Monday, June 23, 2008

Around Britain in 19 feet

OK, it's not an Alacrity, but I think this is still worth mentioning: British journalist Dylan Winter is currently sailing around Britain in a 19 foot Mirror offshore tripple-keeler. He documents it on video which he uploads on YouTube for all to see.
This is an ongoing project as he is working at the same time, sailing in his spare time and leaving the boat i different ports when back at work. There are currently 16 short episodes of the documentary, all very professionally done and definitely worth watching!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mainsheet traveller solutions

The Alacrity has, as her Vivacity sister, a very simple mainsheet arrangement. The sheet block and cleat just is attached to a solid bar via a shackle. The shackle can slide freely from side to side.
There has recently been a discussion on the Alacrity yahoo-group if this is sufficient or not.
While the shackle lets the sheet move relatively freely I did not find this a problem myself. In fact, if the sheet is sufficiently tight the shackle does tend to stick on the bar. This can be used to sheet the sail to windward in a tack. At the same time it is very easy to "unstick" the shackle in a gust thus slightly depowering the sail.
However, if a more professional, or "racy" approach is desired there are some solutions. The easiest is using a piece of rope (and maybe some blocks) to harness the shackle and make the sheet adjustable.
Or, you could remove the simple traveller completely and build a new one, for example as described in this article by George Bollenbacher. You will then end up with something like this:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New content: Alacrity and Vivacity really the same?

This was sent to me by one Steve Henkel of the U.S. for publication in the Twin-Keeler newsletter. As it is delayed I felt it could just as well publish it here:

"I found your interesting magazine on your website, and concluded that if anybody knows the answer to my questions, probably you or one of your readers do.

I'm in the final stages of researching a book on 350+ small cruising sailboats, including their sail plans and accommodations plans. In doing the research, I have come across several marketers who exaggerate the length of their boats to gain consumer acceptance. I am wondering if the Vivacity 20 marketers fit into this category.

I have several brochure plans for both the Vivacity 20 and the Alacrity 19, and was struck by the similarities between the two, which led me to scale off the plans, using the announced LWL as the "known" distance. For the Vivacity, this gave me the following (in decimal form, NOT feet and inches):

Waterline length = LWL = 17.50 feet
Length on deck = LOD = 18.50 feet
Hull length ex rudder = 19.00 feet
Length overall = LOA (including rudder projection) = 20.75 feet

Note that NONE of these dimensions is within striking distance of, let alone equal to, the so-called "LOA" of 20.00 feet in the official specs, which some marketers use in place of the actual LOD and others use in place of hull length, and some even use as LOA, which it should be. As you know, LOD is the traditional measure of length when comparing one boat with another, so I am trying to determine the correct LOD for the Vivacity, and also for the Alacrity, which I am now beginning to suspect may be identical in LOD to the Vivacity. Can you advise if you have ever actually measured the LOD on your boat, and if so, what dimension you came up with? Also, can you comment on the same dimensions for the Alacrity?"

I hope you can help.

(Photo shows Vivacity "Rhea").

Now, in fact I did not measure my boat according to those specs and think I am unable to as long as she is in the water.

The original sales brochures

Here are some scans of the original sales brochures from Russel Marine.

Mast dimensions

And finally the mast. Height over water is about 8 meters, the mast itself being 7m high.

Trailer dimensions

And here are the dimensions for a typical Alacrity trailer.

Rudder dimensions

There are at least two kinds of rudders for the boat, one of which has a slightly more rounded aft edge.

Sail plan

I have been unable to find an official sail plan for the boat. However these figures should be about right. I have since ordered a new mainsail and jib for my boat and did not have any problems communicating to the sailmaker's what I wanted.

Edit: the figures in the pic are unreadable for some reason. They are:
I: 23.00 (7m)
J: 6.20 (1,9m)
P: 20.00 (6m)
e: 8.70 (2,6m)

A more elaborate sail plan is also to be found here.

Technical information

The Alacrity looks very similar to the Vivacity sailboat. In fact they are almost indistinguishable. However, the Vivacity is somewhat bigger and heavier. The basic specs for the Alacrity are these:

Lenght overall 18´6'' 5,75m
Length waterline 17' 5,2m
Beam 6'11'' 2,10m
Draft 1'10' 0,55m
(twin keels)
Displacement 1450lbs 650kg
Keel weight 480 lbs (240 lbs each keel)
Distance between keels (outside): 1.23 m
Rig Masthead
Sail area main 9m2
Sail area genoa 8,4m2
Sail area jib 5,2m2

Go here for:
Mast dimensions

Trailer dimensions
Rudder dimensions
Sail plan
Original Sales Brochure Scan

Welcome to the new Alacrity blog. This is an experimental continuation of the Alacrity website at . The site entails lots of information about this type of sailboat as well as cruise reports and pictures and stories from more than 40 owners from most parts of the world.

However, lately, the website has felt a little static so I decided to create a blog instead. All the old information will for the time being contiune to exist on the original site. However, I will transfer some of it here. Also all new content will exclusively be published here.

I do encourage all owners and fans of the Alacrity to comment on here.

Happy sailing!