Admiral Hornblower

Is it possible to make a very small sailboat go fast

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I have some questions of a modified version of Gavin Atkin’s Flying Mouse that I built. First of all here are the specs:

LOA: 8’

Beam: 36’’

LWL: ca 7’5’’

Displacement: 300 lb.

Weight: 60-80 lbs.

The sail has a square head, is 45 sq.ft, and is made out of polytarp. The sail has some sail shaping using darts, though I kind of messed that part up!

Basically I am trying to make this boat go as fast as an 8ft sailboat is capable of. I know that its speed will be pretty limited upwind because of its short waterline length, but could there be some potential for speed downwind? Anybody have any ideas for making such a small boat go as fast as possible? Thanks.

image.png.10604fe083380d35f17b745ba09000ec.pngimage.png.43f9351a520b866241e41dc5db1d5c2d.png

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One word for you...foils. ;)  Why not though.  Throw some foils on that thing.  It looks like a scow Moth anyways.

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Guys, Give him a break, don't be mean.

Admiral, that boat can very easily be made to go much faster than you would have thought by looking at the sailplan and her lines.

First.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

get a trailer....

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If you want a fast boat, today the design of the foil and the sail are more important than the dimensions of the hull. Of course, less weigh better.

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4 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

I have some questions of a modified version of Gavin Atkin’s Flying Mouse that I built. First of all here are the specs:

LOA: 8’

Beam: 36’’

LWL: ca 7’5’’

Displacement: 300 lb.

Weight: 60-80 lbs.

The sail has a square head, is 45 sq.ft, and is made out of polytarp. The sail has some sail shaping using darts, though I kind of messed that part up!

Basically I am trying to make this boat go as fast as an 8ft sailboat is capable of. I know that its speed will be pretty limited upwind because of its short waterline length, but could there be some potential for speed downwind? Anybody have any ideas for making such a small boat go as fast as possible? Thanks.

image.png.10604fe083380d35f17b745ba09000ec.pngimage.png.43f9351a520b866241e41dc5db1d5c2d.png

 

It's worth your while to make another sail. Patience and attention to detail.

The sail is the engine, and the boat will go faster the more horsepower you apply it.

High speeds- you seem to know about planing, this boat has a planing shape. As per above... horsepower... how much horsepower does it take to make it plane? Here's an experiment you may be able to do: get a friend in a motorboat to pull you, and see how fast you have to get going to plane. See how much force it takes on the tow rope. Then, apply that measure to your sail, rig, rudder, daggerboard... will they take that much force?

Make it all as light and strong and smooth and fairly-shaped as you can. With a boat like this, the exact foil section of rudder & daggerboard is not as important as that they have a foil shape, be rigid (the daggerboard needs to be strong enough to hold your wight in a capsize), and smooth & fair.

The next step, once you've generated enough horsepower to plan and shown the boat can be handled under this much applied force, a lifting foil woould make it quite a bit faster. That's a new challenge going to the next level for strong & light etc etc.

FB- Doug

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It’s been done before: 

 

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Thanks for your answers everyone.

Black Sox, I do have plans to sail it in a larger body of water but was just using the pond to test her out.

I also agree that the sail is not anything special, I was mostly using it as a prototype. 

Steam Flyer, thanks for all the insight. Would a Laser sail work on this boat? And if so, does anyone know of a way I could obtain a old blown out laser sail? And for the foils, could I start by shaping 2 pieces of plywood into an air foil shape and fasten them to the centerboard and rudder?

 

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8' is about the length of a formula board, so adding a fin + big race rig is the best hope of getting that thing to "go as fast as possible"

image.thumb.png.cc11a3f8f2cbfb1a5653fb00e2a8471a.png + image.png.081c866873074615f3c5de1fd1845b1c.png

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I bought a used Laser sail for $25 that was in pretty good shape after I cleaned it up from an ad under "Laser for sale ads" on an internet search.  I think you'll find several cheap.

Good luck.  

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As far as platforms go, that one actually isn't bad for going fast, provided you keep in mind some basic principles.  Some people have already mentioned your sails, and this is important.  Your current setup will not yield good results.  A Laser sail would be more than enough power, and you would probably want to gear down the square footage to about 50-55 ft^2 instead of the ~70 that a full rig Laser sail is. 

Next, and even more important is the weight.  Looks like you used basic plywood 1/2"? 3/8"?  something around there.  That's going to be a major hindrance.  You should be able to build that boat so that it weighs 45-60 lbs, depending on how careful you are.  If you can get the weight down in that region, you will have an excellent platform.  1/8" Okume is nice stuff, and if you're careful you could build that boat out of 1/8" with judicious use of structural members being a combination of stringers and ring frames.  Even better if you make some sandwich panels for ring frames and bulkheads.  Anywhere you can shave weight is going to pay huge dividends.  Hopefully none of this is discouraging, because the process I'm describing is actually a lot of fun trying to engineer something that is simultaneously light and stiff enough to handle the loads that you will be throwing at the structure.  Also, luckily, that platform you've chosen is uncomplicated and therefore relatively inexpensive to mess around with.

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4 hours ago, mothman505 said:

I bought a used Laser sail for $25 that was in pretty good shape after I cleaned it up from an ad under "Laser for sale ads" on an internet search.  I think you'll find several cheap.

Good luck.  

Thanks,  I think the laser sail is the way to go, I will definitely search around for a used one.

 

2 hours ago, eliboat said:

As far as platforms go, that one actually isn't bad for going fast, provided you keep in mind some basic principles.  Some people have already mentioned your sails, and this is important.  Your current setup will not yield good results.  A Laser sail would be more than enough power, and you would probably want to gear down the square footage to about 50-55 ft^2 instead of the ~70 that a full rig Laser sail is. 

