Posted Yesterday, 02:50 AM

First, let's dispose of your insulting inference that all harryproa owners are stupid.  That they are  "sucked in by Denney's golden tongue selling a questionable, un-tested and un-proven concept".

All my clients and the ~550 people on the harryproa chat group are fully aware of all the development and sailing that has/hasn't happened in harrys.  They are equally aware of you, your status, your boats, your ocean voyages, your attitudes and Sven's/Joe's/Steve's attempts to lionise you and demonise me. They still choose harrys. Get used to it.

Second, lets get a few facts straight.
1) I never had anything but the highest praise (consumate sailor, brilliant boatbuilder, nice guy) for you until you started following your mates' "Denney is a lying,  ignorant jerk" line.  
2) I think Jzerro is a great boat.  Despite all the flaws you and others admit to.  
3) I have made public and private overtures to you to sort out our differences (another one at the end of this post), and been rebuffed each time.
4) Almost everything negative I have said about your boats was quoted from articles in Wooden Boat and Cruising World magazines.  I'll post examples if you want them.
5) You guys have made far more negative comments about me and my boats than I have about you and yours.  See the last sentence in proasailor/joe's post #40 in this thread for a typical example.

Next, the boat related answers,

View PostRussell Brown, on 23 March 2013 - 07:04 AM, said:

Show us that home built, free standing carbon masts are a good idea.

My second favourite boat subject!
Free standing masts are safer than stayed ones, particularly on proas where gybing a stayed rig can "blow the stick away" (Russ Brown 2001).  Because they flex, they are automatic first reefs and have a lower weight and centre of gravity than a stayed alloy mast. They have no parts to fail, and once proven (bench tested or on a boat) should outlive the boat.  They have no set up or maintenance issues beyond a paint job every 15 years or so.  Sails can be hoisted, raised or reefed on any point of sail and gybing in a gale can be safer than tacking.  There are no stays for the sails to chafe on.  They are not as fast as an expertly trimmed and set up stayed rig (yet, there is plenty of room for development) but for cruisers and non experts, they are ideal.  They are well proven on cats, tris and proas.
Carbon masts are lighter, don't corrode, and have exceptional fatigue properties.  They can also be laid up with material where it is needed, rather than the crude taperingn of an alloy mast.  
Home built masts are fun to build, give a huge feeling of satisfaction, and result in a lighter/cheaper mast for anyone who can follow instructions and use a string line. The 15m Rare Bird's 18m/60' long unstayed mast (vid in post #10) weighs 120 kgs, the same as an alloy rig and ss rigging for a same length mast on a cat with the same righting moment.  Materials cost was  $2,500.  Would be less now.   Once you can build a mast then rudders, booms, beams and a host of other fittings are easy.

All the masts on all the harryproas were built by amateurs or first time professionals using my plans. I have lost count of how many I have sold to amateur builders for other boats.  None have reported any issues with the build or the results.  

Is it carbon masts, unstayed masts or amateur builders that you have trouble with?  Or just that I am promoting them?

View PostRussell Brown, on 23 March 2013 - 07:04 AM, said:

Rob keeps talking about how dangerous our steering systems are and I personally see his system as a liability. On a boat with a rig that offers no chance of steering with the sails, the steering system needs to be robust. The Harry steering system does not look robust to me, nor does it look practical for an offshore boat.  I have not had one problem with the Newick style rudders in about 40,000 miles of sailing, so instead of just bashing this proven system, prove that your system works.

It is not about problem free sailing or "bashing" your rudders, which are no worse than those on most boats. It is about sandbanks, logs and other obstacles.   How many of these have you hit at high speeds and what happened?

Harryproas use a few rig and rudder set ups, depending on the boat's purpose.   Both are being continually improved. I have broken many of each on prototypes, a couple of rudders have broken on other harrys, a second hand mast broke on one of the small ones but the rest have worked well. As designed, all of them could run into a sandbank or submerged log at 20 knots without damage.  

Do you think this is a desirable attribute or not?  

How can you tell if they are robust or not without knowing how they are built?  

