Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Calendar Islands Yawl

The Calendar Islands Yawl (CIY) has been built. Hull #1 was built in Michigan and is a success. Launched late in the year after only about 6 months of part time building on weekends, the owner is really happy with the project and the boat. See his Google + site for pictures of the build.

CIY hull #1 on sea trials, September 2014.

Now, the work is on my plate. The next steps are to take the information from build #1 and make some revisions to the computer model, draw up plans, and set up the kit for retail sale. I hope to do this early in 2015.

The CIY is a sail-and-oar dinghy designed for single- or double-handling in conditions that can be found on the Maine Coast. We wanted a boat that handled well going to windward in choppy water, easy to roll up a beach on the Maine Islands Trail, and could still go fast. Moreover, when the wind goes, we wanted to enjoy the row back to land, rather than dread the row. The CIY is available with a centerboard or a daggerboard.

Hull #1 under construction: after the turnover, May 7th, only 6 weeks after kit delivery!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy Summer

Paddling & Rowing Season is upon us

Gear up. I thought it would be good to discuss this summer some aspects of using boats and get away from all the design talk for awhile. I recently bought a new Bell Magic fast, solo canoe and have only taken it out once, but loved it. Until I finish my next rowboat design for racing, I'll mostly be paddling. This boat is fast and beautiful. Made of Carbon Fiber on the outside and Kevlar on the inside with Ash and Walnut gunwales and thwarts, this boat is not only light and responsive, but strong and beautiful. I couldn't be happier

The new Bell Magic being launched on the Saco River. It looks tippy, and is a little bit, but I quickly got used to it.

Paddling my new canoe on the Saco River just above Saco/Biddeford

For rowing and paddling I really recommend tush-for-your-cush. These GelSport seat pads have been great and allow me more hours on the water in comfort. I can't recommend them enough!

GelSport cushion: this is the rowing one. They also make one for Dragon boats and I use that one for paddling my canoe. http://www.gelsport.com/index.html


Thursday, May 8, 2014

NEW! Drake 19

On the Drawing Board

New Drake 19 for tandem rowing, cruising and expeditions

For Fixed Seat or Sliding Seat Rowing


This new version of the Drake Rowboat -- my first design/build project -- really combines all that I have learned as a designer and rower and builder over the years. She is intended with the following brief:

-- fast, stable cruising rowboat
--capacity for two people and gear
--fixed or sliding seat capable
--can sleep aboard on platform under a tent 
--sailing downwind is possible

Drake 19 modeled in Rhino

An important aspect of the boat is its simple sliding seat system : 7/8" o.d. stainless steel pipes run for and aft with 15" of separation on center. The pipes are integrate into the CNC cut structure. A plywood seat-roller floats over these pipes. Any oarlock system can be used, including leathered-round oars, Douglas oarloacks, C2 oarlocks, or the folding outriggers by Shaw and Tenney. However, I think for voyaging in open water that oar-on-gunwale will be the best way, using traditionally leathered oars in horn-oarlocks or to go with pinned oars. I do think 9-9 1/2' oars would be fine for experienced rowers, using folding outriggers to get the spread for the longer oars.

Midship section of the Drake 19 showing the sliding seat system.

The floorboards are show both sitting on the inner keel as floors and raised up and sitting on the pipes to make an over 8' long sleeping platform that finishes flush with the side tanks. These side tanks double as a sleeping platform and as flotation, making the boat self-rescuable in a capsize. 

Keep posted for 3D work which starts very soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cool features of my kits

I'd like to discuss, in the next few months, a few examples of groovy ways to engineer a boat kit and build a boat. The first photo shows the side girders of the CNC cut strongback. This has been one of the gbuildest aspects of creating kits. In a few hours time, the strongback can be built and the chipboard molds attached via precut slots cut in mold and girder. If you make "Spock hands" with your left and right hands and insert left into right, you'll get a good idea how accurately and easily a CNC cut strongback is to set up. Even  these two dogs were able to do it, no sweat!

The second photo shows the chipboard bulkhead supports that slot into the girders and then are locked into alignment with a long batten which slots into the supports and automatically squares up the set up. These chipboard components are made out of 1/2" and 5/8" Advantech chipboard which stays quite flat. These chipboard components DO NOT become part of the boat.

The third photo shows the bulkheads and other marine plywood components of the boat mounted on the setup. Notice how the strongback catches the top of the stem so it locks into place. Anyone who has mounted a stem in 3d space over a strongback can immediately see how nice this is! You can also get a better sense in this shot how the supports slot into girders.