Next, and even more important is the weight.  Looks like you used basic plywood 1/2"? 3/8"?  something around there.  That's going to be a major hindrance.  You should be able to build that boat so that it weighs 45-60 lbs, depending on how careful you are.  If you can get the weight down in that region, you will have an excellent platform.  1/8" Okume is nice stuff, and if you're careful you could build that boat out of 1/8" with judicious use of structural members being a combination of stringers and ring frames.  Even better if you make some sandwich panels for ring frames and bulkheads.  Anywhere you can shave weight is going to pay huge dividends.  Hopefully none of this is discouraging, because the process I'm describing is actually a lot of fun trying to engineer something that is simultaneously light and stiff enough to handle the loads that you will be throwing at the structure.  Also, luckily, that platform you've chosen is uncomplicated and therefore relatively inexpensive to mess around with.

Yes, I think I am definitely going to go with the laser sail, I sketched out a quick scale diagram of the full rig laser sail on my boat, and it looks a bit large. The foot hangs off the stern of the boat by more than a foot! Although, if I cut  down the sail it should fit better. I am sorry the picture is sideways , I couldn't get it to go right side up

DSCN2874.thumb.JPG.2c6424db3df3fb9af90c079acd768fae.JPG

The boat did end up weighing more than it should have and i think that's in part due to over engineering things. I was more concerned that the boat would stay together, than be light and fall apart, since I don't have enough skills to build a both light and strong boat. But I will definitely keep what you said in mind next time I build a boat, which will hopefully be soon (boat building is addictive). By the way, instead of cutting down the sail could I add a trap instead? I have never heard of somebody traping off a boat so small so maybe that's a bad idea...any thoughts? Also is it a problem if the boom hangs far over the stern, as it would if I did not cut down the sail?

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23 hours ago, WCB said:

One word for you...foils. ;)  Why not though.  Throw some foils on that thing.  It looks like a scow Moth anyways.

Foils are not the solution, yes people have foiled optimists but the physics is pretty bloody simple, all boats have a maximum speed either limited by wave drag or speed planning. Add foils at that speed, or just below it, and you will benefit from foils. The lower the maximum speed is and the bigger the foils need to be, the bigger the foils need to be the more drag they cause heavily impacting the maximum speed in a downward spiral. 

Foiling is a dead end having a negative effect on sailing. 

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On 4/6/2020 at 8:20 PM, Admiral Hornblower said:

I have some questions of a modified version of Gavin Atkin’s Flying Mouse that I built. First of all here are the specs:

LOA: 8’

Beam: 36’’

LWL: ca 7’5’’

Displacement: 300 lb.

Weight: 60-80 lbs.

The sail has a square head, is 45 sq.ft, and is made out of polytarp. The sail has some sail shaping using darts, though I kind of messed that part up!

Basically I am trying to make this boat go as fast as an 8ft sailboat is capable of. I know that its speed will be pretty limited upwind because of its short waterline length, but could there be some potential for speed downwind? Anybody have any ideas for making such a small boat go as fast as possible? Thanks.

image.png.10604fe083380d35f17b745ba09000ec.pngimage.png.43f9351a520b866241e41dc5db1d5c2d.png


Don’t make it go faster, talk to your mates and build a class of these fantastic boats. Competitive sailing eclipses speed. Here in the UK you only have to look at the PY returns, people sail boats because they like close competition. A recent post on a UK dinghy forum asked what was an important feature in a dinghy - speed was rarely mentioned. Walk around any dinghy park and the height of the weeds are directly proportional to the ‘performance’ of the boat. 

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32 minutes ago, VWAP said:

This type of sailing has more future and traction than speed and foiling,  Italy have a good class also

http://www.diecipiedi.it/ns/flotta/monoscafi.html

simple global rule returning to the dawn of dinghy Sailing has to be a positive direction, build a boat for less the foils of a ‘performance’ boat 

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Not bothering to google it but a Butterfly rig may be about right and you're in Butterfly country, shouldn't be too hard to find a boat to steal a rig off. It is a 3 wire rig.

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6 hours ago, VWAP said:

That pic is a Kiwi design called a Firebug. We’ve got them in Australia as well. I started a racing program with 6 of them, before we switched to Opti’s and Open Bics. They are really fun boats. Plenty of go. Self bailing cockpit. Honestly, I like them better than an Opti. 
 

https://firebugdinghiesaustralia.weebly.com/

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23 hours ago, eliboat said:

As far as platforms go, that one actually isn't bad for going fast, provided you keep in mind some basic principles.  Some people have already mentioned your sails, and this is important.  Your current setup will not yield good results.  A Laser sail would be more than enough power, and you would probably want to gear down the square footage to about 50-55 ft^2 instead of the ~70 that a full rig Laser sail is. 

Next, and even more important is the weight.  Looks like you used basic plywood 1/2"? 3/8"?  something around there.  That's going to be a major hindrance.  You should be able to build that boat so that it weighs 45-60 lbs, depending on how careful you are.  If you can get the weight down in that region, you will have an excellent platform.  1/8" Okume is nice stuff, and if you're careful you could build that boat out of 1/8" with judicious use of structural members being a combination of stringers and ring frames.  Even better if you make some sandwich panels for ring frames and bulkheads.  Anywhere you can shave weight is going to pay huge dividends.  Hopefully none of this is discouraging, because the process I'm describing is actually a lot of fun trying to engineer something that is simultaneously light and stiff enough to handle the loads that you will be throwing at the structure.  Also, luckily, that platform you've chosen is uncomplicated and therefore relatively inexpensive to mess around with.

Nothing I ever built was all that great the first time I built one. It's almost like all these complex skills, you have to learn how or something!

There is nothing as complex in all the trade-offs, and as rewarding, as building and sailing your own boat.

