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Thread: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

  1. #1
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    Default Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Hey folks-
    Long time lurker. Was pondering about a dream. An affordable old racer to daysailer conversion. Given the proliferation of pricey daysailers out there- the industry seems to have caught on to the fact that people daysail a lot, and there's a $100k+ boat market out there for ~30' daysailers.

    My thoughts- Etchells conversion like this: http://imgur.com/a/351Fe .

    Start off with a structurally-sound Etchells with good rigging. I know, I know- it's not wood. But until the royal we have more time to spend tinkering and caring for a real classic, let us pretend with plastic! This would be downsizing from an older mid-sized coastal cruiser/racer that is a lot of boat for what I need, or need to spend. I'd sell it for ~$30k, pickup something like an old, solid Etchells for $6-10k, and it would leave me with something that could be trailered at the end of the season doesn't hurt, either, for maintenance. Otherwise, it's dropping another $25k+ into my current, big unused old cruiser. Simplify, I say.

    First off-
    Simplify the rigging. Add self-tailing winches. Roller furling. Would need to fit a retiree that would singlehand a fair bit (or at least effectively singlehand!).

    Add a basic (open?) cuddy cabin by cutting out the deck and raising it a few inches (~6"). I'd prefer to make it self-bailing, but that may be tricky given the Etchell's freeboard and all. That would require a decent amount of glass work.

    Widen the cockpit, put in seats (wood slat possibly, or some type combination of fiberglass/marine plywood combo- keeping it simple). Add decently high coamings. The idea would be to make it comfortable. Possibly extend the cockpit aft behind the tiller for a sorta lounge space behind the traveler? That's probably unnecessary, but may not add that much extra work to the project to open the boat up more for daysailing. It seems like an Etchells could have an 8-10' cockpit without too much trouble either way. Perfect for 4-6 adults.

    I'm trying to figure out the time it would take me to do this versus paying someone else. I've looked into what it takes to completely refit a 25-30' classic daysailer by a professional (300+ hours of work) to yacht quality finish. Not really looking for a yacht finish, just a functional, fast daysailer. I imagine, however, that $10-20k would be ballpark for a simple conversion like this over several months. I figure it would take 1.5-4 years for me to do on weekends (depdending on my mood!).

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Not really sure that would be an improvement. You want to sit on the side decks sailing an Etchells.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Somebody did it in the UK. There was a Classic Boat article about it more than a decade ago.One or two of our members may know; Andrew Craig-Bennett is associated with Classic Boat, and Obscured by Clouds who has a similar conversion. If I remember, the UK one changed the rig too, remember the Etchell rig is not designed for cruising

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    There are a few here. At least a couple here in Auckland anyway.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Rather than building up an Etchells, you might consider cutting down a Pearson or other older cruising boat.



    An even better option is cleaning up and detuning and adding a cuddy to a Shields that is too tired to race.


    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Or just go buy a Dragon.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Here's one of the local ones.







  8. #8
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Welcome! We need more woodchucks here...

    Before you go to all that work, cruise the yards in Mallet's Bay, Point Bay & Shelburne Shipyard. Last fall there was a free Cape Dory 25 in need of a lot of TLC available in one of the yards east of the boat launch in MB. The CD 25 is a really nice boat & it already has a cabin. Virtually any part for it is available through Spartan in Maine.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Those are great points.

    Having been spending time out on a Soling lately, it occurred to me that it would make a great daysailer, and that an etchells even moreso. Sure, you can say "they're not a cruising rig" which is correct, but rigs can be adjusted. Whether simple sail trim/modifications or overall rig reconfiguration is necessary, it seems as though an Etchells hull would make for a great daysailer that would be used in fairweather sailing (which is what it would be used for- I'm not gonna pretend we're sorta hardcore here!)

    The repeteadly cut-pasted Triton Daysailer or Shields "gentlemen's daysailer" are not really what I'm looking for- just a basic, detuned racer that can sail really well. Looking for a simplified, sleek and simple boat that makes for a nice sail on a good day.

    It just seems like the no-frills conversion would cost a fraction of such conversions would cost. I mean, that Triton daysailer or Shields (Bolero) conversion were probably $70-100k. How about something simple- a streamlined, slightly-depowered Etchells daysailer.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by geol View Post
    T
    It just seems like the no-frills conversion would cost a fraction of such conversions would cost. I mean, that Triton daysailer or Shields (Bolero) conversion were probably $70-100k. How about something simple- a streamlined, slightly-depowered Etchells daysailer.
    I think you start with a Triton (or other project boat) that has a de-laminated deck and cabin top, so the boat itself is essentially free or very cheap. If you are doing the work yourself, I think materials for the hull, cuddy, deck, and cockpit could be had for a few thousand dollars and the rig for about $15K. A trailer is gonna be expensive.

