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DANCER Variations on a Bolger Theme

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  • Phillip Lea
    With some talk of Windsprint as of late, I figure it is time to do my write up of my ideas of a bigger replacement for Windsprint. I have drawn the basic
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2004
      With some talk of Windsprint as of late, I figure it is time to
      do my write up of my ideas of a bigger replacement for Windsprint.
      I have drawn the basic lines, and side panel expansions and built
      a nice model in the 1.5" scale that sits in our living room.
      I took some photos of the model but the scanner crapped out. If
      I can figure out how to plug in the blasted digital camera,
      I will post some photos. I am enamored by how the simple and
      simply built double-ended shape can look so graceful. There was
      a whole fleet of them at Mahone Bay and it was a wonderful sight.


      Our current boat, a self-modified June Bug, has some great
      attributes. It is simple to launch from its trailer. Boat and
      trailer are very lightweight. The easy rigging of the leg of mutton
      is a fast setup and it works very well. And my June Bug is a good
      sailor, particularly considering her low technology and simplicity.

      However, it has its shortcomings. It can not handle much at all in
      the way of white caps or waves on our local lake – wave tops will
      slosh over the gunwale and run right into the crew's face or down
      the back of their shirt. The June Bug's tied-in mast partner is a
      weak link, and the asymmetric leeboard is too exposed and has been
      damaged MANY times. There is also lack of adequate seating –
      and passengers must sit in the bottom of the boat – upon a boat
      cushion at best. And I always feel quite vulnerable when I consider
      the consequences of a knock-down – at best I will be left with a
      cockpit that is full of water with gunwales awash. Its has limited
      capacity for regular daysailing with family and adult-size friends.

      Bolger's Windsprint is larger and has some simple good looks, but I
      have been put off by several comments related to its over abundance
      of sail area. Also, the Windsprint would be quite similar to my
      June Bug in a knock-down – tons of water to bail out while the
      gunwales would be awash. What is needed is a bit more weather-
      capable, simple, double-ended sharpie, with just plain good looks.
      And most of all, it must be recoverable in the event of a knock-down
      without outside help.

      Grabbing numerous ideas from Bolger, a new boat has evolved from my
      drawing board. Instead of cutting down Windsprint's sail area, this
      new boat is a larger, more capable evolution of Windsprint and other
      Bolger ideas.

      DANCER variations on a Bolger theme
      A 19'-5" double-ended, balanced-lug, sharpie day sailer
      A simple plywood boat. The construction is a bit like Windsprint
      with addition of solid seating for comfort and buoyancy, and decking
      fore and aft for buoyancy. Flair is a constant 13° with a flat
      bottom, and centerboard. Beam across bottom is just 48". Length is
      gotten out of 2 ½ sheets of plywood with the leftover half
      for the double-thickness centerboard. But in reality the sheer line
      and tombstone transom are a geometric adaptation of Bolger's 14'
      Pirate Racer. She was lengthened, sheer multiplied accordingly, but
      freeboard was increased to utilize the plywood and to put the crew
      down into the boat, not up on the rail.

      Dancer has low cockpit seats – a maximum of 6" above the boat
      bottom. There is lots of positive buoyancy from the decked ends,
      and a watertight footwell. Following a knock-down and subsequent
      righting (by the crew), it is expected that the footwell will retain
      a good deal of the water low and centered, dampening the free
      surface effect of the water brought aboard. The fore and aft decks
      will drain over the side. The crew will board by rope ladder or
      other contrivance near the stern. The footwell has parallel sides
      allowing a rectangular bailing box (also serves as rowing seat) to
      rapidly remove the water. The oars are stored against the insides
      of the 9' long footwell.

      The mast is slightly off-center, starboard of the centerboard,
      placing the boom quite near centerline. The partner is a 6" x 15" x
      2" plywood lamination that is secured to the top of the case and to
      bulkhead #2 just aft of the fore deck. The mast can rotate in its
      partner. This allows the yard to be hoisted nearer the head and the
      mast to be shorter and allows the boom to be hauled down more
      snuggly since no slack or stretch needs to be allowed for the yard
      and boom to rotate around mast. This will help when the it breezes

      Since this is to be just a more weather capable Windsprint, the rig
      is identical – it is proven, sailmakers have it stock, and it is
      pleasing shape. With the balanced lug, there is but one sail, and
      few spars – very simple. She will be rigged to reef.

      There is one central frame and three ply bulkheads. Seat fronts and
      tops are structural, epoxy-taped in place. There is no need for a
      chine if taped together.

      A centerboard is chosen because it will work best for sailing our
      local lakes. Beachable, and capable of being daysailed, single-
      handedly, or with 3 or 4 adult-sized folks.

      Phil Lea
      Lake Dardanelle, Russellville, Arkansas
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