Chappelle tabloid cruiser from the book Boatbuilding, photographed in Australia

Chappelle's 23ft 8in tabloid cruiser in the book Boatbuilding in Australia Chappelle's 23ft 8in tabloid cruiser in the book Boatbuilding in Australia

This is the 23ft 8in tabloid cruiser described in Howard Irving Chappelle’s classic book Boat Building: A Complete Handbook of Wooden Boat Construction.

If you’ve read Chappelle’s book, you’ll likely know this design and will have been intrigued by it – I’d guess that it has something in common with New England lobster boats and Hampton boats of the past.

The photos here were kindly sent to me by Randal Cooper of Goolwa Masts. Randal reports that the boat, which is made of strip-planked cedar, is about 20 years old and is owned by a young employee of his. Randal also says that the boat is quick under sail compared to trailer yachts the same age and that there’s a plan afoot to enlarge the rig.

I’m in two minds about the idea – on one hand the rig as laid out in the plans is snug, but on the other this centreboard boat is really a big dinghy and if it gets knocked down will be too big to right. You takes your choice…

There are several other interesting sets of plans in Chappelle’s book. Are any others afloat, does anyone know? Do you have photos, please, and how do they perform?