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Thread: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

  1. #1
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    Default Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Anyone here ever sailed one or seen it in person. It appears from Parker's website that at least 3 have been built, but the only photo I can find is one on his webpage. As of today, I think this is the coolest boat I've ever seen.

    How much to build one? $30,000, with motor and sails? More?


    http://www.parker-marine.com/28pischoonerpage.htm



    Last edited by SScoville; 02-22-2010 at 11:56 AM. Reason: to add photo

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Great looking boat. Cannot help with that design but how about an already built Parker Egret?



    http://uk.yachtworld.com/boats/1997/...68/Netherlands

    BrianP

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    She, or a sister ship, was moored at Willard Beach in Portland the summer before last. Cool boat but I just can't get used to that mast rake. She looked very weird from a distance especially.

    Why did he do that? No pilot schooners I ever saw plans for had masts raked like that. I thought she was some European type.
    Roger Long

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    I believe that there is one still doing day charters out of Key West. Reuel built three of them at once there a number of years ago. They are glued lapstrake of 3/4" ply with xynole fabric sheathing. Reuel told me they went together very quickly. I bid a well equipped one out at $120,000. It was for the strip planked version with bronze ports and deck hardware and with a completed interior. I expect we will build it when the economy improves a bit more. David
    Boatsmith Inc
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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
    She, or a sister ship, was moored at Willard Beach in Portland the summer before last. Cool boat but I just can't get used to that mast rake. She looked very weird from a distance especially.

    Why did he do that? No pilot schooners I ever saw plans for had masts raked like that. I thought she was some European type.
    According to THe Gaff Rig Handbook, the Swansea Pilot boats had mainmasts with "exagerated rake aft, which counteracted the otherwise forward position of the centre of effort with its short gaffs."

    Anyone have any pictures?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    I find that profile extremely charming too!

    A couple of illustrations from a wonderful book "Sailing Pilots of the Bristol Channel" by Peter J. Stuckey, David&Charles 1977.:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/matopics...04654154579170

    If I remember correctly, the author tells that Swansea pilot schooners regularly raced with pilot cutters, and were never regarded to be of a lesser performance.

    Re aft mast rake, could it be also, that the old masters found that it helps move the mizzen out of the disturbance caused by mainsail?

    Best wishes,
    Mato

    P.S. I am a bit worried about putting these photos on web. Could someone point at some simple directions re copyrights and use of photos and citations on the forum - preferably by PM, so as not to drag this thread off topic. Thank you very much.
    Last edited by matoi; 02-22-2010 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Something didn't work with including the pictures directly into post.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Among other things, a sail set on a mast with that kind of rake tends to keep the center pretty much in the same place as the sail is reefed, keeping the rig in balance. Also, the trailing edge is more vertical, which I believe can help shift the airflow such to increase drive and reduce heeling.

    Bob

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    The Pilot Schooner 28 has been my favourite boat for many years. She looks just perfect to my eyes, and I've read several comments about the economy, simplicity and speed of construction (90 man-days of work for a complete hull). I've ordered the study plans and a copy of Boat Design Quarterly #17 in which the design itself is discussed.
    However, I've not been able to find fairly sized photographs on the web other than the ones published on Parker's web site. Does anybody know where could I find some?
    Last edited by pippo; 01-27-2011 at 03:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner


  10. #10
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    Smile Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Been there, thanks ;-) I found also this one on the same site:



    But all those images are way too small... no details visible...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    We built three of them out of Reuel's shop in Key West. Mine was the green one (which I eventually sold and is now in Maine). Reuel managed the project and taught us a lot of the intricacies of boatbuilding. I also blame him for my career. He figured out most of the planking on the first one, but then discovered he had cancer and had to go away for treatment. Fortunately, he had finished the complicated work before he left, and more fortunately, fully recovered. All we had to do is try to copy his work on the second two. The three of us built the hull, deck, and spars together, and then went on our own to finish.

