View Full Version : Concordia Sloop

Ron Linton
02-02-2000, 09:01 PM
Okay, so I have just lofted Stambaugh's Winward 24 (a trailerable, plywood/epoxy coastal cruiser) and will start construction in a few months. My son and I will build and it will be enough of a sailing experience for us for four or five years.

I am already starting to think about our second boat. Anyone out there have any impressions of the strengths and weaknesses of the Concordias (wife, son and I are thinking about living aboard)? Woodenboat's "Fifty Wooden Boats" includes plans for the Concordia "33", a traditional carvel planked over steamed frames. The narrative claims "She has a good, roomy cockpit, standing headroom under the deckhouse, two cabins, and an enclosed head. Lke the other Concordias, she features a clean deck arrangement, an uncomplicated rig [Marconi], and an honest, frill-less appearance. Intended capacity: 3-8 daysailing, 4 cruising."

The "33" displaces approximately 15,000 pounds and the Marconi has approximately 550 sq ft of sail.

I have another post on Misc regarding living aboard.

Mike Jaskwhich
02-02-2000, 10:31 PM
Ron, I was just passing through on my way dreaming about a new project my wife and 13 year old daughter assigned me. They think it would be a good idea to take off a year do some sailing and discovering America and our nearby neighbors.
This is the last of six children and it's now or never. Since they both seem interested I am pondering a boat that would be beautiful, fast and confortable for all three and some other family members at times.
My sailing experience is limited to racing one-designs ;Thistles, J-24's and Finns. My blue water experience was in assisting two others in sailing a 32' tahiti ketch from Hawaii to San Francisco 3o years ago.
I am 6'6" and don't want to spend all my time below bending over. I also like a boat that can be handled single handedly when ever possible. I expect that most of my sailing will be in coastal waters with an occasional fling off shore.

The advise I would like from you and other readers is a list of Classic boats that I can beginn looking at for starters.
I don't plan to build just sail!
If anyone has any suggestions from general types to specific boats please chime in!


Mike Jaskwhich\

Bob Cleek
02-03-2000, 02:11 AM
Oh, chime, chime...

Well, the Concordias are incredibly beautiful boats and certainly the ones build by Abeking and Rassmussen are extremely well done. They are not, I don't think, really suitable for anyone other than a very competent experienced builder. They also have certain hardware items that are unique to the design and were you to build one as designed with the classic "Concordia" features, you'd spend a pretty penny having the castings done. You'd do better to wait your turn in line and buy one of the originals. Not a "second boat" to build, though. Not in my book.

As for coastal cruising in classic boats... that's a tough one. Unless you are going to build, or have it built, you are stuck with what is coming on the market at any given time. If you want fast and easy to singlehand, you should look to L.F.Herreshoff's designs. You'd probably enjoy the 36' Neria ketch for this purpose. A Giles Brittany or Wanderer would be good. WB had some pretty Age Neilsen double enders written up recently. Stuff like that. But as I said, you have to find the boat first. In any event, look for a professionally built (or equal quality) classic boat. Steer clear of anything of plywood or cold molded (sorry guys). Then, be sure to get a good survey before plinking your money down.

John Gearing
02-03-2000, 03:19 PM
Bob, I think you are thinking of the Concordia Yawls, are you not? The Concordia 33 is a Bud McIntosh design, the largest of the series (Concordia 28, 31, 33). This probably is a boat you can build yourself and as it is a McIntosh design it is meant to be simple, strong, and not too fancy finish-wise. This is the model owned by Jon Wilson, founder of WB, and as I recall, he felt that his boat benefitted greatly from the (gasp!) carbon fiber mast he installed. He took the weight savings and invested in more ballast. Said it made her more able to stand up to her sail and have an easier motion.

But on the whole Bob is right when he says that if you want a classic boat you are pretty well limited to what's coming on the market at any given time. You could go get Roger Taylor's "Good Boats" series of books and study them in advance, or just peruse the ads and research the designs that appeal to you. And you'd better make sure you get any boat surveyed properly before opening your checkbook.