Next time I'll try to get some additional close ups of the alignment features of the building jig unique to my kits. These photos are courtesy of Jim Levang building hull #1 of the Calendar Islands Yawl. His build is at https://plus.google.com/115449767543136477921/posts/26mVWdN9FPd



Thursday, April 17, 2014

New kits, Old kits, More kits!

New and Updated Kits

Calendar Islands Yawl under construction
Updated Deer Isle Koster (KDI) kits being cut out West


The CIY hull#1 is being expertly built in Duluth and everything is looks really good. The boat has been set up and planking has started.

The building jig set up was all CNC cut and self-jigging. In a post on the Wooden Boat Forum about the CIY project, the builder says "I have the distinct sense of the boat building itself" as he assembled the building jig and is not planking within 10 days time working on the side.

Here is the boat so far, all photos courtesy of Jim Levang, builder and owner of hull #1.

The building jig set up. All parts are CNC cut.

The stem, bulkheads, centerboard trunk, and transom all set up. They were all CNC cut.

Bottom and garboards attached!

But that's not all! You can also get the updated KDI. This model is not my own design, but drawn originally by Bruce Elfstrom, friend, fellow designer, and small boat guru from Connecticut who plays with boats, particularly Scandinavian type boats on the side. I have done a lot of new design work with the help of three builders of hull #3, 4, and 5. Photos below courtesy of Frank Stauss in New Jersey. He looks to be doing a fabulous job. 
New Jersey KDI.

NJ KDI.

The Deblois Street Dory is getting a few tweaks to the building jig set up to facilitate building and then two kits will be cut. Finally, the last project will be to finish the Drake 19, a new model. A bit of a line up is forming there for this kit. Everything is on track to be done by the end of May. Then I am going rowing and sailing, dang it!



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Calendar Islands Yawl Update

The CIY is becoming Reality

A father son team builds CIY #1 in Duluth, MN.

The last update had me quarter scale modeling the CIY hull. That work has completed and I've even put some paint on the model so it looks presentable. The model is also a great opportunity to use up left over paint and to test colors. I consider the color scheme -- and lack of varnish I might add -- to be an important part of the overall feel of my boats. I am not settled on the scheme, but still looking for the right brown for gunwales. I like the sand interior. The dark blue is the only boat I have ever used it and it works OK, but I am not in love with it.

My little guy helped me paint the interior of the CIY model. He said the interior color "looks really good, Daddy". So I'll go with that!

CNC Cutting in Maine

The parts for the kit were cut at Hewes & Co in Blue Hill, Maine. They also cut the Vivier boats now and all the Oughtred kits and I am so glad to be doing business with them. Here is their work:

The CNC cut Advantech chipboard supports for bulkheads with some patterns, too.


The CIY planks being CNC cut with the NC Scarf.


While the cutting was going on in Maine, the builders in Duluth were starting the birdsmouth masts and spars. They are great, hard working guys and have built several boats.

CIY Builders fabricating hollow-birdsmouth mast.

The kit arrives in snowy Minnesota. You can see the Advantech strongback components here.
The parts making begins. Here they glue up the NC stem.

My way of giving

In the meantime, in my studio overlooking the Saco River I work on more CAD files for people who want to build my boats. It is the highest honor and I will work hard to make it happen for them. They always give back and make the design better than I could have made it alone. The revised KDI kit is about to be cut again on the West coast, the new Drake 19 is shaping up for a few interested rowers, and the Deblois Street Dory is getting a revision based on the Compass Project build and plans and kits will be sent out this spring. I have views like this to keep me going.
I live in the North Dam Mill there on the left bank if the Saco River. The ice is almost out on the river!



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Drake 19 Design Work Continues

Drake 19 Rowboat Project

Oar-and-Sail Tandem Rowboat and Cruiser with downwind sail

Drake 19 Rowboat with "squgsail" for off-the-wind sailing. Drake is primarily a rowboat (no board; rudder not shown above)

The 19 is essentially a stretched Drake 17 with the hull lines tweaked to support tandem rowing and fast, camp-cruising. The boat is being modeled currently and the hull lines tested next with a quarter scale model. Once the hull form is all set, the interior will be modeled and strongback prepared for kit-building. I'm excited about this boat and look forward to setitng up the first builder. I always offer an intro discount for the first builder as they are providing me with the help of documenting the build and providing feedback. If interested in being the first builder, please let me know. You can be experienced or a beginner, but one project of experience is helpful as is some good ole' problem solving abilities. The discount is generally 25-30% and the plans are free to the first builder.

Preparing the quarter scale model for the Drake 19.