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Thread: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

  1. #1
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    Default Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Like the title says I am having trouble Deciding between a Ness Yawl and A Sooty (or Arctic) Tern for my next build. I was wondering if anyone could tell me if there are any major differences in the sailing performance of the three designs, especially with the Gunter Sloop configuration.

    I've tried searching for more information on the Forum, but haven't been able to come up with a good comparison of these boats with regards to their sailing characteristics. If I missed a thread please accept my apologies.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Cant tell you either.
    Id choose the Arctic Tern for the better looks with 6 strakes.
    But Ian Oughtred is a nice guy who answers also questions by letter or on the phone.
    He should know this best.
    Cheers
    Max

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Max
    Iain actually has e-mail now.

    I sail a Whilley Tern with the gunter rig, but not sailed the others, so can't compare.

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Thanks folks,

    I did write an email to Ian, but haven't heard back from him yet, so I figured I would try crowd sourcing the info to help decide.

    I guess another way to look at this question would be to ask if the difference in hull shape (which appear very close to my uneducated eyes in the catalog of his boats which I have) and number of strakes have any major effect on performance in this case? I am aware that hull length and width dictate changes performance, and for what i am looking for (namely number of people and amount of gear I can carry) bigger is to an extent better within the bounds of the performance I am seeking. With that in mind I have ruled out the Caledonia Yawl for a number of reasons, the main one being reported lack of rowing performance, and since I want a reasonable good rower and don't mind a little spice when it comes to sailing I've whittled it down to to those three.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    I have not owned or sailed either boat, but have sailed and rowed alongside both of them. My observation is that you get what you pay for. If you want more gear-carrying and sail-carrying ability, a Sooty Tern is clearly more capable. If you are more concerned about rowing speed, then a Ness yawl is more likely to come out on top. Neither boat will be as fast as a purpose-designed rowing-only boat.

    This picture (dont know the origin of it) which shows the two literally side by side, gives a good idea of the relative lengths, beams and fullness in the ends. It gives a visual representation of the design numbers.
    Sooty Tern and Ness Yawl.jpg

    I think it comes down to deciding how you will use the boat most of the time.
    Alex

    It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.
    - Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Thanks, This photo helps a lot!

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Like Alex, I have sailed in company with both boats—here are another couple of images which may show some differences in hull volume/sail size.
    Ness Yawl:
    B62CE60F-E8B4-4452-88EA-605DDD040BA9.jpg
    and Sooty Tern:
    BDAEF536-C8D5-425F-8BD0-FF6B9B935C7E.jpg

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Iain Oughtred develops his boats often by comparing them in the Raids that are held in europe. He found that most boatowners prefer to sail , rather then row their boats, so the more recent boats are a bit flatter. Also older boats like the Cal Yawl are changed: The first has 4 planks a side and the later model 7 planks plus larger sail area and it seems faster. He also decided that a sloop rig is a bit faster then a lug rig, but the majority of the sails that I made for his boats are still balanced lug sails, that work quite well. There is however one thing I would change in his sailplan: Ik would make the mast 2 ft longer so the yard twists a bit easier around. And buy the books : Clinker Plywood Boatbuilding Manual by himself and the biography 'Iain Oughtred, a lif in woodenboats by Nic Compton. If you go trough my website you will find a link to Jachtwerf De zeeg who build his Tirrik in aluminium with my balanced lugsail, and lots of pictures of his boats. Good luck. Frank
    www.oarandsail.nl

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Good advice noted above, especially about sail vs oar. Also consider if you will have the need to strike the rig frequently. That's where a lug rig is really helpful.

    Also consider how much you will sleep aboard vs. ashore.

    -Bruce
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Thanks all! I ended up going with the Sooty Tern due to it's larger size but overall similar layout since this would be a boat for at least one other person and I already have a clc skerry if I want to do a smaller trip by myself.

    With regards to your post FF I will definitely check out the resources you recommended. I have Iain's boatbuilding book and have been meaning to pick up his biography. It is interesting you mentioned doing the boat in aluminum, I have thought about it (I have a degree in welding and about a year doing aluminum fabrication in a commercial setting). Ultimately wood is just sooo pretty though!

    If there are any more resources on construction I'd love to hear them. I have watched lots of videos of Iain's boats and 'tales of a shipwright' but I probably will bring some custom elements into the build so happy to hear more.

