Wednesday, February 26, 2014

OzRacer sailing in strong winds

This OzRacer mk2  has a number of changes from the original design, but Bob has pulled it off.



OzRacer very simple sailboat in two versions.  Sails extremely well

The biggest risk is that the windsurfer mast might break because it is not meant to be supported in this way – it is meant to be held up higher by the arms of the sailor.

Additionally the most important aspect of sailing performance is to make sure the centre of the sail lines up with the centre of the centreboard.

However … Bob has been out in rough water a few times (see below) and well and truly gotten away with it!

The boat he has is the OzRacer mk2.  There is another version with more space in the cockpit called the OzRacer RV.

This is Bob’s report on sailing the boat.



Bob's OzRacer sailboat on launching day - a simple sailboat built from three sheets of plywood.

Thanks for the compliment. Since those pictures I have sailed extensively here in the Gulf of mexico! Yesterday We sailed 2 of us( I weight 190lbs and my female companion was 6 ft. 180. We got out and the wind went to 17knots with short 3 ft. waves.
She was on the floor in the rear and I was mid ships to front sailing with the push pull tiller and a 40 inch tiller extension. We kicked the winds !@$$# stayed dry and even during gusts never felt unstable!
Paddle stowage on OzRacer sailboat.  Simple plywood homebuilt boat.

 

Great design on this boat, thanks! I’ll take another picture or 2 to show you how I stored a paddle and small anchor. Also I replaced the rope on the top of the center board with shock cord and made a hook out of a pad eye so we can hold the board down but still have some flexibility when we hit shallow water. I even made a simply (Fred flintstone looking ) wheels that have a small spine that fits into the center board slot.
One last thing…We had a weird wind event here with a 91 mph 2 minute long gust! I woke up and found “breezy” 40 feet away against a concrete building support. Popped a hole in the side tank area of the hull (that I didn’t see) I went out sailing sailed for 1.5 hours came back in and decided to open the hatches on the side tanks and front tank. Well….. the one tank was 3/4 full of water! amazing it sailed so well.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cheaper professionally made sails for your OzRacer, PDRacer, OzGoose, PDGoose or Ocean Explorer.


Finally – Cheaper Sails for your boat - PDRacer or OzRacer

(To see current prices and order a sail go to the Really Simple Sails page onDuckworks USA ships worldwide or email me (see contact in left column on this page)
As everyone who has built a boat before knows, the single most expensive component of a sailboat is the sail.
For a Goat Island Skiff a custom sailmaker made sail can be around  750 dollars or surprisingly also 750 Euro or Pounds Sterling.  What if there was a supply of good sails for half that price?

For an OzRacer or PDRacer 89sq foot lug with two reefs ... a proper professional sail is probably around $700.  RSS is making them for $360 (Feb '14).
I’ve been concerned about this for a long time, and found a way to reduce the cost without reducing the quality.  Helped start a new sailmaking company.
Affordable sails for Storer Boat Plans - Goat Island Skiff, OzRacer, PDRacer, Ocean Explorer
Over the past 12 months or more I have been working in the background with a group of friends from the Philippines to set up a small scale sailmaking factory.  I’ve sourced quality materials from Australia, the USA, Japan and Taiwan and designed sails for several of my boat designs.
In the end the sails will be stocked by storerboats agents in the Americas, the UK, Hungary and Australia.  For the moment we have started with Duckworks in the USA that just sent the first sail to Daniel in Uruguay.  His pic below.
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and his sailing pictures are here
reallysimplesails.com - Cheap sails for Goat Island Skiff, OzRacer, OzGoose, PDRacer, PDgoose
reallysimplesails.com - Cheap sails for Goat Island Skiff, OzRacer, OzGoose, PDRacer, PDgoose

