LOL sails again

This is the place to discuss your completed boats, and the practical sailing experience on them. What works, what doesn't? What do you want to change and what would you do differently next time?
RobinBennett
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by RobinBennett » 28 Aug 2016, 16:02

Oh dear, that sounds like quite an adventure - but it sounds like you handled it pretty well.

It's interesting that LOL inverted and couldn't be righted - my single laser mast was buoyant enough to keep my boat on it's side, at least long enough for me to swim around and right it, which only took a moderate pull from the water. What short of buoyancy is built into LOL? From the photos, it looks like a false floor in the centre, but the ends are open? Once you had the masts horizontal, did the buoyancy of the platform help at all?

Any thoughts on how you could right it, if you capsize again?

Would a gas engine start? I guess that depends on the engine and how well it's designed (and how lucky you are!) A well designed one would have the air intake and exhaust designed so that the bore wouldn't fill with water, and to drain once righted, so it would just work. If not, you'd have to remove the plug, dry it, pull the starter a few times to get the water out and possibly drain any water from the carb. At least these days you wouldn't have any ignition points to dry!
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cpcanoesailor
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by cpcanoesailor » 29 Aug 2016, 15:35

LOL has an open locker at each end of the cockpit (yes, it has a false floor), but both ends of the main hull have sealed compartments, and then large lockers with good hatches. They only took a few cups of water in. The cheap hatches in the cockpit floor let in a couple of litres. It took maybe 5 minutes of hand pumping to empty the lockers, cockpit and under the cockpit.

I was surprised at how little buoyancy the platform and akas have. There is a lot of timber and a heavy sheet of plywood there. Also, I have extra foam taped to the upper mast sections to help with sail shape. Of course all that weight to windward makes for good ballast. Just not enough in this case.

It could also be that the wet sails were heavy, and made it harder to right the jull. I should have lowered them first.

More thinking required.
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cpcanoesailor
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Re: LOL capsizes

Post by cpcanoesailor » 16 Sep 2016, 15:07

cpcanoesailor wrote:I capsized LOL yesterday.
I'm surprised there haven't been more responses to my capsize post. Maybe nobody noticed. It's OK if you want to say 'I told you so' - maybe I need to hear that.

Ironically, I now have parts for a 100AH LFP battery and a suitable charge controller. I'm thinking about how to make a truly waterproof, but portable electric power system. Maybe put it all in a big dry bag with sealed tubes for the solar panel and motor wires? Or a Pelican case?

I fixed the yuloh and mega-tiller. Now to fix the trolling motor.

I plan to do a capsize test using several big fenders lashed to the top of the lee side of the vaka, just to see what happens. Would be handy for docking too.

I thought about giving up on LOL, to find a production multihull, but I think I can work out the remaining problems by next summer.
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Rob Zabukovec
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by Rob Zabukovec » 16 Sep 2016, 16:33

Obviously some form of lee pod or lee flotation will help. You could also try pool noodles or pipe insulation taped or fixed to the booms, which in terms of lever arm should work better than fenders on the vaka lee side.

I would be interested to know the total weight of LOL and how much the ama and akas weigh??? The general rule of thumb is 20 - 25% of total displacement. I reckon you could be a bit light there and therefore lacking in righting moment.

LOL is also a bit high sided for its length, which doesn't help either.
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cpcanoesailor
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by cpcanoesailor » 17 Sep 2016, 14:34

Yes, I agree Rob. Not enough WTW, too much freeboard. Needs lee floatation/buoyancy.

I think LOL weights somewhere between 200 and 250kg. I can just lift one end. The aka and amas weigh maybe 30kg. You are probably right about not enough weight to windward.
RobinBennett
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by RobinBennett » 18 Sep 2016, 20:02

My experience was that a safety ama needs to be able to support your entire weight, and ideally enough of the boat's weight to keep the gunwale out of the water. My 3mx110mm pipe was no where near enough. I think a 3mx200mm pipe might be enough if you're sailing solo. I'm not sure you could get that much buoyancy with pool noodles or fenders (although they might prevent an inversion). A quick and dirty solution would be an old windsurf board or kayak.

