Adding sweeps to a trailer sailer?

steve yates

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I would like something to get my bradwell 18 out of trouble should the ob fail and the wind be against me or non existent, particularly when exploring shallow creeks down on this essex coast.

Is it practical to add rowlocks to the boat? My oars are actually quite long, they separate into two parts for stowage, and each part is about the length of the usual stubby dinghy tender oars I see in use.

What would be involved, anyone done such a thing? any inspiration or technical knowlegde folks can point me to?

Or is it a daft idea?

Thx.
 

VicS

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I would like something to get my bradwell 18 out of trouble should the ob fail and the wind be against me or non existent, particularly when exploring shallow creeks down on this essex coast.

Is it practical to add rowlocks to the boat? My oars are actually quite long, they separate into two parts for stowage, and each part is about the length of the usual stubby dinghy tender oars I see in use.

What would be involved, anyone done such a thing? any inspiration or technical knowlegde folks can point me to?

Or is it a daft idea?

Thx.

Its not completely daft but these days with relatively reliable engines seldom if ever seen.

You efforts may be better directed at ensuring that your outboard will operate reliably.

Perhaps also make sure you can use the dinghy outboard in an emergency. I have done that once when a nearly new outboard failed ( luckily not far from my mooring) and once, by lashing the dinghy alongside, when the inboard engine of a Westerly 31 failed catastrophically half way between Alderney and Guernsey.
 

ProDave

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Just for fun I tried rowing my 18ft sail boat a couple of times, not with rowlocks but 2 of us rowing indian canoe style.

Progress was slow and hard work, and we were only playing about as we were becalmed. In any meaningful wind I really don't think we would have made much if any progress into a wind.
 

VicS

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Ahh

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Spirit (of Glenans)

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When I belonged to Glenans Irish Sailing Club, we used 19ft dayboats called Glenans 570s that had originally been equipped for sculling, but the practice had for some reason been discontinued and the boats were equipped with a pair of home made paddles. The only time these would have been used was when becalmed and it was hard work even when there wasn't a foul tide.
I've experimented with sculling a rowing boat and found it works ok, perhaps you should explore that option.
 

DownWest

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When I belonged to Glenans Irish Sailing Club, we used 19ft dayboats called Glenans 570s that had originally been equipped for sculling, but the practice had for some reason been discontinued and the boats were equipped with a pair of home made paddles. The only time these would have been used was when becalmed and it was hard work even when there wasn't a foul tide.
I've experimented with sculling a rowing boat and found it works ok, perhaps you should explore that option.

Look on the web for youlos (sp) the chinese propelled quite large river junks with them. Like sculling but more efficient.
Friend used to use his dinghy and Seagull, lashed to the quarter, to move his 34ft 13 ton gaff ketch around as it had no engine.

Rowing is far better than paddling. So fitting rowlocks would be the way to go, if you have oars long enough.
 

JumbleDuck

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I would like something to get my bradwell 18 out of trouble should the ob fail and the wind be against me or non existent, particularly when exploring shallow creeks down on this essex coast.

Is it practical to add rowlocks to the boat?

I have oars on the Hunter 490 and they work fine. However, the trick is to get the longest ones you possibly an. Because the rowlocks are much higher above water than they would be in a dinghy, the oars stick up at a fair old angle and if they are too short that angle rapidly becomes ludicrous. I bought a pair of Lahnas which are the largest which can fir in the cabin for storage down a quarter berth. 2.8m, I think, and I'd have 3.8m if I could store them.

Roger Taylor uses long sweeps stored along the side decks on his Corribee and Achilles 24.
 
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oz-1

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Hi Steve, i thìnk a pair of nice sweepswould be a good, cheap insurance should your outboard fail and the wind desert you. I have a pair of home made sweeps on my Flicka sailboat which i stow alongside the port and starboard shrouds. When my boat caught fire, mid channel, it was towed back to Salcombe. Needless to say i was terrified of having any fuel on board, but i had to get my boat back to Torquay. The day i left Salcombe was windless so i got the sweeps and set to rowing. It took me 14 hours but i got my boat back on it's mooring in the inner harbour in Torquay. Recently i built myself a yuloh, but have yet to try it. Good luck with your efforts.
 

oldharry

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Worth taking a look at the Chinese yuloh, originally designed to drive sampans, it has a reputation for being very efficient. I read once many years ago someone claimed to achieve 5kts in calm water using one. There's obviously a lot more to it than just a sculling oar, but it is reputed to be a lot more efficient than rowing. Trying to drive a boat Indian canoe paddle style is a waste of effort: watch dinghy crew try to make headway paddling ina calm, compared torowing the same boat even.

