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Adelie 14

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 8 months ago




Various discussions on Adelie 14:

Comparing with Kingston 15

The Kingston has much more freeboard and I consider that the Adelie is already borderline when it comes to windage.

To have an enclosed cockpit in a Kingston or Peep Hen requires very high sides.

I wonder if those boats could ever gain against the wind.

I tested a boat in that style many years ago and it was horrible. It ended up with the boat rolling on it's side and throwing out most of those who sat in the "feel safe" cockpit. I was the only one not ending up in the water because I fell the capsize coming and climbed over the side. The boat stayed on its side for maybe 30 seconds but with the weight of the crew gone, recovered. Beacuse of the high sides, I couldn't pull the crew back onboard. Fortunately, it happened in the channel and other boats were there to help. It may sound funny but it was life threatening.

They still laugh about it at the Nieuwpoort Yacht Club in Belgium and the "designer" found another career, he now writes about boats in French magazines!

I also have some doubts about the accomodations. The drawings look nice but I do not think that the dimensions are realistic.

Adelie is a very reasonable boat: we did not try to put more in her than what could be done safely while preserving some sailing performance at the same time.

If an enclosed cokcpit is essentila, the builder can raise the hull sides but I do not take any responsibility for the consequences.

A better choice would be a larger boat but we will not design a 16 to 17' version before mid next year, if we ever design one. --jacquesmm

Compare the BOM of the Kingston with ours and you will see that the Kingston is a plywood boat covered with a little bit of epoxy while the AD14 is a fiberglass boat with a plywood core. That's a major difference in strength.

There is a difference between plywood covered with 10 oz. woven and plywood used as a core between biaxial glass.

In the first one, the strength comes mostly from the plywood, in the second one, the strength comes from the fiberglass skins. It is very different.

We will soon include small samples of our composite sandwich, plywood and foam, in the trial kit. If you have never seen a true composite, you will be impressed.

The Kingston design also give priority to accomodations over sailing ability: much more windage. All that room inside looks good on paper but I don't think it is realistic in a 14 footer.

The Klenkes was one of the boats that gave birth to the AD14. Years ago, somebody on this board did send me a sketch of that boat.

Another boat that looks very much like Adelie and the Klenkes is a little dayboat that I have in my backyard. Same profile, same windows. The same mold was used by Reynell 1st then sold to Mako. I have a Mako hull.

Number 3 influence was the San Francisco Great Pelican for the rig.

BTW, I don;t think there are plans for that Klenkes, it's just a concept drawing.

Adelie has a smaller beam to length ratio than the Klenkes and Pelican, more like the Mako/Reynell. Without that excessive beam ratio she would not have been self righting.

She has a higher displacement/ballast ratio. than the Mako/Reynell.

Butt joint strength

I am an engineer too and tested the splice method we use: it is stronger than the plywood. Many others have tested it.

Since you do not have the plans, you probably overlook the layers of glass that go on each side of the plywood. There is much more to it than just the little splice. The plywood is a core in a sandwich, just like a foam core.


Try this: join 2 pieces of 6 mm plywood with a biaxial tape 6" wide, 12 oz. then cover the whole panel with 2 layers of biaxial fabric 12 oz. each.

Compare to a one piece 12 mm marine plywood panel: our fiberglassed 6 mm will have at least twice the tensile and flexural strength.

Test in compression to failure as we did: it takes twice the load to break our sandwich.

Compare to a scarfed 6 mm sample and you will not see a difference except that the scarf waste plywood and is more difficult to build correctly.

Joint integrity of this building method, relies upon mutual joint inclusion, no structural or mechanical loss will occur when dutifully observing these building methods and materials.


The holistic distribution of stressors is similar to monocoque jet aircraft design, where shared load distribution through (in this design adaptation), the resin encapsulated frame members and its sheathing, creates superior performance of the entire form.


At the now maturity of this method, it has become widely proven that in observing the design method and materials, there is zero loss of joint integrity, there is no longer debate on this topic.


The improvements to overall vessel strength, weight, design flexibility (reducing completion and operational costs), are collaterally complimented by a much improved building schedule.

The plywood is only a core in this method of construction which is a variant of lost-mold casting. The fiberglass skin is where the real strength is. The butt splices are not just simply taped joints because you don't use simple tape. 45° X 45° biaxial tape is used. The plywood panels are laid out on the sheets in a way that the glass strands are oriented 45° to the grain of all of the plies of wood. The resulting distribution of stress creates a very strong joint which, when it fails, will fail by fracturing the wood adjacent to the actual joint.


A scarf joint also fails in the same way. The wood adjacent to the joint fractures.


