The NEW SageSport 160

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Greg the Boatbuilder
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:54 am

The NEW SageSport 160

Postby Greg the Boatbuilder » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:08 am

Good afternoon from the Sage boat shop,

We have been working on a new project for the last six months or so. Some of this we have already publicized, but here it is from the beginning so far. We started out with a list of wants from Sal. Me being a long time boat geek looked through my personal files and came up with the Robb White designed sport boat. Sal also thought this would fit the bill, so I managed to track Robb's family down and get a set of plans. If any of you are followers of Robb White you might know that of all his boats, the sport boat was the only design he ever wrote down. Those plans consisted of a couple pages of notes, a single page of hand drawn form lines, and some color copy's of Polaroid pictures. Not to much to go on.

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This design goes back before Robb White though. He took inspiration from the wildly popular aluminum Grumman Sport boat of the 1950s. They were shorter, heavier, and very utilitarian. And long Before the Grumman's there was a style of boat known as a Grand laker (still popular today). These were usually wood and canvas freight canoes from the Maine and U.P. areas. Never built to a single design, they suited the builder and user with different lenths, withs, and hull shapes. They were all based in canoe styles of the time, but broader and outboard ready. Many were used as guide boats to to take "Sports" into the back country to hunt and fish, or to move cargo. From this history Robb refined his design over the course of forty years. Being able to keep this process and history going by introducing modern materials and composite techniques sure makes this boat builder feel good.

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From all that, in the spare time from building the Sage sailboats, I put together the molds and modified the instruction to build a cedar strip version with more traditional methods. She came in at 16' LOA with a 43" beam and a bottom profile more like a touring SUP board. The very narrow cut water and hollow entry complimented the hulls dramatic tumble home in the rear. This prototype was a proof of concept to see if the boat could perform as well as we hoped, and something shiny to bring to shows before we had a production model.

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As far as performance goes, we took her on a maiden voyage last fall at the high altitude Lake Dillon (9,017ft) just as winter stuck around for the season. The weather was not all we could have hopped for with 30+ mph winds, temps in the 40s, and 3 ft swells out in the open. Getting off the dock had a bit of pucker factor to it but the boat handled it better that I could have expected. At displacement speeds she handled the tall short spaced swells fine, and with out pounding at all. With plenty of stability and much less dread than when we started we motored along to the lee side of the lake. When the swells dropped by half we powered up the 6hp outboard and easily planed out onto the wave tops heading into even calmer waters. Once on the flat and glassy we were able to test performance. The SageSport160 tends to reach plane before hull speed, and with no bow wave to climb she just scoots forward onto plane around 4 mph (properly trimmed). Since we were still breaking in the new outboard we could only give about 1/2 throttle, but even that took us easily to 12-14 mph. Heading back to the dock gave us a diagonal following sea. While under power we had plenty of directional stability and she never tried to broach or pearl. Once the boat was back on the trailer it began to snow sideways and ended our testing for the season.

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(north star on lake)

All in all we were happy enough with the performance to look at making a plug and molds for a production composite version. The building of the plug started quickly since I already had the original molds set up. I again used cedar strip for making the hull shape. This went faster since i did not have to leave a varnish ready surface. With the structure roughly faired, glassed, and reinforced with the now permanent molds, I added a flange for the final molding process. Next came multiple layers of gel kote with days of sanding and fairing in between each. When we finally had a smooth shape we liked, we sprayed one more coat with a harder "part" gelkote. This surface alone took two weeks of sanding and buffing to give us a mirror finish to the plug.

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The amount of tumble home in the hull shape requires the boat to be molded in a two part mold. For this reason I made a temporary divider of the plug shape. Basically a mohawk down the center of the plug with plywood and gelkote. This allowed us to spay and lay up fiberglass for the first half of the hull shape, then remove the mohawk, and spray and lay up the second half of the mold directly to the first half. Once they both cured we were able to pop to two apart and off the plug very easily.

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The molds needed some fine polishing and surfacing before we made a part in them, but that only took a few days. During this final sanding we began to do some test layups with some of the new materials that we will be using in the SageSport160. Different weaves of carbon fiber, kevlar, and various core materials and thicknesses all need to be tested before we put them in a boat. The transom layup was especially tested to make sure it would stiffly support the 55lb 6hp outboard and all its thrust. On an 18" panel with 12mm of core we achieved a deflection of less than 1/8" at 225lbs of weight. Along with motor cheeks, this is plenty strong for the rated outboard size.

