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Thread: Chebacco variants

  1. #1
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    Default Chebacco variants

    A few questions about building a Chebacco 20'. Has one been built simply as a "Cat"? By eliminating the yawl rig, can the rudder be mounted on the transom and then use a trolling motor mounted on the transom? I'm guessing the transom would have to be reinforced to accommodate the added loads. If, all this can be done, what adjustments would have to be made to the rig and sail plan?

    All sailing will be done on inland lakes.

    Anyone know if the Chebaaco.com website is being supported or is it just down for maintenance?

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    I'd expect the mast would have to be stepped back a bit, or the centerboard moved forward, to maintain the balance. As far as added loads on the transom, I can't believe they'd be enough to warrant changes other than backing blocks where the bolts were located. It's already designed to take an outboard, after all. But I do wonder why you want to drop the mizzen, it's a very handy thing to have.
    -Dave

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    If remember correctly one of the versions of Chebacco had a transom-mounted rudder.
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I'd expect the mast would have to be stepped back a bit, or the centerboard moved forward, to maintain the balance. As far as added loads on the transom, I can't believe they'd be enough to warrant changes other than backing blocks where the bolts were located. It's already designed to take an outboard, after all. But I do wonder why you want to drop the mizzen, it's a very handy thing to have.
    Thanks for your input! Regarding the mizzen; I'm just looking for more cockpit room (Length) and I've never sailed with one. Seems like so much room is taken up with the mizzen and the outboard well.

    Chris

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Mizzens are great and handy in a dozen different ways. You'd figure it out. However, sounds like the Chebacco might not be the right design for your needs.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Right, you can make the benches longer, but will the boat want all that weight aft?
    -Dave

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Right, you can make the benches longer, but will the boat want all that weight aft?
    Dave - Just how did you know I was a heavy weight? ROFL

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    Mizzens are great and handy in a dozen different ways. You'd figure it out. However, sounds like the Chebacco might not be the right design for your needs.
    Hmmm - excellent thought! I need to find a design that I can sit “in” rather than “on”. My first choice was a 12 1/2 but realized it was too much for a first build. Then it was a Marsh Hen; on/in thing.
    Back to the internet to find whatever it is I’m looking for.

    -Chris

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Check out the Whittholz catboats. Ply construction, big deep cockpits, one sail.
    -Dave

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Chebacco is a great boat. I've sailed one, though not a lot. It reminded me a lot of my own boat, a Hvalsoe 18, in that it felt like a large-ish decked dinghy. You're the moveable ballast so there's lots of hustling around the boat.

    Are you day sailing or wanting to stay on your boat for a few days? You're in Tennessee. Big lakes? What about a Core Sound. They're pretty much all cockpit. Flatish bottom, more initial stability. Big sharpie. Probably more forgiving. If a mizzen makes you shy, then the Core Sound's cat-ketch split rig probably won't be what you're after.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by SCK47 View Post
    A few questions about building a Chebacco 20'. Has one been built simply as a "Cat"? By eliminating the yawl rig, can the rudder be mounted on the transom and then use a trolling motor mounted on the transom? I'm guessing the transom would have to be reinforced to accommodate the added loads. If, all this can be done, what adjustments would have to be made to the rig and sail plan?

    All sailing will be done on inland lakes.

    Anyone know if the Chebaaco.com website is being supported or is it just down for maintenance?

    Thanks for your input!
    That mizzen is pretty far back as it is.

    If you want more cockpit length step it further back, to one side to clear the tiller, and give her a bumpkin to sheet the mizzen to. Push the main a bit further forward to keep the CoE in the same place and you are good to go.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Bolger arranged mizzen and rudder in a clever way and as a consequens the outboard does not stand out in an ugly way. The sheet plywood Chebacco is his second version I think, and a boat I looked at a lot. Its a pretty boat, better build it as it is.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    . The sheet plywood Chebacco is his second version I think, .
    I understood that the sheet ply was the first and a comissioned design as a factory build, not DIY, due to the bend in the lower panels.
    The later ply lap hull is, IMHO, much prettier.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    The first boat was a cold molded boat, to much labour, hence the sheet plywood version. The bilge panel was easier to do in 2 layers of 6 mm then one in 12mm, hence the lapstrake version. It is all in 'Boats with an open mind' from Phil. Bolger.

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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Thanks FF, comes back now

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Btw, a friend of mine just ordered plans for the Sheet Plywood Chebacco at Instant Boats. I am looking forward to see her being built. I know one other Chebacco nearby and I made her sails. The owner thought he could improve the sailplan and together we did a junk mainsail. Now these sails are mostly flat and I gave it a western shape. Boat was really fast for her size but the rig had some other disadvantages, so gradually we changed it back to Bolgers intention. Moral: Be careful with changes in his designs.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    I got the full set of plans from Suzanne at Bolger & Friends. From B & F, all versions are included in the plans, not just the plywood. Those and his book write-up, Boats With An Open Mind, gives a lot of info on design choices. In fact, the book helps make sense of all of the plan choices.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    I would be hesitant to change a design. I know that I don't know better than the designer. I have had two boats that were conversions: remade to do what they were not designed to do. Both had some serious drawbacks.
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    I think that if one needs longer benches I would be inclined to move the cabin bulkhead forward some, something like to the forward end of the centerboard case. There isn't much "cabin" there anyway.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Dawson View Post
    I think that if one needs longer benches I would be inclined to move the cabin bulkhead forward some, something like to the forward end of the centerboard case. There isn't much "cabin" there anyway.
    I wasn't going to comment on this thread, as I'm somewhat biased, but I have to point out that the cockpit benches as designed are 7 feet long, enough room for eight guys to sit and drink beer (although stern was down some - the empty cans were floating around the motor well). Also there's room for a couple of six foot guys to sleep in the cabin - we've done cruises of over a week in summer and I've spent over two weeks in her solo.

