Subject: Re: [harryproa] Re: Tons of questions
From: Carlosproacarlos
Date: 3/31/2008, 1:08 PM
To: "" <>
CC: "" <>

I think proas are more weight sensitive than cats. I confess they are my cup of tea but is not for everybody. Reading your email I am not sure how much money you are willing to spend. If the harry proa is too radical then you may want to take a look at the catamaran Tomcat 6.7 which is a 36ft cat for the tropics for around $160k. I saw it at the Miami show and for the price is very good

But nothing looks cooler than a harryproa

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 31, 2008, at 9:33 AM, Mike Crawford <> wrote:


  Be sure to get in contact with George Marks to get firm plans before scheduling any sort of trip.  He is a bit quirky, so you'll want to be sure you can see, and hopefully sail the boat, before making the journey.

  I live in Maine, and thought I'd drive over to Rockport by to see the boat about two years ago, while there was still snow on the ground.  I called first and found Marks to be gruff but reasonable.  He said I could come to the yard and look at the boat, but that it would not be assembled, that I couldn't get on it, and that he might not have time to discuss it with me.  Okay.

  When I arrived, he refused to come out of his basement workshop, or even walk over to the door to say hi, but he did yell up to me that I could look at the boat.  So my wife and I walked around the demounted proa for a while before driving home.  It pretty much looked exactly as we expected it to look; it's a great design, but the walkthrough cockpit that Marks chose is definitely not something we'd look into ourselves.

  Marks' site,, has been taken down, so I'm not sure if he's still chartering the proa or not.  If he is, I'll probably charter it for a day this summer to see how it feels.  If you're in Maine, you're welcome to stop by our place in Brunswick if you need to take a break from traveling.

  The last number I have from proasail is 207-594-2891.  You can see some of their old web pages if you use the wayback machine at

       - Mike


gardner.pomper wrote:

Thanks for the quick reply. Let me give you a brief background to put
my questions into context.

I bought a Maine Cat 30 catamaran and took a year off to "try out"
cruising with my family. We loved the open bridgedeck and it sailed
well, considering how overloaded it was. We loved cruising, and wanted
to do it again by now, while my daughter is in middle school, but
finances will force us to wait till she leaves home in 5 years.

We found that a 30 foot cat just did not have the payload capacity to
be a liveaboard. (Could not add freezer, generator, etc and we were
already overloaded) I figure that crew, fluids (water,gas,propane),
ground tackle, etc add about 2000 lbs to a boat before provisioning,
personal effects, etc. I have pestered Maine Cat for a 35' cat for
years, but they ignore me <grin>.

When I came across the harryproa, the Visionarry seems like it has
enough payload capacity for a cruising couple/liveaboard (although
more is better). We are not adventurers; we are looking for a coastal
cruiser/island hopper for North and South America and the caribbean.
So, my questions here are primarily focused on Visionarry.

- I am assuming the empty weight is completely empty? Does it include
"built ins" like the stove, fridge, batteries? What about the sails?
(Mast is included, hopefully). What about engines?

- I can't picture what the saloon is really like. Do you have any 2D
layout drawings (like for the harryproa) that I can look at? We really
loved the 8x11' open bridgedeck on the Maine Cat, and I am concerned
that you can't walk from the galley to the wheel without dropping the
table in the saloon. I am thinking about carving a simple model out of
balsa wood to get the dimensions in my head.

- Can a stove with an oven be fitted? This was almost a deal breaker
on the Maine Cat, as the designer did not want to add one, but he
managed and the people who know the boats say it was one of the best

- What about storage? Other than the cabinets along the hull in the
galley, where do you put everything?

- My wife is concerned about the loss of privacy between a proa and a
cat. I have seen you mention a charter proa you have designed. Are
sketches available for that? What do you expect the relative build
cost to be between teh Visionarry and the charter? Double?

I have seen you offer to email sketches on other groups. If you are
willing to, my email is

Now I am off to book a trip to Maine <grin> to check out the boat in
Rock Harbor. Hopefully you will hear back from me in Sept as to how it

- What is the mast height off the water?

