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  1. #1
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    Default Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    I have Reuel Parker's book on Sharpies, which is an excellent read.

    From his book and from what I have read and learned over the past few years, yes they can be relatively fast off the wind for what it is. Shallow draft, super simple to build, even good looking in my view. More than once I have considered building one (the 27 footer) and putting a modern rig on it, it would be a simple and unique boat and I'm sure fun to sail. I would probably ballast it with a thousand pounds or so of concrete or iron in the bilge, as Reuel suggests, though I imagine that would hurt its offwind performance quite a bit without really adding much stability (ideally ballast should be down low in a keel, not in the bilge).

    But can you really call one of these boats "seaworthy"?

    Sudden squalls and a mere 15 knots wind under spinnaker have knocked down the 25' keelboat I race on, with full crew, all experienced sailors. Boat pops right back up once the pressure is off. But a boat without a ballasted keel, especially a flat bottomed one like a sharpie, will NOT come back up from a 60-90 degree broach/knockdown.

    I sail in relatively protected waters. Mostly New York Harbor, Sandy Hook Bay and the Sound. But it can get rough very suddenly. I hove-to once on my own 25' keelboat when a squall blew through, and with working jib and full main the rail was under for about 20 minutes until it blew through. Heaving-to on an unballasted boat isn't possible (try it on a dinghy) and doing so on a boat without a ballasted keel is I'm guessing not really a great idea...

    Am I wrong? If I were to pour 1000 pounds or more of concrete ballast on the bottom of the boat as suggested by the Sharpie book, would that really be enough to stiffen up a narrow Sharpie?

    I wouldn't expect one to be completely self-righting until 120 degrees like a proper keelboat, but would this at least allow it to come up from a broach or knock-down? Are there boats like this that exist and are actually sailed, or people on this forum with real experience on one of these boats? (not a 12' flatiron skiff or even a 18' florida type sharpie, I mean something that would be used in LI sound or similar)
    “The difference between an adventurer and anybody else is that the youthful embrace of discovery, of self or of the world, is not muted by the responsibilities or the safety-catches of maturity.” Jonathan Borgais

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Seaworthiness encompasses more than just a design. It includes the vessel's maintenance, build quality, details, and most importantly, the experience, temperment,and current condition of her crew.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
    ......Are there boats like this that exist and are actually sailed, or people on this forum with real experience on one of these boats? (not a 12' flatiron skiff or even a 18' florida type sharpie, I mean something that would be used in LI sound or similar)
    Check out the stability graph for a Cape Henry, as per the web page - not a sharpie per se but a shoal draft V nonetheless
    I often wonder what the stats on a Haiku would actually be

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    I sail a modified Sharpie....A Herreshoff Meadowlark....Heavily Ballasted bout 45% of displacement. Whimbrel would definitely come back from a knockdown. My calculations indicate it should right itself from almost 140 degrees if I can keep the water out (my cockpit is self draining and all hatches would need to be secured). I did not include the righting force of the buoyancy of the masts in the calculations.
    Look at the advertised charactaristics of the Roger Marshal Presto 30....similar angles.
    Look at the account of the Norwalk Island Sharpie crossing the Bass Strait in a storm. http://www.nisboats.com/pdfs/Charlie...Strait%201.pdf
    http://www.nisboats.com/pdfs/Charlie...assStrait2.pdf

    Look at Munroes Presto, or Egret.
    Mr. Parker is an experienced designer/builder/sailor

    All the big Open 50 -60- 70's used in ocean racing are very shallow hulls.....


    Traditional sharpies had a reputation of being surprisingly able. There is a limit to what you can do with an unballasted boat. Most simple shallow box hulls will reach a capsize point somewhere before they reach 90 degrees (say 60 - 80 degrees)

    To be seaworthy in the context you describe I think you need knockdown stability at least, say 120 degrees or so. Stability is derived from a combination of weight and volume. A sharpie can be designed to recover in those conditions and some already meet those requirements.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Many sharpies have no more ability to come back from a knockdown than catboats or Wianno Seniors. Usually those that don't combine mighty near no ballast with lot's of open space for water to get into the hull once the rail is under. But there's a wholly different sort of sharpie that's perfectly seaworthy for long-shore voyaging, like a straight hop from Long Island Sound to Newfoundland.

