Duckworks Contest #4 Entry? Not!
By Peter H. Vanderwaart

Note: Although the 4th annual Duckworks design contest has ended, we have not had time to post all the entries, so we are hoping this non-entry from Peter will tide you over.

I had a notion for Duckworks Contest #4. Reflecting on the Bolger Folding Schooner, I thought perhaps a very small version could fit in a closet, as required. At the last minute, I drew up The Folding Schoonette, and I discovered a flaw in my theory. But since it's all drawn up, I thought I'd let you have a peek.

I've seen a number of designs for nesting dinghies from various designers. In the water, they do the job, and the compactness is great aboard a cruising boat. But the various parts don't nest very neatly in most cases, and having to get the halves in alignment could be a problem. I thought it might be more convenient if the two semi-boats were attached with a pair of strong, galvanized hinges from the hardware store. For storage, the bow could fold back over stern, as Bolger does with his bigger schooner. I think at the time, I had some cleverer way to fold which would keep the folded height under under 2 feet. As shown, it's about three feet, and too fat for the contest rules.

It was fun drawing up the rig. Part of the idea was that there would be two people to handle the sheets. I was greatly surprised to find how hard it was to get enough area with the schooner rig. Area is pretty much a "luff times foot" affair, and chopping the foot into a couple pieces doesn't change the length of luff required. The rig shown is a measly 65 sq. ft., and I don't suppose the 5 sq. ft. jib is of much value. Even so, the mainmast is 9 feet long.

The lines are a touch unusual; let me explain. If you try to bend most anything, you will see that it bends mostly in the middle, and the ends are straight. This is because you have a longer lever arm on the middle, and only a short lever at the ends. So I drew the boat with the curves straight both at the ends and in the middle where the two parts join. It does look a touch unusual. Real designers like John Welsford and Evan Gatehouse do not give in to the physics of the material the way I have. John suggested leaving the end of a chine, for example, long enough to lever the desired curve into it, then cutting it to length when the epoxy set up. Evan, for his two part dinghy, suggested building it in one piece and then cutting it apart. It seems to me that this would put a lot of strain on the glue and fasteners.

Enjoy! It was fun to draw, but it will never fit in the closet.