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Thread: Bolger Black Skimmer

  1. #1
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    Default Bolger Black Skimmer

    I'm looking for thoughts and first-hand experiences.

    I've been noodling for a while about a next boat. I want it to be easily trailerable, have room to sleep/eat/poop aboard, and be easy to single-hand as well as able to take some folks out. I'd like it to be comfortable enough for long weekends aboard, with the occasional (maybe once a year?) 1 - 2 week cruise. Waters will be - Columbia river - from Bonneville to Astoria; coastal bays; large lakes; up to Puget Sound.

    So, yesterday, up pops a Bolger Black Skimmer project. It is almost complete. Paint done. Spars complete (Solent rigged version), and sails fabricated. Still needs a trailer, an outboard (which I have), seat/berth cushions, and likely some other odds and ends. The purchase price has not been set, but will likely be very inexpensive.

    Think the Black Skimmer will be suitable? How suitable?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    When you say easily trailerable, what do you plan to tow it with?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    For the time being, a V6 Mazda MPV - rated for 3500#
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    You need to talk to Lance Gunderson. He sails his Black Skimmer solo all up and down the Maine coast. Check the Welfare Fleet Cruise thread for pics. Lance will be along eventually, Or send him a PM.


    Steven

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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Here are a couple of pics of Lance's boat:





  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    I've written extensively about Black Skimmer in Stan Grayson's book "Sailing Small." The current issue of WB's Small Boats mag. contains Mike O'Brien's thoughts on her; he commissioned the design from PCB and built the first one. For what you want to do I think a Skimmer would be ideal. I've owned two of them and sailed aboard a few more. It's important that they be built exactly according to PCB's plans; any deviations will likely cause problems. No boat is perfect in all things, and Skimmer has it's own eccentricities. Leeboards are a nuisance, big and very heavy, but not as bad as most jibs to tend. When motoring, the rudder blade hits the outboard prop when you attempt to turn left; a Skimmer would have been the ideal boat for J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered his drivers to never make left hand turns. Also sharpies all pound badly, especially when at anchor, making sleep difficult for most people; I try to hunt up some small shallow, protected creek to anchor for the night, or put her aground at low tide, which is easy with a Skimmer. She has a surprising amount of room below provided you don't need headroom, and there is plenty of storage space. At less than 3,000 lbs. she is readily trailerable, and with a tabernacle mast could be ready to go in seconds. She will afford plenty of fun if you can tolerate her vices. I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have in the future, and keep us posted on your Skimmer experiences!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Personally, I'd jump on that - cheap and almost finished?? Heck yeah. I have zero experience in one . . . but, from what I've read, I think it'd be just fine for everything you describe.

    I defer to those with experience with how they handle in big waves/rough conditions/tidal rips, but it sounds like you want it for mostly protected water? In any case, that ultra shoal draft is a huge bonus, at least in my experience of cruising all over the San Juan and Gulf Islands in Puget Sound. Anchorages and harbours there are stupidly crowded - but there are oodles of shallow inlets, tidal marshes and interesting creeks you could explore - and anchor in - all by yourself. The possibilities are very exciting, IMO.
    And channel markers? Hah!

    Really, I don't think I'd ever want a deep keel cruising boat up there, not again.

