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post #1 of 20 Old 12-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

Merry Christmas 2014!
As a gift to myself, I purchased the plans for Sam Devlin’s Sooty Tern, which I aspire to build one day,,, in my retirement perhaps.

The boat is intended to be single-handed, utilizing a cost conscious, minimalist approach. The ultimate purpose is to take me across the Pacific in the solo Transpac, some time in the distant future,,, a goal I’ve had my sights on for many years. (and perhaps further afield - if my mojo is still afloat by then).

I thought I’d start this thread to gather ideas and opinions on the build. I have oh so many questions already, and you guys likely have most of the answers. Clever bunch here. Anyone open for discussion?
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-25-2014
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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

Having designed, restored, and built a few wooden boats, I would be glad to discuss building this design with you. Little gaffers like these are very charismatic. I have always enjoyed sailing on gaffers. Gaff rigs still have a strong following in traditional boat circles. On the flip side they tend to be more expensive to build and maintain, they tend to require more skill and fussing with to sail well, and they tend to give up a lot in terms of performance.

I really can't comment on the specific suitability of the Sooty Tern for distance cruising. I have mentioned an acquaintance of mine who, back in the 1960's, had sailed a home built, deadrise (vee-bottom, hardchine), 24 foot plywood sloop from Australia to Dinner Key in Florida. He had started out with a gaff rig, which was traded to a fractional rig that similar to a Folkboat.


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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

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Having designed, restored, and built a few wooden boats, I would be glad to discuss building this design with you.

Thank you for your participation in this Jeff, I'm honored.

These boats are definitely charismatic, and they certainly have me under their spell. I'm aware that I will be giving up exhilaration sailing, but it's a price I'm willing to pay. I'm in less of a hurry these days,,, funny how that happens. Last year I was all set to order a JPK 960, Pogo 30, or RM 890, once our circumnav is completed, but somewhere along the line (recently), the romance of the Gaff Rig is just something I'm longing for. I'm sure you understand. That said, I'm anticipating she'll be no slouch, the numbers look good. If the Rig does prove unsuccessful, (in-the-real-world) then I'll change her up. However, initially, I'm thinking it will serve me perfectly for the short-handed sailing I intend to do.

I have exchanged a few emails with Sam and he has me assured that the design is offshore capable, built to spec.

Maintenance is of course, a huge issue for me, so I'd like to design as much maintenance-free components as possible. The only exterior non-painted wood I'm planning on, will be the varnished tiller - everything else will be painted. And forgive me now, but I'm toying with the idea of anodized, aluminum spars. I'm intoxicated with all the facts, figures, plans, etc,, Much to think about

Andy & Julie Nemier ∞

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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

Nemier,

I built a small Gaffer many years ago. It was a FUN project and I LOVE the looks!!!

A word of caution, Mine also started as a "low cost" project that grew and grew. I reasoned that if I was to trust it with my life in the open ocean, I needed to use "better" XXX, where XXX is everything from glue to wood. An old mag published a story I wrote about the escalating cost.

Do you have some type of boat now? How much sailing experience do you currently have?

KEEP THE DREAM! BUILD THE BOAT! - - - - BUT, as you are dreaming/building, get some small boat and get to know what you like in a boat. At least for me, I found stuff that I "knew" I wanted and would like aboard the boat, did not turn out to be once I actually headed out.

You can see my project at; Guenevere's Projects, Raphael

Greg

AND, let us know how it goes!!!

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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

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Originally Posted by nemier View Post
Thank you for your participation in this Jeff, I'm honored.

These boats are definitely charismatic, and they certainly have me under their spell. I'm aware that I will be giving up exhilaration sailing, but it's a price I'm willing to pay. If the Rig does prove unsuccessful, (in-the-real-world) then I'll change her up. However, initially, I'm thinking it will serve me perfectly for the short-handed sailing I intend to do.

Maintenance is of course, a huge issue for me, so I'd like to design as much maintenance-free components as possible.
You are very welcome. I have owned my share of traditional wooden boats in my day. They are a very different sailing experience: not necessarily better or worse, just different.

The fellow who had sailed his plywood boat from Australia to Florida, swore that the boat became a lot easier to sail once he switched to the Bermuda rig and got rid of the bowsprit. He said that she sailed better all around and in his case, he had a lot less weather helm in a breeze as well. That said, that may have been in part related to the design of his particular boat, and may not apply in to the Sooty Tern.

You also mentioned that you are thinking of entering the Solo Transpac. I am not sure that this is a good venue for that boat since most of the boats that do this race are either more modern designs or larger traditional designs.

You might want to reach out to GBurton, who is a member on SailNet. GBurton raced in the 2014 Solo Transpac and finished an impressive 1st in class and 4th overall on corrected time with his Westsail 32, and was able to finish only couple days or so behind the first boats over the line on a boat for boat basis.

The other member that you might want to reach out to is Oregonian. He has won this race several times in his Westsail 32.

