|A George Holmes sketch of Ethel and Nan in Denmark in 1886. (Sail and Oar) John Leather|
|Albert Strange Wenda (forum.woodenboat.com)|
|A photo of Wenda 's beautiful stern. This example was built for Dick Wynne by boatbuilder Fabian Bush.|
|Another view of Wenda. www.fabianbush.com|
|Albert Strange's personal favourite, Cherub II (Sail and Oar by John Leather)|
|Cherub II - Lines and General Arrangement (Sail and Oar by John Leather)|
What it comes down to is that the activity and the boats change depending on geographical location, but the philosophy remains unchanged.
|Tashtego, a beautiful example of Phil Bolger's Black Skimmer-design, built around 1980 by Walter Baron of Old Wharf Dory Co. www.oldwharf.com|
Black Skimmer (plans here) has been my dreamboat (along with Rozinante) for the last 33 years. But in the last decade or so, I've been preaching the "small boats get used more" line so strongly that I had just about convinced myself that my dreamboats were off the agenda. I hadn't considered the enthusiasm, optimism, and idealism of youth ever coming back to me, but I hadn't counted on the advantage of having kids!
So, what is special about Black Skimmer? Here is a partial list: -
- shoal draft - 10 or 11 inches/ 279mm;
- free-standing rig with masts which do not pierce the watertight volume and can be raised and lowered without a crane;
- self-vanging sails (due to the sprit booms);
- self-righting with a self-draining cockpit;
- effective watertight ventilation arrangement;
- leeboards and the resultant open interior and strong bottom;
- simple, but well engineered, structure;
- self-draining well forward (for anchor, chain, mud, and sail handling;
- self-draining well aft for outboard, fuel, anchor, mud, and crabs;
- wonderful sprawling space in a cabin arranged with a raised deck. This is a strong, easily-built cabin-structure, and it provides important reserve buoyancy in the event of a knock-down;
- sitting headroom in the cabin;
- proven performance.
Having said all that, I am still haunted by the vision of a beautiful double-ended canoe yawl like Wenda or Rozinante. Just today I was contacted by an exceptionally knowledgable and experienced friend who told me that I had only one life, and that if I didn't build a Rozinante I would go to my grave a lesser man.