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Anyone sailed George Buehler -designed boats ?

George Buehler

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#1 baccara

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:27 PM

Has anyone in this forum sailed Buehler -designed boats, especially Juno, Juna or Jenny ? I know that there are no two exactly similar boats as all of them are amateur built with a lot of variation between any two boat built using same plans ... wooden hulls vs. steel hulls, different ballast materials (concrete, iron, lead), solid wooden spars, hollow wooden spars, aluminium spars, etc ...

But in general, how do they sail - compared to a Westsail 32 for instance ? Or Alajuela 38 ? The lack of any foil-shape in keel and rudder profiles certainly gives a hint, but i'd like to hear first hand comments, especially on how do they sail upwind.

And no, i am not planning to build or buy one, just curious.

#2 Diarmuid

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:43 AM



(sorry)

#3 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:52 AM

Actually that fellow kind of looks like Buehler.

BTW...never tell Buehler that some of his designs in profile have any similarities to L. Francis Herreshoff designs....

Believe me, he once didn't take such a comment lightly....but that was 30 years ago, he may have mellowed by now.

#4 baccara

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

I have some difficulty in seeing L.F: Herreshoff's designs being too similar to Buehler's work, except for, eh ... slack bilges ? Maybe it's just me.

For some unknown reason i somehow like Buehler's work. Not because the boats would be extraordinarily beautiful to my eye, or would appeal to me due to their potential perfomance. There's just something in their simplicity and design approach that seems "right" ...

From Buehler's website one can read that some sailboats built from his designs have not had any engine at all, and yet have managed just fine, so i guess they are capable of travelling from A to B, even if getting to B means going upwind in light wind with residual swell ... or ?

#5 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:59 PM

Compare LFH's wider 30' double ender,not the skinny one in "Sensible Cruising Designs" compared to Juno.

Also check out his large skinny double enders, compared to LFH's large skinny double-enders... the similarities are uncanny.

I'm talking about the profile.

#6 SemiSalt

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:17 PM

The differences between Buehler and LFH are easier to see than the similarities. Buehler is the designer for a guy going into Alaska with a chainsaw mill and a few tools. His boats get strength though massive scantlings and are devoid of decoration. LFH designed for the leading edge of wooden boat construction as he knew it, and prettied his boats with trailboards and other decorations.

#7 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

Buehler is the designer for a guy going into Alaska with a chainsaw mill and a few tools. His boats get strength though massive scantlings and are devoid of decoration.


Yup

#8 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:51 PM

LFH was a combination of traditionalist, innovative and iconoclast. He was a big on ketch rigs for cruising, he also liked boats that were simple for cruising. He went several directions with light displacement from his clipper bowed long waterline boats,to spoon bowed and long waterline. His whole life he was trying to be innovative with such boats as his R-boats, J-boat ,12 meter, sailing machine and multi-hull. He was also big on double-enders whether it be a racer or a cruiser. More then anything he disliked anyone changing his designs, though in some instances he approved changes, that generally wasn't the rule.

#9 baccara

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:40 PM

Compare LFH's wider 30' double ender,not the skinny one in "Sensible Cruising Designs" compared to Juno.

Also check out his large skinny double enders, compared to LFH's large skinny double-enders... the similarities are uncanny.

I'm talking about the profile.


Ok, comparing some of the profiles i agree, there are similarities for sure.

I came across Mr. Perry's review on Buehler's 'ALCA i' schooner some years ago. Only 6 ft draft with that waterline and displacement is somehow depressing. But i quite like Juna and Jenny, even though i cannot help myself thinking ways to improve them. A little deeper keel with proper ballast (lead) and some sort of 'reasonable profile', keeping excessive weight out of the ends and taller rig in general to increase the SA/D up to 16-17 or so... Maybe even a rig & rigging with dimensioning that have been calculated to be strong enough instead of just making everything as strong and heavy as possible. BUT, doing that would sort of defeat the purpose of such design - simple to build and stout enough to withstand... something epic ?

Anyhow, the reason why i am interested in the sailing characteristics of those designs is that i am under the impression that the basic hull shapes Buehler has used with Juno, Juna and Jenny are not that bad, while being simple-to-build single chines. But how do such hulls (bows) perform upwind with larger waves ?

