The Baroque mindset elsewhere

Some people prefer plain, unadorned, functional, unimaginative, almost Bauhaus in vehicles and craft, others feel that at least a bit of adornment woven in as a motif can lift a craft dramatically, even enhance it functionally.

Take the simple raft idea of two pontoons or hulls. In the charter game, they’re stock production, comfortable inside, they sail like rolling bathtubs. And while white is the preferred reflective colour, too much can depress, become monotonous if living on it, a principle English canal boats understand. White is nice but not too much.

Here’s one of the tubs:

Could they not have applied some imagination to that tub?

This next is a variation on the theme. For a given width or beam, it goes asymmetric in order to maximise accommodation, minimise drag on the lee hull. But that requires the same hull to be the driving one in both directions and the accommodation then becomes just the ballast outrigger.

Double-ended sailing has pluses, such as the wind always coming over the shoulder and allowing extended shelter.

I do like it but the windward pod can never have enough accommodation for voyaging – it’s a weekender. Oh dear, just saw this:

These next take a different approach. The sharply raised sterns are for huge following seas, they’re voyaging canoes. The low, narrow bows are for wave piercing ahead and for coming up again once buried, the lack of sail area for a start is good in strong winds – one of the major issues in voyaging multihulls is how to slow the craft down to around wave speed.

The platforms are not just for convenience – they give rigidity to the structure, an issue with two hulls. But perma-deck-furniture is no use to me, it needs to be more modular so it will dismantle and contract to canal width.

Mine uses poles, with glassed ply strips, crossed over those and combines a few other add-ons which can be removed and stowed on deck. Also, instead of hard roofs over the platform, it uses heavy tarps tied over a frame which dismantles. There’s dismantling and stowing, mainly for low bridges and in rough conditions but no more than dismantling a camp bed.

The two identical sails needs to be either standing lugs or two ‘fathead’ mains – quite like these below.  Major reason for the fatter head is that in a gust, the top automatically falls away. Inefficiency upwind is needed, efficiency downwind, counter-intuitive for modern coastal sailing boats but good for voyaging.

I’m inclining though to retain the simple standing lugs currently my sails, allowing even shorter masts and roller furling around the boom:

Simplify, simplify.

A higher peak than the one you see above allows a shorter leading sail edge, again less efficient upwind but comes into its own off the wind. They’re jauntier that way too, more in keeping with the hulls.

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