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Thread: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

  1. #1
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    Default Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    Hi,

    Would anybody out there have any experience in building or sailing Simon Watts 16 ft Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen boat? See simonwattswoodworking.com or Wooden Boat magazine May/June 2016.

    Stephen.

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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    It's a Falmouth Punt. Seems someone built one on the North Cornish coast in Padstow for use in the Camel estuary or to get over to Rock.

    Those boats originally dredged for oysters in the Fall estuary (they were actually a specific Cornish vernacular type - mostly carvel, lapped topstrake, a one piece keel with a V groove rebate for the garboard on natural grown futtock frames).

    At 4'6" beam, with 120sqft she'll be quickly overpressed in higher winds. They only rowed them and used a downwind sail. Few (the odd one built recreationally) had boards.

    She'll be a good rower and would ghost under sail in light air.


    She'd transition from an oar n sail boat, to sail and oar at 5'4" beam and stand that sail area best at at 6ft beam, solo out on the sea.

    Paul Gartside's No.124 @ 16ft x 6ft would be worth three times your investment in materials, more than Silver Thread, which would be a harder resell. Ireland's not lacking in wind, and that favours beamier boats unless you're a rower first.



    Oughted's Penny Fee has the same sail plan @ 16ft x 5'4" but for glued construction.

    The shorter Vivier Ilur @ 14ft x 5'6" (also for glued construction) is the very thought through with storage and buoyancy. Kit too. Check out the Ilur in Ireland blog (he's south of you).
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 01-16-2022 at 03:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    simonwattswoodworking.com returns a 403—forbidden.

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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by photocurio View Post
    simonwattswoodworking.com returns a 403—forbidden.
    Apologies,

    http://simonwattsfurniture.com/silver-thread.html

    this is the correct address

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    Thank you Edward,

    i was quite concerned at the 4’ 6” beam. Some people have been telling me that the Silver Thread would be very capable in a blow but was at first sceptical of that. I follow Tim’s blog with his Illur and very much like the boat.Had settled on choosing the Illur until the Thread was recommended. Have never seen Paul Gartsides 16 ‘ Lugger, she looks seaworthy. Am trying to choose a wooden sail & oar dinghy for cruising and camping aboard in Irish waters, with a preference for a lug and mizzen configuration. Or Lug only. I presently sail a Swallow boats Bay Raider 20, great boat for a large range of conditions but… plastic. It slightly jars me to be camping on board in beautiful places and not to be surrounded by natural wood. I almost exclusively sail single handed and will trail the boat around Ireland. It will be for a winter ‘22/23 build.

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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    For trailer boat kept out of the water, its hard to argue against glued construction.

    I'd stick to your plan A, and build the Ilur. Beside the kit and strong back arrangement (alot of it slots together) it's the only boat with sub floor oar storage and an anchor well etc. Oughted's Penny Fee would be lighter and edge it in a 'race' but shows not even a single buoyancy compartment, so you'd have to do the figuring with it.

    I watched the Bayraider's launching at a raid from Keyhaven, and the length at 20ft plus a transom, makes for a much bigger boat to launch. A Ness Yawl/ Sooty Tern would also work well, there's magic in Iain's double enders. The motion comfort is very high with them, though I'm sure you've sailed (past) them already and know all about them!

    I'd say a mizzen isn't worth the bother day sailing, but overnighting or more, I'd take a mizzen to help with reefing and hold it to the wind at anchor. The Ilur has loads of rig options. The secret of that boat is the extra freeboard (strakes). It gives the bottom sub floor storage and better seat ergonomics.

    A 5ft 'narrow' boat will roll less than a wider one in greener waves, certainly less so that you wide flat planing bottom on your Bayraider. A 5ft beam also cuts through waves better. A wider 6ft boat holds sail better in gusts but thumps waves a bit. Persoanally I'm at 14 x 6ft (Lymingtom Pram) and like that for the Solent.

    The Ilur is somewhere between and still rows acceptably by all accounts. Don't think you could go wrong with one as a lug or lug yawl. The Beg Meil is the same boat with a bermudan, shrouds and storage etc. Point higher, but more set up time...

    The Ilur kit from Jordan boats costs more than you could build say a Ness Yaw/ Sooty Tern for, but it includes the build jig/ box and molds which takes up quite a few sheets/ boards itself.

    Clint Chase has the Calandar Island Yawl 16 which is lighter than an Ilur and worth a close look too. The Ilur's lift off thwart and flat floor I think might make sleeping easier, not sure if the CY one can do that.

    The only critical thing I'd say watching an Ilur sail (Barnes') is I can see him getting pretty significant weather helm in strong weather as she heels. It's common with a pointy bow and wider powerful transom, but it's not always the case (my Lymington Pram doesn't). It might reflect the misainier rig which has less adjustment available too. Iain's double enders, may have more drag aft at higher speeds, but they stay naturally balanced as they are fairly symmetrical and remain so when heeled. A Ness Yawl/ Sooty has a couple of feet more waterline which also adds a smidge of speed at times. It would be also fair to say Iain puts a little more 'jaunt' and progressiveness in the lining out where as Vivier's are a bit more geometric. Subtle details that can give a boat an edge aesthetically.

    Wolstenholme's Swallow is a lovely thing, bermudan rig, though he could draw you something else I'm sure. Same size as an Ilur.



    https://wolstenholmedesign.com/portf.../dinghy-plans/
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 01-16-2022 at 06:12 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    Edward,

    Thank you for a very comprehensive reply. Yes, I think it will very possibly be an Illur build. It is hard to go beyond the tried and tested and that dinghy has consistently shown to be very capable to meet the needs of a dinghy cruiser. Also aesthetically pleasing to me. She will be kept on a mooring at times but mostly dry sailed. I thought it prudent to explore further possibilities before investing significant time and money. May I say that your encyclopaedic knowledge of the various dinghys is extremely impressive and I thank you for your help.

