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Thread: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

  1. #1
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    Default Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    You may be asking why anyone would want to row a Caledonia Yawl. Common opinion is they do not row well.

    I got some new oars and wanted to see if they make a difference.

    I bought a pair of 10.5 ft Sitka Spruce oars from Tom Regan Grapeview Point Boat Works. These are beautiful spoon blade oars with weighted grips.

    Under ideal early morning conditions, no wind water like a mirror, I rowed a three mile route. GPS tracker shows I averaged 2.7 mph rowing at an easy pace.
    I found that the boat actually rows surprising well. It tracks and glides great, even with my dog moving around.

    I do think good balanced oars make a difference. I also added a foot brace, which still needs some refinement.

    Obviously rowing the Caledonia Yawl would be more difficult with wind. I rowed while calm and raised my sail into the wind.

    IMG_3265 (2).jpg

    IMG_3261 (2).jpg
    Last edited by timber_cruiser; 06-04-2022 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Is that what they mean when they say "Dog watch"?

    Nice boat!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Your flotation looks interesting. Under the rails. Could you elaborate?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Bluedog,

    I have 4 CrewSaver 9" x 58" buoyancy bags. I sewed a simple nylon cover with tabs to tie the bags to pad eyes under the side seats. The four bags give me about 530 lbs of buoyancy.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Thanks. Looks nice. I have a Sea Pearl that folks say is impossible to right once turtle. I had similar flotation in a similar location, plus bags under the deck bow and stern. She righted easily. Have you done any capsize tests?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Yes, I am a strong believer in practicing capsize and recovery. The boat rights easily and can be bailed quickly using buckets and a high volume 12v bilge pump. I stow a 33 aH gell cell battery secured to the floor at the base of the mast.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    The CY sails in the lightest of zephyrs. I was very surprised how well they ghost along leaving many other designs in their wake. I rowed one quite a bit with two sitting on the rowing thwart side by side.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    I agree with your assessment. If there is no wind my CY rows just fine, not like a for real pulling boat or the smaller Oughtred double enders I expect, but pleasant enough for a bit. And if there is wind, well then ya sail. And if it is really blowing to the point I don't feel comfortable sailing well then there is the angry cricket I stow under the rear thwart. I tried rowing upwind once in about 15 kts and all I could do was stay in place until I decided I did not really need to go there.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    I agree that the Caledonia Yawl sails very well in light air. I have the balanced lug and mizzen sail plan. The main balanced lug is a generous size!

    I mainly sail high elevation reservoirs which typically have light morning winds and much stronger and shifting afternoon conditions.

    I start out in the AM with no reef and take in at least one reef for the afternoon and evening conditions.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    An update on rowing the CY. I recently participated in the Salish 100 which gave me a better appreciation for rowing, especially on a calm morning.

    I just returned from a trip to Flaming Gorge which has a very good Kokanee fishery. I rowed and trolled for Kokanee in the early AM. I have a downrigger to get my lure to proper depth. I use a GPS fishfinder to help identify depth and location to fish. Rowing about 1.5 to 2.0 mph seemed to work best.

    My dog and I enjoyed fresh fillets fried in a cast iron pan with butter.

    IMG_4682.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Flaming Gorge! I was just looking at the boat ramps there. How is the weather for sailing? I'd guess with the altitude and terrain a guy would be kept pretty busy keeping up with the wind direction and velocities.
    Any suggestions for ramps?
    Thanks
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Dropping the sticks is a nuisance but the air drag is considerable even it there calm. Carry them stickng out over bow or stern.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    Flaming Gorge! I was just looking at the boat ramps there. How is the weather for sailing? I'd guess with the altitude and terrain a guy would be kept pretty busy keeping up with the wind direction and velocities.
    Any suggestions for ramps?
    Thanks

    The water level is currently OK and the boat ramps are good. However, they are starting to let more water flow to try and save Lake Powell.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Understood. If I make it there it will have to wait till next year as I am having reoccurring issues with my eves. Only been on the water once this year, ugh.

    If I was dictator (thankfully I'm not) I'd abolish desert lawns and other unnecessary wastes of water.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    How lively are those oars? They look like they'll have a nice flex to them.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    I really don't notice much flex to them. They do have a good taper but they are strong. Tom Regan makes nice oars and I enjoy using these rather than some older oars which feel like clubs in comparison.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    I visited Tom at his shop and can attest to the elegance of his oars.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    I spent the weekend sailing and camping. A weather front brought some rain and lightning, but the morning was forecast to be clear.


    IMG_4899.jpg

    I readied my CY for rowing only and left the sail gear in camp.

    IMG_4925.jpg

    The boat felt a lot lighter without the masts, sails and rudder on board. I streamed a trout lure and caught then released several trout near the surface. My dog gave me a dirty look after releasing fish, so I kept one Rainbow trout. I do not feel bad about taking it since Rainbows are planted stock in this reservoir. We enjoyed sharing it back at camp.

    IMG_4926.jpg

    A great day on the water.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    I suspect your dog is the real star here - they are such wonderful friends :-)

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Quote Originally Posted by neil.henderson View Post
    I suspect your dog is the real star here - they are such wonderful friends :-)
    Not such a good friend as all that; he's making you do all the rowing!

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    But he's obviously watching very closely to make sure you're doing it right Looks like a great day on the water!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Nice. Great dog. Your boat's missing it's thwart knees?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Thanks for the comments. We love our dog, she is great family member. She is 13 years old, still in great shape and active, but more keen on being comfortable. It was raining while I setup camp so she waited until the tent was up and the beds were in place.

