Origins of the Caledonia Yawl design The Crazybird crew Go to the Discussion Forum

Post-build developments of the Caledonia Yawl Crazybird...

John working on the lockers - click to enlargeSide seat lockers - John Freeman and I built these in during the winter of 1999. Initially Neville Roberts had built an open side bench on each side extending forward from the aft deck forward to a thwart seat which supports the centreboard amidships. Forward of this there were no seats. Neville had anticipated using this forward open area extending to the aft of the foredeck, for stowing camping gear. The seat lockers replaced these side benches and extended the full length on each side between the aft and fore decks. We divided them up into five lockers on each side, with the two forward and two aft ones being watertight, entered only by 8" diameter screw hatches. The middle one on each side has a hinged lid to give easy access. We didn't attempt to make these midship lockers watertight, but instead built in small drain holes at the bottom.
Squabs - we had three foam squabs made for each side, attached by Velcro. These work pretty well and are very comfortable but in strong winds we've nearly lost them once or twice and now stow them in fresh conditions.
Log & Depth Sounder - We have installed an Autonics Research combined log and depth sounder which runs on 4 AA batteries and is an excellent bit of gear. Speed and distance sensor is a small tunnel prop we've installed under the port quarter. A connecting wire runs through a black polypropylene hose under the side seats to the computer/display unit which we have mounted on the forward bulkhead (on the aft end of the foredeck), to port of the mast. The Depth sounder sensor is a through the hull mounting to port of the centreboard, again the wiring to the Display unit joining the speed sensor line inside the black hose amidships. Performance is very good. We usually have the display alternating speed and depth. Figures seem pretty accurate. Batteries seem to last about ten days sailing - more if the depth sounder isn't used all the time.
Jib Furler - click to enlargeThe Rig - The sail area of the Caledonia Yawl is rather large for the basic set up and weight of the boat. This means she goes really well in light breezes but can become a bit overpowered in winds more than about 12 knots unless reefs are tucked in. We often find ourselves sailing with one reef tied into the main. See Sailing tips.
We have the jib on a superb bronze roller furler, a replica of the original Wykeham Martins design, I picked up in the UK at Classic Marine. With this we can keep the jib rolled up when not in use. Coming into a dock its great because the sail can be furled in an instant, leaving the foredeck uncluttered, and drive taken off the boat. It cannot be used for reefing though. The sail is in or out!. The full jib is quite large and in winds over 15 knots is just too big. We've got a No 2 jib, which we set in these stronger conditions. Its a very good sail and we've actually had some of our best sailing under the reefed main and No 2 jib and full mizzen.
aft view, note blue pump - click to enlargeNotice also in the furler picture above the great stem fitting. Made up in stainless by Nev this fits right over the stem and is through bolted (fore and aft). We set the forestay on the outer hole, the furler on the inner one, and a wire strop that carries the No2 jib on the middle one (not shown here).
We find a good bilge pump quite useful sometimes...we don't have any leaks but in the heat of competition we do sail a bit harder sometimes and the gunwale does occasionally dip below the surface. We've also built in internal scuppers (smallish pipes from the outside of the side locker top that lead down into the bilge) so that when we do ship a few gallons it doesn't sit on top of the lockers pressing us over further, but quickly drains to the bilge where it can quickly be pumped out.
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