Good Quality Sails for Goat Island Skiff and OzRacer series

This has turned into ReallySimpleSails.com and they sell make and sell sails through Duckworks USA but also sell direct to other locations reached more economically posting direct from the Philippines.
As of February 2014 there are two sails in production.  There are no custom or “to order” sails available.
  1. Goat Island Skiff balance lugsail – $380 not including postage
  2. Oz Racer balance lugsails to suit OzRacer Mk2, OzRacer RV, and Perttu Korhonen’s Ocean Explorer – $360 not including postage
As a indicator of postage, here are the current Duckworks rates by USPS as of February 2014.  Be aware there may be additional taxes and duties in your region.
Duckworks sail shipping rates
The sails will be continuously developed on feedback from friends and customers.  They also have some features that are only available on custom sails for an extra fee.
We still see very good sails for Goat Island Skiffs tailor made for boats through Duckworks USA, Doyle, Sailrite USA (Kits or fully made sails), MacNamara sails UK and others – if you are a racing type or want some custom features, speak to one of these and they will do an excellent job.
Home made OzRacer sails in Hungary
OzRacer sails in Hungary
Sailcloth is a Taiwanese product sold to lofts in the USA and Hong Kong as well as to US Hang Glider Manufacturers, thread is Dabond a famous and respected brand.  Other items incorporated into ReallySimpleSails are the same that are supplied by Bainbridge, Challenge and other sources but being located close to production centres in Asia means we can often get the same goods at a cheaper price.

Sails developed with feedback from you

One example is the the Goat Island Skiff sail has three reefs built in.  This may seem like a lot to people who have not used a boat for family or adventure (or both) sailing, but it makes a lot of sense for changing gears and altering the performance of the boat to match the conditions and crew.  One thing we have found out from RAID events is that it is best that the first reef on the GIS is smaller than the others.  It does have quite a big effect as the sail is moved to a lower point and reduced in area simultaneously.  So the first reef is tremendously effective and can leave the boat feeling a little underpowered to experienced sailors.  So the three reefs on the GIS are uneven.
The OzRacer is quite different.  Its boxy shape gives it a huge stability so it can keep going under full sail until the wind is quite strong.  Then you definitely want to reduce sail.  So it has two equal reefs at no extra cost.
The sail depth has also been optimised with help from Rick Landreville to evaluate the Oz prototypes and Al Zuger to evaluate the GIS prototypes.  We found, for example that the flexible yard of the GIS required much more depth in the top part of the sail.  We aim to develop the sails continuously in the future.
This is one of the too flat pre production prototypes.  The head round was adjusted considerably for our production sails (photo Al Zuger).  It is deeper than it looks as the fold from tension along the head is making a crease.  With wind pressure that would change into sail depth.
inexpensive sails for Goat Island Skiff
Current prices and to Order a sail go to the Really Simple Sails page on Duckworks USA  for email me for locations more easily reached from the Philippines (see contact in left column on this page).  All sails will follow the USA pricing.
To Read more of the story visit reallysimplesails.com
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2013 OzRacer wins PDRacer World Championships for the fourth time in five years

Rick Landreville from Canada won the 2013 Puddle Duck Worlds in a slightly modified OzRacer RV at Port Alberni, British Columbia.

He showed a clean pair of heels to the fleet in all three races in very light conditions.

That's Rick in the foreground.  Second place was local sailor David Whitworth, who was one of the people responsible for building up the local fleet.



Light winds make sailing a little bit of a lottery, but three clear wins is really something, showing the sailor and the boat are on the ball.

But hey ... this was in the more family oriented version of the OzRacer!?
Rick talking to fellow competitors.



The RV is a simpler, cheaper and easier to build version of the earlier OzRacer Mk2.  Note that the OzRacers do not automatically meet the PDRacer rules.  The last two world titles won by OzRacers were boats that were modified by their builders to fit the Puddle Duck Racer rules.

So the boat goes, but what's the comparison with the original OzRacer Mk2?  This photo shows the differences .. the mk2 on left and the RV on right.  You can see the leeboard slot in the sidedeck of the OzRacer RV.


