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Thread: Waterman 16 - how well do they sail? & some modifications ?

  1. #1
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    Default Waterman 16 - how well do they sail? & some modifications ?

    I enjoyed trying my boat out at the OCSG Ullswater meet and putting faces to names. I realise I have a lot to learn & suspect my Seadart is probably more suited to gentler winds < 3. I just could'nt bale fast enough and focus on sailing at the same time ! I have an old Waterman 16 self build that used to have a rudimentary sailing rig on. I am thinking about doing it up and using my Solway Dory Bermudan 35 with it. Any thoughts on how it might sail ? I was also thinking about putting some decking down both sides to help keep water out, give somewhere to sit and boxing under the decks for some fixed buoyancy / dry storage ?

  2. #2
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    I believe that these boats have been used successfully before as sailing canoes (in fact IIRC DaveS had one as his first sailing canoe which is still in regular use by another OCSG member).

  3. #3
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    Hi Seabegger, I reckon your Waterman would be ideal I did have the plans to build one as a sailing canoe until I brought my Curlew. I remember you saying it was a two piece bolt together canoe, which may effect the positioning of the leeboard etc, as ever a call to Solway Dory would gleen the best advice.

  4. #4
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    I built and sailed a Waterman 16 as my first sailing canoe, and as Jurrassic says, it is still going strong with another OCSG member. It sailed very well and its wide beam made it nice and stable. It didnt have any side decks, but just side buoyancy bags, and neither of us capsized it in over 18 years of sailing. The original plan layout didnt work very well and i took out the original seats and centre thwart and fitted a new centre seat and sailing thwarts. Getting a level trim with your seating position when you sail solo is the first thing to get right, and then fit the rig around yourself so that you can handle it comfortably. I wouldn't build any tanks into it to start with as it is easy to make it too heavy. Buoyancy bags are much lighter. It still lives in Grange over Sands if you wanted to come and have a look at it.
    It should work well with your bermudan but you will need a much longer board than you had on your Seadart.

  5. #5
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    Thanks very much Dave, it all sounds very promising..... this winters project sorted. Its a 2 halves boat but I think now I have space I will fuse the halves.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Sarasota, Florida USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    I built and sailed a Waterman 16 as my first sailing canoe, and as Jurrassic says, it is still going strong with another OCSG member. It sailed very well and its wide beam made it nice and stable. It didnt have any side decks, but just side buoyancy bags, and neither of us capsized it in over 18 years of sailing. The original plan layout didnt work very well and i took out the original seats and centre thwart and fitted a new centre seat and sailing thwarts. Getting a level trim with your seating position when you sail solo is the first thing to get right, and then fit the rig around yourself so that you can handle it comfortably. I wouldn't build any tanks into it to start with as it is easy to make it too heavy. Buoyancy bags are much lighter. It still lives in Grange over Sands if you wanted to come and have a look at it.
    It should work well with your bermudan but you will need a much longer board than you had on your Seadart.
    That's not a photo of your Waterman 16 on the Selway Fisher site is it? Paul shows a white waterman with a sail that has "OC 71" on it. 18 years in a waterman? I take that as a good recommendation? I am almost done with a rudder built to Paul's plan, and leenboard thwarts based on your recommendation. I was considering a dinghy build but the ability to cartop (avoiding immediate trailer purchase) and the utility of an open canoe with a drop in rig is considerable. The low cost and ease of build seem to recommend the Waterman 16.

    Are there other designs you could recommend that would be more capable or suited to use as an open canoe sailing hull? I like Paul's Ralph design, which is 18', 36" beam, and 12" hull mid depth. the Waterman 16 is 15'8", 38" beam, and 13" hull mid depth. Both come from 4 sheets of ply.

  7. #7
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    Yes that is a photo of me sailing in our international racing series that we did in 1996. Six members of the ACA came over and joined us in a racing regatta. I cannot comment on other boats that Paul designed as i have not sailed any, but the Waterman was particularly good at sailing. Its beam of 38inch made it nice and stable, its good rocker and relatively short length made it turn easily so it was very manoeuverable. Its high sheer and good mid depth made it a dry boat to sail in waves.
    The down side was that all these attributes are not ideal for a paddling canoe, but as i sailed it 99% of the time i put up with it.
    The plans called for 4mm or 6mm ply. I used 6mm, and it was nice and stiff. I once saw one built from 4mm and it was a bit floppy. I didnt use a leeboard thwart on that canoe but built a stiffener on the inside going from the gunwale down to the bilge, with a pad on the outside and bolted the board through that. This gave a bit more room in the canoe in front of me.

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