70' Cruising Proa....Big Red Yacht

Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
1,755
1,424
Port Townsend WA
This thread has gone the way I thought it would. Rob is going to bash it over the head with his vindictive form of logic, but for what purpose? He's quoting things that I didn't write, some that were written more than 35 years ago, while things that he wrote, like how his boats were half the cost and weight and faster than anything ever created have never been questioned. There is still no evidence (after at least two decades of him bashing Pacific proas and especially my boats) that his Harry proas live up to the hype. There have been none raced successfully as far as I know, there are no videos of them sailing upwind fast, steering downwind in breeze, or performing well at all, nor is there any positive testimony from his clients about the sailing qualities of his boats. He had bashed my boats and made wild claims about his boats for over a decade before I ever questioned his logic publicly. Make your own decision about what he's selling. I have never sold proa designs, so why I am a threat is a mystery. Proas are one of the few things I can speak with authority about and I say that misinformation and misrepresentation is bullshit!

 

KONeill

Member
147
75
How did you like the Gibbons KONeill? I'd like to try one, but only if the water's warm :)
It was interesting :)

I was on the yahoo proa list with Gary Dierking years ago, when he was first developing it. I built a smaller one:

http://wikiproa.pbworks.com/f/oldproa7.jpg

It worked fine, but I never sailed it in over twelve knots or so. The shape was not great due to it being cut from an old jib, but aside from that I really liked it. So when winter set in I decided to go full-on idiot and make a big one:

http://wikiproa.pbworks.com/f/messabout2003-5.jpg

The spar is two carbon windsurfer masts joined butt to butt. The sail is some kind of laminate I got on sale, very stiff but a pain in the ass to try to sew. I put a big pocket on the luff and had a 6:1 line inside the pocket to prebend the spar.

It was unbeatable in light air. The boat had very little wetted surface, the sail was super powerful, in 5 mph it was awesome. I once sailed right past a fleet of Lasers on a windward leg, I was laying on my tramp and just blew by them pointing higher and going faster. Very amusing.

In 5-10 it was a handful. You could do it, but it was a handful.

Over 10 knots of wind and it was homicidal. It was a menace. A powered up 180 sq ft sail swinging around over your head in 15 knots of wind is really quite something. It had a lot of power, there was no "off" switch, and shunting it was a freakin' menace. Once on a big lake the wind picked up and I sailed ten miles across the lake, beached, shunted the sail on the beach, and sailed ten miles back rather than shunt it in the water in a lot of wind.

None of which, by the way, is a criticism of Gary's designs. His boats work fine, I've been told by both him and other people who have sailed them. I just took it a bit far :)

In particular the large prebend in the spar seemed like a good idea, but it meant that the shunting lines on each end of the spar acted kind of like sheets. The pulled the end of the yard down, but they also pulled the boom down some since the prebend put them 18" behind the axis of rotation. All of which meant that the sail was never depowered. It was pulling like mad the whole time you were shunting. On my original sail I had far less prebend and far less problem shunting the boat.

In the end I switched to a schooner:

http://wikiproa.pbworks.com/f/1213849692/proa on beach after T200.jpg

Which suits the boat so well I'd never consider going back to anything else. Easy to control, easy to shunt, easy to reef, totally under control even in a lot of wind. We took the boat on two Texas 200 cruises ten years ago and saw 30 knots of wind more than once, and it was fine. It was fun! It's now a great boat in a lot of wind, it's easier to shunt that boat than it is to tack a Hobie 16 in a lot of wind.

Anyway, there you go, that's more than you ever wanted to know about a weirdo little boat in Texas.

 
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Sidecar

…………………………
3,236
1,628
Tasmania
Have you ever tried using a (adjustable) strop between the boom ends? It would save at least one set of mainsheets?

You control both sails with the aft sheet, shunt both sails at the same time with only one sheet and geometry means the front sail should draw first, to help keep the bow off the wind until you have speed up?

You can still adjust the slot or dump the front sail independently by adjusting or releasing the strop? Use one of the spare mainsheets to set up the strop and run it back to each mast....?

