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Thread: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

  1. #1

    Default Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    I just finished my 18 ft. modified sharpie (Chesapeake) sailing skiff designed by Reuel Parker. These photos are taken at the Edison Ford Museum Antique and Wooden Boat Show in Fort Myers, FL. last weekend. I just pulled her out of my garage last week. My friends helped me step the mast. They are not sailors but insist the boat will fall over when launched. She goes into the water for first time next week for sea trials. The mast weights 60 lbs and is 20 ft. tall. It follows the plans but my motor-head friends are panicking for me. Does anyone know what their mast weights for their boat of similar length? My boat weighs about 800 lbs without the mast. It is a v-bottomed boat. Kevin


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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Whoa ! Check out that varnish .......dont ever let anyone even touch it !

    what color is the boat ?

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    It will definitely tip over. Not
    Funny how people just don't get it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    I used George Kirby's green gray and cream. Don't let anyone tell you about that paint unless they tried it. Not one brush mark and great coverage. A pleasure to paint with. Single part poly on the hull.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Check out the building photos on : https://www.flickr.com/photos/98019574@N02/

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Beautiful Boat, congrats!

    Are you sure about your weights? VIKA's 22' solid DF main mast is just under 30#. And 800#? Reuel has the design at 250#. Ballast?
    Steve B
    Sjogin IIIa
    PAYTON 13' Pea Pod

    RIVUS 16' Melonseed


    "If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most." E. B. White

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Kevin,
    Wow! What a job! She's beautiful. I'm in the middle of building a modified sharpie from Chapelle - HIC303. It is a very similar boat in size and design and I am also working out of plywood with glass. I am about ready to paint it then roll it over. I've been watching craigslist for used trailers but am having trouble figuring out the type of trailer that might be suitable - though I imagine several could be made to work. What kind of trailer is your boat on? Are you happy with how she sits and she is supported? I appreciate any thoughts. 800lbs seems a bit heavy for plywood at 18' or so. Did you add ballast? I hope mine is significantly lighter and think it will turn out around 500 or so. Nice job at any rate.
    -Chris

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    60 lbs does seem awfully heavy for a 20' mast. What did you build it from?

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    I just happened to weigh a birdsmouth 20 ft. doug fir mast I have been working on and off for some time now. On my wife's expensive digital scale that she uses when she wants to be brutally honest with her cute self, the mast weighs 24 lbs. And I think I could trim down a little more but...
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Oh, and as I mentioned before, great colors.
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Beautiful work, lovely boat, good colour scheme!!!! Mast does seem heavy, and presumably it's solid. Mine is 20' long, hollow and weighs 16lb. Look forward to the sailing photos!
    cheers!
    Flat bottomed boats, you make the rockin' world go round.............

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Great job !

    Looks wonderful!

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Beautiful boat!

    But I would say that......

    I build the same boat in 2005-06.

    Ready to sail with mast, anchor, chain, oars etc. it measured 926lbs. Mast, sprit (Oregon Pine) and sail weighs about 50lbs. I step the mast by hand. Go slow, stay balanced, you'll get the hang of it.

    You'll find capsizing is not a major concern, just don't cleat the sheet. The further the boat heels the greater resistance up to a point, but that point is further away than you think.
    Try purposely heeling the boat and you'll see capsizing under normal conditions would take a combination of fouled sheet, wind gust and jammed rudder.
    I've got a long enough sheet to let the sail weathercock and I'm a bit fanatical about keeping the sheet figured eighted on the floor so it can run free at anytime.

    Cheers, Mack
    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

    Mark Twain

  14. #14

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by windwalker3014 View Post
    Kevin,
    Wow! What a job! She's beautiful. I'm in the middle of building a modified sharpie from Chapelle - HIC303. It is a very similar boat in size and design and I am also working out of plywood with glass. I am about ready to paint it then roll it over. I've been watching craigslist for used trailers but am having trouble figuring out the type of trailer that might be suitable - though I imagine several could be made to work. What kind of trailer is your boat on? Are you happy with how she sits and she is supported? I appreciate any thoughts. 800lbs seems a bit heavy for plywood at 18' or so. Did you add ballast? I hope mine is significantly lighter and think it will turn out around 500 or so. Nice job at any rate.
    -Chris
    Well about the weight, there is a guy on this forum, Leotis, I believe, who built the same boat in Australia. He used 1/2 inch on the hull, I used 1/2 on the bottom and 3/8 on the sides. I believe he increased the freeboard by 2 inches as well. That said, his boat loaded with gear was over 900 lbs. I suspect mine is about 700 to 800 lbs. I will weight it at the scales soon to find out for sure. I found my trailer on craigslist for 350. I removed all the bunks and supporting hardware and used a 16 foot 2x6 from the back to the front, the whole length of the trailer and about 2 feet aft. The whole keel sits flat on it. I put side supports so the keel does not bounce off sideways. Works very well.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Thanks Mack, I just answered someone on this forum mentioning your boat and there you are. Do you think my mast will be too heavy at 60 lbs? It is heavy because it was hard to find douglas fir here in Florida of that size stock. Probably 20 lbs heavier then your sprit and mast combined. Did not consider a birdsmouth but should have. I just followed Reuels plan. The southern yellow pine mast is made uf of 6-2x6x12 foot boards, scarfed and stack laminated to get 3 and 7/8 at the partner. Reuel says a good wood to use if you can get the real thing. Heavy though. Have a idea for a gin pole so I can set it myself and bring it with me when on the boat. I have small bridge before heading out to the Gulf of Mexico. Love your videos of Tempo...she sails so well. I will let you know how she does. Launching at a ramp by a beach. Will test it by pulling the mast over at the beach before setting sail. Kevin

