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  • A Seil in California

    This thread will document the build of a Seil 18, designed by Fran├žois Vivier.



    Design considerations:
    Until a few months ago I was pretty set on Vivier's Stir Ven 19 (Open Version). Then, my boys got old enough to join in on some of our adventures, and my perspective shifted.



    I realized that it'll be many years before I want to take either of them out in a small boat in any kind of wind on my home waters of San Francisco bay. Once they're old enough for the bay, they'll probably want to sail their own dinghy with a class or a club. On the other hand they're already old enough to play around in our local lakes, estuaries, and rivers. And really, that's where I like boating best. Here's the manager out on a mountain lake last weekend (full thread here: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...t-camping-trip)


  • #2
    Re: A Seil in California

    Design brief:
    I wanted a boat that was:
    Small enough to comfortably launch, row, and sail singlehanded;

    Image: Ben Ullings / F. Vivier

    Well thought out enough to allow comfortable sleeping aboard;

    Image from Bateau en kit; notice the floorboards raised to thwart level for sleeping platform.


    And designed for self-recovery after a capsize. This video is the only capsize test I can find, and obviously it's not under real conditions, but I'm cheered by the relatively high freeboard of the swamped boat. I think I could bail that out and keep sailing.


    I wanted plenty of room for me, the manager, and the supervisor, both of whom will only grow.

    Image: F. Vivier


    Image from Bateau en kit

    And finally I wanted something I could build this century - between work and these kids, I don't get much time in the shop, and my previous boatbuilding experience is small. Vivier has given lots of though to how this one comes together.

    Image: Duckworks/ Ben Ullings

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A Seil in California

      Known limitations
      All boats are a series of compromises. What am I giving up?
      Well, there's that pram bow. I imagine that'll earn some questions from yokels.

      Image: Bateau En Kit

      The forward sections of the hull are notably full. I'm told this will obstruct in a chop.

      Image: Ben Ullings / F. Vivier

      And I'm ready wet ride in any kind of rough weather.

      In short, this is not a boat I'll sail across the Bay on the afternoon of July 4th (or any other day). That's OK with me. Northern California offers plenty of quieter backwaters.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A Seil in California

        I'm still in the very earlist stages of building. The plan is to first build all the small parts, then build the hull. I'll need some kind of temporary shelter for the duration of the planking and fit-out process. My spouse has very generously ceeded a good chunk of the backyard for this; I intend to colonize it for the shortest time possible. For the next year or so it's fiddiler work on pieces that can be stowed away until needed.

        First, oars, centerboard, and rudder. I had some spare 8/4 ash lying around. Three and a half hours got out enough staves to make four oar looms, four oar blades, and the centerboard and rudder blanks.


        I've heard so much about ash oars, but I've never used a pair (I'm not even sure I've seen a pair). I'm making these to Vivier's specifications so that I know they'll fit in the designed onboard oar storage spacces. I figure they'll be heavy but durable. At the moment they're just slightly over the designated scantlings (to allow a bit of room for wood movement before final shaping).


        My plan is to get them down to the specified dimensions, then test their flexibility as demonstrated by Rick in this thread:

        Originally posted by rgthom
        This is my deflection measuring set-up. If this thread suddenly goes dark it is either that my wife has seen what I am doing in her kitchen, or that Mike has seen what I am doing to his oar .



        From R to L: Pocock scull, my homemade oar with 1.1" fiberglass shaft, and DF/redwood blank. The weight is a bucket filled right at 10.0 kg.


        Based on the results of that test I'm considering shaving them down further until they show the desired flexibility - like tuning a wooden bow. This means shaping them below specified dimensions, which I would justify on the assumption that ash should be stronger than the specified spruce/fir. Any advice?


        Up next is gluing on staves for oar blades, and gluing up the centerboard and rudder blanks. I would have gotten there today but for the supervisor deciding we were done in the shop.


        Looking ahead I'm sourcing lumber yard fir for the mast. The plans call for a 60-70 mm sheeve at the masthead. On a lark, I turned one on the lathe from some HDPE I had laying around the shop. It came out well enough. Even better: according to people who know what they're doing, it should work See here: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...PE-for-sheeves

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A Seil in California

          Vivier’s Seil is an attractive boat. The thing about a pram bow is that, effectively, you have a bigger boat but just one with a foot or two lopped off. It’s one I’d consider if I had a use case for an open sail and oar boat. Of course an Arctic Tern might possibly win out.....

