Drawings of T Harrison Butler’s single-handed cruiser
Like many of us, F B Cooke was clearly a bit of a boat dreamer, and in the early 1920s seems to have fallen very much under the spell of T Harrison Butler’s pretty Single-Handed Cruiser.
‘I, like many other sailing men, have long searched in vain for the ideal small single-hander, but I think I have found her, or rather her lines… She is a perfect love of a boat, and when my ship comes home I shall be tempted to have her built.’
The boat is just 18ft 6in in length. ‘The underwater lines suggest weatherliness, and with a good length of keel she should be very steady on her helm.’
Again: ‘She strikes me as just the thing for knocking about in the estuaries and creeks of the East Coast at week-ends, whilst a trip up to Lowestoft would be quite within her capabilities in any ordinary summer weather. Dr Butler has given the boat a very snug sail plan, but in that I think he is right, for it is a mistake to over-canvas a boat intended for single-handed work.’
I should explain that the boat in these drawings looks significantly bigger than 18ft 6in because H-B has drawn her with a Laws lifting cabin roof.
Did the Single-Handed Cruiser ever catch on? I’d very much like to know. And I can’t help thinking that an inexpensive small boat along these classic lines and as pretty as this one might be an interesting proposition for a boatbuilder to offer in wood or plastic in times like these.