O'day Daysailer ll Mod and Conversion

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  • 18 Dec 2022 15:45
    Reply # 13029156 on 13021193

    Hey thanks Graeme! Very good info here. I'm reading, thinking and digesting :) 

    I guess at this point I'll throw out a more direct question:

    What's a good (dare I say "best" or "ideal") rig for this boat (O'day Daysailer ll) and it's intended purpose? (For now I'll leave out my preferences for aesthetics, mast position, ease of mod, price point, rig handling, and other such things).

    The boat - 16.75' planing hull CB dingy at 600lbs bare. Engineless yet rowable. I have not sailed her (or much of anything for that matter). But, I hear these boats are lively, yet stable, and somewhat seaworthy for such a design. 

    The intended purpose - A multi-day cruising dinghy, not a racer. Will be sailed on coastal Maine waters, which present some challenges. Although I have not sailed much, I have kayaked a good deal in this area.

    Coastal Maine is scattered with little islands and bays. During the summer, when the weather is most fare, a mellow day will see 10-15 knots, and days of 20+ knots are normal. The winds shift around constantly. The tidal range is a factor, currents, fog, endless lobster pots and the cowboys that tend to them - with their large, seemingly unmanned diesel bruisers. 

    I plan to do many 3 or so night trips and eventually extend to week or two lengths, maybe heading up to Nova Scotia, maybe further (hmmm, self-steering)? As is so, I'll be in or within reach of sheltered waters most (but not all) of the time. And if it's during any other season besides summer (which I'm open to), the weather conditions are more, well let's say "weather conditiony."

    So, which rig? So far I've been looking at everything, which has churned my brain. And, without direct sailing experience, I cannot really make any good decisions at this point. Flat? Fanned? Cambered? Split? Low vs. High A/R? Add S/A or keep it the same? There seem to be good arguments for any of these. But, for this boat? For this purpose? What are the best choices my junk-rigged friends? 


    Last modified: 18 Dec 2022 17:13 | Anonymous member
  • 16 Dec 2022 22:12
    Reply # 13028205 on 13021193
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here's a video showing the O'Day Daysailer sailing and cruising. I don't think it's really a potential voyaging boat, but it could be an exciting weekend camper cruiser if you keep it as light as possible.

    It will not ultimately prove to be what you want so don't invest too much in modifying it - but a good way to start as it is, and it will teach you plenty. (Look at that transom in cruising trim).

    Bill - here's a couple more videos of camper-cruising in the O'Day DSll

    here (I see that O'Day DOES have reef points. The purists will tell you that's the wrong way to take in a reef, but maybe those gaskets are made of bungy. Take a look at that Paradox, half way through the video and at the end. You sail them from inside - like sitting in the cockpit of a single-seater aeroplane. I've sailed in company with one of those (here). Its interesting, these boats are all different.

    and here. Two quite different boats. A Willard Price adventure (just lacking the Malay pirates!)

    Lake Macquarie and Great Barrier reef. Keeping it light the boat will still go fast - some exciting sailing. Its not a bad boat at all - would leave Serendipity for dead, I expect. 

    One more: Maitland Bay. The O'Day just draws 8" by the way (when not laden) - that's a real plus. There are some places you wouldn't go without a little outboard motor. You can do without a motor, but really, they earn their keep.

    Are you hooked yet? Cruising in company. What better way to start out? Is your boat complete with the bermudan rig? If so, might be worth keeping it that way for a season. (Get some reef points put in the sail though, that Aussie doesn't seem to have any means of reefing). Leave it that way for a season and you'll appreciate the junk rig all the more when you do the conversion.

    By then, you'll know more exactly what you want.

    The mini voyaging boat

     Bill: "... delving into JW's ecosystem a bit more. There's a lot for me to learn by looking at his designs and listening to him talk about them..."

    Yes. One of the reasons for John’s popularity is his writing style – seductive: "... and I can imagine rowing quietly into a cove while the misty rain drifts down, sheltered and comfortable under the flexible roof, and within a few minutes having the stove roaring away and the bedding organised..."  (Yeah, right!) But also, very instructive and informative. A short course in small boat hull design: compare John’s criteria for Sweet Pea (I missed out on buying a cheap one some years ago, to my regret. A good match for your O'Day DSll) and Walkabout, designed for quite different voyaging requirements (very appealing). Then read the notes for the bullet-proof Swaggie  - a camel if ever I saw one (and with a sail plan which shows JW at that time did not know too much about junk rig). The idea of a comfortable arm chair in a mini-voyager (Swaggie) might surprise you, but that, in fact, is a brilliant touch. Take note of it. (See note at the end of this, about seating arrangements). But anyway, these are all boats designed for special requirements, which JW explains in a very illuminating way.