    I have not seen stability curves for any of Parker's boats but I've studied the plans as available on the internet and also looked at the stabiity of other sharpie types ranging from the Presto to Pete Culler's to LFH's Meadow Lark and such. As LFH points out, the type does not really have ultimate stability and it will not come back from mast deep in the water. However, they can be sailed very hard. Since these boats have excellent watertight integrity - small cockpits, centered hatches and such - you can dare to sail rail at the water and if caught by a gust that drags a spreader in the water you'll come back.

    In ocean storms, it's not the wind alone that puts the boat over. It's the wind coupled with extreme seas. Against those, the sharpie type is in trouble. For ocean crossings you need a boat that can withstand unexpected weather. For a thousand miles or so not more than a couple hundred miles off-shore, you can pick your weather and be acceptably safe.

    G'luck

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    As LFH points out, the type does not really have ultimate stability and it will not come back from mast deep in the water.
    G'luck
    I strongly doubt LFH ever calculated stability. In The Common Sense he does not include a chapter on yacht stability. He makes mildly disparaging comments about metacenters in the chapter about 'Choosing a Cruisier', coincidentally referring to an imaginary Meadowlark. The point is Whimbrel a Herreshoff Meadowlark will come back from a mast in the water knockdown....easily. LFH did stability by ensuring there was a lot of ballast. I doubt he really knew what this design was capable of.
    I get James point about pounding. I think Mr. Bolgers sharpies all had considerable rocker, to solve other problems, but suffered from pounding and slapping because the bow was out of the water. The Meadowlark seldom pounds and seldom very hard....the bow is immersed. On the other hand she maneuvers sluggishly, you win some and you loose some.
    Few boats sailing offshore these days have ultimate stability......self righting from 180 degree roll over. ISO Stix numbers for sea class "A" for offshore yachts starts at something like 130 degrees.
    Seaworthiness means .......is the boat suitable for its intended voyage ????......Is the crew competent?????
    Seaworthiness includes for all vessels.......1. Watertight integrity, 2. Adequate stability, 3. general fitness including structure, equipment, maintenance, and outfitting. For sailing yachts you can add weatherliness.

    Sharpies can be designed and built to be seaworthy, by any measure.....You may.. as James McM not like sharpies....thats ok...no-one is forcing a sharpie on him....and I appreciate his experience with the type. With Sharpies I have very little experience other than Whimbrel. But there again I have pretty extensive experience on three different LFH designed boats, and some on a handful of others. I trust his sense of rightness in his designs.
    In truth I'd consider most traditional sharpies as suitable for estuaries and near-near coastal waters.
    Last edited by gilberj; 04-19-2013 at 12:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    Few boats sailing offshore these days have ultimate stability......self righting from 180 degree roll over. ISO Stix numbers for sea class "A" for offshore yachts starts at something like 130 degrees.
    Seaworthiness means .......is the boat suitable for its intended voyage ????......Is the crew competent?????
    Seaworthiness includes for all vessels.......1. Watertight integrity, 2. Adequate stability, 3. general fitness including structure, equipment, maintenance, and outfitting. For sailing yachts you can add weatherliness.
    Yup. I think most keelboats have an AVS of around 120, from catalinas to mini-650's, and that is generally accepted as the minimum. Of course even some boats with this AVS might have downflooding issues in a bad broach (j/24's are famous for this) so that's definitely another consideration.

    As far as sharpies go, I am NOT talking about offshore sailing here, or about the benefits/drawbacks of sharpies either. I think James is right about them personally, but that doesn't mean they can't be nice/fun in warm calm shallow waters check this out:


    Even James would have fun on that!

    BUT... since I don't live near the florida keys, coastal conditions in most places mean that such a boat is probably unsafe on most of the days I would really want to go sailing, ie when the breeze is up.

    Sure the skipper is part of the mix, but if a boat can't recover from a partial knockdown, how can it be safe? Sheets get jammed, sudden squalls blow in, many sailors like to throw up a spinnaker downwind, etc, and at least partial knockdowns happen to everybody who sails enough.

    The NIS designs are very good looking, but sort of get away from the whole sharpie concept in my mind. James has a point, if you are going through the trouble of building such a beautiful boat, why not go the extra yard and go round bilge or at least multi chine? You can still have shallow draft... The good thing about sharpies was that you could slap one together quickly and cheaply, which is what appeals to me about the traditional ones in Reuel Parker's book.