Years ago I invested a lot of time in trying to develop inexpensive foam cores. Frustrating, as the cheap varieties of readily-available foam do not take a bend. I did a mix of wood stringers (and you have to either pick the wood very carefully, or rip-saw your own for clear-grained stringers out of bigger cheap wood that you STILL have to pick carefully) and foam, using curved surfaces appropriate for cheap ply. With this, you can build a boat that is about 2/3 the weight of less-expensive ply and one that is considerably more rigid; the biggest advantage is that it will never rot.

All this is really only possible for somebody that already has shop space and tools.

Adm H, keep it up! You have a lot going for you that you probably don't even realize!

- DSK

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Nothing I ever built was all that great the first time I built one. It's almost like all these complex skills, you have to learn how or something!

There is nothing as complex in all the trade-offs, and as rewarding, as building and sailing your own boat.

Years ago I invested a lot of time in trying to develop inexpensive foam cores. Frustrating, as the cheap varieties of readily-available foam do not take a bend. I did a mix of wood stringers (and you have to either pick the wood very carefully, or rip-saw your own for clear-grained stringers out of bigger cheap wood that you STILL have to pick carefully) and foam, using curved surfaces appropriate for cheap ply. With this, you can build a boat that is about 2/3 the weight of less-expensive ply and one that is considerably more rigid; the biggest advantage is that it will never rot.

All this is really only possible for somebody that already has shop space and tools.

Adm H, keep it up! You have a lot going for you that you probably don't even realize!

- DSK

Thanks so much for your helpful, encouraging, post. I really appreciate it. I certainly will continue with boat building, I enjoy doing it almost as much as sailing!

By the way, do you know of any ways to fair out uneven spots on a hull? Because when I finished coating my hull with epoxy I noticed a lot of unfairness and bumps. I tried to sand them out, but unfortunately  that didn't work too well, do you have any suggestions for fixing that?

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5 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Thanks so much for your helpful, encouraging, post. I really appreciate it. I certainly will continue with boat building, I enjoy doing it almost as much as sailing!

By the way, do you know of any ways to fair out uneven spots on a hull? Because when I finished coating my hull with epoxy I noticed a lot of unfairness and bumps. I tried to sand them out, but unfortunately  that didn't work too well, do you have any suggestions for fixing that?

Yes, but you'll have a tough job sanding the epoxy bumps off. The process of smoothing out a hull (or a foil, like a daggerboard, rudder, or keel) is called "fairing" and there are some threads here about it.

Basically, turn your hull upside down and prop it up at a comfortable height to work across the bottom. Get a long batten, like 2' or more by at least 3 or 4 inches wide, that you can bend along the curve of the hull you intend to smooth out. You want it springy but not too stiff. The idea is to use this to guid your sandpaper in a smooth & even (or "fair") curve, no humps and no hollows. As you sand off the surface layer of paint, you should take off the uppermost parts of the bumps. The usually problem is that you push to sand off a bump, and the sandpaper digs in to the area around it, and you end up with a hollow spot. That's what the batten helps you avoid.

Then, when you've got the bumps and high spots smoothed over, you scrape off the hollows and mix up a light weight putty to fill in the hollows. More sanding, with your batten of course.

It's up to you to decide how perfect you want to make it.

When you do this with a foil, you can also make up a set of templates to guide the batten over the shape you want, to get a particular foil section as well as making it smooth and fair. This is where the last couple of ticks of performance can kick in. Water molecules are very fussy about jumping over what look to them like mountains or getting sucked into canyons, as they scoot across the surfaces of your hull & foils!

FB- Doug

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Jesus christ people. If things are so bad, and they might be, that we going here can we please start by;

Fixing the fucking rudder on properly. It's currently hanging off one pintle.

Do something to keep the stick up. The mast currently seems to be supported by something from him mums knitting basket.

When I get in a boat I like to be confident that it will float, the rudder is sound and the rig stands a reasonable chance.

And there no point sanding the fucking thing down until it's got a sail.

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I generally found that going out in more wind helped,

25 knots will get that thing flying.

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If it is blowing 25 knots, STAY ON SHORE!!!  I am NOT a fan of gofundme accounts.

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European Bloke, the reason there is only one gudgeon is because there wasn't enough room on the transom for another one, but that was a temporary way to get her sailing, I promise!  I am going to extend the transom up a bit so I can fit the other gudgeon.

As for the sail, I am looking for a used laser sail to use instead of the poly tarp one I currently have, but I'm not having much luck finding any on the internet. If you or anybody else knows of a place or website that might have any used laser sails (or any other sail that might fit), please let me know.

Actually, the mast  is held up with 1/8 spectra that I got off eBay, so far it seams to be working OK.

4 hours ago, European Bloke said:

Jesus christ people. If things are so bad, and they might be, that we going here can we please start by;

Fixing the fucking rudder on properly. It's currently hanging off one pintle.

Do something to keep the stick up. The mast currently seems to be supported by something from him mums knitting basket.

When I get in a boat I like to be confident that it will float, the rudder is sound and the rig stands a reasonable chance.

And there no point sanding the fucking thing down until it's got a sail.

 

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Yes, but you'll have a tough job sanding the epoxy bumps off. The process of smoothing out a hull (or a foil, like a daggerboard, rudder, or keel) is called "fairing" and there are some threads here about it.

Basically, turn your hull upside down and prop it up at a comfortable height to work across the bottom. Get a long batten, like 2' or more by at least 3 or 4 inches wide, that you can bend along the curve of the hull you intend to smooth out. You want it springy but not too stiff. The idea is to use this to guid your sandpaper in a smooth & even (or "fair") curve, no humps and no hollows. As you sand off the surface layer of paint, you should take off the uppermost parts of the bumps. The usually problem is that you push to sand off a bump, and the sandpaper digs in to the area around it, and you end up with a hollow spot. That's what the batten helps you avoid.

