View Full Version : Small sharpies

12-12-2000, 12:16 PM
Hi folks,

I have a vivid memory of a fellow who has designed and cruised small sharpies, with unique rigs, up and down the East coast, out to the Bahamas etc. Unfortunately, I can't remember his name or other specifics. By small and unique, I'm talking aprox. 15 foot; built kinda quick and dirty out of ply; maybe junk, maybe sailboard, maybe 'other' rigged.

Any better memories and comments would be appreciated.

Best, Jack

Tom Lathrop
12-12-2000, 12:38 PM

You may be referring to a WB article on Schwicker (sp) who built a cheap ply copy of Monroe's Egret. Much bigger than 15ft though.

Do a search for Egret.

Bear's Oil
12-12-2000, 01:41 PM
Bill's "Egret" deserves more than "cheap copy"... I don't think Comm. Munroe would have nailed 2x4's on the bottom of his "original" if fibreglass and plywood had been available....this was WB#59 (I think)

[This message has been edited by Larry W. LaBounty (edited 12-12-2000).]

12-12-2000, 01:56 PM
Before this goes off in an Egret direction, I'm not writing about Egret. These are small sharpies, with a "youthful" notion of accomadation; that only draw on Monroe so far as they display open minds and hard chines.

For example: I seem to remember the helm seat being literally a single seat, or sling, with a hatch in the center of the boat for sailing necessities. And, yes, fifteen feet.

The idea being, I think, a reasonably/quite seaworthy beach cruiser that could be hauled up on the sand for a camp ashore, by one person, or if need be, a brush up, and pot of rice at anchor.

Best, Jack

12-12-2000, 03:52 PM
Perhaps you're thinking of Matt Layden's designs, as documented here?


Tom Lathrop
12-12-2000, 06:04 PM

You read something I didn't write. Bill built his sharpie from, in his own words, cheap plywood.

12-13-2000, 05:04 AM
A sistership of Little Cruiser is Paradox, the subject of a multi-part Messing About In Boats article. Here's some info:

12-13-2000, 10:10 AM
Hi guys,

It is Matt Layden. Thanks. The fifteen footer may be in my future. Don't the photos of the Bahamas look dam inviting? What a nifty, elegant design.

Anyone with any experience with these boats? Also, didn't see any contact info for plans for the fifteen. Is that his earlier design? Best all, Ishmael

12-13-2000, 10:33 AM
You may find all the info you need in the MAIB articles. Check out the index at:

Be warned, it is BIG file. Go to the "Building Paradox" section. Then contact Bob Hicks for back issues. His address is:


As for sailing the beast, it looks a bit cramped to me (my wife and I lived on a 25' sailboat for fifteen years, so I know cramped) but might be fine for one. I guess my only real gripe is lack of a cockpit. You're stuck with the one steering/sitting position, inside yet, with no place to lounge once you're anchored off one of those beautiful beaches. Of course, I guess you'd be up on the beach anyway, so who needs a cockpit?

bon chance

Don Maurer
12-13-2000, 05:44 PM
Can anyone explain how the "chine runner" on this boat takes the place of a keel or centerboard? It seems to me if it wasn't heeled at least 45 degrees it wouldn't be effective at all.

Tom Lathrop
12-13-2000, 06:03 PM
I made the assumption that it is a vertical (or nearly so) strip much like bilge keels. Can't be super effective but should get him to windward a bit.

He surely put a lot of thought into this little boat and it seems well engineered. His sail rig looks very easily managed. I'm always puzzled why someone might want such a small boat for cruising. A larger version surely won't cost much more in time or money and could be much more comfortable and versatile. In hot mosquito country, there doesn't appear to be much ventilation or oportunity to sit up or vary your position when stuck inside by weather. Cabin fever might take on a new meaning.

Don Maurer
12-13-2000, 10:40 PM

If you look at the study plans for "Paradox" in the more pictures section of the web site, it clearly shows the chine runners as horizontal extensions of the bottom panel. That's what has me baffled.

Tom Lathrop
12-13-2000, 11:32 PM
OK Don, The sketch certainly shows the "chine runners" horizontal. Glad I said it would go to windward only a bit. Such a system may not be as bad as all that though it would seem to offer a lot of drag.

I built a 15ft hard chine cat ketch that could make a bit of progress to windward with the centerboard all the way up. This was a nice thing along the inside of the NC Outer banks where the water is very thin.

I don't think I would choose to have a boat so limited in this way but we have not heard from anyone who has actually sailed one.

12-14-2000, 06:51 AM
This boat has a ton of bottom rocker, so even a modest angle of heel would allow the chine to bite in, but with this boat you'd never see the words "windward performance" used in the same sentence.

If I were to build it, I'd ad a leeboard or an external daggerboard.

12-14-2000, 07:03 AM
Another boat you might want to consider is the Stevenson Pocket Cruiser. It's 14' on deck, has a real cockpit and cabin and can be built cheap. (They even have info on polytarp sails.) Check it out at:

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the Pocket Cruiser.

Again, I would probably eschew the twin bilgeboards in favor of a constrained leeboard on a metal pivot.

12-16-2000, 03:48 PM
Paradox's chine runners are an attempt to maintain very shallow draft while still allowing for lateral area to resist drift to leeward. If you look at the length of the chine runner, and imagine the boat heeled at about 10 to 15 degrees, it does give a decent amount of lateral area. Dave Bolduc explained:

"External chine logs, 'chine runners,' function by directing the flow of water
along the chine as opposed to around it. In essence they serve as a sort of
mini keel. The chine runners are 'v' shaped and the bottom of the runner is
really just an extrension the bottom of the boat at that point. (See study
plans) We've found that they work best if they do not run the whole length
of the boat, and are used on displacement type hull which immerse the chine
at least 9 inches or more. I doubt a flared hull would alter their
effectiveness. For more information check out our new web page at http://home.triad.rr.com/lcruise/index.htm.

Hope this has helped."

The chine runner concept was tested with radio control model boats to optimize the shape and type of chine runner. The designers have stated that it will work to windward under sail.

I just sent a check for plans for the Paradox and will be building her this spring. I see it as a great trailerable camping/cruiser that has a lot of seaworthiness built into the design.

Paul V.

12-18-2000, 04:33 PM
The link you supplied doesn't work, and, by the way, where did you find plans for Paradox?


12-18-2000, 06:38 PM
Just get rid of the period at the end of the URL and it should work, like this;