RV has much more interior space, two mast positions to allow for a junior rig to make it more friendly to young sailors and enough space in the cockpit for two adults and picnic and needs much less timber and time for construction.

It was assumed that the RV would be a fraction slower but two world titles shows it's no slouch.

Both boat plans are still the original $20 and are highly detailed - they have been called the best boat plans ever seen by dozens of builders.  Every step is documented and explained including making the sail for $50 rather than buying a professionally made one for $600.

Plans for OzRacer Mk2 and OzRacer RV are available from storerboatplans.com agents including Duckworks in the USA

If you want to know more ... keep reading PDRacer.info and you can look at the large storerboats archive of OzRacer and PDRacer articles - building, fitting an outboard, rowing, a simpler mast, using other sails, righting from capsize and much more.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Mark Milam has the most spectacularly gorgeous Duck in creation

Mark wanted to do something a bit different with his "Duck"

He's a good thinker and has a lot of good taste.  He also much prefers varnishing and painting to boat building.

He teamed up with a local boatbuilder in Louisiana to produce this marvel.


Note that it is an OzRacer RV under all those layers of varnish and curved woodwork - you can recognise it by the large cockpit, the leeboard slot in the side deck (this one has two as an experiment).  In usual form it is much easier to build than the OzRacer Mk2.

You can read the full story about Mark Milam's spectacular OzRacer RV here.

Plans for the RV are the same old $20.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Setting up a leeboard PDRacer or OzRacer or other boat for righting after capsize

Capsize happens to everyone .. and if you are prepared it is trivial to overcome.

The problem with leeboard boats is that if they capsize the leeboard can be out of reach.  That means you have to have a recovery line.



The Storerboats website has information about how to set up a retracting righting line for when the leeboard is out of reach.

The reason ... the newish OzRacer RV design by Storerboats has a leeboard to keep the cockpit more open for family sailing  .. so capsize recovery needed a documented method.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

OzRacer modified wins Puddle Duck World titles 2011

As many know the world titles have been won the last three years by boats either designed or modified from Storerboat versions. These boats no longer comply with the rules of the PDRacer class ... so you have to make similar changes to Brad Hickman's boat that won in 2011.

  • 2009 - Georgia USA - Shawn Payment in an OzRacer Mk2 
  • 2010 - Canada - Rick Landreville in what is now known as the OzRacer RV 
  • 2011 - Oklahoma USA - Brad Hickman in a modified OzRacer Mk2 changed to fit the current PDRacer rules.  
This photo is Brad sailing his boat very nicely.  The information posted below are Brad's comments of preparation for the event.  He has a background racing conventional boats so took a little time to get adjusted to the lug rig.  But obviously he is quite adapted now.

Another nice side is that the boats are highly robust.  Built as designed every part is extremely reliable over the long term


Brad won from boats designed by Jim Michalak and John Welsford.  The interesting thing is that the professionally designed boats were up near the top of the rankings, though some self designed boats did well too ... I am thinking of Kenny Giles who always sails his self designed boat well too.

Anyway ... over to Brad Hickman ...
While preparing for the race at the Sail Oklahoma messabout I had two concerns. One was I'd been reading about a recently completed Kiwi PDR that was reported to be very fast. The other was some speculation that the 90 square foot OZ rig didn't perform as well in light winds as some light weight production sails with more draft. It turned out neither of those was anything to be concerned about.
The Kiwi with it's 55 square foot Lanteen rig wasn't able to keep pace with my OZ under any conditions, light or moderate to heavy winds. The 90 Square foot balanced lug sail will perform well in light wind if it's set up properly.
The owner of the Kiwi, who also has two OZs, told me there's a racing sail being developed for the boat but he also said that even with the racing sail he doubts he his Kiwi will be able to keep up with my OZ.
Things I did to prepare for what was forecast to be a light wind race, listed in order of importance:

