Monday, March 7, 2011

The Winter 2010/2011 Sailing Outrigger Project

A couple of years ago I got the bug to go sailing. I spent a couple of days with friends on some rental Catalinas (22'-25') up on Stockton Lake and had an absolute blast. But, funds being tight and sailing lessons and rentals being quite expensive, I opted to go the home-built route.
we went around this island (B-3) and back up towards the marina

I built a small plywood dinghy last winter, a Phil Bolger designed Elegant Punt, named "Anna Jane", after my late grandmother who I spent many a summer on the lake with as a kid. Eight feet of tubby, pokey, home-built sailing goodness. Easily cartopped, I sailed the heck out of that boat all last spring, summer and fall. Any chance i got, I was on the water. I sailed Springfield Lake, Fellows Lake, Stockton Lake and even made it as far as Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma for the first annual SailOklahoma Messabout. I met some really great like-minded small boat enthusiasts there.
"anna jane", first sail

dam nice time of day

ready to go

Getting ready to sail a boat i've never sailed before... in a race

Boats on Lake Eufaula

Boats on Lake Eufaula

the new gunter rig worked pretty well. i need to iron out a few things, but i was pretty happy with it.

This winter I decided to put together something a little more substantial and speedy. The EP sailed much like the turtle it resembles. I am currently working on a sailing outrigger design by NZ boat designer, Gary Dierking. It's called a Wa'apa, I'm building the 16' tacking version. Based on Hawaiian three-board canoes, it should be considerably faster to sail than my last endeavor.

Here are some pics of the build, to date. I hope to have it completed by May or June, given the free time.

First I built a model, the shunting proa version. Deemed to difficult to sail in shifty Ozark lakes, I have opted for the easier tacking outrigger version.
finished the wa'apa model. not rigged exactly correct, but i've never seen a proa in person

Getting started on the big one. Transoms and bulkheads.
transoms and bulkheads are cut and planed flat. i'm not doing curved top bulkheads, since i was thinking of putting in rectangular deck hatches like the malibu outrigger or many of jim michalak's boats seem to have.

I made one side panel, shaped it up a bit, then used it as a template for the other three.
tracing my master side panel on a second sheet of ply.

Framed the bulkheads and transoms, applied the gunwales and chine logs and installed the inner stems to make it 3D.
dry fit of one main hull half

Set it up in front of my house just to see how big it was.
both halves of the main hull are dry fitted, the planks are there for visual reference to where the iakos will fall.

Installed the bottoms and outer stems, then shaped them.
outer stems are on and shaped

Made the plywood shear web for the ama float.
stringer/shear web for the foam ama

Where it pretty much sits at this point. I have done some shaping of the iakos (cross beams) and have glued on some locator blocks where the iakos cross the gunwales of the canoe. But have stalled on the build do to being busy with home stuff. I hope to get back at it this week and install the plywood doublers at all the iako beam tie-down points. Then it will be installing hatches, painting the inside of the floatation chambers, gluing up the ama float, glassing it, etc. Lots to do still. i like to think I'm halfway there.
determining where to place the iakos/cross beams, exactly. so i can affix the plywood doublers at the tie-down points.

For more build pics, go here...

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