    The split sail

    "...I'm just curious how you've found your split sail to be? … have you been able to compare your split with other types of JR sail designs? "

    It met all my expectations and suits that sparkling little Monarch hull very well. (By the way, I meant to mention - the  Monarch is not a planing hull, I doubt if it can do that at all.) I would love to match mine against a standard Monarch with bermudan rig. I am confident it would match the original rig when sailing to windward if the course included single-handed tacking in confined spaces such as a narrow channel, and long uphill beats with constantly changing wind conditions. (Little chance of it, I am afraid - you never see a bermudan rigged boat doing that, these days!) Down wind the SJR would leave the bermudan one for dead, as should any self-respecting junk rig. I did do a two-day "voyage" in company with a bunch of similar bermudan trailer boats but they were all much bigger boats than mine, mainly Farr 6000s and a Noelex 22. There was a fair bit of motoring, and, later in that first afternoon, I chose to sail when the others returned to motoring, and got left behind. So it didn't prove much. I did notice I could make ground on the others, in light conditions downwind, except one that used a spinnaker. You can see a video of that little jaunt here, but it doesn't really show much about that.

    As for comparing with other junk rigs, I have not been able to compare with other similar boats. I can only say that I like it very much. I do not believe the “slot effect” is much of a “thing” with this rig, and that was not what Slieve McGalliard was seeking when he created it. The main advantage of the split is probably that it allows maximum camber where you want it (in theory, anyway), in the fore part of the sail – and it allows very high “mast balance” and all that follows from that, which was what I really wanted. It is pretty good to windward if you concentrate on getting the best from it, but if you lose concentration or are an indifferent helmsman (like me) it quickly becomes ordinary, at least, mine does anyway.

    Some comparative testing was done and written up in the JRA magazine (see references below *) and a suggestion was made that the SJR has low “alpha tolerance” and this may well be the case. Over all, I would expect it to perform at least as well as any of the other modern, cambered junk rigs, with the possible exception of the Weaverbird soft wing junk sail of David Tyler. Downsides are that there is little or no scope for varying mast rake or shifting the position of the sail relative to the mast. Also, the wide panels of the Amiina variant means you have to be careful to allow enough room for sheetlet spans, and also room for the running parrel downhaul spans (a wonderful feature of Slieve’s SJR design). And the very low yard angle is a trap for the beginner – you still need a good mast height and plenty of halyard span – all of which means the SJR sail plan design and layout is perhaps a little more critical than with a contiguous sail (the latter perhaps offering a little more “wriggle room” if things are not quite right). I followed Slieve’s advice and copied the Amiina Mkll sail very closely. I would hesitate to go pioneering a different plan form for a split rig – we don’t really know much about it yet. A lot of thought went into that deceptively, brutally simple-looking sail. Having said that, I am very taken with Arne’s proposed hybrid Hasler/Mcleod split junk design (see 18 Dec 2021 post in the "SJR a wider discussion on future possibilities" thread, in the Technical Forum.) No-one has tried it yet. It may not match the Amiina Mkll sail theoretically, in efficiency, but it might well be more effective as it gives a great deal more sail area for a given mast height. It also means the lower panels are narrower – which everyone seems to think is better, though I don’t really know why - and I certainly wouldn't do that on a smaller sail. I am mulling over the possibility of giving Arne’s version a try on my current, larger project which will be very hungry for sail area. The only thing I am hesitant about is, we don’t know what will be needed in the form of control lines etc. Some of these junk rigs seem to need a plethora of ropes all pulling and stressing in different directions in order to get the sail to "set" or "drape" properly, and I particularly like the simplicity of the running rigging in the Amiina Mkll sail which seems to drape pretty nicely without them.

    I should add, for long distance ocean voyaging the SJR has not yet been proved to be bullet proof. I can't see why there should be any doubts - but the fact is, as yet, no-one has tested the rig extensively for off- shore voyaging, and this has been pointed out by David Tyler who is more than qualified to comment on that aspect.

