View Full Version : Great South Bay LI Shore Birds/Carter
These 22 foot gaff rigged sloops still around?? I have a book that says there were in the late 1940s. I believe I owned one at Johnson's Boat Yard on Five Mile River in Norwalk in about 1954. I want to see and track them. I now own a Carter-built 16 ft gaff sloop. I would like to know more about it. QM
09-27-2004, 04:41 AM
I've got a Shorebird. It's in very rough condition and hasn't sailed in about 10 years. There used to be another one at Tooker's boatyard in Brookhaven, Long Island. I doubt many have survived as the quality of the original build wasn't the greatest. Sam Newey built many boats but he wasn't too fussy when it came to the materials and details.
I've also got G.F. Carter's last boat. It's a 19' catboat, built in 1960. It was sailed for three years and then put in a barn in Riverhead when the owner got sick. The son of the original owner pulled it out of the barn about five years ago, I've had it for a little over a year. The bottom needs refastening but the rest of the boat is in great shape. Sawn cedar frames, bronze screwed topsides and galvanized common nailed bottom. The deck is straight laid, toe nailed with galvanized finish nails.
Can you post photo's of your boat or provide a bit more info? There used to be a 16' Carter in Babylon. It was an earlier one. Very nicely built, unlike many of his later one which could be a little crude. It had alternate sawn and bent frames, a sprung deck and one of the nicest transoms I've ever seen on a Carter, very much like a Gil Smith transom. Carter built quite a few boats, and many of his older ones were very nice. It's a shame that he is basically unknown.
Hey H! This is what I like to hear! I would say right off that I would like to drive the 8 hours to LI someday and see these boats. We could park our RV in a local campground.
I rescued my 16'Carter gaff sloop and my 22' shorebird. I have an old farm and am rebuilding the barn for my wife and my boats(I need more storage for very old sailboats)(and I have restored a Perine sneakbox,a Skeneatles comet, and lightening for my daughters). But over the years I have bought and sold a lot of old wooden boats. I still have a couple dozen. There are some I just would not sell. Tell me more about Carter and shorebird. I would like to bend you ear on them.
I harrassed my father into buying me this old wooden boat down there on "boat yard row"(now condominium row) Five Mile River near Royaton of Norwalk,CT.(Johnsons Boatyard-no boatyards left)!!! This was about 1954. I wondered most of my life what the boat was and only saw a picture of a shorebird a few years ago. I worked very hard on that boat,The Lotus, for several teenage years, sailed it in the Norwalk Islands(where they have those fake sharpies). Then I went in the Navy and when I came home some years later the boat was gone without a trace! I looked and looked but nothing. Maybe that is why I collect old sailboats! I only have old photos of the Lotus. Someone must have sailed it across Long Island Sound in the 1940s. I have a book that describes shorebirds and has a few good photos-mine had a rudder post well-a few differences but I am sure I had a shorebird. I would be interested in any hulks or pieces to preserve.
As to my Carter, I was working at the Mystic Seaport Boat Shop as an interpreter of the Rushton skiff during the Summer of 1985, getting readiy to go to IBBTC, and living in Essex. During the July empty yard days, I look at a sailboat which the yard was about to take to the dump. I grabbed it for costs-it only takes split seconds to see a good boat. I brought it home(my Carter) and put it in a shed where it has been since(I have everything). Really not much work to do on it. I'll sail it on Lake Champlain one of these Summers. Bob Lefler firstname.lastname@example.org
H- My 16 foot Carter needs only a few planks secured-they popped out in the bow. But it is a very old boat, maybe even 1920s??, so I need to look a little more to decide whether I want to replace the CB trunk, rudder well, or refasten some of the skeg. But there is no deterioriation of wood anywhere. It is heavily painted black with a varnished deck. Sails are good as are the varnished spars--we used them on my rebuilt 15' sneak box, but have stopped that to preserve everything. What a gem, can't wait to sail it! Bob
09-27-2004, 08:59 PM
I'd like to see photo's of your Carter if you can post some.
