The Barefoot 5.8 was designed by Tad Roberts, for Barefoot Wooden Boats, to compete in the 2015 R2AK. This is a 750 mile, unsupported, engineless race, from Port Townsend, Washington, along the entire coastline of western Canada, to Ketchikan, Alaska.
Drawn as a yawl, she was launched as a sloop. Sails are px15 Mylar by Evolution Sails. With 210 sq ft in the main,110 sq ft in the jib, and 365 sq ft in a asymmetric masthead spinnaker, flying from a 30′ carbon fibre mast. All standing and running rigging is New England Ropes Dyneema. Blocks and hardware are from Harken. This boat develops a common Barefoot/Roberts theme of “classic style, modern performance”. It has a fine entry, low deadrise, and a flat run aft. The waterline is narrower than a sailor might wish, but as we expected to cover many miles under oars, a compromise was made.
Construction is a hybrid. Below the waterline, stitch and glue 1/4″ ply planking, over a torsion box/ eggcrate frame. sheathed and bonded in Ecopoxy and Kevlar. Above the waterline, lapstrake, trunnell fastened, red cedar planking, on sawn yellow cedar frames. 8 watertight hatches access the 4 seperate voids beneath the sealed sole, which is 4″ above the waterline. An open transom allows any water shipped aboard to flow freely out the stern. The twin rudders and twin, asymmetric bilge boards are red cedar strip planked and sheathed in Vectorply’s 12 oz quadraxial carbon fibre. The bilge boards are angled in about 12 degrees on their bottom ends, and the rudders kick up, and lift vertically. An 8′ carbon fibre bowsprit is held in a bronze socket/stemband/keelband fabricated by Bob Wyche. SideDecks are 1/4″ marine ply, glassed, and covered in full length, 1/4″,sprung yellow cedar. All ply is painted with Watergard, water based marine enamel. Oars are 11′ Sitka spruce and are pulled from 2 modified, extruded aluminium, home rowing machines, lashed to the deck. Stainless steel T nuts are bedded in the deck on top of every frame, to accept eye bolts where needed.
Construction was begun in the middle of December, and the launch was on April 12th. We christened her the DICK SMILEY, after our late friend and founding partner of Barefoot Wooden Boats, Richard Lyons. During the construction period I would work 70-80 hrs a week, every second week. Another 4 weeks were spent rigging and tuning before we set sail for Port Townsend. The DS could have been built lighter, but I wanted a boat that would last for years, and wouldn’t break open like a piñata halfway to Alaska. It weighed in at 25 lbs over her designed weight of 500 lbs. fully loaded it should displace 1250 lbs, but we probably left Gabriola closer to 1400.