  16. #16

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    It is southern yellow pine, solid, 6 2x6x12 foot, scarfed and stack laminated. 4 inches thick at the partner and 1 1/2 at the head. Center of gravity about 8 1/2 feet up from the mast step.

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    You can lighten that up by about 30 lbs. Here's how:

    1. Slice it in half on the bandsaw. A wavy line is fine--that will just help key it when you glue the halves back together.
    2. Use a router, chisels, gouges, whatever to hollow it out to about 1/2" wall thickness. Leave it solid at the mast step, the partners and the mast head, tapering the hollow out over about a 12:1 taper.
    3. Glue it back together with epoxy.
    4. Drill a tiny 1/16 vent hole to let the air volume inside expand and contract without hindrance.

    I did this with all the spars on a sailing canoe I'd built, and it made a very noticeable difference.
    Of course, birdsmouth for the next one, that's even easier.

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by windwalker3014 View Post
    ........watching craigslist for used trailers but am having trouble figuring out the type of trailer that might be suitable.............
    In the end I took advise from those who say trailers cause much more damage than the sea and forked out for a custom trailer. Most boat trailers for 19' boats are wider, with springs for heavier boats and the axle placement is based on an outboard engine hanging off the back. The trailer I got is long and skinny, like the boat, and the axle is nearly in the middle so tongue weigh is correct.

    A well designed trailer allows for easy launching and retrieval in choppy conditions without damage.

    I tow with a small car so the trailer has surge brakes.
    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

    Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Nice work!

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Moroney View Post
    .....Do you think my mast will be too heavy at 60 lbs?....... Kevin
    I don't think it will be a problem. My 50lb rig is balanced by 300lbs of crew. If your crew is heavier, your boat may be less tender even though the mast weighs a tad more.

    I know what you mean about thinking the boat will topple over on launch. Tempo's first sail was done in 10knts of wind. I was so concerned about the skinny hull and the tall mast that I put a reef in! I shook the reef out 15 minutes later. We reef if it's blowing more than 18knts.

    I was also sure the thin (3.5" - 1.5") mast would snap in the first gust. Now I wish I'd made the mast thinner with more give.

    My imagination and reality often don't match.

    More pictures of your fine craft would be nice.

    Cheers, Mack
    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

    Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    If "scoop hollowed" is a proper term, then I have done one spruce mast the way James describes. I thought it was faster than a birdsmouth (I have built three) but the birdsmouth eliminates some of the chance for error. Not counting glue time, it sounds like a one evening job if you have someone to help you run the mast through your bandsaw. If you elect to do that, as James mentions, rough mark where fittings and/or spars attach, and leave the mast solid at those points and the mast partners. I used very sharp chisels and a skilsaw set light; others might use a router. Then set about 1 radiator clamp per 10" and let the epoxy do the rest. Just for amusement, and if you want to do things the hard way, here is a photo of me with my 5 year old Chief Engineer working a mast on a mast lathe that I built, which was much more about building a handmade and interesting machine than it was about building a mast:

    The mast is close but not perfect. I want it perfect. Several people on the Forum mentioned that building the lathe would be much more involved than shaping the mast by hand. That was true. It took a lot of fiddling to get the mast balanced enough to not walk the machine all over the place and scare the cats and chickens into the neighbor's yard. I never miss the opportunity to devil a cat, but the chickens are illegal so I kept at it until I got it balanced about like a jeep driveshaft.
    Last edited by davebrown; 02-08-2015 at 04:51 PM.
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by leaotis View Post
    I don't think it will be a problem. My 50lb rig is balanced by 300lbs of crew. If your crew is heavier, your boat may be less tender even though the mast weighs a tad more.

    I know what you mean about thinking the boat will topple over on launch. Tempo's first sail was done in 10knts of wind. I was so concerned about the skinny hull and the tall mast that I put a reef in! I shook the reef out 15 minutes later. We reef if it's blowing more than 18knts.

    I was also sure the thin (3.5" - 1.5") mast would snap in the first gust. Now I wish I'd made the mast thinner with more give.

    My imagination and reality often don't match.

    More pictures of your fine craft would be nice.

