‘Diamonds from the sky’

VERY interesting news from the scientific community just yesterday with the announcement of a technique to create carbon nano-fibers right out of the atmosphere to be used for a wide collection of applications, including the structural elements for boats.

carbon-nanotubes-atmosphere

‘Diamonds from the sky’ approach turns CO2 into valuable products

 

BOSTON, Aug. 19, 2015 — Finding a technology to shift carbon dioxide (CO2), the most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, from a climate change problem to a valuable commodity has long been a dream of many scientists and government officials. Now, a team of chemists says they have developed a technology to economically convert atmospheric CO2 directly into highly valued carbon nanofibers for industrial and consumer products.

The team will present brand-new research on this new CO2 capture and utilization technology at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS is the world’s largest scientific society. The national meeting, which takes place here through Thursday, features more than 9,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

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“We have found a way to use atmospheric CO2 to produce high-yield carbon nanofibers,” says Stuart Licht, Ph.D., who leads a research team at George Washington University. “Such nanofibers are used to make strong carbon composites, such as those used in the Boeing Dreamliner, as well as in high-end sports equipment, wind turbine blades and a host of other products.”

Previously, the researchers had made fertilizer and cement without emitting CO2, which they reported. Now, the team, which includes postdoctoral fellow Jiawen Ren, Ph.D., and graduate student Jessica Stuart, says their research could shift CO2 from a global-warming problem to a feed stock for the manufacture of in-demand carbon nanofibers.

Licht calls his approach “diamonds from the sky.” That refers to carbon being the material that diamonds are made of, and also hints at the high value of the products, such as the carbon nanofibers that can be made from atmospheric carbon and oxygen.

Because of its efficiency, this low-energy process can be run using only a few volts of electricity, sunlight and a whole lot of carbon dioxide. At its root, the system uses electrolytic syntheses to make the nanofibers. CO2 is broken down in a high-temperature electrolytic bath of molten carbonates at 1,380 degrees F (750 degrees C). Atmospheric air is added to an electrolytic cell. Once there, the CO2 dissolves when subjected to the heat and direct current through electrodes of nickel and steel. The carbon nanofibers build up on the steel electrode, where they can be removed, Licht says.

To power the syntheses, heat and electricity are produced through a hybrid and extremely efficient concentrating solar-energy system. The system focuses the sun’s rays on a photovoltaic solar cell to generate electricity and on a second system to generate heat and thermal energy, which raises the temperature of the electrolytic cell.

Licht estimates electrical energy costs of this “solar thermal electrochemical process” to be around $1,000 per ton of carbon nanofiber product, which means the cost of running the system is hundreds of times less than the value of product output.

“We calculate that with a physical area less than 10 percent the size of the Sahara Desert, our process could remove enough CO2 to decrease atmospheric levels to those of the pre-industrial revolution within 10 years,” he says.

At this time, the system is experimental, and Licht’s biggest challenge will be to ramp up the process and gain experience to make consistently sized nanofibers. “We are scaling up quickly,” he adds, “and soon should be in range of making tens of grams of nanofibers an hour.”

Licht explains that one advance the group has recently achieved is the ability to synthesize carbon fibers using even less energy than when the process was initially developed. “Carbon nanofiber growth can occur at less than 1 volt at 750 degrees C, which, for example, is much less than the 3-5 volts used in the 1,000 degree C industrial formation of aluminum,” he says.

http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2015/august/co2.html

 

CORSICA 15R

Sports Car Performance on the Water

 

Over the past couple of years, I have taken a break from my boat design work. During that time, I’ve been able to reassess my connection to the craft. The last boat I designed was the Europa 20, which is a trimaran meant for vertical strip foam construction with sandwich style, infused epoxy/glass laminates inside and out. The Europa is a boat for very fast day sailing with a very light hull and a very big rig. A boat that is not for everyone, to be sure, as it requires a level of skill that the average guy does not typically cultivate in the course of experiencing their recreational boating interests.

In stepping away from the larger, more powerful beach type multihulls, I came around to the desire to produce a smaller, very quick and sensitive boat that would appeal to recreational sailors and not just those guys who want to blast around with their hair on fire (though I do suspect that in the right hands, this boat will do just that). The new design had to be easy to build with standard, marine plywood/epoxy/glass techniques that did not rely on exotic layups with spendy carbon cloth. (Well, maybe the carbon will sneak in there a bit on the beams for the guys who want to play with a bigger rig)

Looking long and hard at the smaller skiff-like hull designs I had done before, such as the Montage, I decided to draw the new boat in that same general size, but with a very different approach when it comes to how the boat achieves its performance potential. Where the Montage has a relatively spacious cockpit capable of taking on a couple of adults, (or a parent and a couple of smaller kids) the new, Corsica 15R trimaran would be for one adult (or accomplished kid) designed solely for a unique, one-up sailing experience within the small beach multihull genre.

Corsica15R bow high water wMuch like a performance dinghy, the Montage has a wide, flat sailing surface conducive to the planing of the main hull. It’s more like an outrigger supported dinghy in that regard, than it is a trimaran. Certainly, the Montage fits within a grey area when it comes to defining nomenclature. The Corsica 15R, however, would be very much like other high performance trimarans with very slender, easily driven hulls that have the potential to achieve boat speeds well beyond the typical displacement design. There is no main hull planing function going on with the Corsica 15R. It is all about pure, straightforward achievable speed via well-known multihull design thinking.

As a result, the boat has minimized clutter when it comes to excessive high-tech trickery. With that approach, the Corsica 15R is also going to be a boat that has much lower maintenance requirements in order to keep it in top sailing condition, as well as a much lower realized cost to get it on the water and ready to sail.

If you are into cars, as I am, then think in terms of a nicely pumped, Mazda Miata, type of boat that would be a cool, weekend canyon racer for one person. A boat that could blast around the local waters in a good breeze and give chase to other small, fast, multihulls being sailed by crews of two.

The result of this conceptualizing process is the Corsica 15R. The C15R is a boat of modest, marine plywood build techniques and is very light weight for its generous sail area. With this boat, the normal sailing position would be the skipper, semi-reclined within the main hull, driving his machine like an F1 Grand Prix car. In this configuration, the boat is designed to utilize foot pedals for steering, leaving the hands free to work the sheets. But, that’s not the only way to sail this boat. Owners who wish to sail in a more conventional multihull style, can sit-up out of the cockpit and onto the main hull cockpit gunnel, or even the trampoline surfaces all the way out to the ama, where they will steer with a tiller extension.

Corsica15R above w

A construction style in multichine, 4 mm marine plywood, allows the boat to be assembled in a well-understood fashion that will go together quickly. With a subtle placement of minimal stringers and sufficient bulkheads, the C15R becomes a strong main hull shell that can absorb the loads from its sizeable rig, turning the power of the sails into forward thrust in the water.

There is no fully enclosed transom on the vaka hull. The cockpit deck is slanted gently down and aft for automatic self-draining, such as is seen in sport dinghies and larger race boats. A collection of bulkheads under the cockpit deck provide structural support and watertight compartments ensuring that the boat will not likely sink even if large sections of the bottom are torn out from an underwater hazard while smoking along in a gin clear lagoon.

The demounted boat can be assembled easily by one person. The gently gull-winged akas are built with a glassed box beam core.  The inboard ends of the akas slide into tapered sockets in the main hull and are levered in place with stainless waterstays to make ready for sailing. This, tapered socket technique prevents binding while assembling the boat, while providing a solid, hassle-free and weight minimized demounting system. The leading edges of the akas are smoothly shaped foam blocks that are glassed onto the box beam to provide an aero component, as well as creating reduced drag from waves and spray. The akas are hard fastened to the amas as a complete assembly that is easily removable from the vaka hull. The trampolines stay mounted to the akas and amas for transport and only have to be hooked and tensioned to the main hull during assembly.

