Subject: Re: Rare bird and schooners
From: Mike Crawford
Date: 2/5/2006, 11:00 PM
To: rob dalton
BCC: Jodi Crawford <>

<<I have the difficulty that my wife doesn't understand the seahandling aspects and wants to get a Seawind1000 for the accommodation.>>

  Ahh, the achilles heel of arguments against cruising cats:  accommodations.

  About eighteen months ago a friend showed me a website and magazine article for the Gunboat 62, which is quite an impressive boat.  The seven-figure price tag was also impressive.  I wasn't even thinking about another boat at the time, and just showed the site to my wife Jodi in passing.  She, of course, liked it.  Then I had to explain that it cost almost $2 million, and that took away some of the glow.

  Then I decided to find a more reasonably priced cat with a nice interior, full 360 degree view from the helm, and a big back porch that's free of sheets.  This netted the Lagoon 440, which even after a year of research, has to be the nicest condomaran I've see.  It won't even come close to the gunboat in speed, but the accommodations are spectacular.  Jodi liked it, and I'll admit that if I had to live aboard a boat for years at a time, it would be the Lagoon.  Alas, it's about $450,000, which is still way out of our current price range.  Regardless, that's still one tough act to follow.

  Then I got a subscription to multihulls magazine, purchasing dozens of back issues at the same time.  After two months straight of researching multihulls, I came to five conclusions:  a) I need something that doesn't require surfing to hit double digit speeds,  b) with real double or queen size berths,  c) that is very seaworthy,  d) can be demounted for winter storage or transportation, and  e) harryproas fit the bill more closely than anything else, by a wide margin.

  That meant switching to the Visionarry from the Lagoon.  Fortunately Jodi has also gotten addicted to double-digit speeds while sailing on the Stiletto for the past year, and now neither of us can imagine calling eight knots "performance sailing".  We both still drool over the Lagoon, but the criteria rule it out.  Seaworthiness, and the ability to outrun storms, also contributed to the choice.


  The Seawind 1000 is quite a nice boat, for a pretty reasonable price, too.  I can see why your wife likes it.  It will likely have better accommodations than the harryproa, and if all you want to do is party on the hook, it's a good choice.

  On the other hand, the proa is going to have a lot more deck space, be significantly more seaworthy, will sail circles around the Seawind, and will cost less to both purchase and own.  But I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I.

  My main arguments for moving to a proa would be safety and speed.


  A 50' boat is going to handle larger seas much more elegantly than a 33' boat.  A 27' beam will be more stable than a 20' beam.  A proa will meet windward waves with both hulls instead of the torsional hobbyhorsing of a larger cat.  Round hulls with boards up are going to slide down wave faces better than mini keels, which can dig in if you're abeam to a wave.  The proa will have a lower center of gravity, and an awesome righting moment when the ww hull is ww.  That ww hull is almost always to ww as well, because the design automatically weathercocks it there, even if steering is down.  The schooner rig can steer easily with out any rudders or boards, and can even be sailed on and off a beach.  You can carry spare emergency masts and erect them without worrying about rigging.  There's no rigging to develop stress fractures and then break without warning.  A double-ended boat is inherently more seaworthy than a single-ended boat that can't handle weather from reverse.  Shunting is also a heck of a lot safer than gybing and coming about in big winds, as well as much more possible in very light winds.  Plus, a schooner rig is likely to be self-rightable in a knockdown, whereas that's never going to happen with another large multihull.

  Any one of the items above could mean the difference between a successful passage and a disaster.  That's a lot of safety measures.  Normally one would argue about one or two showstopper differences, but I count between twelve and fourteen, depending upon how you look at things.  If you value safety, or even comfort, the proa is the way to go.


  Okay, top speed is neat.  Being able to race is fun.  Passing other boats, instead of being passed, is enjoyable for most people, regardless of sex.  But these things aren't necessarily going to sway anyone.

  For me, speed means three primary things.  First, a schooner harryproa is going to be able to sail in winds that leave others at home.  That means more sailing days per year, especially when you have a fixed schedule that doesn't allow you to go out every time the wind is just right.  Second, the harrproa is going to have a lot more speed in light to average winds, opening up three to four times the amount of area in which to play during daysails.  Third, on longer trips, double-digit speeds can make the difference between outrunning a storm and having to weather it.


  Not that the arguments will make a dent.  But I thought I'd give a shot at logical reasons for the proa, not just lust-based ones. 

  Oh, and just imagine how hospitable a 50' schooner rigged proa would be if you strung a canopy up from the cockpit roof over to each boom.  That's a massive covered deck.  Toss in some nice big nets on the sides and you've got a lounging paradise. 