Then, when you've got the bumps and high spots smoothed over, you scrape off the hollows and mix up a light weight putty to fill in the hollows. More sanding, with your batten of course.

It's up to you to decide how perfect you want to make it.

When you do this with a foil, you can also make up a set of templates to guide the batten over the shape you want, to get a particular foil section as well as making it smooth and fair. This is where the last couple of ticks of performance can kick in. Water molecules are very fussy about jumping over what look to them like mountains or getting sucked into canyons, as they scoot across the surfaces of your hull & foils!

FB- Doug

Thanks Steam Flyer, I will definitely  try what you suggested.

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46 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

I'll give you a laser sail with battens if you 'll pay for shipping. However , your mast and boom seem short for it + how are you going to sleeve it on the mast if you have shrouds?

E

 

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27 minutes ago, Emilio Castelli said:

Clearly I don't know how to post.

E

I think we all know what you meant... what a nice offer.

It will be a challenge to fit it to the boat, but that's what being young is all about, eh?

FB- Doug

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9 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

European Bloke, the reason there is only one gudgeon is because there wasn't enough room on the transom for another one, but that was a temporary way to get her sailing, I promise!  I am going to extend the transom up a bit so I can fit the other gudgeon.

 

 12" of 2"x4"  (or a couple of bits of 2"x2" stacked), epoxied along the centre of the transom, will hold a gudgeon.  Then move the other as low as possible.  That's the simple bodge fix.

 

What you have now will rip out, and when it does it will make a right mess.

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13 hours ago, Emilio Castelli said:

I'll give you a laser sail with battens if you 'll pay for shipping. However , your mast and boom seem short for it + how are you going to sleeve it on the mast if you have shrouds?

Wow, what a generous offer! Thanks so much!  I'm currently looking into a local option, we'll see what happens with that. So let me get back to you about it.

As far as how I  will fasten it to the mast and boom, if the boom is too short I will make a longer one.  The sail will have grommets punched in the luff and will be fastened to the mast with rope rings . If I could put a mast track on it I would, but  am really not sure how to manage that.

 If the sail is too big I will try cutting it down to fit the boat better.

3 hours ago, European Bloke said:

 12" of 2"x4"  (or a couple of bits of 2"x2" stacked), epoxied along the centre of the transom, will hold a gudgeon.  Then move the other as low as possible.  That's the simple bodge fix.

 

What you have now will rip out, and when it does it will make a right mess.

the transom is made out 3/4'' lumber for the reason you mentioned above. Is 3/4'' thick enough to stop the rudder fittings from pulling  out?

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1 hour ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

 

the transom is made out 3/4'' lumber for the reason you mentioned above. Is 3/4'' thick enough to stop the rudder fittings from pulling  out?

That's fine, provided you get enough separation between the 2 fittings.  The more separation the less the load.  That was why I suggested increasing the height of the transom, to get the top fitting higher.  Then move the other fitting as low as you can.

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Try getting a laser radial rig as they are a more efficient shape and it would be much more manageable for that size of boat.

Also see if you can get a used championship sail as it will be in much better condition than one used for club racing.

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6 hours ago, boredofbeingstuckinside said:

Try getting a laser radial rig as they are a more efficient shape and it would be much more manageable for that size of boat.

Also see if you can get a used championship sail as it will be in much better condition than one used for club racing.

Thanks for the info, that's helpful to know.

 

I am  wondering if anybody has any ideas for a simple hiking strap? I am not sure how to make it strong enough to support my weight,  also the cockpit walls are made out of 1/4 inch plywood so what sort of reinforcing would need to be done? Some pictures of the cockpit:DSCN2892.thumb.JPG.70cb02b5bc4cfa3cb3bbdeb6a0d81d4a.JPG

DSCN2890.thumb.JPG.ddb016f524a7416393aeb1b55c0d545f.JPG

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Epoxy some more chucks of 2x2 in where you need to fix the end of the straps and screw into them with 1 1/2 self tapers. Use long enough bits of 2x2 to enable a decent bond, and remove the existing paint before you start.

Webbing strap is cheap from any boat shop. Use elastic to hold them up so you can easily get your feet under them.

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I suggest you go easy on the sail/rig for now. It appears to be a pretty light duty mast step, and you don’t want to damage that. Dismasting is no fun. Also, I know you want to go fast, but if you put too much sail on that boat, given the lack of buoyancy in the bow and how far forward the mast sits, you risk submarining pretty quickly. Get this boat strong and fully functional before you add a bunch more power. 

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How this place has changed since I made my first post.

A few points which will probably make me very unpopular, firstly the boat that you have built has the maximum potential speed of an Optimist if you are sailing at whatever the optimum angle of sail is for that hull and whatever rig you put onto it. Secondly it is as fair as a piece of corrugated steel and I am sure the foils have the hydrodynamic lift of a brick. Thirdly, it is built out of junk by someone who has no idea how a sailboat works or the loads that are exerted on the hull. Fourthly, the boat is so narrow that there will not be enough righting moment for even a radial rig if the mast step, as a previous poster mentioned, was capable of carrying the loads.Fifthly, it would be better to buy a second hand boat that actually works, and I am sure there are a few posters here who could advise the OP on what is available in his hood for not too much cash,  and could maybe also advise them where their nearest club is so they can go for a sail on something that actually works. As much as I understand that some people have serious financial constraints it does not make sense to spend anymore money on this project as the foundation is fundamentally flawed.

Flame away....

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I sense that we are dealing with a young, newbie sailor who has built his first boat. As such, a thrashing just doesn’t seem in order. However, if my take is wrong....

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2 hours ago, Major Tom said:

How this place has changed since I made my first post.

