Captain J, have you built your own boat?
glad you asked that, sir. not completely....yet. my first sailboat, bought after reading the afore mentioned book on sailing, and as many other old books on sailing and sailboat design i could find at the local used book store, was a 9' fiberglass dinghy. it had a boomed lateen ( like a sunfish ) but that wasn't it's original sail. the daggerboard was a poorly designed home made job from the PO, as was the rudder blade. it needed a bit of fiberglass repair. in fact, you had to beach every hour, take out the rubber cork i use for a drain plug, and tip it up to drain out the water. by an hour, she'd be sitting pretty low.
well, after reading that particular book, i designed and built a sprit rig for it. i made the sail out of an old head sail ( from a sizeable cutter ) i got for free at a yard sale. just this year, i sent a drawing of my sail to duckworks and had one professionally made. great work and a great price, i might add.
i used to aluminum mast, it came with, for the new mast. but, where they had a piece of exhaust pipe adapter screwed to the base to make it fit the hole for the mast ( the mast is thinner than the hole ) i created two pvc spacers that allow the mast to turn freely but don't have the play the mast used to have. i used the boom, from the original sail, and two skinnier pieces of Al tubing to fabricate the sprit. i welded them together. i used a piece of 1" Al tubing for the boom. i designed the tackle for the stanliff and built a boom vang. all the blocks are, now, harken blocks. i re -figured all of the rigging, of course.
i added oar locks to her, after a decade of sailing her. then i decided, a year ago, that i wanted to see how she'd sail with a long shallow keel. see, the cockpit is really small and i have to sit aft of the trunk. i sit in it, not on the rail. it would capsize if i tried to sit on the rail, like on a laser. anyhow, that seating position takes my weight a bit too far aft and leaves me with only 2" of freeboard at the transom. rather unnearving for a non-swimmer when you are sailing on the bay or through big wakes. especially in the winter, although not swimming doesn't really affect the danger level in the winter.
without a daggerboard trunk, i could sit at the point of maximum buoyancy. so, i started an experiment. i used an old daggerboard i had made to replace the original ( sorry. i forgot to mention, i'd used the shape of the DB slot to design a new DB, years ago. and i made a new rudder out of the rudder of a hobie cat. lot of shaping and fabricating but it made a great rudder ). anyhow, i cut that DB flush with the hull, screwed some aluminum plates on each side, and used it as a mounting point for my experimental keels. i used a few 90 degree ( approximately 90 degree ) brackets i made from sheet aluminum and duct tape to secure the rest of the keel to the hull. you'd be amazed at how long duct tape...good duct tape....will hold up under water.
anyhow, i started with a fin keel, like on a Star class, and gradually lengthened and....ummm....can't find a word....bloody rum....made shallower the keel. finally i ended up with a design that was similar to what you see on a grand banks schooner and it was only 6" deep at it's deepest.
and what i found was very interesting. the dinghy is a bit classic moth shaped. very modern hull shape. fine entry. beam isn't extremely wide for it's length. planing hull. was always great to wind.
with the long shallow keel, instead of the deep skinny DB, she sailed to wind just as good. no difference at all. but there were improvements in quality of sailing. the boat was always pretty tender, but the new keel reduced that by a lot. the sudden violent heeling in a high gust was really mellowed out, dramatically. got caught in a 30kt squall, earlier this year. it had it's test and it did very well. anyhow, it wasn't as nervous, either. it tracks steadily, now, even in heavy chop and big wakes. it tackswith grace, now, but isn't terribly slow to tack and i never miss a tack unless i get hit with a header, in mid tack. the new sailing performance is awesome. i wish it was like this when i bought it and taught myself how to sail on it. there'd have been a lot fewer nervous moments( for me not the boat
so, i cut off the DB trunk and glassed over the hole in the sole. i tested in with me fully in the new position. previously, i sailed leaning as far over the trunk as i could get. then i made a few fine adjustments to the temporary keel, for balance, and re-tested it. waiting for warm weather so i can construct a new permanent keel ( fiberglass pvc board sandwich construction ) and glass it on the hull.
yes, i am still sailing it with the temporary wooden keel duct taped to the hull. there is still a stb of the DB bracket, i fabricated, in the former DB slot, to help keep it perpendicular to the hull. when i cut the trunk off, i fabricated a plug and glassed it in the szlot, before i glassed in a piece of FG as a backing to the hole and glassed over the hole. that left me with a partial slot to secure the temporary keel. the last time i got to sail her was new years day. duct tape is great stuff, as long as you don't buy cheap tape.
nice and long rambling post. lol. i hope, eventually, to lift the lines of this dinghy and build a wooden version with this design....but with a lot more freeboard....scaled up to about 15 feet. but time will tell.