The mast is a stick from a Hobie 16. I specify the addition of a set of spreaders from the Hobie 18 mast to stiffen up the H16 mast to handle the additional righting moment generated by the Corsica design. Naturally, I’d prefer to see fresh sails in something like fully battened, Pentex laminate, but builders on a tight budget could also work with a loft service to tweak a reasonably fresh Hobie 16 main and jib and do just fine. The addition of reefing points on the main are strongly suggested, as well as the use of furlers for the jib and spinnaker/screacher. For those who desire fresh sails for this boat, I would recommend the folks at Whirlwind sails in San Diego, California. http://www.whirlwindsails.com/

Corsica15R bow water w

A removable carbon prodder sets the tone at the front end of the boat. The stick originates as a carbon windsurf mast, so it is easily found on the used market and equally replaceable, should it get poked into an unyielding environment. For trailering, the sprit unpins, slides out of its socket and is stowed in the cockpit for transport and storage.

Corsica 15R Specifcations

LOA                                         14’ 11”  (4.54 m)

BOA                                         13’  (3.96 m)

Displacement                         650 lbs.  (294.8 kg.)

Sail Area (upwind)                 218 sq. ft.  (16.17 sq. m)

 

Spin                                       142 sq. ft.  (13.19 sq. m)

Mast Length                           26’  (7.62 m)

Draft (board up)                     1’  (.3 m)

Draft (board down)                42” (1.07 m)

The mast is raised by the traditional beach cat method of physically lifting the mast with the base pinned to the mast step, or by utilizing the long daggerboard in its trunk as a form of a gin pole. A forward hoisting line is led over a pair of sheaves at the top of the daggerboard and down to the hand cranked winch on the trailer. Mechanical leverage quickly raises the mast so that the forestay can be fastened to the bow, stepping the mast securely. You can see a few photos of the process at Brent’s L7 trimaran site:

http://home.comcast.net/~ritakend/site/?/page/Mast_Raising/&PHPSESSID=864f3404e3f46ed29dd99b863018fc1d  This is a very simple way to raise a mast should you need to avoid the trad lifting exercise for one reason or another.

I chose to not go with tricked-out, curved lifting foils in the amas due to construction complexity and added cost for the builder. Foils of this type are hard to build correctly by hand, as are the needed curved trunks in which they slide. Instead, the boat is equipped with a daggerboard that is inserted through the deck of the main hull in front of the mast which angles aft to exit the hull below the waterline. A daggerboard and trunk of this type are much simpler forms to build and orient in the hull. It is also just one main foil, where lifting foils need to be made in pairs, one for each ama. Lifting foils also need complex control mechanisms to retract and deploy the foils and they have to work from the cockpit remotely with the foils mounted way out in the amas. The needed controls are an interesting problem when the boat is 13’ in width and the driver is semi-reclined in the main hull.

Note: I’m not against an owner who might want to experiment with foiling for this boat, even if it is just foil assist and not full flying. It would require a lifting t-foil style rudder and twin Bruce style foils in the amas, or, if a person is really accomplished as a composites builder, they could make a pair of matching c-foils for the ama. The owner just needs to know what level of additional work is involved and at what skill level they need to perform in order to get the desired result.

Corsica15R beam water w

If you are on a budget, the rudder and headstock from a Hobie 16 will work just fine for the Corsica with some mods to the tiller. The more deluxe, Rudder 25 system from Dotan will also work well, should you have the coin.  http://www.dotan.com/  If you plan on pushing the boat hard, then a longer blade will be required, or you can get yourself invested in the process of putting a rudder on each ama and have stunning control at your finger tips. On the down side, that change will cost you a bit out of your pocket and at the launch ramp in setup time… though I can see a nifty rig with light alu tubing and the use of snap buttons as a cool solution.

The Corsica 15R will be a light boat built from familiar materials. It should be a fairly simple building experience for the owner and will fit comfortably into any typical garage space, making it easy to find a building location. It will quickly assemble for sailing and be hassle free with minimal maintenance required to keep it in top form. It can be towed behind any compact car on a typical beach cat trailer and when demounted for travel, is road legal anywhere in the world. On the water, this boat should be quite quick and behave with predictable, pin-point sailing manners. With the skipper slung comfortably in his reclined cockpit seat, he will be decently protected from the effects of the weather and sea state while tearing around his local waters.

Chris Ostlind

Lunada Design

SHOULD I PATENT MY WIDGET FOR THE BOAT INDUSTRY?

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Let’s just imagine that you have been recently slaving away in your very cool, very modern version of Geppetto’s workshop out in your back yard and you’ve come up with something that is every bit as nifty as Pinnochio… only your cool thing is a truly innovative doo-dad for the boating industry.

Suddenly, the heady rush of riches and fame come charging through your brain and it hits you like a huge explosion! “My GOD! I need to get this thing patented before someone finds out about it and swipes my wonderfully inspired effort.”

Well, hold on just one minute there, Pilgrim. Perhaps you better give this article a full read before you rush off to the nearest Legal Office where they practice Intellectual Property Law where simply sitting down with a qualified patent attorney is going to nail your pocket book for some serious cash…. just to talk it through.

Here’s my take on patents for boat stuff in general. All you guys out there in TV land can have your own take on these things and I encourage you to make your points known. It won’t change my opinion on the matter after 25 years of fiddling around producing video programs for start-up companies who blew a large wad on their chase to “get a patent in place” and then fitfully protect the same thing.

Real simple, patents can cost large amounts of money. The more complex the claims in the patent application, the more money it takes for some patent attorney to make use of his selective knowledge of the arcane language of the patent application, seacrh for prior art and establish that your “invention is enough different from what came before and commission a set of equally arcane drawings to show what the item looks like in graphic terms… and then file for the patent itself with the U.S. Patent Office.

If patents could be submitted in normal language, there would be many fewer reasons for hiring of a specialized, Intellectual Property Attornies at $300 an hour to write this stuff for you. After all, who knows the way the nifty new device works better than you?

For most patents, the big cost is in the process of the “patent search” so that you can quote many examples of prior art in your submission and the logical progression of inventions that may, or may not, have led to your device. Again, this is all part of the game, should you need to pursue some violator of your precious patent in a court of law. Notice how it, once again, comes back to a court scenario so that you need to hire another attorney to stand in for you? This is the key part to the argument.

After all, the patent by itself, is nearly worthless, save for the so-called ego boost one might get from being a “patented inventor”. It’s just a crappy, official looking document on your wall that just might impress your buddies when they come to visit. (see the ritualized document at the head of this article) Without the desire and resources, as in MONEY AND TIME to pursue the violators, the whole patent process is absolutely worthless as a business enterprise. Some folks will tell you that it adds value to your invention. Well, that part might be true if you think that the thing is about to set the world on fire and you will see checks for millions of dollars come rolling into your hands. If it’s not of that magnitude, then its value is pretty much up to you and your sense of self as an “inventor of stuff”. These are things that the world, in general, does not find very compelling… well, unless you are Brad Pitt, or somebody like Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner.

My take is that for the average guy, who has developed some really cool thing for the boating industry, the best thing to do is to take all the money that they would otherwise toss at a patent and save it for something else. The intellectual properties attorney, the draftsman who does the nifty and similarly arcane drawings of the invention and the fees at the patent office; Save it for another, more important thing….  May I suggest…. That would be to use that money to invent the next best thing for the boating industry, OR… better yet, spend it on the marketing of the first really cool thing, so that they can achieve something like market penetration and hopefully, a dominating market share before the Chinese rip you off and copy your design and build it with far lesser materials and then flood the market with the fresh idea which you slaved to create.

There is one exception to this patent thing for boaty kinds of things. That being the absolutely inconceivable potential that your patented device can properly be licensed out to a big time boat company for MILLIONS of dollars. Really, MILLIONS… as in the kind of money one might get for inventing a new medicine that cures five kinds of cancer. You know, the kind of cash machine idea that would move the desktop computer industry into the next millennium… Otherwise, it’s a huge waste of time and money and it will give you a false sense of confidence that you really have something worth fighting over.

It is just so damn easy to make a ten-percent improvement in an existing invention that, in the words of the Patent Office, moves the invention forward, that it’s ridiculous. Want to know how simple in actuality this all is… just go to a big tradeshow for any industry, you select the one you prefer, and watch the hordes of guys from Asia running around with digital cameras, taking pictures of everything under the sun that looks even mildly interesting.