       - Mike

rob dalton wrote:
I have the difficulty that my wife doesn't understand the seahandling aspects and wants to get a Seawind1000 for the accommodation. I want a boat that can sail in the heavy crap out there, not an inside the reef hotel. Hopefully I can get her to understand the sea motion aspects reducing seasickness. As she sails more she may get to understand. This is just about my last chance to be slack as I have had one part time offer teaching music at the Uni and it's looking good for a choice of two positions full time, one lecturing for the trades section and one researching shark fishing sustainability, as well as finishing off my PhD. This weekend may be my last free for a while.
Ran through some rough calculations for bouyancy of masts. Visionarry is 30cm at base and 10cm at top on a 15m mast, giving roughly 160kg after the weight of the mast itself is taken into account, with the coe 5m from the deck. The sails would stop you going over due to momentum. This probably just enough but it is a bit fine for my liking. A wing mast schooner rig would probably twice the bouyancy and set higher. That should be enough provided your heavy things are fixed in the lower parts of the hulls. Anchor chain stored at deck level or below the floor could make the difference.

Mike Crawford <> wrote:

  No problem about the goose chase.  I just have some time on my hands after finishing a big project that had me working insane hours, and am enjoying the opportunity to page through proa discussions.  Plus, I have to admit that I don't want to do some administrative work around here, so this gives me a chance to procrastinate.

  I'm also surprised at people's reactions to the harryproa.  Why wouldn't you want to maximize righting moment for a given displacement?

  People choose to get religious about the oddest things.  One mustn't question the pacific proa design, you know.  That would be sacrilege.  That's almost as bad as questioning the Jzerro design.  Goodness.  The addiction to that damned leeward pod is quite strong over on proa_file, isn't it?  The proponents clearly aren't fully thinking their arguments through.

  If someone wanted to say "I like it, and I like the idea of training wheels when daysailing", that's great. Go for it.  But to try to claim the pod is more seaworthy in a big storm doesn't make sense, especially after reading the arguments against it. 

  Also, claiming Jzerro is the golden design simply because it has crossed oceans is a bit odd.  People have crossed oceans in 19-foot monohulls, too, but that doesn't mean they are seaworthy.  It just means that their skippers, and Russ Brown, know what they are doing.

  I'm looking for a boat that will take care of me as much as possible if I'm injured, someone else has to take over, one of us makes a mistake, or a very odd set of waves and wind happens all at once.  "More seaworthy in average conditions" doesn' t cut it if you want to make an ocean crossing.  I want something that's more seaworthy in extreme conditions.  I trust myself and others to take care of the boat when things are average.

  But I'm preaching to the choir here.  I just wanted to whine to someone about it without pestering the entire group.

       - Mike

rob dalton wrote:
Mike , I think he was referring to a harry design , probably his harrigami but I am not sure. The magic 20 was my words quoting you. SOrry for setting you up on a wild goose chase.
I am still not sure why some people have an aversion to righting moment

Mike Crawford <> wrote:

  Quote from Rob on Rare bird sail: "Top speed was 11.5 knots by gps, the local weather centre got a top of 15 knots wind speed for the day."

  I looks like we both have our quotes, eh?  ;-)  

  I got mine from Rob's 19 December "Sailing Visionarry" post to the harryproa group.  The only message from Rob that I could find in proa_file including "16 knots in 15 knots of wind" was posted on 22 January, and looks like it was referring to Jzerro's speed. 

  However, I can't find anything that says "Magic 20 knots" though, so I may have missed a message about a later sail.  I hope I did, because 18 knots is substantially different than 11.5 knots, at least on a sailboat.  Any help finding the message with the "Magic 20" will be welcome.

  In any case, it's clearly a fast boat.  I have no doubt that a boat closer to Blind Date's weight, along with a schooner rig, will hit the magic 20. 


  BTW, I've read a lot of posts lately on Proa File.  Hadn't really spent much time there lately.  You and Rob have really put out a lot of information, despite the folks who insist on trumpeting the merits of designs for which they cannot prove merits.

       - Mike


rob dalton wrote:
QUote from Rob on proa file a few weeks ago<<<<<< Would it beat a harry?  No idea.  We certainly have not reached 18 knots in
any harrys  (16 knots in 15 knots of breeze is tops for the cruisers so far). >>>>>>
Magic 20 knots seems possible in 20 knots or so in the right conditions with a more efficient rig. It would certainly eat up the sea miles
regards ,

Mike Crawford <> wrote:

  I believe Rare bird did 11.5 knots in 15 knots of wind.  But with that bendy rig, a fouled bottom, and a huge load, that's still quite a feat.  I look forward to hearing about what Blind date does when it gets tuned.

  I definitely agree with you on the schooner rig.  I also agree on not screwing around with too many sails.  Headsails would require way too much effort and cost, from building the boat to handle the loads, to purchasing additional sails and rigging, to buying, installing, and grinding winches, to the big hassle of furling one end and unfurling the other on each shunt.  No thank you.  If I wanted that much work, I wouldn't be looking at a harryproa.

  As you and Rob have pointed out, mast height is key in really low wind.  I'd much rather have two 18m masts, reefed much of the time, than a single easyrig (or shorter masts) with headsails.  This would require a sail that's easy to reef, but that's not a very difficult thing to find.  If you've got a good way to control sail shape, such as with a wishbone una or an easily-adjustable outhaul and vang on a standard main, you can also reduce power very significantly just by flattening the sail and letting out the mainsheet a bit.  No shrouds to get in the way!