    Cheers, Mack
    Your words are very reasuring. Tempo sounds very sea worthy. Chapelle says that this model (V-bottoms) are best suited for open water than the sharpies. Yours proves it.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Tempo is exemplary that is for sure. Kevin, IIRC, Tempo has an inch or so more on freeboard. Do you think you can detect it in photos? My skiff is similar in freeboard to yours....
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by davebrown View Post
    Tempo is exemplary that is for sure. Kevin, IIRC, Tempo has an inch or so more on freeboard. Do you think you can detect it in photos? My skiff is similar in freeboard to yours....
    Thanks Dave, Do you have any photos of your build? I think the waters where Mack is would be a bit rougher then the Gulf of Mexico. They probably get much more wind as well.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Yes Kevin I will send you some. I made a dreadfully small error and then spent months trying to work around it. I finally bought a sawzall. cut through 16 galvanized bolts, a locust grown crook, and 5 feet of deadwood and re-did it. So I am back in the saddle. I will put a build thread out after I turn the hull.
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    I got a responce from Reuel Parker regarding the weight of the mast. He said that it seems a little heavy at 60lbs but the 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff has a very stiff hull and should stand up to it. He said that after a sail, add ballast only if you feel you need to. Another option is to trim down the dimensions of the mast. The dimensions his plans provided for the mast are better suited for DF or Spruce. We will see this Sunday!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Moroney View Post
    I got a responce from Reuel Parker regarding the weight of the mast. He said that it seems a little heavy at 60lbs but the 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff has a very stiff hull and should stand up to it. He said that after a sail, add ballast only if you feel you need to. Another option is to trim down the dimensions of the mast. The dimensions his plans provided for the mast are better suited for DF or Spruce. We will see this Sunday!
    I discovered your pictures thanks.

    The pictures give the impression that the mast is thick at the top.
    Page 152-153 in Reuel's book mentions the importance of light flexible mast.

    I over-thought many aspects of Tempo.

    Fortunately I had a Sharpie mentor who was forever telling me "sail the boat for a season and then see if you still feel that way".

    Cheers, Mack
    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

    Mark Twain

  28. #28

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Well, We launched Saoirse yesterday on a beautiful day with light breeze picking up to about 12 knots. https://www.flickr.com/photos/98019574@N02/?details=1
    We launched her down the boat ramp. She did seem very tender with the mast rocking the boat quite a bit. I rowed out to the beach to get out and see how she reacted to me pulling over the mast. She came over easily to the rail but bounced back when let go. Apprehensive, I asked two friends to go with me for ballast and set the sail. Off we went. She healed over and then came to a stop when heading up wind. There was no need to sit on the rails. The centerboard was floating and did not stay down so I will add a metal pushdown rod. Got caught in irons on the first attempted tack. Probably due to the board being just slightly down. All in all... a great day. I decided to fix a few things: definately need a tiller extension, need to a way to keep the C board down, and I think I will put a planer to the mast for the taper to start lower in the mast. According to Reuel Parker, a little thinner than specified would be OK since it is SYP and not DF or Spruce.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Congratulations Kevin! You had a perfect day for a first sail. Your boat looks great.

    It's hard to tell for sure, but the sail seems a tad full. I'd suggest tightening/experimenting with the snotter to flatten the sail a bit. With a 2 to 1 purchase you can firm up the snotter quite a bit which you want to do in stronger winds.

    If you find Saoirse doesn't head up in a gust, adjusting the mast step fwd will increase the mast rake and add weather helm. I had to move Tempo's step 3/4" fwd.

    'Look fwd to reading of your next sails!

    Cheers, Mack
    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

    Mark Twain

  30. #30

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Thanks Mack, We ended up adjusting the snotter after that photo. We were hesitant to send a crewmate onto the deck with the fear of her tenderness but it worked out well and made a difference. I measued my mast today and the taper does not start until almost half the way up the mast. That makes it hard to step because I am so far back from the partner to balance the mast that she is top heavy when trying to stand her up...Time for some planing this weekend! I am definately going to make a gin pole and just hoist her up and drop her in with tackle. Hopefully my planing will make her much lighter than 60 lbs. Thanks for the step advice.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Nice boat, beautiful job!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Hello Mack, When sailing I noticed my centerboard floating at only about a quarter of the way down. When pushed down it bounced back up. That is why I probably got caught in irons as the bow as slipping. I did not put any weight in it per the plans. I am making a hold down stick so I can hold it there. Maybe all the way down and then half way as well. I noticed in your videos you just push the board down and it stays. Is that correct? It is made of 2x8 douglas fir and layered in 1/4 inch plywood.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Well I did follow the plans to a tee. I am going to make my mast skinnier this weeked. It is a bit top heavy after sea trials when launched last weekend. I noticed that my taper does not really start until you get halfway up the mast. I am going to put tape around the area just above the partner and put numbers on it all the way around in 1/16 sections. Then I am going to set my powerplaner and march down the whole length, turn the mast to the next line and continue until I remove enough wood all around to lighten it. Then I am going to see where the center of gravity is and the weight. Right now I can not set the mast by my self because the center of gravity is almost 9ft. up on a 20 ft mast.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Lovely boat, and nice name!

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  35. #35

    Default Re: Finished Reuel Parker's 18 ft Modified Sharpie Skiff

    Thanks Mike, I think I hit the wrong button. My reply disappeared. Went for only one sail and now adjusting the size of the mast to make it less tender. Not bad when sailing but she sure is tippy on bare pole. Lovely girl name in Ireland with some old classics using the same name which means Freedom and Liberty in Irish. Kevin

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