Monday, August 10, 2015

Sailing Dinghy update.

I'm having lots of fun with my Lehman 12 sailing dinghy project as a creative outlet.   The goal is to replace our existing outboard powered inflatable dinghy with a highly versatile sailing and rowing dinghy.  Rowing will be a good form of exercise, sailing will be fun and having a zero emissions dinghy will compliment our minimalist low carbon lifestyle.

I selected the Lehman 12 largely on the advice of sailing friends Steve and Carol who have a Lehman 10 as auxilry tender to their outboard powered RIB inflatable, they use theirs plenty and often just for the joy of rowing or sailing around the harbor.

  I really like the classic lines of the Lehman with a traditional sheer and a very cool plumb bow as very few designs have such a traditional look.   

The Lehman was first built in the early 1950's and represents one of the very first commercial produced fiberglass boats.  Our particular Lehman 12 is hull number 258 and was built by WD Schock in 1972.  From what we know the most recent name was 'Cup Holder' and this Lehman was most recently sailed out of Newport Harbor Yacht Club. If you have more info on the history of this boat or old photo, please contact me.

To adapt our Lehman 12 for use as a yacht tender, the boat would need significant modifications to make it user friendly.   Rigging should be simple, making or striking sail should be simple, fast and easily accomplished by one person.  Standing rigging should be eliminated in favor of a free standing mast for simplicity and ease of boarding from a dinghy dock.  Oars should be stowable inboard and secured to prevent loss in event of capsize and from theft.  Sufficiency sized flotation tanks should allow self recovery in event of capsize. Rudder should kick up beach landings and be of modern design for optimal sailing performance.  Storage for anchor, life jackets and ancillary gear should be secure and protected from weather.  Transom should allow for fitting of small outboard engine. Seating should optimized for sailing longer distances without sitting in the bottom of the boat with a wet bum.  Seating should also be flexible enough to accommodate two rowing stations with movable athwart seat(s) to optimize trim while rowing.. Main sheeting should be mid-boom and vang controls should also be close at hand near main sheet.   Boom should stow easily and quickly aboard and out of the way while rowing.  The sails should be efficient and look good.   The boat should have integral drink holders and perhaps a secure location to strap in a cooler for picnics and longer beach outings.

Locating a affordable replacement mast proved to be a bit of a challenge, at first I thought we rig the boat with a Laser mast, boom and sail.  Surely, it would be easy to find a used Laser rig given the Laser is one of the most popular one design classes in the world.  As it turned out, Laser masts NEVER come up on Craigslist here in the Bay Area.  However, I got a tip from Kame Richards of Pineapple Sails that maybe I should be looking for a Banshee 13 sailboat and particularly one of the carbon versions.

Lucky me as I found a Banshee 13 on Craigslist just a few days later and it was a very rare variant called the Griffen and constructed primarily of carbon fiber.  The 'donor' boat was over 100 miles away in Cooperopolis on the far side of the Central Valley.  I made the drive and found the boat to be a diamond in the rough and struck a deal and loaded the boat on top of our roof racks for the drive back to the city.

 Back in Alameda I stripped off all the parts I wanted and then put the boat (hull only) back on Craigslist and it quickly sold for enough to cover my travel expenses and put a few $ in my pocket.  With the carbon mast on hand the project could really start moving forward.

The 2.0 version of the Lehman required lots of reconstruction, All the wood trim was removed, the mast partners trashed, stern seat was cut out and the entire boat was sanded to remove way too many layers of old paint.
In the beginning, this Lehman 12 was showing it's age with cracked oak rails and lots of ugly paint.
 Profile of new rub rails that will replace original white oak rails.

Bonding the new foam rails to hull in preparation to fiberglassing.

Closing in the open bow would make for a drier ride and ease boarding from a crowded dinghy dock.
 I was able to get some camber in the fore deck by installing the foam then lashing some ropes around the hull to bend the foredeck up into a nice curve.  With everything in place I filleted the foam in place with West Systems epoxy thickened with 407 filler.

Corcel boat building foam is not cheap at $230 for a 4x8 sheet, but it's super light weight and easy to cut with just a razor blade knife.  I'm using West Systems epoxy for the build for ultimate strength and carbon fiber at high load areas.

Plenty of clamps helped lock in some of the curved shapes while the expoy cured.
Side seats might look like this panel of 1/2" Corcel with 14oz biaxial carbon fiber laminated on both sides.
Mast base will be some sort of carbon tube.  The free standing mast will require lots of reinforcement.  I may or may not keep the original center board.  I'd like to replace it, but the board that came with the Banshee, is ruined from sun damage and unusable.

Lehman 12 Sailboat parts for sale:

 Lehman 12 seat brackets, stern brackets and rotating mast step base.
 Lehman 12 mast and boom.
 Lehman 12 mast head
 Lehman 12 mast spreaders
 Lehman 12 centerboard
 Lehman 12 centerboard is nice and straight.

 Lehman 12 center board is 48" long.
 Lehman 12 rudder.
 Lehman 12 rudder inlcudes pintles.
 Lehman 12 rudder close up at pintles.
Lehman 12 rudder overall length.

Lehman 12 sails also available.

