Double-Pipe's Kid - Phase II
In the building section you can read about and see the pictures of
Bill Erickson building Double Pipe's Kid
in Michigan. Following is the story of her launch on Lake Lansing and
first few sails. Don't forget to click on the wonderful pictures to
see enlarged versions.
18 months of work on weekends and evenings, Double-Pipe's Kid hit the
water for the first time on June 19, 2002. In the past month it's been
out ten more times. On our first trip out we had problems with the centerboard
getting stuck. Each time out I have been adding, adjusting, fixing or
otherwise tweeking something on the boat. Those items are becoming fewer
and I am now able to concentrate more on learning to sail her.
original idea was to finish the boat like a work boat, painting the
whole thing a dull blue or gray color. I wanted a boat that I could
step into with muddy boots and feel comfortable in. After seeing the
boat covered with epoxy resin my wife Lydia convinced me to leave some
parts finished bright. One thing lead to another and when it was finished
I realized my boat was looking kind of "Yachty." Now I'm glad
I did it and think the color scheme works well with the boat.
knowledge on sailing and judging boat performance is minimal. These
first ten times out, I've been recruiting my crew from any family or
friends that will go out with me. I can still see the look in their
eyes when a sudden gust if wind heels us way over and they are grabbing
for anything to keep from sliding off the seat! Thankfully, I haven't
lost anybody yet and I think they're telling the truth when they tell
me they enjoyed the ride. It has quickly become obvious that sailing
is relaxing and enjoyable with gentle breezes but gets more challenging
and bit scary when the winds are higher than 10-15 mph.
has been a lot of discussion on Nick's web site regarding ballast and
sail reefing. Now I truly understand how these two components can add
safety and allow the boat to be sailed under fresher breezes. We reefed
the main sail on a day with 15 mph winds and sailed nicely with 4 passengers
aboard. I have added 100 lbs of temporary ballast on each side of the
centerboard and probably will put in permanent ballast under the floor
boards this Winter. I'm sure that ballast and reefing (along with me
gaining confidence) will make the boat much more useable in a variety
11-foot oars work well for pushing along an empty boat. I tried to make
them with a lot of weight inboard to counter balance all that length
outboard. The only problem is that the oars are very hard to stow and
they are always under your feet in the boat. (If they were an inch longer
you'd never get them under the seat.) I think I might make them shorter
and also make them thinner inboard so they won't be so hard to stow.
Possibly a couple of canoe paddles might work just as well if you have
a crew of three or more people.
winter I plan to build a new main mast. The weight of the current mast
has always concerned me, especially aloft. Originally I thought I was
purchasing white spruce from the lumber yard but now I think I got pine.
It seems to be denser and heavier than the rest of my spars. My plan
is to build a solid one out of sitka spruce or try to make a hollow
one out of something else.
in all, the boat has been wonderful. I particularly enjoy the trips
that my wife and I take with other couples. Its size will allow the
crew to get comfortable whether sitting on the benches or floor, and
still be able to pass around food and drinks from that essential picnic
I enjoy talking boats and would encourage anybody to contact me through
the Caledonia Yawl discussion
Bill "Double-Pipe's Kid"
Copyright © 2002 Bill Erickson