  Another benefit with the schooner is that any sail you carry is a spare!  You could carry one or two spares, plus two short 10m masts with heavy dacron sails as emergency rigs (in case a mast buckles).  Everything becomes easier when there is only one kind of sail.  There's also more mast buoyancy, which I like a lot.  I don't intend to go over, but if it happens, I like the idea of having an option of self recovery.

  A 15m lw hull Harry with a tall schooner rig would be a sight to behold.  I imagine it could easily surpass wind speed, and also go past that "emotional" 20-knot mark.

  Besides, you can always set up an outleader if you've got a really long downwind run.

       - Mike

rob dalton wrote:
I had thought of the lw hull wtih rig tucking under. It should fit without widening the beam if using a schooner rig as you need less bury and the bury would come where there is a little less beam on the corredponding point on the ww hull. Putting the lw hull over can actually be a plus if you have enough room as it makes it dead easy to remove and replace the masts as the holes and masts are than horizontal. The combination could then be winched up to the sailing position.Much easier than rigging up a gantry to place them in the holes vertically. The process I imagine for getting the boat to the water if there is a wide enough ramp to take the expanded boat. Lee hull is tucked under ww hull on its side. and cross beams are separate. possibly lashed to the roof of the ww hull and supported with trailer framework. The crossbeams are tipped into the lw hull holes form the top of the roof. It may need some giuding boards and rope restraints to do it on your own but it should be possible to sort out relatively easily. Once the beams are in the lw hull sockets thay can be attached to the folding system iwth a couple of rods. The masts are taken out and possibly using something like a piano trolley guided horizontally into the mast sockets. The beams are then winched into placeand locked down.  The bottom of the lw hull would have to be supported by the trolley as it went out. Here comes the difficult part, the instability of having the boat so of centre. The possibilties are  sliding the whole boat sideways on the trailer to center the weight and supporting the boat under the wing deck and the crossbeams or rotating the trolley 90degrees and letting the trolley support the lw hull. 
The other choice is to put the boat in the water before the masts are  in and put the masts in from the beach or even from the water .
Without the folding system the main difference is that you have to manoevre the lw hull around with the masts and crossbeams in place and tip the ww hull to allow the sockets and the crossbeams to line up, and you would have to have a wide enough ramp.  On your own with uneven ground it would be dificult. with one other person to help with fine adjustment it shouldn't be too hardThe Farrier systems are very robust as they have to support a strong torque on the joints. The Harry, though having longer beams, only has to hold up the ww hull without a great deal of torque so the folding machanism really only has to support the loads of assembly.. There would be some extra weight in the flanges to hold the beams in position rather than having the sockets.
Don't know how muach extra the weight is for the horizontal  folding system but apart from the bolts you have two extra surfaces and a centreline with less resistance to sheer.
According to Robs posts, didn't Rare Bird do 18knots in 20knots of wind with a fouled bottom? Don't know how much faster a harry will be with a couple of tall Una rigs. I would avoid the hassle of screechers as it means you have to start putting in extra weight to take the loads. With the schooner rig the rigging loads are concentrated in one plane and the rudders aren't far off. There are a lot of loads trying to get decent luff tension on a foresail. It would be a pain to shunt.

Mike Crawford <> wrote:

  I did muck up the conversion.  I meant 60'/18m masts with a 50'/15m lw hull.  I have no idea how I could have come up with 23m -- none of the factors could yield that number, even if I reversed them.

  I'm starting to like an expanded Harry design.  The drop in weight would help light wind performance, and the smaller design would mean a lower cost.  That would be one fast boat. 

  One of my problems is that I've gotten addicted to the speed of the current cat, which has hit 17 knots, and hopefully will reach 20 this sailing season (new sails, more experience).  More than the top end, though, is the ability to sail in wind that keeps others at the dock.  I don't necessarily have to fly about like a madman, but it's really nice to move at a good clip in winds that would just leave my bobbing about in my old boat.  I have a feeling that a schooner rigged 15m Harry would even be an upgrade from my stiletto.  Especially when the wind is strong enough to reach, but not quite good enough to tack.  Shunting would be welcome on days like that.

  I can't see using the Farrier system because it tilts the ama down when retracted.  This works for a trimaran, tucking the short ama into the hollow beneath the deck, but would be a problem for a Harryproa with the taller leeward hull.  That would place the side of the hull in the water, would angle the mast(s), and might expand the trailering width.

  Looking at the folding method on cat2fold, I'm not sure where all the unwanted weight would come in.  It's really just a beam, cut in two, with a pivot point in the middle and a hinge at each end.  How much weight do you think it would add?  50 Kg?  Not knowing what the normal beams weigh, I can't really estimate.  Masts would always be vertical, as would the leeward hull.

  On the other hand, I think you have a good point: a well-designed trailer could do the trick, allowing you to transport a boat with standard beams, yet without requiring a boatyard lift.  It wouldn't allow you to collapse the boat in a harbor, but it would make transportation a heck of a lot easier.  Plus the boat would be lighter, and probably sturdier.

  $200 a year for storage?  My, that is nice.  Prices keep going up here in Maine as the value of real estate soars.  We're lucky to have bought property up here when we did.

  I don't know if I can swing a trip before October.  When is Bain planning to sail?

       - Mike

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