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Thread: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

  1. #1
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    Default Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    I've got a pretty serious case of next-boat-itis and I'm ready to graduate from CLC's stitch & glue plans after building two different prams. I've looked very hard at the Pathfinder vs. Navigator differences, mostly due to length and convenience. I'm starting to zero in on Vivier's Ilur vs. Beg Meil.

    Let me share my criteria and I would love to get some feedback. I'm looking for a more advanced woodworking project that showcases some more old-school boat building techniques. I'm more interested in a clinker build than cold molded. I want something that I can take me time to build over a few years and take my son camp-cruising in the San Juans. Due to the currents and variable wind conditions, I need a boat that can point well and sail efficiently on all points and probably be able to handle a 5hp outboard. One of my prams has a lug and the other a gunter sloop. I'm okay with the additional rigging time, especially if we're going out overnight. I'm less interested in a yawl for some reason. Feel free to dissuade me. I'm also looking at centerboard since both of my current boats have daggerboards. For purely aesthetic reasons, I'd love a boat with a bowsprit. The Ilur strikes me as more of a work boat aesthetic (which is fine), while the BM reminds more of a graceful daysailer (a la catboat).

    My understanding is that the Ilur and Beg Meil have identical hulls, just different interiors and rigs. I like the less cluttered look of BM's interior since I think it has sufficient seating for crew and more room for stowing camping gear (ashore, not in the boat) due to having one less thwart. Another thing I want to tackle if I go with the BM is a planked deck with fancy king plank, black seams, etc. Conversely, I also love scuppered inwales, so it's a consolation prize if I go with an Ilur. Also Ilur has that built in storage in the stern while the stock plans for the BM don't, although I've seen some builds where folks build one in against the aft bulkhead.



    Is there anything else I'm missing? Any thoughts/suggestions?

    Ilur

    2b99e5b7cf6a6eace85bb50c4765fae0.jpg

    Beg Meil

    fffb4f24887a901bc69f132502e12606.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    I think on a small boat like these two that I'd go for the larger cockpit space of Ilur, especially for cruising with two on board.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    good idea, Steve, Ilur is an oarandsail boat so you don't need that outboard that spoils the profile anyway. Beg Meil is a sailing boat and the spars will make rowing harder so you will probably want that outboard. Hulls very much the same, but the deck on Beg Meil will make her seem more seaworthy.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    #2 + 1. I've lost any attraction I ever had for decked small boats. Ilur's rails are wide enough to hike out on, when you need to. Meanwhile, her thwart and stern seating will put the crews' weight farther outboard than in Beg Meil.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    I've been sailing on John Hartman's Ilur and that large interior is great. The side decks would really cut that down.
    What would stop a person from putting the Beg Meil's rig, including bowsprit, on the Ilur? You would have to buy both sets of plans to meld the two designs together.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    Whichever of the two boats you end up with, if you are going to put an outboard on it, 5 HP is serious overkill. 2 to 2.5 HP would be more than enough, would be lighter to horse around and would use less fuel. And it would be cheaper to buy.
    Alex

    "“He was unfamiliar with the sea and did not like it much: it was a place that made you cold and wet and sick” " Nevil Shute, Trustee From the Toolroom

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Whichever of the two boats you end up with, if you are going to put an outboard on it, 5 HP is serious overkill. 2 to 2.5 HP would be more than enough, would be lighter to horse around and would use less fuel. And it would be cheaper to buy.
    I already own a 4-stroke, 5 Hp outboard, so I was hoping not to have to buy anything. A more powerful outboard at a lower rpm might be more fuel efficient.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I've been sailing on John Hartman's Ilur and that large interior is great. The side decks would really cut that down.
    What would stop a person from putting the Beg Meil's rig, including bowsprit, on the Ilur? You would have to buy both sets of plans to meld the two designs together.
    On Ilur there is a smaller balanced lug mainsail that can be used alone or combined with a small jib (there are two mast positions) on Ilur plans. Similar in area, but Beg Meil is a gaff sloop and is shown with a full set of stays - the Ilur sloop shows just a forestay.

    I'm assuming the comparison is between a lug Ilur and a gaff sloop Beg Meil.

    Beg Meil is what happens (happened 1900-1950) when you 'optimise' a successfull inshore French workboat by racing it around an upwind - downwind course, before tall bermudans and spinnakers appear. Same hull but Beg Meil is a 1950's yacht version of Ilur. What do I mean by that?

    1. Well if you race it hard, you might start to heel it more and be looking a dryness and extending the down flooding angle. Side decks and the coaming achieve this. It also stiffens the boat considerably. To sit out comfortably you just add wood outboard of the coaming at the helm position to have a flat seat. The side decks and comaing hugely increase how far you could press the boat. Things become inefficient at larger angles of heel, but in gusty condtions ti would be an advantage beyond the weight. Ilur though has a stiff bilge and more freeboard than most (a strake or two than an Oughtred for example) making her relatively dry, stiff and have a large down flooding angle even as an open boat.

