Jim Michalak's Boat Designs
118 E Randall, Lebanon, IL 62254
A page of boat designs and essays.
(15April2012) This issue will cover rowing gear. The 1 May issue will review electric boat propulsion.
THE BOOK IS OUT!
BOATBUILDING FOR BEGINNERS (AND BEYOND)is out now, written by me and edited by Garth Battista of Breakaway Books. You might find it at your bookstore. If not check it out at the....
ON LINE CATALOG OF MY PLANS...
...which can now be found at Duckworks Magazine. You order with a shopping cart set up and pay with credit cards or by Paypal. Then Duckworks sends me an email about the order and then I send the plans right from me to you.
MESSABOUT NOTICE:THE REND LAKE MESSABOUT WILL TAKE PLACE ON JUNE 8 and 9 AT THE PINTAIL LOOP OF THE NORTH SANDUSKY CAMP GROUND AT REND LAKE IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. USUALLY THE SANDUSKY CAMP GROUNDS MIGHT BE FULL FOR THAT WEEKEND. BUT SOME OF OUR BOATERS HAVE RESERVED SOME OF THE SITES THERE SO YOU (AND I) MIGHT PASS THAT WAY FIRST SINCE SEVERAL TENTERS CAN SHARE A CAMPSITE. IF NOT, THEN I WOULD TRY THE WAYNE FITZGERRELL STATE CAMPGROUND WHICH IS ON THE MAIN CAUSEWAY LEADING TO SANDUSKY. THEIR WEBSITE SAYS IT IS STRICTLY FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, NO RESERVATIONS ALLOWED. IT IS A VERY QUICK DRIVE FROM THERE TO SANDUSKY. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
On a quiet beach on the Florida Gulf Coast two cuddy cabin boats get ready to sail. Closest is Tim Gosnell's Toon2 and afar is Gary Blankenship's veteran Frolic2.
I've been showing photos of Max Wawzyniak's Oracle prototype for the past few month. The project was done a while back but we were frozen in until about the first week of March. Then it all burst out then and we had a day in the 70'sF and it was time to launch. That particular day the wind was gusting to 30 and no testing was going to get done but it was a good day to take photos and also to set the boat up in the way I like to see it done.
We went to Washington County lake here in Illinois which is about a mile long and with many arms, steep hills around and a shallow launch ramp in a protected area. A very nice rowing lake.
The first thing I must say to those who are finishing a new rowing boat is to not install the rowlocks in the shop! I usually show a rowlock location on the drawing but that is just my best guess at the time I drew the boat. If you have a little patience you can get it just right the first time by following this essay.
Max unloaded his new Oracle and showed me his gear. He had made a low rowing seat, 3-1/2" high, and had some nice 8' oars. The seat looks low but you will usually have a cushion on top and this is a low sided boat. This seat turned out to be just right for Oracle.
Next the boat was placed in the water tied loosely to the dock. Max climbed in and we looked for the seating position that would provided a level boat.
Here he is too far forward and you can see that the bow is down and the stern is up. I might add that it really takes two people to get this just right - one to be the skipper, and another to watch for the correct trim since seeing the trim from inside the boat can be difficult.
Here he is too far aft. The bow is up and the stern is down:
Here he is with his weight located properly for a level boat. At this time he marked the seat location on the bottom of the boat so he could easily repeat the location in the future.
Sitting in the properly trimmed boat Max holds the oars comfortably and notes where they cross the wale.
At those points he places a large C clamp in position to simulate the rowlocks.
Now for a test row using those C clamps as thole pins. If the clamps are large enough you might pass the oar through the opening or you might tie the oars to the clamps. In this case Max was just careful to keep the oars against the clamps.
At this point you can shift things around. Once you find the best place for the oarlocks, note the position and install the lock sockets. In this case Max used common sockets mounted outside the wale. He screwed them into position for now, to replace the screws with small bolts in the future. (Screws have a bad habit of working loose at the worst time.) Sockets mounted outside the wale instead of inside? They function a lot better outside with no chafing on the wale but if you are using the boat as a tender then inside the wale might be better because there will be no metal to gouge the mothership.
Not quite done yet. A good rowing setup will also have cleats inside the hull against which you can brace your feet. It's not a big deal in calm conditions but for rowing hard, and in some conditions all rowing will be hard, the cleats will make a huge difference in the amount of force you can deliver to the oar.
Max didn't install his on his test day but the cleats can be about 3/4" square and 6" long and mounted in a comfortable position. Many rowing boats will have several cleats spaced maybe 3" apart to allow for different sizes of oarsmen. Here is a photo of the cleat in my old Roar2. It was meant to be a temporary fit and was plopped in place with a blob of Bondo. Still temporary after 12 years!
Perhaps just as good as a cleat is the arrangement that Rob Rhode-Szudy made for his Piccup Pram with a rope loop to the seat that captures a bracing bar that rests on the floor of the boat:
TOON2, CUDDY SAILBOAT, 15' X 5.5', 300 POUNDS EMPTY
Toon2 is in almost every way a multichine version of the AF3. I think these multichine hulls are more like round bilge hulls in that I keep the upper chine above any normal waterline so only the very easy lower chine flows through the water. Other boats shaped this way such and Piccup Pram and Woobo have proven to be very fast and well behaved. Yet they still have a flat center bottom plank that allows you to beach the boat upright.
So one might think that a multichine like this is in every way better than a real flat bottomed boat, but that is not totally true. For one thing multichines have a few more pieces to make and must be assembled with taped seams. Taped seams are light and probably more rot resistant than chine log construction but they can be a bit harder to understand at first glance. And someone building a boat with his children might have second thoughts about the kids messing around with large pots of epoxy. Also the bottom plank of a multichine hull is a lot narrower than that of the equal flattie so floor space is reduced, a real factor if you hope to sleep two on the cabin floor, which you can't do with Toon2.