    Plus I can't see what kind of ballast the NIS boats have, because the website is not very detailed. I'm guessing it's internal in the bilge?

    I just wonder, with significant ballast recommended by reuel parker, what angle could a traditional type sharpie recover from assuming no downflooding... what would its AVS be more or less? I feel like the hard chine would give up early and drastically...

    As for the Monroe Egret, I recall one that was in WB magazine a few years ago, built in scandinavia, which was forced to add significant ballast into its keel in order to be certified in Europe, for the very reason that as-designed it did not have enough stability. And the idea that double enders are inherently more seaworthy than transomed boats has long ago been refuted. They are beautiful and they are seaworthy in their own way, but there is not something magical about a double ender that makes it safer than any other hull type.
    “The difference between an adventurer and anybody else is that the youthful embrace of discovery, of self or of the world, is not muted by the responsibilities or the safety-catches of maturity.” Jonathan Borgais

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    I can't let this thread continue without posting one of the prettiest sharpie/yacht designs ever. Probably impractical on a lot of levels, but she sure is a pretty boat. This pic after a bit of neglect before being auctioned.

    From Boatbuilding, page 56, Plate 2. Lines of a 36-Foot Modified Sharpie



    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    I can't let this thread continue without posting one of the prettiest sharpie/yacht designs ever. Probably impractical on a lot of levels, but she sure is a pretty boat. This pic after a bit of neglect before being auctioned.

    From Boatbuilding, page 56, Plate 2. Lines of a 36-Foot Modified Sharpie



    Agreed, this boat is just beautiful. I'm thinking a couple linear actuators and a pop top would make it more enjoyable on an extended trip.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Would this be considered a Sharpie. It does have a retractable centerboard ... but the lines are smoothly rounded out vs the squared look of typical sharpies. This is fiberglass has an inboard westerbeke 10 under hatch center of cockpit. Can I sail this on the rail or would that be danger?





    242334755_540284263931750_6365777504917487368_n.jpg241789634_10219806996238063_7336334334775853490_n.jpg241816889_10219806996678074_8917009558954408413_n.jpg242043499_10219806997038083_3654097523980478880_n.jpg




    QUOTE=gilberj;3763115]I strongly doubt LFH ever calculated stability. In The Common Sense he does not include a chapter on yacht stability. He makes mildly disparaging comments about metacenters in the chapter about 'Choosing a Cruisier', coincidentally referring to an imaginary Meadowlark. The point is Whimbrel a Herreshoff Meadowlark will come back from a mast in the water knockdown....easily. LFH did stability by ensuring there was a lot of ballast. I doubt he really knew what this design was capable of.
    I get James point about pounding. I think Mr. Bolgers sharpies all had considerable rocker, to solve other problems, but suffered from pounding and slapping because the bow was out of the water. The Meadowlark seldom pounds and seldom very hard....the bow is immersed. On the other hand she maneuvers sluggishly, you win some and you loose some.
    Few boats sailing offshore these days have ultimate stability......self righting from 180 degree roll over. ISO Stix numbers for sea class "A" for offshore yachts starts at something like 130 degrees.
    Seaworthiness means .......is the boat suitable for its intended voyage ????......Is the crew competent?????
    Seaworthiness includes for all vessels.......1. Watertight integrity, 2. Adequate stability, 3. general fitness including structure, equipment, maintenance, and outfitting. For sailing yachts you can add weatherliness.

    Sharpies can be designed and built to be seaworthy, by any measure.....You may.. as James McM not like sharpies....thats ok...no-one is forcing a sharpie on him....and I appreciate his experience with the type. With Sharpies I have very little experience other than Whimbrel. But there again I have pretty extensive experience on three different LFH designed boats, and some on a handful of others. I trust his sense of rightness in his designs.
    In truth I'd consider most traditional sharpies as suitable for estuaries and near-near coastal waters.[/QUOTE]

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Many sharpies have no more ability to come back from a knockdown than catboats or Wianno Seniors. Usually those that don't combine mighty near no ballast with lot's of open space for water to get into the hull once the rail is under. But there's a wholly different sort of sharpie that's perfectly seaworthy for long-shore voyaging, like a straight hop from Long Island Sound to Newfoundland.

