November 15, 2014
ON THE SIMPLEST TASK
Why would anyone spend time and money trying to find a solution to such a simple task as securing a hatch? Builders of production boats ignore the problem. Professionals try to get away with as little as possible, amateurs do their best. In this case the leek proof hatches subdivide my boat into a number of waterproof compartments. The stored items gets protected from the elements and in the unlikely case of the hull getting holed they give flotation or contain the damage to the holed compartment.
It is true that a wing nut style bolt head or a simple small “T” handle welded to the Torx bolt head would make it easier to undo the bolts without any tools. I try to reduce the number of objects that can hurt me. Thatâ€™s why I forgo that solution.
I do not think that I am likely to loose my Torx tool. 1976 I started to build a 19 feet aluminum boat. June 1980 I rounded Cape Horn with her. I divided the boat into several waterproof compartments bolting down the hatches more or less the same way. Obviously at that time there were no Torx bolts so I used hex heads. I had about 200 of those bolts on board. I still have quite a few of them M6 25 mm long. Not only do I have the bolts I also still have the tool. I used the same system on some of the hatches on Amphibie-Bris 89 sailing to Newfoundland and on Yrvind.com 2011 sailing to Martinique still the with the same tool. Torx tools are not cumbersome I will bring a score.
Foto showing the tool I used on my voyages since 1978. A bit rusty after the Martinique voyage but still functional.
Will the screws fail due to metal fatigue? I do not think so. There are fore M8 screws to each hatch. M6 would be plenty, even M5. I am even sure four M4 would do the job. There is plenty of redundancy.
Over center latches are good but here the geometry is not suitable for them.
Knots have been suggested. Knots are good. I have used them in in the sleeping room below the bed. Those hatches do not need to bee waterproof because the whole room can be sealed off.
I have knurled the screws. Thus on fine days I need only to screw them down with my fingers. When the sea starts breaking I tighten them up.
Have you ever been surprised at what a difference a few drips of oil can make to a rusty tool? The bronze washer is there to reduce friction and it works like oil. Now if by turning the screw the threads on the washer will be damaged so that it get stuck there permanently? So what? The better.
Photo showing knurls and cut away threads near screw head. I will bring hundreds.
Photo showing hatches in bedroom secured by lashing.
The system consists of three “cleats” and a string. There are twelv compartments below the bed. The matrass is divided into three parts for easy acces.
To be continued…
November 12, 2014
LONG TIME NO SEE
Long time no see. The reason is I am now working full time. After 16:00 I am writing a new book to finance the project. And before 16:00 I am working on the boat. Also to keep fit I have to take time of for that. Sundays and Wednesdays is running or kayak, Tuesday and Friday after 18:00 one hour exercises.
Also I am working on the interior now and it does not produce very exciting texts or pictures.
However because of the planned route the standard have to be much higher than on ordinary cruising boats, especially regarding stowage. Everything must be secured and waterproof. The back part of the boat, the sleeping room is the easiest part because the whole compartment can be closed of. The forward part is not so easy because water can come in through the entrance hatch when I have to open it for going on deck or work with the rigging or leeboards.
One more reason is I have been on the wrong track a few times and had to go back to square one which is time consuming.
And to be honest, I did work faster when I was younger, but of course did even more mistakes and more sloppy work then.
On the whole I have a nice time with my projects and enjoy life.
Below are a few pictures.
Abowe. The main closing hatches. Inside the compartments are subdivided.
Abowe: One of the main hatches. There is a 20×30 mm EPDM closed cell gasket running around the edge to prevent water from entering. The gasket is not glued but is squised into place, therefore wery easy to replace even at sea.
To transfer the closing edge I used thumb tacks.
an fuzzy close up.
The thumb tack and tejp.
The thumb tacks has marked a pice of cardboard. The cardboard is transfering the edge to the lid .
I did cinsider several was of closing the hatch. Finaly I decided on bolting it down. It not the quickest way but the strongest and most flexible and secure. It is easy to adjust the pressure on the gasket. It will take a few minutes to open the hatch. The process will be repeated thousands of times during the voyage. I did worry about stainless against stainless so I did a stress test. It sized up so hard it was impossible to mowe. I had to use the grinder to split the nut. I probably overdid the test but on the other hind I did not fancy being down the roaring forties with no acces to my food. I wanted to be sure.
