Kelsall Upset

I see that Derek Kelsall is on another tear at somebody. Usually it is aimed at me, but it says that he is ruffled by something that someone published. I have been too busy to publish anything in ages. Dying to find out what it is though.
It went “Derek Kelsall asked a serious question to the public.”What happened to the first rule of honest business – never knock the competition ?” “.
It is a fascinating concept, and I couldn’t disagree more. This ancient interface of sailing is far from formulaic. It is incredibly complex, and always changing. An assertion that there must be no comparisons nor questioning seems absurd to me. If you have an ego as big as Madagascar, any question is a knock I guess.
And I’m amazed that people, especially what one of my builders calls “the octogenarians at Steamradio” (a multihull blog) would demand no comparisons. How do you find out things? There is no Consumer Reports for multihull design. No Snopes. And unless you attended Reichard’s MACM marine composites conferences, where actual research was done, you just have sea stories.
It is all open to discussion, or should be.
I say that Kelsall often has demonstrably bad engineering. Going from memory, a few; the 1/8” thick rudder shaft walls, to a composite mast with only a fraction of the fibers in 0 degree, to clinging to polyester; ignoring the data, in favor of sea stories. And he should thank me. He used to split, then bond, those KSS hulls in half, front and back. I reminded people of the Reichard/Nuyen/Wolf study,  and he changed. That is a great example.  And it is uncanny how much the KSS hulls wired up now resemble the wired up CM hulls that I have been doing for 34 years now.
One would think getting all sides would be a goal of builders, not, keeping it secret or not upsetting the master, being the deciding goal.
And I am happy to be involved in any comparisons. If I can ask questions, I have to also get them.
People, we should be asking about and comparing everything.

The Right Way To Do a Sliding Entry Door On a Catamaran

My past experience with my builders getting weather resisting sliding entry doors on catamarans has been bleak.
They were fantastically heavy, and expensive.
I had always thought some tiny Harken cars and tracks would be a good way to go. The sliders could be composite with Acrylic, or just Acrylic. I never had the time to track it down though.

One of my sailors, Peter, sent me this link. This could be the deal. A door truck shown below.   They have a lot of other boat things I see.


3D Modeling Saves a Project

Recently I got a job designing a batch of ferries to be 85′ long. They have to be ready for the America’s Cup next year. The builder had some 75′ molds which were based on an earlier 65′ design. They asked if it was possible to use the existing molds.
I 3D modeled the two hull designs, superimposing them in each other, in transparent mode. To my surprise the existing molds will work, with some inserts, and a foot more freeboard..




40′ Performance Trimarans

One of the guys from Steamradio just had a 40’ performance trimaran designed by Shuttleworth. I was surprised how much it resembled a study that I did for Phil Steggall a few years ago. It didn’t get built and I forgot about it. It is almost the same sailor use program. And it was based on improvements to my 40’ tri, the Geko. The Geko was optimized for singlehanding and light weather. The two trimarans above are for more wind than Geko usually found.


The beams are not swept forward on Phil’s boat. I asked multihull engineer and composites god Ronnal Reichard about that. He declared it an inefficient idea as it introduces an added twisting moment to the main beams. He dismissed the advantages of helping the ama bow as the ama has much more section property to work with, to ease that stress.   The tri had square L/B design of course.
It has been suggested that swept forward beams keep the weight of the beams forward. The vast majority of the bending load, and thus the laminate, is near the middle and aft.

The biggest improvement to the Geko would have been adding the flare to the main hull. Any crew or guests need to toss their bags and foulies somewhere, out of the middle. I forgot about that. I thought everything else worked pretty well, for a shorthanding fast 40’ tri.
Boards in the amas solves the board intrusion in the main hull, but if short tacking, one needs a crew or it is more difficult to tack smartly. I wanted smart tacks on the Geko.  Not everybody has to short tack all day in light weather.


Where to helm from is an interesting exercise. And I found that it is most dependant on the crew or lack of. Reflexively, everybody should be up on the high side. These boats typically have almost deck sweeping mains, and are doing twice the speed of anything else out there. Anything could be happening behind that main. I always ended up in the cockpit, down low, so that I could see traffic approaching from the low side, helm in one hand, and mainsheet in the other.

13939350_10154467187463628_6421360100843937345_nWith a crew, that is not a problem, but where to steer from depends on how much the helm (owner usually?) trusts the mainsheet trimmer. I pretty much only trust myself when it’s gusty, unless Dave Calvert is crewing….
Is that a pair of main winches I see on the top view on the back beam? That suggests it’s optimized for at least double handing or a crew then. Double handing I was told.


the Shuttleworth tri

It’s all very interesting, imagining how design affects life blasting upwind.  And the interesting ways that a design can be fitted to the owner’s individual needs.

More Uganda Ferry

This picture from 5 years ago came up on Face. “Yesterday I got to visit the next KHSD 65′ catamaran ferry for Lake Victoria in Uganda. CM developed plywood and epoxy once more. It is being built in Everett, WA and again by Thain Boats.
With some of the crew yesterday.” After posting it, I got some updated pictures of Bluebird, now in Uganda.  First, from 5 years ago.





More 27 Cat

One hull is winched toward the other on the water. The beams slide through one of the hulls, on teflon cleats in the glass tube.




This is a two couples arrangement.  One couple would probably have shower in the other hull, ond only one berth.

Another Detail Compared

Notice how the tension members on the A frames are treated.  These two wire systems each have have roughly double the forestay load on each of them.  Stainless does not like to be cold-worked.  A thick continuous wire making a sharp turn is a classic failure mode.  It is less costly.  I am a bitch about details like this.  Mine cost more to do, but are more reliable.  This is a mission critical part of the catamaran.



Now the cheaper way.  And look how planning for the furler down low helps.  Get it done right.


Bowtube Details

I’m catching up enough to take the time to post things I saw early this summer. Here is an interesting comparison again on the 65 charter cats. Side by side my 65 daycharter Alii Nui and a Trilogy 65 by Marples. Both were built by Schooner Creek only a few years apart. The Constant Camber 65 was interesting because it had almost everything that CM had 30 years ago (and still does)  and almost nothing that CC had back then; except having to build a surfaced mold.

Here are two ways to do the bow tube ends.  First,  Alii Nui.  Notice  how the tramp extrusions on the hull are at the same plane as the slide groove in the mast section.  The tramp can be flat and secure.    Notice also that the hull brackets are on the inboard side, not the top.  That allows a shorter bow tube, which is stronger.  And no chance to trip over the bracket on deck.


Now the other cat.  And notice how the vertical tabs can bend back under load.  I imagine they will have to keep after the caulk joints at the  hull.  Notice above how the bracket is bolted to the hull.  No delta at all.




Moondance Cat

I just got a  quick shot of the 55′ Moondance Cat daycharter cat in Buffalo, NY.  CM construction in developed plywood/epoxy.  The builders made the hull from the two panels wired together in something like 4 hours elapsed time when I was there.



Kurt Hughes on Catamarans, Trimarans, and Boat Design