    Answers to questions.... You could probably keep your cost around $35,000 if you did everything yourself. We bought stainless stock and made a lot of our own hardware. I ended up replacing some things later when I had more money, but initially it was all done on the cheap. My first tiller was made from a discarded deck beam that was a bit suspect (that was replaced as well). We did have the sails made by Calvert, but we got a very good deal as we had 3 identical sets made (plus we knew him). I think getting one built for $120,000, finished well with nice hardware is a completely reasonable price. The answers to extreme mast rake have been given. I think the biggest difference between her and other gaff schooners I've sailed is the lack of air thrown on the main from the fore when hard on the wind. She went to weather amazingly well. But, the other points mentioned are true as well. As far as being easy and fast to build, there are simpler boats out there. Reuel has more than a few himself, but none are as pretty in my opinion. Few, if any, are as seaworthy. I've been in extreme conditions in that boat and she treated me well. Slight rig modifications were necessary for my style of sailing, but the hull is a masterpiece. I think the amount of hours might vary more dramatically on this boat than some others, depending on the builders skill and personality. Reuel is one of the fastest builders I've seen to this day. I have a huge amount of respect for him. He taught me a tremendous amount about building boats, not just the physical part, but where your head should be. Lessons I use to this day. When you watch him work, you realize he's an artist. Which, I guess, is why he draws such beautiful lines. Every boat of his I've sailed slips through the water very cleanly.

    I loved my little schooner "Glance". If I had it to do over again, I would. I had to do other things as well, but who knows, maybe I'll build another someday. If anybody has any specific questions I'll do my best to answer them. I'm not on this thing all the time, but I'll get to it.

    Joe

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Great to see you here, Joe. I have two questions: how's the ballast arranged? Could you identify the most important intricacies in building this boat?

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
    She, or a sister ship, was moored at Willard Beach in Portland the summer before last. Cool boat but I just can't get used to that mast rake. She looked very weird from a distance especially.

    Why did he do that?
    Maybe he just didn't want to step the mizzen in the cockpit aft of the companionway.

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Joe,
    Was she difficult to tack and how did you handle the storm, did you run downwind, heave to or..?
    I hope you'll manage to show us some pictures of her.
    All the best and thanks for jumping in here.
    Mato

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Model of Swansea Pilot Schooner S 2 Vigilant, from 1859, shipped bowsprit and all:



    http://www.shipmodel.com/models/s--vigilant-full-hull

  16. #16

    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    The ballast was all internal. Lead bricks cut to fit as well as reasonably possible, with lead shot poured into in cracks. We then poured polyester resin into that to help lock it. The bilge areas that had been filled with ballast and resin were then covered in plywood, glued (epoxy) and screwed permanently down. As far as "intricacies" pertaining to this type of boat? Probably the biggest was making the planking look good. The fading of the planks on the bow and stern, the size of each plank, covering the planks with fabric, etc. We were all a bit new to this, and without Reuel's help, it would have taken a long time. I think anybody with decent carpentry skills could figure it out, given time, but Reuel did it very quickly.

    She was easy to tack for a schooner. She had plenty of rudder and would come about easily with minimal sail handling "tricks". I think one of the reasons her sailing characteristics were as good as they were, though, is because she was not dragging a prop. As long as the seas weren't too big I could tack her under the fore alone.

    The storm? This may sound a little bit risky, and it was, I guess. But, in my defense, I was young.... I left Isla Mujeres in the center of a tropical storm, allowing me to run downwind to Florida. It wasn't supposed to build much, and there was a huge hurricane heading north up the east coast of Florida. Usually two hurricanes don't develop that close together. I took a gamble because, without an inboard, getting to Florida from the Yucatan in September is not an easy thing. It's generally dead calm or a there is big storm. I wanted to get back to the states, for a good job, so riding the backside of this storm seemed a reasonable option. Unfortunately it did build into a category one.