    I have not seen stability curves for any of Parker's boats but I've studied the plans as available on the internet and also looked at the stabiity of other sharpie types ranging from the Presto to Pete Culler's to LFH's Meadow Lark and such. As LFH points out, the type does not really have ultimate stability and it will not come back from mast deep in the water. However, they can be sailed very hard. Since these boats have excellent watertight integrity - small cockpits, centered hatches and such - you can dare to sail rail at the water and if caught by a gust that drags a spreader in the water you'll come back.

    In ocean storms, it's not the wind alone that puts the boat over. It's the wind coupled with extreme seas. Against those, the sharpie type is in trouble. For ocean crossings you need a boat that can withstand unexpected weather. For a thousand miles or so not more than a couple hundred miles off-shore, you can pick your weather and be acceptably safe.

    G'luck
    I agree with Ian. In open water, it is the seas that will roll a boat. This I think is now settled and accepted. Here’s a link to a simple explanation - it’s not the one that I was looking for but it will do.

    https://safe-skipper.com/capsize-und...ing-the-risks/
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    I agree with Ian. In open water, it is the seas that will roll a boat. This I think is now settled and accepted. Here’s a link to a simple explanation - it’s not the one that I was looking for but it will do.

    https://safe-skipper.com/capsize-und...ing-the-risks/
    That link's diagram that categorises ALL heavy displacement boats as having a higher LPS than ALL light boats is extremely dodgy!

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    I don't like sharpies at all any more, Peter, despite having built quite a few of them in the past. It's not just the broach/knockdown thing either, it's the terrible, unpleasant motion, the pounding, the slapping, the excessive heel, and the awful way the chine can dig in and throw you around in chop and crossing eddylines that I am not willing to put up with anymore. You can do so much better with only a little more time and effort in building a more sophisticated hull shape. Don't believe the marketing hype the sharpie design merchants are spreading--if sharpies actually worked as well as they claimed, everyone would be building and using these inexpensive and easy-to-build shapes instead of the more complicated types. But you just don't see many around for more than one reason.

    I think sharpies are at their best in their natural environment, which is shallow, relatively protected, warm-water estuaries. This is where the super shoal draft is useful and appropriate. There are other shapes which have evolved to suit other locations better. There's lotsa pretty boats native to Long Island Sound that you could build. . .why not take a trip to the boat collection at Mystic Seaport and pick one indigenous to your local sailing area?

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    I don't like sharpies at all any more, Peter, despite having built quite a few of them in the past. It's not just the broach/knockdown thing either, it's the terrible, unpleasant motion, the pounding, the slapping, the excessive heel, and the awful way the chine can dig in and throw you around in chop and crossing eddylines that I am not willing to put up with anymore.
    I'd be interested in knowing what the largest 'sharpie' is that James has built and that James has sailed extensively. It seems to me that there is quite a lot of difference between a light plywood epoxy eighteen foot skiff that someone may be calling a sharpie on their set of plans and the twenty five foot and up rather heavier constructed solid wood narrow flat bottom boats that I traditionally consider to be a sharpie. Has James really built a bunch of them in the past, or was he building skiffs? And, is there or isn't there a difference?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    aren't these Open 60's just big keel sharpies?

    here's one being certified to come up from an inversion test:



    Bruce Schwab built and completed the Vendee challenge in one that he built out of plywood:

    Last edited by Paul Pless; 04-25-2013 at 07:00 PM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    I don't like sharpies at all any more, Peter, despite having built quite a few of them in the past. It's not just the broach/knockdown thing either, it's the terrible, unpleasant motion, the pounding, the slapping, the excessive heel, and the awful way the chine can dig in and throw you around in chop and crossing eddylines that I am not willing to put up with anymore. You can do so much better with only a little more time and effort in building a more sophisticated hull shape. Don't believe the marketing hype the sharpie design merchants are spreading--if sharpies actually worked as well as they claimed, everyone would be building and using these inexpensive and easy-to-build shapes instead of the more complicated types. But you just don't see many around for more than one reason.