I went back to square one and did fittings of aluminum bronze. It is ecceptionally wear resistant and you are well advised to use sharp drills.
the bronze fitting.
One fitting temporarily in place.
Bronze fitting and drain channel.
One of the drain outlets.
One of the screws temporarily in place.
To reduce friction I made bronze washers. In order not to lose them I threaded them like a nut. At the top of the nut, just below its head I remowed the threads on the lathe. Now the washer can rotate freely up there but not fall off. It works well.
To be continued…
October 1, 2014
Manie B has upgraded his challange. I wish him good luck. I am sure a full keel will work. Its more a question of convinience. Sure sail area foreward will help overcome weather helm but you will have a fight between two forces. To my mind its better to eleminate the keel.
For more about his challange see:
If Manie likes to quote from my work he is welcome.
I wonder about the byrocrats in Port Elisabeth will they give problems?
I have been to the book fair in GĂ¶teborg, to NM-epoxy in to get more epoxy, to Garmin, to Teufelberger for ropes, doing research in archives for my new book and much more.
Now I am back in VĂ¤stervik for more work on the boat and book.
To be continued…
September 13, 2014
IN DEFENSE OF FLAPS
To my disappointment the presentation of Yrvind Tens slotted leeboards was not universally met with rapturous applause. Some people think they will cause too much drag and not be strong enough. Therefore I valiantly feel obliged to come to their defense.
Aviators did invent the name but not the flaps, navigators did. The classical rudder attached to a long keel is a flap. If the tiller is moved a few degrees to weather the boat becomes more weatherly. That the rudder in that position creates a bit more drag is a minor point as long as the boat wins races. On the other hand, going to the extreme by moving the sail area forward so that you can keep the tiller 10 or 15 degrees to weather will increase the keels lifting force even more but then the drag will be so great that the boat has no chance of winning.
If the boat is propelled by sail and not an airplane engine the flap can and must of course be designed accordingly. I also like to point out that the leeboard is overlapping the flap. Therefore it will be attached not on the foils weak trailing edge but more forward in a position, strong enough.
From a fluid dynamic point of view the constellation mainsail and overlapping genua is a slotted flap as A. Gentry has shown. Land yachts use slotted wings and they are very fast. To my mind if slotted flaps can be used on sailing boats for rudders and sails I see no reason why I should not use them on my leeboards, its just a question of good engineering.
Why do I not use a long fixed keel as is suggested? Well it is certainly quite OK for heading into gales, but in my opinion, a centerboard or leeboard placed well forward the sail area is a much better option, and like I have said before, when retracted less likely to capsize the boat. It gives you a choice.
1989 I sailed the 15 feet Bris-Amfibie from Ireland to Newfoundland against the prevailing westerlyâ€™s. The mast was ten feet long. In heavy weather I had a 1 square meter jib and a 2 square meter triangular main. Between 6 and 18 of June we had continues contrary gales. The boat had a centerboard. It was placed well forward of the mast. Its area was about ÂĽ of a square meter (0.6 m deep x 0.4 m cord). Finally after 12 days the sun came out and I got a chance to fix my position. To my joy it was more westerly then when the gales had started.
We arrived in St Johns after 47 days. It had been a stormy passage but no capsizes, nothing broken, all the plastic jerry cans topped up with rainwater.
Before leaving Sweden I gave some yachtsmen lessons in celest navigation. They where bound for Nova Scotia.
â€śWe might see each other on the other sideâ€ť I suggested.
â€śI am not so sureâ€ť their captain said.
â€śYour boat is so much smaller it will take you longer time and we cannot wait for you.â€ť
It was an argument plausible enough. After all they had a modern powerful 35 feet boat equipped with a strong diesel engine, big fuel tanks, radar and all the other stuff. I had my oar and sextant.
In the end we never meet them. The North Atlantic had been too stormy that year, they later told me. After two weeks they had turned around and run. Everything was a mess in their boat. Later they sold her.