 
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Sidecar

…………………………
3,236
1,628
Tasmania
It looks like Gais Dream has a windward staysail too, I haven't been able to find any footage of it in use, maybe a downwind sail?
 Gaia could have. I hadn’t noticed...

Any proa can put up a windward staysail. It is extra sail area downwind, especially effective (near) DDW. It can also be used upwind, because it creates/increases positive stagger on the leeward sails as well as extra area. It does provide a little more lee helm, but not as much as flying an extra jib off the bow.  A small very low CE windward staysail can create a righting moment or very little heeling moment, so potential useful as a heavy weather sail.

Fritz Roth, and Col Gifford/John Pizzey have also played around with them.

http://proadesign.com/

https://proafile.com/multihull-boats/article/the-proas-of-john-pizzey-part-1

I also used it to keep mast size, weight and cost down, minimise shunt manoeuvres and times, to put the sail weight, with all its bits and pieces in the most useful place and to avoid ever having to go onto the bows for a sail change.

074F90BF-F964-4F15-BAA7-8CA053DFF652.jpeg

928DD756-2121-42ED-B16A-02F4478C1C87.jpeg

 
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Sidecar

…………………………
3,236
1,628
Tasmania
Have you ever tried using a (adjustable) strop between the boom ends? It would save at least one set of mainsheets?

You control both sails with the aft sheet, shunt both sails at the same time with only one sheet and geometry means the front sail should draw first, to help keep the bow off the wind until you have speed up?

You can still adjust the slot or dump the front sail independently by adjusting or releasing the strop? Use one of the spare mainsheets to set up the strop and run it back to each mast....?
I should add, by way of explanation, that if the strop length is the same as the distance between masts, then it is a parallelogram, and both boom angles will be the same. Make it less, then you get the shunting scenario described above. Make it more after shunting, and you revert to the usual situation where the aft sail is sheeted in more than the forward one...

 

KONeill

Member
147
75
Have you ever tried using a (adjustable) strop between the boom ends? It would save at least one set of mainsheets?
I like the separate sheets. I sheet in the front sail first and the boat is really well balanced, then sheet in the aft sail as you start to move and the rudder bites. It has a 5' leeboard that dominates the CLR if it's down, and in that case the CLR is right in the middle of the boat and you can sheet in both at the same time, but if you're just reaching around with the board up the CLR is way forward when you start to move and you really need to sheet in the front sail first. In a lot of wind with the board up if you just pull in both sheets the boat has a lot of weather helm and will head up really aggressively. It's kind of like a Hobie 16, where you have to sheet in the jib first to get the boat moving, then bring on the main as the rudder bites.

In the latest iteration I had all four sheets running to cam cleats in the middle of the boat so you could grab both sheets at once and pull if you wanted to, or just pull on one.

 
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TwoBirds

Member
194
88
Gulf Islands
 it looks like if you set that big gibbons just right you could get airborne KONeill, glad you took the time to tell about it, if I had a motto it'd be "Anything worth doing is worth over doing" so you've saved me from making the same mistake.

I built My Wa'apa  from Garys Dierkings book "Building Outrigger Canoes", really good book, he's a talented author as well as a designer, he makes it all seem so interesting and do-able that I have to talk myself out of building a T2 about once a week :)   I'd like to try his "Tacking Crabclaw" rig too.

I think I'll probably end up with a schooner rig if I build the middle section of my wa'apa as I don't really want to step a bigger mast solo and it seems like it'd be an easy way to balance the boat between shunts, at the moment I'm using a sliding ogive leeboard on the ama to shift the balance and it works quite well, also works well for minor course corrections and makes a half decent auto pilot.

Thanks for the links Sidecar, one of the reasons I went with the aerojunk was to have a jib without ever needing to go to the very fine bows of my wa'apa to deal with it so I'll be taking a close look at windward stay sails, lots of other great stuff there too.

2b

 

Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
1,755
1,424
Port Townsend WA
it would be great if you and KONeill posted photos of what you are up to. It seems like there is a lot going on with proas that no one knows about.  A Bieker proa is underway in Europe and the 24 footer that Paul and I did has been lengthened and will be sailing again in the spring. Photo from Bermuda.

