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A mad romp tacking & shunting cat..... half cat half proa.

DISCLAIMER..........   This is pure flight of fancy.   I don't usually share these wild flights of fancy.... amazingly I don't use drugs or alcohol, so the only thing I can figure is that I must have a screw loose somewhere.   I've always admired outside the box thinkers, and been inspired by them from back in the Bucky Fuller days, a man who remains an inspiration to me.... though he passed on in 1983.

     A current rather off the wall marine inventor I enjoy reading is Rob Denny.   His innovations in his Harry Proa series  are quite impressive, and it doesn't hurt that his boats are asymmetric, which also appeals to me for some reason..... I'm drawn to asymmetry.  I'll never build a Harry Proa, and probably never build a Wharram unless it's a really small one.   I've built boats before, and know how much work it is.   

In following Rob's work, it came to me that a Wharram could easily be bidirectional, only the placement of the mast(s) and the rudder prevent it from working as a bidirectional boat that could either tack or shunt.  Rob uses two rudders, and no centerboard or dagger board or keel, the front rudder working with the aft one to prevent leeway, and both being on the inboard side of one of the hulls.  That rudder system would be adaptable to a Wharram, or for that matter a lot of cats.  It has the added attraction that if you turn the forward rudder to port and the aft rudder starboard, the rate of turn should be double what it would be with just one rudder and a fixed board, and if you turn both in the same direction, you have a tremendous tool to combat leeway.

Another innovation that has potential is having the bridge deck cabin or pod integrated with ONE hull, which has two benefits.  One is that it can provide a windbreak if it's on the windward side and you want to be on deck but the wind is unpleasant.  Likewise you could in many cases turn so that it was providing shade... or you could sail the other way for the opposite reason.  The advantage of tacking or shunting... being bidirectional.  It could work well with a flexible Wharram because it isn't tying the two sides together, but still provides a sheltered pathway between that hull and the bridgedeck cabin/pod.  In addition it leaves a nice clear path fore and aft alongside the opposite hull which may be quite wide.

Of course the tendency would be to load up one side and be out of balance..... but there is no reason  the other hull can't carry the heavy stuff to make up for the structural difference.

Now comes the really wild thing.........The mast situation.   Rob puts a central mast with a Ballestron rig on it, or two masts, in both cases they are on the hull opposite the accommodations.   My "brainstorm" takes asymmetry to the next level, and uses a pair of free standing masts in a "staggered biplane" configuration.  Each on it's own hull like a typical biplane junk rig....but on opposite ends.  The mast on starboard side for example would always be forward no matter which tack or shunt you were on, and the mast on the port side would always be aft..........or vice versa.

    A strange looking craft indeed!   No reason at all why it wouldn't work that I can see.   It would be a "biplane schooner" I suppose.  What a kick it would be to sail something like that among conventional yachties  ;-)   It would be able to tack or shunt.  

     Many years ago I built a model airplane....... back when models were enough for me ..... I've flown all my life, owned two aircraft, of which I built one.      My model had an engine on the fuselage like a conventional single engine aircraft, but also had an engine on one wing like a conventional twin. It was made from two plastic model kits....  I mostly built in balsa, and often from drawings.    Everybody thought it was a bit nuts, but a number of years back Burt Rutan designed and built Boomerang..... google it if you haven't see it.  The configuration was virtually identical to my model, though the model lacked the catchy modern look.  Of course Burt was another man I've followed his whole career for the same reason as Bucky, Rob, and a number of others.

............... Now you see why I seldom share my wild flights of fancy.  It's a fun romp  through fantasy land.... and as far as I can see it would work fine......... It costs nothing to dream, and make napkin sketches, and little to build models, and it beats watching TV...... something I've never done... never had one.

                                                            DW

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Asymmetry is very zen and zen (ie wabi sabi) is very wharram in the "first and second age" of wharrams I think, but maybe not so much in the current production form, which may or may not be the "third age of wharrams",  I don't know.

Today I was just reading Yrvind's thoughts on biplane and adjustable mast rigs which he demonstrates with his balsa models as he builds his latest mini-yacht, his 5.6m canoe yawl.  www.Yrvind.com

Yrvind is 81 and still voyaging in his self- designed and self- built boats and today mentions he built a proa in 1964. In case you don't know about him, it's all there on his website.

I follow it regularly, his philosophy is the same as mine and he has a lot of good practical ideas he works up from scratch.

We generally have far too much stuff  which is basically useless and this is at the core of Yrvind's ideas. As we get older many of us want to strip it all out.

I don't have a TV either......

Cheers  Ian



Ian R said:

Asymmetry is very zen and zen (ie wabi sabi) is very wharram in the "first and second age" of wharrams I think, but maybe not so much in the current production form, which may or may not be the "third age of wharrams",  I don't know.

Today I was just reading Yrvind's thoughts on biplane and adjustable mast rigs which he demonstrates with his balsa models as he builds his latest mini-yacht, his 5.6m canoe yawl.  www.Yrvind.com

Yrvind is 81 and still voyaging in his self- designed and self- built boats and today mentions he built a proa in 1964. In case you don't know about him, it's all there on his website.

I follow it regularly, his philosophy is the same as mine and he has a lot of good practical ideas he works up from scratch.

We generally have far too much stuff  which is basically useless and this is at the core of Yrvind's ideas. As we get older many of us want to strip it all out.

I don't have a TV either......

Cheers  Ian

Ian:  asymmetry is not what it's about.  It's the logical conclusion of a design process.   The process began with the idea of integrating the pod with one hull, and making it a "half pod"   The idea being that you could have shelter from the storm, easy deck access, and the ability to access one hull without going outside while still retaining flexibility.    One thing led to another, and it seemed logical as there would be a broad access fore and aft.... about half the deck, to arrange things so you could always have the pod to the windward side...... or windward side if you wanted ventilation, shade, etc.  That led to bidirectionality, which naturally led to the Harry Proa type rudder system, and necessitates fore and aft masts or one in center.  Fore an aft masts on one hull does not make sense to me when the hulls are equal, and that leads to a forward mast on the windward hull, aft mast on the leeward hull.... assuming you are sailing with the pod to windward.... maximizing forward view.  It was all a logical progression that could only lead to one conclusion.    The masts themselves are really not asymmetrical , only the pod.   It all makes some sense....... assuming the rudder / leeway system will stand up to ocean travel.   There is some satisfaction in being able to pull in and back out.  The satisfaction of bidirectional sailing.....no rules... whatever is convenient.   Shunting would be optional.........so would tacking.  Take your pick.

                                                     DW

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