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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.
Preparing the mizzen and rudder before the first launch.After 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.

Double-Pipe's Kid on Lake LansingMy 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.

Inside view of the boatMy 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.
Friends Neil & Kath along with Lydia on the maiden voyage.  (Notice the stuck centreboard)There 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 of conditions.
Me rowing at 15 knots......well almost!The 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.
Rowing Double-Pipe's KidNext 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.
"Just add wind!" All 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 basket.
I enjoy talking boats and would encourage anybody to contact me through the Caledonia Yawl discussion forum.
Bill "Double-Pipe's Kid"




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