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Thread: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

  1. #1
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    Default Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I'd like to hear from anyone who has built or owned one of these boats. The design looks great and pictures of completed boats, or construction and sailing experiences, would be helpful.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I have found the Sea Bird 2 attractive from an accomodation and ease-of-construction standpoint. I worry, however, that it's high sheer would be unattractive. Bill Garden even admits (in Yacht Designs) that many will find it unattractive. I'd love to see some photos of one in the water to see how it looks for real.
    Last edited by alkorn; 05-11-2011 at 10:09 PM.
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Someone on the Garden thread on SA mentioned his Stepdad built one.
    http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/ind...c=121483&st=25
    Look for a post by Amoretto.
    I remember thinking about building one years ago, looks like a good design for coastal cruising.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I spoke to him on the phone last winter when I bought the plans from him and he said that he thought it was a "pretty little boat." He was considering building a model of it but I don't know if he got around to it. He always seemed to have a lot going on and was probably moving a little slower by then.

    He also suggested I build a model first to get a feel for its construction. I still hope to find someone who has built one full-sized, too.

    It's a shame he's no longer with us - I looked forward to a little advice via one of his famous "insultations," but it's been a long run from 1918.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Being curious about this boat I did a quickie loft in Free!Ship. It looks to be a nicely functional boat.

    http://hallman.org/boats/seabird2


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I looked at the "clipboard." The different views even include a "clam's eye view." The hull does look like he put some work into it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    For what it's worth, the Sea Bird 2 was designed in the mid 70s for publication in the Rudder magazine. I'm told that quite a few plans were sold; some boats must have resulted from them though they may have been built years ago.

    That the design was created with plywood construction should have been a "selling point." This approach worked well for the Thunderbird, though that boat is more a racer, and a fast one, than a cruiser. Perhaps there's a bigger market for a racer and daysailer than for a cruiser in this size range.

    It could also be that this forum addresses mostly those who favor traditional construction, rather than plywood construction. While this outlook is understandable, it ignores the reality of shrinking supplies of the lumber necessary to sustain traditional construction. The Sea Bird 2 would appear to be a creative response to a growing need for appealing and seaworthy craft that reflect the difficulty of locating, or purchasing fine lumber in large quantities.

    Though constructed Sea Bird 2 sailboats appear to be rare, if the results of my current search are any indication, I'm still hopeful of finding some and discussing the construction and sailing experiences of their owners.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    This just turned up on Trademe in NZ

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Mo...-378149511.htm

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2



    nice design.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    The Sea Bird in your sketch is the original one from early in the last century. The one drawn by Bill Garden is an update from the 70's intended for plywood construction. That hull was "lofted" with computer graphics in an earlier post of this thread.

    It has a much more commodious hull, with standing room in the cabin, but most important, its plywood construction seems much more appropriate and useful given the relative scarcity of quality boatbuilding lumber that would be needed to plank the original Sea Bird.

    Someone in New Zealand has apparently built a modified version of the original design, with a different keel system and different rig.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Some years back a friend of mine had one of these and I got to spend a couple of afternoons on the ocean off the coast of Oregon. At first glance her looks put me off a bit, but over time I got used to it once I discovered just how handy and user friendly she is. Comparing it to an original Seabird ( Ive been aboard one of those also) is like comparing a modet T coupe to a 57 chevy Belair. Considering her lenght there was ample room for my lanky 6'3" frame. In fact I could stand up between the beams. She was/is yawl rigged as per Garden sail plan. on a beam reach in 20knot NW the GPS showed just under 7knts with a slight flood tide. She rode nicely and had an easy motion at sea although I wasn't aboard during any rough stuff. Construction was simple-marine ply over lumber yard fir. She was glassed outside, not sure about the keel, but it might have been concrete with steel. When I knew her she was about 25 yrs old and still very sound. Robert added a small Yanmar diesel that pushed things along nicely and a hydraulic pump to run the anchor capstan. He sailed her from Newport down the coast to San Carlos Mex. where for the next 5-6 yrs he spent winters aboard cruising and comm. fishing up here in the summers. He said she rode a nasty blow on the way south off Cape Blanco like a duck. He saw no reason why the thing couldn't cross oceans, he just wanted to keep the boat where he could drive back and forth. It has long been a mystery to me why we dont see more of these around. For a relatively small cash outlay you get a practical coastal/ocean cruiser for an adventerous couple or single hander. OK I'll stop babbling now.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Thanks. You're the first one who's not only seen one but been aboard.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Quote Originally Posted by P-man View Post