A 2.4mx0.3m box would be easy to make from ply and give plenty of buoyancy but it's hard to use the volume usefully. I don't think you can risk leaving it open at the top or on the cockpit side so it doesn't give you any more living/sleeping space.

If it's right next to the vaka, the boat will probably sit on it's side until you climb around under the platform, where you'd probably go for a swim. So you probably want it spaced out to give a 45 degree angle. You could build a pod 0.3m high and 0.6m wide, attached and open to the cockpit. By counting it as part of the cockpit side, it's actually not much extra weight for double the volume, but I'm not sure I'd want to sleep in a box with such a low roof - and you might find you need a support in the middle that makes it hard to use. It's a lot of usable storage space though.
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tdem
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by tdem » 22 Sep 2016, 13:12

Good adventure though!

Some random thoughts:

Did you try righting the boat when on its side? It should be relatively easy, especially with the sails dropped.

Some catamarans have a system where with the boat on its side you can lengthen the "up" shrouds, causing the hull to become closer to horizontal. An equivalent alternative could be allowing the akas to pivot down, bringing their weight further outboard.

Making the masts watertight could help with preventing the full upside down.
The most important thing is to keep the most important thing the most important thing.- Donald Coduto
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cpcanoesailor
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by cpcanoesailor » 22 Sep 2016, 15:09

Did you try righting the boat when on its side? It should be relatively easy, especially with the sails dropped.
It turtled immediately after the knockdown. The two Laser masts are sort of sealed, but they are at the windward side of the vaka, so wouldn't offer any resistance to capsize until the ama is to lee of the vaka.

I unlashed the ama and forced the aka platform to sink. That brought the masts and sails to the surface. I've realized since that I might have been able to right LOL by untying one stay and pulling it over the floating ama. With the sails down of course.

As Robin says, enough lee flotation is the key to preventing another capsize. I'll try lashing a 2'x8' frame to leeward with a windsurfer board or inflatable kayak at the end. Fenders probably aren't buoyant enough, unless I spring for some giant ones.

I tested the solar panel and electric motor, and they both work, even after being submerged for two hours. The motor's speed control is ruined, but a 40A PWM module is cheaper than a new speed control switch. Upgrade opportunity.
RobinBennett
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by RobinBennett » 23 Sep 2016, 18:39

> I've realized since that I might have been able to right LOL by untying one stay and pulling it over the floating ama. With the sails down of course.

That sounds a lot like the 'righting line' that some small catamarans have permanently rigged. An alternative would have been to lash one end of a spar (oar/tiller, etc) to an aka just outboard of the platform, with the other end sticking over the far side of the vaka, and pull down on that end to lift the ama up and over.

> The motor's speed control is ruined
Do you need a speed control on a motor of that power? Could you use a big switch, or even just clip the power leads onto the battery?

Talking of electric outboards, I spotted this recently - the Chinese have started making brushless electric outboards with sufficient power for a small proa at a fraction of the cost of a Torquedo

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-sh ... 15249.html

I'm sure it won't be the same quality and wouldn't like to be the first to try it, but I think it shows where the market is going. I'm amused that a '5hp' motor only draws 1200W, and uses a 1000W motor though.
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cpcanoesailor
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Re: LOL sails again

Post by cpcanoesailor » 24 Sep 2016, 14:25

That electric outboard link is interesting - amusing too how the motor size grows from 3.5 at the last pics to 5.0 at the first ones. My trolling motor is Chinese - Haswing. It's similar to an older Minn Kota motor. I have a 50A switch for control, but PWM would be much nicer.

I'll keep thinking about righting strategies, but I plan to do some lee floatation testing, so it won't happen again!
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