Building your own boat can take quite a while if you have to fit it in around things like working and taking care of a family. Some folks do it by working during the summers and then quitting these jobs and building during the winters. I think you have to be really focused to do this and be able to accept that your standard of living is going to drop as a result. I know, there is bound to be someone who is going to write in that they are some kind of software guru and have a huge house, ten cars, several million bucks invested with Warren Buffet, and plan on building their dream boat in the near future, all the while claiming that it is possible to "have it all" and still go cruising. Yeah, sure. For about 1% of the population....maybe. The rest of us face hard choices, such as selling the house to finance the boat.

If you can devote all your time to building, scrounge well, and afford to hire professional help when you need it (during planking, say) you can crank out a good sized boat in a year or less--e.g. Herb Smith and his Appledore schooners. One of the pitfalls is that it's easy to get obsessed with finding the perfect design and then building it to a very high standard in odd moments stolen here and there, with the result that years pass and the family that wanted to go cruising has lost interest by the time the boat is launched. Depending on your situation buying a boat might well be the better answer. You have to ask yourself what is more important, taking off within a certain time, or building your own boat?

Dale Harvey
02-04-2000, 01:41 AM
At 6'6" you have a problem with classic craft. By the time you get headromm in anything less than 40', you've either got deep draft or a tall ugly cabin. Coastal cruising with deep draft takes a lot of fun out of it. Come South in the ditch and you'll meet a lot of nice people, most of them operating towboats. Look at Jim Browns' old searunner tris. Fairly shallow, lots of room to stretch out, easy to build and maintain. Far easier to sell as a homebuilt.

Bob Cleek
02-04-2000, 01:41 AM
Right, John, I was thinking of the Concordia yawls. I guess that, unlike Hinkley's "Picnic boat" (tm), Concordia didn't bother to trademark the name! LOL I'd think any boat by McIntosh would be pretty good. I'd be a little leery of anything complicated that they sell out of WB's plans catalog. Now, I've never seen those plans, but I'd say that there is a whole lot to recommend having a real live naval architect on the other end of the phone line when you run into trouble. A lot of the old designs that have plans for sale pretty much leave you on your own. As you know, a lot of the old lines leave a lot to be desired by the novice who is expecting the "insert flap A in slot B" kind of instructions. Some of them leave a tremendous amount to the builder's imagination. However, as I said, I haven't seen WB's versions.

02-04-2000, 11:11 AM
Just to clarify a point, the Concordia's 28,31 and 33 were drawn by Bill Harris who was Concordia's designer at that time. Waldo Howland's book states that Bud McIntosh built the first two 31's.

John Gearing
02-04-2000, 01:44 PM
I stand corrected! That's what I get for relying on my memory as to who drew those Concordias! My only defense is that every time I sit down at the "infernal box" 12 pounds of tortiseshell kitty lauches into my lap and goes to sleep--keeping me from properly checking all my "facts". Got the builder mixed up with the designer! Bud not only designed many of the boats he built but built to other's designs as well. Mea culpa!! I should have known it was Bill Harris, as a friend of mine is currently fixing up the boat Harris drew that some feel was the inspiration for the Concordia yawls.

Bob, I agree with you that building a complicated boat from Woodenboat's plans might be pretty dam tricky. Designers who were drawing boats that they knew were going to be built by professional yards could leave out a lot of detail that an amateur would desperately need. And like you, I haven't the foggiest as to how "amateur friendly" these Concordia plans are from WB. It would be smart to find a real Naval Architect or pro boatbuilder who'd agree to help sort them out and advise/help during construction.

Art Read
02-04-2000, 06:58 PM
Well, concerning the plans from WoodenBoat... I'm by no means experienced in "judging" the quality of plans, but I can say I was a little intimidated when I first saw 'em. "Is that IT?" Guess I was more more used to model kits that always came with a little booklet with the "insert tab 'A' into slot 'B'" sort of thing... But upon reflection it occurs to me that all the information I really needed, (with a few annoying exeptions) WAS there. You had to just "do it", and then you would see that what you thought was missing could be "interpolated" by what had gone before... if that makes any sense... That being said, I don't know how other beginners without access to a close by boatyard with a few old "fawts" sitting by the woodstove ever succeeded before resources like this forum existed... Thanks to all of you for your patience with what I'm sure will be a "lengthy" continued stream of questions.

[This message has been edited by Art Read (edited 02-04-2000).]

