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Jeff Gilbert

Design Philosophy

(23' Catamaran)

Scarper Flo
(31' Gaff Cutter)


by Jeff Gilbert jgilbert@dynamite.com.au

September, 2000
The Squeeze Box.

This is intended to do what life-rafts don't do very well..keep you alive when you just sank the Mother Ship.  With 2 people, rig, strong construction, 10 gals water, 50lbs dry food, 50lbs of flares, EPIRBs, cooker, GPS, lifejackets, library, pack of cards and a couple of bottles of hooch its extremely comfortable in a Houdini-ish sort of way.

Its a bit hefty, at 720 lb. displacement with full complement of 2 frightened adults (berths are 6ft 5inches and 5ft 10 inches if you are using the one-sheet of ply length sides which give 7ft 3in sides and a 2inch stem i.e. 7ft 5 LOA.). On-deck weight for your poor yacht is 420 lb. if the Squeeze Box is provisioned for 3 weeks.  There is enough locker stowage that you won't get clouted by anything solid, string bags for the rest,  casks for water. I'm imagining you could get initially bounced around like blazes inside with the split hatches sealed, so I reckon that a car-rally type harness is the go. A drogue from the bowsprit plus the highish weight will settle things a little initially.

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This loading nevertheless gives it a draught of only 6 inches, and it has enough sealed volume, 12 cubic feet, to make it "unsinkable"...the cockpit sole has a buoyancy zone under, as does the floor and bow. The 4ft (one sheet) beam gives terrific stability figures. When the weather improves you pop out the small hatch side (Most of the foredeck is a 6sq ft hatch split on an offset to raise one side with the mast down), pull in the drogue and swing up the mast, clamping it into the base of the tabernacle. You can then raise the 24 sq. foot lug or sprit sail, clip on the tiller and explore the truly appalling performance available when a zero deadrise hull and a Sail-Area to Displacement ratio of 5 is combined with a Displacement to WLL of 800.

The hull speed of 3 kts. should be available in a gale. At least the loose footed rig wont add injury to the insult of sinking your boat. You can now concentrate on making yourself known to the world, or start sailing for a shore to crash onto. You may be so comfortable you wonder why you brought the big dangerous boat in the first place!!



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