The problem with a long fixed keel like the one Manie B is planning to have on his ten footer is that going downwind he will get weather helm and a lot of drag. On a circumnavigation there will hopefully be much downwind sailing. Leeboards on the other hand, they have even less drag than centerboards because the smooth bottom will cause no turbulence. In strong following winds I will use my twin rudders like a snowplow giving her a lot of inherent course stability.
All my experience and all my knowledge speak against the long fixed keel. Please do not use it. I never go back to it.
Below are some pictures of Bris Amphibie. The centerboard can be lowered further had not the floor been there. Click once or twice to enlarge.
Above Bris Amphibie sailing her main is 2 meter square her jib 1 meter square.
A bit of the centerboard can be seen.
September 4, 2014
A PROBLEM AND ITS SOLUTION
Every sailor knows, or ought to know that the force created by the flow over a foil increases with the square of its speed.
If Yrvind Ten would make three knots through the water hard on the wind in ideal conditions I be very happy.
If she will make half a knot in gale conditions I will be equally happy.
The heart of the matter is that the power of the foil to resist leeway has in the gale case been reduced to 2.8 %, very unsatisfactory.
(3 divided by Â˝ = 6. Six squared equals 36. 1:36 = 2.8 %)
To make things worse the need for lateral force in a gale is much bigger than in nice weather.
Airplanes have a similar problem. During take off, when they travel relatively slow, they need lots of lifting force.
In order to become airborne they employ flaps. That is, the rear portion of the wing rotates downwards. Flaps are high lift devices. They also reduce the stalling speed.
I have decided to use flaps on my leeboards â€“ detachable flaps.
I will have an asymmetrical leeboard on each side, asymmetrical because they are more efficient.
I will use a slotted flap. They allow fluid to pass between the foil and the flap. That way I will have no problem to seal the gap.
I will place the flap not in the same streamline but in the way a jib and main are positioned in relation to each other, with a bit of overlap.
In good conditions the flap will stay on deck because the leeboard itself will be sufficient to prevent leeway. That way drag is reduced.
I only need one flap as I can flip it bottom for top using it on both sides.
When I put the flap on and take it of, the leeboard will be out of water. That way I can easily do the work from the hatch.
In nice weather I increase the sail area and reduce the lateral area. In rough weather I increase lateral area and reduce sail area.
Before I add an object to the boat I ask myself, do this thing earn its keep? In this case I believe it does, for the following reasons. Not many small boats have been cruising the roaring forties and not many people live there. What we know about the weather there comes mostly from big boats. But, big boats are not stationary observers, often they voluntary travel with east moving weather systems. That way they can enjoy and report strong westerly winds for long periods of time.
Compared to bigger boats Yrvind Ten with her speed of about two knots can be considered almost stationary. She will experience completely different weather patterns. She will be exposed to two or three lows each week. When a depression has passed there will often be nice easterly winds â€“ not adding much to the progress. From a stationary observers viewpoint the roaring forties is not a strong trade wind.
To complicate matters there are also strong easterly gales. Once, when I was less experienced I rode one out in comfort to a sea anchor. When the weather had moderated and the sun came out I fixed my position. I had been set back 150 miles.
Some navigators may think thatâ€™s a good deal, not me. My present boat will hopefully be able to fight gales head on. The new strategy to deal with contrary gales is to dig in, to hold on stubbornly â€“ at the risk of being capsized – until the wind swings over to a more favorable quarter, then I will ease the sheets and run.
Slotted flaps are high lift devices. They reduce the stalling speed. I am betting on that they will earn their keep.
However one must not forget that in stormy conditions flow around foils is very turbulent. One reason for that is the circular movement of the water particles in a wave. At the top of the wave they move in the same direction as the wind at the trough in the opposite. In a gale the speed difference is often more than six knots, a speed far higher than Yrvind Tens. Accordingly, theoretically, the flow around the foils will vary as a sine curve, sometimes being positive, sometimes negative.
