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micah719 07-08-2012 11:23

New project...Caledonian Yawl
The main project is still off in the distant future...and from start of construction I plan to be 5 years at it. So, some interim plans, which will help when it comes time to go large scale. Time to learn, time to train, time to collect tools. And have some fun. Maybe even make some moulah, or at least break even.

The largest body of water hereabouts is a 40ha artificial lake, 3.5m at its deepest. The prevailing winds are very light, and in the afternoon it pretty much always dies away. Having had to tow a becalmed, heavy, draggy pilot cutter a couple of miles to harbour by swimming sidestroke, I am not keen to repeat the experience.

There is a sailing club there. I'm applying for membership. They have a collection of boats....but they most of them are half-cabin fibreglass bermudans over 20'. A bit of overkill for such a puddle. There are few other boats available locally, and what there is, always seems to be something I wouldn't be seen dead in, or wouldn't waste my money on.

So, self-build. I've fallen in love with the Caledonia Yawl....a double ender about 19' long, 5'5" beam, about 300 to 350 pounds displacement with lead ballast and all rigging but without crew or baggage. An example here, perhaps even this very model: Now wouldn't you like one of these?

Rigs are popularly given as balanced lug main with standing lug mizzen, or jib and gaff main and standing lug mizzen. Since my main project is locked in as Junk Schooner in steel, but I'm a bit leery of the amount of Junk running rigging on such a small boat, I'll go with lug rig.

It's a simple rig to build so there's always the option of rerigging a junk setup. Junk is close enough to a lug rig anyway so there won't be too many changes to the hull. However, I'm attracted to the dipping lug rather than the balanced lug: the downside is that the dipper is best when sailing long tacks. The upside is, with such a transportable boat, I can from time to time go to a larger body of water and let the lovely lass let her hair down and really fly. My figuring is that I can work the dipping lug as a balanced lug anyway, or subject myself to some hard sail-drills to get my skills up when I'm in masochist mode.

The Beer luggers (that got your interest, eh? Cheers!) have an interesting tacking technique....instead of the typical procedure of dropping the yard and transferring it around the aft side of the mast, the Beer sailors have a double sheet setup and swing the whole sail, yard and all, around forward of the mast. This makes up for the time and way lost and recovers the strength of the loose-footed lug. See pics of the idea here: Photos

Hull construction is glued lapstrake ply, keel but no frames. Being a belt & double-suspenders-on-the-undies kind of guy, and with the prospect of occasionally sailing on patches of water bigger and lumpier than the 40ha home puddle, I'll put in sealed flotation tanks and a decent amount of lead in a bulb on the end of the centreboard and some along the keel. With her lines and weight distribution she'll be a lovely sailboat; and not bad at rowing or sculling either. Perhaps I'll put on a bracket for an electric trolling motor, but the purist in me is shaking his head. He is also hiding my wallet, perhaps he too is a Caledonian.

Masts, yards and boom will be birdmouth-built hollow spars...there is no end of lovely baltic pine hereabouts, or I might see if I can scrounge some Fir. Light as possible, but plenty strong, as there won't be any shrouds (no burials on this boat), and no stays (can't get caught in them if they're not there, eh?). Not sure if I should include lighting protection.....being wood, I think yes.

Sailcloth....probably mil suplus cotton duck, though I'll go pester the textile mill here in town to see what they may have. I'm keen to put on a cockpit tent in the event I overnight (heeeere feeeshy feeeshy, heh heh), and a boat cover for when she's dormant on the hard. Need a decent old Singer machine....

Cordage will mostly be traditional, and of a standard size as much as possible so as to buy in bulk. The halyards and tack lines however will be cheating....low-stretch modern composite. Mr Purist is willing to acquiesce on that. Good thing too, or else I'd cut his whisky ration. For blocks, I'll build them with whatever suitable bearings I can get my greasy little mitts on, but on the outside they'll look old school timber and brass.

For an anchor, I'll go for.....ha, thought you had me, eh? Not to worry, I'll play around some, and test out some other ideas, and then I'll spill the beans.

Nav gear can live in a waterproof bag in a waterproof locker, and I must get me a portable VHF and a little solar panel. Won't need those inland, but for trips further away, a must.

The recent illuminating thread about comüposting toilets has got me thinking....It's so simple, I could make up a marinised mini-pooper and avoid one of those chemical things.

Ditto the DIY gimballed alcohol it in the cellar in the unsailable winter months, and then have hot food on board; no eating cold out of cans, or risking entertaining busybodies ashore. A portable charcoal setup for grilling would be a handy thing too. Must watch out on a wooden boat with canvas sails, tho.....

The one thing that might stump me, or threaten to impoverish me, is the trailer. For use in the yard I'll make up a light one for hand-pushing and launching, but if I go on the road I'll likely have to buy off-the-shelf with CE approval....self-build trailer is a recipe for many headaches and fees from the bureaucrat machine hereabouts. In a pinch I can borrow a friend's tipper to get her from the building site to the lake, but that would be a one-off; don't want to hurt the delicate girl, do I now.

So, a seaworthy boat with potential (this design was a seagoing workboat), and a weekend getaway from the weekday madness. Not expensive, and not common. Of course, once the time arrives to up sticks and relocate back to the Land Downunder for the main project, I'd have to sell the Yawl.....too big to be relegated to dinghy.

The adventure begins, and sooner then I had thought! More to come.....

micah719 27-08-2012 07:49

Re: New project...Caledonian Yawl
A forum specifically for Cal Yawl builders/sailors.

The main site also features the saga of the Aegre, a gripping account of a modified Shetland Sixareen and cruising in the 1970's.

All about the Caledonia Yawl Crazybird

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