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Re: Japanese Beach Cruiser

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  • Stephen Paskey
    Matthew: I m glad you asked, as I ve been much intrigued by the design myself. I don t know that I d ever build her without a first-hand report from someone
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 1, 2000
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      Matthew: I'm glad you asked, as I've been much intrigued by the
      design myself. I don't know that I'd ever build her without a
      first-hand report from someone else, but if I did, I'd give some
      thought to replacing the boomless sprit-sail with something that
      has a more conventional reefing system and performs well on all points
      of sail. (I've no first-hand experience with the rig, mind you, but
      what I've read is not encouraging.) I'd also inquire about possible
      improvements to the leeboards. I seem to recall from Bolger's recent
      article on shoal-draft boats in Wooden Boat that he's learned alot
      about them over the years, and that the boards on recent designs are
      better than those on older designs.

      Other than that, she looks like a fun, roomy, dry little boat with a
      lot of style, and I'd love to hear from anyone who's built or sailed
      her.

      Stephen Paskey
      Washington, DC, USA

      --- In bolger@egroups.com, "Matthew, Agn├Ęs & Fletcher Peillet-Long"
      <matthew.long@l...> wrote:
      > Following up on the dinghy-cruising pram thread....
      >
      > I know that there was a thread on this topic back in June that got
      > very little response, but I'll give it another try.
      >
      > Is there anyone out there with first-hand experience (or second-hand
      > knowledge) of Bolger's Japanese Beach Cruiser design? [See BOATS
      WITH
      > AN OPEN MIND] Does anyone even know if one has been built? Any
      > comments from those ruminating on the design regarding its pros and
      > cons?
      >
      > Thanks in advance,
      >
      > Matthew Long
      > Saint-Priest, France
    • Mark
      Dan, I like your thinking on the smaller boat. Chebacco is a _huge_ first project for almost anyone. And made more difficult in a narrow space. The JBC would
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 26, 2004
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        Dan,

        I like your thinking on the smaller boat. Chebacco is a _huge_ first project for almost
        anyone. And made more difficult in a narrow space. The JBC would be a lot of fun to build
        and very able.

        And have you seen this?
        http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/store/plans/jim/mikesboat/index.htm

        BW
        Mark

        Dan Burrill wrote:

        > I'd been set on building a Chebacco 20 for a while now, and will soon
        > have just about enough room. (When I say 'just about', I've been
        > considering a way of making the strongback so I can slide it from side
        > to side to work on different sides of the boat, so it's tight). However,
        > this is going to be the first time I've built a boat, and I'm conscious
        > of not biting off more than I can chew. Realising that cost and building
        > time increase roughly in proportion to the cube of length, whilst the
        > amount a boat gets used tends to be larger the smaller the boat, I've
        > been looking at a few other options, including a few other designers,
        > but I'm now almost settled on the Japanese Beach Cruiser, especially
        > since I remembered the one I'd seen for sale, which had been used on
        > similar waters to the ones I'm planning on sailing.
      • Dan Burrill
        ... I admit a Chebacco was probably pushing the limits of what I d be capable of building. If I had a couple more feet of building room I d probably give it a
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 26, 2004
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          >
          > I like your thinking on the smaller boat. Chebacco is a _huge_ first project for almost
          > anyone. And made more difficult in a narrow space. The JBC would be a lot of fun to build
          > and very able.

          I admit a Chebacco was probably pushing the limits of what I'd be
          capable of building. If I had a couple more feet of building room I'd
          probably give it a go anyway, but since I haven't the question doesn't
          really arise.

          I'm loathe to go for too small a design, as I've only ever sailed cabin
          yachts and half-decked keelboats, little sailing dinghies scare me.

          > And have you seen this?
          > http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/store/plans/jim/mikesboat/index.htm

          I've had at least a brief look at most of the designs I can find online,
          that would certainly do, but it's not quite what I'm looking for. I'd
          almost settled on JBC, when doing some speculative googling to see if
          there was any more information on them online, I found this page:

          http://www.boatbldr.com/boats/koster.html

          Anyone know any more about this design? I've spotted that there was an
          MAIB article in July 1996. If it were possible to work out a usable
          engine mounting (for a 2.3HP Honda 4-stroke weighing 25lbs), then from
          what I've seen, this would be the boat I'd want to build.