    * You might want to download JRA magazines #78 Oct 2018 and especially #79 Feb 2019 and #85 Feb 2021 which describe in detail some fairly extensive comparative testing between the various types of junk rig. And also go to the Forums (Technical) and scroll/look for the thread “Split or unsplit, that is the question” which was last posted in June 2020 - and other similar threads, there's heaps of them. (If you like that kind of endless theoretical discussion, scroll and have a look at the "Flat, hinged or cambered?" thread!)

    Summary: If, for reasons of weight distribution or internal accommodation layout, it is found necessary to place the mast a little further aft than usual for a junk rig, -  then the  SJR would be a rational choice and you can opt for it with confidence provided you don't get too far away from the proportions, the plan-form shape which has been fairly well proven by now.

    I’m very happy with mine and have, at times, been astonished at its power.

    Not the First

    As yet another aside (who cares, digital data is almost free and its raining outside...) - I had my own good reasons for choosing a high-balance sail for what is essentially a cat-rigged boat with a single mast. But decisions are never entirely rational - I was also swayed by Slieve's enthusiastic description of Poppy and how he evolved her exquisitely proportioned sail. And I will admit now for the first time that I was also savouring the thought that I might impress people (or at least impress myself) by building the first split junk rig (SJR) ever seen in New Zealand. Unfortunately, I found afterwards that I had been pipped at the post! Roger S. had beaten me to it - he had already tried putting a split junk rig on boat he named Panic, and that was not the only thing that was apt about the name: as a finishing touch, in his own unique style of droll humour, he painted it on upside-down. (A laser, of all things - not a great success I suspect, but that's a horrible hull for cruising anyway). JRA Magazine #79.   Anyway, Roger was first in my country..  B.gg.r it!

    By the way (sigh...) - have a look at that, and have a look at the way Roger made his jibs. He seems to have unknowingly pre-empted Paul McKay too - in the creation of the first ever split "origami" sail. (See Paul McKay's articles in JRA Magazine #84 and #85)

    (Paul McKay was probably the first to conceive the idea of deliberately putting a split in a junk sail, with his innovative aerojunk rig, variations of which attracted some interest in NZ for a while, probably due to Pete Hill's appearance in NZ with his bi-plane aero-junk catamaran Oryx).

    Comfortable seating arrangements

    Looking out the cabin windows and listening to a drip from one of them, splashing occasionally into a plastic bowl which will soon need emptying again, because the Pelorus I'm living in down here in the mangrove creek has recently developed a leak ABOVE the waterline (the worst kind of leak) - it's still raining outside... persisting down, in fact...

    For some years now I have realised that an arm chair would be the perfect accoutrement in a mini voyaging boat, especially for an old codger like me, after more than a couple of days away. On Serendipity, the only place to sit while peeling the spuds, or reading a book and listening to the comfortable creak of the anchor warp, in a sheltered bay, with the wind howling down the gullies - etc etc etc - is the home-made portable toilet. It's not a comfortable perch. I've had a few bigger boats and some pretty comfortable ones, but never one with an armchair, or something which allows a person to recline in comfort. Here's a pretty good arrangement, to add to your list of ideas:

    Its an exquisite little canoe yawl - flat bottom and simple as can be - called Autumn Leaves.  No motor in this one.

    It breaks most of the rules - is it too good to be true?

    There is more about it here and here and if you think a skinny little box boat can't sail, have a look at this video clip.

    All it needs is for that lug sail to be a Chinese lug...

    Last modified: 22 Dec 2022 20:41 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 16 Dec 2022 16:25
    Reply # 13027886 on 13021193

    Thanks bundles for this mate!

    Admittedly, I am attracted to misery and survival :) But a Camel, as fun as that sounds, is certainly not worth the time and money. So, I have taken your advice and will carry on with a more approachable DS JR conversion with probably a few basic seaworthy mods, but keeping with original design for the most part. And like you mentioned, putting a JR on her that's in the style of what the boat was intended for. 

    I was of course aware of the scamp, but started delving into JW's ecosystem a bit more. There's a lot for me to learn by looking at his designs and listening to him talk about them. Thanks for that!

    I'm starting my homework into cambered sails and mast options. Obviously, I don't need to ask too much about this, it's been discussed. I'm just curious how you've found your split sail to be? I think you said this is your first JR, but have you been able to compare your split with other types of JR sail designs? 