View PostRussell Brown, on 23 March 2013 - 07:04 AM, said:

In fact only one of his designs has ever done a passage and that was a 1200 mile crossing of the Tasman. The boat took almost twice as long as it should have to do the crossing and arrived with structural damage. I did this crossing on my little proa (in about half the time) and also had very rough and contrary conditions, but arrived in good shape and quite happy with the boat. The Harry was put up for sale after the crossing and there was no report from the sailors about how the boat performed. In fact, there is no written testimony from anyone who has driven one of these boats hard in real ocean conditions, only conjecture from Rob.

The owner/builder wrote a report, (post #9144) which like all the harryproa trials and tribulations was written up in full and discussed on the harryproa chat group and elsewhere. It is this upfront attitude to problems and their solutions that is part of the reason harryproa clients don't stress about offshore miles.  It is also what gives you guys so much ammunition to fire at me.

Aroha is 3' longer than your "little proa" but has very little else in common. It is the first of it's kind, has  more room,  is more comfortable and is easier to sail.  It does not need water ballast, does not have to drop the main when running square at night, can be gybed in a gale and safely run aground.   Happy to discuss any of these that you think are incorrect. The crossing was the maiden voyage for boat and crew and it was way overloaded. It is for sale and it is cheap, but still a lot more money than was paid for Kauri (Jzerro's sistership).  Insulting the owners by telling them their first offshore voyage was twice as long as it should have been is appalling arrogance, even by your standards.

Next the personal stuff, which boat enthusiasts can ignore.  

View PostRussell Brown, on 23 March 2013 - 07:04 AM, said:

The push back against Rob Denny is, from my perspective very understandable.
Rob promotes his boats by badmouthing other people’s boats and presenting his as better.
My boats are usually the focus of the badmouthing and I get tired of it, but what I find most troublesome about Rob’s approach is that it is essentially a hard sell of an un-tested and un-proven concept. I don’t feel that Rob has the credibility to be talking the way he does, about his boats or mine.  

You really don't get it, do you?  This is a forum, on a sailing web site.   A place for discussing boats.  If it was only open to people who had designed and sailed their boats across oceans, it would cease to exist.   If you don't like what I am saying about your boats' features, say why I am wrong (facts, figures, theory, etc) and why you are right.  I love feedback, from whatever source, as it helps improve my boats.  

The threads that go sour follow a pattern. Someone asks a variation of the question "How do harrys compare to Brown boats?" My reply discusses the differences in the boats, supported by numbers, videos, experience and theory. Never mentions people.   Then you or one of your cronies enters the debate and starts calling me names, without mentioning the boats, or what I have said. (see post 87 and 88 http://forum.woodenb...a-(like-Madness)-Does-it-make-sense/page2 for a typical example.  Lot of proa content there as well). Then you start complaining about my attitude and telling people to go to a forum where harryproas are not to be discussed.   A pretty devious (and pathetic) strategy but fortunately, not everyone is gullible.  They watch the videos, study the numbers, compare them with what else is available, wonder about your motives and choose a harry.  

As for your boats "being the focus of the bad mouthing", don't flatter yourself. I  tell a lot more multi sailors than proa sailors that there might be a better way of doing things.  They also dislike it, but are mostly able to discern between the message and the messenger, whereas you three act as if you own the entire proa concept and anyone who does it differently (and successfully) gets smacked down.  

On the subject of  credibility:  In Wooden Boat Magazine, you are quoted as saying:  "I don't want to be responsible for people going offshore in (my) proas as I think they are only 'fairly safe' and then only if at least a couple of the crew are really tuned into it.  The big danger is being caught aback."  Do you still think this?  If not, what have you altered on your boats to justify changing your mind?  

View PostRussell Brown, on 23 March 2013 - 07:04 AM, said:

I have so far avoided giving my view of the Harry proa concept. I just keep hoping that Rob will stop bashing my boats and talking about his own as if they are the answer, but if I could ask some things of Rob, this is what they would be: Prove your boats before you sell them as better than anything else. This means ocean passages and rough water experience, not just for the boat, but for the designer too. It also means racing them. If they are going to be sold as faster than anything else, you have to do at least one race and prove that they are competitive.

Do you do any research, or just toss out whatever accusations you can think of and hope they stick?

