Originally Posted by Joli
Good to see you here! Since your product is on the market and available as a commercial endeavor it is in my eyes a fair subject for discussion. I too enjoy a lively discussion and while I am not opposed to new ideas I am concerned when a product is advertised as a "family friendly cruiser" like the R33 was. We'll leave that one out for now.
So do you consider your target market a regular joe sailing todays cruisers? Is your harry proa a safe "family friendly cruiser" capable of making the jumps most cruisers make?
Fair winds and looking forward to lively and friendly debate,
Another long one. Sorry. Although anyone keen enough to go back to a forum discussion I had with Ted Warren in 2002 should not be fazed. Fun thread that, I recommend it. Lots of questions and answers.
Definitely a fair subject for discussion, although cruising harryproas are about as similar to R33's as they are to long keel
"Regular Joes" find shunting much easier, safer and more logical than tacking and gybing. Both they and "regular Joannes" find the harry layout infinitely superior to monos and cats.
Are they capable of ocean crossing
? Built to the plans, fitted out sensibly and sailed by someone with a modicum of seamanship, yes. Harrys are engineered by a very skilled composite engineer
from first principles. The loads in the hulls and beams are identical to those in a tri, but of lower magnitude. The rig loads are far simpler.
Are they "family friendly cruisers"? Short answer is yes. They are laid out (harryproa / harry
) with the cockpit
in the middle of the boat (minimal pitching) alongside the windward hull. It has a removable cover so the occupants need never get wet or windblown if they don't want to be. There are no ropes, winches, cleats
, jammers or stoppers in the cockpit
. The mainsheet is the only control line and this is a one part, lightly loaded line cleated next to the wheel
which is adjacent to the cockpit. Kids
and non sailors sit in comfort and safety and are still close enough to the helmsman (also under cover) to chat or play on the cockpit floor. There are a couple of steps down into the galley
which is also amidships, with plenty of fresh air and light. The huge bunks are opposite the galley
,either side of the hatch
, easily checked from the galley or from the cockpit.
To leeward of the cockpit is a walkway to the lee hull, which also has a walkway along the windward side. It is near impossible to fall overboard
from either of these. Between the walkway and the beams is trampoline, which is great for relaxing and playing on, under the eye of the driver or from the cockpit. The beams are 300m/1' high and are a natural barrier. They could have lifelines
on top if required. To get up on the windward hull requires a big effort, but this could also be fenced in if required. So, no matter what the point of sail, or the maneuver, or the weather
, the kids
can be outside, in the fresh air having fun in perfect safety, regardless of what is happening on the boat.
Compare the following scenarios with how you and your family
handle them on your boat, be it a cat, tri or mono.
To reef, hoist or lower sails on any point of sail the single
sheet is released, the rig weathercocks and the boat stops, rolling a little bit on the waves. Someone strolls down to leeward, does what has to be done, strolls back, sheets
on and off they go. Unless it is raining or above F7, he/she does not need wet weather gear
, may wear a harness, but is highly unlikely to need it.
To tack or gybe, regardless of how strong the wind is or how big the waves, release the sheet, rotate the rudders, pull on the new sheet. Takes about half a minute for one person not in a hurry. People down below usually don't know it has happened.
Running downwind in a building breeze? Ease the sheet until you have the power you require, all the way round to zero if necessary. At zero, take in a reef, as above.
Hit by a squall out of nowhere in the middle of the night? The rig flexes, the boat accelerates, nothing else happens.
Caught aback? The rig weathercocks, the boat stops, you re trim the sails and carry on.
In irons? Reverse the rudders, sheet on and sail away downwind.
Gybe all standing? Rig weathercocks, boat stops. Impossible for anyone to be hit on the head
. The jib
going the opposite way to the main softens the gybe so it is even less dramatic.
Caught off a lee shore in a breeze? Hoist enough sail for the max gust expected, as it will automatically depower in more than this. No fear of missing a tack in steep seas, just shunt and sail in the other direction. Only requires one person on the deck
, in complete shelter all the time.
drags on a lee shore? Boat drifts up the beach, everybody steps off in ankle deep water. One of my 40' prototypes did just this. Bounced on the beach in waves too big to launch a dinghy
through for 3 hours. No damage at all.
