Kaimusailing

Kaimu s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
28 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
26 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
14 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
11 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
04 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
30 June 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
29 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
17 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
13 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
08 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
04 June 2016 | St. Marys, GA
01 June 2016 | St. Marys, Ga
24 May 2016 | St. Marys, GA
22 May 2016 | St. Marys, GA
21 May 2016 | St. Marys, GA
16 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
12 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
10 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
06 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
01 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
Recent Blog Posts
28 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay

Picture This

Internet hackers have thrown a wrench into the sailblogs site. I suppose the backlog of blogs will slow things down. As of now the site is intermittently down.

26 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay

Magothy River to Bodkin Inlet

The weather forecast down in St. Marys, Georgia, is a ridiculous heat index of 124. It will be a while before we can return to the project there, when the summer heat subsides.

14 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay

Canadian Club

Apologies, but the new blog post, almost complete, sits, while this one flows off the computer. The other one was the outrigger canoe (proa) model design and build, which requires a lot of “chair time”, and so has been slow.

11 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay

Model Proa

The offsets for the 12 foot ama were entered in a text file. Then they were used to cut out paper patterns of the hull sides and bulkheads. The inboard hull side is raised about 1 1/2 inches to meet the outriggers as they arch down and attach to the gunwales. At the 12:1 scale this difference is only [...]

04 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay

More Proa Design

The offsets of the 2D panels of the new proa design were taken from the “unfold” display of delftship and entered into a text file. Then the offsets were used to plot out the hull panels at 12:1 scale (one inch = one foot) on paper, cut out, and test fit on a scale model plywood panel. The goal [...]

30 June 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay

BFB

During this mid-summer break from the boat repair project I’ve decided to pursue another outrigger canoe design and build it for use as Kaimu’s tender. The previous two prototypes showed that the simple sharpie hull form is lighter and more convenient than the classic Kiribati vee bottomed canoe. [...]

Picture This

28 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
Capn Andy/Thunderstorms
Internet hackers have thrown a wrench into the sailblogs site. I suppose the backlog of blogs will slow things down. As of now the site is intermittently down.
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OK, yes, the blogging has slowed as has everything else. I gave myself 6 weeks or so to come up with a new outrigger canoe design, plus build a model, and I am squandering time. I’ve run a few errands and picked up a new 1/2“ variable speed drill from Harbor Freight, which is nearby, and some supplies to make the proa model.
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So far, the little panels I’ve cut out haven’t equaled the precision of those I worked with a couple of years ago. I’m not sure why, but I’ll know later if it made any difference. The fine tip ink pen I’m using isn’t the same and it may be introducing some variables, the line is thicker, and my offset points are not lining up properly. It probably doesn’t matter too much, if the model goes together without too many gross errors, the full size build will probably go OK.
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The proper thing to do is to make a prototype and note any discrepancies so that the next version is more correct. We did that with the last sharpie bottomed prototype and issues were complicated beam attachments and irregular stitch and glue seams on the centerline of the deck. Now there are no seams on the centerline and beam attachments are simplified. The ama, though, is the same old design from 2014 and when I looked back on the build, I wondered how I made 12 foot hull sides out of 8 foot ply. The notes I took don’t say much about the panel layout, but the pictures show no seams at the midpoint of the hull sides, so it looks like I made 12 foot panels out of 8 + 4 foot sections and the seams don’t fall on the bulkhead stations, I must have made up both hull sides complete before the tortured ply windup.
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The model ama was cut out using the same offsets as in 2014 with the exception that the inboard hull side is about 1 1/2 inches (scale) higher than the original hull side. The outboard dimension retained the 2014 offsets. The new design has three vertical seams in each hull side to allow the compounded plywood relief when the bulkheads are forced in place. The seams are called darts and removed the extra surface generated when the ply is curved in two axes at the same time. Imagine trying to wrap newspaper around a ball. When the paper fits around the equator of the ball, an excess forms on the rest the same way lines of longitude come closer together as they come closer to the poles. The hull side is not as curved as a ball, but even a little bit of curve creates edges that are not quite straight.
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When the tortured ply canoe hull was made back in 2014, the seams were left unfastened, the bulkheads were dry fitted and forced into place, and then the seams were adjusted by trimming till they fit perfectly, a little bit at a time. The seams are backed up with ply butt straps, 10 times as wide as the thickness of the ply (50 mm) and the length of the seam. The bulkheads were centered on the butt straps and when the whole thing was forced together with a spanish windlass, they formed a smooth seam externally, while being reinforced properly, and any print through of the bulkhead edge on the planking was eliminated by the butt straps.
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The model of the new ama was put together and some short cuts were made due to some details not scaling down equally. Such as, sheer stringers were much large in scale than the 3/4“ square full sized ones. They are 1/8X1/8. Still, one fractured at the middle bulkhead. It isn’t possible to shrink down the bulkhead/butt strap/seam construction to such a small size, although someone more skillful could probably do it. Because I know that it works full size, I skipped it and only put one seam at midships and didn’t curve the edge. The amount of trimming necessary was smaller than could be measured at this scale.
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I decided to post this now, even though a picture can’t be posted with it.

