Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!
I think this is a low buck project because it is replacing my inboard engine. I made a yuloh. The inboard had too many issues that would of taken too much time and money to repair. I am putting it in low buck thread to response to several guys in barefootnavigator`s thread about living on $500 a month, but didn`t want to disturb his thread. He has also made a yuloh and there were others that started asking about it and if there was someone who had information about it. It took me $300 in material, 2 years of research, emails, web searching, building, experimenting, and re-building to build mine, so here is my 2 cents. I`ll get pictures out as soon as I get my lazy a$$ off the couch.
I know there are those that would rather have oars and if they work for you, great. This isn`t an argument for either or. They are better for close quarters manuevering , lighter displacement boats, or crewed boats, but my need is for long distance with the minimum of ease, singlehanded, on a heavy displacement boat.
Several sources of information were used courtesy of the internet. What a great invention…sometimes.
Slieve who runs the junkrigassociation.org wrote an indepth and excellent article titled “Some Thoughts on the Yuloh” analyzing it. It is found on his sight or just by googling “Slieve yuloh”. He admits to never have built one, but he is spot on in his thoughts and very helpful to answer any questions by email.
Ben Fuller on woodenboat forum and a handful of other members were also helpful as a sounding board. Ben`s description of the yuloh is that it is like low gear in a truck. Slow, but strong to move a big load. Yuloh in their search window will give you a lot to read.
Another good start to make the size can be found both with Slieve and within Larry Pardey`s book “The Self Sufficient Sailor”. He states that it isn`t really a matter of length of the boat, but of the freeboard height. I used his book suggestions because our boats are 95% similar in dimension. I first had a oar like his, but to impart the twist needed over a long distance wore me the HE// out, so I started to look for better ways.
Of course youtube has a load of videos, but you have to search for “Yuloh, Zhujiajiao,China” to get an original view. Don`t rely on the many western copies also found on youtube. They are just hybreds anyway. The Chinese videos are the ones to watch over and over and over and over and over and over again and again and again. Watching different ones gives clues into different details one video has over the others. A key point to look for is the pivot point between boat and yuloh. You`ll figure it out.
Lastly as luck or providence would have it, I found ($3 in a fleamarket) G.R.G Worcester `s book “The Junks & Sampans of the Yangtze”. It`s a fascinating book in and of itself, but for me it had many .examples, tips and tricks of the yuloh in action back in the day and life of a chinese waterman. That is a cool book for reference. If you can get a copy, it`s worth it, but not necessary to have to build one.
In the end, after measuring once and cutting twice with a lot of cohogitating, I have a yuloh I am confident in even though I think its 30cm too long in its shaft and slightly over built, but better overbuilt than underbuilt. Sound all this like overkill to you? Maybe, but that`s what makes it fun messing about in boats.