Tag Archives: designer

July/August Water Craft magazine preview includes free boat plans – subscribe now!

JulyAugust Water Craft cover

Water Craft’s July/August edition is a cracker

The latest issue of Water Craft sounds like a real gem – probably the best I can recall.

For the first time, editor Peter Greenfield has included free plans for a 16ft pocket gaffer from boat designer Paul Gartside. I’m intrigued!

There’s also a piece about Honnor Marine’s Devon Scaffie, the final preparation and launching of the story of a newly built gaff-rigged pocket cruiser drawn by John Leather, and Water Craft staffer Jo Moran visits the UKs sailing schools.

Beyond that… In Newport, Rhode Island, Ian Scott finds students at the International Yacht Restoration School can start their two-year course on catboats and end it on the schooner Coronet, Kathy Mansfied meets the restored Sunbeams in The Med, and in a garden in Cornwall the editor has erected moulds originally made by Connie Mense as the first step towards building Phil Bolger’s lovely 20ft Chebacco Boat. Other good things to read are a review of the latest generation of epoxies, a feature on cooking in small boats, a review of Iain Oughtred’s new book, a preview of the Thames Trad Boat Rally, a feature on Francois Vivier’s ‘Folkboat of the future’, and of course an obituary of the great North American small boat designer Phil Bolger.

See the advert in the right-hand column of this weblog to subscribe to this splendid magazine. You won’t be disappointed!

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Edwin Schoettle on catboats, Gavin Atkin on what’s wrong with yachts and yachties

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Legendary catboat Silent Maid

Edwin Schoettle’s classic Sailing Craft published in 1928 is a fabulous big old book of nearly 800 pages – so I hope no-one will mind me posting a few of them. And perhaps my post will serve to keep the memory alight.

I’d like to explain why I’ve been thinking about the catboat lately.

I’ve complained for years that many yachties  motor or motor sail for much of the time and I’ve often wondered what the reason might be. Well, I’ve come to think that it isn’t laziness or a dislike of sailing. The reason why they’re reluctant to use their full sailplan is that they’re either sailing alone, or effectively doing so, and don’t want the fag of having to manage sails, winches and sheets as well as steer, navigate and keep a look out.  And because they’re not using their full sail plan their boats are slow without the help of its engine – and that’s why most yachties motor for much of the time.

Looked at another way, it’s because we’re using the wrong rigs.  Instead of the Bermudan sloop with a masthead rig, big foresail, winches and the rest, we could be using rigs that reduce the number of essential control lines to very few – the cat and the cat yawl.

Of course there’s a shortage of cat yawls outside of a few designers offering plans for relatively small boats aimed at the amateur builders, so I’ve been considering the experiences people have had with the catboat.

I’ve no experience with these boats and have no firm opinions to offer, but it’s interesting that Schoettle emerges as such a fan of the catboat. I’m inclined to think a modified form of catboat, perhaps one with the kind of capacious hull that’s long been normal in family cruising boats could be seriously useful to yachtsmen in the era of expensive fuel and growing environmental awareness.

Those who find it difficult to swallow the idea of the Bermudan sloop being replaced by a more old fashioned rig might thinking about the argument in a different way – instead of describing the cat or cat yawl rig of the future as being derived from historical yacht types or workboats, just think of them as big Lasers with heavy keels.

Read more about Silent Maid in a recent post at the weblog 70.8%.

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Chebacco boat designed by Phil Bolger, built by Academy ex-student Connie Mense

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One exhibit at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show made the case that the recently deceased designer Phil Bolger should be remembered for his very pretty boats as well as his boxy easy-to-build plans.

This is an almost-complete Bolger Chebacco boat, as built by an ex-student of theBoat Building Academy down at Lyme, Connie Mense. I think it’s a terrific-looking craft and that Connie has made a very nice job of building it. The boat was on the Water Craft stand because editor Peter Greenfield is currently building a Chebacco boat from the same moulds.

There are precious few Bolger boats in the UK and I’m always interested in them, so when it’s on the water, can Julie and I come for a sail please Pete?

PS – Don’t miss the ad for Water Craft in the right-hand column of this weblog. It’s well worth a subscription!