--- In, "Rob Denney" <harryproa@...> wrote:
> G'day,
> Welcome to the forum. Thanks for the questions, please keep them
> coming. My answers follow your questions.
> On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 10:41 AM, gardner.pomper <gardner@...> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I have been searching the net for everything I can find on the
> > harryproas. They look VERY interesting, but there is very little hard
> > info, so I thought this group might be the best place to start.
> >
> > I think that I am most interested in Visionarry, although it might be
> > a bit above my price range, but let me start with some general
> > questions (if i put all my questions in, the post would be too long
> > for anyone to read).
> >
> > I am curious about the rotating mast. How susceptible is that to
> > binding, or sea salt crusting, etc? If you are subject to alot of sea
> > spray and have limited fresh water, what is the maintenance required?
> Very little. The bearings are plastic outer shells and epoxy/graphite
> inner shells. Water cannot get into them as there is a boot around
> the mast covering the top one. If any salt (or grit) did get in
> there, it would probably become embedded in the plastic so no harm
> would be done to the mast.
> >
> > Again with the mast.. none of the harryproas seem to have any safety
> > equipment to keep you on the boat for when you need to reef in heavy
> > seas. THat leeward hull looks pretty narrow.
> The intention is to do all mast work from the bridge deck. There
> should be no need to get on the lee hull deck at all.
> >
> > I am not clear on the position of the mast when you reef. Is it
> > pointing perpendicular to the proa? You can't reach it then. Or are
> > you supposed to turn the boat into the wind, like a "normal" cat?
> > Doesn't that take the risk of the wind getting behind the sail and
> > then the leeward hull becomes the windward hull, making the boat
> > easier to capsize? Can someone explain the boat handling a little
> Best way to reef is to go beam onto the seas and release the sheet.
> Then wind down the reef as per normal, being careful not to get hit by
> the boom. The boom can be sheeted so that it is locked athwartships,
> which makes this easier, and also lets the sail act as a weathervane,
> keeping the boat beam to. There is no way the rig can be sheeted fore
> and aft with the wind from the wrong side, so capsizing the wrong way
> is very difficult. If this is not clear, please ask more questions.
> >
> > Are there any harryproas in the water on the east coast of the US
> > I might actually see one in person?
> There is one in Maine that was the first one we built professionally.
> It is used as a recreational sailer and a ferry boat for the boats
> anchored in Rockport Bay and is non standard (walk through windward
> hull, 50 hp outboard) . Second hand information is that it has sailed
> at 15 knots in 15 knots of breeze, but that is all I have. The
> owner has not spoken to us since we could not meet our price estimate,
> despite nearly going broke trying. he had to finish the painting
> and some of the fitting out himself. His name is George Marks. He
> was the harbour master at Rockport. I would be very grateful for
> feedback from anyone who talks to him or sees the boat.
> >
> > I have seen mention of a stay on the mast, but also that it is
> > freestanding. Is the stay optional? Can the mast still rotate 360
> > degrees with the stay? Are there any stops on how far the mast can
> > rotate, or can you just keep turning it in the same direction
> I tried various staying setups on the prototypes. They are not worth
> the effort on cruising boats, probably not on racers eiither. Amongst
> other drawbacks, the mast could not rotate 360 degrees. None of the
> current designs has stays.
> >
> > For very light airs, can you easily rig some sort of downwind sail?
> > Genniker, cruising spinaker, etc?
> Pretty easy if required. I use an extension to the front of the boom
> and attach the tack of the extra to it and sheet it to the back end of
> the boom. Not ideal, but it works. A large genoa type sail is best
> as the rig is rotated so that it is always close hauled, even when the
> breeze is aft. For dead down wind, the boom is athwartships.
> >
> > I have seen very little on the actual sailing speed of Blind Date
> > only boat I have heard that does frequent sailing). Has a polar
> > diagram been created? Or at least anecdotal readings of speed under
> > different points of sail, with different wind speeds and sea states?
> The best indication of the boats' potential is at
> where Rare Bird reaches at
> wind speed on it's first decent voyage. The sails are not right
> (small job, no one has got round to it) and as you can see, no one is
> trying very hard to sail it fast. Blind Date is considerably lighter,
> with a stiffer mast and better sails. It goes back in the water in a
> month or two and some more videos will be forthcoming, I hope. There
> are some pictures and videos of it at
> I appreciate that this is
> not the answer to your question, but it is all we have at the moment.
> Based on my sailing on the (very rough) prototypes the harder it blows
> and the rougher it gets, the better the boats will perform, compared
> to conventional cats. This is due to the rockerless hulls, the
> flexible mast and the lower windage of the harryproa platform.
> >
> > What is the underwing clearance (Visionarry and Harryproa)
> 6-900 mm/ 24-36". It can be less at the ww hull as the hull lifts to
> the waves making impact wioth the beam or floor less likely, except
> when motoring straight into big waves. .
> >
> > Finally, a big one. I will never have the time/talent to build a
> > I have seen the stated materials costs for Visionarry ($80K AU) and
> > build time (4500 hours). How does this translate into a budgetary
> > number to see if I should even be looking at this boat? Assuming I am
> > willing to get it built anywhere that does excellent work, can I jst
> > multiply 4500 hours times $xxx/hr + $80K AU and get a number? What
> > would $xxx/hr be?
> $AUS72 per hour was our charge out rate. Moderate by Australian
> standards, cheap by European and US standards and very expensive
> compared to low labour cost countries' rates. I am currently
> talking to builders from South America, South Africa, the Caribbean
> and eastern Europe about a 60' charter proa. Their labour rates are
> much lower, as are overheads, although there may be quality issues to
> overcome. I intend to be on site for the first build to ensure high
> quality. This boat's hulls and beams will be far fewer hours and
> lighter than the strip planked equivalent and the interior will be far
> quicker to install.
> >
> > Thanks very much. I must warn you that if someone replies to this, I
> > am likely to post more questions <grin>
> Keep 'em coming!
> regards,
> Rob Denney
> >
> > - Gardner
> >
> >

No Cost - Get a month of Blockbuster Total Access now. Sweet deal for Yahoo! users and friends.

Recent Activity
Visit Your Group
Y!7 Toolbar

Get it Free!

easy 1-click access

to your groups.

Yahoo!7 Groups

Start a group

in 3 easy steps.

Connect with others.