October 2011 Archives

Halloween and blog issue

spike costume.jpegHalloween was Spike's favorite time of year.


Friends and a Fan

Gatekeeper 2.jpgwalt1.jpgI'm lucky. I have made a lot of friends in this business. Of course there was the builder from Florida that did not like his review in SAILING. He called and said he was coming to Seattle to "Cut your head off!" He didn't come to Seattle and his boat was still a dog.

Then there is Dr. Walter Berdon. We have been corresponding for years. We met through my reviews in SAILING and Dr. Walter started writing me letters with ideas and comments on the boats I had reviewed. Dr. Walter is 81 years old and lives in Mamaroneck, New York where he sails a 25' Dufour 1800. He is Professor Emeritus in pediatric radiology at Columbia University.He has been out to Seattle twice in the last two years to lecture at Children's Orthopedic Hospital and while here he asked his host to arrange a meeting with me. I was honored. So two years ago Dr. Walter along with his companion Lolly showed up at the house on a nice sunny summer's afternoon. We drank some wine and had a real nice chat about all kinds of things. We repeated the visit this year. Dr. Walter has been very supportive in my hours of darkness. He advises me on medical issues and is one of the reasons I quit drinking.
He's a smart man and on demand by fancy doctors in Seattle. The fact that he has taken time to come up and visit me, twice means a lot. He tells me that I have brought a lot of pleasure to his life. I feel good about that. I look forward to our next visit. Google him, he's famous.

Then there is Dr. Walters counter part Orlando Yen. Orlando is about 7 or 8 years old and lives in Australia. Somehow he got hold of a copy of GOOD OLD BOAT and found the article with the drawings for my 58' ketch CATARI. His Dad Andrew emailed me and said  Orlando had taken a liking to the design and carried the magazine around telling people that this was "his boat". But the magazine had not stood up to Orlando's demands and it had fallen apart. Andrew wondered if I could send any drawings of the boat for Orlando. Of course I could and I did and I also sent him a whole bunch of my drawings for other boats. But Orlando loved that ketch.

Here is Orlando surrounded by drawings. He is studying the cockpit rendering that Rick did. Orlando did a three week passage on a traditional gaff ketch this summer.
I'm certain he enjoyed himself. The photos of the voyage show him with a very serious look on his face most of the time. This kid is paying attention. Orlando decided to build a model of the ketch and I have the finished model here next to me. It is a prized possession. I have about 60 half  models but I like this one. Here is Orlando working on the model. Not bad for a little kid. I had better keep an eye on Orlando.
Orlando is now building a larger scale radio controlled model of the ketch.


I have other friends too. There is Dan Faulkner back in Ontario. We call him Gatekeeper because that's the handle he uses on line. It's also the name of his boat. I met Dan on SAILING ANARCHY. We have never met face to face but we have exchanged a lot of photos. Dan has been a steadfast friend for a few years but he really was there to offer me support after Spike died. He didn't say much. We talked about boats and how to win races. We talked about how to fold fitted sheets. We talked about cooking and we talked a lot about ice hockey. We talked about our boys. We just talked. Here's a pic of Dan  cruising along with Jill his wife in a local race.

I am making chicken soup today. I'll make some noodles tonight and my friends will come over and we will have home made chicken noodle soup. I'm really good at making it. My secret is a pinch of curry powder and lots of carrots and parsnips. I'm listening to Mozart's DON GIOVANNI. I should mow the lawn but there's tomorrow for that. I have now lost 17 pounds.


Orlando big model.jpg 

Orlando model.jpg


orlando yen.jpg

Saturday and rain

TrippDrawing1.jpgI think I will experiment.
It took me a half an hour to get that sail plan the way I wanted it here. I'm not good at this.
It's fusterating, as my son Max used to say.

This yawl was my attempt at drawing a CCA type boat for a good client that is constantly in search of the "perfect boat".
I was trying to Channel Bill Tripp but as you can see I fell short. My bow is not right. I should have added another 18" of overhang forward to give it more grace and allow me the length to get in the complexity to that profile that makes Tripp designs so special. And NO, I am not talking about the current Bill Tripp III. I am talking about his father, Bill Tripp Jr. You can read all about him in my GOB article.

It's funny, kind of. You work your ass off trying to get a boat looking good and you finally say, "That's it!". Then you take out the drawing three months later and say, "Oh, I can do better than that."
I need to take some of the freeboard out of the bow too. I get carried away with sheer spring sometimes.

The rain continues to come down.

I caught a 10" salmon this morning. Little bugger put up a hell of a fight by I bested him.
I'll listen to the opera on CBC2 at 1pm.
I am going to watch the U of W play football at 5pm.
Max and Stacy have promised to come up today so that will be fun.

perry yawl 3.JPG

Perry and "Sons" aka Rick Beddoe


image 3.JPGcape horn3.jpgI'll get back to rudders eventually but as I walked the dogs this morning I had the thought that I should have you take a look at this.

I first met Rick Beddoe (we call him "Sons" on Cruising Anarchy because he uses SONADORA as his handle there) years ago when he asked for drawings for his Baba 30 so he could do some 3D renderings of it. Time past and soon I received some images from Rick. They were awful. The little Baba 30 was turned into what I thought looked like a blow up bathtub toy. But I encouraged him to keep going.