    I had both main and fore double-reefed with a reefed jib (it had one big reef) in about 35-40 knots downwind when the first big squall hit. It was kind of wild. It was night by then. The air turned green and I was just slammed by a wall of wind. The boat laid over pretty far and started to round up. I scandalized the main and fore, and then realized I'd probably lose the jib if I dumped it (that's why I'd recommend a fixed club). My destination was downwind anyway, so I just finished dropping the other sails and securing them while the boat got back on her way. I did sheet the jib in pretty far so it wouldn't catch a lot of wind. That seem to take some stress off the boat. The next night I was getting pretty tired, but found out I could sleep for about 10-15 minutes at a time by sitting inside the cockpit with the tiller on my shoulder. What would happen is that when the boat started falling off too far (almost dead downwind), it would slow just enough for the wave behind me to push the rudder hard enough to knock the tiller into my head, which would wake me up before jibing. I'd get back on course and do it all over again. The wind lightened up the next morning a little. Just enough for me to raise a double-reefed fore, blanketing the reefed jib, and allowing me to dump the jib and actually keep it. The fore was necessary, as I had to turn up a channel to enter the Dry Tortugas anchorage. I short-tacked up the protected channel with the help of my 8hp Johnson outboard who's prop was occasionally in the water and sailed into the anchorage with it still blowing over 60 knots, according to the park rangers.

    She kept both me and her alive and safe. What more can you ask for?

    Sorry I don't have a lot of good pics. Most have been damaged through all the years of travel and boats. I do have a few that I'll try to get on here soon, but I'm out of time for now.

    Joe

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    From time to time I feel the need to stare at the photos and schemes of this boat. Yesterday google revealed this:

    http://capecoral.ebayclassifieds.com...s/?ad=21250527

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by matoi View Post
    From time to time I feel the need to stare at the photos and schemes of this boat. Yesterday google revealed this:

    http://capecoral.ebayclassifieds.com...s/?ad=21250527

    Nice find, and only $15k.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    I saw a bright pink one moored out in Falmouth the other day, no idea if she was just stopping by or is there more permanently.
    Life's a beach

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Reviving this thread since Reuel Parker’s Pilot Schooner 28 design recently caught my eye.

    I went ahead and ordered the study plans and I’ve been reading up with thoughts of eventual retirement and a desire to do some cruising, likely solo, starting with coastal hops and eventually working my way up to blue water. For that kind of use, this seems like a great boat.

    I shot a private message off to Joe Kitchell but would appreciate input from others as well as I've got a few questions.

    Anybody have any experience with this sort of bowsprit and how easy it might be ship and unship? Something you’d want to do regularly to fit the boat in a 30’ slip?

    Related to that, you certainly wouldn’t want to have to go out on that bowsprit in a blow. Joe's Glance appears to have had a full boom on the jib rather than the short club on the plans. The shape of the sale seems perfect for roller-furling (not roller-reefing), which would simplify handling somewhat but make the jib an all-or-nothing proposition. Anybody have thoughts on roller-reefing for this rig?

    Lastly, Joe went with an outboard on a bracket for auxiliary powerm which seems fine for sheltered use but awfully exposed if you want to use the engine in any kind of sea. Parker designed an outboard well (which is not very attractive to my eyes) and suggested a possible inboard diesel installation. What do folks think of the various engine options?

    Cheers,

    Matthew

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    And one more question...where is the head?


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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    I think this boat looks to most people bigger than it actually is. You could squeeze a small diesel in there and change the interior to suit if you want a dedicated head(but no standing headroom). A good single hander. Like the lines but not too fond of the rig.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
    She, or a sister ship, was moored at Willard Beach in Portland the summer before last. Cool boat but I just can't get used to that mast rake. She looked very weird from a distance especially.

    Why did he do that? No pilot schooners I ever saw plans for had masts raked like that. I thought she was some European type.
    Ruel ad a very good reason. An historical one. The Swansea Pilot Boat "Grenfell" 1865, built by P.Evans had exatly the same rakes. It was very normal at the time for the Pilot of these area. But because these boat went in oblisions, people think that the Parker one is weird.

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    Default

    Are the masts unstayed?

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Thanks, all, for the comments. In reverse order, yes, peb, they are unstayed just like the historic Swansea pilot schooners and the similar boats used on the Chesapeake Bay. The reason for the rake was to keep the center of effort in the same place as she shortened sail. As dskira mentioned, Grenfell is an example...