    I will update this post with a new drawing/design soon and keep it on topic so others may perhaps find it useful. 

    Thanks for dealing with the new guy!


  • 15 Dec 2022 06:02
    Reply # 13025997 on 13021193
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bill wrote: “get a boat, learn to sail, and prototype modifications (and myself) while building the ideal vessel from scratch…” – that’s it, you’ve got it in a nutshell. Or, perhaps optionally: “…modify an existing hull if a suitable hull can be found”.

    Here’s another diatribe – I can’t help it because among just a few successes, over my lifetime, I have started many other projects which either never got finished or were never very satisfactory in the end, and in almost every case it was because of over-thinking a probably unrealistic goal. I am afraid Bill might be doing that here. That certainly is a way of learning things (learning by your mistakes). But another way is to start out with something a little less ambitious. I think your plan A was best, and maybe your O’Day Day sailer is actually quite a good choice for executing that plan A.

    I think I was wrong in jumping to conclusions about the hull shape of that vessel, based on the rather simple profile drawing you first posted. That was a bit rash. After looking at the 3-D (photographs) that I found -and finding out that Uffa Fox was the designer, I now think the O’Day hull is a rather more sea-kindly shape than I had first thought, and maybe my first criticism was a little over-stated. And anyway, I am not a boat designer or an expert. However, I still hold the opinion that this dinghy can be a great little camper cruiser almost as it is, if set up right, but not a sound basis for what now seems to be a very ambitious goal. 

    Bill posted this:

    Well, only two words come immediately to mind: (1) misery (2) survival

    If you are thinking of something as bullet-proof as that, forget about converting a little coastal day/weekend sailer. This is serious, specialised stuff. That thing won’t ever sail worth a damn, and will also be an absolute pig to row, but you will have no choice but to row it anyway. It has to be that way, with its high turtle decks and ridiculously low freeboard amidships, so that it can achieve its very specialised purpose, and carry stores for 180 days and survive all that the ocean can throw at it, be self-recoverable from a capsize, be capable of being pried along the surface of the water with outsize oars, for hours on end, when weather permits and it is not hove to riding out or recovering from adverse conditions. It’s always “horses for courses” and this here is a very unusual horse for a very arduous “course”. A cross between that horse and a day-sailer will be a camel (or worse).

    The most I would ever consider doing with an open boat of about 16’ would be long distance coastal voyaging with hops of no more than 2 or 3 days at a time, and a sheltered bay to anchor in every night. And even then, it would be better to get a bit of sailing experience first before choosing the design you want – and before investing in building it from scratch or doing a major conversion.

    Bill asksAlso, "an over-loaded planing hull does not necessarily equal a good displacement design." I think I can grasp why this is, but maybe you expand upon this?    Well, I am not a designer and there are people better qualified to answer this question. Long, flat, wide sections aft and a light weight hull tend to give you a craft which will plane readily and go very fast in the right conditions, especially down wind. This mitigates against good performance when tacking against the wind, but does not necessarily preclude it as there are clever designs out there that can do both, surprisingly well. Load that vessel down, however, and you begin to start immersing a lot of extra wetted surface area and there is a real risk of ending up with a dog which can't do anything very well. (I think now that the O’Day might be pretty good though, even if not ideal, provided you don’t chop it around too much.) A boat which is intended to carry stores and will go well when heavily laden is less likely to be a planing hull (except perhaps under exceptional conditions) but it will be “easily driven” up to its maximum non-planing speed, will not gain so much wetted surface when it is immersed with a heavy load, and which also will make the best use of water ballast or stores carried low in the boat. Accordingly, it will have more “deadrise” than the planing hull, and might have a more rounded shape and be deeper amidships, and probably a shapely run aft to the transom, rather than a straight line. For rowing, it will be fine-lined and not too beamy and with low freeboard including at the ends – for sailing it might be beamier and with more form stability and healthy freeboard/reserve buoyancy – so no vessel can be perfect for both – but talented designers seem to be creating shapes which are very good for both sailing and rowing, if not exactly perfect for either.

    I saw this on the internet yesterday afternoon and know nothing about it except that it was built for the purpose of coastal voyaging in Alaska, looks pretty good for purpose, and gives us a convenient diagram to show what I mean. (That bottom diagram is not the midship section, though - its a sort of front-on view of the forefoot, which might give an exaggerated idea of the deadrise amidships).