Hat or person falls overboard
? Dump the sheet and pull in the new one. Boat stops fast enough for people to have to hold on or fall down. Rotate the rudders and sail straight back to the p/hob and stop the boat exactly and controllably where you want it. Less than a minute single
handed, regardless of weather. Lower the ladder, or a section of the tramp and pick he/she/it up.
Catch a fish
running down the trades? Dump the sheet, boat stops. No flailing ropes, everyone can watch and help get it in without worrying about anything else. Then sheet on, and continue sailing.
Crowded anchorage? Sail into the beach, you only need 12" of water and can stop, reverse and sail out of any tight spots.
? Stove rarely needs gimbals. Tables with condiments and cutlery on them can almost always be used, without having to hold on to your plate.
Sleeping? Permanent bunks with sitting headroom
, no lee cloths. The bunks are in the middle of the boat for max comfort. Adjacent to the hatch
Toilet? Private, well ventilated and no need for gymnastics.
Shallow water? Lift
the rudders and sail in 300mm/12" of water.
Hit the bottom? Rudders kick up. Push them back down, replace the sheer pin and carry on.
Run aground and stuck? Rotate the rig and sail out backwards.
Hitting containers and logs
? The 4 ends of the hulls are 2'/600mm of glass covered polystrene with a solid bulkhead behind it. Will withstand a much bigger hit than any solid glass laminate. For ultra cautious types, the area below the waterline could be the same. If you manage to breach this, the boat will still float, and be able to be sailed, albeit cautiously.
Forgot to check every morning that nothing has shaken loose overnight? Not pulled the rig each year for it's check over? Not replaced the standing rigging
every 5 years and the mast
every 10-15? No big deal, there is almost nothing to break on an unstayed rig. The only reason to go up the mast is to look for coral
and landfalls or to check the 3 halyard
sheaves and whatever stuff (aerials etc) you put on the top of the mast.
Access from a dinghy
? Very easy with the fold down tramp, or even over the beams as they are in the middle of the boat where pitching is least.
Dinghy stowage? Pull or lift it (use the boom as a gantry) over the beam and leave it on the trampoline.
and retrieving? Sail up to the anchor
, break it out, reverse the rudders and sail away downwind as slowly as you like while it is hoisted and stowed. The anchor winch
is next to the helmsman so no foredeck work or shouting required. The headsail is 20' away, so doesn't knock you about or get covered in mud.
Coming alongside? Fore and aft rudders make maneuvering a dream, the boat turns very sharply or can crab sideways, even off a jetty to leeward.
Antifouling? Any beach with a couple of feet of tide. Scrub it off in knee deep water, or at anchor with only a mask and snorkel. No rudders or keels to antifoul.
Serious work to do? Hoist it out with a smallish crane, take it apart and truck it to a low rent place to do the work.
Kids big enough to want their own space? The lee hull is big enough for 2 bunks with their own bathroom, completely seperate from mum and dad.
Gale coming? Sail away from it at 15 knots in comfort (see the video) or at 20+ knots with a bit more effort.
Caught in a gale? Drop the sails, lift the rudders and go below and play with your kids in a king size bunk that is barely rolling or pitching. Step into the cockpit in your pyjamas every 20 minutes to have a look around.
Caught in a storm? Put a drogue
on a bridle
over the back to slow you down. The zero rocker, double ended, high buoyancy hulls with no deck gear
or beams at the ends, unfloodable cockpit and no doors or wash boards to stove in are as safe as is possible for running in big seas.
The storm becomes a "perfect storm"? Deploy the sea anchor
without having to leave the safety of the centre part of the boat.
That was fun! If any of it does not appear logical to you, please let me know.
I am sure I have missed some situations, and equally sure that there are some I have not covered, both pro and con. Again, let me know.
There are some harry's that do not have all the above features, but they could if required.
Hope this answers your question, please let me know if it doesn't, or if you still think they are unsafe. Actually, before you do so, get your wife and kids to read the above and get their opinion on which they would prefer.