|Profile of Egret drawn based on research by Jon Wilson (Woodenboat Magazine Founder), with input from Bob Baker, Maynard Bray, Dave Dillon, and Joel White. Image courtesy of Woodenboat Publications.|
|Lines Drawing of Egret. LOA 28' 2" LWL 22' 8" Beam 7' 2" Draft 1'. Courtesy of Woodenboat Publications.|
Egret was designed by Ralph Munroe to act as an ambulance, mail boat, and water taxi for the early residents of Biscayne Bay in Southern Florida. Here is a short description in Ralph M. Munroe's own words;
The difficulties of beach travel being thoroughly realized, and the Weather Bureau having established a telegraph line to Jupiter, it seemed imperative that something in the boat line superior to any of the existing craft for this work should be obtained. So in the summer of 1886, to replace Kingfish, I had built at Brown's the 28-foot double-ended sharpie lifeboat, Egret, very strongly but lightly constructed. She drew eight inches, and had only fifty to seventy-five bricks, laid under the floor, for ballast. She was fitted with all the appurtenances needed to keep the sea in almost any weather, and if necessary to be put on the beach without harm. That she fulfilled all requirements until the first road was opened the older residents can testify. (excerpted from The Commodore's Story by Ralph Middleton Munroe and Vincent Gilpin - Historical Society of Southern Florida)
Like many others, I have found myself under the spell of Egret's superb lines, which could be described as a cross between a sharpie and a dory. Her swept-up stern and distribution of buoyancy put me stronly in mind of our Australian Surfboats, so the combination of the three hullforms gives her a wonderful pedegree.
|Australian Surfboats in action. They share full forward sections, substantial flare, and fine, raised stern sections with Egret. This is not surprising as both were designed or evolved to deal with the same conditions.|
|This is a superb photo of an Egret built in the mid nineteen-eighties by Graham Ero for Robert Jones. (Photo by Ray Egan, courtesy of Woodenboat Publications)|
|This is my favourite Egret photo, showing her character very well. (Courtesy of the Historical Association of Southern Florida, scanned from Reuel Parker's excellent book, "THe Sharpie Book")|
Scaling the size of a boat up or down introduces many hydrostatic and hydrodynamic complications, so I did not in anyway attempt to copy Egret. In fact, as disciplinary measure, I refused to look at any of my original Egret plans until the hull modelling was complete - that way I knew that I was drawing an entirerly new design - inspired by Egret but not copied.
I suggested a gaff rig using short gaffs as per the original, but my customer wanted to keep the boat as simple as possible and opted for a jib-headed sailplan. Other steps taken in the interests of simplicity included un-cambered decks and sheet plywood construction using the stitch-and-glue method.
We passed ideas backwards and forwards, and my customer proved to be polite, informed, and insistent about a number of small details. However, he kindly allowed me to dictate elements of the hull design, and after many iterations we agreed on a hull and proportions.
|Little Egret showing her full sailplan upper/left, and the mainsail stepped in a third position lower right. She measures 18' 10-1/4" LOA, 4' 9-3/4" Beam, and draws about 6"|
|Outboard Profile and Layout|
|Lines drawing, to the inside of planking.|