  1. I spent 16 hours sailing my OZ the week prior to the race tuning and training.
  2. I removed the lacing from the yard and replaced it with zip ties (don't know what you call them in Australia but they're the adjustable plastic bands used to bundle wires). I set the zip ties at the middle of the yard for a 12mm gap between the edge of the sail and the yard then tapered the gap to 4mm at the peak and throat to give more draft in the head. I also eased the head tension lashings so there was very little tension in the head. My sail is made of light weight, 3.1 oz, poly tarp.
  3. I got a Laser style mast mount wind indicator. I've tried tell tails at various locations on the sail but could never get them to work to my satisfaction due to the turbulence near the mast. The win indicator (http://www.apsltd.com/c-2322-laser-windindicators.aspx) gave me instant information on wind direction and shifts which I would not be able to detect in the very light winds.
  4. I lightly sanded my bottom and foils with 320 grit wet or dry sandpaper. (Brad means the boat's bottom.)
I wear knee pads when sailing the OZ in light winds and kneel in the center of the boat as close as I can get to the centercase. The boat must be kept flat, even one corner of the transom dragging in the water will slow it down. I also keep any movement minimal and when I do move or trim the sail I do it as smoothly as I can. Abrupt movements can actually stall the sail in light wind.
I attached photos of my sail trim in light wind. The first four are of the head and foot close hauled, the other two are the head and foot on a reach. I have an adjustable outhaul.
Brad
Read more: http://www.woodworkforums.com/f169/oz-vs-kiwi-125432/#ixzz1qeufZQpr
Rick Landreville, the previous champion asked ...
I wonder out loud how transferable that info is with your aluminum (aluminium? Why not?) spars. I have quite a bit of flex with my tapered wooden spars which throw some draft or some flatness into the sail without resorting to retying the sail to the spars. The only thing I change is the outhaul tension on the boom to change the draft of mine, but I am using the heavyweight polytarp (12x12 weave, 7 oz perhaps?). Downhaul tension really loads up the spars in my case. I am using a 6:1 boom vang from my Geary 18 for the downhaul.
How much flex do you get from your yard and boom? They look quite, um, robust!
The photo above is Brad's rig.  The sail is homemade from polytarp for a cost of less than $50.  The OzRacer plans have full step by step instructions on how to make the sails yourself using a simplified method. Some of the sails at the regatta were professionally made or from regular sailcloth at much greater cost.  Brad did use aluminium spars but the designed wooden versions work well too.

Brad replied to Rick
I don't know how the aluminum would compare to wood since with wood there is a wide range of stiffness depending on species, grain spacing, grain orientation, and other variables. The yard I'm using has the same dimensions and alloy that Needlespar uses for the Keyhaven scow, which also uses a balanced lug. The yard is robust but I can easily get enough bow in it to flatten the head with the 8:1 downhaul I'm using.
Your 7oz polytarp is more than twice the weight of the 3.1oz I'm using. I think the heavy weight tarp was a major factor in the "90 sf balanced lug sails don't work well in light air" speculation.
I can change the draft in the head using the downhaul but I wanted a little extra for the light air conditions that were forecast, and fortunately the forecast was right for a change. Using the zip ties I could have quickly changed back to my original setup.
Another thing I've done that I didn't mention is put an eye strap on the yard to run the throat to yard lashing through. It seemed that when I would apply downhaul tension the head would slide down the yard and flatten out before there was much bow in the yard.
I'm still experimenting and looking for the optimum setup so I'm not sure what I'm doing is exactly right, but it seemed to work well last weekend.
I'm looking forward to hearing what Mik has to say after looking at the photos I posted




 The above pic is Brad's boat in a gust.  The lug rig does have more twist than a more conventional racing rig.  But the whole boat only cost as much as a spinnaker pole or a jib for one of the senior racing classes.