    I think sharpies are at their best in their natural environment, which is shallow, relatively protected, warm-water estuaries. This is where the super shoal draft is useful and appropriate. There are other shapes which have evolved to suit other locations better. There's lotsa pretty boats native to Long Island Sound that you could build. . .why not take a trip to the boat collection at Mystic Seaport and pick one indigenous to your local sailing area?
    Welll said, we dont have sharpies sailing here for those reasons. They are unsuitable in exposed conditions, end of story. and as for the NIS that sailed Bass straight, skilful sailors, picking weather and a degree of luck. When I see fleets of NIS 26's cruising Bass straight in winter Ill be in the queue to buy one (If I can put up with slap slap and no headroom!)
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul G. View Post
    Welll said, we dont have sharpies sailing here for those reasons. They are unsuitable in exposed conditions, end of story. and as for the NIS that sailed Bass straight, skilful sailors, picking weather and a degree of luck. When I see fleets of NIS 26's cruising Bass straight in winter Ill be in the queue to buy one (If I can put up with slap slap and no headroom!)
    I understand James position on this, though I'd like to know more details about his progression through sharpies....
    I don't get this global-distain on all sharpies or I presume shallow bilged boats.
    It is clear that some on this thread and on others here on this forum that there have been many accounts of perfectly adequately seaworthy shallow bilged boats and sharpies. The mini 6.50's are doing passage races, and fall into this sort of boat. Whether a boat has a flat bottom or nearly flat bottom is not really a huge issue....the water still has to go under it and around it.
    The comment about cruising the Bass Strait in winter is also a little off. As mentioned above and elsewhere in this forum a major factor in seaworthiness for small boats is the competence of the crew. What idiot would purposely sail into winter storms in coastal areas just for pleasure? I sail in the winter ( yes our winters are stormy), but I choose my weather. The NIS boats have caught it yes, I have as well once or twice. You do not go looking for it if you are smart. Offshore obviously you cannot hide and have to weather the blow as well as you can.

    I totally get that you do not like this sort of boat, that is OK, You are quite right sharpies and shallow boats often do not have the same headroom comfort. In truth ( we can do the math if you wish) a valid argument cannot be supported in fact suggesting these boats are fundamentally unsafe. That is of course unless you systematically remove all the remedial way a designer or builder might employ to improve safety. Of course we could do that for keel-boat designs I guess as well.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul G. View Post
    Welll said, we dont have sharpies sailing here for those reasons. They are unsuitable in exposed conditions, end of story. and as for the NIS that sailed Bass straight, skilful sailors, picking weather and a degree of luck. When I see fleets of NIS 26's cruising Bass straight in winter Ill be in the queue to buy one (If I can put up with slap slap and no headroom!)
    Doesn't sound like you have much experience with sharpies.

    The excessive heel is a characteristic atypical of sharpies, although it may be typical of certain Bolger sharpies. The slapping is a problem in light air and left over powerboat wakes. The sharpies I've sailed, which tend to be the more traditional shapes, don't have a problem with the chine digging in and throwing me around in a chop. Again, it may have to do with the type of sharpie you are sailing. Bolger liked to put the chine logs on the outside, which might give the boats a very different set of characteristics. He also liked to give his sharpies overhanging flat bottoms that would tend to slap more than traditional sharpies do.

    Sharpies have their place in the world. A New Haven sharpie would be terrible in fiberglass, because of its flat surfaces, which may be why the type is less common than it was when wooden boats were common.

    In the area where James and I sail, the water tends to be deep, so there's not a big advantage to a boat that can sail in shallow water and sit upright when the tide leaves it sitting on the hard. I can certainly understand why James doesn't like them, his style of sailing involves going into any available maelstrom to fight it out. For those who prefer to avoid the maelstrom, the drawbacks are fewer.

    I see no reason to sail a sharpie in Bass Strait. It's not what they are intended for. On the other hand, a Colin Archer type would not do well in the thin water where sharpies excel.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    merritt.

    There seems to be a practice now to call any flat bottomed boat a sharpie, which I find incorrect, at least historically. I'm not sure there is any consensus as to what constitutes a sharpie. For me, sharpies are at least based upon the slender eighteenth century oyster boats. Ralph Munro's Egret, my favorite of the type, is generally regarded as a hybrid sharpie/dory.

    The principle attractions of the type are simple, inexpensive construction, and they are easily beached. From what I can gather, sharpies were considered very seaworthy in skilled hands. They were known for being very nimble boats that could avoid being battered by large waves. This demanded constant attention from the helmsman and could be exhausting after a few hours. This is why they were considered seaworthy in coastal waters but were not used for long, blue water passages. I think a larger cruising version of Egret might fare better as an offshore boat. It seems that the seaworthiness of the sharpie was due as much to the seamanship of the skipper as it was to the boat.