20160529_131448_001.jpeg

 

TwoBirds

Member
194
88
Gulf Islands
I'd love to post pictures Russel but the board always says they're too big, I even cropped one down to 56k and the board wouldn't take it.

is that the proa built for the  R2AK  and couldn't keep the ama in the water a couple years back? Can't recall the team name, just that at the time I thought it would be a better name for a girls gone wild video, wet n' wild maybe?

2b

Just realized I got the title of Gary Dierkings book wrong, it's "Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes"

 
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ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
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807
Oregon
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Dex Sawash

Demi Anarchrist
2,623
855
NC USA
I'd love to post pictures Russel but the board always says they're too big, I even cropped one down to 56k and the board wouldn't take it.




Take that url you cut up there^ and paste it into a forum post. The forum will display the image no matter the upload resolution because the image is hosted elsewhere. You can choose the resolution when you upload if for some reason you want to go low res ( maybe a bollock dangling from your/her shorts?).

Other image hosting services work similarly. Imgur is a big one but their TOS prohibit inline image linking (they don't block it but may someday)

EDIT- PASTE URL INTO BODY OF FORUM POST, DON'T USE IMAGE UPLOAD TOOL OR BBCODE TAGS

 
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ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
6,123
807
Oregon
I'd love to post pictures Russel but the board always says they're too big, I even cropped one down to 56k and the board wouldn't take it.
You're doing something wrong.  You can upload images to SA that are far bigger than 56K.  Images hosted  at SA instead of elsewhere are less likely to disappear if/when a photo hosting site changes it's policies, as DropBox once did with their '/public' folders.  Try again.

P.S.  When I am in the SA post editor, it says "Max total size 9.77MB" (per post):

img_upload.png

 
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Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
1,755
1,424
Port Townsend WA
I'd love to post pictures Russel but the board always says they're too big, I even cropped one down to 56k and the board wouldn't take it.

is that the proa built for the  R2AK  and couldn't keep the ama in the water a couple years back? Can't recall the team name, just that at the time I thought it would be a better name for a girls gone wild video, wet n' wild maybe?

2b

Just realized I got the title of Gary Dierkings book wrong, it's "Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes"
Pure and Wild is a seafood company that sponsored them. That boat was far too small for two big guys and all the shit they brought and it had lots of teething issues. I export photos to desktop at a reduced size (medium) and it works.

 

TwoBirds

Member
194
88
Gulf Islands
Thanks everybody, I think I've got it figured out now.

That makes more sense than wet n wild, I'm not sure I'd want to take a proa to alaska , I'd be worried about hungry polar bears climbing aboard  :eek:

Here's "Tom n' Jerry" with her new 50 sq ft aerojunk rig, no idea how well it works, haven't got out since I built it a couple days ago, the old one worked fairly well but had a pretty low aspect ratio, about 1.15, this one is 2.9.

mast is new, 2 1/2" by 15 1/2 foot birdsmouth, weights just over 8 pounds, the rig and mast are actually for my 10' dinghy, now that I've had some practice I'll make a 3 1/4" by 19' mast for the proa.

She's sort of my Prototype, I built her to try stuff out on and figure out how it works so I'll know when I build something much bigger.

IMG_20200911_093341662.jpg   IMG_20200911_093521213.jpg

the leeboard is pretty simple, it slides on the spar on a line that runs to blocks where the crossbeams  attach to the ama and loops around the spar the seats sit on in the middle.

it can kick up either way as well as to leeward if the rig gets backwinded, juries still out as it works well most of the time but floats up turning to windward in light air, I'm thinking of going to a nacra foil in a set of rudder cheeks so it can flop over automatically when the boat shunts and still kick up if it hits something or get backwinded.

Still couldn't get the last picture to load, it just showed how the leeboard can be kicked up and set on top of a crossbeam to catch the seat so I can flip it up to paddle.

2b

 
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KONeill

Member
147
75
My boat is in the garage right now, but here's a couple of short videos:





Sorry about the music on the first one, the mic noise was terrible :)

 

KONeill

Member
147
75
Thanks! I've enjoyed fiddling with it. Laurent had a similar setup on his boat, but he used two Moth rigs, and he had two daggerboards instead of a leeboard.

