Subject: Re: [harryproa] Re: 18m/60' charter harry. Comments please.
From: "Rob Denney" <>
Date: 5/19/2008, 1:17 AM


Thanks for the feedback.

The helm is 1.8m/6' aft of the edge of the bimini, so the helmsman is unlikely to get wet from rain or spray.  If he was, then the clears between the cabin and the outside bench seat could be rolled down for protection.  Or he goes inside and leaves it to the autopilot. 

Good point on the bug screens. 

The bimini could be used for attaching an awning which could extend to the beam, providing a lot of shade.    The bimini is hard and will have windows and solar panels.  Had not thought of using it to stand on, but no reason why not.

The motors on a pivoting strut is a concept being touted by African cats, who are a potential supplier for the charter harry.  The 66 owner in Portugal agrees with you about the rudders and is going to mount 2 electric motors on struts sliding down through bearings in the bridgedeck floor.  Motorbike handlebars and throttle on the top and it should be possible to steer in any direction with out the hassle of loose cables in the water, which is a major downside of the rudder mounted motors.  Allows for an efficient 3 bladed prop, no drag and no antifouling issues. 

I absolutely agree about a good sailor/mediocre motor boat, but charterers are a different breed, so we need the simplest, most reliable system.    Seabattical are also a different breed.  They sail as a loose flotilla (you can go wherever you like, within limits) but the lead boat has a skipper and enough spares to fix any problems in the fleet.  Therefore, even if you leave the flotilla, there is a pretty good chance that any problems can be fixed pretty quickly as they are not likely to be more than a days sail away. 

The Seawind (and another, can't remember who) solution is interesting, but unnecessarily complex and as you point out, potentially dangerous.  I prefer sliding doors. 

The total cost is $US96,000 for the materials and the labour for both hulls, decks, beams, cabin, structural bulkheads (2 at each beam end, one at the mast) and floors, all joined together and 2 pack lpu painted.  There is a few thousand dollars to come off this if the materials are sourced in Australia rather than USA.    Ballotta worked on  2,000 hours for KSS and they are not prepared to build using anything else. 

I reckon it will be closer to 1,400 hours (although I have no idea of labour skill levels) using my technique.  Increasingly, it looks like the  charter boats, a 12m harry, probably JT's 45 foot wing rigged boat and maybe a Solitarry will be built in Panama  where 'skilled' boat building labour incl overheads is apparently $15/hour, vs $21/hour in Peru and $70/hour in Australia,  If so, expect the shell price to be considerably less than the $96,000.    There is also a $10,000 delivery fee from Peru to the Panama Canal, which we will avoid. 

Thanks for posting.  The voice of experience is always worth listening to.



On Mon, May 19, 2008 at 7:42 AM, Gardner Pomper <> wrote:

This is getting to be a very long post, but I will add to keep comments all in one place.

I don't know if I am misreading it, but the comments on the clears and the steering station make it sound to me like the intention is for the helmsman to be wearing rain gear (and warm clothes, if further north) when under sail, instead of making the helm fully enclosed against rain, cold and spray.

If that is true, I would like to post a strong objection to that. I owned an open bridgedeck catamaran (Maine Cat 30) and took it from Maine to the Bahamas in November-Jan, then cruised the Bahamas till June. We *LOVED* the open bridgedeck, but we also *LOVED* the way we could sail in shirtsleeves in inclement weather. The biggest reason I chose that boat was that the helmsman was not partitioned away from the rest of the crew when sailing in poor weather. If you can't close off the helm while sailing, then you have to close off the saloon.

There really is no good reason that the helm can't be 95% waterproof, with the sheets being lead in and portlights in the overhead to view the sails. There will still be times that you have to don foulies and go take a look, but very rare. And it makes the whole boat hang together beautifully. In the Bahamas, at least, the best time to head south is when a norther is blowing, which is normally accompanied by clouds and rain.