Magothy River to Bodkin Inlet

26 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
Capn Andy/Hot and humid
The weather forecast down in St. Marys, Georgia, is a ridiculous heat index of 124. It will be a while before we can return to the project there, when the summer heat subsides.
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In the mean time, I purchased a C&C 24 sloop from a local charity, and the money goes to a good cause. I was unable to do much with the boat because of the hot weather and also little wind. It had a dead battery which had been a Honda car battery at one time, maybe 10 years ago. It's replacement was costly, a deep cycle marine battery.
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A day came that was cooler and a wind forecast of 10 from the North. I had been itching to go sailing for too long. This little boat has no motor, but lots of sails, so I tried the usual tricks to get her out of the slip, out of the marina, and into the Magothy River.
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I was happy that the wind had not yet settled in and I tried to sail the boat out, main only, while grabbing things with the boathook, shoving off pilings, and paddling with a brand new Walmart kayak paddle. This took a while. The intermittent wind was something like 0-5 and mostly 0.
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I knew the Magothy had shallows, so I was careful to follow local craft. I was too busy to leave the helm and raise the genoa, so I poked along at .01 knot under main alone. This was fortunate because when I sailed off along a row of docks, unwisely reasoning that the boats that dock there must need some depth, I ran aground. The usual chinese fire drill ensued, but I was saved by a couple of kayakers who were young and able. They paddled off with the anchor and tossed it about 100 feet to windward. I was able to kedge off, but now I was wary that shallows could turn up just about anywhere.
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The wind pattern was light and variable. At a particularly dead interval I ran back and forth to the bow and clipped on the light air genoa. It seems this boat has a racing inventory of sails with a light main and genoa, and a heavier main and genoa. I had the light main on and was clipping on the light genoa. A small boat like this is easy to hop about and handle the sails. The sails are smallish and the hoist is only about 30 feet. The fin keel makes the boat twitchy. A tillermaster type of autopilot would help. Tying off the tiller works for a short time, enough to get some sail work done.
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Black Hole Creek was on the opposite shore and I well remember trying to sail out of there and grounding on the spit that comes almost all the way across to this shore. I worked the boat along the North shore of the Magothy, but there was little wind and it actually died completely before I had gone a mile.
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I've learned to be patient. The wind will blow again someday. Maybe even today. When it did put out a transient puff, I hopped about getting the sails organized to use it, but most of the time the little puff died before I could fill the sails. I sat for 3 hours , contemplating things.
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A bigger puff would come in and we'd go about a 1/4 mile in not too long a time, then sit after the puff ended. I noticed the boat would keep moving a bit even when there was no detectable wind. The second grounding happened near daymark 6. Yes it warned of shallow water, but it was shallow well toward the channel side of the marker. I passing powerboater pulled me away from all that and left me to continue to drift along.
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It seemed to take forever to get along that shore toward the mouth of the Magothy and out into the Bay. As I got closer to the Bay I thought the wind was steadier and maybe stronger. Still it was at most 5 knots and most of the time a lot less. We headed out the buoys marking the entrance and now had to work to windward. The wind was coming from NNE, so we could go East right out to the shipping channel, and then North, up to Bodkin Point. I found the boat would easily do 90 degree tacking angles. If you tacked on the wind shifts, it was less.
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The wind on the Bay was also light and fluky, but it settle in a bit and we were making maybe 3 1/2 knots at times. Considering the conditions, it was wonderful that we made it to the Bay at all. This boat does a good job of converting wind pressure into forward progress.
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Memories of sailing my Coronado 34 sloop came back to me. It was a bigger boat, but the feel is the same. There is a groove that happens when the sails are trimmed correctly for that point of sail. Of course Kaimu would sail lower and faster, but a good monohull windward boat seems to sail right into the eye of the wind.
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That kind of eye sailing wind didn't come up, just a fluky light wind from the NE, but when it came time to tack to clear the spit off Bodkin Point, the wind came from the ESE and we didn't have to tack. I sailed on past the layline to Bodkin Inlet to allow a false jibe to clear the main topping lift that was hung up on something up on the sail. Batten pockets?.
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We turned for the inlet and sailed wing and wing. Boatspeed was about 2 knots. It felt a lot better than 0 knots, becalmed. The sun went down and I took pictures, one of which is posted with this.
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I knew that the wind would be very low inside the inlet and probably not come from the NE. As it grew dark I had to illuminate the sail using the smart phone flashlight app so that approaching boats could see us. One yelled out, "Turn on your lights or get out of the channel." I would get if I could. I think the lights will be available after the new battery is installed.
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At 0030 hours I had managed to finally anchor the little sloop near our docks. The last part was the hardest with no wind and very slow. Propulsion was by strenuous paddling with an 8 foot kayak paddle that barely moved the boat. The photo is sunset over Bodkin Point just before we entered at dusk. (photo will be added when sailblogs fixes that function).


