View Full Version : Big Badass Sharpies
02-05-2004, 10:31 PM
According to what I have read in Chapelle's books, at the end of the era of the working sharpies, some boats were built as all out racing machines. Similarly to the way in which sandbaggers were originally oyster sloops. These big sharpies, were noted for their exceptionally fine hulls and long smooth run; as well as, their very large rigs which were counterbalanced by hiking boards ala the Chesapeake log canoes. From everything I have been able to find out about these boats they were considered thoroughbreds.
Does anyone know of any of these boats still existing today? Are there any modern incarnations around? They seem like they could be relatively cheap, big time speed, big time fun, if a bit athletic, boats.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
[ 02-05-2004, 10:49 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]
Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson )
02-05-2004, 10:55 PM
BULL and BEAR represent the return of one of America’s earliest racing classes, the sandbagger
02-05-2004, 11:02 PM
No, not sandbaggers, sharpies.
Like something on page 119 and page 120 of American Small Sailing Craft .
p.s. I like the sandbaggers as well.
[ 02-05-2004, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]
02-05-2004, 11:15 PM
Check with the New Haven Historical society at
They may be able to give you some leads. I did see on exhibit some old photo's of sharpies. Who knows what else they have?
A few years ago the Sound School " in N.Haven was restoring a 35'sharpie but it never seemed to get off the "ground".
[ 02-05-2004, 11:19 PM: Message edited by: J. Dillon ]
02-06-2004, 12:39 PM
What's wrong with ....?
02-06-2004, 01:55 PM
There's nothing wrong with Parker's Sharpie, but what I am looking for is information about the flat out racing sharpies. I will try to scan some plans from Chapelle in this afternoon so you will get the idea. These things were not decked. They were around 35 feet long, and had huge rigs. They were usually schooner rigged with up to 750 sq ft square courses set on the fore mast they would fly on downwind runs. They had stay sails on both masts. From what I can tell they were just outrageous boats.
[ 02-06-2004, 02:41 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]
02-06-2004, 04:01 PM
Speaking of Parker, it's probably in his book. He's a big authority on it. Unfortunately my copy of the book is buried in storage. :(
They sound like real :cool: boats!
They seem like they could be ... big time speed, big time fun...
Sounds like big time capsize to me :D
02-06-2004, 06:00 PM
Parker does mention them in passing. And, I have no doubt that they would prove adventuresome to sail, let alone race.
02-06-2004, 06:23 PM
HAHA I like JimD's response. Sounds like big time capsizing. It does sound interesting though.
02-06-2004, 10:18 PM
Parker's examples of the New Haven Sharpies 26'and 35' are taken from the Chapelle drawings that indicate this type at its highest development. Perhaps the best thing about these 2 boats is that you would be able to go pretty darn fast without the rail meat hanging over the side on 2x12s.
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