Design Contest Results  

Duckworks/Small Craft Advisor
- Design Contest #7 -

Class IV Everglades Challenger

Entries - Brief

Here are the winners of this contest along with
judges comments on each design.

Key to Comments: Don Rypinski - John Welsford - Steve Isaac

The proa Bedlam at 26 feet long has to be fast and at 11 feet wide very stable. Her rig looks well balanced and efficient. I agree with the designer that a multihull may be required to beat last year’s winner who had a very high average speed. As I read their entry, I understand the rig has to be removed when it is to be paddled. I assume this is because the ballast (crew) is in the vaka jeopardizing stability. I have no experience with proas but a lot with outriggers. What about facing the ama to leeward for stability when both paddlers are in the vaka.

I put her at the top of my list, and think that she’d be likely to be a really competitive entry given a couple of fit and determined crew and good navigation. This Proa with her double kayak type main hull will move well under muscle power, and with the rig laid down on the tramp and the rudders up there is not a lot more resistance than a pure kayak would have, and they are often very close to the front of the fleet with only paddle power.
I like the very simple rig, perhaps higher in aspect ratio than I’d use for this job, the windward efficiency of the tall narrow sail is not so important with the prevalence of reaching winds and good paddle power.
Her accommodations are Spartan, but workable. A bow tent on the trampoline would give her the shelter that is required, and there is space to lie there while making progress under sail or paddle, and it would be a better chance for sleeping when stopped than having to find a camping spot ashore.
Good thinking here, very fast, some innovation in the steering and lateral plane, which I think will work ok, the weights seem to be well calculated and the whole concept very much in line with what would be needed to win the event outright. Well done.

Another proa and it also is designed for two. It might be a tad too light for a proa and will need an athletic deck monkey to keep it upright in foul weather. Thus the cockpit arrangement might be a bit constricting. Be sure to include a full waterproof dry suit for both participants. But this could also be very fast with the right weather. In very light winds the two paddlers will be able to keep up a good speed to stay with the kayakers.

  • P52 - Honorable Mention

This proa looks dryer than Bedlam, more comfortable and well designed. I place it at #2 just because it is shorter, has more windage and perhaps weight as well. I find the idea of no daggerboard or leeboard a little scary when the ama lifts. In fact I think one or the other should be added for performance. Sculling also sounds much less efficient than rowing and perhaps more tiresome.

Another proa, these boats make very good sense in a race with few tacks required and a lot of manpowered progress. The very slim hulls move well under sail or sweat power and the combination can make for rapid progress in an event with a wide range of demands such as channels too narrow to sail in, shallow water, mudbanks and long reaches down the coasts semi sheltered waters.
P52 is a much lower tech boat than Bedlam, but I’m not too sure how far behind she would be in a race where the conditions were moderate and consistent. I do think that she might be a lot quicker along the course if she was set up to have two people on oars or paddles, that sculling oar is good for short distances but the power available from two people can move the boat at hull speed into a light breeze and the setup as designed only allows one to work, perhaps a canoe single paddle for the second person might add to the drive.
I like the proa crab claw rig, its powerful and much more efficient than it looks. It’s easy to set, has a low centre of effort and with its ability to switch ends when shunting ( proa equivalent to tacking) is ideal for the type.
Being older and needing a bit more comfort I like the more sheltered accommodations, this boat will be a fast cruiser and sometimes over several days the more rested or less tired crew will outperform the worn out guys in a faster but less comfortable craft. Well thought out, all the questions answered, and very practical. A close second, and I’d say she could be the same, or maybe, just maybe, a place better than that in the race as well.

This seems like a very good proa design that has a chance of doing well. Normally I don't care for proas, but they certainly have the speed potential and can work well especially with a crew of two. This design has a good tradeoff with comfort and speed. A crew of two means that in foul weather a deck monkey can keep the boat upright. In reasonable weather one can sleep in comfort while the other pilots the boat. In light weather it may be a bit slower than 6 (Bedlam) and some other class 4 boats but that depends somewhat on the crew. Can it get through the bridge at CP1? I couldn't tell for sure. Does the ama pivot?

Below are the remaining entries presented
in the order they were received

My assessment of Juicer is based on the drawings I got which made the boat look strange in the plan (top) view. The transition from the bulbous bow to the tapered straight sided stern section seemed awkward. The bow has a wide flare around the mast and then the hull tapers off at the cockpit where it would seem more room would be desirable for stability. I do not see the need for the “Bow Slicer” unless one is planning to ram the competition.

