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Rob's Philsboat report.

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  • Alan
    Hi, On Saturday I went sailing with Rob Kellock on (in?) his recently- completed Philsboat, and thought I d write a few words about the experience. The weather
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 2, 2008
      Hi,
      On Saturday I went sailing with Rob Kellock on (in?) his recently-
      completed Philsboat, and thought I'd write a few words about the
      experience.
      The weather was the sort which would probably stop most people from
      going out, and there was quite a low turnout at the club we sailed
      from. Not all that cold-perhaps 16-17 degrees (Centigrade!=approx
      62F),
      but it rained quite heavily pretty much the whole two to three hours
      we were there. I was soaked, but not cold, when we were getting ready
      to go as there was very little wind initially. So little in fact that
      Rob eventually disqualified himself from any race placing by starting
      the motor. This was just for getting us over the line and a hundred
      yards or so along the course to a spot where the trees near the
      clubhouse no longer blocked the wind. Philsboat tho' was a fair match
      for several other boats in the initial drifting conditions. The wind
      was picking-up and once out past the trees and into the open estuary,
      it was, I guess, 12-15 knots for the rest of the course.
      Now it was very noticeably cold when I stuck my wet head up out of
      the slot, or passed in front of the forward opening when tacking, but
      sitting on the floor on one of Rob's beanbags I was warm and
      comfortable, with no sensation of wind-chill at all. The rain
      continued, and enough came thru the slot and down the mast to
      overwhelm the absorbent properties of the beanbag!, to the point
      where about an inch or two was collecting on the leeward side of the
      floor and had to be bailed out. And this is summer! But the cabin
      still felt warm compared to the open cockpit of a conventional
      trailer-sailer in similar conditions where you'd need either a
      wetsuit or full wet-weather clothing to avoid risking hypothermia. I
      was wearing shorts and t-shirt with a thin nylon non-waterproof
      windbreaker, and all was totally wet from the time spent at the ramp,
      but for two hours in the boat I felt fine.

      We did a mixture of up and downwind legs and a close reach and the
      GPS often showed more than 4knots, so for a slightly shortened
      version of the hull whose hull-speed might be only 4.5knots or so,
      it seems to go quite well. We tried deliberately heeling the boat to
      see if the longer waterline would give extra speed, but if it did we
      couldnt detect it. But we weren't sure the wind-speed was constant
      enough for an adequate test. The boat tends to stay flat on its
      bottom with two of us aboard-I'm only about 140lbs and I guess Rob is
      not a lot more-on an upwind tack with our backs against the side
      there was almost no heeling. But on the other hand you CAN get the
      bottoms of the windows down at waterlevel if you lose concentration,
      and as Rob hasn't had time to fit the seats (he will tho') its then a
      bit of a struggle to stop yourself sliding down the floor to the
      leeward side. Personally I loved the entirely open cabin space, and
      the beanbags, seemed like you could be on a 25foot boat. But without
      the seats, you need maybe a simple batten along the centreline to
      brace your feet. Or even hiking-straps like a racing dinghy! might
      work?
      On the helm, the boat felt good, with what seemed like the right
      amount of weather-helm. Easy control with one hand generally. I tried
      steering downwind with the board raised, but to me it felt like the
      boat was sliding around, and it felt more under control with the
      board. Might be faster without, but not sure what would happen in a
      sudden gust...still you don't have to worry too much, knowing that
      Rob has already done an inadvertent capsize test and survived. It's
      extremely reassuring to know that the boat you're in can fall on its
      side and get up again without being full of water. Of course I
      already knew this fact, but its not until you're actually in the boat
      that it really makes an impact-you can somehow 'feel' that its true,
      rather than just 'knowing'.

      So, lots of plus's for this boat, maybe I should mention some of the
      not quite so good aspects which Rob is trying to get answers to.
      I can confirm that although the boat tacked reliably yesterday with
      the weight of two of us, it sure seems that going from starboard to
      port tack is less certain than when swinging the other way. Rob
      doesn't know yet for sure why this is so, but I think the overall
      performance is detectably better on port tack than on starboard, so
      perhaps there's just a little more speed when going into the tack
      from port.
      Rob has had trouble changing over to port tack when sailing solo, so
      I suggested he takes some ballast and see if that helps, and to try
      bearing away more to get speed just before the tack. But these are
      really just a workaround and not getting to the underlying cause.
      Another idea would be to build a second leeboard, or at least a
      second (port-side) mounting to try the board on the other side-I
      guess this should either confirm or deny the board as being the
      cause. Any other ideas gratefully accepted by Rob I'm sure.