Of course originally, sculling was the only means of propelling a boat if there was no wind. The bigger workboats being sculled the oarsman is usually standing facing forward and pushing on the oars in the old photos - and they would have known the most efficient way of propelling a workboat under oars

For a general description of the Yuloh: http://www.collars.co.uk/info/49/recent_articles/32/the_yuloh_sculling_oar

Loads more links on Google
 

crewman

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I have paddled a Sonata a short distance when the outboard would not start, but only into the marina berth. Many of the yachts in the 3 Peaks race fit oars, one fitted a sliding seat and outriggers onto the bathing platform!
 

LONG_KEELER

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I had one long oar that was used on a yacht weighing over 3 tons. Facing forward, with the oar lashed to a sheet winch I could manage about 1 kt through the water. It was easy to steer with the rudder between the legs.

I never used it in anger, but I managed to trip over it many times on deck . It was a very effective fund raiser for the swear box.
 

steve yates

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Its not completely daft but these days with relatively reliable engines seldom if ever seen.

You efforts may be better directed at ensuring that your outboard will operate reliably.

Perhaps also make sure you can use the dinghy outboard in an emergency. I have done that once when a nearly new outboard failed ( luckily not far from my mooring) and once, by lashing the dinghy alongside, when the inboard engine of a Westerly 31 failed catastrophically half way between Alderney and Guernsey.
There is no dinghy ob vic, just 6ft oars.
 

steve yates

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Hi Steve, i thìnk a pair of nice sweepswould be a good, cheap insurance should your outboard fail and the wind desert you. I have a pair of home made sweeps on my Flicka sailboat which i stow alongside the port and starboard shrouds. When my boat caught fire, mid channel, it was towed back to Salcombe. Needless to say i was terrified of having any fuel on board, but i had to get my boat back to Torquay. The day i left Salcombe was windless so i got the sweeps and set to rowing. It took me 14 hours but i got my boat back on it's mooring in the inner harbour in Torquay. Recently i built myself a yuloh, but have yet to try it. Good luck with your efforts.

Jesus, that almost 25 miles! Very impressive! How long s a flicka and what length sweeps did you use?
 

ANDY_W

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Jesus, that almost 25 miles! Very impressive! How long s a flicka and what length sweeps did you use?

If it is the Pacific Seacraft Flicka, it's 20ft long plus bowsprit and weighs about 2.5 tons, very heavily built and designed as a small blue water yacht.

For information, I recall reading that the length of oars should be be approximately one and a half times the maximum beam of the boat. For a yacht hull, which might be relatively higher in the water, they might have to be longer to allow the inboard ends to be at a comfortable height.
 

LittleSister

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Sweeps I think that you need to stop thinking about it being akin to rowing a dinghy. (1) Sweeps need to be much longer than 6 feet, I'd say. (2) A single long sweep would likely be more efficient (including stroke more parallel to boat/course). (If it were made slightly curved it would be easier to fit along the gunwale when not in use.) For it to be practicable you'll need a proper rowlock, thole-pin or whatever, carefully positioned (height, fwd/aft and lateral) to make it easy to operate: just wedged against a winch, wherever that happens to be, is unlikely to be efficient According to Maurice Griffiths and others I've read it was a practical way to move even quite big boats over surprisingly long distances in calm conditions (but back in them days, men were men, etc.), albeit at very modest speeds, and usually in conjunction with a favourable tide. IIRC the sweeps were expected to be quite springy, usually made of ash, and operated by leaning the chest against them while walking forward in the cockpit.

Sculling (over the stern) You don't have to have a yuloh (not that I'm knocking them) to scull over the stern, it can be done with a conventional rowlock (strongly mounted at a convenient height (which your transom may not be!). Again I think you'd want something longer than a dinghy oar. It used to be the case that all French craft under a certain length had to have a rowlock on the stern. I remember reading an article years ago (in PBO, perhaps?) where they tried it out, and concluded that after a bit of practise it was surprisingly effective in both moving the boat forward and steering it as you did so.

p.s. I've just remembered reading that, with enough practise, you can stern scull without a rowlock - with the scull just resting on the transom. Probably wouldn't be great for your varnish, nor your temper until you got sufficiently expert for pride to take over!
 
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