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Old 25-11-2020, 07:14   #1
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Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

I've been out of boating for 30 some years. Back in my 20's I was a designer for Bill Crealock & some other notable Southern Cal designers. I'm approaching retirement now and would love to find a boat that at least as of 40 years ago I thought had not been designed. That is, a great light air boat with bulwarks (35' -40' range). This seems like a contradiction as who needs bulwarks in light air, but I always felt uneasy going forward on a wet deck with just a toe rail. Bill and some other designers like Bob Perry have created some great bulwarked boats which are no slouches in light air, but what about a great light air boat with such? Something for us 60 somethings who won't be going offshore beyond the Channel Islands, that can really perform while offering the protection and ease of mind bulwarks afford. Any candidate boats out there or do we need to design one??
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Old 25-11-2020, 07:28   #2
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

That is to a degree, an oxymoron. Bulwarks increase windage, as in pushing on the side of the hull, not providing propulsion, when you are talking about light airs. I'm 75, and definitely feel the problem.

You might consider taking a light air boat with wire safety lines/stanchions and add wires strung through the stanchions so you have a substantial barrier to going overboard. Stanchions as found likely have only the top wire and one more in 18" height, but adding two more wires could make it very difficult to get through.

Or, consider replacing the stanchions with taller ones and go for it with the wire. You could even design it tall along the sides and lower near the bow to clear that light airs jib you have in mind.

Either way, you could get a light airs boat with more slip safety and not more windage. That's a bunch simpler than building your own.
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Old 25-11-2020, 09:52   #3
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

Thanks so much for your input. Point well taken.

Actually I was thinking of a design where freeboard wasn't increased to accommodate the bulwarks but rather that the side decks were lowered and possibly widened a bit to accommodate them. So the sheer line would be unaffected. This obviously has the tradeoff of less space below but is one I would accept to gain the ease of going forward while maintaining the looks of an appropriately scaled vessel.

Thoughts? Candidate designs you are aware of?

Thanks again.
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Old 25-11-2020, 13:14   #4
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

How about simply replacing lifelines with solid rails? That, coupled with a toe rail that's several inches h igh (something that one can retrofit) would add considerable reassurance and real safety.

We've got a solid rail in the cockpit area, reaching forward past the dodger, and it gives me (age 82) a good sense of enclosure.

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Old 25-11-2020, 13:25   #5
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

I dont know if it is a good light air boat, however the new Moody 40ft has very high bulwarks and solid hand rails. Given it is a very modern boat. How well it sails in light air? I have no idea
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Old 25-11-2020, 13:51   #6
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

Thank you Jim for your good ideas. I may do that if I can't find something that has true bulwarks.

I just looked at the new Moody 41 (couldn't find the 40 but will keep looking). Wow what a spectacular vessel that definitely meets what I'm looking for (fast design with bulwarks) but way out of my league $$ wise.

Thanks Dheline though for this great boat. Has me thinking!

Ron
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Old 26-11-2020, 10:10   #7
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

German Frers-designed Niagara 31 has 4" bulwarks and is a great light-air boat. Try Yachtworld.
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Old 26-11-2020, 13:43   #8
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

High bulwarks look Oh So Shippy, but if I were worried about this I would just weave small dyneema in zig-zag fashion, or cut a fishing net for the purpose, between the lower lifeline and secure points on the railing. You are only trying to keep your feet from slipping under the lower lifeline. Cheap fix, problem solved.

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Old 26-11-2020, 14:04   #9
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

I think a boat with bulwarks, long waterline, but not super over built and with an eye toward light weight would be good... and a niche that's not filled much. The boat in my avatar designed by Yves Marie Tanton was a bit like that and my favorite mono ever. It was a canoe really. Over built a bit being from Taiwan and was certainly not a light air boat, but fast in wind or motoring. A bit of a Valiant 40 type and much more pleasing to the eye without all the boxiness.
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Old 26-11-2020, 14:09   #10
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

I really miss the bulwarks on my Westsail 32 but Davey Jones hated them. Nothing seemed to go overboard on the Westsail but everything I drop takes a plunge on my current boat with just a 1 1/2" cap rail.

Have seen a boat or two with brackets welded to the life line stanchions and a board or two high bolted to them to imitate bulwarks. Seemed like a nice idea and relatively easy to retrofit. Allows water to run off practically unimpeded while being something solid to brace against or keep you from sliding through. Probably also allows a lot of other stuff to go in the drink but you can't have it all.
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Old 27-11-2020, 04:36   #11
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

Ken,

The Niagara 31 is a great choice I wasn't aware of. Low displacement, good sail area and bullarks. This is on my short list!! Much thanks for bringing this great boat to my attention.

Ron
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Old 27-11-2020, 04:39   #12
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

Cheechako, I love the Valiant 40 as well. And you summed up what I'm looking for perfectly. A light air version for those of us just doing light air coastal cruising. Thanks. Ron
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Old 27-11-2020, 04:42   #13
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Re: Great Light Air Boat with Bulwarks

Thanks for the ideas Roverhi. Good stuff. I see you have a Carlsbad connection. Did you know Bill Crealock? Familiar with Fiddler's Green boat yard? Ron
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