View Full Version : boat design

10-29-2000, 10:24 AM
I am interested in building the boat pictured in Winslow Homers painting " breezing up". Who is the designer and where are plans available? What would be best choice of construction for beginner( with great carpenter for a dad) and best wood choice?
Thanks, Woody

Art Read
10-29-2000, 01:31 PM
You have good taste, Woody! I hope I'm wrong, but I 'spect that Mr. Homer painted a "typical", working craft of the day rather than any particular design. Perhaps a place to look for similar vessels might be in Howard Chappel's works on tradition workboat designs. Mystic Seaport might be able to help as well. I think what you're looking for is a variation on a Glocester lobster smack or small "sloop boat". "Maritime Life & Traditions, (issue #4) has an article on Homer that states this boat is a "New England catboat", and it IS close... but to my eye, it doesn't really have that catboat "feel".

Ben Fuller
10-29-2000, 08:19 PM
A catboat its not; check my note in Maritime Life and Traditions #6. She's a cat rigged boat with a spritsail. She is a small version of a "New England Boat" which were more commonly about 25 foot and ketch rigged. Various regional types: Hampton Boat, Isles of Shoals Boat, Kingston Lobster Boat etc. Probably a Woods Hole Spritsail boat is as close as anything for which you will easily find plans.

10-29-2000, 08:23 PM
Because of the similarities in the scenes and the boats shown in "Breezing Up" and "Sailing the Catboat", I find it hard to say that they are different boats. In "Breezing Up" the rig is a sprit, cat rigged. In "Sailing the Catboat" we have a gaff rigged cat. Neither of these boats carry booms. "Sailing the Catboat" was done in 1873, when Homer summered in Gloucester, suggesting this was a Gloucester boat. "Breezing Up" was done in 1876. In 1975 Homer summered in York, Maine. I would think it possible that sprit rigs in York, or in New York where he was living the rest of the year, attracted Homer's attention and led to "Breezing Up" as we know it. The Catboat clearly had a centerboard. The spritsail boat seems to have none. So you have to look for a spritsail keel boat if you want to reproduce "Breezing Up". Looks like fun to me.

Art Read
10-30-2000, 06:10 AM
One arguement for not trusting "Maritime Life & Traditions".... I copied my spelling of Gloucester from them.

Dave Carnell
10-30-2000, 07:13 AM
You do have to watch that magazine. An early issue, perhaps the first, had an article on the USCG written by a Frenchman who said the 75' cutters built to chase rumrunners were called "six-bitters" because of the 6-cyl. engines they used.

He had no concept of the american idiom: 2 bits, 4 bits, six bits where six-bits was 75.

10-30-2000, 08:33 AM
Sprit sail Woods Hole Cat boats have a centerboard. At least the ones we have at the Center for Wooden Boats both have centerboards. BTW a very nice boat if you like that sort of thing.

[This message has been edited by TomRobb (edited 10-30-2000).]