Canadian Club

14 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
Capn Andy/Sunny and Warm
Apologies, but the new blog post, almost complete, sits, while this one flows off the computer. The other one was the outrigger canoe (proa) model design and build, which requires a lot of “chair time”, and so has been slow.
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Last weekend, while reading all the Craig’s List boating posts, I saw one for a C&C 24 and the listing price was $495. Must be a wreck. I zeroed in on the location, a marina on Magothy River, not that far away.
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A little more than a year ago I ran into a similar posting on Craig’s List. That one was for an Islander Bahama 24, for free, and I sailed it up to the Bodkin just to go sailing while Kaimu’s mast was getting replaced. It ended up that I gave it away, for $400 cash, after having a nice daysail.
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This time I emailed and called the seller, a Chesapeake charity called C.R.A.B., to find out if I could take a look at the boat. No reply. I looked up the C&C 24 on sailboatdata.com and then went onto sailnet.com to read some reviews of the boat and also problems owners reported.
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The boat design and boat building firm of C&C appealed to me because they were engineers and reading of their history brought back memories of the great Canadian warplane company AVRO. C&C’s boat designs brought them fame and customers for their designs. Like AVRO, they came up with designs that won and as a result, they had plenty of customers for their boats.
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The C&C 24 has some inherent problems, the portlights need attention after a few years, they leak really badly, some of the stainless rigging straps start to corrode and are hard to access for an upgrade. Otherwise, most report that the sailing performance is moderately quick, hull speed is reached quickly, and acceleration better than most.
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I was reluctant to take a look at the boat because I hadn’t received any reply from C.R.A.B., but I was down in the area of the marina and went there and went into the office, explaining that I wanted to look at that boat.
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A girl from the office took me down to the boat and as soon as I stepped on the deck I realized it was a sound boat. Solid. Rudder fittings good, no soft spots on deck, interior worn but fine, obvious leakage of the portlights, and a full inventory of sails in the forepeak. It was a no brainer.
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Later, two days later, I got a call from the C.R.A.B. guy about the boat. He had lowered the price to get rid of it and get rid of the marina monthly bill. It was paid up to the end of the month. I said I wanted it. The next day I showed up in the afternoon to give him a check. They scheduled it late because they needed to rest up in the mornings after working with disabled veterans, having to physically help them on and off boats. This is an area of boating that doesn’t come up often, but I’ve often thought about it. What if you had a stroke and couldn’t use your leg and arm, but still wanted to go out on the water? What about military who can benefit from some time out on the bay, not just to get their minds off of the landside problems, but to enjoy the peace that sailing brings to everyone.
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I wanted that peace too, to go out sailing while I waited for the summer heat wave to subside down in Georgia. What I would do with an extra boat after Kaimu was back up on the Chesapeake would have to be dealt with later. I couldn’t pass up the C&C 24 for a short term sailer. I hadn’t been sailing in more than 6 months. That explains it.
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In a phone call from the boatyard I caught up on the developments down there and appraised them of my vacation from retirement. For example, in an earlier check of the weather on wunderground.com, maybe a couple days ago, the temperature of Pasadena, Maryland and St. Marys, Georgia was identical, 87.4, but the heat index was like 97 vs 124. I’m hoping this summer pattern of heat subsides in the next month or so. The fellows down in the boatyard in St. Marys are saying more like September.
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The image is of the C&C 24 from sailboatdata.com.

