Kaimusailing

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.
23 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA
15 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA
11 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA
06 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA
26 January 2024 | St. Marys, GA
14 January 2024 | St. Marys, GA
09 January 2024 | St Marys, GA
23 December 2023 | St Marys, GA
10 December 2023 | St Marys, GA
25 November 2023 | St. Marys, GA
17 November 2023 | St. Marys, GA
17 November 2023 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD
03 November 2023 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD
26 October 2023 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD
17 October 2023 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD
11 October 2023 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD
04 October 2023 | Alice B. Tawes, McReady Pavilion, Crisfield, Maryland Eastern Shore
03 October 2023 | Alice B. Tawes, McReady Pavilion, Crisfield, Maryland Eastern Shore
03 October 2023 | Alice B. Tawes, McReady Pavilion, Crisfield, Maryland Eastern Shore
20 September 2023 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD
Recent Blog Posts
23 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA

D4 Inside Seams

Day two of the dinghy build started out with me finishing wiring the hull bottoms together on the centerline of the bottom panels. This was much easier than the wiring of the chine edges of the bottom panels and the side panels.

15 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA

D4 Dinghy Day One

A Wharram Pahi 26 had been anchored in the river nearby the boatyard and was hauled out with the travel lift. I went around to look at it and talked to the owner couple. I was surprised that it had been built in Martinique in 1988. The boat is more than 30 years old.

11 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA

D4 Redux

The inflatable (deflatable) dinghy I had bought was deteriorating. It had bottom seams separating. It is a West Marine branded dinghy made out of PVC. HH66 is the adhesive to reattach the seams. A friend had a similar problem and bought the same adhesive. I was waiting to hear from him how it worked [...]

06 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA

The Clincher

We decided to go to Amelia Island for the day, probably to the beach. Our plan to cycle around on the Raleigh 20’s seemed like a bad idea, Bleu can’t keep up with a bicycle for very long and when he quits he quits. So we would walk, where?, Fort Clinch State Park. She has a forever pass for Florida [...]

26 January 2024 | St. Marys, GA

Zen and Bike Maintenance

Eloisa rolled into the boatyard after a long drive down from the mountains. It was getting cold and isolated up there. I had a nasty toothache and we went to Southern River Walk. Bleu, her black American cocker was showing a bit of plumpness. I had had a sandwich and some wine already, so I didn’t [...]

14 January 2024 | St. Marys, GA

Sink the Bismarck

I continued reading Richard J Evans - The Coming of the Third Reich. It is chilling to read how a cultured, disciplined country can descend into a horrible Armageddon, not once, but twice, and bring the whole world into wars of might and ignorance. I don't know politics, but this book is a revelation. [...]

Proa Design Pt. VI

09 March 2013 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
Capn Andy/warming
Euell Gibbons, the famous author of foraging for natural foods, experimented with proas and developed a peculiar sailing rig that was later improved by Gary Dierking, a boat designer from New Zealand. This rig has been called the Gibbons-Dierking rig. When I searched it, I got:
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http://grillabongquixotic.wordpress.com/
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This is a blog that goes from Veracruz, Mexico, to Cabo del Toros, Panama. The blogger builds a proa, sails it locally in Mexico and works out the bugs, then sails along the coast all the way to Panama. He writes blog posts along the way and his writing is quite good, something like Paul Theroux. In fact, I was hoping Paul Theroux would write a book about the Caribbean like his book, The Happy Isles of Oceania. Now we don't need it. What we do need is for the grillabong blog to continue, maybe back up to Yucatan and over to Key West, then Bahamas and rest of Caribbean, or maybe down from Panama to Colombia, and then along the ABC islands, but that would be against the very strong prevailing winds down there.
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Grillabong builds a proa designed by Dierking, but modifies it, and experiments with it, and makes adjustments. There are plenty of pictures and comparisons of different sail rigs. His efforts on his trek are similar to those of Webb Chiles, whose writing is also available on line, and Nathaniel Bishop, from over a hundred years ago, also available on line (Voyage of the Paper Canoe). There is also an online book of a boat called Yakaboo, a small sailing canoe, that sails much of the Caribbean in 1911.
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The main items in these adventures are mosquitoes and sand flies. You can duplicate these adventures by dragging a camping tent to the nearest swamp and sleep in it overnight. No fair cheating if it isn't raining or thugs don't show up to demand money.
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I have this weird idea that the original human migrants who spilled out out of Africa and made such rapid progress to southeast asia and then Australia were probably following the coast and island hopping. They probably really liked finding an area with no other humans, no one else to confront them. They probably used rafts and dugouts and used sails downwind to cut down on all that paddling. Whenever they tried to angle across the wind with a sail, they would capsize, but if they added a plank to the side, they could hike out and keep from capsizing. But then if the wind eased suddenly, as it does, they would be “teabagged” and dropped into the drink. Adding a float would prevent this. This would be the development of the proa.
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Of course sailboats have evolved and the proa now seems like a stone age anachronism. Proas were evolved into catamarans. Now catamarans are the vehicle for the America's Cup. Not stone age at all. Meanwhile the proas are still sitting on the back burner, neglected. A few aficionados play around with them and suffer from the lack of development of the type. When someone like Grillabong makes the effort to create a proa, fix any design flaws, and then sails it like in the old days, down the coast, exploring in any weather conditions, tidal currents, bitten by bugs, running out of food and water, and then writes about it, the rest of us have to thank him and see if we can also make any improvements.
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The old polynesian boats were outrigger canoes and dual hulled catamarans. The catamarans required more lumber to build and the beams connecting the hulls had to be more hefty than the outrigger beams on a proa. This resulted in the catamaran configuration being used for larger boats and the proas smaller. There were many variations, see “Canoes of Oceania” (I can never get the authors' names right), and trying to recreate these ancient boats means trying to reinvent thousands of years of evolution. If there is some aspect of one of the old boats that doesn't make sense to us now, it certainly made sense to the polynesians, they didn't have a lot of wood available, had to make their own cordage, and didn't have a sail shop or sailcloth.
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One of the readers who posted a comment on Grillabong's blog was Michael Schacht, who created a site called “Proafile” a few years ago when he was interested in building a proa. Schacht had Kurt Hughes, boat designer, design a proa called “Rozinante”. This happened to be the same name Grillabong chose for his proa, so he changed it to “Desesperado”. Schacht's proa was given away to someone else to figure out how to make it work, because even with an able designer helping him, Schacht couldn't get the sail rig to work. The Proafile website continued to amass information and later a Yahoo Group for proas continued, complete with a forum and lots of activity.
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It looks like when a traditional proa is built and sailed, with the traditional “Oceanic Lateen” rig, it works. When improvements are tried, problems arise. Grillabong writes up all his problems and it looks like most of them are a result of trying to voyage with a boat that was traditionally used for local reef fishing and day sailing. His style of voyaging is called microcruising and it nothing more than camping on a small sailboat, pulling it up on the beach when possible, and suffering when the weather gets aggressive. He had trouble keeping his gear dry and had to sleep in a damp or wet bunk in a little igloo tent. Another problem he notes is the inability of reefing the sail effectively while out sailing. Traditional proas in the smaller sizes are used for fishing or local sailing. Voyaging proas are larger, have more freeboard, and might have a deckhouse on the platform. It may be a hut with thatched roof, but it would provide shelter from the sun and rain.
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The picture is of the model's outrigger float and the new larger float that will replace it.
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