Preface: Some of this is written for CF readers in general, & not just Dockhead.
And my apoligies for the poor paragraph spacing, ergo, readability. The forum isn't interfacing well with my computer this morning.
Hope that that helps. And there's of course, more , but the bulk of it is stuff which you need to learn & decide for yourself. A good bit of it on your own, with guidance from others.
With a nod to a good project manager. Again, read Skip's book, re; this.
And Have Fun!
Not a full pilothouse, but a small doghouse enclosing the companionway
and a nav table with 360 degree view out. Separated from the cockpit by a strong watertight door..
The WT door is ancient (& good) news, going back a dozen generations. And have been the standard on most solo RTW boats for decades, even the composite ones.
ALL of them have them between Every compartment down below, along with Serious WT bulkheads, AND positive built in floatation in many/most, depending upon the class. Especially if you count their water
as being able to be used for floatation.
It's a belt & suspenders+ (aka, multi-layered defense) kind of thing, especially with the trouble which they can run into in the Southern Ocean.
On pilothouses (PH's), it makes sense to me for a high/low latitudes only boat. But otherwise, unless the boat is Big, it chops up the cockpit a lot. Cutting down on how much room you have to hang out, & or play in.
And for me at least, isolates me too much, from the weather
. While instruments are fine for telling you numbers, there's a lot that they can't do.
Like smell, for example. As if you've got an attuned nose, you can pick up on things, hundreds & even thousands of miles away. And often they're the kinds of things which are critical to choosing your route
, avoiding systems, finding fish
or a Port (home & other places have distinctive smells & sounds), or landmark, etc. In the dark, from quite a distance (like leagues, or sometimes 3-4 digit nm)... And, of course, good food
- Ditto on hearing.
- Also sight as well. For even the most perfect optical glass still blocks out a lot of light, sometimes in especially critical bandwidths. Plus at night. And you're going to want some tint anyway, so that you don't get too much of a hothouse/greenhouse thing going on.
Me, I'm a fan of the hard dodgers. The extended kind, which you can sit Under. Akin to those used by/on some of the other professionally designed & used vessels. Including by a famous member
or three of this forum.
And if soft curtains at the back of such hard dodger/PH's aren't enough, it's easy enough to design them so that you can fit removable. light weight (composite) hard panels
. With sliding/opening, Lexan
windows. And including a (hard, WT) door, or canvas
flap (with or sans zipper) to their back ends. So that then they're "convertibles" as it were. IE; Sometimes hard dodgers, & in colder places, PH's.
I've given my spiel on hard dodgers a dozen plus times on here, & if you need it LMK. But they should be an option on any & every boat. As you can build/have'em built for less than a canvas
on frame one. For less money
, with many, many more features, at the same weight (or less).
Also, with the back of a hard dodger being wide open, you don't break up the flow of things to down below so much, as tends to happen with a PH. The latter can become choke points when entertaining, especially when it's warmer.
Plus they can also choke down natural ventilation if not done well.
--> Just a "think" (or 3) <--
The salon is a raised one with decent views.
So this is an interesting compromise, without the windage of a full pilothouse (and compromise of the deck layout), but with an absolutely perfect indoor helm/watchkeeping station.
If you go with one of these, consider this as well too. With an open end at the back of your PH/hard dodger, you can still do much of the trimming, & other chores while "inside", out of the weather
. This is trickier to integrate with a PH.
And to do so with the latter, usually you wind
up with several feet of overhanging roofline & (hard) side curtains anyway, which are pretty much what an extended hard dodger is to begin with.
It'd be worth going for sails on both styles of boats. And also, an easy way to see it, is to track down the VHS footage from the video which came with the Dashew's first Cruising Encyclopedia. It shows the perks of 95% of what I've mentioned above quite well.
And from the little I've watched of them, on the Delos video series on YouTube, some of this is demonstrated via their Amel, also.
But then again, it's been quite a while since I've toured a boat with a PH, given the limit on my Visa. Plus, me, I Need all of my senses, all of the time.
I mean, yeah, submarines are fun (quite a lot of it, Truly). But you miss out on seeing/interacting with everything. Even/especially hearing a whale breech 10m from you on a calm, dark night.
Looking at the strong watertight door made me want to never see a normal companionway
scuttle and washboards ever again. Ick!
I'm with you on this. Study hard on the IMOCA/OPEN Class racers. Both their hard dodger setups, & their WT doors, & compartmentalization setups. Even the door on Hawk is pretty damned nice, & trick, too. With that Dutch Door feature.
