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Page history last edited by Kevin 12 years, 3 months ago


Whiterock Lake, Dallas, Fall 2001


Scout was an attempt to have a boat I could cartop without assembly.  I added a junk sail and an attempt at a Bruce foil to a tortured ply kayak I had lying about.  Total beam was about 6', weight was about fifty pounds without the rig, so I could cartop it all put together.  I sailed it all that winter and into the next summer, at which point the kayak was coming apart and the design flaws were clear.  I sadly cut it up for the trashmen, keeping the rig and some bits and parts for the inevitable next boat.  


Lessons learned: 

  • Beam is important on a Bruce foil boat.  I had no way to alter the beam.  I needed one.  The boat was much better on one tack than the other; on the 'Atlantic' tack with the ama to lee it made much more leeway.  The foil never lifted the ama out of the water on the 'Atlantic' tack.  It would usually hold it down on the 'Pacific' tack, but let go once.  I'm not sure why.  Ama went way up, almost capsized the boat.
  • Sheeting is important for a junk sail.  I used western style sheeting, to the boom only, like a dinghy.  Not good.  The top twisted off something terrible.  I needed junk style sheeting, one sheet to each batten.
  • Junks reef really easily.
  • Don't cut up a dying boat too fast.  I regret losing her, she was a great little zip around the lake ride, good for a day of fooling around when you don't have to get anywhere fast.  At the time I thought that the effort of patching the bottom of the kayak wasn't worth it, but next to the effort of coming up with a new boat I can keep in/on my truck, that would have been easy.
  • You don't need a fast boat on a small lake.  She was great for White Rock.  She was slow by multihull standards but fast by sailing kayak standards, about even with a Sunfish. 


Some pictures (from a very calm day, as someone on the proa_file pointed out at the time) and what I wrote at the time, from a proa_file post and a web page I made for the boat then:


Proa_file message #3734:


I took my little bruce foil outrigger kayak 'Scout' out this evening

for the first time, and it tacked! Slowly. But still, it was not at

all certain in my mind beforehand. Just to add a bit of angst, I

realized as I drove up to the lake that I'd forgotten the paddle...

Happily, when sitting in it, I'm close enough to the water to hand

paddle around when needed.

Need to move a bit of deck hardware and I'll take it out again

tomorrow. Will try to get some more pics then. I have a few; I'll

put them in an 'Outrigger kayak' folder in the files. Sorry for the

appalling quality of the pics, the pencam is not at its best in the

great outdoors.

Sailed for about an hour, zipping along pretty good at times. Take

the gps tomorrow. The foil is a laser cb, set into the ama at a 45deg

angle. Did lift the ama once, and chickened out and let the sheet go.

I suppose I need to let a bit of the foil come out, to let the leeway

start and pull the thing down.

It was fun, anyway, and went from the truck rack into the water in the

requisite five minutes, so I'm happy.

Sail is from Craig O'Donnell's page. Very helpful. About 55 ft^2.

More than enough, today, anyway. Bamboo and polytarp is cool and







 You can see the angle (~45 deg) of the foil here.  Total beam is 6'.  Sail area is about 55 sq ft.



Ama and foil from the top.  The c-clamp lets me adjust the amount of foil in the water.  Fancy, no?  The pvc tube is to hold a bamboo stick, for an as-yet unrealized dream of raising and lowering foils from the cockpit.









Taken by a nice man on the dock.

All in all, I'm very happy.  It's a bit slow to tack, but the water's right there, you just stick your hand in and paddle yourself around.  I put the foil well back and balanced the sail as much as I dared to prevent too much weather helm on the starboard (pacific) tack; it worked too well.  I have neutral helm on starboard and a bit (about 10 degrees of rudder) of lee on port.

I need to un-balance the sail a bit, and make the pedal to rudder a 1:2 rather than 1:1; as it is I get too little rudder movement for my pedal movement.

The whole Bruce foil thing is too cool for words.  It was gusting pretty good (~15kts) in the middle of the lake; I had to back off on both tacks.  On starboard (pacific) I think I was just being a chicken.  At the end of the day I was just gritting my teeth and leaving the sheet cleated.  I would get to about three inches of board showing, and it would take hold and not come out any further.  Started going quite fast, bow plowing a bit, much spray, much fun.

Only real disapointment is I'm feeling there's quite a bit more leeway made on port than starboard.  Have to take the gps out to confirm.  Still loads of fun, and very quick to get on and off the truck, which was the point.

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