Sunday, December 31, 2017

26ft Sportfisherman Design

I wrote last week about the aluminium adventure boat that is being built in Gibsons, British Columbia. Here is another design on which I am currently working, very different in all respects.

This one is for Kevin Agee, who also commissioned and built the prototype of the Inlet Runner 16 garvey powerboat. The previous design was for inshore fishing to catch bait for more serious business on his bigger boat out on the bay. He recently sold that bigger boat and commissioned me to draw the replacement, a 26ft centre-console sportfisherman with Carolina-style hull, with heavily-flared bow and break in the sheer.

Kevin started building the new boat a few weeks ago, while I am still drawing it. My task is to stay ahead of his build progress with my design work.
Profile view of the Sportfisherman 26
This is a fisherman's fishing boat but it does give a nod to the ladies. Michelle (Kevin's wife and my daughter) specified that his next boat must have a toilet. So this boat has a small cabin under the covered foredeck, with toilet and seats for two people to shelter from bad weather if needed.

I haven't designed the centre console yet, so this post is to introduce the project and to show the hull and concept. Over the next 18 months or so I will write about the progress and show details of the boat and construction, from start through to launch.
Flared bow of the Carolina-style sportfisherman
The Carolina-style hull makes for a very pretty boat. There are many variations, from moderate flair through to extreme. All around the world, popular boat shapes have developed in answer to the particular sea conditions that pertain to their own locations, sometimes with different regions developing somewhat different boats from those developed in other places with similar conditions.
Underbody of the new design
These boats developed due to the short and steep breaking wave conditions encountered in and offshore from the Carolinas. This includes the wind against current and swell against current situations that are found in Oregon Inlet and the other inlets through which the Carolina Sounds and the Atlantic Ocean exchange water at impressive speeds twice daily. Cape Hatteras is a few miles north of  Hatteras Inlet and has justifiably earned its reputation of being a dangerous place for the unwary. Projecting out into the Atlantic Ocean, it is the closest point that the north-bound Gulf Stream runs past the USA, creating large short and sharp breaking seas in NE wind conditions. Every year I visit Cape Hatteras for a few days with my buddies of the Iguana Surf Club, to take advantage of the biggest and best surf on the US East Coast. The close proximity of the continental shelf to Cape Hatteras is the reason why the Gulf Stream is so close and the swells are so large.

Back to the boat. The flared bow gradually transitions to a conventional hull section at the break in the sheer, then reverses to become a moderate tumblehome stern. The moderate-V underbody has 15 degree dihedral at the stern, with chine flat and planing strakes.
Bow flare gradually transitions through to a tumblehome stern.
Aside from the raised foredeck and centre console, it has a wet deck with open spaces for working the fish. The motor/s are mounted on a bracket that is integral to the structural girder system of the hull, not bolted to the outside. It has a full radiused transom, safer against the dangers of boarding seas than a cut-down transom with outboard motor well, if caught stern-to while working a catch.

The stern bracket has space for a single or pair of outboards. Kevin has still to decide what to use on his boat but aims to have total 300hp. Fuel supply is from an under-deck tank below the centre console.

Construction is all wood, fibreglassed on the outside and also all hull surfaces below the wet deck. The hull bottom is plywood and the sides are strip cedar using bead-and-cove strips. These are applied over laminated keel, stem and chine step, plywood girders and frames that slot together egg-crate fashion and laminated plywood transom.

Watch this space for more about this boat. Until then, for more info on our many designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Aluminium Expedition Cruiser

I am working on an interesting commission, have been for a few months and it is nearing the end of the design work. The boat is being built in Gibsons on the gorgeous Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, Canada. This is the first metal design commission that I have had in a long time, with metal boatbuilding being in somewhat of an hiatus for a few years. That part of the world has a massive logging industry, with logs floated downstream in the rivers in huge rafts. Logs are like cattle being herded to market by cowboys; occasionally one or two get away from the herd.

In the case of wayward logs, they can drift around for a long time before going ashore on a beach, where they become handy seats on which to picnic with the family. Until they are washed ashore they are navigation hazards for boats, particularly when they become deadheads i.e. floating vertically. In that position they present very little above the water to be spotted from a boat but they have tremendous inertia, capable of doing substantial damage to a boat that collides with them. It is no surprise then, that aluminium boats are more popular in logging waters than elsewhere. They have more chance of bouncing off the log with no more than a dent that could fracture a fibreglass or wooden hull.
Owner Tom McPherson with his aluminium hull
This new boat was commissioned by Tom McPherson for adventure cruises in the protected waters between the mainland and Vancouver Island. Although these cruising waters are protected from Pacific Ocean swells by the 285 mile long island, the channels and fjords are well-known for strong currents and eddies. Thick fog is also very common, so careful navigation and attention to obstructions and depths is necessary to stay safe.