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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy


    I see reef points. They deal with stiffer breezes.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    I sail an Ilur. She's a lovely boat. I think there would be good reasons to build either Ilur or Silver Thread.

    Silver Thread's narrower beam and lower sides means that she'll row better than Ilur, but won't be as powerful. In Ilur you can stand up and walk around in her, including right up into the bow. This gives a great feeling of security. She also has higher sides, which keep her dryer under way, and also make her easier to sail in ocean swells. You won't be able to stand up and walk around in Bright Thread, and going into the bow (maybe to handle an anchor or mooring line, or rig the sail) is something you will do carefully, ideally with a person sitting in the stern for balance.

    To visualize the higher sides, imagine a typical small sailboat and then add an extra plank. I saw an older wooden sailboat (in Gloucester Massachusetts) that had almost the exact shape of Ilur, but lower sides and a foredeck and side decks. One more plank, and she would have had Ilur's hull.

    If you want a family daysailer, I would choose Ilur: you can fit more persons aboard, be more relaxed under way, better for fishing, picnicking, swimming, etc.

    Silver Thread is more like Vivier's Aber: lighter and slimmer, sweeter to look at, but less comfortable in rough water. Aber, BTW, is popular with the British Dinghy Cruising crowd, as is Ilur. Ilur is just more well known.

    Silver Thread's iron centerboard sounds like a nice feature to me. All these boats benefit from a little ballast. I use two sandbags of lead shot in my Ilur. The iron centerboard means you won't have to think about ballast, and it will be lower. A big plus for that.

    I don't like rowing my Ilur. She's a bear. Every year I swear I'll get a motor mount on her. If you enjoy rowing, choose the narrower, lower sided boat.

    Ilur's glued lap construction makes a very stiff boat. Its noticeably different from traditional lapstrake construction: no matter how strong the wind or how high the waves, the Ilur does not work in the slightest. I'm convinced that this makes her more weatherly (can sail upwind in strong wind and waves) than a traditional lapstreak boat. And, of course glued lap does not leak, at all.

    If you want to do some fine woodworking, that would be a good reason to build Bright Thread. Ilur, with her CNC cut planks, has an artificially "perfect" look to her planking. Silver Thread will no doubt have a lovely "handmade" look to her. You might enjoy carving beautiful knees from crooks of apple wood. The corollary is that Ilur will come together much faster, with her pop-together backbone and frames, pre-cut planks, etc. The difference is a matter of months not weeks.

    I'm looking at the photo of Silver Thread in a stiff breeze that you posted. She clearly needs more downhaul tension, and probably a reef. The downhaul is the key to the lug rig in general, and it needs to be a very strong rope, with a powerful tackle. Mine is 3/8 sta-set, with the designed 3 part tackle. If I were building Silver Thread I'd make the mast at least 6" longer. 12" longer would not be too much. When you bear down on that downhaul, to tighten everything up for that breeze, everything stretches. The sail stretches, the 3/8 sta-set halyard stretches, as does the downhaul. Your sail will be lower than where you expect it to be. But you still need room to tighten up some more. So, make the mast taller! Plus, its nice if you can still see under the boom, so you don't crash into something hiding behind your sail.

    Good luck! Frankly, you can't go wrong with either boat.
    Last edited by photocurio; 01-17-2022 at 08:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    The Ilur in breezy conditions:
    ACCCB003-320D-45AF-8343-6123FA3ADFE2.jpg

    6CC00251-2B04-4D07-8E50-5F25D052B8BA.jpg

    The Ilur can handle more weather than I’d ever care to. She has a very powerful rig, and reefing early will keep her from becoming too physical. I have 50 pounds of lead shot under the sole alongside the CB case in the top photo. I completely agree with Photocurio regarding rigging details—Waxwing’s downhaul and halyard are non stretch high tech stuff. For what it’s worth, Waxwing’s mast is also 6-8” taller than specified by Vivier. And yes, rowing her any distance requires a love of rowing, and many calories.

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    Default Re: Silver Thread Lug and Mizzen Cornish Dinghy

    A few thoughts on the Ilur's sailing qualities:

    My boat has the misainer rig. It is wonderful in its simplicity. It has fewer sticks and lines than any other rig. I see no important reason for a mizzen (although there are plenty of minor reasons). Mainly I just don't like looking aft to check the mizzen. I have owned two boats with mizzens, BTW.

    Ilur is a fast boat. I was sailing next to a 14' fiberglass gaff catboat in a light breeze a couple summer ago. The catboat was perhaps 50% heavier and had a much larger sail. We were both double handed and under full sail. The thing was that the Ilur slipped past the catboat as if she had an outboard pushing her. It was almost embarrassing how easily we ran away from the cat, which was sailed by good friends.

    I often think of adding a boom, and changing to the balanced lug. The performance penalty for the misainer is kind of a lot. Its not just for downwind sailing that the misainer suffers. Its also going upwind on the "bad tack". The misainer has a worse upwind sail shape than the balanced lug, when on the bad tack.

    My Ilur is nicely balanced. There is no bothersome weather helm, even when reaching in a reefing breeze. I think the difference between my Ilur and Roger Barnes' is probably that mine has the new folding spade rudder, and Barnes has the older barn door rudder. That said, usually a narrower boat will be sweeter on the helm than a wider boat, so an Aber or Silver Thread might be even nicer.

    I use a Huntingford's Helm Impeder on my boat, and I love this arrangement. It makes steering much easier. I can sail all day long without fatigue.

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