Now, what do you suppose those dudes are doing with such a fervent sense of purpose? The answer is, and I hate to dump it on you nice guys who think otherwise, but they are swiping your ideas. They are shooting photos of your stuff so that they can take all that home and reverse engineer it. They will make some very small and virtually irrelevant change in the device and come roaring back next season (or sooner in some cases) with their own brand of your hard-earned super cool, next best thing. Now, don’t get me wrong that it’s only those Asian guys who are doing this. Everyone is doing the same thing, or they will soon find themselves without a job. Well, they will, unless their company has a very high degree of ethics and they have their own super smart inventor dudes who don’t need the leg-up.

Think you can stop that? Think that it matters to them if they “might” get sued by you? Think they worry about your limited financial resources that totally inhibit your ability to mount an on-going legal procedure? Hey, my friend, this is modern business which is the civilized equivalent of open warfare without the explosions. If your figurative army is too small, you can only try to make a hasty retreat and lick your ego, literally.

All this boils down to the fact that you should be spending your lovely time, your creative problem-solving genius inspiration and going down to the shop and inventing that “next best thing”. This will, once again, put you ahead of the market and force the other guys to play catch-up to your glowing capabilities.

Does all this make me sound bitter and hateful? Do you think that maybe I had one of these gotcha experiences myself and have the wounds to prove it? Well, I don’t.

I just worked within the community of hundreds of creative industrial design types, making video-based marketing presentations for them and THEIR really cool, patented new gizmos. Most of them, if their invention was, in fact, really cool, were unceremoniously shoved to the corner of the heady, trade show sales floor by a bigger outfit who brazenly nabbed the idea and had the resources to go full-tilt with it…. Within two years!

If you insist on going for the patent, may I be so bold as to recommentd a really thorough and accurately written book about that very topic..? It’s called: Patent It Yourself and is available from all the usual resources such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.

I have this book myself and found it to be so beautifully composed and presented that I routinely use if for reference in these matters. This book will save you many hours of stupid goose chasing and it is written by a guy who knows his stuff.

PatentItYourself You, the good guys, had no fall-back position and no fresh ideas, as all your time and money had been spent on chasing that “Hey, I’ve got a patent” concept. Eventually, most of them accepted full-time jobs at the firm which nabbed the invention, where they learned to keep their mouths shut and take that lovely paycheck home to pay for food and clothes for the kids.

There isn’t much that would suck more than that.

My very strong suggestion if you do create something decidedly powerful for the boating, or outdoor recreational market is to LICENSE the thing with one of thoe huge companies who would find the device to be compatible with their corproate efforts. Do make sure to get a Non-Compete document signed with the firm you pitch so that they won;t snag your idea and force you to hire an attoney to get them to stop producing it behind your back. Have them decide if a patent is appropriate, front the costs of all the manufacturing tooling, find the fabricator and defend the patent should someone screw around and try to knock it off. All this stuff is their playground, not yours and while this is going on, you still collect a royalty check for every one of them that goes out the door and maybe even a significant design fee for the actual creation of same.

Brilliant. The wife and kids will find you as their own private superman who brings home an enhanced paycheck to save for college and go on real vacations where you guys can actually VACATE.

These are things that don’t suck at all.

Chris Ostlind

Lunada Design

Strider

Dual Mirage Drive powered, two person launch

Duckworks - Strider

Some time back, I encountered an ex-pat American, now living in Melbourne, Australia, by the name of Mack Horton. Mack wanted to build a two-person boat for cruising the harbor and waterways of his hometown, Melbourne. He was looking to propel his boat with a twin setup of the wonderfully innovative Hobie Mirage drive designed by Greg Ketterman. I really liked that idea as I had already done a few different boats that were Mirage capable, but they were all solo boats. This design concept opened a new door for me, as it would allow me work out the balance and weight issues for a twin drive and once built, I could also discover how much more speed potential might be available beyond a solo drive.

I had a hull in mind from my portfolio that would need to be “massaged” just a bit to get the form stability and low-speed performance for which I was looking. The boat had to be able to handle potentially large boat wakes and small chop of the open regions of the harbor and still be easily driven by human leg power.
Duckworks - Strider
I was looking to achieve some of the lines of a classic launch with reasonably low windage and yet, enough freeboard to ward off the possible conditions. Surprisingly, the hull form came directly from a previous boat shown  at the Duckworks Magazine, the A18, canoe/trimaran.
The A18 hull had a very strong bias towards higher speed potential with only a nod to being driven at slower speeds, so a slimming process had to take place in the forward and aft sections of the hull. Likewise, the beam of the hull was pulled out some to give the boat a solid degree of form stability so it could ride the wakes of passing freighters in the harbor when taken abeam.
I sent the plans off to Mack and he promptly got to work on the boat at his favorite spot for boatbuilding, the Melbourne Wooden Boat Center

Cut to the Chase

Mack has now finished the boat and has had it out on many outings. He’s learning a lot about boat trim and optimal placement of the heavier pedaler for best performance and handling. Besides the still photos showing the boat on the water, Mack has also provided a pair of video clips showing the boat underway.

 

 

 

Clearly, Mack’s Strider, Ripple, is showing itself to be a pretty fast boat when being propelled by two average people. This is being done from a semi-reclining position with hands free, while enjoying the sights in the Melbourne harbor and adjacent waterways. Here is a link to an article I wrote for Duckworks Magazine that shows the GPS track and speed data achieved by the Strider design: http://duckworksmagazine.com/08/reports/feb-mar/index.htm  This is pretty heady stuff for a human-powered vessel intended for casual cruising and not blistering speed.

Mack reports that one of the ubiquitous dinner cruise boats, that you see in just about every harbor of the world these days, pulled alongside and challenged both he and his friend, Justine, to a little race. Off they went with Ripple easily leaving the cruise boat in the dust. Let’s overlook the fact that powered cruise vessels of this type have strict wake generating spped limitations…
Later, as shown in the video clip, Mack and Justine took-on a fully crewed Dragon boat. Dragon boats measure 40 feet in length, 4 feet in width and carry 20 paddlers, 1 drummer, and 1 steers person. On average, these boats weigh 500 pounds. Understandably, Ripple could not quite match the speed of the Dragon boat with twice the waterline length and 20 paddlers. Perhaps there could be a triple version of the Strider in the future? One that is longer, more slender and much, much faster.
Duckworks - StriderThe Strider design calls for a very straight forward stitch and glue build method in 4mm marine plywood with glass/epoxy laminates inside and out. The twin Mirage trunks sit cleanly in the hull allowing for a comfortable seating arrangement for two persons and their day pedaling “stuff” such as binoculars, cameras, food, drink, blankets, etc.
In the right environment, the boat could easily be used for overnight camping as well, as there is plenty of displacement capacity for more gear, should the owners wish to use their boat in that fashion.
I expect to see these boats being equipped with Bimini covers and small forward dodgers. The interior hull sides will probably be lined with neat rows of mesh bags to storage of the small things that make for a really nice time on the water, such as: sunscreen, lip balm, mosquito repellant, drinking water, snacks, camera, VHF radio, GPS, etc.
Maybe you have a cabin/cottage on a lake where the general store is across the water, but a short distance, but to walk, it would take an hour to get there. Strider is an excellent, human powered boat for a trip like that. An enterprising person could equip her with an all-weather set of side panels to mount under the Bimini edges, allowing trips to the market in any conditions, short of a full-on gale. (Check out the last video clip above)
The boat is cartoppable, much like a large canoe would be, but I’d advise the person doing the loading be reasonably fit and/or have a really sweet loading system, or technique, as the boat does weigh right around 70 pounds without the Mirage drives in place.
Mack has kindly supplied some very interesting speed marks for the boat that were confirmed with a Garmin Edge 305 GPS with wireless heart rate and cadence monitors.
Highest speed attained with two pedalers…… 7.2 knots
Highest speed with one pedaler………………… 5.7 knots
Average speed for one hour w/ two………….. 4.8 knots
Average speed for two hours w/ one…………. 3.9 knots
Turning circle for the Strider is 33’

These figures run pretty much spot on with my estimations. They also indicate that the hull has gotten to its, “not gonna go there” speed limit and will be pushing uphill on its bow wave from that point on.