    Good luck!
    Dave Gentry

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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance F. Gunderson View Post
    I've written extensively about Black Skimmer in Stan Grayson's book "Sailing Small." The current issue of WB's Small Boats mag. contains Mike O'Brien's thoughts on her; he commissioned the design from PCB and built the first one. For what you want to do I think a Skimmer would be ideal. I've owned two of them and sailed aboard a few more. It's important that they be built exactly according to PCB's plans; any deviations will likely cause problems. No boat is perfect in all things, and Skimmer has it's own eccentricities. Leeboards are a nuisance, big and very heavy, but not as bad as most jibs to tend. When motoring, the rudder blade hits the outboard prop when you attempt to turn left; a Skimmer would have been the ideal boat for J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered his drivers to never make left hand turns. Also sharpies all pound badly, especially when at anchor, making sleep difficult for most people; I try to hunt up some small shallow, protected creek to anchor for the night, or put her aground at low tide, which is easy with a Skimmer. She has a surprising amount of room below provided you don't need headroom, and there is plenty of storage space. At less than 3,000 lbs. she is readily trailerable, and with a tabernacle mast could be ready to go in seconds. She will afford plenty of fun if you can tolerate her vices. I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have in the future, and keep us posted on your Skimmer experiences!
    Sharpies do not "pound" at anchor but the slapping noise from the aft run(stern) not touching the water will bother you.
    Fishermen that had sharpies would beech their boat and sleep next to the boat on the beach.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Only get it if it's truly cheap. It won't have much re-sale value, so don't invest any more than you're willing to lose. Still, it might be a decent enough boat for what you're wanting it for if you can tolerate the eccentricities of a leeboard sharpie. The rig at least is pretty friendly. If it's cheap enough, you might be able to afford just buying it and trying it out--and then you'll either be satisfied, or at least you'll have something to sail while you build your dream boat.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Thanks for the quick responses, all.


    Lance - I haven't seen the boat yet, so don't know if she's built exactingly to spec. She's been built over a long period by a fellow (who worked for the FPL) who is now in his 80's. The story is that he is realizing that he's no longer athletic enough to use her, and so is ready to pass her on for someone else to complete. I understand that he really wants her to get finished up and have the chance to sail on her as crew (a condition I'd gladly comply with!). One potential issue is that she's apparently built (at least partly) with douglas fir marine ply, and there's some checking going on. Must not have been sheathed in glass/resin. I've never owned a leeboard boat, but have always thought they'd (in theory anyway) be a good idea. I might give some thought to modifying the board - for aesthetic reasons - to resemble the Dutch (more egg-shaped and rounded) boards. My two current boats are flatties - one 8' and one 16'. I don't think I'll be put off by the sharpie hull shape. Sitting headroom is fine. I'd love to have full standing headroom for the complete 5'7" of me, but that's a tough one in a trailerable boat. Having the capacity to beach overnight (or anchor sometimes) is important to the type of sailing I imagine. I do like the amount of roominess inside. Sounds like you sail her single-handed regularly. How easy is that? What size outboard do you use, and would you recommend? I have a vintage Evinrude 3 hp, and a newer Tohatsu 4stroke 5 hp. I wouldn't want to have to buy something different - at least immediately. The trailer will be expensive enough.


    James - I certainly understand that she's a bit eccentric to have much resale value. I don't tend to switch toys a whole lot. I still have the Honda CB400 I bought new in '79, for instance. I already have two boats to sail - a Puddle Duck Racer and a Goat Island Skiff. Both are loads of fun in their own way. The GIS, in particular, is muy versatile. The only thing it lacks is the sleep/eat/poop aboard capability. That, and maybe a little size/speed for some of the adventures I have in mind. For instance, the Coots go to Sucia every July. The Black Skimmer would be a much better rig for Bellingham to Sucia and back, I'd think. So... having something to sail isn't so much the issue. In fact - I was even considering the notion of making the next boat a powerboat.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    . . . .considering the notion of making the next boat a powerboat.
    Noooooooooo! Back away from the cliff, man! The Dark Side is seductive and easy, but don't forget that it's also Evil!

    Besides, the Black Skimmer will fit in with the rest of your hard-chined, flat-bottomed fleet perfectly. She's like a grown-up cruising GIS. You'll love her.
    Last edited by James McMullen; 05-09-2010 at 07:22 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Thanks for the quick responses, all.


    Lance - I haven't seen the boat yet, so don't know if she's built exactingly to spec. She's been built over a long period by a fellow (who worked for the FPL) who is now in his 80's. The story is that he is realizing that he's no longer athletic enough to use her, and so is ready to pass her on for someone else to complete. I understand that he really wants her to get finished up and have the chance to sail on her as crew (a condition I'd gladly comply with!). One potential issue is that she's apparently built (at least partly) with douglas fir marine ply, and there's some checking going on. Must not have been sheathed in glass/resin. I've never owned a leeboard boat, but have always thought they'd (in theory anyway) be a good idea. I might give some thought to modifying the board - for aesthetic reasons - to resemble the Dutch (more egg-shaped and rounded) boards. My two current boats are flatties - one 8' and one 16'. I don't think I'll be put off by the sharpie hull shape. Sitting headroom is fine. I'd love to have full standing headroom for the complete 5'7" of me, but that's a tough one in a trailerable boat. Having the capacity to beach overnight (or anchor sometimes) is important to the type of sailing I imagine. I do like the amount of roominess inside. Sounds like you sail her single-handed regularly. How easy is that? What size outboard do you use, and would you recommend? I have a vintage Evinrude 3 hp, and a newer Tohatsu 4stroke 5 hp. I wouldn't want to have to buy something different - at least immediately. The trailer will be expensive enough.