      A second issue is that the boat won't point very high, or at least
      not while moving well. Seems like it needs as much as 130 degrees
      from tack to tack, in the 12-15knots wind. Less is possible, but
      speed falls. Is this typical for these sorts of boats with lugsails?
      (Rob has a junksail). I have no experience with either a Michalak
      hull or a lug/junk rig of this size, so just don't know. I found it
      difficult to 'read' the junk sail to know if it was sheeted
      correctly, but Rob seems to be able to tell when its luffing.

      Conclusion.
      Rob has built himself a solidly made boat including making all the
      rig and sail himself, in around six months, and for not a huge amount
      of money. I went sailing in pouring rain and enjoyed it immensely.
      These 'birdwatcher type' boats have got to be the answer to marginal-
      weather sailing.
      Thanks Rob!
      Alan.
    • Nels
      Hi Alan. Sounds like you fellows had a great time which is the main thing. 130 degrees from tack to tack seems like something is wrong somewhere. Michalak
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 2, 2008
        Hi Alan.

        Sounds like you fellows had a great time which is the main thing.

        130 degrees from tack to tack seems like something is wrong somewhere.
        Michalak claims 100 degrees should be doable with the lug as designed.
        You may also want to review this article as the writer got to near 90
        degree tacks with his junk rig according to GPS readings.

        http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/06/howto/junkrig/index.htm

        It may be a combination of both the sail and leeboard alignment.

        Just a guess though.

        Nels


        --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "Alan" <logicaid@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi,
        > On Saturday I went sailing with Rob Kellock on (in?) his recently-
        > completed Philsboat, and thought I'd write a few words about the
        > experience.
        > The weather was the sort which would probably stop most people from
        > going out, and there was quite a low turnout at the club we sailed
        > from. Not all that cold-perhaps 16-17 degrees (Centigrade!=approx
        > 62F),
        > but it rained quite heavily pretty much the whole two to three hours
        > we were there. I was soaked, but not cold, when we were getting ready
        > to go as there was very little wind initially. So little in fact that
        > Rob eventually disqualified himself from any race placing by starting
        > the motor. This was just for getting us over the line and a hundred
        > yards or so along the course to a spot where the trees near the
        > clubhouse no longer blocked the wind. Philsboat tho' was a fair match
        > for several other boats in the initial drifting conditions. The wind
        > was picking-up and once out past the trees and into the open estuary,
        > it was, I guess, 12-15 knots for the rest of the course.
        > Now it was very noticeably cold when I stuck my wet head up out of
        > the slot, or passed in front of the forward opening when tacking, but
        > sitting on the floor on one of Rob's beanbags I was warm and
        > comfortable, with no sensation of wind-chill at all. The rain
        > continued, and enough came thru the slot and down the mast to
        > overwhelm the absorbent properties of the beanbag!, to the point
        > where about an inch or two was collecting on the leeward side of the
        > floor and had to be bailed out. And this is summer! But the cabin
        > still felt warm compared to the open cockpit of a conventional
        > trailer-sailer in similar conditions where you'd need either a
        > wetsuit or full wet-weather clothing to avoid risking hypothermia. I
        > was wearing shorts and t-shirt with a thin nylon non-waterproof
        > windbreaker, and all was totally wet from the time spent at the ramp,
        > but for two hours in the boat I felt fine.
        >
        > We did a mixture of up and downwind legs and a close reach and the
        > GPS often showed more than 4knots, so for a slightly shortened
        > version of the hull whose hull-speed might be only 4.5knots or so,
        > it seems to go quite well. We tried deliberately heeling the boat to
        > see if the longer waterline would give extra speed, but if it did we
        > couldnt detect it. But we weren't sure the wind-speed was constant
        > enough for an adequate test. The boat tends to stay flat on its
        > bottom with two of us aboard-I'm only about 140lbs and I guess Rob is
        > not a lot more-on an upwind tack with our backs against the side
        > there was almost no heeling. But on the other hand you CAN get the
        > bottoms of the windows down at waterlevel if you lose concentration,
        > and as Rob hasn't had time to fit the seats (he will tho') its then a
        > bit of a struggle to stop yourself sliding down the floor to the
        > leeward side. Personally I loved the entirely open cabin space, and
        > the beanbags, seemed like you could be on a 25foot boat. But without
        > the seats, you need maybe a simple batten along the centreline to
        > brace your feet. Or even hiking-straps like a racing dinghy! might
        > work?
        > On the helm, the boat felt good, with what seemed like the right
        > amount of weather-helm. Easy control with one hand generally. I tried
        > steering downwind with the board raised, but to me it felt like the
        > boat was sliding around, and it felt more under control with the
        > board. Might be faster without, but not sure what would happen in a
        > sudden gust...still you don't have to worry too much, knowing that
        > Rob has already done an inadvertent capsize test and survived. It's
        > extremely reassuring to know that the boat you're in can fall on its
        > side and get up again without being full of water. Of course I
        > already knew this fact, but its not until you're actually in the boat
        > that it really makes an impact-you can somehow 'feel' that its true,
        > rather than just 'knowing'.
        >
        > So, lots of plus's for this boat, maybe I should mention some of the
        > not quite so good aspects which Rob is trying to get answers to.
        > I can confirm that although the boat tacked reliably yesterday with
        > the weight of two of us, it sure seems that going from starboard to
        > port tack is less certain than when swinging the other way. Rob
        > doesn't know yet for sure why this is so, but I think the overall
        > performance is detectably better on port tack than on starboard, so
        > perhaps there's just a little more speed when going into the tack
        > from port.
        > Rob has had trouble changing over to port tack when sailing solo, so
        > I suggested he takes some ballast and see if that helps, and to try
        > bearing away more to get speed just before the tack. But these are
        > really just a workaround and not getting to the underlying cause.
        > Another idea would be to build a second leeboard, or at least a
        > second (port-side) mounting to try the board on the other side-I
        > guess this should either confirm or deny the board as being the
        > cause. Any other ideas gratefully accepted by Rob I'm sure.
        >
        > A second issue is that the boat won't point very high, or at least
        > not while moving well. Seems like it needs as much as 130 degrees
        > from tack to tack, in the 12-15knots wind. Less is possible, but
        > speed falls. Is this typical for these sorts of boats with lugsails?
        > (Rob has a junksail). I have no experience with either a Michalak
        > hull or a lug/junk rig of this size, so just don't know. I found it
        > difficult to 'read' the junk sail to know if it was sheeted
        > correctly, but Rob seems to be able to tell when its luffing.
        >
        > Conclusion.
        > Rob has built himself a solidly made boat including making all the
        > rig and sail himself, in around six months, and for not a huge amount
        > of money. I went sailing in pouring rain and enjoyed it immensely.
        > These 'birdwatcher type' boats have got to be the answer to marginal-
        > weather sailing.
        > Thanks Rob!
        > Alan.
        >
      • captreed48
        ... I agree with Nels on the shallow tacks. (Actually it was the same with the one junk rig I tried.) In the article Mike Mulcahy makes a cambered junk sail
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 2, 2008
          > 130 degrees from tack to tack seems like something is wrong somewhere.
          > Michalak claims 100 degrees should be doable with the lug as designed.
          > You may also want to review this article as the writer got to near 90
          > degree tacks with his junk rig according to GPS readings.
          >
          > http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/06/howto/junkrig/index.htm
          >