With the failure modes being equal, and the the design emphasis on efficient use of plywood and easy construction techniques with simple tools, butt splices are the best choice. It's real easy to cut a butt splice properly. Most of the time you don't even cut anything because the joint occurs at the edge of the plywood sheet. A scarf joint requires extra calculation for the overlap and special tools and extra alignment and wasted wood and probably more luck for the same result.

Monocoque & Composite construction

The difference between wood-cored fiberglass composite and glass-covered plywood on frame is actually pretty simple.


For plywood on frame, the frames carry the structural load. They provide most of the strength and stiffness. The plywood provides the barrier which keeps the water out of the boat. The fiberglass provides protection for the plywood. The plywood can be any old Home Depot exterior stuff since the heavy frames actually carry the load.


For monocoque plywood boats, all the structural loads are carried by the plywood skin. There are only enough frames to define the basic shape of the boat. The skin is pre-stressed (by curving it) to provide the stiffness and to resist the loads. The plywood skin also provides the barrier which keeps the water out of the boat. It may be covered with fiberglass to protect the plywood. The plywood needs to be high quality since it is load-bearing.


Finally, true wood-cored composite boats are monocoque boats, but instead of sheets of plywood, they use a plywood/glass composite skin. The structural loads are shared by the plywood and glass. The glass handles the "pulling" loads while the plywood handles the compressive loads. It works just like an I-beam, where the glass is the flanges and the wood is the vertical member. The farther apart the wood core keeps the glass layers, the stffer the composite. They plywood can be some somewhat lower quality than for monocoque plywood since the glass carries most of the load.


The different types of construction can be combined. For example, a monocoque hull can have a composite bottom.


None of the boats sold here are plywood on frame. They are all monocoque construction, which makes them strong, yet light, and easy to assemble. The smaller boats are monocoque plywood (the dinghies), while the larger and higher performing ones are true wood-cored composite (the VG series). The AD14 is a combination, with some parts composite, the others just plywood monococque.

General features


Any of them can have a dorade added and a porta potti. I think the study plans either show or discuss a location for the ppotti on each.


Ballast on these boats is usually lead set in epoxy, lead shot, lead ingots, etc. The details will be on the plans and discussable here, but again, have you seen or considered the AD16 or VG18 yet? The AD14 is a fine sailboat. I'm on LI, NY, and I 've seen what New England waters can do very quickly, especially if the wind is against the tide, or a busy low offshore. Personally, I'd like the extra few feet if I were doing longer passages than day sailing trips. I think all the centerboards are plywood with or without glass sheathing.


All have room for a couple batteries and stowage for a Minn Kota type electric (don't forget to get the saltwater version for those waters), but you may have to sacrifice a bunk under one of the cockpit seats, or maybe it will fit in a locker right under the sole!

Im going to start an AD 14 this year (07). Its a very light boat around 250 kg or 550 pounds for you guys. Easy to tow requiring a very simple trailer and beach if you get into trouble. Keel is lead ballested (molten lead poured into blind holes in centreboard). Put the batteries where you like and the toilet for that matter although Id probably go before I went sailing ! . At 4.27 metres I wouldnt venture too far off shore as you would have noticed that 99 foot boats get smashed in the latest sydney to hobart (tasmania) ocean race in only 30 knots of breeze ! Go ahead and build it , first impressions are normally right --johnaussie

I bought the plans, it's a great little design. Just because no one's posting contruction & sailing pictures doesn't affect the the design, it just means that no one is posting. The 14 is a fairly specialized design. It's perfect for those of us who need a capable sailer for weekend-length trips for 1 or 2 people, one we can build & store in a 1 car garage and pull around with low-horsepower vehicles. For people who don't have those limitations or goals, other boats are better. Builders that don't want the cabin, have bigger tow vehicles, that only do day trips, that have bigger crews, etc. will go for a different design.


As ArizonaBuilder says, the 14 & 16 are basically the same boat. In my case, the 14 works better for me in terms of how I'll be using it.


I've made a purely symbolic start on building it by cutting out the skeg, but since I currently have 2 other boats under active construction and no room to start on a 3rd, I'm not going to start actually building it for a while.


If you want a small, yet capable boat with a minimal cabin, I totally recommend the AD14.



The boat is perfectly able to do some coastal cruising as designed.

We just finished the plans and I am not ready to begin to modify them less than a week later.

As designed, the boat is perfectly suited to it's program.

A builder can always make the boat more seaworthy by reducing the size of the companionway, that's #1.

#2 would be a fin keel with a bulb.

#3 would be to slightly increase the scantlings.

#4 would be to limit the crew to one or max. 2 and make arrangements for sturdy, lockable storage compartments under the cabin sole. That means bringing the weights down and securing the lids so that they would stay closed in case of capsizing.


If at least 3 builders commit themself to purchase plans for an ocean going version, I will design it. Those 3 will have to share a custom design fee of $ 200.00 each.