Duckworks - Strider

While underway in Strider #1, “Ripple”, it is not unusual to be hailed from dockside and beasked, “What is it?”, “How does it work?”, “How much does it cost?”, and his favorite… “It looks like it has an engine!”

Response has been very positive from athletes, because it’s fast… and from non-water type folks because Strider is stable, comfortable, dry and “not scary”.

One of the reasons that Strider is so stable is due to the recreationally respectful beam of the hull. I’m working on a much faster version of the Strider design concept, which should pretty much take the Mirage drive out to its theoretical top speed limit.

All in all, Strider is a really fun and stable human powered vessel designed for recreational pursuits by two people. It has the classic look and feel of a traditional launch to it while underway and can easily power-up to get out of the way of oncoming traffic in a crowded harbor, or lake setting.

Chris Ostlind

Lunada Design

A64 Tacking Outrigger

STYLISH CRUISING FOR TWO

 

A64 revised amas bow w

The A64 originally appeared as a design article on the pages of Duckworks Magazine back in 2006 (yeah, really!). When the boat was shown at the time, it was designed as a request from a friend of mine for he and his wife.

Since that time, I have revisited the design and taken a fresh look at the boat, its potential and the wide range of uses it might see while in use. There are more than a few revisions to the design in this iteration and I am very happy with the outcome.

Original Duckworks article here: http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/06/designs/a64/

While it would seem from outward appearances, that this boat would be a perfect fit with a modern rig like a Marconi, the truth is, I’ve been playing around with more traditional setups for the A64.  Even though the A64 is capable of some pretty quick sailing, I was looking for a bit less of a hotrod, while very much wanting versatility in rig setup and handling. The boat has had its displacement potential enhanced just a bit so that it could easily carry the gear for a well-equipped camping and cruising scenario. I see the boat being used for long, extended weekends on the water, so the extra capacity is a welcome change.

A64 SPECIFICATIONS:

LOA – 21’
BOA (vaka hull) – 31”
BOA (trailer width)  – 7’ 8”
BOA (complete boat)  – 9’ 10”
LWL  – 20’ 11”
BWL – 21.5″
Displacement  – 1160 lbs.
Prismatic Coefficient  – .56
Sail Area  – 103 sq. ft. up to 166 sq. ft. (skill dependent)
Weight  – 225 lbs.

Much of the inspiration for the A64 is due to the design of Joe Henry’s truly sweet, Flaquita tacking outrigger. I’d always liked the compact beauty and well thought-out utility of Flaquita and it has remained so, even after the new revisions. There are still a small collection of images of Flaquita on the Web if you are Google adept.

It’s no secret that designers have been pilfering each other’s design cues for as long as man has been building boats. Far from being offended by the process, I find that it’s the very essence of the pilfering that allows for new ideas to be incorporated. These incorporated changes, in turn, have the potential to improve the usefulness, the performance and the strength of the boats so that everyone benefits. 

Vaka Hull

A64 New 10-07 bow obl wThe revised vaka hull for the A64 is quite bit narrower than the initial design. It also draws more water with increased rocker. The initial boat was done to a very specific design brief that specified very thin water capability and a fairly short paddle length to the water. The new boat is basically a narrow hulled, multi-chined canoe form that is designed to optimize the displacement requirements while providing the least amount of wetted surface. The prismatic coefficient of a normal canoe hull has been changed to .56 to allow the boat to accelerate to speed comfortably and hold its speed with little effort. Paddling, while still comfortably possible, will probably be replaced by a small, 2 HP outboard engine… something like a Honda 2hp four stroke would be ideal. Close quarters maneuvering will likely be done with a paddle as paddles are truly effective when the movement space is tight.

I drew the boat to have a typical, multihull trampoline surface on the ama side of the vaka hull and a non-typical trampoline surface on the off side that was inspired by Flaquita. To form a mental picture of the tramp surface, picture one of those sling chairs you might have had when you were a young college dude. Simply, it’s a loose trampoline cloth slung from an outboard rail back to the hull gunnel with enough slack to provide a seat for the crew when they need to hike out. The rack is angled up to provide the backrest component of the seat as well as give water clearance when the boat is heeled to the offside. The tramp surfaces can be rolled-back away from the canoe hull gunnel to allow for traditional paddling. Take a look at the renderings to get the complete picture.

The vaka hull is decked to enclose the bow area back to the forward aka beam as well as the aft section behind the open crew compartment. A somewhat traditional cockpit rim is specified for the central opening so that the owners can install a large spray skirt covering. This rim will keep a lot of the wave wash out of the boat under sail and paddle, as well as increase structural integrity. The  fore and aft decked sections provide for watertight storage as well as flotation, should the boat be swamped or capsized. Additional flotation is provided by the single large ama, as well as the new, safety ama. This boat is not going to sink, should some major operator error get it upside down. You may lose any unattached belongings, but the boat will not sink (well, short of driving it on a reef at speed, holing all the flotation chambers)


Ama Design

A64 New 10-07 aft w

The redesigned ama reflects my current thinking for a stitch and glue built form of this type. I have increased the volume for more of a heeling resistance margin. The ama has also been reshaped to more efficiently shed water from the deck, should it become immersed completely while being driven hard. Where the previous ama had a large flat deck surface, the new one has angular shapes that bevel into a much narrower top deck. This will allow the ama to drive back to the surface and give a huge new margin of safety to the boat when sailed hard.

The form is still very full, as well as deep in the forward sections, putting the flotation where it is needed the most. The bottom profile of the ama tapers up and away from the water as it moves aft to maintain the least amount of wetted surface for the ama as it is pressed. The new ama is a high efficiency design with just under 100% displacement buoyancy of 1029 pounds when submerged to its deck. When coupled with the length of the aka beam, the ama volume represents a considerable amount of righting moment.

Most single outrigger designs will be parked with the canoe hull adjacent to another boat or dock. The generous ama buoyancy of the A64 allows it to be maneuvered so that the ama is right up alongside a dock and the crew can easily walk across the trampoline to go ashore. Two, full grown adults can stand on top of the ama and not come close to submerging the form.

As an alternate to this type of docking strategy, the off-side, safety ama, is hinged, allowing it to be swung up and over the vaka hull. This allows the boat to be drawn right up next to the dock for direct entry to the vaka hull.

Curved Aka Beams

There are two methods for building the aka beams. The simplest is to laminate 3mm (1/8″) hardwood strips on a form, glued together with epoxy. The builder then glasses the beam, fills the weave and varnishes to high gloss to reveal the beauty of the wood beneath.

If you wanted to go all-out, you could make an easily constructed, epoxy/glass, box beam structure. The leading edges of the box beam would be further shaped in foam to give the beam an aero/hydrodynamic form as presented to the wind and waves. The entire form is then glassed for a finished beam and then painted as desired.

The akas attach to the canoe hull with simple cinch buckle straps much like those used to tie-down boats to roof racks. I have found this system to be extremely dependable, economical and the straps are very simple to replace if one breaks or is misplaced.

If the A64 is trailered, the main ama remains mounted to the hull and the offside ama, which is hinged, swimgs up and over the vaka. Transport width for the boat in this configuration is just under 8’ and well within legal limits. This makes for an incredibly fast setup and take-down at the launch ramp. The only work involved is in stepping the rigs, mounting the rudder and attaching the offside hiking tramp.

The Rig

A64 New 10-07 raised w

The base design specifies a balanced Lug rigged yawl. The main mast will be rigged with a 70 sq. ft. sail and the mizzen will fill-out at 33 sq. ft. The balanced Lug provides simplicity in rigging and reefing and is surprisingly powerful, stows inside the hull with ease and could also be built quickly and economically in poly tarp, if the owner is so inclined and finances dictate.

