Thursday, February 4, 2016

Netflix, Red Wine, and Alternatives

I like to drink wine.  I like to watch stuff on Netflix.  It can sure eat up the evenings though.  So I thought I'd do something else tonight...

Scrap wood, Bondo, some radio control gear (even got a sheet servo!).  Why not make a sailing model to test out my rig?


  1. No computer mock-up can beat a physical model in your hands. Even as that low aspect rig looks wonderful on the screen this will be a test of your length to beam ratio. Daves boats have been 4:1 so far and yours is 3.2:1? So interesting to see how easily it is actually pushed. There was a 32X12 trilo in Sitka that never got a rig installed but it looked hopelessly piggish in my eyes and only really capable of off the wind sailing. But, who knows? Maybe that 32X12 trilos long sharp waterline edge would allow it to really work to windward no matter what. 10" beam makes for a really nice interior feel and space. You might be hitting a sweet spot but water testing should be illuminating.

    Also: in my eyes adding one more panel to your center junk sail, and equivalent percentages to your fore and aft sprits, might work to give you more sail area to compensate for the 2' extra beam (from Daves proven 4:1 ratio) looks do-able but maybe not able to sail under the bridges you mentioned. And maybe a balanced lug on the foremast to give a bit more separation between the center sail and the foresail? With nice stiff aft sprit sail for heaving-to or raising sail Just riffin with one mans semi-humble opinion.

  2. Thanks Robert. This is where I'll be needing help and advice so your opinions from a state of absolute humility to haughty self-righteousness are completely appreciated :-)

    I'm thinking that the rather long and high aspect ratio lee board will help. I can certainly play with that along with rudder size/shape.

    If this model goes half as fast as the one I made previously a few years ago (pictures in my Various Harrison page) I'll be happy. It was scaled and inch to a foot as is this one, and was 12' by 32'. The bottom was not completely flat on the one though - the flat mid-section was 8 feet wide and then chined up for two feet either side. All straight lines though- no curves at all. It went as fast as I could paddle a 12 foot kayak. I had no means of controlling it though.

  3. About a physical model: It is true that a model may not necessarily scale up performance-wise. It will show functionality however. When I made that first model a few years ago and put it in the water I was blown away with surprise. Here's why: It sailed! And as fast as ANY model sailboat I've ever seen. But everyone I showed a drawing to prior to making the model - including a very famous yacht designer who happens to live locally - looked upon it with complete disdain and said that it would not work at all. And as I am sure that anyone following this blog knows the online world of boat builders and sailors is predominantly filled with those who have strong negative opinions about square boats. Yet, where do these opinions come from? Certainly not experience. Certainly not from even seeing a square boat sail.

    Here's what I think about widening a square boat: It will be slowed down somewhat because of the increased wetted area. And if there is any heeling at all the drag will move outboard and cause some lee helm. And that's it - at least from a practical standpoint - and keeping in mind the boat's intended use.

  4. I've hoped to hear from the SF Bay scow schooner ALMA, but have never gotten a reply lo these many years. Field trip, someday?

    Anyway, 3.2:1 with a BIG gaff rig, and looks like she moves along to windward. So not much feedback from box barge sailors online.

    Still, museums around the world have models of these from all sorts of waterways. Great Lakes, for instance, which have some of the worst sea conditions in the world, with little room for error.

    Dave Z