Those modifications will require around 50 hours of engineering and drafting. --jacquesmm



We were in a lagoon (27km long 5km wide at places) with soft sandy beaches and we always moored with the transom on the beach and the anchor keeping her head to wind. Beaching the boat allowed us to sleep with no worries, even through 2 storms that we endured. Sleeping was very comfortable allthough I will install an additional small hatch just behind the mast to improve ventilation. I have a sort of dorado vent, with a built in 12v electric fan but it doesn't really do the job. One night I used a portable 12v fan and allthough a bit noisy it does the job. For cooking we used a gas barbeque (bought a stainless steel one and converted it to gas), which we also used to boil water for coffee. I have a deck shower built into the port locker with fresh water supply, so after a swim we could rinse off the salt water - nice. A porta potti was also essential for the trip, allthough we often "dined out" as there are some restuarants situated along the shores.


The boom is 600mm above the deck to accomodate the bimini and believe me the bimini is essential. Your time spent on the boat would be misearable without one. The mast is deck stepped (taberknackle for ease of raising lowering) - it is an old Enterprise mast hence the spreaders. The mainsail and spinnaker was made at Hyde Sails SA - the main is larger at 12.4m2, the spinnaker is also larger than spec but I cannot remember what the area is. I also specified that the clew on the main was raised so that the boom is actually raked up to help clear the bimini when sailing. I adjusted the rake after the first sail in about 10-12 knots of wind as I was actuall concerned about the mast toppling forward (probably not possible) as the leeward shroud and forestay were hanging loose when going downwind. Increasing the rake made this possibility less likely and I was also happier with the performance as the boat was also very nicely balanced with no weather helm when going upwind. This saves battery power when using the autopilot, which a a very handy addition to the boat as it enables singlehanded sailing with the spinnaker and getting a cold beer etc.


She handles well, and sails more like a keelboat than a dinghy. I have 130kg of ballast (65 in the centreboard and 65 in the keel). Have you considered where you are gong to put the lead that does not go into the board? I also want to change the centerboard raising lowering mechanism. At present I have a wooden blocks on a rope to keep it up and in the down position prevent it from going all the way, but I think I will change to a small drum with variable adjustment. This will also help with the raising and lowering, as 65kg is quite heavy for one handed operation.


The AD16 swings a lot at anchor. This is due to the high windage I imagine. I found myself wishing that I had a second anchor for the back of the boat. I will definitely be adding one. I did not experiment with the length of the anchor rode, which I simply tied off on about 1.5 boat lengths for convenience as we always anchored in shallow water (allthough the lagoon does plunge to depths of about 50m).


The 5hp Seagull motor does the job mostly allthough when I used it to motor in about 15 to 20 knots, it would not bring her around through the headwind, and I had to use the rudder to assist with the steering. Thus it may be necessary to review your trolling motor if you want to stay aout of trouble if something goes wrong with the rig and there is a bit of a blow.


When next I go sailing I will have a gps so that I can determine boat speed, I also have a windspeed indicator that I can use. In my opinion she goes well, for her sail area and weight. Gigster weighs in a 370kg. All the additions add wieght and external grade pine ply is heavier than marine ply. However, I am not racing her and the additions are essential for comfort. we were really well organised and very comfortable on the water.

I have 6" access ports in the sole on each side of the CB to access the keel bolt. So I was going to fill that compartment between frame A and B along the keel with the lead. I will concentrate most of the lead right in front of frame B, in such a way that I still have clearance to access the keel bolt and gradually fill the chamber forward until I have statisfied the weight requirement. Hopefully there is enough room.


I left all the compartments along the keel open, so they could be used for the heavy items. Fresh water, batteries. This will keep a lot of weight low and along the keel. I haven't worked out any details yet as I am still concentrating on the build. However I was thinking about using some type of flexible water bladder in the area between frame B and C on each side of the CB for fresh water.

But check out the one by Llew and also go through the "Builder Galleries", there are a couple other AD16s being built including Terry's Cool Change and another one. Somewhere there are also pictures of one already complete from Europe I think.


Here's a link to Terry's album, although this is a shot of George's boat.


And a link to his builder's page

ks8 was right; now that I am more familiar with this site, I've found a lot more info. I've read through ArizonaBuilder's Cool Change building log and am studying both his and Llew's AD16 construction pictures in the photo gallery. Every time I look at a photo I discover something new. I found Project Just Right, describing construction of the Vagabond. I am very impressed with their work and the design of the AD14/16. I understand now that the AD16 is basically the same as the AD14, just 1 1/2 feet longer to meet European sailing requirements and with an extra 70 lbs of ballast. I like how Llew has removeable floor boards next to the centerboard trunk, to provide space for one's feet while sitting. I'm still leaning toward the AD14 plans.


Dave Raftery


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