    As a couple of folks have suggested, better to pick a design that meets your needs than to second-guess the designer. If you're still interested in a Chebacco, look on the Chebacco site, see if there's one near you, call or email and bum a ride. (The site was up and working fine yesterday.)

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

    Jamie

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    I remember now that Bolger also designed a big 15' catboat. Bigger then Bobcat and no cabin. The first had a keel but later Susan Altenburger showed me one with a centreboard. She does not have a mizzen. Perhaps that the boat for you?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Once you have a boat with a mizzen it's hard to go back.
    Take Care,
    Steve W

    Honeoye Falls, New York
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve W (NY) View Post
    Once you have a boat with a mizzen it's hard to go back.
    Having never sailed with one, please give me a few pros and cons.

    Chris

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    One of my boats did not have mizzen, but as a small schooner it had a divided rig with a lot of the same benefits. With a divided rig, you can move the boat in a lot ways you can't with a single stick rig. With my schooner, I could spin the boat on its axis depending on what sails I drew in.
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by SCK47 View Post
    Having never sailed with one, please give me a few pros and cons.

    Chris
    I had a Black Skimmer (another Bolger cat ketch) and could turn the boat in its own length in a calm harbor by backing the mizzen. It also balanced hands-free with the wind anywhere forward of the beam, in most conditions. My most memorable sails on that boat were spent leaning on the bulkhead watching it sail. The mizzen also keeps it calm in an anchorage, head to wind with little sailing around the anchor. Though I never used it as such, mizzens are also great for heaving to with the main down out in open water. As Steve W said, it's hard to go back once you've had one.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    The mizzen is all about controlling the boat. Basically an air rudder. I added one to my little skiff and find it well worth the minimal extra setup time.
    -Dave

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    A mizzen makes most boats also better looking.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    A mizzen makes most boats also better looking.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    I can spin my boat in its own length even without a mizzen. That's what oars are for.

    You won't hear many cons about mizzens here, I suspect, but I'll offer a few:

    1. Extra spars to build--mast, boom, yard (maybe), boomkin (maybe).

    2. Extra sail to buy. Extra line to buy. Extra hardware to buy.

    3. Complications with using a standard tiller become likely in a yawl rig. That's fine if you like using a push-pull tiller, rope steering, or building a complicated linkage to a standard tiller. Otherwise not so much.

    4. Extra set-up time before sailing.

    5. Complications with mainsheet become likely in a ketch rig. You might have to go to a double-sided mainsheet, meaning more clutter of lines to deal with while sailing.

    6. Extra weight way aft in a yawl--probably not enough to matter much, especially if using a lightweight birdsmouth mast.

    No doubt mizzen enthusiasts will step in and explain how all these disadvantages are far outweighed by the advantages. Then again, I have thousands of miles in mizzenless boats and haven't felt the lack of a mizzen to be an obstacle to my safety or enjoyment. Then again again, I have only hundreds of miles in boats with mizzens, so don't have as much experience of the positives. But I am perfectly happy to have managed to avoid the disadvantages listed above, however minor they may be.

    Tom
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    I can offer a couple of mizzen related thoughts; I agree with the pros and cons already stated. In a smaller Sail&Oar type boat, mizzen arrangements can make the after deck/sternsheets a busy place—which might not be a care in a larger boat like the Chebacco:
    C3C30837-C253-4867-9C13-7A4E9CF232E0.jpgBC048643-A004-41A2-9677-EBDEE55CC5C4.jpg
    Thoughtful lay out of controls will make sail handling easy, and sailing less exciting when things pipe up.
    Also, if your sailing style leads you to reefing on the fly in open water, you should give some thought as to how to reef the mizzen on the fly as well. As a for instance, my boat wants a reef in her mizzen by the time I’m tying in the second reef in the main (main only has 2 large reefs, rather than three). If I anticipate the mizzen reef, and I’m working on the beach, the bunt is is rolled from below, and tied in with reef nettles, in which case the sprit boom is still employed. On the fly in open water, the drill is different—remove the sprit, and reduce sail by wrapping the mizzen around the mast—the boomkin is long enough to provide good sheeting angles and some outhaul tension on the clew.
    The offset mizzen mast gives plenty of room for tiller swing, and doesn’t have any negative impacts that I can discern on sail handling or performance.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I can spin my boat in its own length even without a mizzen. That's what oars are for.

    You won't hear many cons about mizzens here, I suspect, but I'll offer a few:

    1. Extra spars to build--mast, boom, yard (maybe), boomkin (maybe).

    2. Extra sail to buy. Extra line to buy. Extra hardware to buy.

    3. Complications with using a standard tiller become likely in a yawl rig. That's fine if you like using a push-pull tiller, rope steering, or building a complicated linkage to a standard tiller. Otherwise not so much.

    Tom
    Nah, you make that sound like a negative. You get to build and make these extra things! More things to build isn't a negative, it's a positive. How often do we get to actually build boats? You can't be shy about a little complexity when the end result is worth it.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    All y'all,

    Can't express my thanks enough for all your input and wisdom. That's what is appreciate so much about this forum.

    My take aways:

    1) pick the right design for my needs
    2) designers have spent a lot of time doing what they do so we can enjoy the fruits of their labor.
    3) refer to #1
    4) build
    5) sail

    Thanks!

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Chebacco variants

    Good summary!

    And be realistic about your needs and desires and what you really will do with the boat. As a young man, I bought a husky under-canvassed cruiser and soon realized I wanted a fast light-air daysailer
    Elect a clown expect a circus

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