Another point on the roll down clears. There should also be roll down screens for bugs, and both the clears and the screens should be accessible at the same time. In our boat, we had to slide the clears out of the tracks and slide the screen in. That took way too long when hit by a sudden shower.

Another item that made the open bridgedeck a wonderful place to be was the awning we could set out at anchor. It only needed to extend about 3 feet past the roof to keep all except the most driven rain out of the cockpit, meaning that we could leave the screens up all night without worrying about the cockpit being drenched. Until we did that, we had what we called our "midnight drill" most nights for a 15 minute rainstorm. Obviously the cockpit doesn't need to be 100% dry, but when it gets wet, you end up tracking water and dirt throughout the boat.

On to a slighly different topic, the bimini over the helm. No one has said, but I am hoping that is a hard bimini. It would be a great place to mount the solar panels, and leave the saloon roof open for sunning/picnicing. You can mount large, clear, portlights for visibility to the sails and masthead indicators, and it would give you a place to stand if you need to get to the boom and mast, in case anything goes wrong with sails, lazyjacks, etc.

About the rudder mounted motors.. I have an alternative idea, which you may have already discarded, but these rudders are already very complicated, so I was hoping to keep the motors seperate. I was thinking that propellors could be mounted on a foil, hinged on the lw hull, near the deck joint, with a brace for raising/lowering them coming down from the crossbeams. that would let them be adjusted for depth without interfering with the rudders.

Going along with that, and my reluctance to use electric motors, I thought that maybe a diesel engine could be mounted midships in the lw hull under the steps down in to the cabins. That would keep the engine noise away from the saloon. With the right alternators, you probably don't need a genset as well. Just have the engine drive hydraulic pumps to each propellor through the foil strut to the propellor box.

As I said in the electric drive thread, I would not expect that the proa needs alot of engine power to run at 8 knots in flat water, which I think is all that is required of a sailboat, and with the hydraulic drive, there are no holes for a propellor shaft, and it doesn't need to be mounted along a centerline.

I really just want an excellent sailboat. I am happy for it to be a mediocre motorboat.

As for the doors into the saloon, the new Seawind 1200 (guessing) has an interesting system where the doors fold together, then pivot up and are pinned against the ceiling. That really gets them out of the way, if you can do it without hitting the helm. There must be some way to secure them in rough seas (I think I would use a padlock!! )

Finally, a pricing question. The $AU 96,000 quote for the shell; was this just labor? So we add the $AU 28,000 materials cost? So the shell is actually $AU 124,000?

Thanks for listening!
- Gardner

On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 12:23 PM, Rob Denney <> wrote:


Thanks for the feedback. My comments after yours. All in one post so
I don't miss anything when i change the drawings.

On Thu, May 15, 2008 at 5:26 PM, Robert <> wrote:
> -Makes a lot of sense to me. It wouldn't work at any less in length.
> Are those a series of steps going up to the cabin top?.

Yes. They also double as shade for the cabin. Not sure if they will
be full lwidth or not.

> sure of why the little cutouts near the foot of the lw bunks.

Lazy rendering. I cut and pasted from the ww bunks. Will fix it on
the next set.

> seats are not something that is used much on boats for good reason. It
> may be necessary to find a way to anchor them.

True. I have some ideas. There may also need to be some fixed
furniture in there just to cut down the wide open space to traverse in
a seaway.

The set up means a
> knuckle would be of no use and allows a very simple construction I
> would have thought a slightly larger radius for the edges would have
> reduced drag, without taking away from safety or ease of building.

It is 200mm diameter. Much more and you start falling off it.
Simplicity.low cost was priority number one. $96,000 (less than a 39'
cat to the same stage) for a shell indicates that we have achieved
this. I am still waiting for a quote from yards in China and the

> like the propulsion on rudders. How do the batteries charge?
> regeneration under sail? solar? generator?

All the above. We are investigating a 110V galley.

Don't think it would win a
> beauty contest judged by Dave, but is rather charming in its no
> nonsense Tubby the Tugboat sort of way. Some hatches and portholes on
> lw hull would make it prettier, and I am assuming you would have to
> have something like this with the accommodation in them.