One version of PINDAR, an OPEN 60 has a 15' wide lid on her "hard dodger" which slides fore & aft by a good 1.5m, in order to best use it to suit conditions, as well as the task of the moment.
And in one of the more recent significant solo races in that class, much of the credit given to the winner, he attributed to it's hard dodger design. Which kept him out of the elements so much of the time, but in tune with things. And yet it allowed him to trim any of the 5 dozen control lines, while viewing what he was trimming, & still be out of the weather.
The latter point, obviously being key.
ALL of the French shorthanded racing
boats & classes
have features setup with a nod towards this. To the point where on some, even 30'er's, have part of the aft section of the coach house's roof, build out of Lexan
. And the see through "roof" extends back over the cockpit as an integrated hard dodger.
So that from both inside & out, every critical system is visible to the skipper/crew.
Look at the various Pogo's (size wise, & generations), the Figaro's, & others. Also, a few of the Class/Open 40's. www.Class40.org
Yeah, you guys give me crap for keeping a finger in the racing
world, but with such advantages, literally built right into the boats, I'd be a fool not to. And a few notable figures on here do so too, quite in depth
I also loved the aluminum
deck with everything strongly welded to it.
Here is the perfect mast
arrangement -- a deck-stepped mast
with no compromises since the alu deck is incompressible. With a stout bulkhead underneath. So different from the case of my boat, with the mast base occupying a lot of space below, and deluges of rain water
coming down the mast into the bilge
every time it rains.
This "problem" is fixable, the rainwater one. And has been for a while.
And decks are only as incompressible under the spar, as the weakest link in the boat's structure, on down to her keel
; regardless of material. For it's not uncommon for the vertical load on some spars to run twice the weight of the boat (or more) depending upon the design. So there's no free lunch here.
Given the choice, go WAY overboard
on the structural specs for; the ring frame(s) around the spar (& other load points), the keel floors (the Dashew's suggest 4x ABS on these), your WT bulkheads & doors, & the rudder
. Especially it's post.
And don't be shy about mixing materials. To both improve strength, & save on weight & cost.
Chain plates welded into the deck (and tied into bulkheads below) -- so simple, strong, perfect. Stanchion bases just welded on -- mangle one and you just cut it off and weld on a new one, which is just a bit of alu pipe -- simples.
I know that you have the Dashew's book, but perhaps it's time to fully read it again, cover to cover.
And to make a copy with one page of it per page of regular paper, but so that there's plenty of empty margin on each page of the Xeroxed copy for you to scribble notes into.
Ditto when you get copies of all of the literature on Amels, & all of these other boats. Yes, you'll be a bit of a butterfly for a while, flitting from one to another... without being a pest.
And keep each vessel's literature, systems info, & your notes et. all, in separate binders. So that you can add relavent articles, pages of your own notes, pictures, etc.
That, or do something similar with a tablet/laptop. So that you can put in pictures, video, & audio as well. Including audio notes that you take; when driving, sailing, walking the docks, at work, etc.
See the linked post below.
On the binder thing. I'm still a bit old school
, in that at times. As the only way for me to be able to process all of what I want to see/look at at once, is to spread it all out on a gigantic table, or the living room floor, together.
So as to be able to; compare & contrast things, play "cut & paste" with various pics & documents from different sections, etc.
Which I'm not up to speed on how to do on a computer screen
, as you have to be able to keep a bit much data in your head
, for me anyway.
Though I know that there are systems which let you do such/specialize in it. Just haven't worked with them.
Too, for more on this concept
, see both this post, & read the thread What's the best boat you've ever owned?
The Borealis also had ground tackle handling arrangements like Dashew's Sundeer -- the chain locker is located at the base of the mast, with the windlass
under a hatch
. The chain is led aft from the bow roller through a spurling pipe. I didn't like the inaccessibility of the horizontal windlass
under the hatch
, but that's a detail. This 44' boat carries 100 meters of 12mm chain -- the same as what I have on a much larger vessel, and the same 100# Spade anchor
Separating the chain/ground tackle from the living space only makes sense. And leading it aft, again, is an old "trick".
One important thing to it though, is to be able to easily access the chain locker, physically, WHILE you're handling the anchor/anchoring. In case of any issues. Or if you need to swap rodes, etc.
For you should have at least your 2 primary ones right there, next to each other. Both operable from the same location on deck, & windlass.
Which is likely why the Dashew's, & many others, have their tackle setup so that it's well back from the bow, but inside of the forward WT section of the vessel. Within arm's reach from a deck hatch/right there when you go below via said deck hatch.
