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Back at it with a new boat! And... it's an IOM... Gasp!

Hi! I'm back for another boat build! This time it's an IOM.

Yes, I know that it's not a Vintage Marblehead. Or vintage anything... it's a design from 2004. But this boat really looks cool and I want one.

The boat is the Laerke IOM designed by Søren Andresen from Denmark. Hopefully he'll contact me and give me some pointers.

And before all you hardcore IOM sailors start to tell me that the Laerke is an outdated design from way back in 2004... I know, but I will maintain that it's probably still very fast! I don't care if it's the fastest or not... I just like the design. Please remember that my entire interest in this hobby is in nice looking boats that A.) look like proper boats, and B.) can be made in wood by reasonably talented home builders.

The Laerke looks great and modern IOM's don't even look like boats. Besides, to be competitive in IOM's you have to spend a fortune to keep up with everyone else. I have no interest in buying my way to sailing victories... I just want a beautiful wooden RC sailboat. If a boat has to be made of plastic or grp, and has to cost thousands just to get to the start line with everyone, and then hundreds more each year just to keep up with the Jones's, then I have no interest. The guy with the most money always wins, but I'll have fun at the back of the pack with my pretty wood boat.

IOM sailing is too competitive and too expensive for my tastes, but I'll make an IOM boat though just for the hell of it. Maybe I'll come around to IOM sailing?! 

Take a look at this version built by someone from Poland. Here are others. And I like this one too.

The picture below is of a Laerke built in Poland. This picture is not mine, so please see the link for the real owner and for copyright information. I make no claim to this photo, but really just wanted to show how beautiful this boat is! 

I will make mine very similarly to the one from Poland. In fact, I'll probably try to simply copy it! It really appeals to me. The hull will be western red cedar and the cockpit will be Alaskan yellow cedar. Not sure what the foredeck will be yet though... maybe western red cedar too? Maybe 1/32" plywood? Would three woods on the boat be too much?

The plans are available for free online. I've downloaded the DXF file and am now busy making a 3D model so that I can make laser-cut frames. Here's what it looks like so far:

I've only just started working up the frames. You can see Frame 0 and Frame 1 in the picture, but the rest are just shadows so far.

And yes, I'm making it with frames built in! I know it will be way too heavy to race competitively, but as I've already pointed out, the Laerke is an outdated design. Even if I had the lightest, most perfect Laerke in the world, it would still get beat by these modern plasticy, molded things that don't even look like boats. The frames will make it one of the strongest IOM's out that, and it should last decades. It's likely that I won't leave all the frames in place, but several will remain in the hull.

However, if someone ever wanted to, they could use my frames to build a very light shell hull without the frames. You would simply put some plastic tape over the edges of the frames and the planks wouldn't stick. And since there are 19 frames, each only ~2" apart, taken straight from the original CAD files (with the outer skin brought in only 1/16" to account for the wood planks and fiberglass), the hull shape should be virtually perfect.

Full disclosure... I know very little about IOM's. The have weird rules regarding the mast step and many other things. IOM's are raced here in Seattle, so I should probably at least make it class legal in case I ever do wish to race it.

Oh, and I modeled a Hales Double Block too because I needed to align it in the model to get the mainsheet placement correct.

Anyway, that's it for now. More as I get closer to a proper 3D model.



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