Ron (owner) is not overjoyed with the looks either. We may end up
softening it, but it will add to the cost. One of the questions for
the engineer will be how much glass we can put in the leeward hull to
let more light into the cabins.

> Can't see any intrinsic problems with the concept. It allows easy
> construction on the floor without having to be overfine with tolerances

Exactly. The fit out should be very quick and very simple. Hopefully
less cost than the 39' cat.

> Congratulations to all concerned


>Still not sure how you can sail in skinny water with that rudder
>configuration. I suppose with the schooner rig, you can rely on the
>hulls themselves and use the schooner rig like on El

There are two possibilities which we are looking at. Both are pretty
simple, but complicated by the motors. It is possible the motors on
the first one will not be on the rudders to reduce the number of
experiments, which will make the shallow draft much simpler. I wil
draw this once a decision is made.

On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 9:58 AM, jjtctaylor <> wrote:
> Hi Rob,
> Only a couple of thoughts on the Seabbatical. Too bad cannot see forward
> thru WW hull
> so can navigate inside in inclement conditions. Certainly not an issue for
> the Carib. except
> summer months when it rains frequently.

Good point, although there will have to be a door there somewhere
which could be left open.

The design similar to other open
> cockpit cats
> necessitates those in LW hull to get out if they want a snack from the
> galley. The charter
> company must already know that handicap.

True. Not much we can do about it, except give them a goody bag
before they hit the sack!

> It's got a WHOLE lot more windage than any previous design, by a significant
> margin.

Not a huge amount more than a Visionarry cruiser scaled up. And it
has a heap more space.

> in the Carib most areas are deep water so you can have a good deep rudder to
> manage.

The rudder will be liftable so draft is not much more than the hulls.

> Certainly you will have a decent plan for swim platform and easy boarding. A
> significant
> climb up for the overweight snorkler won't be pretty. Plus for safety
> reasons need a
> REALLY decent method to lift unconscious MOB, etc. Whatever has to be quick
> and totally
> logical cause crisis onboard an unfamiliar charter craft could lead to added
> injuries. I just
> don't think a sling off a boom and a set of blocks is elegant or efficient.
> Has to work for
> the most inexperienced and frail sailor and recover the person over or thru
> the lifelines.

Very true. The view from ahead shows an L shaped structure off the
beam which does not appear on the other drawings (lousy rendering
again). This is a boarding platform which lowers down to water level
for easy swimming or can be lifted up for dinghy access. The dinghy
will be lifted by davits on the beam and stored on the trampoline.
The davits are probably the best way to lift an injured person from
the water.

> Is the charter group expecting to tow the dinghy ? Your ramp would be nice,
> otherwise
> the inattentive party crew is likely to foul it in the rudders. I probably
> would a few times,
> till worked out a system to manage in the shunting process. While we think
> seamanship,
> charter goers are looking for their next drink.
> Chart/nav table going somewhere ?

Yes, not sure where. Probably use the table for full size charts and
a chart plotter and other instruments on a pedestal just inside the
cabin adjacent to the helmsman.

> See if you can work out some arrangement for WW hull for sliding doors to
> open wide
> enough to make salon feel open to cockpit.

Absolutely. The plan is to drop the clears and have the saloon
effectively run from the ww side of the ww hull all the way through to
the lw hull hatch.

> Big galley guess need arrangement for seating. That in itself will take a
> whole bunch of
> space. Or is that area seating and galley somwhere else ? Have to seat 8.

The V shape is the galley. The table goes between that and the wall
between cabin and deck.

> Rain, wind or
> sometimes bugs made outside feeding impractical at times.

Hopefully the clears will solve this, but it is still not fun outside in a gale.

> Bar-B-Que on the rail right ? May want to afford some firm deck surface out
> to that and to
> whatever boarding device you invent.

