To ask for your help, do my research and go with a good plan into this project.









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    Last edited by Indosailor; 05-18-2018 at 10:42 AM.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Currently I am thinking like, well lets go with the sail only and skull the boat with one oar, as suggested by Bruce in the beginning. Just a bit of work and nothing can get broken...Fun and no waste of time/ money...

    That would give me a feel how the boat reacts on the optimist sail, at least going downwind. I may even find a fishermen that will help me to built, whatever sail he suggests for my boat.

    For the optimist sail i have to wait around 6 months from now. In Indonesia we are somehow used to that and time is relative. So it is more a midterm project.

    But I may end up doing my own "indonesiastyle" copy of the optimist sail, add mast, boom and sprit and just try it out asap with some form of simple rigging. We often do funny things here on the lonely island :-)
    Last edited by Indosailor; 05-18-2018 at 10:32 AM.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Indo, The boat you posted pictures of has a wider stern than a typical Whitehall. With the reinforced transom for a motor mount it looks to me like they adapted the shape to accommodate running under power. The change in shape will create more stability under sail as well.

    What ever you do keep it as simple as possible. If the spars fit and stow in the boat while rowing it is a big advantage.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Indo, The boat you posted pictures of has a wider stern than a typical Whitehall. With the reinforced transom for a motor mount...
    Yes I also thought when compared to other whitehalls I see. But anyway it does not really matter for me if this is a true whitehall or not. As someone mentioned above the wider stern should add stability to that boat. And that is a good thing for me, since I want to bring me kids on small rowing trips. But the sea is never rough here, if there is waves, they are small and do not really break. So it might be actually more fun for me to row the boat as I do believe at the moment. But of course, why not use the windpower as well if it is possible.

    Now for the reinforced transom I do have an explanation for you, since I spoke to the builder of this boat today. He said that was only part of the selling strategy, since at some point there was more people interested in a small rowing boat with an option to add an OB. But he did not change or adapt the shape for that.

    He is a geat guy, an old man now, has been a boat person since he was a kid and a boat builder for at least 40 years. I told him that people mentioned here the boat is not a Whitehall. But he said it is, but shortend from a 14ft design.

    Of course I also asked him for suggestion on how to convert the boat to an oar and sail boat. He said is possible, would give me metal centerboard for that boat he has still somewhere around in his garage. His suggestion was also to use teak, instead of marine plywood for centerbox etc. To tell you, good marine plywood is only available in huge quantities here in Indonesia, as I found out today from my friend building the catamaran. But most of all he said this is a rowing boat, that "could" sail (but it was not really designed to be a sailing boat).

    I really value his suggestions and in my opinion the guy has a great knowledge about boats. But than of course I am very interested in getting as much input as possible and appreciate the support and good advise in this forum a lot . Not just in this thread.

    Btw he also has a 18ft whitehall in his garage and I believe that is the real deal... Boats like this / his are extremely uncommon in Indonesia. They were build for the export market or for his own pleasure. The guy originally from Italy. He told me the story that the locals thought he is crazy when they first saw him rowing with two oars. Nobody uses two oars here.
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    Last edited by Indosailor; 05-18-2018 at 11:42 AM.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    And than he has this...but that is a bit off topic.... (Just for you guys to enjoy...)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    Iain Oughtred has a design of a 11'6" Acorn Dinghy, looks like a light Whitehall, has a small sprit- or lugsail. Google it.
    Thank YOu. I just had a look.There is multiple rigs suggested to work on this boat and they are all around 45- 50sft. That brings some good inspiration to my project. Iain Oughtred built some beautiful boats, I must say. Not just the Acorn. Good to know. Thx.


    A quick search also found this: Acorn Skiff: sailing performance

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ng-performance
    Last edited by Indosailor; 05-18-2018 at 11:32 PM.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    After reading more into the subject, I realized that the "optimist" sail is probably to small, as many of you also mentioned. I think If I want to add a sail, and I tend to a lug- or sprit sail, somewhere in the 50- 60 sft area could be fine for my boat.

    I just want to take another chance to thank you very much for all your input. It is great and fun learning experience to be part of this community here.

    Please continue to provide your ideas and suggestions, if you like to. Thank you.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Go for it... you will learn more than reading a half dozen books and you will have fun.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Before you rig the boat for sail, I suggest you just try it with oars. I think that with a little practice you will find that you can row quite far at a relaxed pace. This will also give you a feel for the boat's tracking and stability. Then look at sail options some more, but make any changes gradually, and try the simplest/cheapest first.
    Last edited by johngsandusky; 05-20-2018 at 06:47 PM.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Before you rig the boat for sale, I suggest you just try it with oars. I think that with a little practice you will find that you can row quite far at a relaxed pace. This will also give you a feel for the boat's tracking and stability. Then look at sail options some more, but make any changes gradually, and try the simplest/cheapest first.
    John, I believe that is a very good advise. The boat will be here tomorrow (hopefully) and than I sure will have a little test rowing. I got a bit carried away from the hole idea over the last 48 hours. As I was looking sails that my suit my "whitehall" I figured out that that the 35 sft "optimist" sail might be a good fit on a glue and stitch canoe. Storer's "Quick Canoe" to be correct.

    I came to the conclusion, that all the time and money I would invest in converting my "whitehall" I can actually built a little boat. You know there is this thing what a man has to do in his life, and building a boat is one of it. So I will take the challenge. It will probably take me 25 working hours to get off my to do list or it may even be the start of a exiting new journey.

    Anyway I will end up with two boats with different characteristics that I can use for various situations. Plus canoes are very practical here and I may end up with a little "tri maran". Probably not the most sea worthy thing to have, but it will probably be fine here if I stay away from deep waters with rougher conditions. I also believe that is the way to go in the light-wind conditions here: I found some videos, and the "quick canoe" looked great for some little sailing. Only need to add a rudder, leeboard and simple rig. May even be a way to start sailing for my kids.

    There is lots of good things that make myself quite motivated for this challenge. On top I can also use the same rig on the whitewall with the skull technique described above as a little downwind power add on. I think that makes all sense. Let me know what you think, if you like to.

    I want to say thanks one more time. Tomorrow I got to see a doctor, because I believe I just got infected by the boat building virus...
    Last edited by Indosailor; 05-20-2018 at 10:20 PM.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    I sail a light canoe, it's fun, but likely to result in a swim. Also, be sure the boat is stiff enough for the sail rig, or be very careful about balancing it with your weight. Those light winds you describe will b e good for a test. In gusts, I let a little wind spill from the sail instead of leaning hard the other way.

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    ...sail a light canoe, it's fun, but likely to result in a swim
    Yes I somehow expect that. Will also do some modification to the original plan, to make all stiffer, add floating bags (for the case of capsize) and make sure to wear LJ etc. . We will see. I surely motivated and convinced to build it and try it out. I have seen on videos, it works! Will be fun anyway... And thanks for the tips, John.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Need advise - Converting 12ft Whitehall rowing boat for sailing (with Optimist pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Indosailor View Post
    Tomorrow I got to see a doctor, because I believe I just got infected by the boat building virus...
    Don't bother the doctor. There's no known cure except another boat

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