27985RE: [Michalak] Re: Just bought the book.- Some History
- Jun 19, 2013about the squareboat aesthetic, i think theres some serious performance potential there. somewhere between a scow and a hobie cat. the side profile of a 12' goose looks a lot like a hobie's. some performance oriented wacko could probably get some speed out of that hull shape if sailed on edge like a hobie. hobies are raced with one hull just kissing the surface on all points of sail. with sufficient heel and a performance sail a goose (14?) might be a fast boat : 0
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:04:52 -0400
Subject: RE: [Michalak] Re: Just bought the book.- Some History
Having two of PCB's books together gives some insight to the evolution of
boat designs for homebuilders. Consider Fieldmouse which was probably
designed around 1970. It was designed to test the theory that an 8x4' boat
could be lively and pleasant to sail. It requires a) lofting, b) setting up
molds, c) a back bone, d) spiling 11 strakes (and planing lands) which are
then glued together using "water proof" glue, e) flipping the hull, adding
floors, floorboards, gunwales, decks and finally f) making 2 leeboards and a
rudder. Then there is a fully battened sail on a sail track. The whole boat
would probably eat up 5 or 6 sheets of plywood and a lot of time and labor I
doubt that many (any?) were ever built, though I ordered a set of plans from
Suzanne and may build one as entertainment. I find the drawings of
Fieldmouse to be enchanting.
Some 45 designs later, PCB drew the Elegant Punt (which later morphed into
Brick which was became the basis for the now ubiquitous Puddle Duck Racer).
As PCB mentioned, the later boats go together very quickly and do not
require learning specialized skills. What he doesn't mention is that
something like the Elegant punt or PDR doesn't require very much in the way
of material. On balance, I suppose that the simplified (some might say
crude) box boats are an advance on the more complicated shapes. Certainly
the boxes have gotten a lot of people on the water and demonstrated that
simple shapes perform pretty well. I still think the traditional shapes are
From: Michalak@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Michalak@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 8:56 AM
Subject: [Michalak] Re: Just bought the book.- Some History
Unfortunately most of Bolger's books are out of print now but if one is
really interested there is one that is available 2nd hand at a
reasonable price. "Bolger Boats" which combines 2 books, "Small Boats"
and "The Folding Schooner." Many of the others go up to as much as $200
or more. I bought mine as well as 30 Odd Boats at AbeBooks.
In "The Folding Schooner" he writes about his collaboration with Harold
"Dynamite" Payson in developing a building method that became known as
"Instant Boats" in that they required no lofting or building jigs,
simple nail and glue joinery of pre-drawn and cut out pieces of plywood.
One of the earliest ones was Elegant Punt of which Phil writes:
"Harold Payson, doing a little business selling boat plans on the side,
figured that a very small and simple design would 'give 'em confidence'
to tackle something larger. The specification put me in mind of a design
I made years ago for a box factory that wanted to try manufacturing
boats; the proprietor gave the plans to his foreman when the shop opened
at 8 o'clock. He came back at noon to see what the foreman thought of
the idea and found he had built four boats..." So there was the
beginning of Bolger Boxy Boats!
As already mentioned, Surf was an EP with 4 ft. added at each end when
he realized the leg o' mutton sail and foils plan for EP was more
expensive than the boat. Then next he extended Surf and came up with
Zephyr and added a Lateen sail plan. Not many were built as you are
getting up over 20 ft. here, and not many people thought the lateen rig
was as good as it really is.
Another early design was Teal. Two straight parallel lengths of plywood
wrapped around a center frame with some outer flare and joined at the
ends. Presto! - a nice looking hull with rockered bottom and a sweet
looking sheer. Used the same amount of plywood as EP and the same sail
So of course he drew one larger and added a larger sail - this time a
balance lug rig. And it was Windsprint. Eventually leading to
Birdwatcher which was longer and had higher transparent topsides.
You can see where Jim Michalak picked up on these basic concepts and the
same sail plans but added a few more items that to me improved the whole
breed a lot. First was his single kick-up leeboard and rudder designs
and second the addition of flotation chambers at each end and also a
mount and well for a small OB motor on many of them. Phil felt we should
all be learning to row:-)
And finally what really made things feasible for a lot of folks was the
development of polytarp sails and Chuck Lienweber's online boat bits
chandlery and building supply source options.
--- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Michalak%40yahoogroups.com> , daniel
>desk. simply elegant. somewhere between a sailing canoe and a skiff, two
> i've liked the surf design for many years, i have a model of it on my
of my favorite types. maybe i'll try a stitch and glue version with more
canoe-like design elements and try to minimize the weight to get it
closer to my idea of it's design potential...so many possibilities : )
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