    After many years of dreaming of building something bigger than the dinghies, skiff and canoe that I have tackled so far, I am pretty good at reading plans, so yes, I do realize that the narrow bow, overhanging stern and low deck make this boat appear larger on the outside than it is on the inside. For the kind of use I have in mind, simple accommodations with one double and one single berth are more than enough. I am not sure that I like the companionway arrangement and I would consider a proper ladder, perhaps a narrow one with alternating left/right treads, offset to starboard and a smaller sink offset to port. I would also consider putting a composting head in the space marked "locker and shelves" to starboard with a fold up countertop that locks up or down, a half door and a curtain on a U-track to make a private head without ruining the sight lines and making the cabin seem claustrophobic.

    On the rig, it's the unstayed simplicity and division of the sailplan into more manageable portions that really appeals to me. It also seems like a very durable set up for cruising with nothing highly stressed and no single point of failure which could lead to disaster. It's hard to imagine how even the failure of a mast or the utter loss of a sail could leave this boat stranded. I do wonder about the jib and the boom vs. club vs, boomless question and whether or not to go with roller furling.

    And, I love the look!

    Cheers,

    Matthew
    Last edited by cluttonfred; 04-15-2014 at 05:32 AM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Matthew L,

    The bowsprit is extremely easy to bring aboard, but a little more work to get back out there, though not terribly hard. It's not something you'd want to do every day, but it probably wouldn't bother you too much if you're going out for the weekend. I used one thru-bolt and three blocks to lock the bowsprit in place. If one did have to do it every day, it wouldn't be that hard to devise a more stable way of holding it in place while it was extended.

    You're right, there is no way you're going out on that bowsprit. I started with a club as drawn, but realized quickly, at least offshore, I needed something more controllable. There was no way to get the jib down without loosing it in the storm mentioned in an earlier post. After a couple attempts at solving the problem, I found a good solution. I built a spar, birds mouth style. I put a pedestal about 2/3 of the way out on the bowsprit (bought from some English company), and fixed the end to that which created more belly as I sheeted out. The sail kept a good shape through all points and was much more controllable. The roller furling is not a bad idea for day sailing; but, as you mentioned, the major issue is reefing. You also don't get as good as shape off the wind. I had the old turn of the century (the previous one) style roller furling on my first boat which was an English pilot cutter. It was fine, but I had two different size jibs and a staysail. I wouldn't recommend something like that on a 28'er. Roller reefing requires a fixed stay. That could be done, but you wouldn't be shipping the bowsprit on a regular basis. It would also dramatically change the whole rig. Certainly not impossible, but I don't think worthwhile.

    I chose an outboard largely due to financial reasons. That and fact that I was young and curious. There was certainly a part of me that wanted to go to sea not being able to rely on an engine. I did not cut a well due to the beautiful heart-shaped transom. I just couldn't cut a hole in it. As it was, it served its purpose well enough, at least as far as my desires at the time. A diesel would certainly be nice, but keep it small. A feathering or folding prop is an absolute necessity. The third boat was built with a diesel and used a standard prop. She could not go to weather nearly as well as the first two, not even close. If I were to do it now, I would still be tempted to use an outboard just for the simplicity on a small boat. I guess it would depend on what I intended to do with the boat. These new electric outboards, I think they're called Torqeedo's, are pretty incredible and are light. That's probably the route I would take as long as I didn't have to be on a schedule. I might even cut a small heart-shaped hole in the transom and drop the outboard directly in. Those electric ones are certainly light enough to easily pull in and out.

    As far as the head, I built the hanging locker to accommodate the dimensions of one of those little square 3 gallon porta-potties. It fit perfect and I made a curtain for a door. It could be pushed out to just cover a person for privacy. I will also admit it was never used. The traveler for the main sheet makes a nice handle, though nowadays I would probably make some kind of seat that would slip over the bulwark. I've aged a bit...

    -Joe

  27. #27

    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    I missed your last post, Matthew, but I did have some other thoughts on the rig you might appreciate. I'll try to get to them tomorrow...

