A 13ft stick-up sharpie afloat and sailing

Stick-up sharpie

This is one for everyone who has spent time reading Howard Irving Chappelle’s American Small Sailing Craft or Ruel Parker’s The Sharpie Book.

Perhaps particularly if you’re accustomed to British sailing boat types, you will have wondered about the funny little sharpies with strange added masts at a funny angle.

Finally I’m glad to say I’ve found photos of one online, and a sailing report – and the news seems to be that while it all looks very odd, the little boat performs as you’d expect a 13ft sharpie to do. We live and learn – that spar that’s not quite a bowsprit and not quite a mast really is no joke and the boat works. See photos here and here.

Well done the builder (a chap known only as ‘Timsboats’) for having faith and choosing to build a boat that’s outside of the ordinary…

9 thoughts on “A 13ft stick-up sharpie afloat and sailing”

  1. It certainly looks ‘weird’ but if it works, then I can always learn to love ‘weird’! Yet I still struggle to guess at the advantages of this arrangement. There are a couple of pictures online (but most of the search results are for some kind of well-known marker pen (Other pens are available)). A video would be nice: might reveal something that isn’t obvious from still pictures.

  2. I don’t get it either, I have to confess. One thing I would not want to do is to try to reef that foresail… I know it’s not exactly huge, but it’s going to be a challenge to reach – and my guess is that reefing the main only could lead to a bit of that old lee helm no-one likes.

    I wonder whether it’s one of those working boat rigs that makes most sense with a two-man or adult plus smaller person crew, Yet again, this is a 13ft boat…

  3. Phil Bolger wrote about the rig in his book !00 (later 103) Small Boat Rigs. He said “The object was to do something about the sagging jib luff that used to spoil the windward work of sloops and, later, strained sloops’ hulls with the tension needed to straighten the sag.” He also wrote “It’s clumsy to hoist and furl” so he would agree with you that it’s an unhandy rig.

  4. Hi Gavin, thanks for this.

    FYI, re “(a chap known only as ‘Timsboats’)”:

    My name is Tim Abbott. I’m a beginning hobby boat builder with 3 skin on frame kayaks completed over the past 6 months or so. Now looking for the next greater challenge, I’ve come up with a stick-up rigged sharpie for the next project. I’ll try my best to chronicle this build here.

  5. it’s a well accepted form over here. A friend has one and says it is easy to store, shorter than a bowsprit. It always seems like two leg o mutton sails t to me.

  6. Thanks for the interest in my little boat. I’m honored to see it here. And happy to see it creates a little stir. I wanted something unusual and I got it. As a bonus it sails quite well too.

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