    Its the "Salish Voyager". About the same size and weight as your O’Day but somewhat different in shape. (I still think the O’Day is not too bad as a starting point. Also, cuddy cabins can be discussed elsewhere, I am just talking about the hull shape).

    From here on it becomes a matter of opinion. Also there is the rig – in my opinion the ideal rig for short-handed coastal cruising is the junk rig (any of its modern variants) and personally I would not be satisfied with a smallish flat cut Hasler Mcleod sail, although they all have their advantages. Paul Th, Arne, David T., Slieve, and others, have developed great improvements in the junk rig in recent years. I would expect the rig to perform well both on and off the wind.

    Bill asked: you mentioned other designs better suited to this project, for comparison, what are some them? Well, I am surprised others have not chimed in here. There are plenty these days, not all the same, and not everyone will agree. John Welsford is one of the gurus these days – and although I am not one of his growing flock of devotees, I do like his designs very much, and the way he bases them on a very clear set of criteria. He has been developing, growing and testing his ideas for many years and has gained an international reputation so as an answer to your question I offer the “Longsteps” which has been designed to be rowed and sailed, and to be capable of what I would think to be the most ambitious of purposes for an open dinghy.

    JW: “the boat should be fast.  Not blazingly fast as in a racing boat but the difference between a conventional sailing dayboat which will average 3.5 knots over a days sailing and one that will average 5 knots is going to make close to two hours difference when covering a 35 mile days distance.  A boat that will maintain a good speed on all points of sail and in a wide range of  conditions without stressing the crew is very desirable when covering long distances day after day… …it should offer some protection from wind and spray, several comfortable seating positions, a place where the  boat can be helmed standing up, and she should have a comfortable motion in a seaway… …the boat should track easily and be able to hold a course without the skipper at the helm… …she is intended to go into remote areas far from possible assistance this boat has to be such that  she can be self rescued by her solo skipper in case of a capsize or swamping… …has to carry a weeks worth of stores, gear for cooking and camping aboard including a really effective tent, ground tackle so she can anchor , communications and safety equipment, spare clothing and a bucket…” (You can find it here).

    PS Bill: I applaud the amount of reading and thinking you have obviously done, and suspect there is nothing here which you have not already thought of. I hope you get some feedback from other members.

    Last modified: 15 Dec 2022 07:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 13 Dec 2022 17:14
    Reply # 13023910 on 13021193

    additionally, the solo ocean rowboats have a loaded weight of around 1800 Lbs .... worth mentioning ...

  • 13 Dec 2022 17:00
    Reply # 13023889 on 13021193

    Hi Graeme!

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughts and looking into this a bit for me. Your warm tone and honest advice is kindly welcome!

    I think this advice is wise, and aligned with my "plan A" ... get a boat, learn to sail, and prototype modifications (and myself) while building the ideal vessel from scratch. But, then I got the DS ll and thought 'hmmm, this looks pretty good, maybe we can just do it all with this boat ... that is, the solo expedition seaworthy mod we're now calling "plan B".' 

    So this thread may very well turn into a basic JR conversion of a DS ll, but first, I was hoping to probe a bit more on why the DS ll is not good choice for what I had in mind with plan B.

    From what you're saying (and maybe others will chime-in), the main issue is: overloading the lower-volume-planing-hull. So my question is: what happens in terms of performance in this instance?

    Also, "an over-loaded planing hull does not necessarily equal a good displacement design." I think I can grasp why this is, but maybe you expand upon this? 

    Something worth mentioning is my idea to have this boat be row-able. But more than just "row-able," I want it to row efficiently with a sliding seat like a sculling boat. This inherently involves more compromises when you start to look at the modern ocean rowboats, they are not sailboats ... and sailboats are not rowboats. So already we have a puzzle.

    The rowboats want light displacement, moderate beam and low freeboard (hull volume). The cruising sailboat doesn't want these things. As for planing hulls. From what I can see, the hulls on ocean rowboats are maybe more similar to the old whaleboats .... looks similar to the DS in terms of flatness to my eyes, but maybe I'm totally wrong here, which is welcome. Of course, the ocean rowboats are closer to being double-enders, and maybe this is a bigger factor then I realize. The solo ocean rowboats are also a couple feet longer than the DS ll, and not quite as beamy. 

