Monday, August 30, 2010

The Hardangersjekte on the Water

The Valgerda by William Atkin that recently found it's way into Doryman's boatyard is back on the water.

The sail rig had not arrived, but the Valgerda was launched to attend the Toledo Wooden Boat Show.

It's nine miles from the marina with the sling to the site of the boat show. I had intended to row but a new friend, Bill came by the dock while I was still examining the boat for leaks (there where none) and offered to tow me up river. I threw him my painter and we were off.

Bill was piloting his new motor dory skiff. What a beauty! Hopefully he will share something about the build of this fine skiff with us in the near future. He towed the Valgerda for more than half the distance and I rowed the rest, anxious to feel how the boat handled.

Even without her motor, the Valgerda is stoutly built, a heavy little boat. With a good bit of effort I could row her at 2.5 knots in calm water, but a little opposing current slows her a bit. A headwind is much worse. Gusting winds on the bow slowed my progress at one point to 1.5 knots or less. The boat and I got into a rhythm of pulling hard when the wind slacked to build speed to coast though the puffs, just the opposite of what we would have done had we been sailing. I used a pair of twelve foot sweeps I made a couple years ago for the Thistle, which worked very well.

I resolved then to make use of a strong ebb tide for the return trip, as any prudent mariner would do. As it turned out, the next powerful ebb was after midnight and the story of that trip is in the post that follows, by the light of the sturgeon moon.

The design sail area for this boat is 72 sq.ft. in a low aspect ratio lug sail. The shoal fin keel is fitted with lead ballast of approximately 106 pounds, and as I said, the boat is built heavy. The new sail will be 110 sq.ft. and after spending a few hours rowing her, I'm convinced the larger sail will be very handy.

The next installment of this story will be the fitting of a new tanbark lug sail, along with new mast, yard and boom.

Please stay tuned!


robert.ditterich said...

What a transformation. Congratulations, her new appearance really suits her.
What is it with you and boats 'finding their way into Doryman's yard'? Is it your aftershave or are you a boat whisperer?
The only boats that ever find their way to me are the ones that I make. Perhaps I'm lacking some important boat pheromone or something. Not jealous, not me.

doryman said...

This boat didn't exactly "find" her way into my Yard, I went looking for her (which is not always true). Many people had expressed interest in the boat to the previous owner, however and are puzzled how I came in possession so easily. Perhaps the tag of "whisperer" is correct, since I have a reputation for bringing boats back from the dead.
Now that the economy in the US is sunk on it's mooring, folks are giving up their dream projects for barter and trade. But that also means that when I've finished a boat, no one can afford her which in this case is just fine with me.

I love to build from scratch but if the boat was built well to begin with, a person is way ahead to start with a older boat, even if it appears down on it's luck.

By the way - in a few weeks I will be trading the rowing dory (high school shop class) for a hand made (wood) electric guitar. I'll be sure to put that up here when it happens!

Ty Fields said...


That's my buddy Dion!
I took a few photos in Toledo too! I got a couple nice ones of the Teak Lady.

Its a few posts ago by now, but take a look and let me know what you think!


doryman said...

Hey Ty,
Yes that's Dion. Great guy. My little camera doesn't take a good picture looking toward the light, so I'm disappointed in the quality of that shot. His wife took some pictures, too, so maybe they have a better shot of the launch.
I saw your shots of MaZu, good job! I had a hand in the repair of MaZu, what fine little yacht. Took her out for a sail the other day and was very impressed with her handling.
I take it you liked Chuck's "Baggy Wrinkle", too. Lots of old fashioned rigging on that boat. I did a bit of work on her over the last year. All together there were eight boats at the show that I built, rebuilt, or touched in some way and it was great to see them all there, looking sharp.