 

harryproa

Anarchist
924
160
I dunno Rob, my wa'apa is rigged the way you describe although I use an aero-junk instead of a blaestrom rig, no head sail or standing rigging, and I'm seriously considering adding backstays just to catch the sail when it gybes because it sweeps right across the entire tramp and I'm too fat and old to be ducking :)

I'm no expert, heck, most folks on this forum have forgotten more about boats than I'll ever know so I'm having trouble getting my head around your assertion that standing rigging isn't appropriate for proas.
When I first read about proas the thing that really jumped out at me is that the main doesn't have to pass beneath the back stay so you could in theory fully stay virtually any rig, not just that but with their wide staying angles proas have far less mast compression to boot.
then you add in the fact that the back stays lift any ballast in the ama so there's no need to beef up the crossbeams to carry the extra load while protecting the passengers and crew from being swept off the tramp by an unexpected gybe and it just seems like proas and standing rigging are a match made in heaven.

2b
I would attach the mainsheet to the deck and use that to control the sail rather than add backstays.  Or add another mast and a bit of netting so you have enough sail force that you can sail it from the windward hull and avoid the booms altogether.    

Sails which can pass under backstays are possible, but unless the mast rotates (further complication), they will rip the track off the mast, the slides off the sail and break full length battens.  Not a problem with junk rigs, of course.

Stayed rigs are fine while sailing normally and can allow for lighter masts and beams, although the lee hull will need to be stronger.  
But if you gybe or get caught aback in a strong breeze and the sails are pinned against the rigging, the beam and mast are unsupported, the beam will be seeing far higher loads than normal so this is what a conscientious designer designs the  rig and beams for, which means the stays are redundant. 
 
"Made in heaven" applies much more to unstayed masts, on racing proas and more particularly, oncruising proas.   No caught aback or gybing dramas, no slowing down at night, no overweight beams and rigs and best of all, no maintenance and worrying about all those little pieces, any one of which failing causes the mast to fall down.  Two of them and there is no need to venture onto the foredeck to change jibs every time you shunt.  
It is the difference between always thinking about worst case rig scenarios, and not having to think about the rig at all except to trim it correctly.
To test this,  fit the backstays and go out in 20 knots and gybe all standing.  We did this in a Brisbane Gladstone race (myself, the nonracing owner and 2 non sailors) on a 15m Harryproa when the helmsman fell asleep.  The ballestron rig weathercocked, the boat drifted while I woke up, got dressed and came on deck,  untied the mainsheet from the boom, lead it round the mast and retied it.  The (now wide awake) helmsman sheeted on and kept sailing.    This is a whole lot less effort and drama than  'simply lowered the main (which was pressed against the stays), raised the jib and sailed back on course".
 
Russ,
Re "racing":
As I tell you every time you raise these subjects, I raced Elementarry in Perth against a high class Tornado fleet in typical seabreeze of 20-25 knots.  Held them upwind and down, lost them when we had to gybe (a racing proa's Achilles heel).  Not an unexpected result as El was lighter, (120 kgs plus 1 crew vs 155 kgs plus 2 crew) longer (7.5m vs 6m) and had the same sail area, with less windage and water drag (2 foils instead of 4).  The unstayed rigs were efficient, automatically spilling the wind in the gusts.  These ratios and results between Harryproas and catamarans scale up pretty well as the boats get larger.    
Elementarry is now my test boat.  Schooner (linked mainsheets are not worth the effort, the aft sail rotates 90% of the way when the foresail is sheeted on)  and una rigs, pole and wing masts, hiking racks, telescoping and fixed beams and more rudders, capsizes and breakages than I care to remember.  Latest experiment was with a kite and a hydrofoil which worked well. 
None of the built Harrys are race boats, and more to the point, they don't have racing owners.
. Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 11.06.08 pm.png
 
Re "Harryproa owners testimony":
The following is by Rick Willoughby.   Rick (70 next year) sails with the owner/builder of a 60'/18m Harryproa in Melbourne.  The builder (same age or older) was a power boater with no sailing or building experience who wanted a sailing boat that was quick and easy to build and sail,  low cost and fun to experiment with.  He built it mostly singlehanded with email and phone advice from me.   The boat weighs 4 tonnes.   I don't know the cost, but I would be surprised if it was more than $Aus50,000/$US36,000 in materials, ready to sail. This is pretty typical of other Harryproas, supporting my claims about weight and cost.    
 