    Hiring it all done, yeah $50K or more easily.

    One benefit of the Etchells route, or Shields for that matter, is the market in used sails is gonna be much better.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    You wouldn't need self tailing winches. Two part purchase on a blade jib for daysailing purposes would do it.
    "So we beat on, paddleboats against the wake of a neighbor’s jet ski, born back ceaselessly into the past." The Great Lakes Gatsby

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    How about a Bluenose One Design. It's a great daysailor that already has a cuddy cabin.





    I love mine, so I might be a bit biased on the subject. If you're looking for something a bit larger I'd second the suggestion for a Dragon.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    You wouldn't need self tailing winches. Two part purchase on a blade jib for daysailing purposes would do it.
    Absolutely - I use exactly that setup on my boat and it's wonderful for singlehanding. The cleats are on the aft corners of the cabin. Even the overlapping genoa needs just snubbing winches. if you cleat the tail of the sheet to the windward cleat you don't have to go to the low side to release it when tacking.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    There's an old Thunderbird on St. Catharines kijiji.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    That Shields conversion looks nice. I used to sail on one ( unconverted ) all the time in Newport back in the 70s.
    Gerard>
    Albuquerque, NM

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Or just go buy a Dragon.
    or a Luders 16. Perhaps a 24.
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Or an Etchelss, and sail it as is. I'm not sure I understand what is sought to be achieved. I don't understand the proposal to be a yacht conversion as John B has pictured. There is a thread somewhere about a yacht being converted to an open day sailer. Might be instructive if you can find it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Go the converted Eggshell route. There's a few round here in Oz, done in various ways, and they all look good. They are already a cruising rig, in some ways - after all you can go from 0-25+ knots without stuffing around changing or reefing sails. With that little jib and no runners, they're surely much simpler to sail than a Dragon, lovely as they are.

    My 28'er has an Etchells mast and main, which shows that the mains can take a fairly deep reef. I just reef the luff with my cunningham eye tackle, and you could do a tackle for the leach reef too. All you need to do it ditch the halyard lock and get luff tension by pulling the main up a bit too high and then tightening the luff with another lightweight purchase. You may also need to modify the jib halyard; when I was in Etchells you couldn't lower the jib all the way, so one day when a major blow came through at the state titles and everyone dropped their jibs as low as they could go, about 3' off the deck, something like 26 boats needed new head panels put on because the top few feet were shredded.

    I used to sail a Soling that had the freeboard lifted and a cabin put on. Lovely little boat, and it won our equivalent of the MORC nationals. It's pretty small compared to the Etchells and fairly tender.

    It shouldn't be too hard to change the Etchell stern to a conventional counter; I wonder how it would look, especially with timber planking over it?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    What's this Etchells? It's an Etchell, isn't it?

    Anyway, they're a lovely hull. Simplifying a racing setup for day sailing seems a great idea to me. I love wooden boats but a GRP boat is a much easier boat to own and maintain and it's great to see classic GRP boats looked after rather than clogging up all available space. Go for it!

    For a boat that's not going to sea, the only advantage of a self-draining cockpit is that it's cleaner than an open cockpit and sheds rainwater. But with a GRP boat, a bit of water in the bilge doesn't matter much and a simple cover will keep it all pretty clean.

    I'll go against the mainstream a bit here too and suggest that a furler is also unnecessary. You'll probably only use one headsail each time you sail. Just hank on the one you choose and take it off at the end of the day. Your sails will remain in much better condition, you won't get mould on them and you'll save the heap of dough that furlers cost.

    I can't see any advantage in modifying the stern. They look great as they are and perform beautifully.