#10 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:05 PM

Woodenboat had an extensive article on Juno and Buehler. I recommend looking it up in their archives and ordering the issue.

Call Buehler and talk with him as well, he's a pretty straight forward guy...though probably biased towards his designs.

I will say this, the cost of the hull is only a portion of the overall cost...

Unless you have a total passion for building a boat ....The used boat prices these days are hard to ignore.

#11 SemiSalt

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

I have a feeling (which I have not tried to validate with actual research) that Buehler boats have comparatively little accommodation for their length and weight. In wood construction, if you use shapes that avoid sharp bends in the stringers and planks, you may get long ends without a lot of useful volume. You can tell yourself that the LWL is good for speed, but it's still weight (and therefore cost), and increases the amount of sail area and ballast needed.

Of course, no wooden boat of conventional construction can compare with modern composite construction.

#12 baccara

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

Woodenboat had an extensive article on Juno and Buehler. I recommend looking it up in their archives and ordering the issue.

Call Buehler and talk with him as well, he's a pretty straight forward guy...though probably biased towards his designs.

I will say this, the cost of the hull is only a portion of the overall cost...

Unless you have a total passion for building a boat ....The used boat prices these days are hard to ignore.


Thanks for the tip, i will certainly try to get that issue of Woodenboat. I guess i could call Buehler, but i am afraid me and Mr. Buehler have somewhat different ways in seeing & evaluating things. I wonder what his reaction would be if i asked if he had run VPP & Polars for his designs ...?

Nonotherless, i cannot help myself liking some of his work - even though i am mostly involved with boats that are somewhat 'other end of the spectrum'.

Kinda funny you mentioned the cost of building a boat... A couple of months ago i actually launched a 35ft racer i built all by myself, the carbon rig cost about twice of what i spent on materials for the hull - so i am already aware of how insane idea it is to build a boat. As a note to myself: 'never, ever start another project like that again' (or at least, take it easy for a while ... )



#13 baccara

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:57 PM

I have a feeling (which I have not tried to validate with actual research) that Buehler boats have comparatively little accommodation for their length and weight. In wood construction, if you use shapes that avoid sharp bends in the stringers and planks, you may get long ends without a lot of useful volume. You can tell yourself that the LWL is good for speed, but it's still weight (and therefore cost), and increases the amount of sail area and ballast needed.

Of course, no wooden boat of conventional construction can compare with modern composite construction.


Indeed, and Buehler's designs are not that heavily ballasted, and they have quite slack bilges all the way. A very different hull shape when compared to eg. BCC. I do not think Juna or Jenny are very stiff boats despite their weight and modest sail area, but i am famous for being misinformed.

#14 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

I have a feeling (which I have not tried to validate with actual research) that Buehler boats have comparatively little accommodation for their length and weight. In wood construction, if you use shapes that avoid sharp bends in the stringers and planks, you may get long ends without a lot of useful volume. You can tell yourself that the LWL is good for speed, but it's still weight (and therefore cost), and increases the amount of sail area and ballast needed.

Of course, no wooden boat of conventional construction can compare with modern composite construction.


Absolutely! It doesn't have to be overly difficult either. AFAIC, a strip plank hull has a lot going for it.

#15 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:13 PM


Woodenboat had an extensive article on Juno and Buehler. I recommend looking it up in their archives and ordering the issue.

Call Buehler and talk with him as well, he's a pretty straight forward guy...though probably biased towards his designs.

I will say this, the cost of the hull is only a portion of the overall cost...

Unless you have a total passion for building a boat ....The used boat prices these days are hard to ignore.


Thanks for the tip, i will certainly try to get that issue of Woodenboat. I guess i could call Buehler, but i am afraid me and Mr. Buehler have somewhat different ways in seeing & evaluating things. I wonder what his reaction would be if i asked if he had run VPP & Polars for his designs ...?

Nonotherless, i cannot help myself liking some of his work - even though i am mostly involved with boats that are somewhat 'other end of the spectrum'.

Kinda funny you mentioned the cost of building a boat... A couple of months ago i actually launched a 35ft racer i built all by myself, the carbon rig cost about twice of what i spent on materials for the hull - so i am already aware of how insane idea it is to build a boat. As a note to myself: 'never, ever start another project like that again' (or at least, take it easy for a while ... )


That article was quite a few years ago...perhaps late 80's or early 90's.