Edward Rose
01-01-2001, 10:41 AM
I received the plans for the Concordia 33’4” sloop from WoodenBoat, and they seem pretty detailed. But there are some annoying omissions. These are the plans as drawn in 1947 by H. Miller Nichols, and they often refer to “detailed drawings” which are not included in the package. I’m certain that WoodenBoat sent what they had, but now I need to do some major research to flesh out the missing details. For instance, some of the missing information includes:

- the dimensions and composition of the spars;
- the construction of the mast step;
- the recommended fastenings for the ballast keel and backbone;
- the type of wood for the planking; and
- details of the “Concordia-type” castings.

In his book “How to Build a Wooden Boat”, Bud McIntosh asserts that this information should be provided by the designer, so I guess I have a couple of choices. One is to have these blueprints framed and mounted for their historical interest alone, but I don’t think so. Another is to hire a naval architect to work with. Yet another is to crawl around one of these boats actually afloat and take notes. Are there any of these boats actually afloat? Can anyone suggest any other approaches? Any good archives of information to tap into?

Thanks, all!


01-01-2001, 11:20 AM
Jon Wilson (of WoodenBoat) used to (or still does) have one and there was another in Rockport, Maine, 6 years ago (call Rockport Marine). I think Bud built at least one of these boats so he must have had the information. I would talk to WoodenBoat after looking through the plans again. The spar plan should be hard to miss but some other information might be hiding on the sheets you have. It is funny how that happens.

01-01-2001, 01:18 PM
There's a Concordia 33 for sale right now through Cannell, Payne and Page in Camden, Maine. See http://www.cppyacht.com There was also an article in WB #113 that showed alternative interior arrangements commissioned by Jon Wilson for his boat when he was rebuilding it. Jay Paris' arrangement looked like it had the best potential for a cruising couple with child, if you're wedded to the design.

This design has always been a favorite of mine, too.

[This message has been edited by rbgarr (edited 01-01-2001).]

01-12-2001, 07:43 PM
I've been reading this thread with some interest for a funny reason I suppose. At the moment I am a studying Yacht Design and one of the more arduous projects that my fellow students and I were put to task with was a new interior layout of the C-33. I know this was a contest run by wooden boat a few years ago and I'm sure that's why we were set to redesigning the interior. We had to include full staning headroom throughout the boat, include ample cockpit area, have berths for four without encroaching on any of the salon area, include full galley and head along with a few other parameters that only served to make the whole exercise a very difficult one. To answer the original question about whether this would be a suitable baot for coastal cruising around for three, I would say sure, especially with any of the accomodation plans that emerged from my class. I would not call the C-33 fast by any means though. This boat, no offense to the posters here, is a bit of a pig. I think staring at the plans for many hours (the arrangement wasn't the only project we did with this boat) has put a horrendous taste in my mouth. Find a different boat, a concordia yawl perhaps; that boat will always look good!

01-12-2001, 08:26 PM

Welcome to the Forum!

Which school/yacht design course are you involved with?

01-14-2001, 10:35 PM
I'm at the Landing school in Kennebunkport

John Gearing
01-22-2001, 09:05 PM
hey, fair & fair, don't be unfair to us! Did any of us claim that the Concordia 33 is a "fast" boat? I don't think so. What's "fast" anyway? Fast to a racer is different than it is to a cruiser. Just like some boats are optimized for downwind sledding or beating and some are designed to achieve higher average speeds in a variety of conditions. From the tone of your note, you find the 33 ugly....but then beauty is in th eye of the beholder...isn't it??

02-12-2001, 10:32 PM
Fast is being able to keep up with and beat any of the other gunkholers out there; the
C-33 would be hard pressed to do this.

02-20-2001, 03:29 PM
there is a huge difference in the Concordia 33 and the Concordia sloops 39's and 41's. The later were designed by C.Raymond Hunt and intended as a weekender. Not a great choice for liveaboards. At the risk of incurring the wrath of devoted Concordia owners if you ask any boatyard how they feel about them they will honestly tell you that they are a pain in the ass to launch in the Spring. The type of construction relies on swelling of the planks rather than caulking for a tight joint. Takes about two weeks with constant pumping until the hull swells up. After that the hull is great.
You should read the Concordia Years by Waldo Howland if you are serious.
Also talk to someone who has sailed a sloop.
Preferably not an owner. These are fast boats but lightly constructed and without much freeboard so they have a reputation for a wet ride. Very pretty boats but a lot to maintain.