Here's another example of such Cetacea | Rodger Martin Design
If this mass is 3-4m minimum, back from the bow, & the hull's designed properly, with plenty of buoyancy forward. You don't have to pull the chain all of the way back to the boat's mid-point. And you retain the advantages of it being much more accessible when anchoring
Plus, me, I'm a fan on some/many ("smaller") boats, of mounting the windlass just aft of the chain locker. So that the motor
& electrics are out of the wet, completely. With the chain going through a separate hawse, down into the chain locker. Just forward of where the windlass is located.
So long, that is, as the breaker for the windlass is easily reachable via another deck hatch.
But I reckon you'll be going with a hydraulic setup anyway, or should consider it heavily.
Too, wherever you locate such a stowage setup for your chain, it'll need multiple drain pumps. Each capable of "digesting" all of the crap & crud which comes onboard with the chain. So, some type of macerator system in them.
Plus, & this is common sense, if the chain is in the middle of the boat, you'll have to sound isolate it's stowage structure. To include batter boards inside of the locker. And sound, plus thermal insulation
on it's outside. Along with big, WT access hatches for it, belowdecks.
AND, you'll have to decide how you plan to deal with the mess you'll have, inside of the living space,with a centrally located locker. When you have to open it up for; maintenance
, to clear a snag, change or change out/inspect rodes, etc. As your primary & 2ndary will both be in there, albeit, seperated.
So, "the where" is something not to be decided upon lightly.
But then again, if your boat's to be a tuned version of a proven design, then these things should already have well been worked out.
The stringers do not touch the hull skin -- they are let into the frames and bulkheads. The owner explain that this is to prevent structural damage in case of being bashed and dented. He said that the boat is designed to be grounded repeatedly on rocks at hull speed
without compromising integrity of the hull.
Can you please describe this in another way? For as written, it doesn't fully make sense to me.
Stringers (& frames) are meant to reinforce the hull plating. And assist with mitigating damage to the hull should you strike something.
At least in my experience.
On heavily built working boats, extra stringers, oversized ones, are added, just for this reason. To support the hull plating, & have everything working as an integrated structure.
Otherwise, the hull plating would have to be insanely thick. To the point of making a vessel overly heavy. Even when built in aluminum.
Read about this in the design/build of the boat "Kiwi Roa".
Here is another interesting and unusual thing about this boat -- the underwater appendages. The keel is a ballasted stub with a daggerboard. The owner said that the reason, besides shoal draft
when you need it, is so that in very bad weather you can retract the daggerboard and prevent any tripping over your keel in large breaking seas. Never heard that theory before, but it sounds reasonable to me, and interesting.
Yep, an old principle. And one present in/reasons behind the flush decked/high topsided, full keelers. And also discussed a good bit by the Dashew's. And several other notable sailors/authors.
It's something integral to many of the Dashew's designs.
When you have a shallower keel, & high topsides, & you Really get nailed by a wave, the boat leans over on her uber buoyant topsides, as the keel comes free (at a shallower angle of heel) & the energy of the wave is dissipated as you slide/skid sideways on your topsides. And with this, a rounded (large radiused) deck edge is a big aid in preventig further tripping, once heeled over that far. Whereas a hard/sharp deck edge will dig in, & grip the water.
Obviously, getting knocked around this much is a rare thing in a big boat, big meaning 20m+, but the design idea's a proven one, carried over from ages past.
You do, however, need to have a sufficiently high vanishing moment of stability (SIC), with or without a retractable board. In order to prevent going past 90 deg, or turtling/rolling over.
So it takes a good designer
to pull this off if there's a lot of weight in the board. But it's more than doable.
And here is the weirdest thing I saw on this boat -- it had small retractable fins fwd of the rudder
, set at an angle, which you let down through the hull into the water when beating, to reduce leeway. What??? Never heard of such a thing and don't understand the principle. Maybe someone on here has some knowledge or insight.
Probably the term you'll hear, is Canards. Though others use different terms. And the angle is so that the lift
which they provide as compared to their surface area, is enhanced.
This can also be done, or further improved upon by making their foil shapes asymmetrical. And it's why they're angled, too.
Ever notice the daggerboards on the big racers of the last 20yrs. As in twin, usually asymmetric
ones. Same idea.
And with either, the depth
to which they're lowered, is variable, so that they can be used to trim the boat's balance, by altering her CLR.
They help with all kinds of other things too: Reducing the amount of helm
required, letting you carry more sail when needed, especially if you have to punch through seas in a powerful system...