          I like the balanced lugsail yawl rig, the salient keel, and rudder with
          an end plate. She can hold the required number of people and would
          appear to have adequate sleeping arrangements for two with a boom tent.

          Unfortunately, I really can't see a way to mount an outboard anywhere it
          can be easily reached without making major structural alterations. It's
          a precondition of my other half going sailing with me on anything bigger
          than the Norfolk Broads, so there's no way 'round that, unfortunately.

          I'm still thinking though, I'm at the stage where every time I think
          I've found the right design, I spot something wrong with it. Still,
          better to do it now than after I've started building the thing.

          Dan
        • Dennis
          Dan, I wrote Bolger a couple of years ago about the Nord Koster. He and Susanne A took a sail in it and found it to be a disappointing boat. He did not know if
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 26, 2004
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            Dan, I wrote Bolger a couple of years ago about the Nord Koster. He
            and Susanne A took a sail in it and found it to be a disappointing
            boat. He did not know if this was because the rudder was too short or
            because of some other possible mods made by the builder. Anyway, he
            did not seem to enthralled with the performance of the design and did
            not push it -- in fact he recommended a couple of other designs he
            thought more suitable. I agree with you about her looks. NK is a
            great looking boat.

            Dennis

            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Dan Burrill <dan@b...> wrote:
            >
            > >
            > > I like your thinking on the smaller boat. Chebacco is a _huge_
            first project for almost
            > > anyone. And made more difficult in a narrow space. The JBC would
            be a lot of fun to build
            > > and very able.
            >
            > I admit a Chebacco was probably pushing the limits of what I'd be
            > capable of building. If I had a couple more feet of building room
            I'd
            > probably give it a go anyway, but since I haven't the question
            doesn't
            > really arise.
            >
            > I'm loathe to go for too small a design, as I've only ever sailed
            cabin
            > yachts and half-decked keelboats, little sailing dinghies scare me.
            >
            > > And have you seen this?
            > >
            http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/store/plans/jim/mikesboat/index.htm
            >
            > I've had at least a brief look at most of the designs I can find
            online,
            > that would certainly do, but it's not quite what I'm looking for.
            I'd
            > almost settled on JBC, when doing some speculative googling to see
            if
            > there was any more information on them online, I found this page:
            >
            > http://www.boatbldr.com/boats/koster.html
            >
            > Anyone know any more about this design? I've spotted that there was
            an
            > MAIB article in July 1996. If it were possible to work out a usable
            > engine mounting (for a 2.3HP Honda 4-stroke weighing 25lbs), then
            from
            > what I've seen, this would be the boat I'd want to build.
            >
            > I like the balanced lugsail yawl rig, the salient keel, and rudder
            with
            > an end plate. She can hold the required number of people and would
            > appear to have adequate sleeping arrangements for two with a boom
            tent.
            >
            > Unfortunately, I really can't see a way to mount an outboard
            anywhere it
            > can be easily reached without making major structural alterations.
            It's
            > a precondition of my other half going sailing with me on anything
            bigger
            > than the Norfolk Broads, so there's no way 'round that,
            unfortunately.
            >
            > I'm still thinking though, I'm at the stage where every time I
            think
            > I've found the right design, I spot something wrong with it. Still,
            > better to do it now than after I've started building the thing.
            >
            > Dan
          • robt_l_hazard
            I am posting to ask whether anyone here has built the Japanese Beach Cruiser from Boats With an Open Mind. In a lot of ways it seems an ideal solo
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 1 4:19 PM
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              I am posting to ask whether anyone here has built the Japanese Beach
              Cruiser from Boats With an Open Mind. In a lot of ways it seems an
              ideal solo rowing/sailing cruiser, seaworthy, roomy, trailerable, and
              rather pretty, too.