Good thinking. Ta. The bbq will probaby sit on the deck in the corner
between the beam and the saloon with a hard cover over it for
stepping/sitting on. It will be mounted on rails so it can be lifted
up when required. A bbq for 8 people is a hefty bit of gear, but the
thinking is to use it as much as possible rather than mess/heat up the
galley. Plus, it is a fact of life that manymen will cook on a bbq,
but not in a kitchen!

> I agree with others, hatches will make it look better. Maybe some round
> flush type
> hatches, for ART-deco type styling. It's already eclectic enough, why not
> take the artsy
> stuff to the next level. Take advantage of the already nuveau look and play
> with it. Need
> to soften the angular look with some round.
> Got a BIG flat spot on the WW hull roof. Add a pad, (round corners for
> looks) for
> sunbathers

Probably a small comms mast there. And some solar panels. Maybe
some water toys as well. A pad would add some pizazz and could also
be sat on. I will see what it looks like

Make sure you have nice steps up. Cool wind, spray on the WW
> hull, make
> some sun lovers into lobsters.
> It could be awesome when done.

Hope so. And at a very good price.

> Need a marine industrial "designer" to match easy fab with artistic flair.

Ron agrees. I like it, but with my idea of beauty this is probably
not a good recommendation!

> That's my $.02, today worth $.015.
> JT

On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 1:32 AM, gardnerpomper <> wrote:
> Hi,
> Thanks for posting these renderings. I am absolutely fascinated by the
> concept and have pretty much convinced myself that this the my next
> (maybe last) boat.

Excellent. There will certainly be a good price for the first one
built, if it is put into the charter business part time.

I do have questions/comments, some derived from
> living about my 30' cat in the bahamas for a year.
> 1) Motors: I am unclear on the choice of electric motors, raising and
> lowering along the rudder. With all the flexing and submerging, isn't
> there some issue with longevity? Cracks in the insultation leading to
> shorts? What is the tradeoff against hydraulic drives, where a lead
> would be less catastrophic?

This is a worry about electric motors which we are discussing with the
manufacturers. To be honest, I have not investigated hydraulic drives
as they have always been reported to be inefficient. I will look into
them. One of the trade offs is the ability to recharge the
batteries, but i have doubts about the usefulness of this. Would love
to be convinced though.
> 2) Bunks: we got really aggravated with custom size/shape bunks. We
> really just wanted to get standard bedding. Could there be some minor
> fiddling that would allow the bunks to be standard doubles/queen sizes
> so that standard sheets, etc would fit?

Good thinking. I will discuss this with the owner. The lee hull
bunks are easy enough to change, the ww ones a little trickier.
> 3) Dinghy ramp: I don't see this in the rendering. I am assuming that
> the ramp replaces some of the netting on one side, like on Rare Bird.
> I see how that makes getting the dinghy on and off easy, btu I haven't
> been clear on how swimmers get on and off the boat. Or how you get in
> and out of the dinghy. Do you go from the crossbeam to the dinghy
> seats? That would seem to be a pretty big step, with a 30" underwing
> clearance and a 12" crossbeam. Do swimmers crawl up the ramp?

See above. The dinghy ramp (as used on Rare Bird) is brilliant, but
the thought of it coming unlatched while sailing is a bit scary. I
prefer the davits and the swim platform, although this is also under
> 4) Cabins: these seem fairly luxurious in comparison with the galley
> area. On a rainy day, sitting at anchor, most people are going to want
> to congregate near the galley, lounging on something more comforatble
> than folding chairs. With this layout, I would expect they will have
> to lie in bed. Might it be possible to shift just a bit of room from
> the staterooms to allow one settee on either side of the entryway to
> the cockpit? Nobody wants to hang out in their cabin.