 

Alternate Rig Solutions

 A64 Big Gunter wThe boat has also been drawn as a 131 sq. ft. Gunter yawl, if the desire for more performance is there. In fact, there are many rig configurations that could be run on this boat and I’d like to see builders experiment a bit to find the magic for their own adventures.

 

 

A64 Big Rig w Gennaker

For those who seek a bit more in their sailing adventures, I have also drawn the A64 with a 156 sq. ft. Marconi yawl rig. Along with this rig, there is an option for a 124 sq. ft. Gennaker flown from the forward mast. With the spinnaker flying, one could expect that this boat will be quite quick in favorable, offwind conditions, capable of covering a lot of distance in a short time.

The Foils

The vaka hull will be equipped with a leeboard that is mounted to the port side of the hull. It will rotate for shallow water and be of a planform and foil section that will provide the best balance of lift and minimized drag for the sailing speeds of the boat. Typically, I like my leeboards on boats of this type to be NACA 0009 sections.

Likewise, the rudder’s characteristics will match the needs of the boat’s performance and it will be able to flip-up when it contacts underwater obstacles, or is beached while down. I do this with a simple bungee on the leading edge of the rudder, well above the waterline. The bungee holds the rudder down with sufficient force to overcome water pressure while sailing, but it easily stretches, allowing the rudder to swing up and aft if the blade contacts anything more substantial. The rudder foil will be a NACA 0012 section, to maximize control and minimize stall for low speed maneuvering.

The A64 will be very easy to build, it will be very light weight for its size and, therefore, quite easily driven in even the lightest of winds. The boat will carry a sizeable load for a very long weekend on the water. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a couple of adventure cruisers could pack enough stuff on board for an entire week away from a source of supply.

It can be sailed comfortably in the thinnest of water and if the wind dies, this boat can be effortlessly propelled with traditional paddles for reasonable distances… or the crew can simply fire-up the Honda and go wherever their gas tank allows them. Perhaps this isn’t a real big issue for a lot of cruising boaters, but the A64 will be capable of surprising speed under sail. That will be especially true if equipped with the larger sail rig.

Adaptable, Modular Design

As a last little bit, to put an element of curiosity into the design package, there is a very nice folding trimaran with a comfortable solo cabin that is derived from this same vaka hull design that I will introduce in the very near future called the A21.

Any and all comments, or questions, about this design or the upcoming A21 are encouraged.

CHRIS OSTLIND

LUNADA DESIGN

NAGARE 21′ AND 17′ MIRAGE DRIVE SPEEDSTERS

Making use of Mirage Drive propulsion with more efficient hulls designs

 

Nagare 21 Bow Obl w

Nagare  (nah-ga-ray) is a Japanese word meaning Flow.

The two boats in this group are 17 and 21 feet in length and are known simply as the Nagare 17 and the Nagare 21. Both designs make use of the popular Hobie Mirage drive for principal propulsion with the 21 footer Nagare 17 bow obl wbeing a double Mirage setup and the 17relying on a single Mirage.

Both of them are configured as trimarans with fairly small and unobtrusive amas designed to give the boats remarkable stability in a wide range of conditions while allowing the vaka, (main) hull to be decidely slender for more effective drive through the water.

The Nagare sisters also have incredibly narrow waterline beam numbers that, when coupled with their fairly long hulls provide for very easily driven hull forms for high efficiency per unit of energy applied.

I expect both boats to operate at the very high end of commercially available paddled boats of the same length, beam and weight. So, yes, they can go pretty quickly, but that’s not the real purpose.

The real benefit of the design genre is through the ease with which they are propelled at any given speed, compared to other boats of their size. This efficiency translates directly to those using the boats as less tiring for miles covered, or greater speed with the same effort as other, wider designs.

Because the propulsion is derived from the largest muscles in your body, the leg muscles, rather than the arms and shoulders, there will be less fatigue for each mile traveled. Because leg muscles are so much bigger than arms, they will be able to do more work in a given period of time, making for longer possible trips, as well as the mentioned lower fatigue issue. With a less fatiguing effort, more people will be able to enjoy the experience of being out on the water for daylong adventures.

NAGARE 21 DOUBLE
SPEED AND STABILITY FOR DOUBLE RECREATIONAL BOATERS

Nagare 21 Aft Obl w

The Nagare 21 uses a set of amas, mounted on a pair of simple, anodized aluminum tubes with quick release snap buttons holding the sections together for easy disassembly for car-topping. If a trailer is used to transport the boat, the beam of the Nagare 21 falls well below trailer maximums, so nothing special needs to be done to take the boat to and from the water. Two Nagare 21’s can be trailered, or car-topped, by removing one of the amas and placing the main hulls close to one another on the racks, or trailer. The removed amas easily fit inside the hulls and they are ready to go. The whole affair on the rooftop is very much like a pair of sea kayak doubles. Because of the length, I would not mount a boat this big on any compact cars. You would be very likely to rip the rack right off the roof in strong side winds.

Steering is by means of a simple, flip-up style kayak rudder with control lines run through the hull to a convenient steering lever in the cockpit. I suggest the SeaLine SmartTrak rudder system (do a search for supplier), the P-41 Multi-purpose rudder from Onno Paddles http://www.onnopaddles.com/onnocomponents.htmland the Feathercraft rudder system for hardshell boats. http://www.feathercraft.com/accessories/rudders-hardshell.php  These are really great rudder units and will give excellent steering control with minimum drag.

NAGARE 21 SOT OPTION

This boat can be built with a full cockpit tub so that it functions as a Sit-On-Top kayak with full drainage through the Mirage drive openings. Auxiliary drain ports are located in the tub for rapid removal of any water that comes in over the side of the hull. I suggest the SOT option for warm water users, with the more traditional kayak style, Sit-Inside hull form for those who will be using the boat in colder water, or more frequent inclement weather.

The SOT version has internal bulkheads for support of the SOT tub, along with the capability of adding a small circular deck plate for an additional watertight compartment in the cockpit that is perfect for small items, such as cameras, wallets, car keys, etc.

The SOT variation is an optional element to the base plans. If you wish to built it as an SOT, drop me an email at my regular email address and I’ll get back to you.

ROUGH WATER USE

This is not really a boat that is meant to go out in rougher conditions, such as those where a full-blown sea kayak might be right at home. It’s meant for quieter waters, such as lakes, bays, harbors and bigger rivers. It can take a session in 1 or 2 foot breaking surf, but I would not expose the boat to bigger waves, especially in a shore break scenario. You may find yourself out from the shore a bit when the wind comes up, producing steep, choppy waves. The basic Nagare 21 will handle this easily because only the cockpit will be exposed to swamping. The amas will keep the boat stable while you pedal to shore, or a quieter place on the water, where you can bail-out the boat and continue.

It is a perfect boat for sightseeing, bird watching, fishing, photography, and just simple, energy efficient cruising with near bomb-proof stability (you can stand up in the boat while out on the water without your partner coming completely unglued, for instance).

The Nagare 21 is a fast, comfortable and unique boat for a couple who like to get out on the water, but do not want to hassle with the business of capsize that is present in other types of boats, such as kayaks and even canoes.

NAGARE 17 SINGLE
A NEW STYLE OF SOLO BOAT FOR TROLLING FISHERMEN

The solo version of the Nagare series has some very different twists, compared to its bigger sister. It has the same, highly efficient and easily driven, slender hull technology, the same set of trimaran style amas well aft for big time stability, the same generous cockpit opening and the same convenient utility for car-topping or lightweight trailering.

The design elements that set this particular boat apart from its sister craft is that the Nagare 17 has a very special capability when it comes to fishing.

AFT FACING TROLLING

Anybody who builds the Nagare 17 and intends to use it for fishing will probably be knocked-out by the potential for facing aft while trolling. Imagine using your legs to quietly drive the boat forward while you casually set trolling rigs, eat a sandwich and keep an eye on the fish finder… all while keeping an eye on the rigs you have set, with them easily at hand?