I'll see if I can get some photo's of my boats posted for you. The Shorebird is very rough but I'll try to get some detail shots. Perhaps by comparing you can tell if yours was a Shorebird. There were also Indian class boats around. These were very similar to Shorebirds but without the external ballast keel. "Sailing Craft" by Edwin Schoettle has some info about Shorebirds and so does "Early One-Design Boats" by D. Esterly. "The History of the Westhampton Yacht Squadron" also has some info about these boats. C.D. Mower's plans for the Shorebird seem to have been lost but Joe Youcha in VA. had the lines enlarged out of a book when he built a cold molded one about 7 or 8 years ago. The plans for the Cox and Stevens Indian class are available from Mystic.
H-I wiil get a few pictures today and post them on the "quilt". I am maybe too new here to understand how you put them on this site, but I understand that they can be switched from the quilt to this site. Maybe I can get a picture of my "shorebird "(Lotus) photo and do the same as well. Bob
H- I have put two pictures of my Carter in My Boat. I simply can't see how they get them on this site. The pictures are #2821 and 2822. I will try to do it with a picture of my Shore Bird later. Bob
09-29-2004, 08:45 PM
H- I put my Lotus on the quilt too: #s 2824 and 2825--so all four pictures are in a row. Questions? comments? Bob
09-30-2004, 08:52 AM
My first impression when looking at the photo last night is that this is not a Shorebird. The Shorebird is 21'1" LOA, 6'4" beam, 18" draft. The rudder post should pass through a tube, not a trunk, and the frames should be 1"x1" sawn hackmatack. The cockpit on a Shorebird should be rectangular, but the coamings extend froward to form a V shaped splash rail aft of the mast.
The boat in the photo more closely resembles an Indian which is 22'3" LOA, 7' beam, 18" draft on the drawings. A later reference has the LOA at 22'7 1/2", and the beam at about 6 1/2'. These boats also had the rudder post pass through a tube, no outside ballast and bent oak frames. But the short bowsprit doesn't fit either design. There was a Babylon one-design that I think had a short bowsprit but I'll have to do some digging to find the plans. There were literally hundreds of similar designs, many of which I found in Mystic's plans archives while I was searching for the Shorebird plans which seem to have been lost.
H- You know, as a teenager in a nonboat family, I really cannot say to the inch how long the boat was, same with the beam measurement. My memory says 22 feet, but I am sure I have long forgotten any inches. The cockpit had a big wide curved coaming at the bow. The rudder post came up through the seat across the stern of the cockpit. These seats extended along each side about half the length of the cockpit and had nice lifting tops to lockers under. The ribs were steam bent, not sawn.
H-I just hit the wrong key and lost the thing I had written! Here are some more features of my Lotus. I agree it does look different from a shore bird, though in the same ball park. The rudder post( rudder attached to the back of the skeg) came up through a wooden well and through the seat across the back of the cockpit. The seats extended about half way down the cockpit on each side and had nicely crafted lids with recessed rings which lifted to access the lockers underneath. The coaming made a beautifull curve around the front of the cockpit. Ribs were steam bent-not sawn. The bilge under the floor boards was about 4" deep. I remember searching the boat for some ID but never could find any- probably did not look in the right place. The outside lead ballast was substantial. With its 260 sq ft of sail it was quite a fast boat, but did not do too well when beating into any sea-no deep forefoot-and it could tend to squat on the counter-very small transome(8 or 10 inches high). It had running back stays.
My Carter boat has the builder's plate.
01-06-2005, 08:55 PM
Do you still have the Shorebird? I just posted a question about the plans in the designs/plans section.
Can you/I email off list?
01-06-2005, 09:34 PM
Sorry, I meant, RH, do you still have your Shorebird?
01-07-2005, 06:01 AM
I still have the SHOREBIRD and you can e-mail me any time.
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