          I agree with Nels on the shallow tacks. (Actually it was the same
          with the one junk rig I tried.) In the article Mike Mulcahy makes a
          cambered junk sail that I would bet increases the weatherliness. In
          following this thread I've wondered if the boat has enough weather
          helm to tack well. That thought is just from my experience with a
          balanced lug that needed a good weather helm to tack quickly.

          Reed
        • Nels
          ... I was looking in Derek Van Loan s book, Design and Build Your Own Junk Rig. In it he states that with a centerboard hull the CE of the sail should be
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 4, 2008
            --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "captreed48" <captreed@...> wrote:

            > following this thread I've wondered if the boat has enough weather
            > helm to tack well. That thought is just from my experience with a
            > balanced lug that needed a good weather helm to tack quickly.
            >
            > Reed

            I was looking in Derek Van Loan's book, "Design and Build Your Own Junk
            Rig." In it he states that with a centerboard hull the CE of the sail
            should be located ahead of the CLR of the board by a figure of .03 to
            .10 times the waterline length. This is called "lead" and for a 15 ft.
            hull it would be tween 6 and 18 inches ahead of the CLR. (Sorry I don't
            have the metric equivalents).

            On the plans Michalak puts the CE of the balanced lug directly above the
            CLR of the leeboard. In other words - no lead. The further ahead the CE
            the more weather helm correct?

            That was also the case when we looked at the junk rig for the new
            Caroline design. The mast could be moved ahead by 18".

            Caroline also has the advantage of a mizzen sail which aids in tacking
            by assisting the rudder to kick the stern through stays.