Seller Contact info can be found in sidebar.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sailing Dinghy wish list

Wow these are nice.  Oars either 8' to 8'-6" should be perfect with the Leman 12's  4'-6" beam.

Hatchet oars would look really cool.
Image result for scull oars
Concept2 has some 9' sculling oars for $490 with carbon shafts, Fat2 blades and traditional basswood handels that would be the ultimate, but probably too long.

Oar Clamps to ensure oars don't get stolen.

Edson Oar Locking Device

D Sleaves to go with Douglas oarlocks

D sleeves used with Douglas oarlocks to orient the blade perpendicular to the water on the power stroke and at a 6° inclination for the return stroke

 Image result for Douglas OarlocksImage result for Douglas OarlocksImage result for Douglas Oarlocks

Oarlock sleeves might look like these and epoxy'd into the new rails.
Image result for oar lock sleeve Image result for oar lock sleeve

Dinghy fenders might be 'Pool Noodles' inside UV resistant durable white covers.  The idea is to emulate traditional fenders material with modern shock absorbing materials that have more flotation. These Gunnel Guard products pictured are really nice, but pretty pricey at $7.50 a foot

   Image result for Gunnel Guard

Sails and rigging.
A free standing Laser 14 rig in lieu of the original stayed mast would eliminate standing rigging, halyards and the pesky task of hoisting sail.  A Laser sail can be furled around the mast when not in use and a further modification with velcro attachments might really ease sail handling.
Strap open.
Sail strap is velcro and in open position
Strap closed.
Velcro secured.

The Chuck Paine 14 is really sweet, but too big and way too heavy at 850 pounds for a yacht tender.  I really like the end boom sheeting arrangement, large flotation chambers fore and aft and the side benches.
The most beautiful yacht you could ever own.

Lehman 12 sailing dinghy project

I found our Lehman 12 'Cup Holder' on Craigslist for $500 it hull # 258 built in 1972.  

As you can see, 'Cup Holder' is in dire need of restoration.  Wood rails are cracked in places and will probably be replaced with a stronger foam glass composite.  Newer version of the Lehman 12 have a wider gunnel that makes sitting on the edge more comfortable.
'Cup Holder' at the Alameda Sailing Association yard.
Haul the boat from Newport was a bit of an adventure with the 12' boat hanging 6' out the back of this rental truck.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Ultimate sailing dinghy for LightSpeed?

We've been thinking about a replacement for our AB 10AL rigid bottom inflatable.  It's served us well for 5 years of hard use and it's probably the ultimate powered yacht tender for it's incredible stability, dry smooth ride and light weight.  Unfortunately, the tubes now have a few air leaks and the Yamaha 15 outboard makes an expensive sounding noise. I'd love to replace it with like kind, but the engine is not available in the USA and the dinghy alone is $5195.

LightSpeed's davits can accommodate an overall length of 13'-10" and this opens the door to plenty of options.

Our primary criteria:
Classic, pleasing lines.
Fine sailing characteristics
Free-board to ensure a dry ride.
Single sail for easy operation.
Kick up rudder and durable hull for beach landings.
Low maintenance.
Fiberglass construction.
Rigged weight of ~200 pounds.
Crew weight of ~ 300 pounds.


Designer Bruce Kirby (of Laser and America's Cup fame) has designed a hull with traditional and classic looks that will plane readily, is comfortable to sail, surprisingly seaworthy, and easy to right in case of capsize. The self-draining cockpit quickly eliminates water and makes it possible to leave the Trinka 12 safely unattended at a mooring.

Trinka 12 Specifications
  • LOA: 12.0 feet (3.66 m)
  • DWL: 11.875 feet (3.62 m)
  • Draft
    Board Up: 5 in. (12.7 cm)
    Board Down: 34 in. (86.4 cm)
  • Beam: 63 in. (160 cm)
  • Sail Area 88 ft2 (8.2 m2)
  • Weight 225 Lbs. (102 kgs)
  • Maximum Capacity:
    4 Persons or 650 Lbs.(295 kgs)
    750 Lbs. (340 kgs) persons, motor, gear
  • Max HP: 2 HP Motor

Prices starting at $5,550 new

W.D. Schock Corporation Lehman 12
The Lehman 12 is an exceptionally responsive two-man planing dinghy that quietly glides through the water with only a whisper of wind. It is a daggerboard boat with a loose-fitted cat rig and a deep rudder. The simple, uncomplicated design of the Lehman 12 makes it great for the husband-and-wife team.
 Following the successful updates made to the Naples Sabot, Lido 14, and Santana 20, the W. D. Schock Corporation redeveloped the Lehman 12 in 1998, maximizing the fun of sailing and minimizing upkeep. Working with Lehman 12 class officers, Schock developed a stiff, light, virtually maintenance-free boat that conforms to all existing class rules. The rails, mast partner, center thwart, and fore and aft flotation tanks are molded fiberglass parts. Gone are the mahogany and oak rails that required frequent varnishing, weighed a considerable amount, and would loosen with use. In their place, the "new"Lehman 12 has comfortable flared hiking rails that give the boat a contemporary look and feel. Class-sanctioned strengthening stringers have also been added, and an aluminum tiller replaces the wooden tiller.
Sail area: ~81SF
Weight: about 200 pounds
Overall length on deck: 12'
Beam 54"
Active one design fleet in San Diego