Tell us why 2 busted ring frames on a Tasman crossing including a 45 knot gale by a novice crew in an overloaded boat doesn't constitute an ocean passage or rough water experience?   

All the big harrys sailing are cruisers.  Their attributes are far more cruising than speed oriented, although they do seem to get along pretty quickly, considering their comfort levels and all the drawbacks you allude to but won't mention. As far as I know from reports on the harryproa forum, all except one have raced. None have won, but they weren't expected to. I raced one of my prototypes and did pretty well against Tornados and other performance boats.   I also raced one of the cruisers in a Brisbane Gladstone.  We were doing ok (not as well as expected) when a stainless rudder pin failed. Full and frank reports of all of this are on the harryproa chat group or web page.  

There are no harry racers sailing, so this can only be (as it has been all along) a theoretical discussion, but use the numbers from the nearly complete 50'ter on post #30 to compare weight, sail area, righting moment, air and water drag, length and cost with Jzerro and tell us which should be quicker. Or don't,  but if you choose not to, then don't expect much respect when you criticise them.  

I have not sailed a harry across an ocean, nor do I see how it would make any difference, either to the boatsor your opinion of me.  Certainly my clients seem to think I have enough experience to know what is required.  

Harryproas are not advertised or "sold" in the marketing sense you imply.  They are discussed.  Openly, warts and all on forums about sailing boats. Harryproa owners know what they are getting because of this and welcome the opportunity to be involved in the design of their own boat and share it with others.   Along with their sense of design adventure and many good ideas, it is what makes them such fun to work with.  

You have been calling me names and refusing to discuss my boats on boat discussion forums for 2 years now as if it is a good and noble thing.  It isn't.  It is tedious and makes you appear scared to do so.
Tell us why you dislike the harryproa concept, if in fact you do.
Explain why your systems are better and if you would be so kind, why mine suck. I'll learn something,  you'll feel better and the forums will be less toxic. It will certainly do more for your reputation than continuously calling me names because I suggest ways to improve your boats.  

Re evidence:
A respected journalist wrote an article on an ocean cruise in your boat.  It was from that article that almost all of my negative comments on your boat were taken.  Maybe you should have abused him instead of starting this vendetta against me.
There are about as many videos of my boats going upwind in heavy seas as there are of yours. None.   And none of yours shunting in more than a calm, or gybing all standing in a fresh breeze, or running aground, all of which are weaknesses, from my point of view.  All have been resolved in harryproas.
I have never intentionally not answered a forum question.  Feel free to ask any that I have missed.  Please quote where and when they were posted.  

I said it is silly to sit to leeward and pump water to windward in a light weight multi.  Do you think it isn't?
Russ said:   If the Harry proa can really be built at half the weight and cost of anything else, then show us that it can withstand getting thrashed by a gale and that it can sail well upwind in strong conditions.

Rob:  I sailed 2 of my prototypes in 30 knots fairly regularly in Fremantle (site of the '88 America's Cup). A 25'ter cruised up and down the inhospitable west and south west coasts of Aus and Aroha crossed the Tasman, including a 45 knot gale and a couple of broken frames.   You sailed down the trades to Aus,  crossed the Tasman (45 knots?), apparently beefed up the beams and shipped your boat home,  afaik Sven bought his in the USA and shipped it across the Atlantic, where he also had beam trouble while cruising in the Med.   I'm pretty sure there are no reports from any of your boats being sailed upwind offshore in a gale without you on board.   None of which necessarily proves anything very much.  

What is important is that all the main structures on harrys (masts, beams, rudders, hulls) are engineered (at considerable cost) by a very competent firm of composite structural engineers, with all the insurance and warranty implications associated with dealing with professionals.   None have broken.   How are yours engineered?   And why have two out of three of your boats had beam problems?  

Can you explain why you are so sure harryproas won't "sail upwind in strong conditions"?   Is it the forgiving rig, plenty of righting moment, comfortable crew, easy motion, simple handling, or something that only you, with all your experience know about?   Could you also describe your experiences changing the headsails while shunting Jzerro in 30 knots with big breaking waves.  

