GREAT photo slide show! I really enjoyed it, and the cruising adventure part made me pine for the "good ol days". The boat work part... not so much. By all means, keep us posted, as your stories are welcome here.
Your boat looks very special indeed. The vent wing version of our Searunners is my favorite version. They have the strength and walking area advantages of a full wing boat, with some of the less pounding advantages of an "A" frame Searunner.
I see that your crew member
has found, as we did, that the best berth at sea is on the sterncastle floor. It puts one's head
, (= their inner ear), closest to the center of gyration. When going to windward in a gale, we even wedge ourselves in there with pillows!
Your re-build looks extraordinary. Very smart that you got advice from John Marples, AND assembled a group of master craftsmen to do much of the work, that understood the "strong but LITE" principal. MOST TRADESMEN DO NOT! When we all build or repair these boats, we have to remember that every pound she's over weight at launching time, from hundreds of pounds of extra glass/resin, design refinements, or accouterments, is one pound less "payload" that we can carry. My wife and I even made all of our interior
out of honycomb composites, to make up for some of the "overbuilt" weight damage.
A tip about your OB motor
When it's kicked up and the sled is raised, be sure that the shaft is no higher than horizontal. Meaning... that the prop should never be higher than the head
, or sea water can run backwards into the engine
, and corrode up its innards. You could lower the sled a tad to accomplish this, or use a wedge to change the angle of the sled's transom. Just a thought...
Since this subject was mentioned, I thought I would add what I can, and Tom, this is not directed at you, but a generality for all on this thread. Your launching photo with no rig looks VERY lite, but some cruising photos looked dangerously overloaded. Thing about photos being observed by a third party, however, is one never knows the circumstances, like... Was there a sterncastle full of crew? Was it a temporary condition? etc...
SPEAKING IN GENERAL:
All of our boats were drawn with the true "light" cruising WL being right at the bottom plank, where it meets the transom. That's right, "0" immersion! Now... even for local sailors, VERY few of the hundreds of Searunners that I've seen, actually accomplish this in any sailing mode. We only floated there with no rig, and prior to installing or loading much of anything accept the engine
& drivetrain. Others did better than this on launch day, so this was when we attempted to lighten her up, before weighing her down. We actually re-built some of the interior
, but in a lighter way. Over 2 more years of building, every piece added was chosen with lighter weight in mind!
The true WL being at the Vaka transom to bottom plank junction was a worthy goal to set, (for a design with a fairly low payload in the first place), but cruising at 2 or 3" of Vaka transom immersion when fully loaded is actually quite good. For full time liveaboards, as we were for 12 years, loading to almost twice this may even be the reality. Unfortunately, it was for us. Luckily, the SR 34 is the most forgiving Searunner of overloading due to it's ample wing clearance, and she starts out with a payload very close to that of the 37!
Contrary to logic and all of the sayings, WE DO GO TO WINDWARD. Sometimes a cruise was mostly to windward, and sometimes in a strong current
during a gale! This is the cost of making lots of one or two day hops between islands, when no better weather
... With 40 years of living and breathing these boats, trying to pay heed to the designers wishes, and observing what I have gotten away with for 18 years on Delphys... This is MY opinion on "how heavy is TOO heavy". For sure, the designers have suggested that we go far lighter than this on the plans and in print, but I don't know their current
position on the subject.
MY OBSERVATIONS, BOTTOM LINE:
IF you are NOT talking about just living on the hook and daysailing locally, but you're really going to sea where you may need to beat off of a lee shore in 40 knots of wind
, then: I would "shoot for" no more that 4" of Vaka transom immersion, with the amas' "elbows" being WAY out of the water. (This is trimmed level, with no crew in the sterncastle).
IF like us... as decade + long liveaboards, this just can't be accomplished, then a maximum of 5 or even OMG... 6" MAY be tolerated, with the amas' elbows still 2 or 3" out of the water. BEAR IN MIND... This much immersion often = carrying TWICE the designed max payload, requires that you keep the bow light when going to windward, and that you reduce sail when she tells you to! With our 34s extra wing clearance, we do just fine, but I will NOT go even ONE pound heavier. You have to draw the line somewhere! If I want to add something nice that weighs 20 pounds, I must take 20 pounds off somewhere else, first.
My early years of bicycle touring and backpacking were useful here. I never actually drilled holes in the handle of my toothbrush, as was advised back then, but I came close.
On Delphys, we tear out the redundant pages in Japanese from the engine's operators manual, limit reading materials (doing frequent swaps instead), carry ONLY the wrenches & sockets that have a mating nut or bolt on the boat, build accouterments of light weight composites when practical, and drill it full of holes when its not, etc, etc...
Also... We totally unload & reload her each year, culling as we go, and We REALLY limit weight that is more than 12' up the mast
, like the radome, TV antennae, mast
reflector, etc. All of this crap is down low on Delphys, to reduce pitching moment.
With our little trimarans, the important "you're TOO overloaded" issue is not about loss of speed, stability, or steering
ability. The real issue here is about safety
. After a point, when beating off of a lee shore or to make shelter in NASTY square waves during a gale, FOR DAYS... you can beat these boats to pieces! It has happened to many a small multihull
from overloading, and I knew several personally. 35 years ago I did a 6 month long under wing re-build of the first SR 37, (which had been grossly overloaded) when it encountered these harsh Caribbean
conditions. It had previously sailed, mostly off the wind, around the world without incident, just NOT in a grossly overloaded condition.
We ALL want to carry more stuff, and the best bet is to start out with a light boat at launching, followed by outfitting her and loading her with light weight in mind. Then, the extra shoes, books
, etc. will be within the design payload, or at worst... NO MORE than twice the design payload. Remember, fluids, extra engines, ground tackle, tools, etc, are payload, NOT boat. WE'RE ALL OVERLOADED, but by how much?
Face it... For really taking it with you, you need the Searunner 40! It can carry twice our payload, and STILL be within its design payload. For those that choose or can only afford the smaller boats, I suggest that we ALL set an absolute limit on loading her down, (= transom immersion). I have described where mine is, and I consider it to be the absolute maximum allowable amount, for the often windward sailing that I do.
For sure, (trimmed level), ALL of our Searunner amas' "elbows" should always be a couple of inches out of the water, imo, or you may well be closer to 300% of the boat's maximum designed payload, not just 200%. YIKES!
Hope this helps with this really important issue that we all ponder, but have little quantitative information to go on, except for how she floats.
Photos: Just launched as a bare hull
, & Delphys in fully loaded cruising mode.