    Thanks again!

    Edited for grammer since I never remember to proofread before hitting the post button.

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    On the sail/oar bit. I ordered Whilley Boat plans, but since it was when Iain realized that not many rowed it, he increased the girth to make it more stable under sail. So I received plans for the W Tern, for which I am very grateful. With one up and no ballast, it is quite lively and reducing sail early is a 'good idea' Two up, goes well. Iain is always quite generous with sail area.
    But, it does row well too, but you need a system to keep the tiller centered, otherwise it wanders off either way. (Bit of cord with a couple of knots tensioned with bungee and a thumb cleat under the tiller)

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUpsideDown View Post
    If there are any more resources on construction I'd love to hear them. I have watched lots of videos of Iain's boats and 'tales of a shipwright' but I probably will bring some custom elements into the build so happy to hear more.
    Russel Brown has a couple inexpensive ebooks. One on working with epoxy, much of which is in the West System books by the Gougeun Bros. but brought to life with illustrations and his experience. The other is on rolling Perfection LP paint without tipping.
    Offcenterharbor.com has videos by Russel and others. Geoff Kerr has a series of 40+ videos there on building a Caledonia Yawl.
    The book(s) and subscription are encouraging and inexpensive educations.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Can someone explain to me why theese boats are planked with the expensive and difficult to work material plywood instead of ordinary sawn timber?
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Couple of reasons (IMHO..) Plywood is easier to find, certainly around here. It is stable and glues well. Some of the smaller boats have been built in sawn wood, but they tend to be heavier and I don't know if they were glued or clench riveted. If the latter, there is often a problem with drying out and leaks, esp if trailered a lot. Such boats like to stay in the water.
    My boat has no screws or nails in the construction, apart from attaching the metal fittings.

    From the start, Iain Oughtred developed them for plywood, other woods require different techniques and skills. Glued ply is much stiffer for the weight and maybe less daunting for a first time builder.

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Quote Originally Posted by heimlaga;[URL="tel:6753308"
    6753308[/URL]]Can someone explain to me why theese boats are planked with the expensive and difficult to work material plywood instead of ordinary sawn timber?
    Can you say more about “expensive and difficult to work”?

    Every wood working tool I own has cut plywood as effectively as it has cut timber. What is it about plywood that is difficult to work?

    As for cost, I’m trying to source lumber now for a traditional lapstrake timber canoe. If I end up going with the designers recommended species, then I’ll spend more than $500 on lumber that will still need to be resawn and finished to the needed sizes and shapes. I haven’t figured exactly how many sheets of top shelf Okoume it would take to do the boat instead, but at around $100 per sheet, I could get 5 sheets for the same price and that would be too much for the job.

    What is more expensive about plywood? Are trees free for you and they cut themselves?

    I always want to learn more, but in my recent experience, I haven’t found sawn timber to be dramatically cheaper or less work than marine plywood.

    -Neil
    Dreaming of sailing in Iowa, building a Carnell Nutmeg.

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Ask the experts, but I think a glued Lapstrake will tear itself apart if built out of a non-stable wood.

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    I have always found plywood difficult to work as soon as one needs to shape or bevel or scaph it not just cut it to size square and straight on the sliding table saw. Maybe that is just me but I find solid timber a lot easier to shape with hatchet, knife and plane.

    In my part of the world good quality marine grade plywood is very hard no find and never go for less than 100 euro per sheet plus shipping. After the recent price hikes ever ordinary baltic birch plywood costs over 100 euros per sheet and who knows what marine plywood costs.

    Good quality sawlogs cost 80 euros per cubic metre or I can cut them myself for free in our own woodland parcel. Local sawyers charge around 60-70 euros an hour and in an afternoon a 6 ton trailer load of logs are cut into sawn timber of any dimension I want. My 24" jointer/planer combination takes it from sawn to planed in very little time.