Unless you tell us what it would cost to build a Jzerro, we will never know if the harry price for something similar (see the vid in #30) is half as much.  
Ditto with the weights
Your second post is a real tear jerker.  For someone who "does not want to be involved in a dispute", you sure work hard at keeping one going.  

You say  "I just want him to stop talking about me. That’s all."  

Pretty easy to arrange.
1) Apologise for insulting me on each of the forums on which you have done so and ask the moderators to remove the offending posts.
2) I will do the same for you.
3) You ask (not tell) your stooges to stop talking about me and undertake to publicly disown their comments when they do.  
4) Neither of us mentions the other from then on.  

Let me know which "talking about me" posts you want apologies for.  Either publicly or at  Over to you.  Or keep going for the sympathy vote  while slinging mud and hoping it sticks.  It has not worked the other times you have tried it, and isn't this time,  judging by the comments in my inbox.

If "ripping one type apart to promote another (over and over again)" was a policy that worked,  then you, Sven and Joe would be inundated with orders. But you aren't, so maybe you are as wrong about this as you are about so many of your assumptions about me and harryproas.  

"real fertility in the proa design world" is not quite true either.  Sven has taken your design and claims he has improved what last year he described as perfection by changing to a rig that is almost certain to cause grief.    Ron Bokenfohr's Kelsall design is under way in Peru,  your Jester boat is a nice drawing of a small version of Jzerro,  3 Madness's (at least one of them "harryfied") and a 40' stress ply cruiser are being built,  the usual off the beach efforts and heaps of talk.  Of these the only one that is not a near copy of your 35 year old design, build method and rig is Ron's and some of the features on the stress ply boat, which has also been mildly harrified.

In "harryproa design world", with all it's discussion, debate, imperfections and improvements, there is a huge 66' liveaboard ready to launch in Portugal and a 40' cedar carbon cruiser nearly complete in France,   In Aus there are 2 x  half ton 50'ters waiting for beams and rigs,  a 50' cruiser just started, with another one to follow for a guy in the UK,  both using a very quick build method, and a plywood 40'ter starting at the end of the year. There is a 60' cruiser starting in 2 months (also in Peru, same yard as Ron's, different build method, should be interesting),  2 x 46 'ters (one starting soon in the eastern USA, one in Aus),  another 60 and a 30 (with very radical rigs) underway  in Norway.   A 60'ter with electric motors in Melbourne and a conversion on a 50 happening in Brisbane.  Plus the harrys that are already sailing and developing new stuff. As always, there are plenty of discussions going on, including a 90 footer for the Chicago Mac race (there are 30,000 reasons why you will love this one, joe) and a 60' motor sailor for a guy in Japan.

Lot of talk about me, but no answers to the questions about the boats.   If you are not scared to answer questions after saying you will do so, why don't you?

Blind Date is a 50', 2 and a bit tons harryproa that was built to take blind and handicapped people sailing in the inland seas in Holland. As lucdek ponted out, it is doing that very successfully.

Last summer you wanted a race in open water knowing I could not accept as I don't own the boat, was only in town for a weekend and Blind Date has a very busy schedule earning it's keep. I suggested a one day meeting just down the road from your place to compare their cruising attributes, such as running aground, shunting,  being caught aback and sailing with an inexperienced crew.  You refused.

Your spin on this,  your exposure by lucdek, your unwillingness to answer simple boat questions and your convoluted excuses for not doing so say it all.  

What type of rotating balanced rig were you referring to when you said "I've always like the idea of a balanced rotating rig but they aren't easy to implement."?

The harryproa rig is easy to implement, so would it not be preferable to yours that wasn't? Apart from your hostility towards me, what have you got against the harryproa/easyrig/aerorig/ballestron (all of which are essentially the same) and how is your "not easy to implement" rig different?  

Also, you did not comment when I took apart your "summary" in posts 31 and 32. Does this mean you agree with my examples and numbers?  

rob, who is watching  his daughter sailing for a week, then helping a client try a new build technique (see flasharry at  this client is one of the few who has been on a harry and on one of Russ' boats) and replying to all the enquiries these otherwise pretty pointless posts generate. Consequently I may not post for awhile.