In reality turbulence will create much chaos. Then only a lot of lateral surface prevents leeway, a bit like a parachute. So in stormy conditions Yrvind Ten needs all the lateral area she can get. The slotted flap will not only increase lifting force when there is flow, it will also at the same time increase lateral area. The leeboards itself are already as big as I dare to make them.
Below are some pictures. Click once or twice to enlarge.
Above the slotted flap.
The flap laying on deck.
Slotted flap on healead boat. Front vieuw.
To be continued…
August 28, 2014
MORE ABOUT MY STRONG RIG
Sharpii 2 is still worried about my rig. He beliefs a breaker may rip out the mast and deck fittings and leave a hole in the deck. I disagree. It is not a war zone out there. The waves are not loaded with dynamite. Let me explain:
It is the terrible capsizes and pitchpooles of big boats, like Smeetons 46 feet Tzu Hang and Erling Tambs 47 feet Sandefjord that have filled cruising people with horror. Compared to the above boats, Yrvind Ten and the old Bris are small.
Bris was capsized and pitchpooled near Cape Horn 1974. On a stormy March night 1976 the same boat capsized again, now on Georges Bank, outside Nantucket. On each occasion her 20 feet tall rig came up without a scratch. She had one pair of spreaders and the length of the unsupported column was 10 feet. Yrvind Tens unsupported column is 6 feet. Ten divided by six, squared is 2.777â€¦ That is how much stronger the geometry makes that column, according to Euler. The â€śshroud angleâ€ť to the supporting spar is 38 degrees. For Bris the corresponding angle is 13 degrees. The ratio of tangents for those angles is 3.38. The larger the angle, the less is the compression or buckling force. One more thing, the peripheral speed of a mast increases with its length. The length ratio between the two masts is 2.222â€¦ The hardness of water increases with the square of the hitting speed. 2.222â€¦ squared is 4.94â€¦ Now multiply these three numbers 4.94×3.38×2.777 and you get 46.36â€¦ The scale effect suggests that if the two masts are built with the same dimensions and materials Yrvind Tens 9 feet mast will be 46 times as resilient than Bris 20 feet mast.
Of course I do not have the faintest ideas of the forces, accelerations, rotational speeds, mass moment of inertia and other factors that are involved in a capsize, neither do Sharpii2, neither do Einstein or Newton. What we know is that shorter columns and larger shroud angles makes rigging stronger and that longer masts whips harder.
On the other hand, I have spent much time in small boats on stormy seas. That has educated me.
-â€śIs it possible that a breaker may rip out your deck fittings and leave holesâ€ť, asks the prudent navigator?
- â€śDefinitely not,â€ť I answer.
My small boat can never be subject to such brutish forces. She has to little mass moment and linear inertia. I know that seamen have been washed overboard from square riggers and other bigger boats. The same breakers have often hit me. That has never caused a problem. The sea is not selective. It hits everything with the same force, the rigging as well as me. If the breakers had the force to rip out my deck fittings they would have killed me long ago.
Sharpii2 says the fittings need to be strong enough to capsize the boat. Of course, that goes without saying. I am not building a toy. I am building a boat for long term, heavy duty cruising. My fittings will be strong enough to lift a boat ten times as heavy. Not only to lift it, but also to resist the dynamic forces necessary to stop a drop. Everything on my boat is solidly anchored. The deck has a sandwich core 3 cm thick. The reinforcements are spread out to a diameter of 30 cm good enough for a pull of 20 or 30 tons. So far my boats has had no problems to stand up against the elements. I see no reason why this boat should be less strong, on the contrary. I am learning all the time.
I will not worry. I will sleep deep and well even during the strongest storms because I know that if a breaker capsize her she will come up proud, happy and smiling.
With Respect and friendship, Yrvind.
August 21, 2014
Henry Ford said: â€śIf I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, faster horses.â€ť
First he built cars with people sitting outside. On rainy days that was wet and uncomfortable so he added a cabin with windows. Then came the windscreen wiper. Today windscreen washers supplement them.
Let nature be your guide. Complicate things and you will be successful. Even the simplest cell is more complicated than a boat. The KISS principle is rubbish. The trick is not to make a new construction simple but functional. My guiding principle is utility. Building a nine feet pivoting mast is no rocket science. A 75 year old pensioner can do it with simple tools.