    James - I certainly understand that she's a bit eccentric to have much resale value. I don't tend to switch toys a whole lot. I still have the Honda CB400 I bought new in '79, for instance. I already have two boats to sail - a Puddle Duck Racer and a Goat Island Skiff. Both are loads of fun in their own way. The GIS, in particular, is muy versatile. The only thing it lacks is the sleep/eat/poop aboard capability. That, and maybe a little size/speed for some of the adventures I have in mind. For instance, the Coots go to Sucia every July. The Black Skimmer would be a much better rig for Bellingham to Sucia and back, I'd think. So... having something to sail isn't so much the issue. In fact - I was even considering the notion of making the next boat a powerboat.
    Skimmer can be moved right along with the very smallest outboard, even an electric one. I use a 5hp Honda (had lots of trouble with it too) which is more than enough. She'll hit hull speed at half throttle. If there's any wind you'll sail her, unless you get tired of pounding to windward. In a flat calm she can be rowed or sculled, or poled in shallows. She is easy to single hand and can be made to steer herself, She heaves to readily. She does pound badly at anchor, and that's going to get to you at times; sometimes she pounds fore and aft! But over all she's one of the best shoal draft boats. I calculate she'll sleep nine if they are on good terms.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    If the price is right go for it. I bought the plans for Black Skimmer about 8 years before I bought the plans for the Goat Island Skiff. They are yellowed but so far all I've done is dream over 'em. I probably won't ever build one.

    At least one of the 'Skimmers used a heavy pivot for the leeboards instead of the crude rope arrangement. That's something you might want to consider.

    Nexus Marine built one for a client in San Francisco and has an excellent write-up with pics on their site. They mentioned adding heavier framing to brace the transom; Bolger's original transom wasn't strong enough according to the Nexus folks.
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    I'd also highly recommend beefing up the transom if it has not already been done; PCB put out a bulliten or something on this years ago and I suspect the plans have been updated to include that. Also if the plywood is checking already you can sheath the whole hull in 6 oz. fiberglass cloth and epoxy, which will also make her stronger and fairer, and only a little heavier. My current Skimmer is completely sheathed and seems to be holding up very well so far. She was built in 1983. Also, the simple rope leeboard attatchments work fine, but be sure to use the strongest rope you can obtain.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Thanks all. I'm just back from the launching festivities for my friend's 26' whaleboat. Between the champage toasts and the beers later... I'm ready for a nap, and can't think of any more questions at the moment. I'll probably come back for more once I've had a chance to view the boat. It all sounds hopeful so far. I talked to my buddy John Kohnen about the boat also. He's a hugely knowledgeable boat guy, and has been in love with the design since he first saw it. He had lots of good things to say about it, and few caveats.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    We chartered a Black Skimmer in 1991 in Key Largo, Florida. The folks we chartered from had a fleet of Black Skimmers but unfortunately went out of business a year or two later after Hurricane Andrew. A 1988 article about the charter operation and a trip in one of their Black Skimmers is at http://www.hallman.org/bolger/BlackSkimmer/

    Back to our experience though the memories are getting a little fuzzy. A low pressure system spent a week moving past which resulted in head winds most of the time. The sail on "our" Black Skimmer had seen better days but the boat moved right along. This was before GPS and there wasn't a speed measuring device onboard. We previously had a Sea Pearl so we were familar with leeboards. They were a little heavy but when short tacking we just left both down. The cabin had plenty of room for my wife and I. While there wasn't standing headroom it definately felt like a cabin and not a cuddy. The cabin sole was the inside of the bottom.There was a slow leak somewhere and a bit of water accumulated on the bottom which made for unexpected wet feet several times. A simple set of floorboards is recommended if your boat isn't completely watertight. The open well forward of the cabin provided a great place to stand - much more secure than a fore deck. Overall the accomodations are very comfortable compared to back packing but won't be confused with a resort.

