UFC Expedition Canoe/Trimaran launched 1-1-13

This is a self built decked Canoe that I hope will meet my personal requirements for a good expedition craft for one or two people.  I hope to test it in the field on March 2nd 2013 Everglades Challenge Race which is the 13th annual event. It was specifically designed for a solo attempt at the Ultimate Florida Challenge, a 1200 mile adventure around Florida that includes over 300 miles of rivers and a 40 mile portage. In order to meet these challenges you have to have a boat that will do it all so I have based my boat on a few and taken design elements from them all. The Hull shape is based on a angus rowboat (bottom 12 inches of their stitch and glue shape) and Kruger cruiser ( total depth and width of hull at bow, middle and stern. So I added freeboard but kept it decked like the angus. It was a compromise in order to have a hull that I could build myself but make it more of a canoe instead of a rower. I would still like to get my hands on a good used Kruger Cruiser but they are hard to come by. Anyway,  this should make a good boat for the rivers and shallow waters all along the route. It should be able to be paddled, pedaled (mirage drive), or rowed. The remainder of the boat is based on one of the best off the shelf adventure boats that I know of and one that I have owned the Hobie Tandem Island.  Some of the best design ideas on this boat is used on mine. On the Hobie the akas fold in just a few seconds, the mast and sail is roller furling and can be quickly set with any amount of sail up to 90 sq foot, and the pedal drive can move the boat along with leg power. To round out the package I used WaterTribe Big 16 Classic inflatable amas. They can be removed and stowed in the boat along with the Hobie akas which will allow traversing the wilderness waterway, narrow rivers and 40 mile road portage. They will also allow the boat to be driven under sail power. How well it does it’s job remains to be seen but on the first launch we went 8 nm and averaged 4.2 knots with no wind, sailed just a bit in wind less than 5 mph and then removed the amas and paddled like a canoe at 3.5 knots and it seemed very stable. I had a EC load in the front hatch and with me in the boat it draws 4 inches of water. What I really like about the boat so far is that I can get up and move about and I can even stand up and paddle like a SUP.  I can also sit on the side rails or pretty much anywhere on the top deck if necessary. Testing will continue and I hope to be ready for the EC. 60 days and counting. Roger

NCC result

I had a tough NCC 2012. The race started and I had 40 paces to drag my boat to the water. Still I got a good start but there was no wind. I sailed what I could but mostly paddled aprox. 30 miles the first day. The worst was the cannal where I had the current against me and was making 1 mph.

But after sleeping for four hours in the newport river I got up at day break and made it to check point 1 early and found that there was still 2 folks behind me. I saw Chief and BayRaider off of Harkers Island and then the wind picked up and I finally got some needed wind. For about a half hour stretch I got some really good wind and off my beam and the boat got on plane and it when like a rocket on rails. Here is the tracker info from that time.

jollyrogerWP164, OK Button, 13.42 kn

Position: 34.832820 -76.404880
Date/Time: 9/29/2012 1:32 PM

Nm From Last Tracking Point: 1.61
Hours From Last Tracking Point: 0.12
Knots From Last Tracking Point: 13.42

Nm From Last Msg: 5.49
Hours From Last Msg: 0.31
Knots From Last Msg: 17.71

I averaged 17.71 knots over 5 1/2 miles and my top speed was over 20. What a ride. That 1/2 hour made the whole trip worth it and showed great potential for when there is wind. It also showed that if there is no wind then I am going to be only making less than 3 mph and putting in great phyical effort to do that. It is not easy paddling a 330 lb Tri. so I will be looking into a spin drive , mirage or maybe oars which is not likely do to being 14 foot wide.

There was also a storm that us. I had my 2nd reef in and it blew it out ripping the sails. They were over 30 years old so a new set is in Seven’s future. She is a cool little racer and a keeper for sure.


Plans for the NCC2012

Plans for the NCC2012. I have just gotten back from a sail where I finally had some wind. It was 13 mph gusting to 18 and I was in fairly protected waters. I managed to reach 14.8 mph which is the new top speed for the boat. I learned a lot during this 2 hour sail. The boat is way more than I am accustomed to and it is a different kind of sailing that I will have to learn. I made a bunch of mistakes. It seems to be race horse and I am a rookie making all the mistakes and she is trying to buck me off.