Toon2 has about the same layout as AF3 but it is about 12" wider and I gave it some bench seats. I'm thinking this will be an excellent solo boat for a short cruise with someone used to tent camping, and yet be a good day sailer for two or three adults, or maybe two adults and two kids. This size boat has always been popular and always will be because it has that sort of capacity and yet can be manhandled by a solo skipper in almost any condition.
The sail rig is the same 96 square foot sharpie sprit that I used on Pencilbox and AF3. It started as the main on my old Bolger Jinni from 30 years ago. Very easy to make and use and efficient if you can live with a 21' mast on a 15' boat.
As I am writing this there are two Toon2s afloat that I know about. Both were recently launched. This one by John Wolf in Texas..
...was made with the blueprint sharpie sprit rig. He says it sails fine.
And this Toon2 by Tim Gosnell in Florida has a balanced lug sail adapted from the AF3 lug sail plans...
This Toon2 is also said to be a fine sailor. Compared to the stock sharpie sprit sail I would expect it to sail not so close to the wind. On the other hand it will certainly be easier to tow and set up and easier to reef and maybe be as good or better on the other points of sail. It's all the usual tradeoff. Note that it is not really a large boat and that the weight of the skipper in the stern affects the trim quite a bit. So with fine tuning she will be faster and better all around with the weight more forward. Then again, for lazing around on a slow day I found with my Piccup Pram that trim was not that critical and if the skipper lounged comfortably against the aft bulkhead, it looked bad but it sailed good. On its maiden voyage Mark's Toon2 was cruising all well with a Frolic2 and a Wooboto.
Toon2 uses taped seam construction with no lofting or ladder building jig required. She needs seven sheets of 1/4" plywood and two sheets of 1/2" plywood.
Plans for Toon2 are $40.
Some of you may know that in addition to the one buck catalog which now contains 20 "done" boats, I offer another catalog of 20 unbuilt prototypes. The buck catalog has on its last page a list and brief description of the boats currently in the Catalog of Prototypes. That catalog also contains some articles that I wrote for Messing About In Boats and Boatbuilder magazines. The Catalog of Prototypes costs $3. The both together amount to 50 pages for $4, an offer you may have seen in Woodenboat ads. Payment must be in US funds. The banks here won't accept anything else. (I've got a little stash of foreign currency that I can admire but not spend.) I'm way too small for credit cards.
I think David Hahn's Out West Picara is the winner of the Picara race. Shown here on its first sail except there was no wind. Hopefully more later. (Not sure if a polytarp sail is suitable for a boat this heavy.
Here is a Musicbox2 out West.
This is Ted Arkey's Jukebox2 down in Sydney. Shown with the "ketchooner" rig, featuring his own polytarp sails, that is shown on the plans. Should have a sailing report soon.
And the Vole in New York is Garth Battista's of www.breakawaybooks.com, printer of my book and Max's old outboard book and many other fine sports books. Beautiful job! Garth is using a small lug rig for sail, not the sharpie sprit sail shown on the plans, so I will continue to carry the design as a prototype boat. But he has used it extensively on his Bahamas trip towed behind his Cormorant. Sort of like having a compact car towed behind an RV.
And a Deansbox seen in Texas:
The prototype Twister gets a test sail with three grown men, a big dog and and big motor with its lower unit down. Hmmmmm.....
And the first D'arcy Bryn is ready for taping. You can follow the builder's progress at http://moffitt1.wordpress.com/ ....
And the first Brucesboat is in the water for testing. A full report soon.
OK, so he found a major league goof in my plans on fitting the bilge panels. He did some cut and fit and did a great job of salvaging the work, but I have corrected the drawing for the aft end of the bilge panel (I drew it in upside down!!)
And a Hapscut goes together in Texas. He has scarfed some material on the stern to finish the boat with a built in motor well like Laguna. Good idea:
And here is a custom project going together so quickly that I am going to hold releasing prototype plans, just release "done" plans in a few weeks. He also already has a crew...
AN INDEX OF PAST ISSUES
THE WAY BACK ISSUE ARCHIVES
1may11, Small Boat Rudders, Blobster
15may11, Sail Sizing1, Mayfly16
1jun11, Sail Sizing2, Ladybug
15jun11, Rend Lake 2011, Toto
1jul11, Trailers, Wooboto
15jul11, Bimini, Mikesboat
1aug11, Cartopping, Family Skiff
15aug11, Plywood Butt Joints, Cormorant
1sep11, Lumber Scarf Joints, Trilars
15sep11, Balanced Lug Jiffy Reef, Philsboat
1oct11, Boat Costs, Larsboat
15oct11, Sail Area Math, Jonsboat
1nov11, Sail Oklahoma 2011a, Piccup Pram
15nov11, Sail Oklahoma 2011b, Caprice
1dec11, Taped Seams, Trilars
15dec11, Bulkhead Bevels, Sportdory
1jan12, H14 Rig, Olive Oyl
15jan12, Knockdown Recovery 1, DarcyBryn
1feb12, Knockdown Recovery 2, Caroline
15feb12, Underwater Board Size, IMB
1mar12, Underwater Board Shape, Paddleplank
15mar12, Underwater Board Shape2, Frolic2
1apr12, Underwater Board Shape3, Marksbark
Mother of All Boat Links
The Boatbuilding Community
Kilburn's Power Skiff
Bruce Builds Roar
Rich builds AF2
JB Builds AF4
JB Builds Sportdory
Puddle Duck Website
Brian builds Roar2
Herb builds AF3
Herb builds RB42
Barry Builds Toto
Table of Contents