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captainsharp

Windboat Tradewind

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I think that idea that the boats were too heavy is correct. 

Rafiki weighs 18 tons. Its like a super tanker on the canal systems. 1. the wash is substantial especially in narrow water ways and 2 the screw / engine isn't powerful enough to stop the boat at all. 

As an owner its quite rewarding as you really have to think ahead, plan everything your doing. Entering a lock, it may appear the boat is going way too slow and cautiously but its the only way to not over cook it. And when it goes wrong it can cause quite a bit of damage, not to the boat, but to other boats  and property (and people, my wife badly broke her arm trying to push off against another boat).

On the plus side, it's extremely stable. Staying board during rough weather or when other boats go past, she's rock steady. You may see light weight GRP boats bobbing about when Rafiki barely seems to be moving at all. And its surprising insulating. Staying aboard in the winter isn't a problem at all. Even though it doesn't have a fancy diesel heater. As for repairs, I haven't had to repair anything.... yet. The comment about screwing into it or modifying the hull in any way is valid though.

So the weight issue is probably the reason it didn't take off, especially for the rental market. 

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Just put a bigger much more powerful engine, and deeper pitched prop on her, she should be alright then?. The only problem would be too fast going forward lol.

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i meant to say inexperienced helm.   hire boats don't have big engines cost plus speed plus high fuel use means smaller engines thus no stopping power. John

12 hours ago, ChrisB said:

 

 

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1 hour ago, annv said:

 hire boats don't have big engines cost plus speed plus high fuel use means smaller engines thus no stopping power. John

Sorry, can't agree with that as a general comment. The hire boat business has been looking into this equation for several decades. Surely it is in our own interests that our boats should be able to stop when they want to?

A displacement hull on inland waterways does not need a big engine. Not even on a 400 ton barge. What it does need, is a suitable match between the engine, and the size and pitch of the propellor.

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Interesting topic. My father was chief naval architect and general manager at Windboats designing many famous boats. They did not go straight from timber to concrete. They did small boats in aluminium and glass fibre. Donald Hagenbach and my father had a bitter disagreement about the subject of concrete v glass fibre which resulted in him resigning on the spot from a good job. He was convinced that glass fibe boats would be the future. He then borrowed money and set about designing the Griffin 35 (Bourne) which was the first of many commercial sucesses in glass fibre. He always maintained that concrete was more expensive to build and relied heavily on the skill of the plasterers. If even a pin hole is left water will get into the reinforcing with serious results. I do not know if that is right but it certainly is the case in concrete buildings.

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Any ferro boat is only as good as it's armature and protecting that armature is paramount,

Interestingly, some yachts are now employing a stainless frame/chassis/armature encased in GRP. And all rigging, engines and deck gear is bolted directly to the frame. With the stress running though the metal work the GRP hull, bulkheads and superstructure are non-structural and can be layed up lighter.

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Been browsing on you tube as you do

 

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I saw that clip. I think it's a great bit of footage. I especially liked seeing how the hull was made. 

I also liked the little detail of seeing the bedroom cupboard being stalled. That could be Rafiki and the cupboard that I put my things in. I don't know exactly how many tradewind 35's were built. I believe there were 9. Does anyone have any more information on that?

This little clip of a Tradewind being launched is also interesting. I assume its the first one. 

 

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