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Apps & Authors This forum is specifically designed for authors, designers, and members to showcase their wares. These must be sailing related!!!


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  #11  
Old 03-06-2014
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
The coach roof is more properly termed the "trunk" or "cabin trunk".

"Companioway steps/ladder" are commonly shortened to "companionway"

Suggest you check out the "Surveyors Lexicon"

or buy

The Sailors Word Book, Admiral W.H. Smyth, ISBN 1-897030-05-3

PS. Don't ever refer to a "salon", that will nail you in a heartbeat. the proper term is "saloon".
Thanks everyone! You've cleared up my confusion.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2014
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

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Originally Posted by Sabiny101 View Post
.Would a boat like this be described as a cruiser instead of a cutter then? And do you happen to know if these types of yachts had some kind of engine installed as early as 1890s? I know they had steam powered launches and such at the time period, but not sure in a boat like this.

And thanks for reminding me about my crew question. Would it be possible to single-hand a boat like this for a short trip? From the other forums and research I read, it seemed like it would be possible by an experienced sailor. And I read up on Joshua Slocum sailing the Spray around the world single-handed.
Cutter refers to the type of rig; the term "cruiser" (at least in this context) refers to the use made of the boat. Cutters are single-masted sailboats with the mast being located fairly far aft (please, don't get this group started on the formal definition of "cutter" vs. "sloop"; you'll thank me later for the warning). Cruisers spend multiple days aboard their boats going from place to place for pleasure. So you can cruise a cutter. Your boat is a cutter.

I suppose its theoretically possible that a sailboat could have an engine in the 1890's; both the diesel and gas engines had been invented by then. But they were both still in their infancy (especially for marine applications) and I would think that it would be quite extraordinary to actually see one on a sailboat back then. One would have to be quite wealthy and willing to be very experimental to have a gas engine on a sailboat in the 1890s. In fact, the entire sport of yachting back then was almost the exclusive provence of the very wealthy. No one else could afford to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of a wooden boat. And I've never heard of or seen a steam auxilliary on a yacht. Maybe they did exist, but I think they would have been quite rare. There's just not enough room in a sailing yacht hull to store enough coal to make it worthwhile.

Could that boat be singlehanded? Nowadays, most 41 footers can be set up to be singlehanded easily. It doesn't look like that boat would be very easy to singlehand, especially if you consider that in 1900, the sails would be heavy cotton, with hemp line running through wood blocks. Lots of weight and friction to overcome. I'm thinking you would need at least two or three men just to raise the main (unless you had power winches to help, something I think we can agree is a remote possibility at best).

But hey, you're a writer! If it fits your story, then do it. Don't worry about placating this bunch here; you couldn't if you tried
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  #13  
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

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Originally Posted by mstern View Post
Cutter refers to the type of rig; the term "cruiser" (at least in this context) refers to the use made of the boat. Cutters are single-masted sailboats with the mast being located fairly far aft (please, don't get this group started on the formal definition of "cutter" vs. "sloop"; you'll thank me later for the warning). Cruisers spend multiple days aboard their boats going from place to place for pleasure. So you can cruise a cutter. Your boat is a cutter.

Could that boat be singlehanded? Nowadays, most 41 footers can be set up to be singlehanded easily. It doesn't look like that boat would be very easy to singlehand, especially if you consider that in 1900, the sails would be heavy cotton, with hemp line running through wood blocks. Lots of weight and friction to overcome. I'm thinking you would need at least two or three men just to raise the main (unless you had power winches to help, something I think we can agree is a remote possibility at best).

But hey, you're a writer! If it fits your story, then do it. Don't worry about placating this bunch here; you couldn't if you tried
Thanks for the clarification and warning. I WAS actually going to ask about the difference between a sloop and cutter, but I'll just slink away before the debate starts. Nice to know that there is a some debate. After reading various articles and blogs, some of them left me scratching my head over conflicting information.

If someone were single-handling a 41 cutter (with no engine) from one wharf to another along the same port, would they probably not bother with the mainsail and just use the Jib (I think it's called)? Would that be more manageable?
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

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Originally Posted by Sabiny101 View Post
Thanks for the clarification and warning. I WAS actually going to ask about the difference between a sloop and cutter, but I'll just slink away before the debate starts. Nice to know that there is a some debate. After reading various articles and blogs, some of them left me scratching my head over conflicting information.

If someone were single-handling a 41 cutter (with no engine) from one wharf to another along the same port, would they probably not bother with the mainsail and just use the Jib (I think it's called)? Would that be more manageable?
This one definition is actually quite simple, a cutter has two forestays.
A sloop has one. I'll be surprised if anyone disagrees with this .... but sailors can be crochety
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  #15  
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
This one definition is actually quite simple, a cutter has two forestays.
A sloop has one. I'll be surprised if anyone disagrees with this .... but sailors can be crochety
Boatpoker, I think that is the modern, popular definition, but I know a few old-timers who insist that the number of headstays or foresails is only incidental; in their minds, a sloop can have two headstays/foresails as well. It is the placement of the mast that separates the cutter from the sloop. I can't remember the formula, but a cutter has the mast set further aft than a sloop does. I believe that under this older definition, boats such as the Island Packets which most of us would consider cutter rigs (because they can fly two foresails) are actually sloops.