Years later Rick showed up on Cruising Anarchy (CA) and joined in the discussion of a hypothetical design we were playing with on the site. Rick volunteered to do some renderings for us. He did and in typical CA fashion the group pounced on him with a lot of candid comments on the quality of his work. It got pretty bad and at one point Rick almost said, "It's my football and I'm taking it home." But he didn't. He stuck around and kept working on his 3d rendering skills. So he passed the initial CA initiation requirements and now the group began working with him with  positive and constructive criticism. Quite quickly Rick was turning out amazing renderings. In fact they were so good that I hired him to do some rendering work for projects I had going. Clients love this stuff. For the client or client's wife who may have problems really reading the 2D drawings I produce Rick's work produced virtual photos of the finished boat.

In the case of the 58' ketch for ND. I was having some trouble with picturing exactly how the aft cockpit area would segue with the area under the overhang of the aft raised house. I'm a good draftsman but I was struggling with this area. I called on Rick with the directive, "Please make this work." It took a few tries and we went back and forth on the exact way to do it but in the end Rick got it right. Rick has the designer's eye and that makes our work together much easier.

With good old Steve Davis gone to that big design office in the sky I won't have the luxury of his beautiful 2D renderings anymore. It's a damn shame. And Rick will tell you that he is no Steve Davis. But Rick's stuff is 3D and that takes the rendering to a higher level. It's fun to have one of Rick's renderings with the software to revolve the boat and look at it from any angle.

Rick is also the guy who set up this blog for me. "No worries Bob I can set that up for you.

Thanks Rick.





















Rudders, let's start here

Icon new rudder.jpgThis is ICON's revised rudder. As you probably can guess the bumps on the leading edge are what was added to my original rudder shape. These bumps are called "Tubercles" and can be found in nature on the leading edge of the fins Humpback whales. They can be seen as vortex generators. So, why were they added and did they work?


ICON's original owner and skipper were Happy with the boat's performance and I never heard any complaints about the rudder. But ICON sold to a new owner and he was campaigning the boat heavily and quite successfully. The new owner, Kevin, felt the rudder was stalling too quickly when the boat was being hard pressed. He asked Paul Bieker to take a look at the rudder and suggest a modification. I've known Paul for years. He was an intern in my office years ago and lived in my house while interning. Paul is one of the most clever and technically agile designers I know. Paul pulled out a technical paper," HOW BUMPS ON WHALE FLIPPERS DELAY STALL, An Aerodynamic model." by Ernst A. van Nierop, Silas Alben and Michael P. Brenner. This highly technical paper goes into the theory behind how the bumps can delay the stall angle of a fin. It's full of complex formulas and to be honest a bit over my head. OK, way over my head but I can look at the pictures, the graphs and read the text and get a good understanding of what and why they were doing it.

Paul applied the theory in the paper and suggested three bumps on the leading edge of ICON's rudder. The idea being that when ICON was heeled over and rudder was applied at high angles of attack the rudder would suck air down the leading edge leading to a stall and loss of rudder control. The bumps direct this downwash back across the rudder foil and delay stalling. Cool huh. And yes, according to Kevin, the bumps worked great. There is very little additional drag from the bumps but the effect on stall angle was dramatic.

On many modern high performance boats with broad transoms twin rudders are used so that the leeward rudder is well below the water's surface. This prevents the leeward rudder from "ventilating" and stalling. But on ICON we had one rudder and changing to twin rudders would have been very expensive. Paul's solution was a simple, quick and economical fix. Plus, it looks sexy.


Thanks Paul. You made a  good boat even better.



I started with this rudder because I think it represents the epitome of where rudder evolution has taken us. I'll work back wards now and go into some of the older rudder shapes, i.e. the "elephant ear" rudder as my pal Thorvald likes to call them and explain why they were not the best way to steer a boat.


I met with Thorvald this weekend. He is rebuilding an old Bill Garden yawl with a long keel and an attached rudder that is kind of shaped like an elephant's ear, hence the term. We spread out the drawings to Thorvald's boat and studied the old rudder shape. My conclusion was that he should leave his rudder as is. The underwater profile of his boat is so pretty that I just couldn't;t see enough benefits from altering the rudder planform to justify modifying it from the original. It was a case of respecting the original work of Bill Garden.


So understand. The best rudder for steering a boat is an independent spade rudder. Or if your boat has a really fat fanny twin high aspect ratio spade rudders. If your boat has moderate proportions without exaggerated beam at the stern one rudder will work fine. But it's waste of time to try to justify other styles of rudders. All sorts of weird rudder shapes will work but the clean foil of the spade rudder works the best. Carbon fiber construction can make the rudder tremendously strong and free from all the problems that come with grp skins over foam attached to a metal pipe stock.


I will look at some of the older rudder shapes next.


We managed to get the hits on Jill's hospital blog up to almost 900!

Jill and I appreciate the support. It was amazing.


I think we did what we could do and now it's time to turn the blog over to some subject matter more cheerful like,,,how come I can't steer my boat?

I think I'll do a rudder blog this weekend.

spike.jpgRobert Hogg was Spike's doctor at Swedish hospital in Seattle. If he had correctly diagnosed Spike's illness as bacterial pneumonia Spike would most probably be alive today. Bacterial pneumonia is easily treated but it requires antibiotics.
Spike was given an anti inflammatory drug, anti depressants and an anti nausea drug, no antibiotics. He was sent home to "rest" and died the next night.

I would appreciate it if you could visit this web site and look at Jill's blog about Spike and bacterial pneumonia. I want to keep this blog active and busy.
I am not asking you to comment unless you want to.
I am not asking you to take sides.
I just want the hospital to see how many people are watching this.

I want the hit count on this blog entry to go sky high.

I know this is a bit weird but not half as weird as waking everyday with no Spike.
Thanks for your understanding.

The web site is:

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