Monday, October 03, 2005

The boat.

The boat that I have chosen is an AS-29, designed by Phil Bolger. The design is really unique, and provides some special features than make it ideally suited to this journey. The boat is 29'6" long, 7'10" wide. It has two retractable "bilge boards" instead of a fixed keel. This makes it able to enter places where the water is shallow. It can navigate in water less than 2 feet deep. It also has two masts mounted in tabernacles. The masts are counterbalanced. This makes it very easy to lower the masts for getting under low bridges.
The Circle Loop route includes several canals and rivers. Some of the canals and rivers have both shallow water and low bridges.
The boat is quite comfortable as a live-aboard. She has a full sized double bed, a full galley, a living/dining room and a bathroom (head.)
There are only about a dozen AS-29's in the whole world.
I built this boat myself. The project took just under 4 years of part-time work.
One of the purposes of this blog is to demonstrate to other people who long for a boat of their own to consider building. By building I was able to spread the cost of the boat over the 4 years of the buidling project. I then end up with a brand new boat that's fully paid for!
If there's something that you want, don't just wish for it. Take steps to make it happen. If I, of all people, can build a boat, so can you. If you can build a boat, what can't you do?
The image accompanying this post is a scan of the blueprints for the boat. It is posted here only for purposes of explaining the design. These blue prints are copyrighted by Philip C. Bolger, Glochester, MA. No use can be made of these plans without the permission of the designer.


Dan said...

Mike -
I just discovered your blog (The Voyages of the Walküre) and am delighted I am a long time admirer of Phil Bolger’s designs (I built both the June Bug and Pirogue after building my first Mirror Dinghy and sailing her for years on Lake Michigan) and have for some years now considered the AS29 (or some variation) as a more ambitious project; for a summer live-aboard and or cruiser - your blog has re-sparked my interest. Having sailed her now for several years, what are your general thoughts; is she everything you’d hoped for?

I’m curious what you added/changed over time since you originally built Walkure?… such as the solid bimini sun/rain cover aft, open down the center for those good days when a bit of sun is desirable and to stand up without bumping one’s head; also the addition of the wind and solar power generation accessories…I wonder how you like the accommodations below decks? Do you find that the inside lee boards work well or would you prefer them on the outside?…and how about the sailing rig; would you prefer instead a junk rig? What did you decide to do for the toilet; some sort of composting eco-friendly unit or a traditional one with holding tank?

I am surely asking too much here, and/or possibly too much for one email. Perhaps you’d consider a blog entry for aspiring AS29 builders… Overall, I find the design to be well thought out and beautiful (in a "form follows function" way).

Regardless, thanks for the creating the blog; I will continue to enjoy reading about your travels –


Mike Wagner said...

Changes: Toilet tradititional holding tank. IF I had built the modifications Bolger suggested (doghouse over the head) I would have put in the composting type. Composting toilets are rather tall and there isn't enough headroom over the toilet without the doghouse.
Rig: I am still contemplating the Junk. With all the additions we've made aft (pilothouse, solar panels, wind generator) the boat is now unbalanced and won't sail downwind at all. During this haulout I will be adding a skeg just forward of the rudder to move the CLR aft. If that doesn't help, I will build a junk sail.
Below decks, I made very few changes. Mostly I configured the galley a bit different because I didn't put in a gimbaled stove.
I also didn't put in the wood stove, but have since found that I need it in winter, even in the Keys. So, during this haulout, the wood stove goes in.
Feel free to ask more questions, just be patient as I don't always have internet connection.

Dan said...

Mike - Thanks for your feedback to my boat design questions...I do like your pilothouse idea ...unfortunate that it has added so much weight as to make her slow downwind...I wouldn't think that solar panels and wind generator add that much but perhaps when included together plus two people or more in the pilothouse it all adds your idea might be the answer; running a skeg almost to mid point of bottom rocker. Stove: since you didn't put in a gimbaled stove, what do you cook on?

Regarding your changes to Walkure, you may find another site useful; Dave and Anke Wagners; Dave made a number of modifications to the AS29 and talks about them here...just about the time I found the site and got excited about his boat, they opted to sell her and build another even simpler/smaller craft which they talk about at this other site: - not sure you what I think about this one it is radically different in some regards...

Dan said...

Mike - Correction to my last comment - the sites I referred to are for Dave and Anke Zeiger not Wagner -