Just looked it up...Nov. 87

http://www.georgebuehler.com/Juna.html

Perhaps some insight from these WoodenBoat Forum threads

http://forum.woodenb...buehler-designs

http://forum.woodenb...r-5-years-Spars

http://forum.woodenb...Buehler-Designs

#16 Diarmuid

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:24 PM


I have a feeling (which I have not tried to validate with actual research) that Buehler boats have comparatively little accommodation for their length and weight. In wood construction, if you use shapes that avoid sharp bends in the stringers and planks, you may get long ends without a lot of useful volume. You can tell yourself that the LWL is good for speed, but it's still weight (and therefore cost), and increases the amount of sail area and ballast needed.

Of course, no wooden boat of conventional construction can compare with modern composite construction.


Indeed, and Buehler's designs are not that heavily ballasted, and they have quite slack bilges all the way. A very different hull shape when compared to eg. BCC. I do not think Juna or Jenny are very stiff boats despite their weight and modest sail area, but i am famous for being misinformed.


As I understand it, many traditional full-keeled designs were not stiff by today's standards. They tended to have high L/B ratios (over 4.0), low ballast ratios (in the 30s), tons of weight aloft, slack bilges, and despite long keels and medium drafts, they often carried their ballast high. Probably because the keels, for materials reasons, had to be mostly structural members. So for lots of traditional boats, iron pigs in the bilge was all they had for righting moment.

Well, that plus remarkable amounts of reserve buoyancy.:)/> One design advantage of narrow ends and long overhangs is the way waterline length increases quickly with the heel angle -- piling on righting moment as it is needed. Makes for a gentler motion than today's high-prismatic, lead-bulbed sailboats, with their L/B ratios under 3. But ja, at the cost of useable volume and easy-to-live-with heel angles. Old skool boats allegedly had more motion, but it is a softer motion. No idea if that's true, but it makes sense.

#17 baccara

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:04 AM

As I understand it, many traditional full-keeled designs were not stiff by today's standards. They tended to have high L/B ratios (over 4.0), low ballast ratios (in the 30s), tons of weight aloft, slack bilges, and despite long keels and medium drafts, they often carried their ballast high. Probably because the keels, for materials reasons, had to be mostly structural members. So for lots of traditional boats, iron pigs in the bilge was all they had for righting moment.

Well, that plus remarkable amounts of reserve buoyancy.:)/> One design advantage of narrow ends and long overhangs is the way waterline length increases quickly with the heel angle -- piling on righting moment as it is needed. Makes for a gentler motion than today's high-prismatic, lead-bulbed sailboats, with their L/B ratios under 3. But ja, at the cost of useable volume and easy-to-live-with heel angles. Old skool boats allegedly had more motion, but it is a softer motion. No idea if that's true, but it makes sense.


I suppose the most straightforward improvement for these really old full-keelers (if no changes in hull shape is considered) would be simply placing the ballast much lower (ie. bottom of the keel, not in bilge) and then having perhaps a bit less of it. Another question would be whether the structures would have any fighting chance of surviving with a chunk of lead hanging at the end of hull.

This concept of "seakind motion" has always bothered me a bit. Having such seems quite detrimental to upwind performance, unless it comes purely from having a narrow and deep hull. I've however understood that it comes mostly from having weight and large longitudinal gyradius. I mean, beating upwind in a blow in any modern lightweight race boat with carbon rig and empty hull (offshore or W/L -optimised boat, no matter) really can be "beating" due to the aggressive motion, and i think they cannot use heaving-to as a storm survival tactique, the anorectic foils will simply offer too little sideways resistance. Needless to say, there's no way the older "seakind, easier motion" boats of similar WL length (long keel or cutaway) can match their VMG. Of course, there are a zillion of other factors that come into play when analysing upwind performance than just the longitudinal gyradius, but it is quite important factor in an upwind leg with big waves.

I think it would be very interesting to tweak and model using VPP (and whatnot) one of the old-fashioned hulls, but with following changes... Say we start with a classic BCC hullform:

- Slightly deeper keel with a NACA foil shape (rudder included), a little tighter turn of bilge to increase aspect ratio further still. More ballast and lead placed outside and of course a little deeper. I guess the ballast would need to be adjusted so that it would not float too high.