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A Seil in California

            Last post for tonight. For the sake of completeness, here's the designers sketch, including the particulars:


            Hull Length 5.4 m
            Waterline Length 4.2 m
            Breadth 1.64 m
            Weight Ready to Sail 210 kg

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A Seil in California

              Nice to see Ben Ullings boat here, as I made the sail for him. He was not to keen on the big boomless mainsail and I suggested a slightly smaller balanced lug would be easier. I used the dimensions of a Ness Yawl mainsail but the boat proved to be neutral on her helm, sometimes she had lee helm. Ben did not like to add a small mizzen, also my suggestion, and asked Ms.Vivier to design a new balanced main with a boom, that I subsequently made, and that is the sail in #3. Her CE is in the right place. I used her old sail then for my own boat, Lucia, and found the CE also a bit far forward so I added a mizzen. Must make a few mistakes to learn. You can find more details from Bens Le Seil in my blog, and also the link to my video, Two luggers at play, on Youtube.
              I wish you pleasant building. Frank

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Seil in California

                Another that will be following your build.
                Thanks for taking the time to post.
                Good luck.


                http://stickupsharpie.wordpress.com/

                http://gunningdory.wordpress.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A Seil in California

                  Looking forward to following your progress!
                  http://sailingmoga.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A Seil in California

                    Seil is a cool and unusual (at least around here) boat. Looking forward to following along on your journey.
                    Steve

                    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
                    H.A. Calahan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A Seil in California

                      Great choice, hope to see you on the water sometime reasonably soon! You may want to join the local Traditional Small Craft Association (TSCA) and get on their groups.io list -- they'll be very helpful in finding Bay Area sources of materials as well as having centuries of combined boatbuilding experience.



                      My fave photo of Seil -
                      "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
                      Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A Seil in California

                        Originally posted by Thorne
                        Great choice, hope to see you on the water sometime reasonably soon! You may want to join the local Traditional Small Craft Association (TSCA) and get on their groups.io list -- they'll be very helpful in finding Bay Area sources of materials as well as having centuries of combined boatbuilding experience.



                        My fave photo of Seil -
                        The first Le Seil I saw was built by Francois Lelievre, I think with larch planking, in the Dorestad raid. This might be her. Frank

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A Seil in California

                          Great choice of Seil, am looking forward to following this thread and hopefully meeting up out on the local waters soon.

                          A comment on oar flex: the oars I built on the (interminably long) thread you referenced are very soft on the Concept II flex scale. The earlier ones are so soft they are way off the scale. I actually like the softest ones best for all day rowing this kind of boat. They soak up any jerkiness and give an easy kick at the end of the stroke, very forgiving for my old back and arms. I do not notice any loss of speed compared to stiff oars, at the steady pace of a loaded camp cruiser.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A Seil in California

                            Great to hear from all of you. Frank, your comments on the possible sail plans are interesting. Vivier includes both the boomless sail plan and the sail plan for the balanced main with boom. I haven't quite made up my mind but am leaning toward the boomless misainier. What I read about the misainier falls into two camps: people who haven't used it, who express trepidation about handling the large sail and moving the mainsheet in a jibe; and people who have used it, who laud its simplicity and performance. Anyway, thanks for sharing, and thanks for the link to your website. Your video is beautiful.
                            Rick and Thorne, thanks for the local welcome. I'll look into the local TSCA for sure.

                            James
                            Last edited by pez_leon; 06-23-2020, 03:33 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A Seil in California

                              Oar making continues. When I started this part of the project, I told myself I was not going to overthink this pot of beans - just make the oars shown in the plans and get on with building the rest of the boat. Vivier's oars are flat, with long, narrow blades. I've seen similar styles called "workboat oars" on this forum. They make sense to me for this boat, which I hope to sail more than row and in which they'll be trod upon, smashed into rocks, and otherwise abused.
                              I want some numbers I can use to compare these oars to others, so I measured the stiffness of the looms as per this sketch from Concept 2 (also shown by Rick in a post quoted above):

                              from https://www.concept2.com/oars/oar-options/shafts/stiffness

                              The many differences between these flat oars and the pictured hatchets complicate meaningful comparison. For one thing, the blades on these flat oars are proportionally longer than on spoons or hatchets, meaning that hanging the 10 kg mass on the loom-blade intersection bends much less of the loom, and leaves the most flexible part of the oar (i.e.the blade) unflexed. Likewise, hanging the weight at 150 cm from the oarlock (as shown above) lands the mass in an arbitrary spot in the middle of the blade. There's really no "right" place to hang the mass on a flat oar that corresponds to the place above. I'm including these numbers only as a record for myself or for someone who wants to make similar measurements on long-bladed oars.
                              With the 10 kg mass suspended at the loom-blade intersection (i.e. where the oar will widen to form the blade) the loom deflected about 4 cm


                              With the mass suspended at 150 cm from the oarlock (as in the diagram from concept 2) the loom deflected by 12 cm - but don't make too much of this, because we have yet to glue on the cheeks that will widen the end of the loom into the flat blade of the oar.


                              So what's called for is to get the oars into something closer into their finished shape before making any more measurements. I glued on half the "cheeks" that will form the oar blades this morning:

                              Once the epoxy has fully cured I'll bandsaw those down to the taper already present in the loom, then glue on the other cheeks and repeat.

                              I glued up a long laminated blank (or at least the two halves of it that will be narrow enough to pass through my planer) for the rudder and the centerboard. Vivier's latest plans call for making these parts from laminated 12 mm ply, but he notes that timber is also a good choice. The staves for these came from some slightly wonky ash. I shuffled, alternated, and flipped them as best I could before lamination. I'm still not 100% confident that this blank will stay true enough for centerboard use. The plan is to get it flat and then watch it for a while.


                              James
                              Last edited by pez_leon; 06-23-2020, 03:33 PM.

                              Comment

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