Duckworks/Small Craft Advisor
- Design Contest #7 -
Class IV Everglades
the winners of this contest along with
judges comments on each design.
Don Rypinski -
Welsford - Steve
The proa Bedlam at 26 feet long
has to be fast and at 11 feet wide very stable. Her
rig looks well balanced and efficient. I agree with
the designer that a multihull may be required to beat
last year’s winner who had a very high average
speed. As I read their entry, I understand the rig
has to be removed when it is to be paddled. I assume
this is because the ballast (crew) is in the vaka
jeopardizing stability. I have no experience with
proas but a lot with outriggers. What about facing
the ama to leeward for stability when both paddlers
are in the vaka.
put her at the top of my list, and think that she’d
be likely to be a really competitive entry given a
couple of fit and determined crew and good navigation.
This Proa with her double kayak type main hull will
move well under muscle power, and with the rig laid
down on the tramp and the rudders up there is not
a lot more resistance than a pure kayak would have,
and they are often very close to the front of the
fleet with only paddle power.
I like the very simple rig, perhaps higher in aspect
ratio than I’d use for this job, the windward
efficiency of the tall narrow sail is not so important
with the prevalence of reaching winds and good paddle
Her accommodations are Spartan, but workable. A bow
tent on the trampoline would give her the shelter
that is required, and there is space to lie there
while making progress under sail or paddle, and it
would be a better chance for sleeping when stopped
than having to find a camping spot ashore.
Good thinking here, very fast, some innovation in
the steering and lateral plane, which I think will
work ok, the weights seem to be well calculated and
the whole concept very much in line with what would
be needed to win the event outright. Well done.
Another proa and it also is designed for two. It
might be a tad too light for a proa and will need
an athletic deck monkey to keep it upright in foul
weather. Thus the cockpit arrangement might be a bit
constricting. Be sure to include a full waterproof
dry suit for both participants. But this could also
be very fast with the right weather. In very light
winds the two paddlers will be able to keep up a good
speed to stay with the kayakers.
This proa looks dryer than Bedlam,
more comfortable and well designed. I place it at
#2 just because it is shorter, has more windage and
perhaps weight as well. I find the idea of no daggerboard
or leeboard a little scary when the ama lifts. In
fact I think one or the other should be added for
performance. Sculling also sounds much less efficient
than rowing and perhaps more tiresome.
proa, these boats make very good sense in a race with
few tacks required and a lot of manpowered progress.
The very slim hulls move well under sail or sweat
power and the combination can make for rapid progress
in an event with a wide range of demands such as channels
too narrow to sail in, shallow water, mudbanks and
long reaches down the coasts semi sheltered waters.
P52 is a much lower tech boat than Bedlam, but I’m
not too sure how far behind she would be in a race
where the conditions were moderate and consistent.
I do think that she might be a lot quicker along the
course if she was set up to have two people on oars
or paddles, that sculling oar is good for short distances
but the power available from two people can move the
boat at hull speed into a light breeze and the setup
as designed only allows one to work, perhaps a canoe
single paddle for the second person might add to the
I like the proa crab claw rig, its powerful and much
more efficient than it looks. It’s easy to set,
has a low centre of effort and with its ability to
switch ends when shunting ( proa equivalent to tacking)
is ideal for the type.
Being older and needing a bit more comfort I like
the more sheltered accommodations, this boat will
be a fast cruiser and sometimes over several days
the more rested or less tired crew will outperform
the worn out guys in a faster but less comfortable
craft. Well thought out, all the questions answered,
and very practical. A close second, and I’d
say she could be the same, or maybe, just maybe, a
place better than that in the race as well.
This seems like a very good proa design that has
a chance of doing well. Normally I don't care for
proas, but they certainly have the speed potential
and can work well especially with a crew of two. This
design has a good tradeoff with comfort and speed.
A crew of two means that in foul weather a deck monkey
can keep the boat upright. In reasonable weather one
can sleep in comfort while the other pilots the boat.
In light weather it may be a bit slower than 6 (Bedlam)
and some other class 4 boats but that depends somewhat
on the crew. Can it get through the bridge at CP1?
I couldn't tell for sure. Does the ama pivot?
Below are the remaining entries
in the order they were received
My assessment of Juicer is based
on the drawings I got which made the boat look strange
in the plan (top) view. The transition from the bulbous
bow to the tapered straight sided stern section seemed
awkward. The bow has a wide flare around the mast
and then the hull tapers off at the cockpit where
it would seem more room would be desirable for stability.