Model Proa

11 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
Capn Andy/Hot and humid
The offsets for the 12 foot ama were entered in a text file. Then they were used to cut out paper patterns of the hull sides and bulkheads. The inboard hull side is raised about 1 1/2 inches to meet the outriggers as they arch down and attach to the gunwales. At the 12:1 scale this difference is only about an eighth of an inch.
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The paper patterns for the model ama hull sides were test fit on a scale 4X8 plywood sheet (also paper) and both sides of the 12 foot ama can come out of a single sheet of 3 mm door skin, readily available at the local lumber store. There is about 8 square feet of leftover that could be used for butt blocks and any other small thin ply parts.
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I reviewed lots of small boat building websites and also John Gardner’s book on building small craft. On the CLCBoats.com site are instructional videos for strip planking. The fellow demonstrating technique is Nick Schade (I think). He shows the whole process from cutting the thin strips out of a plank, surface planing, matching grain, and organizing the strips so that they don’t get out of order. The end result is beautiful, but the process is tedious.
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There are also sites that show tortured ply construction, not many. I think the technique I used a couple years ago is difficult to improve. I assembled the flat hull panels with butt joints between sections of the hull side, left unjoined, but joined together by sheer stringers that ran the whole length of the hull side. I planned to put them outboard where they can be used to help clamp the deck and also help deflect spray. The hull sides are laid on top of each other and wired along the keel from knuckle to knuckle, then opened up, and bulkheads forced down into the hull with spanish windlass attached to the gunwales, over the top of the bulkhead. Tightening the windlass draws the gunwales, which have been strengthened by the sheer stringers, against the bulkhead, as well as pushing the bulkhead into the hull and forcing the hull sides into shape.
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The problem with making a double ended hull shape with tortured ply is that any seams in the hull panels are not straight lines and are a difficult curve to predict. By leaving the seams unjoined until after the hull is forced into shape, the seams can be trimmed to fit. It is no problem to wind up the windlasses several times to force the hull into shape, then mark, then unwind, cut, then wind up again to check, and finally glue the butt blocks and join the panels when all is tried and true.
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Oops! I meant to post this as soon as I had some photos of the model and I had to go out and get more supplies, no photos yet..
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A search of “proa model” brought up Astrid Obonaga’s DESDE PROA as the first image. It is available for purchase at saatchiart.com. Other images came up, but would not be appropriate for this sailing site. I will peruse them further.