Many boats also use their centerboards in the same way. Even my old Searunner
And ages ago, an OPEN 60, Holger Danske, designed by Dave Gerr had such a setup. With a small centerboard
, for trim adjustment, that fully retracted into the hull. In between the keel & the rudder.
You might also look into trim tabs on the trailing edge of the keel. As were prominent on the 12 meters. And found favor on one of Paul Bieker's boat's, Dark Star, designed for/with US sailing Olympian, McKee.
They act to hydrodynamically give your primary keel an (adjustable for conditions) asymmetric
shape. Thus enhancing it's lift
. And again, can also be use to balance (trim, hence the name) boat.
I didn't like the layout below -- forward master cabin
and quarterberths -- but that's what you get with an aft cockpit. I don't know if I will have to resign to that for my own boat -- a question for the designer
A big question that you'll need to answer, is whether you plan to start with a blank sheet of paper, or to customize a proven design. And the former is much harder to do, well, especially the first time.
It's why racing teams like to have several generations of boats to play with, & then a pair of "trial horses", before settling on the final one which they'll use to race
with. Be it a buoy racer/the America's Cup, or a RTW racer
Much of this can be done on a computer, & in tow tanks
But naught beats live, especially when it comes to both liveability factors, & systems design & layout. Including for longevity though intelligent design, & ease of access for maintenance
"Little things matter greatly".
Plus which, given that this is your first custom, you can't know exactly what you want, as many of your ideas for her, are as yet untested. And haven't gone through any process(es)/generations of evolution as yet.
If you read the Dashews, especially several generations of their books
, you'll see more of how they've done the same thing(s) over time. Improving most everything onboard, with each new generation of boat/design.
Such is pretty common/common knowledge in the world of custom boats, & those who deal in them. And it's where you should listen to/lean on the designer a good bit. As you're paying for his expertise.
And if he's any good, on many things, he'll make me seem like an advanced High Schooler, compared to a Post-Doctoral Professor.
One tip though, & not to purposefully put you on the spot. But working with someone like that, on a serious project
, you can't get into the endless vacilations about things, like happens at times on here.
You'll have to work out the majority of the answers to many things on your time, so that he can know what you want, & get to work on it.
Otherwise, at best, you'll be playing at, the design game
, for years.
Yes, he's there to educate you to some degree, but it's not hs primary job.
And this applies during the construction too. You give the experts the prints, & let your project manager do the vast majority of the interfacing.
As at that point during the build, you're then paying or his expertise.
And I am categorically NOT saying that you shouldn't be checking up on things during the build. More along the lines that it makes the yard manager's life a hell, if he's getting build dictums, continually, from 2 different guys. Especially if the owner is continually wanting to change, or tweak things.
Read Around the World, One Watch At A Time by Skip Novak. It covers a lot of how the "juggling act" works when a custom boat's being built.
And also, you'd be wise to view & read everything which you can scare up on him & his boats. Both on YouTube, & via text. With signing on for an expeditionary cruise
or two with him, prior to planning your boat, being a Really, Really smart investment. Especially if you were to also speak to him, prior to booking, about what you're planning, & ask to contract
for some of his time & expertise.
Skip Novak's Pelagic Expeditions Antarctica, Greenland, South Georgia, Cape Horn, Southern Ocean -- charter sailing yacht Pelagic, photographs, articles
Ah, & I mention him, as when I was learning
, he was one of those, who at 17 & 19, you look up to. Plus, he's a mate of several of my old mates/sailing friends. Though I don't know him personally, nor have any pull/favors, there.
He's managed more projects than he has fingers & toes, including multiple RTW races. And specializes in expeditions, & expeditionary sailing, down at the bottom of the world, in Chile
& Antarctica. With his 2, purpose built, custom designed, shoal draft
, metal boats.
Also, I know that you have a penchant for fancy things. Nothing at all wrong with that. But with any & all of these kinds of boats, the better ones are designed, first as work(ing) boats, with cruising amenities added into them/integrated into said theme.
And simple, reliable, redundant, easily fixable, is a commonality with they all share. Just as in military vessels, which too, are working boats.
The fancy is added in after that's been accomplished. Such as in Beth & Evans's Hawk for example. She was built sans many of the things which are the norm on today's cruising boats, for good reason.
Also, you can add in "fancy", & toys later. Not so much with structure, or function as part of the design. Doing that is Far pricier, & involves a lot of yard time; de-building, doing the mod', re-assembly, & then, finish work.
If there was any doubt at all about whether my next boat will be metal or not, I think it's gone now.
And the pilothouse arrangement is something to think about