Nagare 17 bow obl trolling mode w

This is the signature utility development with the Nagare 17, designed specifically, for fishermen. It works like this…

The fisherman loads his boat, drops into the forward facing seat, hits the iPod for his favorite tunes and jams out across the lake at a remarkable speed for a human powered boat. He zips across the lake in virtual silence because he’s driving a very skinny and efficient hull with no engine sounds. Once he arrives, he’s going to make a few sneaky trolling passes with his Mirage drive pushing him along over that monster crew of Pike that are hanging around on their favorite piece of structure. Wham! Fish On! and the day starts with smile on his face.

If you’ve ever fished from a typical Sit-On-Top, you know that you have to face forward while trying to look over your shoulder while trolling. Hook-up and then you have to swivel around, grab the rod and go after the fish. All the time you are doing this, you have to balance the boat carefully, because the whole tamale could go over and end your day right then and there.

Well, that’s how you used to do it, anyway.

With the Nagare 17, you can take it to a whole new level of fishing pleasure. The Nagare 17 is equipped with twin Mirage drive trunks. When driving the boat forward and facing forward, the Mirage drive is dropped into the forward trunk and a tractor-style seat is dropped into the aft trunk with the seat bottom resting on the top of the trunk.

To convert the boat to aft facing trolling and fishing, you simply stand up in the boat and swap the Mirage drive for the aft mounted seat plug and the seat then goes to the front trunk… facing aft. With the Mirage drive still set to drive the boat forward, you simply sit down and start pedaling, slowly, up to your desired trolling speed.

Now, you can watch your fish finder, GPS and your trolling rigs while you continue to tool along at your favorite speed for nabbing the fish. Get one on and simply work that rod while continuing to face aft. No twisting around in your seat, no ”just about dumped it” scenarios, just simple, fun fishing in a very stable boat. What could be cooler than that?

With the fore/aft balance point of the boat set right between the two drive trunks, there is but a very minimal change to boat pitch when you change the direction you face.

The Nagare 17 is further designed to accept an insulated and watertight tank between the two aka tubes where they run through the aft deck. You can use this for all kinds of stuff like: your catch, fresh bait storage, cold beverages if you catch and release… whatever suits your needs. There is plenty of room between the two drive trunks for a pretty good sized tackle box and lots of room up forward of the trunks for any of that “other stuff” that fishermen seem to sneak aboard their boats.

Nagare 17 aft low obl w

A moveable electronics unit can be fastened at the forward end of the cockpit, or unhooked and moved around aft if you’d rather have it facing that way.

Maybe you want to cast lures or flies instead of troll. The boat is so stable with the two, wide set amas, that you can stand up and cast all day without ever feeling like you are getting the least bit tippy. All in all, the Nagare 17 is quite a boat for fishing, as well as just plain fun, recreational pursuits.

The Nagare sisters represent a unique design family for human powered vessels. They are quick, stable and with their unique styling, represent a distinct departure from the looks of traditional boats one typically sees on any given shore or launch ramp. Both boats are designed to be built in marine ply Stitch and Glue methods for the hull sections, with cedar stripped decks to take advantage of the really beautiful, smooth curves capable from that style of building. You can paint the lower sections of the hull and leave the cedar decks natural with a deep varnished finshed, for a real knock-out boat that will really gather a crowd.If you really want to have a plywood deck build instead of the cedar strip build, write and twist my arm gently. I can design that change for those who really like to build that way

Plans are not yet complete, so if you would like to build one of these two boats, please send me an email and I’ll put your name on the mailing list for information, or watch the plans section of Duckworks for the notice.

CHRIS OSTLIND
LUNADA DESIGN
CHRIS@WEDGESAIL.COM

Largo… An SUV for the Water

Fuel Efficient Power Boating For a New Economy

Largo Sunroof Beam 5x7I’ve been getting a significant number of inquiries for the power version of my Gato Especial sailing cat. I let it slip out, some time back, that there would be an engine driven version coming along, but time got away from me and so, the project sat idling on the design table.

I’m kind of drawn to cars and boats that can solve a host of utility needs, as well as provide a comfortable, transportation experience. I’m about to sell my venerable Toyota Landcruiser and get myself into something that makes a lot more sense when it comes to utility and fuel efficiency. As a result, I began to think of a motorized version of the Gato platform as a Crossover/SUV type of vehicle with a big interior volume aft of the helm station and truly fuel-efficient engines to complete the picture.

The new boat would have a stand-up position for the driver with a sliding, deck-mounted seat that would allow the skipper to sit while steering. There would be a huge deck surface behind the helm for all sorts of seating and/or gear carrying options. The new boat would have a tailgate/liftgate setup for ease of loading. The new design would have a big storage space forward of the helm for the odds and ends that always end-up on a boat. Power for the initial design would be from a pair of four stroke outboard engines for redundancy, as well as beneficial weight distribution.

Largo HT Gates Open aft obl 5x7

On a personal level, I am attracted to design concepts that deliver a responsible set of solutions for this new economic reality in which we all live. I like the term, Crossover, which is openly lifted from the automotive industry, as it touches on the realities we will all face in the coming years. We are headed to a time in which our vehicles will need to do more than just give us a sedan in which to cruise around, or a truck to do our dirty jobs.

In the world of cars, the Crossover approach has created vehicles that live in the niche right between the heavier, clunkier, SUV’s and the typical, everyday passenger car. Similarly, with this new design, I was looking to take the slot right between the generously proportioned sport cruisers you see at marinas all over the world and something like a cleanly drawn work boat. I wanted some of the people driven touches of scale and fit/finish, while being able to morph from one working task to another as a truly useful, all-around watercraft.

The result would be my take on what a boat should look like which is much more fuel-efficient and less expensive to build and transport. It would provide a very high degree of utility and, of course, it would need to be wrapped in an aesthetically pleasing package.

Largo HT above 5x7

The aesthetic, design component is pretty much a subjective thing, but the fuel-efficient aspects are a design process that combines easily driven lightweight hulls, drive systems with high economy for delivered horsepower and a significantly reduced aero drag signature allowing the boat to just slip through the air.

I’m of the opinion that I have reached all the basic design criteria with this new design, The Largo.

Yeah, sure there’s a distinct connection to the Bond films, Thunderball and Never Say Never Again, with the bad guys both being named Largo. Beyond that, Largo is also a direct take on the ’48 Film Noir thriller with Bogey, Bacall and Edward G. Robinson. It is also, the well-known island in the Florida Keys where boating adventures await in every direction and one of my favorite adventure boating events, The Watertribe Everglades Challenge maintains its finish line.

Largo Specifications

LOA 21′
BOA (trailer legal) 8′ 6″
Height 6′ 5″
Displacement 2000 lbs.

Suggested engine package is Twin 9.9 hp four stroke outboards. It may not seem like it from the renderings, but plenty of interior volume has been worked into the design to allow full movement of the engines from side to side

The aft cabin space of the trimmed-down version will have the potential for a huge, manual, slide-back sunroof for a full open-air effect in the main cabin volume, as well as large side openings for breeze and visibility. The side openings can be fitted with removable, semi-structural soft windows for better streamlining and also for inclement weather.

Largo Conv aft 5x7Way back at the aft end, the boat has a floor level, drop-down tailgate, as well as a glassed, liftgate. I see this as a utility benefit when the boat is beached, bow out, in a marina slip. The tailgate will allow easy loading of gear and anything else that might be shoved in the back of this boat while it is still on the trailer. It will also give a chance to sit on the tailgate and hang out. The entire hardtop can also be removed for a full-on waterborne convertible. Or, if you like, a pick-up truck for the waterfront that can haul a whole bunch of oddly shaped objects, should you have a need for that kind of utility with friends while enjoying a sandwich or cold beverage.

The suggested engine package is based on need. If the owner wants to cruise with high efficiency and still be able to bang out 11-12 knots when he likes, then a pair of Yamaha Hi-Thrust 9.9 hp engines will do the trick. The engine setup can be equipped with remote starting, steering and power engine tilt. They both have pretty healthy alternators to keep any onboard electrics going, so lighting, navigation and radio systems can be easily powered-up.