True, although looking at most coffee shops, people don't seem to mind
spending plenty of time in those chairs. A couple of settees would
make sense, but with 8 people on board, there would only be lounging
(as in lying down with a book) space for two and sitting there like
birds on a fence has never appealed to me.
> 5) Visibility: I think the fore and aft windows with the step shades
> doing double duty to access the "roof" is brilliant. I was also hoping
> that the interior partitions to the staterooms would only be
> half-walls, with drop down shades (bamboo, maybe) which could be
> pulled up to open the area when no one is using the cabins. The
> portion of the windward-most hull for the heads could be full height,
> which would also double for letting their be overhead cabinets there
> in the galley for extra storage.

Good idea. Could also make the door sliding instead of hinged to
open them up more.
> 6) Table: I don't have a good feel for the size of the table in the
> galley. That is a fixed mount, isn't it? If you could add that to the
> rendering, it would be helpful. I can see with folding chairs at the
> table and store them elsewhere (maybe even overhead, above the table?).

More likely underneath. Table will be on the next renderings.
> 7) Machinery: is this all in the windward hull? Access panels where?
> (galley and each bunk?). I assume you can just drop down into the hull
> and move around? What is down there, generator, watermaker, batteries,
> fuel and water tanks?

Gen set will be on the bridgedeck for accessibility. Not sure where,
yet, probably under the outside table.. The rest will be under the ww
hull floor, except for the batteries, which may end up in the lw hull
to reduce cable runs.
> 8) Cockpit: You mention "roll down clears" for the cockpit. Will those
> be useable underway? They look like it would be a vertical drop, which
> I thought might be back for wind resistance. To enclose, you would
> also need half-height solid gates leading to the walkways adjacent to
> the netting. Are those just left off the preliminary rendering?

The clears would attach to the edges of the walkway,behind the box
seats. Usable under way, but not recommended for windage and access
to the sails reasons.
> 9) LW Entry: Is the entry to the leeward hull through hatches under
> the bimini? If so, why do you need the walkways betwee the LW hull and
> the nettings?

Yes. The walkway along the side of the lw hull stiffens the hull and
allows stable access to the masts. It could just as easily be a much
smaller internal shelf.
> 10) Storage: is there storage under the floor in the saloon? With the
> height of the crossbeams, it would seem possible to make that a double
> floor and use it for storage. Maybe a pull up parquait type flooring?
> Make battery access easier? I am not really suggesting this; more just
> asking if that is what you intended.

Not intended. Keeping the ssaloon roof as low as possible was a priority.
> 11) Underwing attachment? In the rendering, there is something under
> the crossbeams on the front view image. Is that supposed to represent
> the dinghy ramp in the down position, or is it a permanent fixture
> that I just don't understand?

Loust rendering of the boarding ramp. I will give more details in version 2.
> 12) Rudders: This is the biggest question area for me about the whole
> proa concept. These lifting, kickup, reversable rudders seem like the
> mechanical equivalent of the ginsu knife.. (slices, dices, makes
> julianne fries). It would seem tremendously difficult to make a
> mechanism that does all this under considerable loads for long periods
> of time and still be reliable (and not terribly expensive). I really
> want one of these boats to get built so that I can see it work in person.

Me too! Blind Date has them fitted, we should have some results next month.
> 13) Pricing: You mention materials ($AUS 28,000) and labor ($AUS
> 96,000) and compare to a 39' cat at $AUS 99,000. The sail away price
> for the cat from their web site is about $US 295,000. Are we to assume
> that the sail away for the proa should be about $US 300,000?

Be nice, but I suspect with the electric motors and sundry other
embellishments it will end up more than this. I am pretty sure that
if it was fitted out to the same spec as the 39' cat (which is pretty
high), then it would be close to the same cost as it is so much easier
to build. The total shell cost including labour, material and
painting is $96,000. This includes foam sourced from the USA (it is
much cheaper from Australia)and assumes KSS. I think my build system
will be considerably quicker.
> Thanks very much for posting this info. I just wish I could
> concentrate on my job instead of thinking about sailing one of these
> all the time <grin>.

I know the feeling. Ron and I have been living this for a very long
time. Hopefully, the next stage is not too far away.

Please keep the comments coming.



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