    I am just trying to understand.
    Coming into boatbuilding from a background in joinery and log huse carpentry and hobby forestry maybe makes me wiew thing a bit differently. The only sort of boatbuilding I have tested is traditional lapstrake and I find it rather straightforward.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Sooty Tern and Ness Yawl.jpg

    I think it comes down to deciding how you will use the boat most of the time.
    I think I took that photo. Location is under the lift at Cap Sante Marine in Anacortes. They're both fine hull forms. I've rowed and sailed both. I sailed that Ness Yawl for most of 2013, I think, (conducting critical research and development) prior to launching the Hvalsoe 18 in 2015. The Sooty Tern has a bit more wetted surface, the Ness Yawl's bilges are a bit more slack. ST has more initial stability when you step on the rail. Waterlines are similar. Lug yawl sail plans are similar. Displacement is similar. ST may look a lot larger in the photo but I really think the perspective is skewed. They're about the same size.

    I wouldn't build this boat and install anything but a lug yawl. These little unballasted boats are best when you can just show up at the ramp, put the boat in and go sailing. Adding in any rigging time is time not spent sailing or rowing. Sailing performance is solid.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Quote Originally Posted by heimlaga View Post
    I have always found plywood difficult to work as soon as one needs to shape or bevel or scaph it not just cut it to size square and straight on the sliding table saw. Maybe that is just me but I find solid timber a lot easier to shape with hatchet, knife and plane.

    In my part of the world good quality marine grade plywood is very hard no find and never go for less than 100 euro per sheet plus shipping. After the recent price hikes ever ordinary baltic birch plywood costs over 100 euros per sheet and who knows what marine plywood costs.

    Good quality sawlogs cost 80 euros per cubic metre or I can cut them myself for free in our own woodland parcel. Local sawyers charge around 60-70 euros an hour and in an afternoon a 6 ton trailer load of logs are cut into sawn timber of any dimension I want. My 24" jointer/planer combination takes it from sawn to planed in very little time.

    I am just trying to understand.
    Coming into boatbuilding from a background in joinery and log huse carpentry and hobby forestry maybe makes me wiew thing a bit differently. The only sort of boatbuilding I have tested is traditional lapstrake and I find it rather straightforward.
    Around the Midwest where I come from, plywood is much easier to find and buy than timber. You have to hunt around a little to find a local sawmill operator, and even then, it's not likely he'll know anything about boats. And since lapstrake plank shapes are not simple rectangles, sometimes you would need quite a wide board to make a plank from. On the other hand, I can go to a local lumberyard or DIY store and buy good Baltic birch plywood just a few miles from home.

    Plywood lends itself to epoxy construction, which results in a tight boat that can live happily on a trailer rather than a mooring, with no need to take up. For me, that's a major advantage, and enough to rule out traditional construction methods for my boats. Plywood is also useful for interior work, with boats designed to have sealed chambers and compartments, which traditional methods don't really work well with.

    I think designers understand that plywood is perceived to be easier to find, and that many people who would build a boat of plywood would never build a boat at all if they needed to build out of timber with traditional methods.

    Anyway, this is no argument about what is "better" but I do think there are good arguments to be made for using plywood. Of course, I built my boat back when 4' x 8' sheets of Baltic birch plywood cost about $48 locally.

    Tom
    Ponoszenie konsekwencji!

    www.tompamperin.com

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    I strock me that the popularity of epoxy may have somthing to do with those large and fully heated garages very common among those rich enough to afford a hobby in USA.

    Quite different from my reality. I do seme-professional boat work in an unheated shed. In temperatures ranging from +15 to -10 celsius. When it is colder than -1 I do other things inside the workshop which is heated to a more comfortable +5 degrees. Every glue joint is a mayor hazzle and a bit of a gamble.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Deciding between Ness Yawl and Sooty Tern

    Quote Originally Posted by heimlaga View Post
    I strock me that the popularity of epoxy may have somthing to do with those large and fully heated garages very common among those rich enough to afford a hobby in USA.

    Quite different from my reality. I do seme-professional boat work in an unheated shed. In temperatures ranging from +15 to -10 celsius. When it is colder than -1 I do other things inside the workshop which is heated to a more comfortable +5 degrees. Every glue joint is a mayor hazzle and a bit of a gamble.
    The real difference is the difficulty of getting quality lumber in most of the US. Few places have access to anything beyond a contractor oriented lumber supply which is definitely not suited to boatbuilding. Very different from the scene in the Nordic countries. Designers have taken this into consideration. And few designs of traditional boats say anything beyond what kind of material should be used so there is little guidance for the amateur on selection of raw lumber for a building project.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
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