    2. You then look at the rig and go for a gaff. The boom holds the mainsail out offwind and you've got an adjustable outhaul for sail camber. By adding stays you enable a lighter mast which reduces pitching, and enables a stiffer rig set up/ better maintained luff tensions and combine it with a bigger jib, you can move the mast back from the bows closer to the center of the pitch. Two sails are more effient on al points and it's more balanced downwind.

    3. Beg Meil has some keel ballast - a metal centerplate, although Ilur's wooden foil introduces more shaping possibilities.

    4. Beg Meil has considerably more enclosed staorage and much greater sealed flotation. Dry bags make pretty flotation options but it's not quite the same as sealed compartments and having gear stored properly is best practice.

    They are both very good boats. Ilur is more suited to making things as simple to sail and quick to launch as possible. There is sophistication in those French fishing boats though. All else being equal, the Beg Meil should point a bit higher and probably be a bit faster on all points, down flood later, come up with less water, has more storage and buoyancy. It's more time to rig before launching and if you were going to sleep on it, I'd want to check how much room there is. If I was in a light air location and rowing was going to be frequent, you wouldn't want to be dissassembling the rig to often. Ilur leans towards sail and oar. Beg Meil is more a sailors boat.

    Currently I sail a dinghy very similar to Beg Meil, and it's always noticeably when you go from a lug to a bermudan sloop (mine's a gunter) that you are pointing higher. Apparent wind is hitting you in the eyes, not coming over you ear! It's just a function of luff length, a jib and good rig controls. I don't have any rigging time consideration, as the boat is kept next to the water. I would still like an Ilur, and will get around to building one eventually. On that front the Ilur kit, is a CAD slot together masterpiece.

    If it's the 'sailing' that motivates you Beg Meil will repay, if it's more about looking at the view, set and forget the rig, daysailing off a trailer, the Ilur will marginally better suit. You mention you want a planked deck...so it's going to be a Beg Meil then like Jason's. Reason enough. Either would be a privilege to own.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 11-02-2018 at 06:53 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Edward’s assessment is a good one. The difference in rigging time between the two boats will be significant, so if you plan to trailer sail the boat rather than keeping her moored, take that into consideration. The Beg Meil will be a project at the ramp:


    By contrast, the Ilur with an unstayed rig is quick and simple:

    It usually takes me about 10 minutes at the ramp in order to splash the boat and park the car and trailer, then another 10 minutes to have the rig up and sailing underway.

    With regards to sea keeping, I can’t vouch for the dryness of the Beg Meil, never having sailed one. In the Ilur, I have only ever taken a sip of water over the rail once or twice in a strong gust, and with 50 pounds of ballast along side the centerboard case, can single hand the Ilur in F5-6 winds. Into a chop, things get pretty wet from wind blown spray, the foredeck and coaming of the Beg Meil might make her marginally drier in such conditions.
    I have sailed in company with Ilurs rigged as the misainer and lug sloop; the yawl and big single lug point a few degrees less high than sloop, but performance between the rigs is remarkably even. I suspect that the Beg Meil with her stayed mast would let you generate enough luff tension on the jib to point a bit higher than any of the unstayed rigs.

    I think the 5hp outboard will be enormous overkill.


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    Last edited by John hartmann; 11-02-2018 at 10:28 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    Is that your Ilur, John? Nice boat! Appears to have a mizzen on there? Your comparison between the Ilur and Meg Meil makes one wonder if an Ilur could be rigged as a balanced lug, as per the Goat Island Skiffs, which are reported to point pretty close to the Lasers they frequently race against. That would also provide a bit more balanced rig downwind. Might meet the requirements of the OP a bit more closely.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    I’ve only recently become aware of the Ilur.

    She has haunted me since.

    Quite a lovely boat, that.

    Peace,
    Robert

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    Edward, a special thank you to you and all the others with such excellent feedback. These are all the thoughts that have been matriculating in the back of my mind. Please keep up the good work. I hope that this discussion will also help others in the future. Such a nice problem to have: Which wooden boat to build. Sigh...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Two sails are more effient on al points and it's more balanced downwind.
    Edward,

    knowledgeable as always, but I wonder if the point above is really true. I think not--otherwise, why would so many sloops lower the main when running? Unless wing-and-wing, the main blankets the jib. It seems to me that sloops generally do very poorly running unless they run a spinnaker or twin headsail rig.

    Then, too, "efficiency" might rightly factor in how much work the sailor has to do. One sail = less work, less expense. Unstayed rig = MUCH less work if trailering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    4. Beg Meil has considerably more enclosed staorage and much greater sealed flotation. Dry bags make pretty flotation options but it's not quite the same as sealed compartments and having gear stored properly is best practice.
    I come at this differently: I don't think "stored properly" means the same thing on a small open boat as it does in a cabin yacht. In small boats I'd argue it's far more proper to store most gear in dry bags--not only does it add flotation as you point out, but the gear is much more readily available. Instead of having to dig through multiple awkward compartments to pull gear out of hatches, simply pick up one bag and carry it ashore or set it on a thwart for access.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Ilur vs. Beg Meil

    Personally, i would rather the extra security of the decking, it just gives a greater margin of safety when close to the edge.

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