Largo HT bow obl 5x7

Cutting edge enthusiasts will ditch the outboards and equip the boat with a bank of batteries under the deck in each hull and a pair of powerful electric motors that drive a set of matched, counter-rotating props. As an alternative to the twin outboards, this boat, so equipped, will silently cruise with a pretty decent range and be able to go to full power instantly whenever the owner wants the buzz of the electric drive potential.

The hulls of the Largo are exactly the same as those of the Gato Especial sailing cat. They are 10-1 in Length to Beam ratio at the waterline and will be very easily driven while still providing a respectable displacement payload. The is a spray chine on the inside and outside of each hull to direct wave action away from the boat while underway, as well as reduce drag on the hull. At cruising speed, a small amount of hull lift is also a side benefit of the spray chines.

The aft end of the hull bottoms is relieved with a slot to allow engine placement forward of the typical transom mounting and to allow the power tilt capability to raise the props well clear of the hull bottom for beaching and trailer loading/unloading. Moving the engines forward adjusts the balance point of the boat forward and helps with handling and pitching moments. It also puts the engines inside of sound deadening boxes, so the overall noise level is reduced while underway. Cruise the harbor on a warm summer evening with soft music playing on the surround sound system and you can really hear the soft music.

Bridgedeck clearance between the hulls is a generous 17″, so wave slap under the main deck will be kept to a minimum. This raises the overall comfort level of the boat, which is especially nice on a longer trip.

Largo Conv. loaded aft 5x7The large deck space inside the boat will make for a spacious camping environment, gear hauling space, or just about anything else you can think of doing with a boat that is this versatile. The tailgate opens to a generous 49″ width, allowing the owner to load full sheets of plywood right through the back of the boat without leaning them up on edge.

The hull volumes below the main deck can also be used for the storage of fuel, batteries, water tanks, anchor, rode, etc. It’s always a good thing to keep the heaviest items on a boat as low as possible to enhance stability and improve ride. The space in front of the main forward bulkhead can be accessed via a large hatch. This is an excellent location for lighter weight storage needs such a sleeping bags, tents, clothing, etc.

A good friend asked if the boat could be equipped with a drop-down front ramp and a walk through windscreen so that the Largo could be driven right up onto the beach to unload through the bow. The answer is Yes… certainly can accommodate that feature with a few changes to the forward structure.

Clearly, the Largo is a boat with a generous latitude of use potential, it draws design cues from a pretty diverse group of sources and sets a new standard for home built power boats with a decided edge towards fuel economy and responsible boating.

Chris Ostlind
Lunada Design

Collage

Another Trimaran/Skiff … Bigger, With More Power

 

Collage aft obl 5x7

 

Well, you had to know this would happen…

When the Montage Skiff/Trimaran was introduced, the Lunada Design website was absolutely flooded with an ocean of page hits every day right after the article was posted. I received several dozen personal query letters regarding the boat and sizeable slice of them were directed at the potential of a bigger version of the Montage.

The concept of being able to build your own boat and rig it with a used mast and possibly even used sails, (if they are in good enough condition) had struck a chord with the homebuilding community. The creation of a larger version of the Montage would take the specified rig choices up into the much more commonly found beach cat rig sizes and make the business of finding a used rig in great shape, a whole lot easier. After pencilling a collection of thoughts and running some rough numbers on the potential, the idea came into focus as the 18′ Collage.

The new boat is very much like the smaller Montage in many ways. The Collage has very similar lines, with the exception that it can be quickly Collage-Montage profile comparison 5x7identified by its subtle, reverse bow profile. It has  a virtually identical purpose and the same, functional conceptual pragmatism for the homebuilder. The plywood version and the strip-built design both have the same bow profiles. This profile is also applied to the amas of both build styles. I wanted to give the boat a bit more of an aggressive look without taking it too far in the direction of the out and out racing multihull designs currently in vogue.

The ama shapes, especially on the smooth hulled variation, borrow other design cues from the modern performance dedicated French designs of VPLP, as well as the very cool work of Nigel Irens. The transoms are nudged in the direction of a triangular shape, while retaining some of the typical beach cat, flat-topped U-form feeling. The volume concentration is well-forward, with the foredecks being much more rounded to provide rapid shedding of water. These shapes will help to reduce the tendency of multihulls to pitchpole when sailed hard.

Collage bows tight 5x7Collage bow obl w

 

Breaking away to some degree, from the single, build style of the Montage offering, the Collage is presented as a fully strip built, smooth hulled version, as well as a multichine plywood version. These choices will give builders the ability to work with the material choices and aesthetics they prefer. I am also looking at the potential for a foam cored sandwich laminate boat using the vertical strip technique, though that iteration will probably come around a little later in the process.

Collage bow obl 5x7

Collage Specs

LOA 18′  ( 5.48 m )
BOA 14′  ( 4.26 m )
BOA main hull 41″ ( 1.04 m )

Sail Area
Main 163 sq. ft. (15.14 sq, m.)
Jib 55 sq. ft. ( 5.12 sq. m. )
Spinnaker 161.5 sq. ft. ( 15 sq. m. )

Displacement 1000 lbs. ( 454.5 kg. )
Weight 380 lbs. ( 172.7 kg. )

The Collage meets all the same design criteria as does the Montage, except it’s longer and wider, has more sail area, carries more crew weight and yes, it’s going to be faster in the right hands. Faster… sometimes this term can be kinda self-defeating when speed claims are made compared to another boat. When it comes to recreational boats, I’m of the opinion that speed is a relative thing based on the overall design brief of the boat in question. In the case of the Montage and Collage designs, speed is one of the attractive elements as long as it is kept in perspective with  just what the use application will be from day to day. From where I sit, this will be primarily recreational purposes.

Collage wide angle 5x7

The Sail Area to Displacement ratio ( SA/D ) for each of the boats is as follows: The Montage is 31.56 and the Collage is 34.88 With both of these boats being sailed at near max displacement, I give the nod to the Collage, based on waterline length, as well as the ability to punch through wave conditions that will toss the Montage around to some degree.

I would like to see this pair of boats ( Montage and Collage ) blasting around in the hands of skilled sailors. There’s nothing quite like the feel of a performance boat and the way it can deliver the exhilaration of a spirited ride. But… I’d also like to see this boat out on the water being used by families while they have a really fun day on the water with, maybe, a somewhat toned-down speed blast tossed into the mix every now and then to get the kids chirping.

Collage bow very low 5x7

I’m looking at the potential for the Collage to create a new beach and/or lake sailing culture in which energetic hot shoe dudes, as well as young sporting families, can all mingle on the beach, out on the water and share a communal BBQ after the day of sailing. I grew to maturity on the beaches of SoCal watching the brand new Hobie Fleets do this very thing and it was a lifestyle that perfectly fit my beach kid way of thinking. It would be great to see that happen once again. Could this take place in 2009? Hey, I don’t know the answer to that one, but it is fun to think of the boat and its owners in those terms.

There’s a lot going for the Montage/Collage design approach to support such a social event concept. Both boats are affordable to build, they are easily trailered by even sub-compact cars, they make use of “experienced” parts that can be had on the open market for pennies on the dollar when compared to new parts and they are boats that are easily sailed on the first day. This last part is important, as the boat will attract more enthusiasts when they see that they can be sailed with what pretty much passes for beginner’s skills. Just because it can go fast, does not mean it has to be sailed that way. As the owner’s skills grow, the boat’s potential will be there waiting for him.

Collage flying hull 5x7

As a way of introducing the Montage and the Collage designs to the homebuilder market, I’d like to offer free plans to one person. This builder should be able to show me that they have a very strong interest in either design and are willing to build the boat as I supply the plans in accordance with their progress from the previous plan set delivery.

If interested in this offer, you can write me at: Chris@Wedgesail.com or at lunadadesign@gmail.com and make your pitch. The one chosen to receive the free plans will be willing to provide construction photos of their progress and a brief written description as to how things are going. The personal accounts will be published on this website, Lunadadesign.net so that the readers of the site can follow the projects.