A few points which will probably make me very unpopular, firstly the boat that you have built has the maximum potential speed of an Optimist if you are sailing at whatever the optimum angle of sail is for that hull and whatever rig you put onto it. Secondly it is as fair as a piece of corrugated steel and I am sure the foils have the hydrodynamic lift of a brick. Thirdly, it is built out of junk by someone who has no idea how a sailboat works or the loads that are exerted on the hull. Fourthly, the boat is so narrow that there will not be enough righting moment for even a radial rig if the mast step, as a previous poster mentioned, was capable of carrying the loads.Fifthly, it would be better to buy a second hand boat that actually works, and I am sure there are a few posters here who could advise the OP on what is available in his hood for not too much cash,  and could maybe also advise them where their nearest club is so they can go for a sail on something that actually works. As much as I understand that some people have serious financial constraints it does not make sense to spend anymore money on this project as the foundation is fundamentally flawed.

Flame away....

 

Yep, but what's gained by DISCOURAGING a young person who has the gumption to build a boat then sail it?

Was the first boat you built fucking perfect? Mine certainly wasn't, in fact it barely made a decent planter for the side yard (good stuff went in the front yard). Adm H has already shown that he wants to learn from others, let's give him a chance to. And this can't be done in a single bound from rough-but-floats home brew scow to suddenly cranking out a Merlin-Rocket or Cherub.

The way I see it, Adm H is on the same path many of us went on... personally I sailed a LOT more store-bought boats than built my own, but I have built a few and may do so again.... and has plenty of room to grow & improve.

No flame, just trying to be positive

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

Yep, but what's gained by DISCOURAGING a young person who has the gumption to build a boat then sail it?

Was the first boat you built fucking perfect? Mine certainly wasn't, in fact it barely made a decent planter for the side yard (good stuff went in the front yard). Adm H has already shown that he wants to learn from others, let's give him a chance to. And this can't be done in a single bound from rough-but-floats home brew scow to suddenly cranking out a Merlin-Rocket or Cherub.

The way I see it, Adm H is on the same path many of us went on... personally I sailed a LOT more store-bought boats than built my own, but I have built a few and may do so again.... and has plenty of room to grow & improve.

No flame, just trying to be positive

FB- Doug

My first boat was in the top 10 % in the country, as the helm I was probably the weak link, I got to be a lot better sailor with time and practice, and have since  personally built another 500 or so including world championship winners.

There is one thing I had going for me, my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a competitive boat, so they bought me a clunker, and I completely rebuilt it, new bottom ply then new deck ply, so while learning to sail not only on this boat but also by crewing for older experienced sailors, I learn how to build boats, so when I built my first boat with the assistance of an older mate who had already built one with his father it was an above average boat in the fleet of approximately 90 boats at the national champs. I was simply suggesting that by learning to sail first the OP would have a far better understanding of how boats actually worked before throwing money away based on advice on an Internet forum.

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6 minutes ago, Major Tom said:

My first boat was in the top 10 % in the country.....

So it was only -almost- perfect

;)

I agree it's difficult to learn to sail properly on a clunker of a boat. One of the things I suggested was to be towed by a friend in a motorboat, and holding on to the tow rope, to get an idea how much force was involved.

I've re-built a bunch of one-designs and they generally were considered faster than average, but hopefully I'm not encouraging the Op to waste time or money. No idea what the local sailing scene is like, where he is... there may not be any.

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Sorry if I have offended anyone, I know the boat is pretty rough, but first of all, i was completely on my own on this build, nobody that I know has any knowledge of boat building,not even my dad, and even if he had, he is way to busy to help me. Secondly, I  funded this project from money I earned myself.  And since 14 year olds usually don't earn money I didn't have enough money to spend on high quality materials and techniques.  

And btw, I do know know to sail, I learned to at a sail camp at  Pymatuning Sailing Club, i totally fell in love with sailing after that,  so we decided to join that club last spring. i have sailed Lasers, Hobie cats and other sailboats since then and have done some PY racing. I totally agree that my sailboat is rough, but i have to start somewhere and  hope that the boats i build will get progressively better till they are up to your standards

 

 Steam Flyer, thanks for being so supportive and encouraging.Thank you

Hornblower, this is ANARCHY. Take the lumps as if they are honey :-) Some people on Dinghy Anarchy actually know stuff (some maybe less so) (some are even legendary actually)-- even the "harsh" perspectives are interesting most of the time--or at least worth a chuckle. Haha.

Pymatuning! That's Thistle country! I've raced on that lake. There used to be a Wiley Wabbit there (of all things!).

If you are 14 holy shit! Keep at it.
Do you have Boatbuilding by Howard I. Chapelle?

Another good book is the one by Gougeon: The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction. Actually there are lots of good books...but the Chapelle book is very much focused on traditional wooden small sailboats. It is a useful place to soak your brain, especially if you are building with wood. Gougeon is all about epoxy and boatbuilding--which is also nowadays obviously the way to go often.

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Now that Major Tom has cleared the air of political correctness and called a spade a spade, lets get back to the original question:

 YES it is possible for a small boat to go fast, but NOT this one. 

And I did build my firsts boat at 14 and it certainly went better than this one. I have subsequently built about 30 more and bought maybe 15 others. I built my second faster boat after just two years, the Admiral seems to need to hasten this process.

For a small boat  to go fast it initially needs to be very light. It needs an efficient rig and it needs effective fin and rudder. You can not build a small boat light with 3/4in or even 1/4in plywood. While I now sail a carbon foiling moth I go back far enough to have built plywood moths also. I remember last century when moths were not only extraordinary fast for their size but also cheap to build. We used 1.5mm and 2mm ply and very small sections of timber for stringers etc. I am referring to the light skiffs from Europe and the scows from Australia, not the heavier moth boats from the US. These designs are still available, in the UK there is an enthusiastic group of past moth enthusiasts collecting old designs and boats and they will be able to steer you on to plans if thats your wish. 