Its complexity is in the beholders eye. Some observers get confused when they see something unconventional. To calm their minds they call it complicated. The same people outfit their boats with outboard engines, electronic steering systems, water makers and induction cookers. They are so blinded by these mass produced products they do not realize that they are much more complicated than my homemade mast.
Optimizing each subsystem independently will not lead to a good boat. Of course, non-pivoting masts would be simpler, but then the whole system, the boat, would be more complicated. I would have less trim options. With the planned rig it will be very easy to change from lee helm to weather helm. Hopefully the result is that my boat will steer herself without electronic steering systems or wind vane self-steering gear.
I do not think that I ever will convince conservative sailors of the beauty of my rig. They suffer the same mental blocks that Max Planck observed a hundred years ago. Resigned he remarked: A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. Still, I wish my critics a long healthy life.
Sharpii2 have pointed out that when the masts are not vertical they are acting like a crane boom -true. I like to thank him for that comment. I welcome critics because I often make mistakes and forget details that can have dire consequences. It was a good observation.
However I do not worry and it is for two reasons. One, I do not agree, I do not think that it will put a lot of bending stress on the mast and tremendous stress on the pivoting axle and the locking pin. After all, Yrvind Tens masts are not longer than an oar. Small boats do not attract big forces because of the square cube law. Sure, things break even on small boats but thatâ€™s mostly a question of dimensioning and can easily be fixed.
The second reason is that when the wind becomes strong I am going to reduce the forces on the mast and support her.
I reef the sail. That brings the yard down to a position six feet above the fulcrum. At that point on the mast there is a fitting to which I tie it with a string. Next I slack the halyard, releasing the compression. At that moment the bowstring effect is no more. True, the wind force is still acting strongly on the reefed sail. However its leverage is now only six feet.
To break things you need leverage. Take a match, say 4 cm long and break it, no problem. Break it again, OK. Now its only 1 cm long and it starts to get hard because you do not get a grip. You have no leverage. Most catastrophic scenarios come from big boats disasters. Small boats are different. They are more resilient. Other laws apply.
Still I am a man of the belt and suspenders approach. When the wind gets stronger and the seas start to break I snug things down and beef them up. I will then support the mast with an eight feet long spar. I will attach one end to the mast at the height of the yard, six feet up. The lower end will be fastened near the root of the other mast on the axis of the fulcrums. With that geometry the mast and spar can be rotated for and aft as a unit. Thus the mast is always supported athwartships. Fore and aft support comes from ropes.
If this sounds complicated and confusing I assure you, it is less difficult than setting a spinnaker pole.
Below is a pictures of the 1/8 scale model with this arrangement. Click once or twice to enlarge.
Above mast in aft position, weather helm
Above mast in aft position, weather helm
Above mast forward position, lee helm.
laminating the centerboard slot.
To be continued…
August 18, 2014
Boat ideal will have leeboard. Thinking aboat leeboard has changed my mind. I have decided to have leeboard on Yrvind Ten also. Ocean going boats do not have leeboard, but traditionally ocean going boats are big structures and lika all structures subject to Gallileos square cube law. Becouse of the square cube law a small boat do not have to be simular to a big one. In fact its a big mistake to build a small boat simular to a big one. Its against the laws of nature. Bugs understand that. They to smart to try to imitate vertibrates. Each one to its own scale.
The present project will then teach me much about them. Good for the next boat. The upcoming circumnavigation will be a lot of down wind sailing. Thats were leeboards excel. Downwind a keel is really bad a centerboard better but there is still the slot causing turbulence. Then the control ropes. Traditionally there is only one rope, an uphaul. but if the boat is going to be capsize-proof you need also a down-haul to control the board in all positions. For piece of mind. I have not got these mechanism to work to my satisfaction. This is not the first time I change my mind regarding centerboards. Bris had one to beginn with Yrvind.com started with a centerboard, then a daggerboard I scarped boath of them. Centerboard worked fine for me on Bris- Amphibie, a daggerboard worked fine for me on Duga.