The below was Michael Storer's take

My feeling about this is that the OZ plans lead to the putting together of a very good package. Everything is not too far away from how someone would turn up to a national champs in one of the more competitive racing classes - that's where my head was at when we worked through everything from the plan to the rigging setup - it takes decades of lessons from competitive sailing into account.

That is within the constraint of the cheap materials and polytarp sail of course - even though the materials are everyday - and the sail cloth and cutting is relatively crude - the actual detail is quite highly refined - four masts and four sails for the sprit - and the lug was just great from the first one.

The plans cover all that stuff - so that if someone follows the plan they end up with a very sophisticated and optimised boat.

Something that can be raced in a championship next day (almost).

It is hard for someone without the background to put something together that will work this well.

The other side is Brad has also tricked the boat up with a vang and some other adjustments to make it faster still. As you all know I always struggle a bit with the complexity issue - but everyone else seems to decide what they want pretty easily - simple or sophisticated. No probs!

And the practice counts for a lot too. Before the worlds that they won I think rick in Canada and Shawn in the USA spent way more time out on the water than anyone else.

Put with a good boat it is a very effective mix!!!

MIK


Finally ... a nice video of Brad a few months early "motoring" (ie sailing fast) and pulling away from a much larger boat in his tiny 8ft OzRacer.  The main lesson from the OzRacer experience for me is that the hull shape almost doesn't matter if you have good foil shapes and a good sail/rig interaction designed in.  The real advantage of the hullshape is enormous stability that allows it to carry a bigger sail than the Laser.  The stability also makes it an almost foolproof boat for beginners - but it is refined and responsive making it an excellent teaching vessel.






Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OzRacer Mk3 revisited - simple sailboat by Storerboatplans

I recently found this blog about building a OzRacer Mk 3 sailboat (it doesn't comply with the PDRacer rules).





It was stillborn a couple of years ago. The wonderful Rick Landreville built a Mk3 prototype.

However I handed the plan as it existed to a number of builders who had bought the OzRacer Mk2 plans for them to combine the details of both to complete their own version of the OZ Mk3.

This blog is about one of these boats.

The advantage of the Mk3 was meant to be
  • a much simpler construction than the Mk2 - at the cost of an extra sheet of ply.
  • a leeboard rather than a centreboard - sacrificing a little bit of performance to have a big open cockpit
  • a second mast position to allow for a smaller sail to suit kids better than the one position mast of the Mk1 and Mk2 Ozracers.

The boat keeps the same advanced features of the Oz Mk2 - the foils and carefully developed rig (we built four masts and four sails until we got the combination right - including breaking one of the prototype masts. Something that hasn't happened to any of the final version masts.

The 4 x 2 are temporary spacers


This gives the performance benefits for either racing or cruising that made the OzRacer the winner of the worlds in 2009, 2010 and Brad Hickman followed closely to produce his 2011 world title boat.

The benefits for cruising is that whatever happens to the weather conditions or the direction you will sail to get home or to safety that the OZ variants will be able to do what you want better than any PDR that doesn't have correctly designed foils (centreboard and rudder) or not so optimised sail/spar interaction.

But don't worry about that - it just means the boat will go where it is pointed and any experienced sailors will be bowled over by the ability, performance and feel of the boat.

For the ultimate performance the Mk2 plan is still the best because it is one sheet of ply lighter and the central centreboard has some small advantage as well.

We hope to be releasing the Oz Mk3 as the OzRacerRV in the next month or so. But that's another story.  The news will be on this blog or you can email me on storerm@storerboatplans.com


More photos of the OzRacer including rigging guides and construction logs on Flickr

The PDRacer, OzRacer, Catbox, Kiwi PDR

The "ducks" are an ideal first boat for adults or ids and a great way to take the first step into boat building as well!

Visit our OzRacer site at PDRacer.info or follow any of the links for a gold mine of free information, comprehensive boat building advice and access to plans and building manuals.

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