              Anyone ever built her?
            • Bruce Hallman
              ... About a dozen times in my mind s eye. What a great boat! Please build one and take lots of photos to share!
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 2 1:49 PM
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                > I am posting to ask whether anyone here has built the Japanese Beach
                > Cruiser
                > Anyone ever built her?

                About a dozen times in my mind's eye.

                What a great boat! Please build one and
                take lots of photos to share!
              • robt_l_hazard
                ... Beach ... I daydream of spending a week in this boat nosing around the Deer Isle - Isle au Haut region of the Maine coast. But I wonder if she might be
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 2 5:45 PM
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                  --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Hallman <bruce@h...> wrote:
                  > > I am posting to ask whether anyone here has built the Japanese
                  Beach
                  > > Cruiser
                  > > Anyone ever built her?
                  >
                  > About a dozen times in my mind's eye.
                  >
                  > What a great boat! Please build one and
                  > take lots of photos to share!

                  I daydream of spending a week in this boat nosing around the Deer
                  Isle - Isle au Haut region of the Maine coast. But I wonder if she
                  might be just a bit _too_ small, and possibly a bit tender under
                  sail. I also am curious about how her leeboards would interact with
                  the ubiquitous lobster buoys there.

                  So I thought I might try to find someone who has built and sailed one
                  before I invest in a set of plans.
                • Richard Johnson
                  One of this design has been built! I saw it at Grand Barrachois in New Brunswick. Unfortunately, I did not get the owner s name, nor photos of the boat. I have
                  Message 8 of 15 , Sep 7 10:09 AM
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                    One of this design has been built! I saw it at Grand
                    Barrachois in New Brunswick. Unfortunately, I did not
                    get the owner's name, nor photos of the boat. I have
                    been toying with the idea of building this little
                    vessel to explore the thin waters around the coast of
                    Nova Scotia (if this dream reaches fruition, photos
                    will be forthcoming). Personally, I would not be
                    concerned at all about tangling with the buoys used on
                    lobster pots. In the event of entanglement, which for
                    the most part I believe could easily be avoided,
                    simply change tack, lift the leeboad and disengage.

                    According to Bolger's description of the boat, he
                    designed it so that it would be stiffer than the
                    average sailboat of this size. He mentioned that it
                    would not be necessary to hike out over the rail to
                    sail her. I would guess that the statement is made
                    with the proviso that an appropriate amount of sail is
                    shown relative to wind force.

                    While the design appeals to me, I would find it hard
                    to resist one or two modifications. First I would rig
                    the main with a lug sail rather than a sprit. The
                    second change I'm not so sure of . . . the bilge seems
                    a mite slack at the stern so I am tempted to push the
                    second chine down and out a bit to give a bit more
                    bearing as she heeled. My reservation about this
                    change is that the more robust bilge at the stern
                    might cause the rudder to roll up and out of the water
                    somewhat, thereby reducing its power to control the
                    boat while heeled.

                    I've had several years experience sailing a Paceship
                    17 day sailer which has a typical modern sloop rig
                    with main and jib. In heavy winds, it does not lend
                    itself well to single handing. I've had two capsizes
                    to atest to that difficulty. To my eye, the Japanese
                    Beach Cruiser is ideal. The small mizzen will tend to
                    make the boat weather vane into the wind in a gust,
                    assuming one hands the main sheet in such conditions.

                    Barring unforseen circumstances, I am hoping next
                    summer will see me begin construction of my own
                    Japanese Beach Cruiser.

                    --- robt_l_hazard <robt_l_hazard@...> wrote:

                    > --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Hallman
                    > <bruce@h...> wrote:
                    > > > I am posting to ask whether anyone here has
                    > built the Japanese
                    > Beach
                    > > > Cruiser
                    > > > Anyone ever built her?
                    > >
                    > > About a dozen times in my mind's eye.
                    > >
                    > > What a great boat! Please build one and
                    > > take lots of photos to share!
                    >
                    > I daydream of spending a week in this boat nosing
                    > around the Deer
                    > Isle - Isle au Haut region of the Maine coast. But I
                    > wonder if she
                    > might be just a bit _too_ small, and possibly a bit
                    > tender under
                    > sail. I also am curious about how her leeboards
                    > would interact with
                    > the ubiquitous lobster buoys there.
                    >
                    > So I thought I might try to find someone who has
                    > built and sailed one
                    > before I invest in a set of plans.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >


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                  • pvanderwaart
                    ... Bolger has written about this in several places including the Spartina chapter of BWAOM. There is a trade-off in stern design. A wide stern with a lot of
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 7 10:30 AM
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                      > ...the bilge seems
                      > a mite slack at the stern so I am tempted to push the
                      > second chine down and out a bit to give a bit more
                      > bearing as she heeled.