    Just my two cents worth. - John

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    . . .I can certainly understand why James doesn't like them, his style of sailing involves going into any available maelstrom to fight it out.
    Ha ha! This is a pretty good description, actually. I kinda got desensitized from the ridiculous amount of whitewater I paddled during my misspent youth.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Ha ha! This is a pretty good description, actually. I kinda got desensitized from the ridiculous amount of whitewater I paddled during my misspent youth.
    And I've never heard of a whitewater sharpie!

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul G. View Post
    ...and as for the NIS that sailed Bass straight, skilful sailors, picking weather and a degree of luck. When I see fleets of NIS 26's cruising Bass straight in winter Ill be in the queue to buy one (If I can put up with slap slap and no headroom!)
    Thus my link to the guy crossing the Atlantic (above). You dont get to "pick" weather when you're already in the middle of an ocean. When s*** hit the fan, he raised the lee boards and was impressed with the boat's safety.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    I've been reading this thread with interest as I wrote the story about NIS sharpies for Small Boats 2012. The NIS sharpies range from 18ft to 31 ft. During my research I learned that Bruce Kirby, the designer of the NIS range, commissioned an independent marine consulting firm, Aerohydro, of Southewest Harbour, Maine to analyse the righting moment of the 31 footer. They calculated that the 31 could roll to 143 degrees and expect to come back upright. A point of no return of 110 degrees is considered good for a small cruising boat. 143 degrees is remarkable.

    The sharpies have fairly wide side decks combined with a high, crowned cabintop, so if the boat is knocked down the house supplies considerable floatation. The enclosed coaming seat backs add buoyancy. Kirby noted that the self righting characteristics apply to all
    the NIS range but the smaller boats are more affected by crew distribution.

    I spoke personally to the owner of the 23 footer which was mentioned by Mad Scientist. He was knocked flat with the masts in the water. The hatch was open but he affirmed that no water came below.

    That said you probably wouldn't choose a sharpie to go ocean voyaging, but the NIS ones at least seem to be pretty seaworthy.

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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    This is from Wikipedia:

    "Commodore Monroe designed Egret in 1886 and had her built on Staten Island and delivered to Key West.
    Egret was unique in that she had higher, flaring sides than the typical sharpie and was double-ended. This meant more stability as she was loaded and the ability to run before a following sea without waves breaking over the stern. These attributes contributed to behavior that led the Commodore to call the Egret a "sharpie-lifeboat"."

    I've only seen one photograph of the original Egret and I wish I could find it again but I remember it looking very seaworthy in lumpy seas with its reserve buoyancy, decking, low cabin, small cockpit and double endedness. A big part of the mystique of that famous sharpie was the tales of it's ability told by it's owner, helmsman, and designer, Captain Ralph Munroe. Evidently he sailed the boat quite a lot in all kinds of conditions delivering mail and other stuff down in Biscayne Bay near Miami so he accumulated a great deal of experience with the boat and was quite pleased with it's performance. When you think about it, so much of seaworthiness is between the ears of the skipper – especially his or her intimate experience with a boat and knowing what the limits are of that particular design. So you have to wonder how much of Egret's seaworthiness was inherent in the design and how much of it was due to a skipper who knew his boat very well and had first hand knowledge of what he could accomplish with the boat in all kinds of conditions.

    I agree with James in that sharpies are especially appropriate for Florida because of the shallow waters, extensive beaches and abundant backwater estuaries. I just wanted to mention that not all sharpies are created equal. Captain Ralph Munroe designed the Egret to be especially seaworthy, he was a very knowledgeable designer and knew exactly what he wanted in a boat for his South Florida waters and had a ton of experience sailing it, so he knew first hand what the boat could accomplish. All this to say knowing your boat well can be a huge part of seaworthiness.
    Last edited by kenjamin; 04-19-2013 at 05:44 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    There's lotsa pretty boats native to Long Island Sound that you could build. . .why not take a trip to the boat collection at Mystic Seaport and pick one indigenous to your local sailing area?
    But James, the sharpie is a Long Island Sound original. Mystic says so itself. "Sharpies originated on the Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound as a refinement responsive to both changing needs and advancing technology."