I do not see the need for the “Bow Slicer”
unless one is planning to ram the competition.
has had a lot of thought gone into the design, but
the drawings are sadly not enough to show me how that
has been applied. The written submission suggests
that some more work on the drawings could produce
something quite interesting. I certainly like the
idea of the size and layout and the rig is likely
to be a good match for the boat and the course.
An interesting approach but looks a bit too tender.
No rocker would make it difficult in waves and following
seas. What is that "grip"? Don't need it
and it might cause problems with beach landings and
even snag lobster/crab trap lines. Get rid of the
grip and add some rocker.
The Cow Scow has a good looking
large sail plan that seems balanced and well proportioned
to the hull. However, capsizing seems like a real
possibility if one is caught with too much sail up.
If the design information is correct that the masts
must be unstepped when rowing in high winds, this
seems like a dangerous maneuver that should be made
unnecessary if at all possible.
really like this boat, good thinking, good ideas and
good plans. I can imagine two guys getting together
and putting in a few hundred dollars each, half a
dozen weekends with epoxy and plywood, the kids helping
with plastic porch paint and getting a friend to do
a bit of welding on a standard handyman trailers drawbar
to get the length required and the whole family heading
off to the start. Its really close to what I see as
the original concept that the WaterTribe challenge
is all about.
Cheap, cheerful, fun and no slug. If you were to start
the project with the objective of finishing in good
order and condition and not too far down the field
this is the way to go.
I like the concept, a big very light plywood scow
with a big rig with low center of effort, a rig that
can be struck at sea so she can be rowed under bridges
and up creeks. The rowing stations are efficient,
and there is probably space to put sliding seats in
there which could help. She has good accommodation
so the crew can run the course non-stop given halfway
All in all, a very good boat for the less committed,
an entry in CowScow would not break the bank and given
some luck and skill could delight the crew by embarrassing
much more expensive challengers. Could I persuade
the builders to consider bamboo spars, just to really
rub it in.
This is an interesting monohull approach and could
do very well. The design includes good reef points
and plenty of comfort. It also is designed for a crew
of two and this is good for a sharpie/scow type of
boat that can be tender. One nice thing about this
is that it should row very well if we get light winds.
The Box Boat in and of itself looks
like a pleasant design with a balanced rig. The sail
seems small in comparison to other designs however
and unless the wind blows hard, the hull may not be
as competitive. In my opinion, sweeps are not as efficient
as oars and I would suggest changing to oars if at
good ideas, while it will sail and move well in flat
water I’m not convinced that it will be possible
to heel her enough to make good progress into a short
chop with that bluff bow, but its worth a thought
and perhaps I might be wrong.
The reasoning behind the layout and rig is good, but
I’d put short outriggers on and row her rather
than scull her, especially if there was to be one
hand sculling and one rowing as suggested. It is not
hard by the way to steer with a sculling oar, and
two hands gives a lot more power, but rowing gives
you more power still.
Hard Try’n fills all the requirements of the
race, light enough, will cope with the course, there
is reasonable accommodation on board and the whole
concept is achieveable. Good effort. The designer
was unduly modest, keep up the good work.
I predict a very slow and frustrating boat. Very
tender in foul weather. Why the off center mast which
just makes the tenderness worse?
Design # 5 looks as though the masts
have been cut off at their base to the point of placing
the bottom edge of the sails in the hull itself. The
lines of the hull look quite attractive but it seems
very narrow with low freeboard and the potential for
being really tippy. The cabin seems to occupy the
exact space where one would want to sit while rowing
Challenger is a great collection of ideas, but if
you want to win, and that’s mostly what the
competition is about, then this is not quite right.
Too slow under manpower and not quick enough under
sail. The average speeds that the leading group of
boats has been turning in over the last few races
have been way above a 16 footers hull speed and this
shape while effective in light weather will not go
faster than about 6 or 7 knots, what’s needed
is the ability to sustain 9 knots reaching and running
in moderate winds and the double ended hull shape
cant do that even when its as shallow as E.C. is.
But if I wanted to do the trip in comfort, have fun,
and be well rested and well fed at the end of the
event, this could be a good way to go.
As a designer, I’d love to see a version of
this at about 20 x 5 ½ ft, with more details
as to how the rig will be sheeted and reefed. Very
Too much sail and why two masts in a 16 foot boat?
If simplified this could an interesting design. However,
the designers says it is a fair weather boat and I
agree. The Everglades Challenge is not a fair weather