When you talk about a goal of low maintenance, I am not sure that a gaff rig is a great choice. There is a lot more line in motion, and a lot more friction as the lines pass though multiple blocks. My experience is that you wear out a lot of running rigging and the mix of chafe from the hoops and the gaff is hard on spars.

Good luck,
Jeff


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post #6 of 20 Old 12-26-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

Hi Greg,
I hear what you’re saying regarding costs,,, and this a large part of the reasoning behind the original post; to gather intel from the sailing guru’s who have been there, done that. This build is several years away, if ever, I should emphasize that right from the start, (,,,however I do have some luck fulfilling my goals). Getting back to costs, I plan to keep them in check by following the Build Plans to the letter & minimizing the equipment onboard, rather than budget procurement of materials. Whatever modest gear/materials there is onboard will be top shelf.

I do have some sailing experience. We have owned a Newport 27 and a Catalina 36, and sailed both through-out the PNW (God’s Country ; ) for 8 years. I envisioned that that would be the extent of my sailing days since we went over to the dark side. On the contrary, I’m getting plenty of opportunity to sail on other cruisers’ sailboats. You know what cruising folk are like, they are only too happy to take me out for a burn, which is very cool. I had a Catalina 47 out for the day in Oahu a few weeks ago, and I’ve got a flight booked on an older Macgregor 36 racing Cat when I get back. I’m learning all the time (aren’t we all?), but I believe I have the fundamentals to start planning the project.

I took your advice and looked at the Guenever’s Project page, when it dawned on me “Oh that GUENEVERE!” I have been lurking on your website for while now because of my interest in the Nor’Sea 27 (basically any Lyle Hess designed boat). Anyway I recognize your wealth of knowledge and I appreciate your contribution - thanks!




Hi Jeff,
It’s exactly that “just different” experience I’m going for next time ‘round.

As far as the Transpac is concerned,,, I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on that,, that’s just a dream of mine, not a raisons d'être. If I ever do go down that road I’ll have plenty of miles under the keel to prove her seaworthiness & comfort beforehand. I watched this years Transpac race with interest (especially the 30’ Wyliecat,,,,how does one balance the boat with only one sail??), still so much to learn.

A priority for me is the simplicity of the boat,,, the ease of use - and that certainly extends to the Gaff Rig. The amount of friction is something I need to quantify. My C36 had an incredible amount of friction, (all lines lead aft) and this is something I want to avoid this time. All halyards will be hoisted from the mast, no winches required, just belayed and sweated in tight. Simple. (if it works ; )

I appreciate you guys chiming in and offering advice,,, exactly what I was looking for. Thanks guys.

Andy & Julie Nemier ∞

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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

Nemier,
I did a when I saw "Sooty Tern" as this is the one most built over on the WBforum Oughtred Boats : plans kits building sailing rigging & lots of boat stuff : Iain Oughtred Designs

I'd love to see the photo journal when you get started! I can't seem to find any builds this lovely boat!


this is a 22


Are you down sizing? Love that Nord Haven!

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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

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Nemier,
I did a when I saw "Sooty Tern" as this is the one most built over on the WBforum

I'd love to see the photo journal when you get started! I can't seem to find any builds this lovely boat!

Are you down sizing? Love that Nord Haven!

Hi Denise,
Thanks for your post. I'm not sure why Oughtred & Devlin both designed boats termed Arctic & Sooty Terns,,, but as you can see, they bare no resemblance.

I have been a fan of Sam's designs for about 10 years now. I asked him if one of his Sooty's has ever been built and he did not know of one yet. I don't think mine is going to be the first one though.

No where near down-sizing yet, we're just getting into our stride! INFINITY ∞ is an exceptional vessel and absolutely everything we thought she'd be. We're enjoying the heck out of her. But it seems sailing is in the blood, something I can't shake off. This project is keeping my mind exercised towards the distant future.

Andy & Julie Nemier ∞

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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

Maluka of Kermandie - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014

Take a look at a gaff rigged full keel boat currently racing in the Sydney Hobart race. This boat is 80 years old, built of wood and is also the smallest in the fleet. On handicap she is second right now but was leading the race earlier. She is boat for boat beating 7 other boats that are considered "fast" and "modern." If you are not racing for the barn door, then a boat such as this has shown to be a very good competitor.

My own personal experience is that a boat with a full keel can be very competitive.
I think your choice will suit you fine in whatever you decide to do. Too much is made of the modern designs in my opinion. Having sailed in the SHTP this last year, my boat proved to me that full keel old design does not mean slow. For example, my division started last against a 4k flood tide and 25k wind, but by the second or third day I had overtaken boat for boat the following designs - Capri 30, Dana 24, Express 27, Capri 25, Finn flyer 31, Wauquiez Pretorian 35. In this time I also had to deal with a broken tiller that was hard to replace as it broke at the heel out near the back of the boomkin.

I can also guarantee you that comfort wise I was probably in second overall.
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Re: Devlin's 24’ Gaff Rigged Sloop

Andy & Julie,

Thanks for recognizing us, and sounds like you have have your head on straight and do have the experience needed to carry it off.

Keep us up to date and post photos!

Hope to see ya out there at anchor some time!

Greg

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