Juicer has had a lot of thought gone into the design, but the drawings are sadly not enough to show me how that has been applied. The written submission suggests that some more work on the drawings could produce something quite interesting. I certainly like the idea of the size and layout and the rig is likely to be a good match for the boat and the course.

An interesting approach but looks a bit too tender. No rocker would make it difficult in waves and following seas. What is that "grip"? Don't need it and it might cause problems with beach landings and even snag lobster/crab trap lines. Get rid of the grip and add some rocker.

The Cow Scow has a good looking large sail plan that seems balanced and well proportioned to the hull. However, capsizing seems like a real possibility if one is caught with too much sail up. If the design information is correct that the masts must be unstepped when rowing in high winds, this seems like a dangerous maneuver that should be made unnecessary if at all possible.

I really like this boat, good thinking, good ideas and good plans. I can imagine two guys getting together and putting in a few hundred dollars each, half a dozen weekends with epoxy and plywood, the kids helping with plastic porch paint and getting a friend to do a bit of welding on a standard handyman trailers drawbar to get the length required and the whole family heading off to the start. Its really close to what I see as the original concept that the WaterTribe challenge is all about.
Cheap, cheerful, fun and no slug. If you were to start the project with the objective of finishing in good order and condition and not too far down the field this is the way to go.
I like the concept, a big very light plywood scow with a big rig with low center of effort, a rig that can be struck at sea so she can be rowed under bridges and up creeks. The rowing stations are efficient, and there is probably space to put sliding seats in there which could help. She has good accommodation so the crew can run the course non-stop given halfway decent weather.
All in all, a very good boat for the less committed, an entry in CowScow would not break the bank and given some luck and skill could delight the crew by embarrassing much more expensive challengers. Could I persuade the builders to consider bamboo spars, just to really rub it in.

This is an interesting monohull approach and could do very well. The design includes good reef points and plenty of comfort. It also is designed for a crew of two and this is good for a sharpie/scow type of boat that can be tender. One nice thing about this is that it should row very well if we get light winds.

The Box Boat in and of itself looks like a pleasant design with a balanced rig. The sail seems small in comparison to other designs however and unless the wind blows hard, the hull may not be as competitive. In my opinion, sweeps are not as efficient as oars and I would suggest changing to oars if at all possible.

Interesting, good ideas, while it will sail and move well in flat water I’m not convinced that it will be possible to heel her enough to make good progress into a short chop with that bluff bow, but its worth a thought and perhaps I might be wrong.
The reasoning behind the layout and rig is good, but I’d put short outriggers on and row her rather than scull her, especially if there was to be one hand sculling and one rowing as suggested. It is not hard by the way to steer with a sculling oar, and two hands gives a lot more power, but rowing gives you more power still.
Hard Try’n fills all the requirements of the race, light enough, will cope with the course, there is reasonable accommodation on board and the whole concept is achieveable. Good effort. The designer was unduly modest, keep up the good work.

I predict a very slow and frustrating boat. Very tender in foul weather. Why the off center mast which just makes the tenderness worse?

Design # 5 looks as though the masts have been cut off at their base to the point of placing the bottom edge of the sails in the hull itself. The lines of the hull look quite attractive but it seems very narrow with low freeboard and the potential for being really tippy. The cabin seems to occupy the exact space where one would want to sit while rowing ideally.

Everglades Challenger is a great collection of ideas, but if you want to win, and that’s mostly what the competition is about, then this is not quite right. Too slow under manpower and not quick enough under sail. The average speeds that the leading group of boats has been turning in over the last few races have been way above a 16 footers hull speed and this shape while effective in light weather will not go faster than about 6 or 7 knots, what’s needed is the ability to sustain 9 knots reaching and running in moderate winds and the double ended hull shape cant do that even when its as shallow as E.C. is. But if I wanted to do the trip in comfort, have fun, and be well rested and well fed at the end of the event, this could be a good way to go.
As a designer, I’d love to see a version of this at about 20 x 5 ½ ft, with more details as to how the rig will be sheeted and reefed. Very interesting boat.

Too much sail and why two masts in a 16 foot boat? If simplified this could an interesting design. However, the designers says it is a fair weather boat and I agree. The Everglades Challenge is not a fair weather event.