    Rick
    Last edited by RFNK; 07-27-2016 at 04:59 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    I had always wanted to convert a Columbia Sabre (5.5 meter hull with a doghouse deckhouse) hull to a better looking daysailer. The hulls are solid glass and decks are usually shot. The deckhouse is hideous so there's no guilt about removing the whole lid.
    It's best feature (other than it's beautiful, shapely 5.5 meter hull form) is it's nice size. What many people miss about having a fast daysailer like this is the value of length. A 5.5 is 32-33' long and with that length comes the power inherent in this type of boat. Smaller versions like the Luders 16 and even Shields and Dragon are a bit "corky" in the water.
    The other beauty of the Columbia Sabre is the fact that it's possible to get one cheaply or even free due to their age, odd deckhouse and small interior that makes them unpopular for cruising. RE done with a small cuddy and a more attractive cockpit it would be a very nice daysailer.
    By the way, in the end, I opted to buy a BB 10 meter sloop - which was almost everything I hope to end up with.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Hi,
    Have an Etchells conversion, for sale with custom trailer........Steering wheel system, Honda outboard, Pro furl system, main and Jib....
    Set up with alternate Genoa jib for light air.... Currently in Searsport, ME
    Priced to sell....

    Jack

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    What's this Etchells? It's an Etchell, isn't it?

    Anyway, they're a lovely hull. Simplifying a racing setup for day sailing seems a great idea to me. I love wooden boats but a GRP boat is a much easier boat to own and maintain and it's great to see classic GRP boats looked after rather than clogging up all available space. Go for it!

    For a boat that's not going to sea, the only advantage of a self-draining cockpit is that it's cleaner than an open cockpit and sheds rainwater. But with a GRP boat, a bit of water in the bilge doesn't matter much and a simple cover will keep it all pretty clean.

    I'll go against the mainstream a bit here too and suggest that a furler is also unnecessary. You'll probably only use one headsail each time you sail. Just hank on the one you choose and take it off at the end of the day. Your sails will remain in much better condition, you won't get mould on them and you'll save the heap of dough that furlers cost.

    I can't see any advantage in modifying the stern. They look great as they are and perform beautifully.

    Rick
    Nope, it's Etchells, after Skip Etchells the creator.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._W._Etchells

    http://www.etchells.org/


    By the way I think you're right about the fact that there's little if any need for a furler or self draining cockpit. We raced them regularly offshore out of Sydney (which is very choppy offshore because of the backwash off the cliffs - some British offshore racers used to fit extra vertical panels in their headsails specifically to cope with the Sydney slop) and no one ever seemed to have any trouble with the cockpit filling up.

    Re modifying the stern - it was merely an idle thought because some people prefer the more classical look.
    Last edited by Chris249; 07-28-2016 at 05:26 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    I always thought a conversion would be better with a full counter a la Dragon. The thought that entered my mind was to incorporate a way of hiding an auxilary outboard , as marinas here insist on no sailing .

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    There was a thread here about an O'Day Tempest (23 feet) obtained for a song, that was being retrofitted much like this but I think the author was booted from the site. Pity, I would have enjoyed that thread.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Bump.

    I find myself looking at this thread from time to time. something I could do.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Somebody did it in the UK. There was a Classic Boat article about it more than a decade ago.One or two of our members may know; Andrew Craig-Bennett is associated with Classic Boat, and Obscured by Clouds who has a similar conversion. If I remember, the UK one changed the rig too, remember the Etchell rig is not designed for cruising
    Yup

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    I have fantasies of cutting off the cabin house fore and aft (leaving the head and mast step portions) on one of these Bristol 29s. Add long benches all the way to the head compartment and a bow cockpit; room for a dozen or more family and friends out for a day sail with sandwiches, chips, snacks and drinks. https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/bristol-29
    "So we beat on, paddleboats against the wake of a neighbor’s jet ski, born back ceaselessly into the past." The Great Lakes Gatsby

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    I have fantasies of cutting off the cabin house fore and aft (leaving the head and mast step portions) on one of these Bristol 29s. Add long benches all the way to the head compartment and a bow cockpit; room for a dozen or more family and friends out for a day sail with sandwiches, chips, snacks and drinks. https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/bristol-29
    I know of a Bristol 30 (I'm pretty sure it's a 30) near you you could get for free. Harpswell.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Frozen Snot (Etchells) conversion

    I hate to say "Why go to all the trouble," but seriously, what is wrong with the Shields or Etchells just the way they are?
    Buy one and use it just the way it is and save even more money. I might be talked into a furler for the jib and slugs for the main, but these boats sit happily on moorings and can take 2 or 3 people sailing with very little stress.
    Is sitting on the deck that stressful? Or is it just the big step? If you narrow the side decks of one of these boats you increase the chances of sinking in a knock down. They are that wide for a pretty good reason.
    A low dodger does most of what an increased house would achieve.
    SHC

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