    The return from to Key Largo from Flamingo was into the wind the entire way. We sailed where possible but had to motor where the channel was too narrow. One pass had a strong adverse current in addition to the head wind. Auxilary power was a 6 HP, two-stroke outboard. We filled the 6 gallon tank before leaving Flamingo and had about a pint of fuel left when we picked up the mooring in Key Largo. The engine was sufficient even against the head wind and adverse current.

    Overall it was a very nice but simple boat.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Check here for some nicely shaped leeboards http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?p=1586282

    I always meant to charter from that Key Largo outfit ,but missed my chance .

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance F. Gunderson View Post
    I've written extensively about Black Skimmer in Stan Grayson's book "Sailing Small." The current issue of WB's Small Boats mag. contains Mike O'Brien's thoughts on her; he commissioned the design from PCB and built the first one. For what you want to do I think a Skimmer would be ideal. I've owned two of them and sailed aboard a few more. It's important that they be built exactly according to PCB's plans; any deviations will likely cause problems. No boat is perfect in all things, and Skimmer has it's own eccentricities. Leeboards are a nuisance, big and very heavy, but not as bad as most jibs to tend. When motoring, the rudder blade hits the outboard prop when you attempt to turn left; a Skimmer would have been the ideal boat for J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered his drivers to never make left hand turns. Also sharpies all pound badly, especially when at anchor, making sleep difficult for most people; I try to hunt up some small shallow, protected creek to anchor for the night, or put her aground at low tide, which is easy with a Skimmer. She has a surprising amount of room below provided you don't need headroom, and there is plenty of storage space. At less than 3,000 lbs. she is readily trailerable, and with a tabernacle mast could be ready to go in seconds. She will afford plenty of fun if you can tolerate her vices. I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have in the future, and keep us posted on your Skimmer experiences!
    In the book, you mentioned your trouble getting the Skimmer through stays. Have you solved that problem? What procedure do you go through to tack the boat?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    She comes up into the wind and stops; back either the main or mizzen (the main is usually easiest); she briefly sails backwards, then gradually falls off on the desired tack. Sometimes it is necessary to wear ship. In light air Black Skimmers have a dangerous, severe lee helm, and they usually will not tack under such conditions; you need plenty of sea room. Better to motor in light air. In a fresh breeze the windage of the tall mast is enough to stop her dead in the eye of the wind and something will have to be backed in order to get her around. In a 10-15k breeze and flat sea she will sometimes tack if crew can smartly tend the leeboards, but if there's any sea running, forget it. I don't beat to windward in one unless I can make long boards; in a narrow channel it's better to motor than to attempt tacking. They are not close winded, and are deathly slow to windward in any case. They feel like they are sailing fast to the novice because of the big wake, noise and sharp angle of heal, but you won't pass many, if any, other boats in a Black Skimmer. The wide, flat bottom, eddying outside chine, drag from the leeboard and it's pennant, and the relatively short waterline prohibit fast sailing, but she'll get you there in due time. I usually figure on 3-4 knots at best when cruising. She's never averaged anything faster than that.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Sounds like a good argument for softer chines. My Dovekie was the best sailing boat I've owned or sailed. She pointed high, tacked without tricks and steered like a dinghy.