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Thanks, Joe, your comments are much appreciated and I look forward to hearing more whenever you get a chance.

    On the rig, I would definitely not want a permanent stay so I guess roller furling is out. I am not entirely clear, though, why your loose-footed jib boom made it easier to bring in the jib than the designed club (which I figured was there just for sheeting angle and to avoid the need for a second sheet. Presumably, the jib is set flying in any case since you can't go out on that sprit? I wonder if there is some way to put the sprit on a sliding track or otherwise keep it fully under control when shipping and unshipping, then maybe you could just bring in the whole shebang!

    By the way, FYI all, I have learned the hard way that if you Google "booby hatch" you get a lot that, while picturesque, has nothing to with boat construction. ;-) That said, I'd be interested in thoughts from Joe on others on the pros and cons of that arrangement vs. the usual house and companionway slide.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    The biggest advantage using a boom or fixed club for the jib is the amount of control you have over the lower portion of the sail. In fair weather and reasonable seas, none of this is relevant, but if you find yourself single-handing offshore (especially without an inboard engine), this is important. You have to be able to drop your sails on any point of sail. A fixed club greatly reduces flogging when dousing to weather, but much more importantly keeps the foot under control when dousing off the wind. You can have a topping lift working against the sheet on a fixed club holding the whole foot in place, while a flying club has nothing to control it once you let the halyard go. Off the wind in 70 knots, you'd have a flying club bouncing on the foredeck while the rest of the sail was blown out in front of the boat. You'd pretty much just have to let it hit the water and run over it, then try to drag it aboard. That's why, as mentioned above, I just sheeted in (it was already reefed) and let most of the wind blow by it. It held, and when the wind slacked I was able to get it down after raising a double reefed fore which buried it pretty well. I lived, but learned. Wouldn't do that again. After sailing with the fixed club, I'd highly recommend it to anyone who intends on single-handing or going offshore. Otherwise the flying club is fine.

    I'm sure there's a way to slide the bowsprit out on a track. One might have to go a little beyond the traditional to keep it clean looking, but it was done then and could be done now easily enough. I've seen block and tackle setups for the haul out with metal straps over the top for guides. It would be nice not to add too much up there, though. I can see you'd like to keep the flying club for ease of shipping the bowsprit. You might consider having the ability to do both. If you're out daysailing and coming home to your 30' slip, the flying club will be fine. If you head out to sea, fix the pedestal and club to match. You'll probably be anchored and med-moored more often than being worried about squeezing into a 30' slip. I'd keep my sail handling and spar handling separate, though. It theory combining them might work in protected water, but if you ever have any doubts what that flying club can do, find a comparable size sail, tie a three foot long stick to it and raise it in 30 knots, letting it flog. I promise you that will happen sooner or later if you single-hand, probably even if you don't. Think about that on a very small rolling deck.

    As far as the rest of the rig is concerned, I think you've got a pretty good grasp of its benefits. There are times when I wished I had put a cutter rig on a boat that small. There are two times when not doing that probably saved my life. One is the storm mentioned above, and the other is when I broke my foremast. There were a couple lessons learned from that, and I'll try to relate them the best I can. First, this is an offshore hull. It can handle anything any human can. What goes with that, though are very different (compared to a sharpie or most day-sailers) characteristics as far as movement is concerned. The load that can put on a rig needs to be understood. The masts we built originally were out of cheap fir. The were laminated into a solid blank and then shaped. That is not recommended now, but at the time was considered acceptable as we were on a tight budget. Back to the hull. I'm sure these masts would have been fine unstayed on a sharpie, however a sharpie hull has a lot of form stability and does not roll like an offshore hull. In extreme steep sea conditions and light wind, usually when the wind has been blowing strong against a healthy current and then suddenly dies, an unstayed rig on a offshore hull is a scary thing to watch. There isn't many places where this happens regularly, but it does the right time of year off the Yucatan. My fore snapped just above deck and came clean off. I won't bother with the whole story here, as it is a long one, but I'll tell you I was thankful I still had another mast. I rigged the jib from the main to the stem and sailed downwind into Belize through all those reefs. It was interesting to note, though, that the main did not take the whipping the fore took I believe due to its rake. A year or so later when I got back to the states, I built another pair of masts. This time I used the birds mouth method with top quality fir. The difference was amazing. However, I still put a running shroud/stay on the fore, just far enough aft to help with the luff tension on the jib (I'd do it for that reason alone), while still far enough forward to prevent whipping side to side if I was ever in those conditions again. I used gold vectran line for the shroud, with little Harken air blocks with an added teak cheek to keep the look traditional. I can't say for positive that it's necessary, and I certainly wouldn't use it for daysailing, but the little amount of work for the security gained offshore is well worth it. The main, however, needs nothing, and I certainly wouldn't put a stay between the masts. One more little detail you may be interested in is this. If you have the time, make a birds mouth style main boom. Lighter the better. One unusual quirk about that raked main is the boom's strong tendency to fall to centerline in light winds. I would find myself tying it forward on a regular basis. I could have made one that weighed half as much and made my life easier down the road.