"We had a good northerly until we got up into Western Port then the wind died. It came back up to about 8kts, allowing us to work up to Hastings. The wind started out around 15kts but built quickly to 20kts and gusted to 25 knots at times with us running almost dead square (Edit: sorry, no video, but it is far easier on a Harryproa than on a boat with a jib on the bow both in theory and in practice).   Downwind we averaged better than 10kts once we got going and nudged over 13kts in the gusts.
Reaching across from the rip to Cape Schank gave the best speed I have seen on the boat. The wind during this period was 18 to 20kts. We touched over 17kts a couple of times.  Wind was just aft of beam. We may have coaxed a little more speed if the course was 10 degrees higher. (edit: top speed since then is 19 knots). snip
The best speed, consistently above 15kts, was as we approached Cape Schank where the fetch was reduced and waves less than 1m. We then hardened up a bit and speed dropped to around 13kts. After that the wind dropped as we got further into Western Port.  
We managed a short shunt pinching up to make the channel past Cowes where the angle between tacks was 79 degrees. However that was very much tide assisted. The usual loop at the shunt looks like a smooth U-turn."  
There is a video,  gps track and wind data at http://harryproa.com/?p=129 along with a photo of the boat sailing easily dead downwind in about 18 knots of breeze.  Yes, that is Paul Larsen (Sailrocket) steering.   
"Winds were very light 3 to 4 knots according to Fawkner beacon data. Irrespective of the light winds we could maintain control right up to about 45 degrees true. In these conditions we made best VMG by dropping off the wind a little but were sailing higher than a nearby deep keeler."
 "On a reach with the board up we managed boat speed above windspeed. That was coming back in 5 to 6 knots of wind doing 6.5 to 7 knots through the water."
 
An interview with the owner of Kleen Breeze, who also wanted a low cost, easily built and sailed boat for cruising and charter work, so built himself a 20m Harryproa and loaded it full of electric appliances, batteries, gen set and other equipment.
"I’m well happy with her sailing and she has performed beyond my hopes and expectations. 

Bidirectional rudders work well and are definitely keepers.

Absolutely no noticeable rounding up at low speeds, and she sails at around six knots in 8 knots of wind. I put it down to the square top, large roach and especially the wing masts. In hindsight I would probably forget about the square top as they make for difficulty stowing the sails in the covers, and were only originally included to help spill wind in gusts. I have actually found that the upper mast bend in gusts serves the same purpose, as it was designed to.

Took a long time to persuade Rob to use a schooner set up, (edit: Rob is now a big fan) and I have found it makes for a doddle when shunting. It also gives the ability to balance the sails, and I have found myself able to run for over 20 minutes without having to adjust the tiller.

I would not go lighter and simpler on the hulls as I like the shapes attained, and have found from experience that the cedar absorbs far less epoxy than Airex foam, so the end result is not much heavier. Just over 1000 kg for the 20 m/66' bare lee hull. 

We just made the trip motoring at the start with no wind and ending the day in 25 knots. Most pics and videos taken when doing around 9 knots in 15 knots of wind on a broad reach.
At this point she was behaving beautifully, and once we had adjusted the sail trim we were able to leave the tiller for about 20 minutes while she maintained course.

A couple of photos show us under a light close reach off Salema under foresail in 7 – 8 knots wind doing 5 -6 knots. Tiller steering was light and  could probably be handled by a simple Simrad TP323 tiller pilot."

These quotes, boats and  information about Harryproas and why the design choices were made is on www.harryproa.com

I appreciate that it looks as if Russ and I are working together to promote Harryproas (ie he keeps making outlandish claims so I can refute them with evidence and examples), but it ain't so.  ;-)  The story is explained in Chapter 45 of http://www.coolmobility.com.au/Yacht/LightBrigade.pdf  ,  Gary Baigent's excellent book about New Zealand yacht designs and designers.  

Rob
 

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