Leebards will also give me much more space in the saloon.
I am avare that leeboards have its own sets of problem. I will try to solve them later.
Below are some pictures. click once or twice to enlarge.
Above the 15 kilo scrapped centerboard.
Above. The centerboard case cut off above the storage.
Above the turbulence causing opening for the centerboard.
Above the turbulent causing centerboard opening starting to be plugged.
To be continued…
August 5, 2014
SIDE BY SIDE RIG ON THE 1/8 MODEL
Here are 4 pictures of the planned side by side rig with folding masts.
The above pictures (click once or twice to enlarge) shows the rig set up for reaching in light wind.
Both sails are in clear wind. The boat has lee helm. The skipper can relax and enjoy.
The above picture shows the boat close hauled in light wind. Compared to a tandem set up the sails are much better separated thus Â giving better flow and sail efficiency.
The above picture shows the boat reaching in strong winds.
When a boat with a mast in the centerline is reaching the sail and boom is off center unless its a square sail. By folding the lee mast the balanced lug sail will much like a square sail be centered avoiding excessive rudder action. The unstayed mast guaranties no chafe; a good thing on long passages.
The above picture shows the boat close hauled in strong winds. In real life the sail will be reefed to suit wind conditions. One mast is folded to reduce wind resistance and to lower the center of gravity and mass moment of inertia.
When using the lee mast there be more weather helm, desirable when you like to forereach witn little sail area up. Using the mast on the wind ward side gives less weather helm. It also reduces the tendency to dip the boom in the water. As a bonus one can also move the sails forward or aft by tilting them.
The side by side rig gives the prudent navigator many options and eliminates the need Â for autopilot or selfsteering.
I also do work on Yrvind Ten. Presently it is the boooring job of filiting and taping all the pieces of plywood and composite that makes up safe stovage space.
To be continued…
July 1, 2014
SOME REASONS WHY I HAVE CHOSEN A SIDE BY SIDE RIG
Rig choices belong to the domain of aerodynamics, right â€“ wrong. A cruising boat is much more complex than a racer. The more complex a structure is, the more interference there is and nothing is so difficult to deal with as that. But there is also a positive side to complexity and it is that it gives the designer many possibilities to use one element for different purposes.
At first one would not think that the placement of a hatch would influence the choice of rig and normally it does not but when one is designing a ten feet circumnavigator a new set of problems comes up. To deal with storms the interior of my boat is divided into two parts by a watertight traverse bulkhead. The boat has one dry section and one section where saltwater will do no harm. The wet section is in the forward part below the hatch. The two compartments are each about five feet lengthwise. Previous experience has thought me that hatch openings of 40 cm wide and 45 long is convenient. Add 5 cm around for coamings gaskets and labyrinths and the hatch will be 55 cm long â€“ closed. But a hatch that cannot be opened is by definition not a hatch so to make it operational I had to find an unobstructed place for it more than a meter long. That place must be close to the masts, otherwise handling of the sails has to be done from deck and that is not convenient in rough weather. From one hatch it is impossible to reach two masts if they are arranged tandemly. An eight year old girl understands that. That creates a problem. I have solved that problem by arranging the masts side by side and placing the hatch between them. That way I can use one hatch to serve the two masts.
An other advantage – now I can open the hatch because there is no mast in front blocking it â€“ in other words the hatch is in the middle of the boat but the masts are on its side.
Lifeline stanchions are usually 50 â€“ 60 cm high and pretty useless. My center of gravity is 90 cm above the deck. If the lifeline is going to have a chance of doing a good job of keeping me aboard it should be at least one meter high. My masts are strong and high and situated on the boats side they are there in a perfect position to be used as stanchions. This is a good example of how one element can be used for two different purposes. Now I can have lifelines one meter high or more and they will be extremely strongly attached.
Mast placed on small boats centerline blocks the passage for and aft. A pathway in the middle of the boat with high strong lifelines and masts at each side to support you makes moving around safer than the narrow side decks found on a small healing boat.