    Graeme, you mentioned other designs better suited to this project, for comparison, what are some them? 

    I'll leave it at that for now. 

    Sidenote, from what I understand, Uffa Fox bailed on finishing the DS design when the builder insisted on a cuddy cabin. So it was indeed an afterthought. 

    And, I enjoyed looking at your pics of Serendipity, very cool!



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  • 13 Dec 2022 08:18
    Reply # 13023467 on 13021193
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I just found an article on the O’Day day sailer.  Here

    Its exactly what I thought – a 1950’s racing hull with a cuddy that appears to have been added as an afterthought. A day sailer/potential camper-cruiser which (if not heavily laden) should have a very satisfying turn of speed.

    The hull was designed by Uffa Fox (no less) so it has a pedigree, and it is designed to plane (though with cruising gear and a few supplies added, it would probably need a pretty decent following wind to do it). It would be a pity to chop it around too much. I’d say it is best left as close as possible to how it is right now.

    (According to the article:  “The Day Sailer has completed many endurance cruising events, such as the Texas 200, Florida 120, and the Everglades Challenge” so I guess this is reassuring, though by today’s standards it is not really ideal for that sort of event I would have thought).

    It is a little heavier than I would have guessed – over 500 pounds – not a light displacement hull by today’s standards. I am very doubtful that loading it down further, to 1200 pounds, would be any sort of enhancement. I would add no more than necessary for a couple of nights away.

    I am now even more convinced that while it might be “doable” it is not really ideal for what you eventually want as an "expedition style" dinghy, and not really the best shape of hull for water ballast. It looks like it would be a pretty good little cruiser exactly as it is but with a junk rig. Don’t guild the lily  - just add a boom tent, carry an inflatable mattress and a little stove in the cuddy, and give it a high-balance junk sail (so the mast is kept as aft as possible, as close as possible to the current mast position) and go camper cruising for a season. Give it a decent sail area and a decent cambered sail – the hull deserves it and reefing’s a cinch. That’s the best you can do with that shallow-bodied hull, and it will be pretty good. Your next project can be a proper, well-thought-out, deeper-bodied, displacement, expedition-cruiser dinghy with water ballast et etc.

    Also, when I did my conversion, I got rid of the old Bermudan mast rigging and sails. That was a mistake. Keep the old gear and when you are ready to embark on your real voyaging dinghy project you will not only be more confident about what you really want - you will already have your lovely carbon fibre (how I wish!) free-standing mast and junk rig ready-made and tested. You can then sell the O’Day with its original rig – and keep your much better junk rig to transfer to your next project. I wish I had done that.

    That’s my 2 cents worth.

    Last modified: 13 Dec 2022 11:07 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 13 Dec 2022 03:07
    Reply # 13023339 on 13021193
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bill - you have obviously put a lot of thought into your proposal, and the concept of small, trailerable voyaging boats seems to be gaining in popularity these days. So, I would have thought this thread might have attracted some comments before now. I don’t claim to be any kind of expert but I have gone through the process of converting a small boat to junk rig and done a little bit of coastal cruising in it, so here goes with my first thoughts on what you have written, and maybe some other, better comments will follow.

    My first thoughts on looking at the drawing of the DS11: this looks like a light- to moderate-displacement, reasonably high-performing hull with very shallow immersion, with a long flat run – the sort of hull which used to be pretty popular in New Zealand in the days when club racing sailboats was more popular than it seems to be these days. Probably a planing hull. Not really what I would call a “knock-about”, or the sort of dinghy intended to be ballasted and/or heavily loaded, but more of a performance-oriented club racing or day sailing dinghy – despite the little cuddy cabin which sort of suggests that the designer of this boat did also have some cruising in mind. I have never seen one, but from the drawing it looks like a racing hull with a cuddy added – an interesting concept and somewhat of a hybrid even before undergoing the modifications you have in mind. Of course, anything can be made into a good-enough cruising boat – nothing too wrong with the idea. But then, when I looked at the sketch of all the modifications you plan to make, and the extra features you expect to have - and considering the money you intend to spend (carbon fibre spars etc) – I begin to have some reservations.