    nice design.
    Yes. This SEA BIRD was actually a Charles Mower design (1909?), comimissioned and popularized by Thomas Flemming Day, founder of 'The Rudder' magazine.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Went thru the archives and found some pics taken on an afternoon sail on sea Bird 2 back in 1998. The pics were taken from on the boat while underway, showing cockpit, deck lay-out etc. The mast was stepped on deck in a SS tabernacle. There was some metal work underneath the deck beefing things up and spreading load to the hull frames. This was done without infringing on head room. Robert got rid of the tiller and put in a wheel box on the stern deck. This worked out great and freed up a lot of room in the cockpit. She balanced nice and steered like she was on rails. There was reasonable space for 4 people to sit in the cockpit. There was room along the house and the foredeck for sun bathers/loungers. That cut away forefoot helped her come across the wind with no fuss when tacking. Main was marconi, can't remember how the mizzen was set up. Much of the drive power was provided by an xtra large foresail. The stern deck was brought about 1 foot further forward than shown on the drawing to accomadate the wheel box. Also gave a good place to stand while setting the mizzen.
    I wish I had taken a pic of the boat sitting at the dock. if your interested I can try to figure out how to display these photos.

    cheers

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I'd very much like to see pictures of this boat. If you can figure out how to post the pictures, I'd appreciate it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    These are low-resolution so I hope Tiller Publishing see this is fair use and a good plug for Garden's Yacht Designs -- available from the WB Store. I know I would.

    A very 70s hull & cabin top, but I like it, sheer and all.









    Last edited by Dick Wynne; 06-24-2011 at 05:15 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Trying to post these pics. Not sure if it's working or not. Thanks for postingthe drawings. If someone could provide a brief pic posting tutorial. I see them from time to time in the forum, but I'll be darned if can find one when I need it! I have a folder with 4 pics ready to go. Before Robert headed south, he needed a tender. He called me up one day saying he had found some plans. Showed up with book from Library by Phil Bolger with plans for Tortoise. It took little time & matrials to build. When he sailed away it was strapped to the house top and served well for years.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I have one of these boats. vern

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    How do you like the boat? Do you have any pictures of it.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I think I would stay with the original.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Ditto Wizbang. The original Sea Bird is an absolute classic, yet i understand the MK2 version appeal, there has to be a reason why stuff like Jenneau and Beneteua sell,and it accomdation over looks. People like headroom. As a Nordic Folkboat owner,i will go for gracefull looks over headroom.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I suspect it's possible that a boat can have looks and accommodation. And you can't beat the lineage - a Bill Garden design. He thought it was a pretty little boat, at least that's what he told me.

    It might be nice to have a boat that didn't require a masochistic streak to enjoy it. I think it looks good, anyway. And, if some of the comments are to be believed, it's quite seaworthy, too. That's probably another gift from the designer.

    If it can be built from readily available materials and not depend on all too scarce and more exotic woods, so much the better. The timbers and planking to make a folkboat are impractically difficult to find anymore. The closest thing to such boats are the designs of Iain Outred, and his depend on plywood, too.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I'd love the first, I wouldn't even glance sideways at the second.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I bought the plans for the original Sea Bird back in the early 80's. It was my fantasy boat for many years, and I still pull out the plans from time to time and reminisce about all the places that beauty might have taken me. Sea Bird II just doesn't do it for me.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    I MISS HER.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    So you had one of Bill Garden's Sea Birds? It looks like it's a lot of fun. I'd like to hear more about it.

    Did you build it? How long did you have it?