Chris Ostlind
Lunada Design

Montage

Family Oriented Trimaran/Skiff With Performance
Montage bow water w
I’ve drawn a lot of small trimarans in the last seven years, beginning with my A18 for performance coastal cruising. During that time period, there has been an explosion of other small, daysailing trimarans on the market. Several years ago, a new trimaran/skiff hybrid was introduced from a clever group of guys in New Zealand called the Weta.  www.wetamarine.com

 

This boat created immediate appeal to beginning and intermediate sailors. It offers much of the speed experience of a high performance skiff in a stable and predictable platform that is really tough to capsize. The Weta is one of the first boats to encourage family participation and reintroduces the waterborne fun of the beach sailing culture, established way back in the late 60’s with the intro of the Hobie catamaran.

A brand new, factory built Weta goes out the door for USD $11K. Realistically speaking, this isn’t an in surmountable amount of money for a factory produced, brand new carbon trimaran. It is, however, quite a lot of money for most casual recreational enthusiasts and the folks who like to build their own boats… especially when you consider the rugged economic conditions we all face these days.

So, I decided to take a whack at producing a set of plans for a homebuilder’s version of a Weta-like hybrid
that could be Montage aft up wbuildable in the neighborhood of $5600 ready to sail with a new mast, sails and trailer. I’m calling the new boat Montage, as it is an assemblage of concepts that fill the slot between a performance skiff and a small, quick trimaran. This boat will appeal to sailing enthusiasts from kids to codgers who just want to get out on the water and have a fun and fast experience without breaking the bank.

The estimated $5600 figure represents a boat with a whole host of brand new parts. For the clever builders out there, the Montage could be even less expensive if they can find a used 470 rig, perhaps a used small craft, or beach cat trailer that could be modified to fit the hull design and even a collection of hardware in good condition. The Montage is a very light boat at right around 235 lbs., so you do not need to buy a heavy duty trailer.

Montage bow obl wAfter a dozen different sketches of boats that fit the general design motif, I settled on a plywood multichine hull design that had virtually the same dimensions
as the manufactured version.  When I projected the hull panels to a two dimensional layout, though, I saw that I was going to be wasting a good bit of plywood by going with a 14′ 5″ boat that mimicked the dimensions of the production version.

I went back to the drawing table and reconfigured everything so that the longest hull panel was going to just fit on a couple of sheets of marine ply laid end to end. The main hull also got just a bit wider in the process of lengthening the boat. Where the factory boat uses carbon fiber on foam cores for its structure, the Montage will be a 4mm marine plywood design with full fiberglass/epoxy sandwich laminates inside and out. The foredeck and the cockpit seating transitions are strip-built in Red Cedar to give the overall appearance of the boat a smoother, more organic feel than straight plywood panels.

Montage R bow obl

The amas for Montage came from a 16′ trimaran design that I had already done and required minimal re-design to work with this boat. The amas are also designed as multichine ply forms with pretty high volume shapes well forward and a water shedding deck form that will helps to keep them riding high even when driven hard. Ama displacement is 100% of the all-up boat weight when sailing.

Montage Specifications

LOA                                   15′ 6″
BOA                                   12′
BOA main hull                  41″

Main                               110 sq. ft.
Jib                                      38 sq. ft.
Screacher                      102 sq. ft.

Displacement                 650 lbs.
Weight                             235 lbs.

The aka beams are anodized aluminum instead of carbon tubing. The inboard ends fit into fairly burly sockets in the hull and are held in place with quick release pins. Flat deck flanges on the ama ends are welded in place and bolted to the amas. The amas are removable from the aka tubes for repair or maintenance, but otherwise stay mounted, along with the trampolines, as complete units.

The mast is also anodized aluminum. The boat uses the same mast section as the 470 dinghy, which is a Proctor Cumulus section. This mast is available on the used market with a little bit of hunting around. If you want it all and have the money, then there’s a very cool, filament wound Forte carbon spar available with very close specs to the Proctor that will rock your world. http://fortecarbon.com/

Making these two changes from the benchmark, all-carbon Weta to an aluminum spar and tubing keep the costs down, with but a slight weight penalty over all-carbon parts. If you find a used mast, the savings will be even more substantial.

Montage Above wThe mainsail and the jib will be built in Dacron instead of a more expensive fiber/Mylar laminate sail. The jib is a self-tacking blade. The main is a boomless design, which will keep head bonking incidents out of the picture while sailing. The screacher is furled from the bowsprit for simple convenience.

I have found that the more expensive sailcloth laminates are capable of driving the boat just a bit faster, but for the average recreational sailor, they will hardly ever make a difference compared to more forgiving sails in Dacron. Dacron is much easier to maintain, lasts longer, is a lot more tolerant of UV exposure and can be repaired by any sail loft wherever you go. If the builder of the Montage really wanted to, they could buy a set of sails in something like Pentex laminate instead and they’d have that hot, performance boat look that some desire along with just a bit more zip under sail.

The overall design of the foils and their operation is pointed directly at the needs of a recreational sailor. The boat uses a centerboard for ease of use
and pretty much no-brainer beaching. Likewise, the rudder is a flip-up style unit that eliminates the problems of hitting Montage aft low wunderwater objects. The foils will be built with template shaped cedar cores having a white ash stringer for stiffness and then glassed for durability.

The aluminum aka tubes will be sold pre-bent and ready to install on the amas. If the builder has access to a good mandrel bending facility that can handle the OD/ID specifications of the tubing, they can fabricate their own tubes to supplied specs.

The Montage is designed to be a really fun day sailing machine that can generate near performance skiff sailing speeds while offering a hugely stable platform for recreational sailing. Construction of the boat is very straightforward in marine plywood with glass/epoxy laminates and can be easily built by any sailing enthusiast who has household handyman skills with tools. The Montage has been created to offer homebuilders an opportunity to enjoy this style of family sport boat at a completed cost that is far less expensive than the manufactured version.

CHRIS OSTLIND

Lunada Design

FRESH TAKE ON THE SOLO16 S

A safe, speedy solo cruising craft for adventurous souls

Solo16 S w

After a lot of input from readers of this site, I have completed the modifications to the Solo16 S design that reflect many of their
expressed interests.

The Solo16 S now has a bit more displacement as a direct response to suggestions for the use of a small 2 hp outboard and some spare fuel. At the same time, the vaka hull was given additional beam above the waterline and the shear was raised some to allow for mods to the amas.

Solo16 aft obl w

The amas, themselves, were made slimmer and taller, while retaining the same volume. They now have a slight vee section which gives the boat a progressive resistance increase as the amas are pressed heavily in a gust.

To complete the changes, a sporty all-weather soft cabin has been designed to allow the owner a chance to sail in a wide spectrum of conditions. The new cabin is modular in its approach with the ability to address a multitude of sailing situations.

Solo16 S weather cabin wThere is a folding dodger setup forward with a large PVC window for full visibility. A removable Bimini top extends aft, covering the entire cockpit from rain and a relentless sun. Side panels can be put in place as needed to protect the crew from hard spray, or to further enclose the cockpit. A reversed dodger is positioned at the aft end of the cockpit completing the full cabin system.

All panels except the Bimini have generous window areas which are backed by micro mesh screen that is small enough to keep out the No-See-Ums. The PVC windows are zip-out removable and the screens can be rolled-up for maximum airflow through the cockpit. The complete enclosure system allows the owner to mix and match the panels as needed for the best protection from the elements.

Solo16 S weather cabin aft wThe Solo16 S is a lightweight, trailered boat with demountable amas. The aka beams stay mounted to the amas, along with the trampoline surface. The aka ends fit into composite tubes which are bonded to the vaka hull and the side hiking platforms.

When setting up the boat for sailing while on the trailer, the owner simply lifts the ama assembly, rotates and places the ends of the aka tubes into the matching vaka openings and slides the ama into place. The akas are fully seated when their internal, spring loaded snap-buttons click into place. The entire ama assembly is easily handled by one adult with modest physical strength.

Solo16 S folded for trailering

In the trailering mode, the complete boat does not exceed 68″ (1.7 m) in width, falling well under every trailer width limit in the world.

Chris Ostlind

Lunada Design