02-27-2001, 09:09 PM
Ron Linton, I'm interested in knowing how your project is going with Stambaugh's Windward 24. Could you give us an update and impressions ? Thanks.

ken mcclure
02-28-2001, 08:47 AM
I don't see anywhere where you've said what you want to do with your second boat, besides live aboard. Living could be a little tight in a 33' boat.

Do a read of Pardey's book on constructing a hull, and you can get good appreciation of the work involved in putting together a boat of around that size. (Taliesin is a little smaller)

You may want to start scouring the boats for sale and try to come up with an already-built. If you have 4 years to look, I'd bet something will show up that you didn't know was there and can't live without!

Good luck on the building project. Keep us posted here.

Ron C. Linton
02-28-2001, 08:24 PM

Regarding construction of the Windward 24, I have been away from the project for a while, but just completed the construction of the strongback, roughly 22 feet in length, and have fastened stanchions at station lines. Next step is construction of frames - completion of this step is about six weeks away.

For me the most valuable time spent was on the construction of a Flash animation (with voice-over) that demonstrates lofting, strongback construction, and frame and stem placement for the 24. I had hoped that it would develop into a commercial enterprise, but it never took off. As it turns out, this exercise was at least as beneficial as building a model, and I can just go to the animation and print off particular screen snapshots that allow me to check dimensions and relationships between the strongback and the (future) finished hull.

When building the strongback, I forced myself to make sure that all saw cuts were true, that all bolt holes were level and perpendicular, and whatever else I could do to force the discipline I need when I get to actual work on the boat. The effort has paid off, as the strong back is square, plumb, level, parallel, and, well…. strong. (Maybe I should sail the strongback!)

Will keep you updated.

02-28-2001, 10:44 PM
Ron ... most impressed by the Flash animation ! ! ! Kudos. I don't know if any serious boatbuilder has anything like that (the closest I've seen is some of those "project cams" on some of the build-a-weekend-boat type of sites ...
I'm quite familiar with the technology, that's what I do for a living (I'm now a CIO shamefully ...) but I spent 10 years underwater as a commercial diver and later captained and owned diving vessels in the Caribbean ! And yes, I ran a diving school that used wooden sailing vessels exclusively!
Ha, ha ! Please do keep us posted on the Windward progress. I have had difficulties calling and getting email from the Karl Stambaugh site and telephone number. I get nothing but the answering thing and no email response. Maybe they are out for the season ? Anybody know ? I believe some of his designs will work for my building/tools/skils/space considerations, but would like to get study plans for some of his designs that seem to be similar but scaled incrementally. Wooden Boat does not offer them all, and when you look at the listings on Chesapeake Marine designs, they are not all illustrated either.
Anyway, thanks for being a live one, and hope to hear more !

Ron C. Linton
03-06-2001, 07:31 PM

Yes, you are right - I haven't really discussed with SWMBO what we would want to do with a live aboard - but I know it would involve warm, blue, shallow water, likely the Bahamas and the Keys. So, I do have a lot to think about.

Also, I have a copy of Pardey's book, and have read it so much, I could probably quote line and verse. It has been a sobering resource. I will likely avoid purchasing a used boat.... Too many varied experiences buying used homes that make me worry.

I believe the issue for me is whether there are currently active traditional boat designers who sell plans at a reasonable price and who are available to support newbie boat builders. That's a question I will pose on another thread.


The Flash animation on lofting and strongback construction has indeed proved to be a great learning experience for me. First used the technology to help my students in Computer Science courses and it has helped them greatly (or so they tell m). Maybe the experience will pay off later in other ways.

Surprised about your turnaround time from Karl Stambaugh - he must have been out of town. Telephone is not good, but I have always gotten good response from email. You can get study plans from his company. Also, the Windward 21 and 24 were featured in the Boat Design Quarterly, No. 6. - believe you can order through WB magazine. As you probably now know, Stambaugh's Catbird 24 is featured in the current issue of WB.

Sorry to hear about your CIO status - it's a dirty job, and .....