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Thread: Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

  1. #1
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    Default Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

    To all in the sailing community,
    Most of us can only imagine what it would be like to experience what the Griffiths have done and shared with the world. And i might add in a boat that most said would not sail very well. This of course was in the 70's. There have been many fine seaman in the history of sailing and i think the Griffiths are in that group of men and woman. Blue water one of the first books i ever bought and also one of the finest. No nonsense, practical approach to sailing and the love of it.
    Part one of his book, Blue Water, the seaworthy yacht and chapter one hull design gives a straight forward approach to what really works on ALL points of sail and what one should be looking for if the oceans are pulling at your heart strings. Many boats are good sailors from a beam reach and down, however and we all know where i am heading, when it comes to beating a lot of designs simply do not measure up. Quite simply I would like to know of all the designs out there and there are 1,000 s what designs come closest to awanee's lines, displacement ratio, cutter rig, rudder position, all inboard rig, etc. etc. I realize Awanee's hull material was ferro cement, there wont be many to compare to, however in wood I would imagine there are at least a few contenders. Maybe something in the lets say 28' to 40' range. I am very anxious to read what any of you probably much more experienced than i would have to say on the subject. In some respects this has probably been covered before, I didn't do a search, please don't beat me up. Thank you for reading. Clyde
    PS A table of offsets for Awanee I would imagine might not be out there.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

    The original Awahnee was a wooden cutter designed by Uffa Fox and built in England. Bob Griffith's bought her around 1959 in California and with his wife Nancy circumnavigated westabout over the next few years. In the early 1960's they were again in the Pacific, searching French Polynesia for a missing yacht. Awahnee was lost on a reef but they managed to salvage all her gear, rigging, hardware, etc, and ship it to New Zealand. There FC construction was booming so they just built a copy of the original Awahnee in cement, which allowed the use of everything they already had. Awahnee II was launched in 1963 and in her the Griffith's circumnavigated twice more over the next 10 years or so. She was a canoe sterned cutter, 53' LOA, 42' on waterline, 12'beam, and 7'6" draft. Displacement of the cement version was over 50,000 pounds, and she had a 22HP engine.

    Awahnee is, I believe, similar to Fox's Heart's Desire design, though HD is finer with longer overhangs.
    ___________________________________
    Tad
    cogge ketch Blackfish
    cat ketch Ratty
    http://www.tadroberts.ca
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    4,985

    Default Re: Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

    The most treasured book I own. What a guy, using dynamite to free Awanee when trapped in the Red Sea.

    Digitised photo record here http://info.fotobridge.com/Digitizin...cumnavigations

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

    Tad, I was on the Uffa Fox website and was surprised. There was absolutely no mention of Awanee on his site. Probably one of the most famous. Still looking for similar designs. Michael Kasten's website has a somewhat smaller version of awanee. 43 ' i believe. That is it so far. Clyde

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

    Quote Originally Posted by jackpine savage View Post
    There was absolutely no mention of Awanee on his site.
    Uffa Fox originally designed her for himself as a "dream ship". He called the design "Heart's Desire"; it's in one of his books.
    "The truth shall make ye fret" - Terry Pratchett

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

    Heart's Desire also appears in Still More Good Boats by Roger Taylor. She's very close to Awahnee's claimed dimensions, but not identical. According to Taylor H'sD is 52' x 36' x 11.5' x 7' and 14 tons displacement. Some of that difference could be from the heavy cement construction, except for the beam. But maybe Griffiths added the beam to account for the additional weight?
    ___________________________________
    Tad
    cogge ketch Blackfish
    cat ketch Ratty
    http://www.tadroberts.ca
    http://blog.tadroberts.ca/
    http://www.passagemakerlite.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

    I recall her coming through Sausalito back in the '70's. We ran down to the harbor to check out this then-famous cruising boat. I have to say, while nothing could detract from her accomplishments and those of her crew, she was "rode hard and put away wet." Nice enough lines, but ferrocement and, as they say, "Ya can't polish a turd." The description, "workboat finish," was a standard she could only aspire to achieve. We all considered it a bit of a let down.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: Bob and Nancy Griffiths Awanee

    Bob Cleek, I worked for a time on the construction of Awahnee and you are so right in your description of her.Workboat finish is being nice. Bob had picked up a nice little schooner yacht "America" and they lived on that while building Awahnee. America was on sold to another of the building team,Alan Waliss who later built a ferro Marco Polo named "Shibui"
    Before Nancy passed away about 2012(I think) she had Awahnee stripped and towed out from her property in the H.I. and scuttled. They both had a long and eventful life.
    I didn't think there were any plans, Bob would just say, bend that here or that's far enough with that now tie it off, or when plastering, a bit more mud in there or too much there, knock some off.
    There was a lot of steel-a lot of concrete and very little timber in that boat, but she sailed and that was what Bob wanted.

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