Boat Design

New designs from our drawing board, and assorted thoughts on boat design in general.

Model testing the Almaguin, part 1: The framework

Computer simulations are pretty good these days, but there's still a lot they can't do. And as nice as it would be to have my own full-scale prototype of every boat I draw, that's just not feasible- there's never enough space or money for that. Models, though, are inexpensive, don't take up much room, and are fun to build- and, if done carefully with the right mathematical backing, can offer a lot of insight into how the full-size boat will perform.

Why so few proas?

Proas- the original multihulls- are rather rare these days. Which is really quite a shame.

A proa, for the uninitiated, is a laterally asymmetrical multihull: one hull is smaller than the other. Proas, at least in the strict definition, are also double-ended, switching bow for stern in a manoeuvre called a "shunt" when ordinary sailboats would tack. There are, of course, proas that tack in the conventional manner, although these are more commonly called tacking outriggers.

Lake waves, and the origin of a new powerboat

Waves, despite their well-understood mathematical and physical properties, remain a rather subjective point of discussion among cruisers. There's the tendency to exaggerate, of course- we've all heard a story that goes something like "I was beating into a force 6, there were 14-foot waves coming over the bow....". (Force 6, of course, brings an average wave height of closer to 9 feet given unlimited fetch.)

New plans: Almaguin 400 & 500 utility runabouts

The plans are ready! The four- and five-metre Almaguin runabouts, designed with first-time builders in mind, will be excellent fishing, utility or sport boats for inland lakes, rivers or calm coastal areas. They're built in taped-seam plywood and don't require elaborate jigs or fine carpentry skills. Have a look here, and please feel free to contact me if either of these boats interests you.