    As far as the companionway, it was convenient. The only thing I'd change is extending the sink counter forward just enough to perch on it. You can look through the lexan "booby" hatch and stay dry while steering with blocks rigged to the tiller. My only issue was that I was forced to stand, so I did little of that. If I had sailed north, however, I'm sure I would have done a lot more. If that was not important and you wanted the hatch to the side, I don't see a problem with that. The big fear is getting knocked down with an offset hatch, but it's not an issue with this boat. She'll float her ballast high with all that reserve buoyancy, and her sails will dump before you bury an offset hatch. I say that from experience.

    If there's anything else, I'll do my best to answer. Kind of nice going over the memories. A lot more pleasant than thinking about my current project which I should be doing...

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Wonderful stuff, Joe, thanks so much. I don't want to pepper you with questions, so I'll go over the design (still waiting to hear from Parker on those study plans) and what you've already written to see what else I might like to know. Cheers, Matthew

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Hi, again, all. I heard back from Reuel Parker and the study plans are on the way. I shared some of our discussion here with him and underscored some of what Joe has already said. On mast construction, he emphasized the need to use top quality "clear, heart, Douglas fir" and optionally the bird's mouth technique , though he did not specificallly address the question of stays on the foremast. On the idea of a hollow boom, he said, "A hollow boom is OK, but I would not do it, because weight helps sail shape." On power, he commented, "Inboard engines will always damage sail performance. I recommend a long-shaft 4-stroke outboard clamped to a modified transom—NOT to a bracket." He didn't comment on the jib boom/club question at all.

    Joe, I am still digesting the rest of your comments, but one clarification, I was not suggesting an offset hatch or major changes to the deck cabin arrangement, just adding a companionway ladder offset to starboard within the hatch opening and moving the sink a little bit to port. I have in mind one of those narrow stairs in which the treads are shaped like a lowercase "h" and alternate left/right to leave space to work the galley, but I'd have to mock it all out to make sure there is really enough space. It ought to be possible to rig some sort of seat as you suggested for steering while looking through the booby hatch.

    A couple more questions.... There doesn't seem to be much ventilation designed into the hull...did you add any Dorade or other vents to encourage air flow? Also, if you were to take such a bout into colder climes, where might you put a small woodstove?

    Cheers,

    Matthew

  32. #32

    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Gotcha on the companionway. That would be nice. I wouldn't be afraid of an offset hatch on that boat, but I'm glad you don't want one. All I did in the companionway was put a simple, removable (my electrical panel was back there), vertical ladder below the counter. There are certainly better ways to do it. There isn't much space, though, which is why I just tucked the ladder underneath the counter. You almost don't need one at all, seriously. One step and the counter is totally fine.