- Slightly narrower entrance at the waterline

- Considerably taller rig with mast, boom and boomkin made of autoclaved carbon (spar should be MUCH lighter and stiffer than what we currently see in BCC as a standard). Rig tension and tuneability up to a totally new level.

- Hull, deck and major bulkheads made using resin infusion to save weight, all of them cored and relatively thin skins (no CSM, only axials), and only the bilge area made of single skin laminate. Perhaps even some carbon in deck to be able to use as thin skins as possible ? Minimal interior, and no heavy wood & bronze ornaments and gear anywhere, no all-chain rodes either. Just a tiny "racing" anchor placed in the bilge together with a lanyard for rode...

- Racing sails tailored to suit the rig.

I am fully aware that the end result would be somewhat awkward, perhaps even totally ridiculous to some, but i think it would be a very interesting excercise as such. And if done with computer only, one would not have to build one, let alone use it. I wonder what would happen to the seakindliness after these mods ... ? Perhaps Bob Perry might be able to provide us an educated guess & thoughts reagarding this "not so sensible cruising design" ?

#18 baccara

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:54 AM

That article was quite a few years ago...perhaps late 80's or early 90's.

Just looked it up...Nov. 87

http://www.georgebuehler.com/Juna.html

Perhaps some insight from these WoodenBoat Forum threads

http://forum.woodenb...buehler-designs

http://forum.woodenb...r-5-years-Spars

http://forum.woodenb...Buehler-Designs


Thanks again - although now the whole world knows that i am not capable of using google ... :lol:

After reading some of the old texts it seems that Buehler's designs do not excel in regattas, to put it politely. Maybe it's more a result of the weight as built and it's distribution + lack of sailarea (i am assuming that the crew and their skills left nothing to be desired), than that the single-chine hullform in itself would so bad.

#19 SemiSalt

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:26 PM

My view is that performance-oriented hard chine boats grew out of the Chesapeake Bay skipjacks into more-yachtlike full keel boats (Seabird), then migrated to fin keels with the T-bird and Ragtime. They all have much less deadrise. Some of Beuhler's boas fit in that spectrum, but I don't see that the ones under discussion do.

A design that might be an interesting comparison is the Tom Colvin's Saugeen Witch.
http://www.thomaseco...oddisplsail.htm
As you can almost see in the top picture, she has more deadrise than the Skipjack type and not a lot of salient keel. Designed for steel, she is not light displacement as we understand it now. Once you accept that with the long shoal keel, upwind performance is going to be moderate at best, there is good reason for going with a traditional rig that shines off the wind.

#20 Waterwitch

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:23 AM

You might want to look into the boat Iwalani, worldvoyagers.com The builder of that Buehler hull
cirumnavigated in his boat. I'm sure Phil the builder would tell you all about how the boat sailed.

#21 baccara

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:26 AM

My view is that performance-oriented hard chine boats grew out of the Chesapeake Bay skipjacks into more-yachtlike full keel boats (Seabird), then migrated to fin keels with the T-bird and Ragtime. They all have much less deadrise. Some of Beuhler's boas fit in that spectrum, but I don't see that the ones under discussion do.

A design that might be an interesting comparison is the Tom Colvin's Saugeen Witch.
http://www.thomasecolvin.com/Moddisplsail.htm
As you can almost see in the top picture, she has more deadrise than the Skipjack type and not a lot of salient keel. Designed for steel, she is not light displacement as we understand it now. Once you accept that with the long shoal keel, upwind performance is going to be moderate at best, there is good reason for going with a traditional rig that shines off the wind.


Buehler has drawn some boats with less deadrise, one of them is the 'High Latitudes Drifter'. But it also seems that the smalle deadrise angle is because these boats are simply heavier. One quite interesting design is the 30' Jack, simple and compact design with somewhat strange name though.

Thomas Colvin's 25' Julia looks very lovely, although i'd like to see deeper keel in it - maybe i am just spoiled. Same goes with the Saugeen Witch, i really like the sheer. Colvin's Gazelle is also nice.

#22 baccara

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:54 PM

Interesting reading in the thread below, i must say - not really surprised that Buehler's designs are not praised for their sailing characteristics.

http://www.cruisersf...-ply-44554.html

However, a quick googling revealed that many of the Saugeen Witch owners seem to really like their boats.




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