Peapods Launched

Yesterday was an unusually warm (for Annapolis) February day and I had the privilege of joining the CLC gang and John Guider for the launching of the two Peapod prototypes.

The creek was quiet that day my friends - like a young man trying to put on his pants in the closet without rattling his pocket change. The water was glassy with scarcely a ripple and nary a hint of a breeze. We got the boats off the trailer, rigged one for sail and left the other plain for rowing. As was only right, John Harris took the first Peapod out for a test row while John Guider photographed the event. (John S. completed the trio of Johns at the the event. Travis and I were feeling left out and were considering legally changing our names.)

The boat moved easily through the water. It tracked so straight that the onshore crowd got nervous every time it got close to a piling or the rocks, but it always turned long before any actual danger. Once John finished putting it through its solo paces, I was invited onboard for the 2-person test. The stern rode a bit low because of the uneven weight distribution but, as is usual with double-enders, the vicious drag of a dragging transom was absent and the boat continued to move easily through the water.

Next, Travis joined us for the three-person test. He restored the boat's balance and we still had plenty of displacement left, some 2 1/2 strakes between the water and the sheer. John also verified the stability points by leaning the boat over. It has excellent secondary stability and stopped turning when the sheer strake came in contact with the water. Good thing, too. That water was cold.

Then it was back to shore to rig #1 for sailing in tandem with #2. But first, John let me take it out for a quick spin. It took every ounce of self-control and adult responsibility I had to take that boat only once around the buoy and bring it back. It was such a joy to row that I really wanted to continue down the creek and on out into the river. Between the tracking, the balance and the fine hull slipping through the water like a hot knife through butter, there was no wasted energy. Every pull of the oars made the boat move smoothly and efficiently, leaving almost no wake. When it came time to turn, in spite of the tracking, I felt no need to use both oars to make the turn. The starboard oar by itself was enough. But then it was back to shore.

Travis and John S. rigged #1 with a balanced lug rig, while John H. took #2 with the balanced lug yawl rig out for its first taste of water and wind. Although the the lack of wind was disappointing to the sail racing types, I thought that it demonstrated the boats' low speed sailing capabilities wonderfully. While not as dramatic as a bone in the teeth, the efficiency would be very much appreciated at the end of a day of sailing when the wind begins to die down before one gets back to shore. And any boat that can move in that little wind should fly once the wind comes up enough to make a chop.

All good things come to an end, and we had to get back to CLC, so it was time to load the boats and leave. These are not cartoppers, BTW. Builders should plan on a trailer.

My personal impressions of the Peapods are:

1. Visually very striking with elegant lines and lovely interiors. If I was building one, I'd pay a little extra and use bronze hardware instead of the stainless steel and I'd build carefully enough to leave the boat bright inside and out.

2. The cockpit feels much larger than a 13-foot boat.

3. It rows like a dream, good tracking balanced with maneuverability.

4. Oars or sail, it moves very efficiently through the water. With a well-designed side mount, it's a good candidate for electrification.

5. The yawl appears to be a bit faster than the simple balanced lug.

6. It's very stable. In addition to the tilting tests while rowing, John H. also spent a fair bit of time standing up while sailing it.

In general, this did not feel like the first launch of a prototype. This had the feel of a well-polished production unit that's had years of tweaking and tuning. CLC made this look way too easy, hitting it out of the park on the first pitch of the game.


14 replies:

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RE: Peapods Launched

Swoon. These are stunning. Thank you for the report and the tantalizing photo.

I'll start saving my pennies now.

RE: Peapods Launched

   I’ve been drooling over this boat since it showed up in the course description on Wooden Boat School’s website. A great report on a tantalizing model. Almost as tantalizing as the getting dressed in the closet thing.

RE: Peapods Launched

Is that another Peapod hull off to the left of John G's new boat in the Shop Cam frame?

.....Michael

RE: Peapods Launched

Nice looking boats. Not much wind though to make the sails full.    

RE: Peapods Launched

Thanks for the write-up Laszlo!  It's almost like being there.  I was really happy to see them launched.  Like others, I've been waiting a long time via shopcam to see that happen.  The Peapod is definitely on my short list.

RE: Peapods Launched

The best laid plans . . .

I wasn't going to make another boat.  :-(

RE: Peapods Launched

   OK, so for a name, "CLC Peapod" doesn't cut it - agreed.  But in a nod to both its heritage and a CLC familial connection (NE and SW Dory) how about "Downeaster Pod"?  I gotta build one.

RE: Peapods Launched

It's interesting looking at the newly posted sailing pictures. I know it's anecdotal, but to my eye the smaller red sail looks a better fit and the boat doesn't seem to suffer from the smaller sail area. I would love to see some piccies in higher winds, with the sailed reefed down. All in all a great looking design!

Cheers,

Adrian

RE: Peapods Launched

The smaller tanbark main is the reef for the yawl rig. John had removed the mizzen and moved the main mast to the other mast step, so his boat was sailing with the first reef in already. The other boat was unreefed but with 2 people in it, so it had extra ballast.

Laszlo

 

RE: Peapods Launched

How many could sail comfortably in the peapod? Uncomfortably?

 

thank you

 

RE: Peapods Launched

   Hi Laslo,

No offense mate, but are you sure? The sail doesn't looked reefed to me and the sail plan shows the yawl sail as being a bit smaller at 73 square feet rather than 79 square feet?

 

Cheers,

 

Adrian

RE: Peapods Launched

None taken, Adrian. It's my fault, I didn't express myself clearly. You're absolutely right, the reef points are not tied.

What I meant was that rather than reefing the sail by tying the reefing lines, John had "reefed" the sail by removing the mizzen and moving the main to the other step to preserve balance. So instead of sailing with 99 sq ft of sail (mizzen + main), he had 73 (main only).

Make more sense?

Laszlo

 

RE: Peapods Launched

Hi Laslo,

Ah, got you.... I’m looking at this design and trying to assess its suitability for sailing in Albany WA, which is often pretty windy. I couldn’t help musing that the red sail might be more appropriate for our conditions.

Cheers,

Adrian 

RE: Peapods Launched

I'm hoping that someone present at the launch can advise if there is enough room for 6" -7"deep sailing side seats.      

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