Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Are we wet yet?

Well, no. Not quite but we are darn close.

Big things are happening behind the scenes for team RAF. It looks as though our persistent phone calls and e-mails might soon equate to some new gear for the whole team! Gosh we hope so. But I will keep you on the seat of your pants again until all the details are worked out. We are pretty exited.

Hey, also check out www.sailinanarchy.com who just posted an article we wrote about the EC and our team. Thanks Scot, for helping us get the word out.

The schedule has us in the water by the end of next week. In regards to the boat we need to (as we like to say) DOOO IIIT! We are working hard to finish up the crossbeam mounting points, cockpits, and seats but in order to do this we need to get the boat out from under the terrible tarp which means getting a storage unit pronto. We are patiently awaiting the word from our friendly neighborhood storage unit manager who is really a nice guy and is doing his best to locate something for us free of charge for the month of Feb. Keep fingers crossed.
After painting; rudders, hatches and leeboards will have to wait until after the first sea trials (lake trials). I was messing around a bit in paint and I think I got a little carried away but these two pictures do demonstrate some of the design changes that we made to the "stock" Wa'apa.

Notice that the crossbeam location has been shifted 4 feet forward essentially which allowed for better distancing between sailors and will help with stability in the long run. The Ama's are also a bit shapelier. Rudders with footpedal control will be used for hands free steering. The top of the hull is also fully decked with "kayak" style cockpits that will use conventional sprayskirts. The mainsail is also different. We would ideally like to use a roller reefing sail design in which the mainsail rolls up around the unstayed mast. This allows the mainsail to be continuously reefable and it also keeps the deck clean when the sail is fully furled. We are also toying with the idea of a jib and we would definitely like to have a spinnaker for downwind legs. For this we would probably employ a temporary backstay that went from the top of the mast to the crossbeams.

Here is a picture of the second leeboard. The first one is already finished. It will be shaped this way front and back for a symmetrical cross section. Since Mike, Matt and I are Aerospace engineers after all, there was much discussion about how the leeboard should be shaped for maximum lift through the water. In the end we decided that simple was best and so symmetrical it is. We also were thinking about using dual leeboards (one on each side) but again realized that we can add another one later if we want to. Right now we just need to get on the water.

Stay tuned for more updates and keep an eye on www.sailinganarchy.com if you don't already.

Thanks for checking in.


dstgean said...

Have you tried contacting Raptor 16, Holopuni, Hobie, Escape or any other manufacturer that has 'round the mast furling?

That would be the hot setup for your ride, and you can always vary your leeboard position to balance the sailplan.

Keep up the work and the blog posting--I can't make the race and am living vicariously through you guys, Roo, and Chief.


Michael said...


Alan has talked with one of the Hobie engineers about their mast furling. I don't know any more than that.

Do you have any suggestions for variable leeboard positioning? With our thin vaka sides we have to have a more or less permanent brace on the inside of the hull. We have played with the idea of a fore and aft leeboard combo so that we can change our center of resistance depending on the sails we fly (main, main reefed, jib etc.)

dr. jack said...

leeboards and sails...
My suggestion is, keep the leeboard set-up simple.

As for the sailplan, you cannot have a headstay (as per your drawing) and a mast furling sail. You can run the headstay from the top of the mast, but in general, if you use a jib, you will probably need stays and shrouds. Again, that makes the rolling main difficult.

dr. jack said...

Pushing the amas forward will probably make paddling easier. You really need to get it in the water and see how she paddles. Consider, two paddlers, or two double paddlers, or one double paddler and one canoe paddler...

These variations may help you find the power you need to keep the RAF going.

Too, there is always the possibility of oars, but that does create a whole new series of problems.

fasthazard said...

Hi Jack! Yup, Alan goofed the drawing and kept the forestay in the original photo. We can, like you said, run the stay to the tip-top. We can use a strong cap in the mast tip, and drill a hole for a line to fit through. With a knot under the cap, the top will be able to swivel without kinking. We could come up with something fancier if really necessary. I'm not sure how much complexity we want to add. With stays and shrouds, we might move the mast step up to the deck, gaining a foot and a half of mast height and making it easier to take down for going under the bridge - just release the forestay and tilt the mast back. But we won't know for a little while how much sail area will be practical. Hopefully we'll get the boats in the water by next weekend and we can start testing sail rigs.


dstgean said...

Gary emailed me an interesting setup if you can't get the roller furling mast setup. He has a freestanding stub mast and the "real" mast is a windsurfer mast that is deck stepped and thus several feet taller than it would be otherwise. Like your suggestion is would allow super easy takedown for both the bridge filter and simply paddling with less drag. You could use existing windsurfer parts and think of all the used stuff out there! reefing would require you to change sails though... but that's not too bad if the mast drops right back to you. This is the setup I'm going to after the freestanding mast I built proved too heavy for practical usage on my Ulua.

As for leeboards, use the boards clamped to the side until you get the balance right for the sail you are using. Then drill the board and gunnel for a bolt and cam setup allowing easy raising and lowering and adjustable tension.


dstgean said...

I forgot to mention that I made the same amas you guys have with 14' wide akas. They were stretched to 16' and pumped up to 8" max diameter. Still not enough volume for 128 square feet of sail.