                      Bolger has written about this in several places including the
                      Spartina chapter of BWAOM. There is a trade-off in stern design. A
                      wide stern with a lot of bearing gives more power to carry sail and
                      a higher top speed, but requires that the live ballast keeps the
                      boat from heeling. If the boat heels and the bow goes down, the
                      sailing and handling suffer greatly. I would trust PCB. Besides, you
                      are not likely to change it enough to make a really big difference.

                      Down around where I am, I would be surprised if you capsized a
                      Paceship 17 once in a lifetime, though you probably could have
                      managed it yesterday since we had 20 kt winds and 3 1/2 ft seas (a
                      few 5' 'rogue waves' :)). It does suggest that you should have a rig
                      that is easy to reef and certainly the sprit does not shine in that
                      department. Your change to a lug could be an improvement. Chances
                      are that PCB used the sprit because the spars can be a little
                      shorter.

                      Peter
                    • Bruce Hallman
                      I would be very reluctant to make changes to Japanese Beach Cruiser, unless I was willing to accept that the changes would be likely for the worse! Second
                      Message 10 of 15 , Sep 7 11:24 AM
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                        I would be very reluctant to make changes to
                        Japanese Beach Cruiser, unless I was willing to
                        accept that the changes would be likely for the
                        worse! Second guessing Phil Bolger is usually
                        a bad bet.

                        Bolger wrote: "This craft would make a good ship's
                        boat with lifeboat capabilities."

                        Neither the chapter in Boats With an Open Mind,
                        nor the writeup in Small Boat Journal #68 illustrate
                        the 'thatched' shelter but I would be curious what he
                        had in mind of this.

                        The use of a vang to the peak of the sprit is new to me.

                        Anybody care to estimate the weight of the
                        completed boat?
                      • Jason Stancil
                        ... Heheh. ;) Jason, glutin for punishment
                        Message 11 of 15 , Sep 7 11:28 AM
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                          --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Hallman <bruce@h...> wrote:
                          > I would be very reluctant to make changes to
                          > Japanese Beach Cruiser, unless I was willing to
                          > accept that the changes would be likely for the
                          > worse! Second guessing Phil Bolger is usually
                          > a bad bet.


                          Heheh. ;)

                          Jason, glutin for punishment
                        • Nels
                          ... I would certainly try to track down the owner if possible. For example - Any potential challenges if one wants to have a motor on it? Sure be great to see
                          Message 12 of 15 , Sep 7 1:59 PM
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                            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Richard Johnson
                            <rishar_johnson2001@y...> wrote:
                            > One of this design has been built!

                            I would certainly try to track down the owner if possible. For
                            example - Any potential challenges if one wants to have a motor on it?

                            Sure be great to see some photos of one and compare to say an OLDSHOE.

                            Cheers, Nels
                          • pvanderwaart
                            ... Well, the plans are marked for 355Kg Displacement. Say 780 lbs. Subtracting 400 lbs for two crew and gear gives 380 lbs. Subjectively, that seems just a
                            Message 13 of 15 , Sep 7 3:59 PM
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                              > Anybody care to estimate the weight of the
                              > completed boat?

                              Well, the plans are marked for 355Kg Displacement. Say 780 lbs.
                              Subtracting 400 lbs for two crew and gear gives 380 lbs.
                              Subjectively, that seems just a bit high. I would have guess the bare
                              hull at less than 300.

                              Bolger does allow quite a bit for gear and crew in a boat like this.

