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  • ozboater
    Feb 1, 2002
      G'day all,
      Sorry I haven't replied earlier, but I only get chance to get online
      every few weeks.

      Thanks for the gracious comments on my Vireo.

      Max, it was built with Pacific Maple BS1088 marine. You call it Lauan
      in the US. It is 6mm with 5 plies and v good quality. The timber is
      oregon, and I used epoxy for all chines with bi-axial glass along the
      centerline and tape for the chines. I did not epoxy coat the hull,
      but used undercoat and latex paint and a little varnish. (Nice as
      varnish is, it is the stupidest finish on a boat in the Aussie sun).

      Todd, the weight came out just as JM says. I weighed it at the
      weekend at 27.5 kg = 60.5 lbs. This is painted, with the metal
      rowlocks and bow ring. It is a very light boat - to my mind essential
      for rowing, coz you have to pull it all through the water.

      Steve, JM shared some of his feedback with me. Frank Kahr, who did
      his epic 26 mile row in 6 hours in his Vireo, got JM to design Robote
      after his big row.

      Both Frank and I noticed that you can feel the water being pushed
      aside at the bow of the boat. Frank and JM felt that a constant
      deadrise from stem to stern would be faster, because there might be
      less drag, than with Vireo's twisted panels.

      Robote has no twist in the panels, thus constant deadrise from stem
      to stern. It is also very light - comes out of the same pile of wood
      as Vireo, and is about the same weight.

      I've thought about this and have an empirical opinion (based on feel
      with no science). Because Vireo is so light and slippery, you can
      feel everything. That's why you feel the water being pushed aside at
      the bow. After all, a vessel has to push some water aside when it
      makes progress. What I failed to tell JM, is that it feels like the
      water flows back in to the stern, and pushes the boat along like
      squeezing an orange pip. Annette also said this to me after her first

      So, it feels like the energy is expended displacing the water at the
      bow, creating a small bow wave, but the shape of the hull lets it get
      pushed along as the displaced water flows back. Only a small amount
      of energy is needed to split the water at the bow, thus resulting in
      an effortless row. At least that is how it feels.

      Also with Vireo, JM designed it so that the chines would be clear of
      the water, removing all of the chine turbulence and drag. It is a
      very efficient hull, and has a very small wake at 5 mph

      Maybe Robote could be faster / more efficient still - who knows. Just
      from looking at the pics and design in JM's plan description, I feel
      there might be more wetted area in Robote - but again an empirical

      I think Vireo is a better looking craft than Robote - a better
      looking bow, and nicer overall.

      Vamp would also be a great craft for rowing, having the constant
      deadrise from stem to stern, in a handy sized boat 12', same as Vireo.
      Would be fascinating to see which would be faster, and I nearly
      ordered plans just to do this.

      But I still think Vireo looks better.

      Herb McLeod did a terrific job on his RB42, and says it rows well one
      up. I suspect like a rowing scull with all that length to keep draft
      shallow for plenty of speed. But 18' is a lot of boat to weild around
      out of the water.

      Todd, I have never cartopped Vireo, but it is a good size and weight.

      I have a 8'x5' box trailer. I can put Herb McLeod's OSS in the
      trailer and Vireo or the 2 Piraguas on top of the trailer, so a few
      of us can have a row/paddle. Tease - I can be in the water in
      National Park in less than 10 mins from home :) (I've rowed well over
      100 km's in OSS since I built it - handy little boat for calm water).

      While I'm on a roll - I buy timber from the building recyclers. I
      like to get long 8x4 or 10x4 slabs of oregon that have been holding
      up floorboards for 80 years, and slice them up to size on my table
      saw. This is usually beautiful timber, nicer than what is available
      new, and is very cheap. My first 2 slabs paid for my tablesaw. You
      just have to be careful to get all the nails out first.

      Piragua pics next week I promise.

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