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Thread: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Default Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    Hello all,

    Iím in the planning stages of my next build. I completed a elfyn a couple of years ago and am looking at something a little bigger. I think Ivíe settled on the Caledonia yawl. I plan to start from the Hewes and co kit like last time. I plan to use the lug rig with the mizzen. It will be stored on a trailer.

    I will be pretty much exclusively day sailing on a lake in Texas, predominantly with just myself and my wife plus however many dogs decide to come. We may take more people out on it, but I donít really expect to be puttting the 8 or so on it Iíve seen some places. Iím not an exceptional sailor.

    My question is should I go ahead and put the fore and aft decking on it or not?

    pros: deck improves safety and capsize recovery. The reserve buoyancy could be a lifesaver. Might be able to store stuff under the deck.
    cons: very different look. More work to build. Takes up a lot of internal space to put stuff/people. My wife is a little worried about this.

    I havenít seen a lot of good pictures of the decked version.

    Iíd love some opinions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    379

    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    Another option you could do is have recessed decks. The front one can be pretty high: you aren't going to have anyone sitting in front of the mast anyway, but the rear one can be what you sit on (you could also wrap this around to rear side seats). This won't change the look nearly as much, but should still add a bit of buoyancy / dry storage. Here's some photos of what that could look like:

    https://www.denmanmarine.com.au/caledonia-yawl-c25/
    Daniel

    Building a Campion Apple 16.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
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    2,140

    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    Just to be clear, are you referring to the 2 roughly triangular decks at each end of the boat?
    I'd vote for decking them in. Those spaces are mostly useful as stowage space, not for people. So long as you install watertight hatches large enough accommodate, say, sleeping bags or groceries for an overnight trip, they'll come in handy, as well as making the boat safer in case of a capsize.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    Yes. That is what I was thinking about. I’m honestly leaning that way, but wanted a more experienced opinion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    A hearty yes on the decks.
    ​​♦ 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
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    ♦ George Orwell

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Guerilla Bay, NSW, Australia
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    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    I am building a CY myself (my 4th build) and am currently trying to get enough time between rain downpours to glue on the 4th plank! I also looked at what Andrew Denman had done and have decided to at least deck fore & aft - mainly because I want some undercover storage especially for an outboard & anchor. That bow area in a boat is very rarely used by crew/passengers so is well suited to storage, and the CY has 2 of them :-)
    I tend to paint decks with International deck paint because a) it covers up any blemishes b) if provides a non-slippy surface without being rough and c) it applies smoothly and quite easily with the grit evenly distributed.

    I am unsure if I will box in the sidebenches or just put buoyancy bags under them. There are several CY builds on youtube and several CY threads on this forum.

    Good Luck Neil

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Still Above the Grass
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    8,059

    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    I opted for the decked ends as both dry storage and reserve flotation. The ends of the boat are are really not very useful for anything but storage, so why not commit it for that use. The decks on mine are 4" below the rail, so lines can be thrown up there without any danger of them going overboard.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Wrocław, Poland
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    13,469

    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    Hmm... Agree about the decks. But on my boat (Don Kurylko's "Alaska" design), the thwart-height flat in front of the mast (designed as an anchor well, but I put in a sealed chamber instead) is the premium lounging seat aboard the boat, whether at anchor or while sailing. It's especially nice for novices/non-sailors, who have a nice backrest and don't have to duck the sail when it tacks. The weight of a passenger up in the bow also helps the fore/aft trim.

    I can't say I've seen this area used for seating in other boats, but it works well in mine.

    Tom
    Ponoszenie konsekwencji!

    www.tompamperin.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    The reserve buoyancy could be a lifesaver.
    Isn't that enough of a reason?
    -Dave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    UK
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    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    I had the fore and aft decks on the CY I built. They were slightly larger than on the plans- the forward tank came back to the mast step position for use without the mizzen. I can tell you from experience that with 75kg of internal ballast, and a 2.5hp 4 stroke engine, when capsized and recovered she floated high enough to jump in and bail. I'd definitely build them in.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    And with decks you can go forward without trapping your legs. I sailed an aluminium CY with decks and like them. Frank.
    www.oarandsail.nl

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
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    382

    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    Seems like a consensus for adding fore and aft decks. Just want to add some other considerations since I built my CY with the open interior design.

    I like the open design, it works for me. I like the simple open interior that allows me better access to the bow and stern - more safely. Think about how you would access your rudder if needed, or reef your mizzen with a closed aft deck. With the open cockpit I have more options to secure my feet and reach over the gunnel if needed.

    For buoyancy I use canvas covered Crew Saver buoyancy bags securely lashed under side seats and fore - aft thwarts. I tested these last summer with practice capsize and recovery swimming events.

    Another minor consideration is weight, if you ever plan on rowing the CY.
    Last edited by timber_cruiser; 03-01-2022 at 04:34 PM.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2004
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    Norwich,United Kingdom
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    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    Do I not remember seeing at least one CY with decks several inches below the sheerline? I can see the advantage of having an enclosed space below as well as having something to stop odd lines and other items slipping over the side.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Montana, USA
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    240

    Default Re: Caledonia yawl- decked vs open

    I vote for decked. I built my CY without decks and after a few years I installed the decking for the storage and flotation and organization. I went with sort of a hybrid approach - side decks like Denman Marine and a double wide forward thwart that is sealed in as well. I like the ends open for non-dry storage (anchors, fishing gear, fenders etc etc).

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