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Skipping ahead, we are now in the hull testing stage. We have made a lightweight hull with exotic fibers and one with more run of the mill fiberglass. These boats had standard non structural canoe style seats. In testing we found both to be more flexible than we would have liked in the overall hull shape and the tendency for the bottom to oilcan. Production versions will have a molded front and rear seat with greater contact area for stiffness. We will also be laying up and testing other versions soon with more and lighter weight core material to improve stiffness while keeping the overall weight low. The combination of more core and structural interior components will yield a stronger over all hull form that will preform better under power and still hit our cost and weight goals.

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The final design of the boat will include two longitudinal supports through the middle six feet of the boat at seat height. Attached to these we are going to install a pin rail system for modular accessories. Such as a cooler mount, sliding seat rowing adapter, fishing insert, or a third seat. We are definitely open to ideas about what these accessories could be. Please let us know if there are any accessories you would like to see available. There is even talk of a sailing kit down the road. While we are still testing and planing, we are hopeful that we will have production versions available by late spring.

for now it is back to the shop and more testing. stay tuned.

dougk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 11:17 am

Re: The NEW SageSport 160

Postby dougk » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:44 am

What a great project from a great design implemented by a great company. I always loved Robb White built boats and am ecstatic about his only shared design making it to production.

This is truly an excellent choice for a small highly efficient boat for exploring the backwaters of the world.

Thanks for a fine contribution to world of excellence in small craft production.

Thanks

Doug Kelch

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sal
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:52 pm
Location: Colorado Rockies

Re: The NEW SageSport 160

Postby sal » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:00 am

Hi Doug,

How are you doing? Thanx for chiming in. It's an interesting project and a very nice design. We're glad to be able to build it.

We're still refining the layup. the plan is 2 versions.

sal

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sal
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:52 pm
Location: Colorado Rockies

Re: The NEW SageSport 160

Postby sal » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:26 am

Hey Doug,

Jut finished your article in Small Craft Adviser. Really good information. Thanx much.

I think our Sport Boat might be a good option for that type of exploring adventure.

sal

dougk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 11:17 am

Re: The NEW SageSport 160

Postby dougk » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:35 pm

Sal,

I have a perfect trip in mind for the SageSport 160. I would like to take my Northeaster Dory down the Green River in Utah but the one way takeouts are too steep to pull my trailer.

The Labyrinth canyon section to the CO river is only class 1 - 1 mile an hour current, motors allowed. it is 50 miles of pristine wilderness. We could go together, drift and row down river. The winds are supposed to be strong upriver every afternoon. You could tow me back in the SageSport 160 if the winds don't cooperate for a sailing return. I will write up the article for Small Craft Advisor. Could be 3 to 5 days on the River. Would be a fall trip when it cools off.

A near perfect application for the SageSport 160.

Any interest?

Doug

Greg the Boatbuilder
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:54 am

Re: The NEW SageSport 160

Postby Greg the Boatbuilder » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:42 am

Hi Doug,
I have paddled the Stillwater and Labyrinth sections of the Green a couple of times. Depending on the year, due to water levels, that section is pretty shallow water from mid summer on. I have gone in early spring with a 4 mph current, a hundred yard river, and no bugs. I have also paddled it in the fall in a sea kayak and spent the days dodging sand bars and islands. At times being able to walk across the river and not get my shorts too wet. The wind does sometimes roar up canyon in the afternoons creating short breaking waves that all but stop progress. We had even tried a small sea anchor with some success in maintaining downriver motion. Also the shore mud at low water is legendary.

I do Agree that the sport boat would be a perfect craft for that kind of trip, but I would caution you on a motor due to the shallow nature and pea soup thickness of the water. Maybe an electric if you could keep a charge going. The 50+ miles of the black canyon of the Colorado just under hover dam might be a better trip. Deep canyons, clear water, and you can motor both ways if you need to.

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sal
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:52 pm
Location: Colorado Rockies

Re: The NEW SageSport 160

Postby sal » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:51 pm

Hi Doug,

It sure sounds like fun and is worth thinking about. My family have gone down the Colorado in canoes where the river is really lazy. Around the Colorado / Utah border. On one trip, my son was only 2 and it worked well. Just camped along the shore. Let us know your plans?

sal

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sal
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:52 pm
Location: Colorado Rockies

Re: The NEW SageSport 160

Postby sal » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:00 am

We finished the 5th prototype of the SageSport 160 and it looks like we've found the best layup for the model. Strong, light and tested well. We'll begin making production boats on Monday and get ready for the Paddle Sports show in Oklahoma next month.

sal


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