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57006Re: Anhinga, the canoe yawl

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  • clcboats
    Mar 5, 2008
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      Thanks for doing the isometrics, Bruce!

      Anhinga has been in my Top 20 Bolger designs forever. Hope I can
      build one someday. EXACTLY as designed.

      I think it's important to place Anhinga in the right thematic zone.
      It's a canoe yawl, in the Albert Strange-George Holmes genre (not
      referring to the rig), and meant to be used the way gentleman
      yachtsmen were using canoe yawls in the 1890's. That means a small,
      easily-driven boat for exploring estuaries, working with wind and
      tide, going with the flow. A canoe yawl is proportioned to be
      propelled with oars, and there's usually a small cuddy where you can
      sit out foul tides or weather.

      Bolger has written widely about his appreciation for this approach to
      cruising. To build a real canoe yawl like "Wenda," "Daisy," and
      others is a huge, huge project, a 3000-hour ordeal for the skilled
      amateur, in the six figures if you have it built. What Bolger was
      after with Anhinga was a boat that distilled the essence of the fancy
      canoe yawls without losing any of their qualities.

      Here's a good page on canoe yawls:
      http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~fassitt/canoe_mirror/canoe_ya
      wl.html Courtesy of Craig O'Donnell.

      I think to appreciate Anhinga you need to approach the design with a
      willingness to Go Simple and adopt the canoe yawl ethos. I'm
      discouraged by all the worries that there isn't a good way to add
      power. Bolger has tons of shallow boats with good engine
      mounts, and you should definitely build one of those rather
      than hacking an Anhinga.

      Having studied the complete drawings for hours, I think if built as
      designed it should compete with Dovekie on most points, except in
      light air to windward. It'll be tender when the wind's up---
      you'd want to pay attention. I'd add reef points to the sail. As
      drawn he means for you to flatten the sail with the snotter
      and "feather" your way through the puffs, something that works better
      on paper than in real life. The stern wave might be a little odd
      looking, but that hull shape will have no affect on speed at 2.5kts
      under oars or 5kts under sail.

      You'd probably come to hate everything about the daggerboard except
      the fact that you built the board and its external mount in a
      fraction of the time of other solutions. I suspect the boat might
      sail for a season with the daggerboard, then sprout leeboards. On
      the other hand, I sail all over the Chesapeake in an engineless
      keelboat with only very rare groundings, so if you're willing to pay
      attention to where you're going the daggerboard isn't the end of the
      world. Add the days of construction you saved to your cruising
      schedule.

      I have a suspicion that Bolger hasn't promoted the design because
      nobody will build it the way he designed it, or means to use it the
      way he intended it to be used. Anhinga is one of those completel-
      realized designs for which, if tinkered with, the elegance is lost
      but the boxy gawkiness remains.


      John Harris
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