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Sorry, no that is my old Seabird, not Seabird 2. Wrecked in Antigua in 1976.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatwright View Post
    It could also be that this forum addresses mostly those who favor traditional construction, rather than plywood construction. While this outlook is understandable, it ignores the reality of shrinking supplies of the lumber necessary to sustain traditional construction. The Sea Bird 2 would appear to be a creative response to a growing need for appealing and seaworthy craft that reflect the difficulty of locating, or purchasing fine lumber in large quantities.
    Boatwright, if you want to build a boat of plywood, by all means do so. However, you've offered the above observation two or three times in this thread now and, with all due respect to a "boatbuilder," which I gather you are, I'm surprised that you'd be perpetuating a myth promulgated by the processed wood products industry. News Flash: Trees are still growing at the same rate they always have. There is no "shrinking supply of lumber necessary to sustain traditional construction" of boats. In fact, a lot of the "lumber necessary to sustain traditional construction" is being peeled up for expensive "marine" plywood, wastefully ripped up into strips for strip planking, and reduced to veneer for cold molding, all by people who lament that there isn't any good boatbuilding wood around anymore. That simply isn't true.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    Boatwright, if you want to build a boat of plywood, by all means do so. However, you've offered the above observation two or three times in this thread now and, with all due respect to a "boatbuilder," which I gather you are, I'm surprised that you'd be perpetuating a myth promulgated by the processed wood products industry. News Flash: Trees are still growing at the same rate they always have. There is no "shrinking supply of lumber necessary to sustain traditional construction" of boats. In fact, a lot of the "lumber necessary to sustain traditional construction" is being peeled up for expensive "marine" plywood, wastefully ripped up into strips for strip planking, and reduced to veneer for cold molding, all by people who lament that there isn't any good boatbuilding wood around anymore. That simply isn't true.
    I must argue a little here. The lovely old growth wood is getting scarcer, and while trees arguably grow a little faster then before (what with increased carbon dioxide levels and a little more warmth) there are simply less of them. Plywood and strips can be made of lesser quality wood.

    This is one side of the equasion.

    The other side is that many plywood ships end up in the scrapyard long before their conventionally built cousins would, which is wasting wood. I sailed the BU130, a 132 year old Botter maintained by students and can confirm that an old oak boat with a lot of loving can keep going for a long time.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Wonder if this can get brought forward a few years......
    Boat mentioned of step-dads on SA, ie Amoretto, is for sale.....also not sure if a link is proper. As this might very well be first post since joining many years ago.
    https://www.facebook.com/Seabird.II/?hc_location=ufi
    Hope you have a facebook account.
    Marty

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    Boatwright, if you want to build a boat of plywood, by all means do so. However, you've offered the above observation two or three times in this thread now and, with all due respect to a "boatbuilder," which I gather you are, I'm surprised that you'd be perpetuating a myth promulgated by the processed wood products industry. News Flash: Trees are still growing at the same rate they always have. There is no "shrinking supply of lumber necessary to sustain traditional construction" of boats. In fact, a lot of the "lumber necessary to sustain traditional construction" is being peeled up for expensive "marine" plywood, wastefully ripped up into strips for strip planking, and reduced to veneer for cold molding, all by people who lament that there isn't any good boatbuilding wood around anymore. That simply isn't true.
    Every word of that is true. I even know where to get live oak, which most people think is as gone as the do-do bird. Georgia. Long leaf southern pine? Philidelphia, and NYC and Boston. Salvage from old factories. It's out there, just think outside of the box to find it.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    One cannot replace a clear cut 600 year old Douglas Fir forest in 600 years.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    One cannot replace a clear cut 600 year old Douglas Fir forest in 600 years.
    My goodness, clear cutting around here pretty well stopped 100 years ago. I'm saddened to learn that it is still going on in Washinton State.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    My point is, old growth timber is finite. It ain't coming back.
    Plywood, strip planking, cold molding ...these techniques make good boats of second growth trees.
    Most of us here are up to speed on live oak and Steve Cross.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Bill Garden's Sea Bird 2

    ha^
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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