Sabiny, you asked would a sailor use just the jib if moving from one wharf to another in the same port; the inference is that it might be easier to do so if singlehanding. I think the answer is "maybe"; it would depend on the winds and current. Sailing with just the headsail is problematic; it makes steering difficult because the rig is unbalanced. The jib is creating forward drive, but is also pushing the boat away from the wind, requiring a lot of effort to steer the boat. Imagine trying to swim forward if someone were pushing sideways on the end your outstretched arm. Steering on one of these boats requires a great deal of physical effort; the tiller or wheel is always trying to push you one way or the other. And trying to sail with just the jib is particularly difficult. You have a big sail with a great deal of leverage (remember, its at the very end of the bowsprit on the maximum lever arm) fighting you. The drive from the main sail is what balances out the force from the jib. Boats with properly designed and sailed rigs are balanced; the amount of effort that it takes to steer is minimal. Sailing with just one sail (any one sail) unbalances the boat.

All that being said, sometimes it makes sense to have just one sail up. It depends on the boat and the conditions. If you want to avoid having your sailor raise the main and use just one sail, I think he would use the fore staysail, not the jib. The jib is the triangular sail furthest out from the main. The fore staysail (sometimes called the inner jib) flys closer to the mast than the jib, and is therefore more suitable for what you envision. Certainly easier to hoist than the main sail on a gaff-rigged boat such as the one you have been describing. But if you are going for authenticity, make sure that the wind is blowing your boat off the first wharf and onto the second. Otherwise, the single-handed scenario is implausable. If you want your sailor to appear expert, I suggest you check out some of the sailing guides that give tips on how to leave docks under sail. You can do some nifty stuff with spring lines, fenders and a clever use of sail and the rudder.
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  #16  
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

Someone referred to the "combing." I believe it is actually spelled "coaming."
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  #17  
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

Sabiny101, are you a local SF writer? If so, and you still in the writing/research stage at Memorial Day, might I suggest you go over to Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda on that Saturday afternoon when the Master Mariner yachts tie up after their regatta. Whereas the Alma is the only boat from the 1880-90s that still actively races, there are plenty of examples of yachts from the turn of the century and the skippers and crews are quite sociable and would be happy to answer questions and show you around their boats. Purely pleasure boats of that vintage tend to be much smaller than 40 foot. A 40 footer would tend to be a schooner or ketch. You could possibly “Jib ‘n Jigger” a big ketch single handed and would be more than enough sail to get from Sausalito to San Francisco (or anywhere in the Bay for that matter).
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  #18  
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
This one definition is actually quite simple, a cutter has two forestays.
A sloop has one. I'll be surprised if anyone disagrees with this .... but sailors can be crochety
Well, you've all been a huge help, and very kind considering I know nothing about sailing. Though, I'm more fish than sailor, or dirt person.
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

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Originally Posted by mstern View Post
Sabiny, you asked would a sailor use just the jib if moving from one wharf to another in the same port; the inference is that it might be easier to do so if singlehanding. I think the answer is "maybe"; it would depend on the winds and current. Sailing with just the headsail is problematic; it makes steering difficult because the rig is unbalanced. The jib is creating forward drive, but is also pushing the boat away from the wind, requiring a lot of effort to steer the boat. Imagine trying to swim forward if someone were pushing sideways on the end your outstretched arm. Steering on one of these boats requires a great deal of physical effort; the tiller or wheel is always trying to push you one way or the other. And trying to sail with just the jib is particularly difficult. You have a big sail with a great deal of leverage (remember, its at the very end of the bowsprit on the maximum lever arm) fighting you. The drive from the main sail is what balances out the force from the jib. Boats with properly designed and sailed rigs are balanced; the amount of effort that it takes to steer is minimal. Sailing with just one sail (any one sail) unbalances the boat.

All that being said, sometimes it makes sense to have just one sail up. It depends on the boat and the conditions. If you want to avoid having your sailor raise the main and use just one sail, I think he would use the fore staysail, not the jib. The jib is the triangular sail furthest out from the main. The fore staysail (sometimes called the inner jib) flys closer to the mast than the jib, and is therefore more suitable for what you envision. Certainly easier to hoist than the main sail on a gaff-rigged boat such as the one you have been describing. But if you are going for authenticity, make sure that the wind is blowing your boat off the first wharf and onto the second. Otherwise, the single-handed scenario is implausable. If you want your sailor to appear expert, I suggest you check out some of the sailing guides that give tips on how to leave docks under sail. You can do some nifty stuff with spring lines, fenders and a clever use of sail and the rudder.
This is a huge help, and very well explained. Thank you!
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

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Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Sabiny101, are you a local SF writer? If so, and you still in the writing/research stage at Memorial Day, might I suggest you go over to Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda on that Saturday afternoon when the Master Mariner yachts tie up after their regatta. Whereas the Alma is the only boat from the 1880-90s that still actively races, there are plenty of examples of yachts from the turn of the century and the skippers and crews are quite sociable and would be happy to answer questions and show you around their boats. Purely pleasure boats of that vintage tend to be much smaller than 40 foot. A 40 footer would tend to be a schooner or ketch. You could possibly “Jib ‘n Jigger” a big ketch single handed and would be more than enough sail to get from Sausalito to San Francisco (or anywhere in the Bay for that matter).
I am a local, GeorgeB. And that sounds like an excellent plan (not to mention a lot of fun)! I'll definitely put that down on my schedule to check out. Unfortunately, I will be passed my research stage, but the majority of scenes that take place on the boat is while its moored. In the first book, at any rate. For the next ones, I will definitely have to tour a real one, and probably take a sailing class.
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