We here at Chine bLog are pleased to welcome back sketcher extraordinaire Klause Schmitt. He writes that he has put his work up for show in the last year and hopes to again,so here’s hoping this morsel of design goodness –a tug-inspired classic yacht that echos a couple of his past works we’ve shown –will preface more. Keep ‘em coming,Klaus!
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 made 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.
Hello,dear readers. Or all two of you that haven’t written off Chine bLog. We have been on a bit of a hiatus here at the editorial HQ of Chine bLog. No excuses,just haven’t gotten to much writing.
We have been in the shop a bit over these few months. As Christmas presents,I designed and built paddles for my kids. The larger one,for my daughter,is modeled on Cree style. My son’s is Tlingit-ish (I blunted the tip for improved wear and to limit weaponization potential). All in all,I quite happy with them. They are fully varnished –scoff away,purists –and I managed to put a strip of thickened epoxy along the blade tips for wear. Looking forward to getting them out on the water this spring!
[Editors note:we are doing something here we loath,which is to back-post content to fill in a hole in time. Our only excuse is that the content is genuinely form the period in time,but we never got around to sharing it. Enjoy regardless.]
With the season winding down,we made it out to the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s,MD. With the sailing rig on AL DEMANY CHIMAN complete,it seemed right to put her up for judging again,hoping to beat the second-place finish of two years ago. We also we looking to spread the new sail and try our hand at a race.
Judging looked tough from the outset. Looking around the little green,there was a bumper crop of skin-on-frame boats. Check out the pictures.
The one guy –I didn’t get his name –was showing three,including a Greenland-style kayak he had tricked out with faux-bone spears,mocked-up arctic tools,and even a neoprene “seal.”The others were more straight-forward,but were really well done. AL DEMANY CHIMAN held her own,though,impressing with uniqueness and creativity. We got many nice compliments again. In the end,though,that qajaq was too much,and we took a proud second again.
The race proved much less successful. It was blowing modestly,and for good measure we tied in a reef (worked great!) and headed out with the fleet. Things felt good,with the latest iteration of the leeboard bracket holding it down OK and seeming snug. But then…we came about and the board pivoted up. Athwartships. The bracket failed again in a new way. Ugh. Discouraged but resolute,we headed back in,more iterating ahead of us. In retrospect,we should have given the race a whirl anyway,lateral resistance be darned. But there is always next year…
I took the afternoon off to get AL DEMANY CHIMAN sailing again –I’m still tinkering with the leeboard and steering –expecting I’d have a peaceful outing in light airs of Pohick Bay,VA. I had that,but I also got a pleasant,unexpected surprise. As I was launching,I glanced out and saw someone rowing a large craft with different lines –definitely not a gig or the like. It took me a minute to glance at her more to begin guessing,and,when she got closer I made out a distinct skin-on-frame look. Man of Aran –a curragh,there in the Potomac tidewater! In moments she was ashore and there were two out-of-the-ordinary boats on the beach,both skin-on-frame craft!
The owner / builder is local and is a hardy rower. He was back from a few mile piece,pulling his 20-some foot boat solo (she has seats for three). Check out this nice Irish lass:
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.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife,nor his manservant,nor his maidservant,nor his ox,nor his ass,nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:17)
So that final phrase is fairly open-ended,but is thy neighbor’s Watson Fellowship covered? Because if it is,we’re screwed. We say this after receiving an email this week from a visitor named Will Meadows. Mr. Meadows has recently graduated from university here in the U.S. and succeeded in winning the prestigious fellowship,which grants $25,000 for “a year of independent,purposeful exploration and travel —in international settings new to them —to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness,imagination,openness,and leadership and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community.”And what will Mr. Meadows do with this gift? Here is where the envy part comes in. He writes:“Traveling for a year non-stop as a Watson Fellow I will build and study traditional canoes on every continent (besides Antarctica).”No one told us we could do that when we were 21! We want a do-over!
In all seriousness,this is an amazing project and we truly commend Mr. Meadows for winning the fellowship and choosing this incredible topic. To be clear,we’d support almost any permutation of this project,but the particular itinerary / boat selection is a great mix. Meadows is covering many major styles and building materials,so the results will allow a great study of strengths and weaknesses as well as unique factors in the evolution of different boat types. In his words:
The global journey begins on lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia where at 12500 feet beautiful reed canoes are made throughout the lake. The native peoples of Titicaca live on floating islands of the same reed harvested in the lake ecosystem a. From there,I build in Zanzibar with the dugout builders of the island,traveling into mainland Tanzania and Uganda as well. After a brief stay in the United Arab Emirates with a palm frond boat builder,I work with Maori war canoe builders on the North Island of New Zealand. Canada calls next in the spring with the intricate birch bark canoes of the north woods. The year ends with a summer building traditional Kayaks in Norway and a stay on the Mekong in northern Laos.
We are,of course,eager to stay in touch with the project. You can too –Mr. Meadows is writing about his travels and sharing his knowledge at the Humanity’s Vessel blog. It’s on our RSS reader and should be on yours too. Please join me in wishing Godspeed to Mr. Meadows!
Double-down on Friendship Sloops –with which we have no problem –because Great Harbor Boatworks posted a nice set from the Southwest Harbor Friendship Sloop Race on its Facebook page (thanks to Thomas Armstrong of 70.8% for the share). The lead-off boat in the photo album is the one below,which is a cutter we believe named RESOLUTE. She is so beautiful it hurts.
We here at Chine bLog are just getting back into the grind after a nice vacation at our fave port,Cuttyhunk Island,MA. We got in some good paddles in the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe,AL DEMANY CHIMAN,and,along the way,key our shutter ready for interesting craft that were also there. There were several of note. Below are some highlights.
An interesting-looking pocket-cruiser ketch
Sweet little gaff sloop
A well-appointed mini-tug
Workboat-inspired power cruiser DORETHEA L
As in the past,we are inclined to award a Boat of the Trip,given to that vessel that best captures our heart,pure and simple. The ones above are all nice,and we were thinking we’d have to make a tough choice,but then,on the last full day,the dark horse appeared and sewed up the award. I saw her from the house,about a mile away,and knew I had to check her out. Up close,I found what I expected:a gorgeous sheer,fine woodwork,and tons of character. She’s the delightful lovechild of ROSINANTE,a Maine lobsterboat,and a 20′s commuter. We call that fusion of tradition,my friends. In the end,with no disrespect to the other entrants,it wasn’t close. So congratulations to BARNACLE of Guilford,CT –you’re the Boat of the Trip!
Bow-on view of BARNACLE,from Guilford,CT
Here’s another image courtesy of of Facebook,this one on the WoodenBoat Facebook page:two lovely Friendship Sloops,with full sails set,racing (I believe) at one of last year’s Friendship Sloop Society events. Just amazing boats. Ultimate photo credit,I believe,goes to the Friendship Sloop Society,to which I need to pay more attention.