The leeboard bracket is giving us a tough lesson in the physics of lateral resistance. My first attempts showed flaws in the bracket to clip the board to the single side gunnel. The second attempt,from late summer,is below. I followed the published models and build a bracket that clips to both gunnels.
This system worked well enough at keeping the bracket in place,but I still had the end that meets the leeboard all wrong. I realized two things. First,the bolt was too thin –at 1/4″it was being bent by the leeboard’s upward,outboard pressure on port tack and upward,inboard pressure on starboard tack. Second,the “face plate”provided too little bearing surface for the board (and the bolt on the outside was too small as well). There wasn’t enough to keep the board clamped in place.
In the Fall,then,I enlarged the “face plate”and make a much bigger knob to clamp in the leeboard itself. The worked much better,but the “face plate”still came apart. In the face of these forces,then,I have now buckled a bit and,how shall we say it…screwed the snot out of it. I am still resisting loads of fiberglass cloth and big metal L joints,but there is more epoxy and bronze than before. I am hoping this will be enough. I find the bracket rather graceful as it is now (scrap white oak FTW!),and don’t want to have to revert to something clunky and ungainly. Physics may overpower,though.
It took longer than I had hoped to rebuild the lateen yard so that I could get my skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN under sail again. Recently,though,I finally completed that task and yesterday morning life and the weather gave me an opening to get “the sail canoe”under sail for the second time.
Truthfully,the weather could have helped a bit more –the wind was fairly light and flukey. This said,I did have a nice little sail and made some progress towards having the sailing rig fully tuned and “done.”The new yard did well and the reworked main sheet arrangement was much better. I think I also have identified the right spot on the yard for the halyard.
Left to do is to do some thinking on the leeboard. The boat definitely wants the lateral resistance to go upwind well,but there are two issues. First,the bracket I designed to clip the board to the gunnel just isn’t working. On port tack it was just about pulling up and over the rub rail. I think I am going to need to use a bracket the crosses the hull and clips under the inwale on both sides;this is the more common arrangement I have seen in Gary Dierkingand Todd Bradshaw‘s books.
The other problem is that the board will still not reliably stay down,even after I added leather washers. Not sure what my next step is on this one.
I’ll also be playing with the steer oar to try to improve it. Steering will be something I’ll be playing with further,I suspect.
It seemed a good time to update you all on the status of our various winter projects on the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe,A DEMANY CHIMAN. When we last checked in,I was trying to figure out how to approach the redesign of the ama,especially with respect to the problem of it shipping lots of water. I have pursued the initial approach (despite good advice to the contrary) and am some way along.
To review,I took the ama completely apart and gave everything a good sanding. I had found the bow piece in suspect shape,so I just rebuilt it. I then coated everything with the same polyurethane that coats the skin and lashed it all back together,but for the stringers. I then got some polystyrene and built blocks matching the dimensions of the four sections of the ama (including the stringers in the width) and then split those down the middle lengthwise. I filed / sanded them to shape so that they fit snugly and had the appropriate sectional shape. I am now 3/4 through the final step,which is carving out a channel for the stringers. Below is the starboard side,with one stringer just laid in.
Now I have to do the port side. I’ll paint them all so they aren’t that horrid pink (yes,in its regular life,this foam would be insulating some house).
A couple thoughts are in order. First,working with foam has been a highly unpleasant process. The mess is horrendous and shaping it does not have the same satisfying feeling wood gives. The stuff is obviously soft enough that it is easy to ding up and it snags much more easily than it seems it should. On the other hand,I think it will meet my objectives pretty well. By coating the pieces in polyurethane,waiting for a full set,and then lashing them,they behave like skin-on-frame construction should,but are protected form the inevitable water (yes,there may be wear and,over time,places water will get to the wood,but that will be down the line a decent bit). The stringers will show through and give the appearance they had,maintaining the same look. Finally,the water will mostly stay out,leaving me confident the ama will remain buoyant in a longer,choppy crossing. Perfect? No,but I think this will get me where I wanted to,even if the journey has been a pain.
For some tie I have known of Douglas Brooks,a Vermont boatbuilder who became fascinated with traditional Japanese boats several years ago and has since traveled there a few times to study and document traditional boats and construction methods. There was a nice piece about him recently in the Japan Times Online that focused particularly on Brooks’s efforts on Okinawa to find a surviving traditional builder of native sabani,a local sailing canoe. The article links to a resource site with more about sabani,which look extremely interesting and capture,I believe,faint elements of the traditional craft to their south. The image abve comes from that site.
As I work away on refinements to the sailing rig for my skin-on-frame outrigger sailing canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN,I wanted to show off a few more details of the rig as it is. I posted a variant of this view before,but I think this is a better picture. It gives a sense of the overall layout and the different rig elements.
Here is the steer oar and its chalk. This set-up worked reasonably well,though I might eventually want to put some weight on blade end.
This view shows the hiking plank and mainsheet leads.
Finally,some detail on the finished blocks,which I hand made from paduak.
I can’t wait to get her going again next season.
I wanted to get these pictures of the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival up right away;I’ll be adding captions soon.
[UPDATE] Captions are now on there. I encourage you to browse through. There were some AMAZING AMAZING boats there. I’d highlight the sailing canoe SEVEN STARS,the Melonseeds,the sailing canoe in pictures 4 and 31,and,of course,the Coquina.
She’s all ready for show…
For those of you that have been following the progress of my skin-on-frame outrigger canoe,AL DEMANY CHIMAN,I thought I’d provide an update. I have gotten a sail-plan more or less in place,working with Todd Bradshaw of “Canoe Rig”fame.
I have added a boom from the original conception. It is now an Arabian lateen with a boom;please don’t call it a balanced lug. ;^) Unlike the drawing,the sail will not be laced to the boom. I hope it will be faux tanbark.
I have also begun work on building pieces of the sailing rig. I have a roughed out take on the leeboard,which I a proud to say uses a bunch of scrap wood I’d been itching to use. I expect it will still look great once sanded.
It has been far too long (we do I always find myself starting this way? SIGH) since we here at Chine bLog highlighted the great posts others have offered the world regarding wooden / traditional boats. Yes,believe it or not,Chine bLog is NOT the only source. Really. It’s true. If you haven’t discovered it already,you should be sure to read the stuff below:
Bob Holtzman over at Indigenous Boats has been putting out a ton of great stuff of late,such that I can’t come close to mentioning it all. Some highlights I’d recommend:
Gavin at intheboatshed has kept his blog going strong. Check out: » Continue reading ’round the blogs –great stuff from elsewhere in the traditional boat blogosphere »