The intended customers for the adventure cruises will be teenagers, learning about the wilderness through which they will be moving, the creatures that inhabit it both on land and in the water, and the flora of the dense forests. Man is doing so much to mess up the beautiful blue marble on which we hurtle through space, so teaching the next generation about stewardship of the wilds and our fragile world is an important issue.

This is not just a holiday cruise for the young crew; they will learn the skills of boating and earn their way with aching limbs and calloused or blistered hands. With only a small outboard motor for propulsion into and out of harbour the crew will sail her some of the time and row her at other times. She has thwarts for 8 rowing positions. This is no luxury cruise, the crew will sleep in the large cockpit under the stars or a cockpit tent when needed. There is a small cabin in the bows, with a pair of V-berths, galley and enclosed heads.

For stability and windward ability, she has a ballasted swing keel. The cockpit has a long covered channel full-length, draining through the keel casing and outboard engine well.

This boat has to be able to carry a relatively large live load of 10 teenagers plus two adult crew, in addition to stores (which can be replenished as needed by occasional stops along the way). There is a benefit derived from the live load, of course, of considerable portable ballast that can be moved around the boat for best trim and stability.

With the intended use of gliding along with minimal disturbance among and past the wild animals of this wilderness, a boat of easy lines was needed, one that creates minimal waves and is very easily-driven under oar power. For sailing, she has a gaff schooner rig that can carry a reasonable spread of canvas with a low centre of effort, very versatile in a range of sail combinations to optimise area and helm balance to suit wind conditions. The spars are sealed carbon tubes in tabernacles, easy to raise and lower. The boat is legal towing width for transport on land, so the masts can be folded down horizontal and left in their tabernacles to simplify the process.
Gaff schooner rig, carbon tube masts folding down on tabernacles.
The hull is a big sister to my Cape series of designs that started with the Cape Cutter 19 and has spread over the years up to 32ft. But those are beamy boats and this one has been stretched out to give the slim and easily driven hull needed for her intended use. It results in a boat of very graceful lines and proportions, with fine, hollow bow at waterline and clean stern. She will slip through the water easily under sail or oars.
Slim, sleek, easily-driven hull with fine bow and clean stern.
Yes, the Cape designs all have lapstrake plywood hulls. This new boat (we really must give the design a name) has the lapstrake shape but done in aluminium. To get that right, I was pleased to be working with an experienced builder with whom to figure the best way to get the shape needed, without distorting the hull plating from excessive welding. John Dearden is that builder, having built the aluminium centre cockpit Dix 43 "Namo" as a custom build for her owners about a decade ago.

Owner Tom is working with John Dearden on the build. They turned the hull over a few days ago and report that it has turned out fair and is very pretty. Planned to be in service in the coming season, the launch is targeted for March.
Turning the hull happened a few days ago.
Tom McPherson shows the project and his cruising grounds on Instagram at Seaforth Expeditions. He has photos and time-lapse videos of the turn-over and videos of his cruising grounds.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

National Sea Rescue Institute Does It Again

I have written before about the very capable National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), the privately-funded rescue service that protects mariners all around the coasts of South Africa. Crewed mostly by volunteers, they rescue users of the sea wherever and whenever they are needed, when possible saving their vessels as well. Much of their work is not seen by the public, happening in pitch darkness way out at sea in storm conditions but occasionally the man in the street, more accurately on the beach, gets to see them doing their work from up close. Such was the case recently at the beautiful Santos Beach in the lovely town of Mossel Bay, on the Indian Ocean side of the extreme southern tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas.

This rescue was of the yacht "Day Off", a steel Dix 43 Pilot built in Cape Town by Randle Yachts. Her crew had brought her into Mossel Bay to shelter from an approaching storm. For reasons unknown to me at this stage, her anchor chain broke and she was carried ashore by wind and seas.
Dix 43 Pilot "Day Off" well and truly aground on Santos Beach, Mossel Bay.
Mossel Bay Harbour is in the background.
Santos Beach is just outside of Mossel Bay Harbour, where NSRI Station 15 is located. Although just around the corner from their base, "Day Off" was very securely on the beach and would have required a large amount of power mixed in with a big load of skill from very capable people to get her off the beach and safely afloat again.
The NSRI boat is at left, turning "Day Off" head-to the waves before pulling her off.
"Day Off" was pulled off the beach, then towed into Mossel Bay Harbour to a safe mooring. No doubt they will have discovered why the anchor chain broke and will remedy the problem.
"Day Off" almost afloat and on her way off the beach.
Thank you to the NSRI for another successful rescue operation.