Light boats need to be cared for, no dragging up the beach, no bouncing off a dock. The hull only ever touches water or its cradle. If thats not for you, be content to go slow.

While I am moth centric, you do not need to build a moth but if you use the basic design concepts and scantlings you will certainly get a small boat which will be a lot faster than what you have created to date. If you do happen to build a moth you will benefit from a lot of advice and access to some great value second hand gear, which will save you money and get you going in the right diriection and much faster.

Start with lowriders FB group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/422607964597474/ 

and the Aust Scow group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/447722085340660/ 

and this page has designs:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/447722085340660/files/

Admiral, PM me if you want to discuss. 

 

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I'd like to help young Adm H improve the boat he's built, and that way he can learn what could be done better from examples he's completely familiar with, and better understand how those improvements work. A smoother hull is fairly easy & cheap and intuitive, a better sail is also visually obvious but doing a bunch of things you can't see. When he comes up against the limits of what can be done with this boat, or himself decides it's time to move on and try the next project, he's got a lot of great options but I don't think it's time to turn out the lights on this first one yet.

Or, we could take up a collection to get him a Machete kit (does Dave Clark still sell these?) and vicariously enjoy

FB- Doug

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thanks  Phil S, PM coming your way

51 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I'd like to help young Adm H improve the boat he's built, and that way he can learn what could be done better from examples he's completely familiar with, and better understand how those improvements work. A smoother hull is fairly easy & cheap and intuitive, a better sail is also visually obvious but doing a bunch of things you can't see. When he comes up against the limits of what can be done with this boat, or himself decides it's time to move on and try the next project, he's got a lot of great options but I don't think it's time to turn out the lights on this first one yet.

Or, we could take up a collection to get him a Machete kit (does Dave Clark still sell these?) and vicariously enjoy

FB- Doug

Thanks SF, I have been thinking about my boat and what sort of money it would take to make it something that I can trust and which would be enjoyable to sail. Then I considered all the problems the boat has: an unfair hull, too heavy, not very ascetically pleasing, to name a few. So I am not sure the boat is worthy of a good rig.  Therefore, I am wondering if anybody knows of a design of a simple performance singehander that can be built at home, with plywood, and which will not cost a ton of money to build. My Dad has expressed willingness to possibly help finance and build it.

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1 hour ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

thanks  Phil S, PM coming your way

Thanks SF, I have been thinking about my boat and what sort of money it would take to make it something that I can trust and which would be enjoyable to sail. Then I considered all the problems the boat has: an unfair hull, too heavy, not very ascetically pleasing, to name a few. So I am not sure the boat is worthy of a good rig.  Therefore, I am wondering if anybody knows of a design of a simple performance singehander that can be built at home, with plywood, and which will not cost a ton of money to build. My Dad has expressed willingness to possibly help finance and build it.

Good to see that you have not been put off by any comments made here, especially mine!!!

I think your decision is very mature and in the long term will definitely get you more fun time on the water, however, I would recommend buying a secondhand boat that needs some work and put your money into that, as the costs of buying all the materials, fittings and sail(s) as well as trolley and cover make even a home build fairly expensive if you are wanting to build something that has any sort of resale value further down the line. 
I would try and find something that has an active fleet at a club near you, and get someone who has extensive knowledge of the class to look at any boat you intend to purchase as they will know what to look out for. Sailing is always a heap more fun when you can do it with a bunch of like minded people, age becomes irrelevant.

Good luck

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5 hours ago, Major Tom said:

Good to see that you have not been put off by any comments made here, especially mine!!!

I think your decision is very mature and in the long term will definitely get you more fun time on the water, however, I would recommend buying a secondhand boat that needs some work and put your money into that, as the costs of buying all the materials, fittings and sail(s) as well as trolley and cover make even a home build fairly expensive if you are wanting to build something that has any sort of resale value further down the line. 
I would try and find something that has an active fleet at a club near you, and get someone who has extensive knowledge of the class to look at any boat you intend to purchase as they will know what to look out for. Sailing is always a heap more fun when you can do it with a bunch of like minded people, age becomes irrelevant.

Good luck

Small boats near Pymatuning include the Snipe, Windmill, Thistle (which isn't exactly small), and of course the laser and sunfish. Unfortunately it isn't like darkest Africa, or drizzly England, where there are scores of cool small boats to choose from. Windmills are not raced at PYC as a class but they are raced in other places in Ohio and PA. (Or used to be. My how the world has changed). Since they race PHRF there, do they also race Portsmouth? Then you can bring whatever. Like a classic moth. There are people building brand new classic moths. A friend of mine in Ohio did that recently.

But a Windmill would be cool. You could actually build a new one pretty easily. That was the whole idea originally. Snipe would be a pain and they are not fast at all. Stately would be more the term. Or you can dive into a Thistle and get two friends to go all in and you have a machine. And a ready racing series all along Lake Erie, and lakes all over Ohio and east and west.

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I know I'm new here, so others may have more refined options for you, but if you are looking at building in plywood and racing locally AND it sounds like Snipes are raced in your area, why not start there?  

The Snipe association still sells the plans along with a book on building for a very reasonable price (in my opinion): https://snipeusa.com/classic-snipes/wooden-snipe-plans-construction-information/.  Worst case, you buy it and it gives you ideas and layouts to start from when building your own one-off creation. 

Just for fun, they have plans for a 20" model racer Snipe too for free that you can use to keep your hands and mind busy and focused while you are collecting parts to build the real deal: https://snipe.org/images/2014/Snipe Model.pdf

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The laser option won't work. It's an unstated mast so it'll need a lot of strength to hold it up.