More Proa Design

04 July 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
Capn Andy/Thunderstorms
The offsets of the 2D panels of the new proa design were taken from the “unfold” display of delftship and entered into a text file. Then the offsets were used to plot out the hull panels at 12:1 scale (one inch = one foot) on paper, cut out, and test fit on a scale model plywood panel. The goal was to find an efficient cutting layout and also to make design decisions as to where seams are placed. I wanted to use butt seams again and it would be be nice to place bulkheads at the seams where plywood butt blocks make the planking twice as thick.
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The result of trial and error positioning of the scale model hull panels resulted in an incredibly dense cut layout with almost no waste. The hull sides and bottom have a seam amidships and another seam at 5 feet from each end. This works out well with the ends of the hull decked over from the bow to a bulkhead at 5 feet from the bow, then an undecked midships section that is a total of 8 feet long consisting of two 4 foot long panels and a seam amidships. All the hull panels including the decks and bulkheads can be cut from four sheets of ply.
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Reviewing the proa hull construction written up in the blog in autumn of 2014 reminded me of the difficulties of building the crossbeam connections, largely as a result of using lashings to tie the crossbeams to the hulls. Simple glass/epoxy brackets and bolts will cut down on both construction time and hull assembly time at the beach. The outrigger end of the beam connections failed, so these too will be changed. The goal will be attachment to the gunwales of the ama (outrigger float), which will be an adaptation of the same 12 foot long tortured ply ama used back then. This time the ama planking will be made from 3 mm doorskin ply.
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This design is not very original, sharpie bottomed proas were designed by Commodore Ralph Munroe way back in the 1890‘s, and Gary Dierking’s Wa’apa design has been around a while and built all over the world. John Harris of CLCboats.com has a 20 foot sharpie design, “Mbuli”, as well as an 18 foot sharpie monohull sailboat. A link on the tackingoutrigger.com website leads to a bunch of designs by O. Gulbrandsen who made them for the United Nations fisheries and they include a number of sharpies as well as skiff hulls.
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The sharpie construction method is dirt simple, make the hull sides, lay them together and attach the ends with wire ties, spread them apart and glue in the bulkheads, then plank the bottom.
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The 12 foot ama design in delftship was modified so that its deck would match the angle of the crossbeam, which will attach directly to the ama’s gunwales. Delftship doesn’t allow asymmetry, so a proa hull with more curvature on one side of the hull than the other can’t be drawn. The program mirrors the second hullside. Thus, if we want to have the inboard gunwale raised a bit (1 1/2 inches), we have to redraw the design with the higher gunwale and take offsets for the inboard hullside off the modified drawing. One of the problems with the ama of the last couple of prototypes was having the crossbeams spaced 8 feet apart and parallel, so that they crossed the ama only about 2 feet from each end of the ama. The new design is aiming for crossbeams 6 feet apart. This was chosen because one sailing rig we want to try is the freestanding schooner rig with two equal masts. We’d like to step the masts using the crossbeams as mast partners.
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The delftship design program runs on the windows machine and won’t run on this machine, which is navigatrix operating system (linux). An earlier version of delftship, called freeship, can run on linux using the WINE windows application adapter. Unfortunately, designs saved from the latest versions of delftship cannot be opened in freeship. This means we can’t write the blog here and upload it with any delftship images without saving them to a thumbdrive and bringing them across that way, or uploading them from the windows machine.
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Recreating a design in freeship or delftship isn’t a matter of starting from scratch and building the wireframe of the design by entering coordinates one by one, and what if you don’t have the coordinates of a design, although most lines drawings have a table of offsets to work from. In delftship and freeship a background image can be loaded, so you can load an image of a hull and build a wireframe based on that. Designs from other programs can be imported using the import function from most of the design software offered by the Carlson website. Carlson sells computer controlled cutting machines.
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The image is of the ama design wireframe.

BFB

30 June 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
Capn Andy/Clear and Mild
During this mid-summer break from the boat repair project I’ve decided to pursue another outrigger canoe design and build it for use as Kaimu’s tender. The previous two prototypes showed that the simple sharpie hull form is lighter and more convenient than the classic Kiribati vee bottomed canoe. The sharpie is flat bottomed and can rest upright on the dock, beach, or even on the water, making it easier to attach the outriggers and rig it up.
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The flat bottom requires a leeboard or centerboard to keep it from sliding sideways under sail. Paddling of course doesn’t require a board and a trampoline or platform on the outriggers isn’t necessary either.
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I had already developed a hull shape in delftship, a design application, and tweaked it to get a reduced volume bow and nearly vertical sides with just a bit of flare at midships to provide a little more room in the hull there. The earlier sharpie hulled prototype used an inverted bow constructed by the tortured ply process, but now I want to remove any stress from the hull components. Stress can make the hull stiffer, but it can make it more fragile. If you try to cut a limp piece of rope, it is more difficult than cutting one under tension. The same is true for hull planking.
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The bow volume is reduced by adding tumblehome to the hull sides going forward. This results in a reverse rake to the bow, like the old fashioned destroyers. Where the inverted bow had no deck, just a sharp ridge, the destroyer bow can have a small flat deck, much more useful.
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My nickname for this canoe is “BFB”, maximum bang for minimum buck, and not just in expense, but minimum build difficulty and minimum of maintenance. The goal is car topper weight for any of the components.
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A review of Michael Schacht’s website, proafile, gave me the latest on current proa design. There was a video of a French proa with a sharpie hull, sailing along at a good pace, making a substantial bow wave, but there were three crew on board.
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The picture is the delftship 3D image of the proa hull. It is simple but will have the same good qualities that the sharpie bottomed hull of two years ago had.
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