            Nels
          • Bryant Owen
            If I may - my .02. Things to consider. 1. Not sure about the exact figure for junk sails but the CE of a balanced lug in actual use probably leads i.e. the
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 4, 2008
              If I may - my .02. Things to consider.

              1. Not sure about the exact figure for junk sails but the CE of a
              balanced lug in actual use probably "leads" i.e. the sail is not
              parallel to the centreline.

              2. Jim recommends fastening the halyard to the yard about 40% aft of
              the luff rather than the common 33% to counter twist. This I think
              might, in practice (see #1), also put the CE a bit forward.

              Bryant - who only pretends to understand such things.

              --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "Nels" <arvent@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "captreed48" <captreed@> wrote:
              >
              > > following this thread I've wondered if the boat has enough weather
              > > helm to tack well. That thought is just from my experience with a
              > > balanced lug that needed a good weather helm to tack quickly.
              > >
              > > Reed
              >
              > I was looking in Derek Van Loan's book, "Design and Build Your Own Junk
              > Rig." In it he states that with a centerboard hull the CE of the sail
              > should be located ahead of the CLR of the board by a figure of .03 to
              > .10 times the waterline length. This is called "lead" and for a 15 ft.
              > hull it would be tween 6 and 18 inches ahead of the CLR. (Sorry I don't
              > have the metric equivalents).
              >
              > On the plans Michalak puts the CE of the balanced lug directly above the
              > CLR of the leeboard. In other words - no lead. The further ahead the CE
              > the more weather helm correct?
              >
              > That was also the case when we looked at the junk rig for the new
              > Caroline design. The mast could be moved ahead by 18".
              >
              > Caroline also has the advantage of a mizzen sail which aids in tacking
              > by assisting the rudder to kick the stern through stays.
              >
              > Nels
              >
            • Alan
              Hi, I read somewhere in one of JM s articles that he puts the CE where he does because his hulls have a raised forefoot. Thus the real centre of lateral
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 4, 2008
                Hi,
                I read somewhere in one of JM's articles that he puts the CE where he
                does because his hulls have a raised forefoot. Thus the real centre
                of lateral resistance is further back from the bow than it would be
                for a hull with an immersed forefoot, and so the CE needs to be
                further back as well.
                Weather helm reduces as the CE moves ahead doesn't it? ie: the head
                of the boat will be blown more off the wind and eventually you get
                lee helm if it (CE) is too far forward...
                Cheers,
                Alan.
                --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "Nels" <arvent@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "captreed48" <captreed@> wrote:
                >
                > > following this thread I've wondered if the boat has enough weather
                > > helm to tack well. That thought is just from my experience with a
                > > balanced lug that needed a good weather helm to tack quickly.
                > >
                > > Reed
                >
                > I was looking in Derek Van Loan's book, "Design and Build Your Own
                Junk
                > Rig." In it he states that with a centerboard hull the CE of the
                sail
                > should be located ahead of the CLR of the board by a figure of .03
                to
                > .10 times the waterline length. This is called "lead" and for a 15
                ft.
                > hull it would be tween 6 and 18 inches ahead of the CLR. (Sorry I
                don't
                > have the metric equivalents).
                >
                > On the plans Michalak puts the CE of the balanced lug directly
                above the
                > CLR of the leeboard. In other words - no lead. The further ahead
                the CE
                > the more weather helm correct?
                >
                > That was also the case when we looked at the junk rig for the new
                > Caroline design. The mast could be moved ahead by 18".
                >
                > Caroline also has the advantage of a mizzen sail which aids in
                tacking
                > by assisting the rudder to kick the stern through stays.
                >
                > Nels
                >
              • Nels
                ... Right on all counts. I seemed to have become confused when thinking of what we had figured out for Caroline. It has a different hull shape than Philsboat
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 4, 2008
                  --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "Alan" <logicaid@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi,
                  > I read somewhere in one of JM's articles that he puts the CE where he
                  > does because his hulls have a raised forefoot. Thus the real centre
                  > of lateral resistance is further back from the bow than it would be
                  > for a hull with an immersed forefoot, and so the CE needs to be
                  > further back as well.
                  > Weather helm reduces as the CE moves ahead doesn't it? ie: the head
                  > of the boat will be blown more off the wind and eventually you get
                  > lee helm if it (CE) is too far forward...
                  > Cheers,
                  > Alan.

                  Right on all counts. I seemed to have become confused when thinking of
                  what we had figured out for Caroline. It has a different hull shape than
                  Philsboat as well as the mizzen sail.

                  Nels
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