Saturday, 28 April 2012

Lay down Sailing boat!

For a while I have been toying with the idea of building a lay down sailing boat, and here are a couple of pics of my prototype on her maiden voyage!

The cut out in the transom is so I can kick with my legs for propulsion if needed (I have a couple of flippers I took on the boat with me) This also makes tacking a very quick process.

I am using an Optimist rig, stayed with some dyneema rope. The hull itelf is made from a foam core sandwiched between two sheets of 3mm plywood so the hull is very light!

I made a hand stearing mechanism for the rudder using two cables lead through some pulleys to a lever where my right hand falls naturally. The main sheet leads to a cam cleat in easy reach of my left hand.

There was very little wind on the day (a good thing), however I was rather nervous on my first launch as this is a pretty whacky concept. The idea is that although she is never going to be that fast, as I will be so close to the water it should give a good sensation of speed!

I was pleased at how comfortable it felt laying on my front - this was one of my worries. The steering mechanism did not work well but I managed to steer by just using my foot on the rudder. The boat seemed balanced well, with maybe just a little too much weather helm.

I need to add a little more buoyancy on the sides and aft, I shall do this with some closed cell styrofoam. I am also going to change the steering mechanism, I am thinking at the moment to change to a foot controlled mechanism.
Happy days!

1 comment:

  1. Try a Super Sea Snark .. all my years of sailing have been in the laying down position .. a blow up air raft under my back makes it very comfortable .. the boat is 11 feet long and only 50 pounds .. I keep mine on the roof of my SUV all summer so when ever I get the urge I'm ready to go ..