    If that's not enough her helm was always well balanced, with just a touch of weather helm. I ran the mainsheet around the pin in the end of the tiller and could steer by rope from anywhere in the boat. Ease tension and she headed up a little, pull in on the sheet-tiller and she would head down.
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    I've been soured on leeboards and hard chine sharpies myself. I find Lance's testimony all too hauntingly accurate. I still think the Black Skimmer might make a great, cheap, beachable Columbia River cruising sailboat for David, though.
    Last edited by James McMullen; 05-11-2010 at 10:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    The astute PCB scholar will note that he mentiones all of these vices in various places in his writings, but he never wrote them up all in one article. For example, in The Folding Schooner he mentions the ill effects of outside chines in the chapter on Black Gauntlet ll, and even draws a round bilged version. In 30 Odd Boats he mentions the ill effects of wide, flat bottoms and short waterlines, and the lee helm problems. Phil could ignore all kinds of problems if his design proved a point or achieved the desired goal. Skillegalle is an improvement on Black Skimmer, and if I were building I'd go for her, or Black Gauntlet ll, which is fast and less vicious than Black Skimmer. The slightly longer waterline makes all the differance.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance F. Gunderson View Post
    The astute PCB scholar will note that he mentiones all of these vices in various places in his writings, but he never wrote them up all in one article. For example, in The Folding Schooner he mentions the ill effects of outside chines in the chapter on Black Gauntlet ll, and even draws a round bilged version. In 30 Odd Boats he mentions the ill effects of wide, flat bottoms and short waterlines, and the lee helm problems. Phil could ignore all kinds of problems if his design proved a point or achieved the desired goal. Skillegalle is an improvement on Black Skimmer, and if I were building I'd go for her, or Black Gauntlet ll, which is fast and less vicious than Black Skimmer. The slightly longer waterline makes all the differance.
    How does a longer waterline decrease lee helm? I would have guessed that Black Skimmer had lee helm because most of the sail area is very far forward.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    You're right. The longer waterline increases speed; I suspect Skillegalle will also carry a lee helm in light air.

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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    We also chartered that Key Largo boat (Key Largo Shoal Water Cruises) in the mid-80s.

    She was a nicely tricked out Skimmer, with topside propane tank, the little outboard and 6 gal tank that lasted a week. The best part if my memory serves was that her leeboards had hardware (not the rope otherwise specified as a pivot) that allowed her weather leeboard to pivot up "like a gull wing" (I know I've read that somewhere) and you didn't necessarily have to tend them after each tack. We also just left them down.

    In a week's time you could cover everything from Key Largo, to Marathon, and out to Flamingo and drying out on the shallows was always the best way to go. She's a definite for thin water cruising, especially in warm climates. On the other hand, for Narragansett Bay and likely Puget sound where the wind gets up and the seas get choppy and steep she'd be a little miserable I'd imagine. Depends how much time you have to wait out ugly, but I'd hate to get one downwind into Buzzard's Bay and have to get home.

    But for a month or three in the Bahamas, sign me up.

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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by ishmael View Post
    The sharpie form, hard chined, works so well.
    Did you even read what Lance wrote

    Ishmael, I understand you even less than usual when you actually do talk about boats for a change.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by MiddleAgesMan View Post
    Sounds like a good argument for softer chines. My Dovekie was the best sailing boat I've owned or sailed. She pointed high, tacked without tricks and steered like a dinghy.

    If that's not enough her helm was always well balanced, with just a touch of weather helm. I ran the mainsheet around the pin in the end of the tiller and could steer by rope from anywhere in the boat. Ease tension and she headed up a little, pull in on the sheet-tiller and she would head down.
    My Dovekie sails very well too. She does like to sail around her anchor like any una-rigged boat, and I have had a lee-helm when reefed but I'm confident in her.

    Dovekie 135

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance F. Gunderson View Post
    You're right. The longer waterline increases speed; I suspect Skillegalle will also carry a lee helm in light air.
    How many Skillygalleys have been built? Do they tack more easily than a Black Skimmer?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Parkes View Post
    How many Skillygalleys have been built? Do they tack more easily than a Black Skimmer?
    To my knowledge only one has been built so far, the prototype by Thomas Fulk on the West Coast; last I heard she was in Alaska. The were some nice photos of her on the Great Sea web site. With her longer waterline, inside chines and centerboard she should tack reliably and be faster than Black Skimmer.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    I've been swamped with work, so not much has happened. I did have a long conversation with the owner, and will be visiting the boat in Corvallis as soon as I can arrange some time.


    MAM - thanks for the link to the Nexus build. Same rig as the one I'm looking at. Same general color scheme, even. Love to see how roomy it is inside. Her looks don't thrill me to my core, but they don't turn me off, either. Often, these boats look better in person than in fotos.


