The "Piragua 15"
Internal fit out is kept to a minimum, this of course helps to keep the boat light but it also saves on building time. Enclosing the side seats does not add a lot of plywood and thus weight, but gives piece of mind should you capsize.
The ply/epoxy "Piragua" weighs about 60kg/130lb when built with Okume ply. Redwood ply or birch will be a little heavier.
The construction of my own boat is recorded here Piragua build .
Sail and rig:
Sail option 1:
Early in the design of the dinghy I had to decide on what rig to use. Looking at the required sail area (which I wanted to deploy in a single sail), the Gunter rig I already had on the "Swift" was an amazing fit. For the "Piragua" I could leave off the jib and to make handling even easier I used a sprit boom instead of the conventional boom.
A Cat rig is anyway easy to handle and with the addition of a sprit boom there is no vang required and no boom to hit your head if you don't duck in time!
The gunter main is very simple to build at home as it does not require expensive mast extrusions, just standard aluminum pipes. It also has the advantage that the mast is short and stows within the length of the boat for trailing and while parked at home. The rig shows good performance on all points of sail. There is a slight bit of difference on the tack where the main rest against the sprit. However the sprit-boomed main makes for a safe cockpit while used for recreational sailing!
I sailed "Piragua" with this rig for two seasons. "See sailing pics".
Sail option 2:
Looking for more performance and a smaller sail area for the strong winds in my sailing area, I developed and built a new rig. This, as pictured at right, has a fully battened sqare-top main on a free-standing, rotating mast.
The mast is in two parts, with a sleeve joining them. The sail hoists on mast rings and I used a fixed gooseneck, so the mast rotates. Sail controls include outhaul, downhaul (cunningham) and vang.
The sail stays on the mast when dropped. Rigging consists of joining the two mast sections, inserting mast and boom complete with sail into the boat, through the mast partner. There is a halyard of fixed length to hoist the sail. A snap hook clips in at deck level once the sail is up . After hoisting one tensions the outhaul, downhaul and finally the vang. Its a simple as that!
Either rigs may be chosen or if you have a sail and mast off another dinghy that you would like to use I can advise on suitability and placement.
A few pictures of the 'Piragua' sailing with new rig.
This YouTube video of "Piragua" sailing in a fair breeze shows how well she handles stronger winds and how nicely she planes.
The GoPro camera was mounted on the end of the boom.
|The plan shows the arrangement of the long side seats and how slim the boat is! Well I wanted speed...|
Please read my Ordering Guide
Plans for this dinghy consist of three A0 (44"x33")sheets and detailed building instructions.
This set of plans is suitable for lofting all your own hull panels, bulkheads and all other parts.
€63 (+/-US$71) - which includes €13 admin (shipping) and entitles you to the building of one boat.
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