Youyou by Alex Quertenmont

09 May 2021 09:01 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Alex says, "Let me introduce my dinghy design. In French we call this kind of boat a “youyou” and it appears that the name, like the junk rig is originated from China! So we have a link!"

More information is in the explanatory document and the drawings below.


  • 21 May 2021 05:09 | Anonymous member
    Here is yet another really interesting dinghy that (for me) cries out to be built and tried. I suspect variations of this hull type will be found in the US, as well as Europe, so maybe its familiar to others but it’s a new concept for me. Wide flat bottoms are aften designed by amateurs and they are usually dogs. But this is different – the very fine, deep forefoot – and the pronounced upsweep to the transom – is a model I have never seen before in New Zealand, so I would love to see one built.

    Professional-looking drawings – I presume a professional design. I like that its components nest into two sheets of plywood – and I am intrigued with yet another centreboard configuration/mechanism – the shape of the board at the top – is this a daggerboard which can be given a limited amount of swing? If so, it’s a good idea. When I was a boy, my little 7’ P-class had a “swinging” dagger board (in my one, simply an elongated case) and it worked well and taught me a lot. I don’t like the fixed rudder, but that’s easily changed and no matter.

    A couple of questions – first: does it tow well? I am suspicious of the deep forefoot in that regard, and the “wedge” shape. Although, maybe that large skeg keeps it going straight. Generally people worry too much about towability (especially considering most don’t do it properly anyway) - most dinghies tow well enough, but exceptions can be contrived. A good test is to see how it tows with the tow rope attached to a point on the inside of the stem, which is where the painter should be attached (that might stir a response but I’ll stand by it). Most dinghies will still sit up and plane with the tow rope going from inside and over the foredeck.

    The other question is: the Chinese origin of its name “Youyou”. Can you provide the meaning? “You” certainly looks like modern standard Chinese using pinyin for pronunciation. (If so, Its pronounced “yoh yoh” not, as English speakers would want to have it, “yew yew”). There are dozens of “you” characters in Chinese, each with its own meaning and I can’t guess what this might be. Youyou 油油 could be “very oily”, to give one example, but I don’t think that is it. Youyou 幽幽 could be “faint” – that’s not it. Youyou 悠悠 could be “taking a long time” or “unhurried” – that’s a possibility. Maybe it’s a combination of two different “you” characters eg 优游 “carefree” or “leisurely” – that sounds nice. Or, maybe the French have a different system for writing Chinese and I am entirely missing something – I am curious to know what it is supposed to mean.

    It looks like a nice, fairly light, wholesome dinghy, though for such a small vessel and for even easier construction, I rather prefer a pram bow. I like that its nice and simple, as a tender should be.
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    • 23 May 2021 16:51 | AlexQ
      Thank you for your comments! It seems that you are a real "connaisseur"!
      - The swing dagger board: you are right. At the top there is a rubber hose inserted in it. When you hit something, the name of the game is a question of time. The inertia is equal to the mass multiply by the acceleration or deceleration in our case. So the friction of the rubber pipe inside the casing will issue this deceleration and then reduce the inertia preventing damage.
      - the rudder: As you noticed the fixed rudder is a commodity (easy to build and to store). One could easily modified it. But in the other hand, it's so simple to remove it from the transom, so it's maybe be not necessary.
      The towing: Yes it's really easy to tow such tender. If you look at the picture of the empty boat, you will see that the hull doesn't drag any water. So the challenge is more to prevent this hull to go into planning mode. We use a long rope and try to keep the hull on the steep of the second wave of the wake. But, sometime, it could happend that the tender jump over the wave and hydroplane ... I also recommand to put a sponge into the top lid of the dagger board to prevent any entry of water. And as you mentioned, the skeg do a crucial role by keeping the boat in a straight course on towing or in rowing mode.
      - the bow: This is an interresting tip. First of all the advantage of a sharp bow over a pram bow is that it reduced the wetted surface. So it's more easy to operate in rowing or sculling mode for example. But the major advantage comes when you have to quit a beach and when you face some rolling wave! Try to do it with a pram bow, and I'm sure that you will understand and agree with the principle of my design.
      - The construction: As I mentionned this is a classical boat construction, all on wood members. Less polution and environ mentally friendly and cheaper too!! A simple marine grade paint over the plywood pannels do the job! You have to recoat it each year, for sure but it's a rapid task.
      But again, there are no ideal boat, everybody has his own!
      Concerning the etymology of the word "Youyou" i'm really sorry but I can help you. But I'm sure that with your knowledge in chines you are the right person to dig that for us!! I really pappreciate your comments.
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      • 24 May 2021 11:16 | AlexQ
        So, on the etymology of the name "youyou", here is what I found: The name suposedly came from a chinese Min dialect, from the south province Fujian. Dubling the term Yáo, meaning skulling gives you "Yáoyáo". It designated a small boat that was equiped with a rarely used sail and a skulling oar and was used in the rice plantations.
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        • 24 May 2021 17:21 | Anonymous member
          Thank you.
          Well, that figures. In Modern standard Chinese (Beijing Dialect) yáo 摇 also can mean to row, or to paddle. And the word "yuloh" which is the Chinese sculling oar comes from yáo lǔ 摇橹

          So, your boat is 摇 摇
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  • 26 Sep 2021 06:04 | virtuallocal
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