Giacomo De Stefano’s classic Buchanan yacht for sale

Buchanan designed ketch  Brancaleon for sale


Small boat voyager and environmental campaigner Giacomo De Stefano – the Man on the River – is selling his Alan Buchanan-designed 1965-built ketch Brancaleon.

Poor Giacomo’s heart must be breaking at the thought of selling his gorgeous yacht. There are more pictures here, and more information at Doryman’s weblog.

Size-wise, she’s 43ft overall, 38ft on the waterline, has a beam of 12ft and a draught of 6ft. In terms of materials, she’s planked with iroko below the waterline and mahogany above, with oak frames and a teak deck.

Brancaleon is currently on a well protected mooring at Mallorca in the Mediterranean – and the mooring can come with the boat. Contact Giacomo at

Tad Roberts offers free plans for his Exploration Ketch

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Tad Roberts has made plans for his Exploration Ketch available for free

British Columbia designer Tad Roberts has made the plans for his 23ft 9in Exploration Ketch available for free from his website. The plans themselves are on this page.

It’s a very nice looking boat, and the people in the photos seem to be having the time of their lives in some enviable summer weather (we’re deep in winter here in England just now).

There’s a lot one could do with a boat like this, but with all that string to play with I think it would be particularly good for sailing schools and for family outings. My tha nks to Duckworks Magazine for the lead.




Howard Irving Chappelle’s intriguing small ketch Southwind

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Chappelle’s Southwind dory-sharpie schooner

Chappelle’s picturesque schooner Southwind

Howard Irving Chappelle was a giant among chroniclers of American vernacular boats and boatbuilding – his books Small American Sailing Craft and Boatbuilding are classics, but look out also for his books on schooners, speed in sailing ships and the development of the sharpie. His books are of wide interest far beyond America’s borders because so many small American sailing craft derived from the old world, as Chappelle makes clear.

Although they’ve been reprinted several times over the years, many of them are difficult to find and not available through Amazon – so if I hadn’t already got most of them I’d begin my search at Abe Books.

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Amid all the research, line-taking and writing he did over the years, it’s often forgotten that Chappelle was a practising naval architect who also found time for designing dinghies, cruising yachts and fishing craft. I’ve written posts in the past about his friendship with the British boatbuilding innovator Herbert Ashcroft, but today I thought I’d draw attention to his shippy-looking shallow-draft dory-sharpie ketch Southwind.

Take a look at the article and drawings at the Svenson website – there’s enough in this material to actually build the boat, and certainly enough to make a nice model.

I must say I’m intrigued. The boat makes a handsome picture, would no doubt turn heads anywhere and has a lot to offer shallow water sailors. But has it ever been built? If so, can anyone tell us how it performs?

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