                              This illustrates some of his thinkig about the light quarters. This
                              boat is going to be two heavy to get up and plane, so it makes sense
                              to make it easy to handle since the loss of speed is minimal.

                              Peter
                            • Richard Johnson
                              Re the Paceship 17 capsize: After years of experience I came to realize that the boat was either (a) poorly designed or (b) not built to the designer s
                              Message 14 of 15 , Sep 13 8:38 AM
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                                Re the Paceship 17 capsize:

                                After years of experience I came to realize that the
                                boat was either (a) poorly designed or (b) not built
                                to the designer's specifications particularly as to
                                the placement of the centerboard. When I bought the
                                boat I thought because I was purchasing from a
                                reputable manufacturer (Paceship, Mahone Bay, NS -
                                since defunct) and that the design came from a
                                reputsble design firm (C & C - still in business) that
                                I would not need the help of an experienced sailor
                                friend to take it for sea trials. Alas, such was not
                                the case. I suspect that Paceship did not built to
                                specification.

                                The boat was delivered with a rudder on which the kick
                                up portion was fabricated from steel plate. As many
                                are no doubt aware, this can cause lee helm on its
                                own. After the first year of sailing I realized that
                                there might be a problem so built new rudder of
                                plywood and covered it with glass cloth and resin. The
                                new rudder seemed to overcome the handling sensitivity
                                I felt with the metal rudder but still it did not
                                solve the problem. In my third sailing season, the
                                boat went over in a heavy gust despite having a three
                                foot reef tied in, letting go the jib and pushing the
                                helm to leeward.

                                At the time I thought the incident was a fluke. A
                                second capsize occurred in the fifth season at which
                                time I figured the mast should be raked aft to
                                compensate. This did help but still did not resolve
                                the problem. By the sixth season I believe the
                                inevitable restructuring was the only cure. I tore the
                                deck off the hull, cut out the centerboard and
                                replaced it with a dagger board. Unfortunately, its a
                                mite too far forward, so now I have lots of weather
                                helm - better than lee helm anyway. Now I figure I'll
                                build a mast two feet taller and shorten the boom, fit
                                a new mainsail with a shorter foot and longer luff to
                                reduce the weather helm. As well I'll have the sail
                                flattened slightly and bring the draft forward a bit
                                which should also help.

                                Some time over the last decade I've come into contact
                                with two other owners of Paceship 17s. Both experience
                                handling problems. One gent said he only sailed on
                                days when the wind was not too strong and the other
                                said that he was "very careful" when he was sailing in
                                heavier winds.

                                Thanks to all for your comments re changing the bilge
                                at the stern. As I said, I had some reservations about
                                making such a change and I feel comfortable with the
                                consensus that that aspect should not be tampered
                                with.

                                --- pvanderwaart <pvanderwaart@...> wrote:

                                > > ...the bilge seems
                                > > a mite slack at the stern so I am tempted to push
                                > the
                                > > second chine down and out a bit to give a bit more
                                > > bearing as she heeled.
                                >
                                > Bolger has written about this in several places
                                > including the
                                > Spartina chapter of BWAOM. There is a trade-off in
                                > stern design. A
                                > wide stern with a lot of bearing gives more power to
                                > carry sail and
                                > a higher top speed, but requires that the live
                                > ballast keeps the
                                > boat from heeling. If the boat heels and the bow
                                > goes down, the
                                > sailing and handling suffer greatly. I would trust
                                > PCB. Besides, you
                                > are not likely to change it enough to make a really
                                > big difference.
                                >
                                > Down around where I am, I would be surprised if you
                                > capsized a
                                > Paceship 17 once in a lifetime, though you probably
                                > could have
                                > managed it yesterday since we had 20 kt winds and 3
                                > 1/2 ft seas (a
                                > few 5' 'rogue waves' :)). It does suggest that you
                                > should have a rig
                                > that is easy to reef and certainly the sprit does
                                > not shine in that
                                > department. Your change to a lug could be an
                                > improvement. Chances
                                > are that PCB used the sprit because the spars can be
                                > a little
                                > shorter.
                                >
                                > Peter
                                >
                                >
                                >





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