Go sailing, enjoy the breeze.

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14 hours ago, fastyacht said:

Small boats near Pymatuning include the Snipe, Windmill, Thistle (which isn't exactly small), and of course the laser and sunfish. Unfortunately it isn't like darkest Africa, or drizzly England, where there are scores of cool small boats to choose from. Windmills are not raced at PYC as a class but they are raced in other places in Ohio and PA. (Or used to be. My how the world has changed). Since they race PHRF there, do they also race Portsmouth? Then you can bring whatever. Like a classic moth. There are people building brand new classic moths. A friend of mine in Ohio did that recently.

But a Windmill would be cool. You could actually build a new one pretty easily. That was the whole idea originally. Snipe would be a pain and they are not fast at all. Stately would be more the term. Or you can dive into a Thistle and get two friends to go all in and you have a machine. And a ready racing series all along Lake Erie, and lakes all over Ohio and east and west.

Thanks Fastyacht, I do like the idea of a Windmill. At PSC's Sam Myers Regatta (btw I am not sure if you know this but there are two clubs on Lake Pymatuning,  Pymatuning Sailing Club and Pymatuning Yacht Club,  we are members of the first one) there were three wood Windmills, and man those are nice boats! I do like the idea of building one but I was looking for a single handed boat, and the Windmill is a two man boat. I might consider it for a future build though.   As for the times... I was looking forward to the sailing season all winter but thanks to good old covid 19, who knows now when we'll be back on the water again :angry: 

I am not sure about PYC, but PSC ( sorry about the confusion, I wish they could have chosen less similar names!) does do Portsmouth racing , that's actually most of the racing done there. The closest thing PSC has to a OD fleet are a few sunfish, and a group of Hobie 16s and 18s, but since they rarely all sail at the same time its usually Portsmouth racing that happens regularly.

 

13 hours ago, Grestone said:

I know I'm new here, so others may have more refined options for you, but if you are looking at building in plywood and racing locally AND it sounds like Snipes are raced in your area, why not start there?  

The Snipe association still sells the plans along with a book on building for a very reasonable price (in my opinion): https://snipeusa.com/classic-snipes/wooden-snipe-plans-construction-information/.  Worst case, you buy it and it gives you ideas and layouts to start from when building your own one-off creation. 

Just for fun, they have plans for a 20" model racer Snipe too for free that you can use to keep your hands and mind busy and focused while you are collecting parts to build the real deal: https://snipe.org/images/2014/Snipe Model.pdf

Thanks Grestone,  where are the Snipes raced  around here? I have never seen any Snipes around this area. The model Snipe looks fun, I might try building it as I have always enjoyed building model sailboats that actually sail.

 

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13 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Thanks Fastyacht, I do like the idea of a Windmill. At PSC's Sam Myers Regatta (btw I am not sure if you know this but there are two clubs on Lake Pymatuning,  Pymatuning Sailing Club and Pymatuning Yacht Club,  we are members of the first one) there were three wood Windmills, and man those are nice boats! I do like the idea of building one but I was looking for a single handed boat, and the Windmill is a two man boat. I might consider it for a future build though.   As for the times... I was looking forward to the sailing season all winter but thanks to good old covid 19, who knows now when we'll be back on the water again :angry: 

I am not sure about PYC, but PSC ( sorry about the confusion, I wish they could have chosen less similar names!) does do Portsmouth racing , that's actually most of the racing done there. The closest thing PSC has to a OD fleet are a few sunfish, and a group of Hobie 16s and 18s, but since they rarely all sail at the same time its usually Portsmouth racing that happens regularly.

 

Thanks Grestone,  where are the Snipes raced  around here? I have never seen any Snipes around this area. The model Snipe looks fun, I might try building it as I have always enjoyed building model sailboats that actually sail.

 

Put a trapeze on the Windmill and you have a fast singlehander. My friend in Ohio does that --- it is a blast.

So there is that. I forgot there were two clubs. I sailed out of the one at the south end of the lake, if that means anything. (As a guest, racing in Thistle regattas).

The snipe is heavy and slow. Crosby designed it for The Rudder magazine in the 30s. Wildly successful for the time, it is a very tweaky boat now, made of composite with a mast ram and other "star class" stuff. Used to be a fleet in Central Ohio. Not sure any longer. I know the MC scow has made inroads there; I wonder if the snipe survives? (You'd have more fun on a 'mill than a snipe, judging by your age and speed interest.)

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Here are some links to the Viola 14 dinghy, a design by Michael Storer

https://www.storerboatplans.com/boatplans/viola-sailing-canoe-plan-cartop-sailing-dinghy/

https://www.storerboatplans.com/category/plan/viola-14-sailing-canoe/

https://www.storerboatplans.com/plan/viola-14-sailing-canoe/videos-of-viola-14-sailing-canoe-in-a-bit-more-wind/

It is supposed to be as fast or faster than the Laser while being around the weight of an RS Aero. I am interested in this design and was wondering if anybody had any thoughts on it.

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The Viola sailing Canoe is a nice little boat. A long light hull is easily driven and is a good starting point for making a fast little boat. All that being said, there is nothing magical about Viola’s hull.  A modern paddling canoe hull is probably better and relieves you of the task of building the hull.  You still need to do quite a bit of building, however; building centerboard trunks, decking, mast step, rudder hangings etc.  Often you can find beat up Canoes on Craig’s List or other places for practically nothing.  

SHC

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On 4/12/2020 at 11:48 AM, Steam Flyer said:

 

Yep, but what's gained by DISCOURAGING a young person who has the gumption to build a boat then sail it?

