Subject: Re: [harryproa] Tons of questions
From: "Rob Denney" <>
Date: 3/31/2008, 12:36 AM


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 <> 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 more?

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 that
> 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 endlessly?

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 (the
> 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 boat.
> 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!


Rob Denney
> - Gardner

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