Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In the beginning there was The Word.

Concept of fast modern proa has been sitting in my head for a few years already. I could see the boat. She would be light, easy to paddle, fun to sail and fast. She would have slender main hull, vaka. Sit on top. No cockpit. She will have narrow trampoline, just enough room to sleep on. All control lines are led to trampoline along beams, akas.  She will have modern high aspect unirig, sitting in the middle, with wing mast. She will have unusual rudders, located at the ends of main hull, dagger type, remotely operated via control lines.  There will be rudder locking mechanism. It would lock the front rudder in center position. The front rudder, partially lowered will work as a daggerboard.
And, how they say nowadays, OMG,  she will have articulating akas.  Ama, outrigger, short, planning type, would slide back and forth, bringing my body to where ballast needed. To center, while going upwind or to back while sailing downwind.  Also with outrigger (ama)  folded, she will be narrow paddling platform to navigate rivers.
As I said, I could see the boat.
However, I’m not a designer and the boat probably would die in my head as many great ideas I have had over the years.
Did you notice that if you want something bad enough, things just come together, like pieces of puzzle?
I told my vision of the boat in Russian boat forum, and several boat designers jumped it after naming her  “CrazyProa”. So, the boat got a name and she got a leading designer Serge Kytcel, known already as author of several good looking multihulls.
After month long discussion on the forum, you can use google translator,
ideas were flying, calculation were made, I had a set of CAD files.
At the same time I recovered a broken mast from Nacra F17, with 25 ft length intact and I got a new sail from Escape Playcat for a song.  As I said, things have been fitting together, like a puzzle.
Owner of B&B yachts design, my friend and Watertribe veteran,  Roo, aka Graham Byrnes was kind enough to spend two days working with my files and he cut the plywood on his CNC machine. I cannot thank you enough, Graham. You told me that it is a worthy case. Now I feel obligated to prove it.
There was very valuable input from SOS, thank you Alan. Also they continue to provide support with my build.

Anyway, 10 days ago I pulled a van with plywood pieces from NC to PA, where I reside now.


  1. Looks very interesting, Vlad. I know someone who tried a swinging crossbeam system for a proa, and it had initial good results, but can be more complex in practise than you might think. The concept seems developable, however. I'll bet you can pull this off. The rudders worry me a little as they are always the weak point, and the bow rudder is so exposed in short choppy water. Eager to follow your progress!

  2. Bow rudder needs to be steerable or completely retaractable to make sure the bow can bear away when shunting (otherwise the boat may just sit broadside to wind and sail in small arc around the float)

  3. Fishwics, both rudders are steerable at any time, with locking mechanism released, although the front rudder will have significant loads due to overbalance. Anyway she has very little sideway resistance in the hull and I'm pretty sure she will pivot around bow rudder even with the front rudder locked.

  4. A thought. When are two boats one?

    Has anyone explored the possibilities of two separate but coupled boats. I am thinking of two pilots in two boats but with connections, rigid or just ropes. I wonder what can be done?

    1. Kruger expedition canoes have this option. They have built in sleeves for connecting poles. Two boats can be connected into catamaran for open water crossings.