    James - with the tacking difficulty described, I guess it's not fair to think of the B. Skimmer as a larger, cabin-ed version of the Goat Island Skiff. The GIS points high and tacks effortlessly and reliably.


    Lance - a couple more questions.

    Towing -- how often do you tow yours? What rig(s) do you tow with? Have you ever pulled into a scale while towing her somewhere, and have an accurate towing weight? What trailer do you use, and how is it set up. Bunks, I assume?

    Setup -- you've probably got it down to a sleepwalking drill. How long does it take you? How long you reckon it'll take me initially... as a single-handed, fat old neophyte?

    Foibles -- Frankly, this information about difficulty coming through stays, and about the lee helm, is troublesome... and the only thing that's making me hesitate at this point. I was really intending to make the outboard Emergency Power only... but I suppose I could adjust. Maybe. How much of an issue do you find these things to be - in practice. They don't seem to have caused you to abandon the boat for something else.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by David G; 05-23-2010 at 08:55 PM. Reason: egregious spelling error
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    6,734

    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    When you say "outboard as emergency power only" do you mean you would stow it in a locker? The motor notch in the transom seems like the best place to stow one, to me, so it could be easily deployed as needed. Tilted up it would clear the water even when heeled, I believe.

    In my experience we tend to figure out what our boats need to carry through a tack. Once learned we take the appropriate steps until they become habit. After that you'll forget she doesn't tack like an IOR racer. (How's that for showing my age? )
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Kittery Point, ME
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    I don't tow my Black Skimmer; here in Kittery we are lucky to have Independent Boat Haulers, who do an excellent job for a reasonable fee. For me it's well worth the cost to have them haul my boat, set it up on stands in winter, step the mast, and generally help me out. However, the truck driver asks me every year: "When are you gonna buy a trailer?"

    About the vices: you get used to them. All boats have some. If you can't put up with them you sell the boat and get another one. You'll learn to back the main or mizzen when tacking, and to allow for missed stays. You'll plan ahead to avoid left turns when under power. You'll try to get accustomed to the severe pounding. You'll be patient and content when all the other boats pass you. And you'll go places very few boats can go, and at minimal cost (unless you bought that Nexus Marine boat!). Skimmers do sail easily down wind and don't roll like keel boats tend to do. And if anything breaks you can probably fix it yourself without going to a boatyard, or even a hardware store. Simplicity is golden, and a Bolger Black Skimmer is a very simple boat.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    47,827

    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    MAM - I mean to say that the outboard would be carried, normally, on the transom. Kicked up. I'd prefer, though, not to use it unless needed.

    Lance - Thanks. I"m slowly getting a handle on this boat thanks to y'all.

    Anyone else know, or heard, anything about towing the Black Skimmer?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    7,470

    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    I cannot speak directly to any of the "issues" surrounding the Black Skimmer nor do I have any direct experience with them.

    However, if the price is so ridiculously appealing for you, then go for it and heed Lances' good words. This is a different type of boat compared to the run of the mill junk that is out there and will carry with her a requirement for a different mind set when using her. Getting the most out of her through regular/frequent use will bring with it its' own rewards as you become this boats new master.

    I take it too, that building something to fit your requirements is out of the question at this moment? If not, I would be keenly inclined into delving deeply into the magic of the Chebacco instead of vacillating over a fancified big skiff,with a cute rig,quaint leeboards,a noisy bed(Sorry Lance,honest!) and built by someone else.

    Remember too,Good Sir David G., I'm also terribly screwed up and spoiled rotten by several blissful years of happy Mirco ownership thus my thoughts are worth whatever you wish.


    Cheers!


    Your Humble Port Servant,


    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Kittery Point, ME
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: Bolger Black Skimmer

    Launched the Black Skimmer Egret today at 5 p.m.; thick o' fog. I may have solved the left turn delema by carving away a section of the rudder base in way of the prop shaft and installing a spacer to move the rudder blade slightly further right, which means it's now off center...like the mizzen, and PCB assured us the boat takes no notice of such things. Now the rudder blade just clears the propeller. Another sailing season begins!

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