    You are proposing to strip this thing down to a bare hull and virtually rebuild it into something quite specialised and which it was never intended to be:  a ‘"bombproof" solo expedition style boat that has the potential to handle heavier weather and longer passages’. Since the bare hull is probably the easiest and cheapest part of any complete “expedition style” cruising boat project, I strongly suggest you would be much better off to gain a season of practical sailing experience and then start from scratch with a custom design which features all of the attributes that you will have decided are desirable (after a season of small boat cruising). It probably won’t end up costing any more in the long run than the DS11 conversion you are proposing, and will be less of a compromise and therefore a better result. A compromise such as you are proposing can still be a good little boat, and I don’t think there are any rules as to what a little cruiser has to be. Never-the-less, here is what I think is a better idea: do the minimum required to convert your spritely, lively-looking little day cruiser into something you can camper-cruise in, put a junk rig on it by all means, and spend a season cruising in sheltered waters. During this time continue to read and think, and make sketches of the sort of boat you really want (and your ideas will evolve once you are out on the water) – then either purchase something a little more “bullet proof”, with a little more hull volume (and displacement) and make that into your dream expedition vessel – or build from new if you can’t find anything quite suitable.  

    An over-loaded planing hull does not necessarily equal a good displacement design. I can think of a number of designs much more capable, if less sparkling in performance (when unladen!), than I imagine with the DS11 which also would be easier to modify if mods are necessary.

    I would certainly encourage the junk rig conversion, and suggest that this little boat probably deserves a good, cambered sail, so that with the minimum of camping gear and stores, it will reward you with lively performance in light airs, and the ability to reduce sail in a jiffy if you get caught out in heavier weather. Like my own little conversion – a minimum of changes apart from the rig, fun to sail and almost perfect for weekend or 3-4 day cruises in sheltered waters. And it will prepare you well for the next step. That two-step process will not only be the best use of the sweet little vessel you currently have – it will also (I believe) result in a much better ultimate cruising/expedition boat, within the five-year timeframe you have set for yourself. I hope this can be taken as encouragement, and I hope other comments and opinions will follow. Most of all, I wish you the joy of some good “expeditions”.

    Last modified: 13 Dec 2022 06:12 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 11 Dec 2022 01:08
    Message # 13021193

    Hey Ya'll,

    So, I picked up an 81' DS ll and will be modifying the existing hull and converting her to a junk rig. I have pretty much no sailing experience. At this point I'm looking for feedback and advice on the design. I appreciate being able to tap into ya'll's knowledge and experience, thank you!

    The overall goal here is to create a small "bombproof" solo expedition style boat that has the potential to handle heavier weather and longer passages. My plan is to get the conversion done in the next couple of years, start learning to sail on local lakes (I'm in Western Maine), and follow that up with training sessions on coastal Maine. Maybe in 5 or so years I'll be able to push further offshore and towards the horizon :) 

    I have an initial sketch (to scale) which I'd love for ya'll to take a look at. Priority has been given to a sliding seat/cockpit area so the boat can be rowed when becalmed or in ports. Also, a cabin with a watch station, center birth, room for stores and a crash bulkhead.

    I've borrowed ideas from ocean rowboats: watertight compartments, foam flotation, water ballast, added buoyancy both fore and aft (cabin and lazarette) etc. 

    I'll probably start by cutting out most of the existing cabin/liner and reinforcing the hull with bulkheads, longitudinals, stringers and such. I'm thinking carbon fiber for all spars and will undoubtedly need to modify or create a beefier rudder, CB and trunk. Glassed foam reinforcement/insulation for the new cabin hull and decking. Watertight hatches. Ventilation. Manual bilge pumps. Etc Etc . . .

    Weight is a concern. I'm looking at a maximum displacement of 1200. Probably 250+ Lbs water ballast (low and around the CB), food weight, gear weight, and the weight of structural reinforcement will add up quickly. 

    Obviously, I'm curious about what you guys think of the current sail design? Just a basic H&M at the moment, spec'd per PJR. Lower A/R to prioritize a shorter mast and mast position within the cabin. Conservative S/A. I liked the philosophy of the Reddish design but couldn't make it fit on such a small boat. I do prefer simplicity and safety over innovation and maximum performance for such things, but I'm open to ideas. 

    Also, what about the boat/hull design so far? What are the potential issues? What have I gotten right? I admit being in a position of "not knowing what I don't know." Can we (you) make any predications on the how this boat will sail based on my little sketch? 

    I realize there's a lot to talk about here. Please reply in whatever capacity feels good to you. I'm excited to hear from people who've actually been down this road, very cool.



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