- Hi! I think this list can be a great source of encouragement, advice,
interesting debate and a whole lot more - if that's what we want it to be.
So here's my first tough question. We all know that it's important to work
in the correct lead in a small flat-bottomed plywood sailboat. I have
recently read that the function of drag in a design (deep keel at stern, or
a skeg) is there to prevent broaching.
In a small boat is this still true, or is the main purpose to improve
tracking? When is a skeg required? (Some designs have them, others don't.)
How do you figure out what size it should be? And then - this is really
difficult - how do you go about ensuring that the centre of effort on the
sails balances well with the centre of lateral resistance of the boat in the
And here's another difficult question - or at least it looks to be difficult
to me. What exactly is it that makes for a sea kindly small sailing or
rowing boat? Often in books I see designers and authors claiming that design
X will perform well in wind and waves, but rarely are the reasons explained.
For example, what would make a 10ft flatiron skiff with its transom far out
of the water and a large skeg good in rough water compared with other boats?
Well what do you think? And what do you want to know?
Boat design pages http://home.clara.net/gmatkin/design.htm
> And here's another difficult question - or at least it looks to be
> to me. What exactly is it that makes for a sea kindly small sailingor
> rowing boat? Often in books I see designers and authors claimingthat design
> X will perform well in wind and waves, but rarely are the reasonsexplained.
> For example, what would make a 10ft flatiron skiff with its transomfar out
> of the water and a large skeg good in rough water compared withother boats?
>This type of question has rolled over and over in my mind. I
> Well what do you think? And what do you want to know?
> Gavin Atkin
remember looking at plans by Bolger and Michalak, and then feeling
betrayed because I learned from others that they were not suitable
for open water, and could even be deadly on my home waters, Lake
I have to go by tradition, because I don't have the answers as to
what makes a good open water boat. Dories have been out there and
are well known as seaworthy boats. Sharpies are pretty close in
shape and may be open water boats. Rounded hulls similar in shape
and weight distribution to bigger keel sailboats should be OK.
That's about all I have to go by. I just eyeball the hull shape and
get an opinion based on lore and superstition.
In Heavy Weather Sailing, Coles seems to think that the length of the
boat has a lot to do with seaworthiness, and that the long keel is
more secure than any other keel type, and that a high coachhouse
makes a boat instable upside down, promoting self-righting motion.
Now you know as much as I do.