Was the first boat you built fucking perfect? Mine certainly wasn't, in fact it barely made a decent planter for the side yard (good stuff went in the front yard). Adm H has already shown that he wants to learn from others, let's give him a chance to. And this can't be done in a single bound from rough-but-floats home brew scow to suddenly cranking out a Merlin-Rocket or Cherub.

The way I see it, Adm H is on the same path many of us went on... personally I sailed a LOT more store-bought boats than built my own, but I have built a few and may do so again.... and has plenty of room to grow & improve.

No flame, just trying to be positive

FB- Doug

Good for the kid. My first boat build ended up cut up and in the dumpster before it floated.

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Lots of good ideas on here.  If you do end up going Snipe, here's a person selling used sails for a pretty reasonable price and willing to ship:

https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/boa/d/saint-petersburg-snipe-sails-2-main-3/7074170246.html

(not mine or me, just came across it while I was trolling craigslist)

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Admiral, looks like you got the laser sail I sent you. Don't forget to send a picture once you rig it up.

Good luck.

E

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5 hours ago, Emilio Castelli said:

Admiral, looks like you got the laser sail I sent you. Don't forget to send a picture once you rig it up.

Good luck.

E

I got the sail! Thank you so much it is in great condition and even class legal! I can't believe you just gave it to me..this is going to help me so much. I will certainly send some pictures when I get it sorted out.

 

Since obviously the mast is way too short,  I have decided to go with a Gunter rig, mostly because of its simplicity and ease of rigging. I have some questions about this. So, the mast is 11 feet long and the Gunter yard will be 8ft long. The mast is deck stepped and is held upright by shrouds and a forestay, but since there will be a much larger sail to hold up I am wondering if anybody has any ideas for what sort of stay system should be used to hold this rig up securely.

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I'd start with a larger rig has higher loads, so maybe look at larger hardware at the chainplates.?

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Thanks, I will check on the chain plates.

Oh and btw, it turns out it won't be possible for me to build a new boat right now, so I'm going to work with what I have, especially, since I got a free sail!

Well, anyway would 1/8 spectra shrouds and a forstay (in addition to strong chain plates) fastened about 3/4 up the mast be enough to hold the rig up?

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On 4/6/2020 at 9:20 PM, Admiral Hornblower said:

I have some questions of a modified version of Gavin Atkin’s Flying Mouse that I built. First of all here are the specs:

LOA: 8’

Beam: 36’’

LWL: ca 7’5’’

Displacement: 300 lb.

Weight: 60-80 lbs.

The sail has a square head, is 45 sq.ft, and is made out of polytarp. The sail has some sail shaping using darts, though I kind of messed that part up!

Basically I am trying to make this boat go as fast as an 8ft sailboat is capable of. I know that its speed will be pretty limited upwind because of its short waterline length, but could there be some potential for speed downwind? Anybody have any ideas for making such a small boat go as fast as possible? Thanks.

image.png.10604fe083380d35f17b745ba09000ec.pngimage.png.43f9351a520b866241e41dc5db1d5c2d.png

If you want to go fast, put an outboard on it.

 

7 hours ago, Major Tom said:


 

What a wuss, he's not even hiking.

 

On 4/6/2020 at 9:20 PM, Admiral Hornblower said:

I have some questions of a modified version of Gavin Atkin’s Flying Mouse that I built. First of all here are the specs:

LOA: 8’

Beam: 36’’

LWL: ca 7’5’’

Displacement: 300 lb.

Weight: 60-80 lbs.

The sail has a square head, is 45 sq.ft, and is made out of polytarp. The sail has some sail shaping using darts, though I kind of messed that part up!

Basically I am trying to make this boat go as fast as an 8ft sailboat is capable of. I know that its speed will be pretty limited upwind because of its short waterline length, but could there be some potential for speed downwind? Anybody have any ideas for making such a small boat go as fast as possible? Thanks.

image.png.10604fe083380d35f17b745ba09000ec.pngimage.png.43f9351a520b866241e41dc5db1d5c2d.png

If you want to go fast, put on outboard on it.

 

7 hours ago, Major Tom said:


 

What a wuss, he's not even hiking.

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I just re-read the first post, how heavy is that thing!? 300 fucking pounds!? Is it made out of depleted uranium?

I'll retract my previous comment about putting an outboard on it, with those freeboards it will very likely capsize and sink. If you even just dare to think about putting a bigger engine than an eletric trolling motor on it, it will be so scared that it might just commit harakiri and sink instantaneously.

The only way that thing will ever be fast, is if its thrown off a cliff.

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4 minutes ago, Misbehavin' said:

I just re-read the first pound, how heavy is that thing!? 300 fucking pounds!? Is it made out of leaded plates?

I'll retract my previous comment about putting an outboard on it, with those freeboards it will very likely capsize and sink, if you even just dare to think about putting a bigger engine than an eletric trolling motor on it.

The only way that thing will ever be fast, is if its thrown off a cliff.

Do you even vaguely understand the difference between weight and displacement? Have you ever built a boat? Do you actually sail?

So many questions, so little time.

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5 minutes ago, Major Tom said:

Do you even vaguely understand the difference between weight and displacement? Have you ever built a boat? Do you actually sail?

So many questions, so little time.

I'm just here for the pictures of tits and I haven't learned to read properly yet, can't help that.

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2 hours ago, Major Tom said:

Do you even vaguely understand the difference between weight and displacement? Have you ever built a boat? Do you actually sail?

So many questions, so little time.

In the boating magazines they are alwsys the same thing and never include any deadweight nor crew. My fav is the speed numbers never inclyde the rstef capacity for mobos.

So much so little time indeed

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20 hours ago, Misbehavin' said:

I'm just here for the pictures of tits and I haven't learned to read properly yet, can't help that.

You may have come to the wrong place.

There's a lot more ass than tits, here

FB- Doug

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