    IMG_4900.jpg

    Edward, the plans for the CY show thwart knees but I decided not to install them after checking with other builders. I used larger cleats for the interior. I find that this provides more room for seating and my sleeping platforms.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Yeah, i’m not sure quite how essential thwart knees are with unstayed rigs and glue lap either. Building 4 laminated AYC fitted and trunnel fastened was alot of work. Putting some shrouds on my IO Shearwater though so probably warranted and my mast goes through the thwart rather than the CY being secured into the gunwales.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    I also dispensed with thwart knees in my Gannet build, but then I made narrow sidedecks (100mm wide) with knees & carlins so that made the hull very stiff :-) I have now started my CY build & would be interested to hear how many CY builders have dispensed with knees in theirs.

    Regards Neil

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Neil, You are probably already aware of the OffCenterHarbor.com video series on building the CY. Geoff Kerr does an excellent job in documenting his build with the 40 part video series.

    The CY Geoff builds does not have thwart knees and he explains the strength of the hull.

    I found this video series to be very helpful during my build.

    This from video 24.

    OCH.jpg
    Last edited by timber_cruiser; 09-14-2021 at 09:19 AM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Quote Originally Posted by timber_cruiser View Post
    Neil, You are probably already aware of the OffCenterHarbor.com video series on building the CY. Geoff Kerr does an excellent job in documenting his build with the 40 part video series.

    The CY Geoff builds does not have thwart knees and he explains the strength of the hull.

    I found this video series to be very helpful during my build.

    This from video 24.

    OCH.jpg

    Yes, I am an avid fan of Geoff's videos................

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Hi @timber_cruiser I'd love to know how you got to decide on the 10.5 ft long oars for the Caledonia Yawl? Did Tom at Grapeview boatworks councel you on that length? I'm curious as some of the formulas such as Shaw and Tenney suggest a length of 11.6' oars for the beam of a Caledonia yawl and CLC's calculator suggests 10.8' long oars. Overall it seems like you are happy with the choice? One more question as I'm looking to build my own is how wide are the spoon blades? Thank you.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Hi Gwendal, Good question about oar length. The calculated oar length is around 11' depending on the method used. Tom's advice was not to go longer than 10.5'. I am glad I took his advice. These oars seem to fit me and the boat well. The blades are 5 1/4" wide. Anything longer than 10.5' would also be more difficult to stow while underway.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Thank you Timber_cruiser that seems to align with what I've been gathering as feedback. I agree that 11'6" oars would start to really be ungainly in the boat when sailing. I'm considering making a set with the scarf method described by Harry Bryan in WB #229 "When the wind fails" which appeals to me as a way to getting them fully stowed down low in the boat when not in use. But maybe the answer is to do two sets. One that is solid and the other that has the scarf and can be disassembled with slightly different lengths.

    Gwendal

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    First day on the water this year. No wind until later in the afternoon, so I rowed a while. I rowed about 2.5 miles and averaged 2.25 mph according to my GPS. I tried to get 1 1/2 boat lengths between oar strokes.

    I added a new foot brace, and mirror clamp which helps a great deal.

    On a sad note our dog, my boat companion passed away recently. She was a terrific dog and an important part of our family for almost 14 years. I miss having her with me in the boat.

    IMG_6193.jpg
    Last edited by timber_cruiser; 05-06-2022 at 04:07 PM.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Quote Originally Posted by timber_cruiser View Post
    First day on the water this year. No wind until later in the afternoon, so I rowed a while. I rowed about 2.5 miles and averaged 2.25 mph according to my GPS. I tried to get 1 1/2 boat lengths between oar strokes.

    I added a new foot brace, and mirror clamp which helps a great deal.

    On a sad note our dog, my boat companion passed away recently. She was a terrific dog and an important part of our family for almost 14 years. I miss having her with me in the boat.

    IMG_6193.jpg
    Sorry to hear about your dog - they do leave big gaps in our lives. My wife and I now tend to bring in a younger dog when the boss of the house (currently Chilli the chocolate Lab) starts to get older than about 11. Latest addition is D'arcy a golden retriever - he is 8 months old and the growth of his 2nd brain cell is progressing well :-)

    I am building a CY at the moment so following this thread with interest.

    Regards Neil

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    So Sorry for the loss of your friend

    About the thwart knees, if you ever are involved in a raft up, or against a dock when someone comes alongside you will really appreciate those knees, and may even want lodging knees.
    I have tied up, gone to the store and come back to find a 30' boat rafted up using my boat as a fender. If that never happens you won't need them...

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    For flat bladed oars in the 10-11 length I've found that you need to pay attention to the blade size. Racing oars and the spoons that Tom built have smaller blades than many of the flat blade types that are typical. I modeled my 10'6" flat blades on RAN TAN after some 10' færing oars I had which lightened the load in my hand considerably. I narrowed the shaft starting at the locks, keeping full dimension in the direction of the load, 90 degrees to the blade so by the time the shaft got to the lock it looked like a cathedral vault, then continued the ridge onto the blades. I also left the handles long enough to be able to get two hands on them if I have crew and we want to use them as sweeps. I have appropriate straps and lanyards and do what the Norwegians do when stowing them: the blades stick out past the stem like a bowsprit. RAN TAN is smaller than a Caledonia, but I wouldn't want to deal with stepping over oar shafts even if I could get them into the boat.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Rowing the Caledonia Yawl

    Fitting a replacement tarp to my tent and getting ready for the Salish 100 coming up in July. Last year I used a dark blue tarp which worked fine, but it could get too warm in the sun. Hanging my oars and main sail from main mast and mizzen. I will use a proper Prusik to hang off the mizzen mast to avoid wear and tear to the mizzen lacing grommets.

    My wife and I will be sleeping on ThermaRest light weight camping cots. These are comfortable and pack down small. The lighter color fabric makes a big difference.


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    Last edited by timber_cruiser; 06-04-2022 at 06:10 PM.

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