An other dual use of the side by side masts is that the forward end of the awning can be attached to them. The awning protects against the sun but the main purpose of that piece of canvas is to catch rainwater. A funnel and a hose will conduct it to polyethylene jerry cans. I will be able to store about 70 liters of water, enough for two months.
My side by side pivoting unstayed mast will not use tabernacles. I will put the fulcrum on the chine between deck and sidedeck. That chine is very strong, it only needs to be beefed up locally. The bottom end of the mast will be fixed to a semicircular track on the rub rail. This arrangement is stronger than a tabernacle has less air resistance and its center of gravity is lower. The mast can pivot 20 degrees forward and 20 degrees back. It can also be folded 90 degrees backwards to be stored along the deck in strong winds.
Naturally I will be glad if my novel rig also can propel the boat. A small cruising boat is a complex thing and I may have made mistakes somewhere along my thinking. Although untried I am willing to bet on this side by side rig.
Racing boats are designed with racing rules in mind. Consequently the almost universal custom is to design rigs in such a way that you get maximum effort per sail area. That implies tall rigs with one mast. I see it differently. I am not racing therefore I do not worry about efficiency per square meter sail area. I design for the shortest possible mast. A deep water cruiser have to withstand the seas worsts fury. When it starts to blow a boat with a short mast is much more weatherly than one with a tall mast because the top part of a reefed mast is not only useless it also creates drag, top hamper and slows down the boat. A short mast is not only much stronger than a long one it will also be subject to much less forces. In heavy weather it wins hands down. Out there, far from shelter, the fundamental task is to survive. Nice weather is no problem for me because I like to spend time at sea.
My strategy is to hang on when the wind is contrary and ease the sheets when it starts to come from a more favorable direction. A small boat will not go to windward over ground better than 60 degrees. 60 degrees means twice the distance sailed. Windward sailing also means half the speed. In strong winds the difference between the speeds you make running and beating is even bigger. That means it will take you at least four times as long sailing upwind as downwind. You cannot have a rig that is efficient in both strong and light winds; I have chosen efficiency in strong winds. My weapon: one short mast standing and the other one folded on deck and big, big lateral areas.
The balanced lug sail is very interesting because it is only attached to the mast by its halyard. The mast does not even have a track. By pivoting my mast 20 degrees the masthead mows about three feet for or backward. By moving the downhaul the same distance along the deck the sail can be moved parallel to itself six feet along the deck. That is 60 % of the boats length. That way I can choose weather or lee-helm in any wind strength. Production boats with fixed masts and ballast keels are designed with weather helm. They do not have the option of giving their boat lee helm. Obviously sailing downwind with weather helm is fighting the elements. A seven year old girl can understand that. Trade wind sailing is down wind sailing and on a boat with weather helm the rudder have to be used all the time because the boat is not directional stable on that course.
If I had not had pivoting masts on my side by side rig, then when the apparent wind is on the beam one sail would blanket the other. Now it is easy to separate the sails for maximum wind exposure; I just move the lee sail a bit forward and the windward one a bit back. Problem solved.
In strong winds sailing downwind I will fold the lee mast. I will use the sail on the windward mast. Its center will be close to the center of the boat. Think square sail then move the mast not the sail to windward.
That reduces the rudder force and hence the resistance. If desired I can move the downhaul forward. That will give me a lifting force. Also the windward mast keeps the boom more inboard making it less likely to dip into the waves when the boat is rolling to lee.
However if I would like to ride out a gale slowly forereaching I can use the lee mast because that will give me lots of weather helm for a small sail area. A boat forereaching does not roll much. It also by definition moves slowly so dipping the boom into the water is no worry in that case.
It is much more to write about side by side masts and their interference and integration with a small boat but now I will stop and hopefully come back to the subject at an other time.
You should newer be the first one to try something new, nor should you be the last one to hang on to something old. If you like life tranquille follow that advise but it will not make you into a trailblazer.
The picture below shows the scale 1/8 modell sailing with the mast in tandem position. The aft mast creates unavoidable downwind turbulence.
The picture below shows the modell in light wind with the masts in side by side arrangement. Both mast gets nice clean air.
To be continued…