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65275Re: [bolger] Re: Isometric, 19ft6in 'Minimum Proa'

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  • Susanne@comcast.net
    Jan 10, 2011
      Good Morning Rick,
           what a nice posting to start my day with.  Obviously Phil would quietly agree with your judgment...
      Yes, the 'reverence'-thing seems like an 'Ersatz-Religion' - a sometimes deeply emotional connection to a particular flavor/geometry - with at times quite virulent reactions to perceived slights and actual doubt about those unaddressed problems/short-comings if not outright practical dangers. 

      Phil was not shy questioning his own judgment in-house on some issue, something I did give rise to as well.  Upon extended discussions he would revise some long-held perspectives.

      We've always thought that there ought to be BIRDWATCHERS all over the place in light of their virtues.  On the other hand, most magazines defend their 'reverence' for deeper-draft geometries and synthetic-chemical-soaked dismissal of plywood as any 'plausible' structural material. "And all that glass is just not sea-worthy..." must be balanced with the liabilities of 'their' preferred types.  But I think we'll get there yet...

      Susanne Altenburger, PB&F  

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: KK7B
      Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2011 11:32 PM
      Subject: [bolger] Re: Isometric, 19ft6in 'Minimum Proa'


      Hi Susanne and Group,

      Phil Bolger's influence extends well beyond boats. I dabble in boat and rig design evenings and weekends, but I am an electronic designer by profession. All of his books are close at hand, and I regularly read through a few pages of "Boats with and Open Mind" when I need to get unstuck on a radio design problem. Phil's basic philosophy of the quick experiment to test an interesting idea backed up by some theory and analysis is how I work in the lab. Reading his work is a constant reminder to view beautiful old ways of doing things with affection....but also with real interest and a critical and creative eye.

      Regarding Wooden Boats, Junks and good old stuff in general--anything more than a few generations old may be surrounded by reverent and appreciative folks who aren't thinking much about radically different approaches to the problem. Those of us with the design gene are often unwelcome in such company. Strangely enough, some of the old unsolved problems and quirks are also viewed with reverence...

      I spent some time aboard my friend Bob Larkin's Birdwatcher at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival this past year, and overheard comments from all camps. Several of the most outspoken described it as the best boat there.

      Thank you for your continued presence on this web site. It is much appreciated.

      Best Regards,


      --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Susanne@..." <philbolger@...> wrote:
      > AYRS is an odd phenomenon that way. We attended a meeting of the New England at Dick Newick's and they were discussing new projects and notions that Phil had resolved a while back. I think one such issue was the small centerboard way forward/large rudder aft geometry such as in CARTOPPER a long time ago, and St.VALERIE more recently. They asked Phil no questions since they apparently did not know the work (Payson had been selling them fpor years by then, with many built and sailing). There is a lot of good will and energy there but these blindspots are troubling. We speculated that the UK-roots might result in less than favorable interest in US progress on unorthodox geometries, with 'Bolger' being particularly 'hard to swallow'. How to explain, since Phil wrote in fine English ?! We left the meeting disappointed and annoyed with having spent a better part of a day around that meeting to hear folks be all excited about 'settled' questions, with Phil obviously having no role in their universe... All loss all around.
      > Similar vibes with the Junk Rig Association, which can feature good experimentation on selected details, but will not entertain much deviation from the 'pure' junk-rig credo. The assumption seems to be that it is considered a 'rigor' and thus 'untouchable'. Well, Phil and later us together 'do touch' alright...
      > The curved-batten rig has been built and sailed on a slightly scaled-up derivative of that PROA design.
      > Phil proposed it also on a 48' whaler/double-ended free-form hull cruiser/liveaboard. More 3-D work on that sail-type would seem useful.
      > I think that total conceptual output by Phil may indeed be unique in its diversity and getting experimentation done, usually quick&instructive. It may indeed be 'too much' for many, certainly the glossy yacht magazines far away from WOODENBOAT.
      > Another example: THE LANDING SCHOOL had no use for Phil's presence either when we went there once or twice or approached them during the WOODENBOAT SHOW for instance. It's chief quipped into Phil's face that 'all it took to do a Bolger boat was to buy Payson's books'... Not a bad start, but since he had nothing further to say, this cute one-liner reflected his sad state of ignorance. Some of Phil's books are in their library. I look forward when the combined canon and the catalogue will have to sit there in multiple copies...and becomes part of the curriculum of must-reads. But not in Phil's life-time.
      > Phil's work and personal presence may have given many the fright of (for them) overwhelming design-intellectual range. And quite a few did not know how to address him and his work appropriately.
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: c.ruzer
      > To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2011 5:35 AM
      > Subject: [bolger] Re: Isometric, 19ft6in 'Minimum Proa'
      > Nasty sail control issues of this AYRS rig leading to condemnation of it by those proa guys has already been discussed here. People have tried the sail, been clobbered - there's suggested fixes - but as far as I'm aware none tested as yet. However, as I thought they might've thrown the baby out with the bath water I raised the important, really innovative, Bolger aspect in this design of lee-helm-bow-steering (LHBS), and all the work PCB did in that area over decades, and you know what, they hadn't seen that one for looking! LHBS comes way out of left field for them, and even though the respect for PB&F's authority is there, they haven't read the assorted works, and don't really get what PCB was on about with respect to potential LHBS benefits and multis, especially proas. The proa guys will mostly just ask that as they see CLR moving so far forward at speed where comes the lee helm?
      > --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Hallman <hallman@> wrote:
      > >
      > > http://www.hallman.org/bolger/MinimumProa/
      > >
      > > This looks like a 'head turner' cheap, fun and fast boat. It
      > > disassembles into pieces so (depending on the choice of scantlings) it
      > > could just barely be cartopped. Being a proa, it has two bows, and
      > > "tacks" by slowing to a stop and then reversing directions. The sail
      > > shape is determined by pre-curved laminated battens, and hence it
      > > probably could be startlingly fast. (Except for the cumbersome tacking
      > > procedure.)
      > >
      > > I create this isometric so that I could actually understand the PCB
      > > devised bi-directional steering linkage. The "aft" steering fin is
      > > locked straight, and the steering is done with the forward steering
      > > fin (swapped fins depending on which end is going forward.)
      > >

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