View Full Version : Dobler 16 Plans

Dave Carnell
11-25-2000, 10:50 AM

My good friend, Thomas Firth Jones, just sent me a letter about plans for the Dobler 16 that he has updated and is making available. In his book, “Low-Resistance Boats” (reprinted as “Boats to Go”), Tom described the boat as a paragon. It could carry seven people with room to move around. With a SUNFISH rig it could outsail a SUNFISH; except dead to windward, it could outsail most cruising boats under 30’ . It rowed sweetly and weighed under 200 pounds.

When Joe Dobler died in 1997, he left plans for the 16 partly revised and too disorganized to be useful to a builder. Tom had also built a solid fiberglass version that will appear in his new book, “New Plywood Boats” (May, 2001). With Tom Setum’s
(Joe’s son-in-law) permission and help from the 1975 plans Jones redrew and slightly
modernized the boat along the lines Joe Dobler was thinking of improving the boat
(somewhat larger sprit rig in place of lateen and a shorter and wider rudder).

The Dobler 16 is a multi-chine hull of stitch-and-glue construction. The planks
are dimensioned for laying out on the plywood sheets and the bow is wired and taped
without a stem. Specifications are: LOA, 16’ 4”; LWL, 14’ 7”; draft: hull @570#
displacement, 5”; rudder, 1’ 6”; daggerboard, 2’ 8”; hull weight, 200#; boat weight, 250#.

Tom will send you an information sheet on the Dobler 16 for a long SASE sent to Jones Boats, Box 391, Tuckahoe, NJ 08250.

Tom designs, builds, and uses his boats. In addition to the books above, he wrote
“Multihull Voyaging”. I am not into multihulls, but most enjoyed stories about boats such as the small plywood catamaran he and Carol built in the living room of a
Phildelphia row house, sailed to Bermuda and sailed back to New Jersey through a

Tom is nondigital; the manuscript for his new book was handwritten. He told me he and Carol once had a word processor; it nearly wrecked their marriage.

Too bad, May with his new book is so far away.