    -Dave

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Really? I was thinking of boats more like catboats and Friendship sloops and Herreshoff's and stuff--but then I'm not an east coast guy, so I have only a passing familiarity with which stuff is from exactly where. Nevertheless, I still hate sharpies with a vengeance and would never build or own one ever again.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
    ...I wouldn't expect one to be completely self-righting until 120 degrees like a proper keelboat, but would this at least allow it to come up from a broach or knock-down? Are there boats like this that exist and are actually sailed, or people on this forum with real experience on one of these boats? (not a 12' flatiron skiff or even a 18' florida type sharpie, I mean something that would be used in LI sound or similar)
    Such boats actually exist and are sailed, in Europe. I sail a shallow draught boat which is self-righting like a proper keelboat, and I sail that on the open Atlantic coast as well as in the Venice Lagoon and any water between. But it is no Sharpie.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Isn't the key to "Long-Island-Sound-worthiness" reefing down (and hopefully a half hour before you really need to)? It gets pretty choppy near-shore on LIS, does it not? And the sharpies evolved there. I spent only 5 days on one (a 23 footer in the Texas 200 event); we sailed 50% under-rigged (one 75 sf balanced lug) in a pretty constant 10-20 mph breeze, mostly broad and beam reach, often Long Island Sound choppy. Never came close to a problem. Tacked up a couple of channels, pounded like hell, hosed with spray, and bones vibrated a bit -- that could get annoying if you had to do it all day, but for this week I much appreciated the sharpie. Ours had a lot of water-tight chambers, which should be a miminum for a such a boat IMO.

    Though not hull-formed like a dory with extreme depth and flare, would a ballast of oysters have been a stability-design consideration during this evolution?

    Now, a sharpie with a skinny hull and an outrigger is a damned good sharpie and a vast improvement. -- Wade

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    In Long Island Sound, since the prevailing summer wind is SW--towards Connecticut-while the prevailing wind in winter is NW, away from. Also conditions in western LIS are vastly calmer/less open than in eastern LIS.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  30. #30
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    Aboard my boat in an Auckland, NZ, Marina.
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Phil Bolger noted that his Advanced Sharpie recovered reassuringly from knockdowns. I would assume that this was due to her high freeboard giving her proportionately greater depth (DEPTH, not draught) which gave her internal ballast a longer lever to work with.
    "The truth shall make ye fret" - Terry Pratchett

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    A friend of mine sailed his large Bruce Kirby designed sharpie (a precursor to the Norwalk Island Sharpies) across the Gulf of Mexico a few times . . . .
    These, like some of the Bolger sharpies, have relatively high freeboard.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    How does a multi-chine (Argie 15) do versus sharpie such as a Goat Island Skiff in terms of seaworthiness.

    I'm a novice sailor. My wife and I took some basic lessons and read a book. Then we took our 10-ft sailing dinghy out on some large dams in the Rocky Mountain region a half dozen times during the summer and fall. Weather is very unpredictable and wind can be very variable. We ran into some pretty stiff winds and three to five foot waves with whitecaps on one occasion. Luckily we haven't capsized yet. Because the ten-footer is too small now for our family, I'm building a multi-chine Argie 15 instead of a Goat Island Skiff, because I was told that the former does better in rough water than the sharpie style Storer GIS. The GIS is such a simple, elegant design, I was sad to hear it wasn't suited to our needs.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Multi-chine is better in some respects over a single chine. Basically the single chine flat bottom has a sharp corner (the chine) which interferes with the water (drag, eddies, catching an edge) more than the more gentle corner usually found on a multi-chine boat. Sort of hard chine vs soft chine....There are so many variables that to simply say that this boat is better than that boat because it is multi-chine or round bottom in not quite right....too simple.

  34. #34
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    Aug 2005
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    Doesn't the cheap reliable availability of weather and navigation make the faster lighter boat more seaworthy than the heavy built cruiser of the past? i.e. Mini Trasat's (a close relative of the shallow hulled sharpie) are more seaworthy than Bank's for ocean crossing?

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Sharpies "seaworthy"? come on...

    capefox, the capeability and seaworthyness issues you face with small (not even 1/2 ton)open boats are very different from the issues of a 10+ ton sailing vessel. The total capacity of the Argie 15 will likely be better for your family and she can likely handle tougher weather than the Goat Island Skiff but that difference is not really related to the sharpie v. other shapes.

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