So with that being said what are my plans for the NC Challenge 2012? It appears that the weather for the weekend is going to be fair, It is still 5 days away, things can change. Currently it is to be Lighter winds and clear. As I see it I have two choices. Take my time and the longest routes possible and with a few deversions like the cape and plan to finish Sunday by 10 am or race and finish as quickly as possible and after reaching the finish, and I have time, then plan to keep going until Sunday and see how much ground I can cover. I have slightly over two days to make the deadline at 10 am Sunday and heaven knows I need all the sailing time that I can get. The first choice is riskier about getting a NDF so I am leaning toward the second choice. Do the race and hope to finish earlier. My goal is to cover as much ground as I can in 2 days.      Roger

New Blog started on my website

I have decided to move my bloging onto my website. Thanks to Adam for setting it up for me.  It will make it much easier for me to keep up just the one blog. I will be using this watertribe blog for the actual races which is only just two per year for the watertribe. If you would like to follow my new Blog you can go to my web address and click on the new blog tab.  That is where all the boat and airplane construction and updates will be put.    Thanks, Roger



PuddleCat 18′ started. July 4th.

Well I have been waiting on parts for “Seven” and while waiting completed the little red Tri -Banana’s, and just started another boat that has been on my mind for a while. Ever since seeing Andrew Linns Photo of my puddlecat 13′ Adventure”-Ltl’ Lagoon”, in Tampa Bay during the EC 2011 I knew that it could be better if it was larger and wider. It is 6 wide.No I am not sinking….the waves are just that high in the bay. I had left the beach with just one sail up in the center location but started getting passed so was in the process of putting both sails up in the biplane configuration when the scamp passed me and they took this photo. I have a video of them  here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVk-WE5wIho just as we got to the outside. Anyway just a foot in length makes a big difference so I am making one at 18’instead of 13.  This will put it in the same catagory as another boat that I have wanted which is the catamaran Miss Cindy. This boat went on an incredible adventure and proved very capable but you can not get plans. It is a biplane rig as well. As of today I have a good start. Will post pictures soon and discuss it more detail.

New design started 6-6-12 PuddleTri.

It seems that I can not finish one boat before I get started on another. In my defense, as soon as there was some room in the garage when “seven” was removed, it only seemed right to get started on something that I have been wanting to build and one that should go together very quickly. It is losely based on my Puddlecat 8’/9′ and 12’/13′ boats but is going to be a trimaran. I started the drawings last night, will pick up supplies today and may start cutting wood tonight. I will be doing updates here when there is news to share. The PuddleTri is going to be no less than 12 because I have been off shore in the 13 foot PuddleCat Adventure and that is as small as I care to go and enter it into tough watertribe races. Last year in the NCC 2011 it was rough and nastly. Other specs- 8’6″ wide so that it does not have to be folded or torn down and will be road legal together. The akas and amas will remove for cartoping. A guess at the weight is 125 lbs total. I will be using a Hobie AI mast and sail that I have on hand and will be ordering a Triak dousing spinaker just because it is so neat. More to come….This completed in a couple of hours over the weekend. And below is as of Tues morning 6-12-12. and 6-25 after taking a week Holiday in the bahamas. I should get back to work at it and get it close to finished this week.

Boat  should be completed and ready to test very soon. It is a Trimaran but it will also be tested in the monohull configuration which basically makes it a copy of the Paradox or enigma boat designs. In this setup it will carry 180 lbs of water ballast in the belly tank just below the captains floorboard.  This should take care of my need to have a paradox to play around with. In the Tri configuration (no ballast) it will satisfy my desire to have another boat that I have been admiring  which is a SeaClipper 10’ named Banana. My boats length is 12’ and right in the middle of both boats but mainly 12’ in order to be large enough to carry a jib and spinnaker in front of the hobie AI mast and sail but still small enough to car top. The main hull ready to sail came out to 82 lbs. In the mono config it should be right at 100 total and in the Tri it should be right at 125 lbs. The 8’ foot amas came out to 12 lbs each and they tested out in the pool at 300 lbs of buoyancy each in order to sink them to water level. Back to work, more to come.

Launched 7-1-12 All went really well and I am pleased so far. It is a cool little boat. With no weight in the boat it looks like the amas are high but with my weight they are both above the water aprox 2 inches and it sits on the waterline mark with the stern alittle low with my back against the seat. If I use the hiking board and get my weight forward it sits level so most supplies will be kept in the bow when on a challenge. I single blade paddled it and with an easy stroke that I could keep up for a few hours I could maintain 3 mph.