    For ventilation, we used the hatches. The hinges were pinned and could be opened forward or aft, which allowed plenty of breeze. I had a wind scoop, but rarely used it. In the tropics, the most important thing was shade, at least while on the hook. I made an awning that covered 80% of the deck. That kept it cool enough, and I could leave the hatches open in the rain. At sea, the companionway boards left open was usually enough. Single-handing, I never spent time below decks anyway. It's a small space, and I doubt you'll be hanging out below on a nice warm day. It's a very pleasant place, though, to spend the evening reading a book. I imagine you could put a wood stove where the seat is on the starboard side. It is so little, though, you could almost heat it with a couple candles. If I really needed to heat it on the hook, I would probably lean towards doing something with fuel I was already carrying, propane or diesel, if possible.

    I do want to make clear my suggestions on the rig are made because you mentioned single-handing in blue water. I do not mean to insinuate the rig, including the flying club, isn't perfectly adequate for most applications. I have a tendency to take risk to learn or to get what or where I want; and, in doing so, I became very familiar with this rig. My suggestions are for those who want the ability to head to sea alone in extreme conditions. Not that I recommend anyone doing so, but if you do, this is a fantastic boat to do it in. The hull is an absolute masterpiece. It is incredibly dry and comfortable. Obviously I haven't sailed every boat in the world, but in my experience you'd have to go much larger to find anything comparable... but when you look at where the hull comes from, that makes sense.... and, of course, Reuel did a fantastic job of translating that into something we can build out of wood/epoxy.

    I completely agree with Reuel on not using a bracket. That was kind of a last minute thing that I figured I would never leave hanging there. However, it did hang there as a massive eyesore. I just didn't have a place to put it. It also wasn't that easy to get the engine off and on, especially underway; and it was only a 2-stroke 8hp. Obviously the four stroke is a better choice, but it is heavier. You really wouldn't want to put that on a bracket. I'd still suggest taking a long, hard look at those Torqueedo motors. If that's not a road you want to go down, another suggestion is these new Lehr propane outboards. It would be nice to run your stove and engine on the same fuel, not to mention it's a lot cleaner and easier to handle.

    As a general rule, Reuel is right in that a heavier boom helps sail shape. What it does is act as a vang, taking the twist out of it. This is an unusual sail with the rake of the mast, small gaff, and long boom. Even hollow, I'd bet the boom will weigh plenty for the size of the sail. There may be times when you would want to rig a vang if you built a hollow boom, but that's easier than trying to tie the boom forward. Whether it's worth the work, I don't know. I suppose it depends on how much time you have. It's just something I thought about in light winds quite a bit. A compounding quirk about that raked main is the jaws "climbing" the mast as you sheet out. Think about the jaws having to either turn around a "wider" section or changing angle and climbing to match the mast. I prefer jaws, but ended up using a gooseneck on a vertical slide, which is fairly common on bigger gaffers. This obviously does not let the boom rotate around the mast and introduces twist. What I'd like to try is a gooseneck on a horizontal half-circle rod welded to a collar, a "traveller" for the tack/gooseneck. Don't let any of this make you shy away from that main. When you watch it work, you'll know it's worth it. It's just that I'm always looking for ways to make things a little better. I love that design and all these years later I think more about that boat than all the others.

    -Joe

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Thanks again, Joe, great stuff and really helpful hearing from someone who has actually built and sailed the boat that has caught my eye. I'll be back sooner or later with more questions, I'm sure. Cheers, Matthew

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    I hope you build this, Matthew.
    One of my all time favourites!
    David and Cathy are off to visit Aunty Monica. They're sure to see their two cousins there, too.

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    Default Re: Reuel Parker 28' Pilot Schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzman View Post
    I hope you build this, Matthew.
    One of my all time favourites!
    Thanks, Jazzman, me too, though it won't be anytime soon as my work takes my family and me around the world, currently in Nairobi, Kenya, far from the sea. But I can do the research and I can dream for the day that I stop this gypsy life and the kids are in college. What excites me about this design is that it's a real blue water cruiser that seems within both my budget and, eventually, my building skills, though I'd certainly tackle something like an Oughtread pram first to get some glued lapstrake experience. It would be beyond my current navigational or sailing skills since I have never done any cruising and haven't been in a sailboat in nearly 30 years, but that's something I could work on bit by bit, starting with daysails and short hops and working my way up over time. Study plans should arrive this week! Cheers, Matthew

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