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Thread: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

  1. #1
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    Default Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Another Sharpie Question!


    Wondering if it would be possible to build a 18ish foot Sharpie using traditional methods and keep the weight down to where it could be beach launched.(Everglades Challenge style). Been looking through Parkers designs. Just trying to get ballpark numbers to see if it a feasible options. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Some relatively heavy boats have been launched at the EC. Southern Skimmer, 22 feet, plywood and glass cloth (B&B Yachts, builder of the CoreSound series) is minimum 600 pounds I believe, and I would bet a few heavier boats have made it down the beach on beach rollers. But perhaps that is not what you mean by 'heavy'. An 18 foot plywood sharpie should be easily beach-launchable -- lots of wooden EC boats in this size range have launched. (Of course, getting a boat back up the beach is another story) -- but you stated traditional. I am going to guess that a traditional 18 foot sharpie will be around 450 pounds. getting down a beach, no problem, getting up a beach above the high water line, much harder but doable, especially with a roller and a handy-billy of some kind. Getting off a mud flat where you picknicked on the beach and get the tide go out, hmmm...never did that. -- Wade
    Last edited by wtarzia; 03-13-2017 at 12:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    I was looking at my old FG Thistle for expedition sailing like that. Just getting it up on a slight grass slope off the lake was a Herculean effort for my son and his friends (both weight lifters) and me. I started to think a lot smaller.
    "Never get out of the boat." Apocalypse (Then)

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    As usual I should be more clear. By traditional I mean pine or cedar planking. No epoxy etc. Basically building it like it would have been done in the late 1880s. I've just started looking into this so I'll continue to research it. Any thoughts always appreciated.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    I'd say no. My fir over oak 13.5' Chamberlain dory skiff hull was built by the SF Maritime Museum class in the 90's, and rigged for sail is easily 350 lbs -- a 6-8 person carry over sand or mud. I'd guess that a pine planked 18' sharpie that's been in the water would be closer to 800 lbs if not 1000. If you built it uber-light with AYC cedar and spruce you could get it lighter, of course, but would start losing some of the more authentic elements. Period boats were quite heavy, and in most cases not trailered and launched like their modern counterparts. For example, Peapods built today with marine ply tend to be light, fast pulling boats; but Chapelle describes the originals as "very heavy" -- I'd guess at least triple the weight of modern models.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Sharpies were cross planked on the bottom with heavy, dense wood for both protection and ballast.

    But since the bottom was flat, I think a roller system using fenders would work for getting it into the water.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    I'd be more concerned with how leaky a boat it would be -- drying out on the trailer all the time. This is the main reason traditionally boats aren't put together exactly as they once were. The Sea Pearl, for example, weighs 600 pounds and they are entered in the EC. There have been heavier boats than that entered, too. Your boat's finished weight would vary quite a bit depending on species of wood used, exact scantlings and how it was finished out. I was familiar with a traditionally built crab skiff, all cedar, about 17'. Light scantlings. Basically a sharpie, slender and low-sided with short decks on the ends and a gaff sail. It was easy for two people to move around, even slide on and off a floating dock. But it didn't live in the water and slowly self-destructed from the wetting-drying cycles.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Thanks for the replies folks. I was thinking of going with lighter woods and reducing scantlings. It would have to accepted that the boat wouldn't last as long. Especially if it wasn't tended too. Could go down to 16'.

    Any thoughts on the design plan I could use as a model? Start with a modern plan(Parker) and build traditional? Use an old drawing? Again thanks for the replies. FM

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Do some deep thinking and give us your requirements, as otherwise we'll be playing a reverse guessing game for weeks. How trad should the design and materials be? How much modernization is acceptable? What type of construction -- riveted lapstrake, carvel, or ?? Carry how many crew, alternate propulsion, etc etc etc...

    The books by Howard Chapelle will give you a lot of insight into trad designs and layout.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    I couldn't give you a # for weight, but we had a New Haven sharpie built on the Quinnipiac River in New Haven when I was a kid. I remember it took most of the family to move it out of the water.

    Heavy as all get-out!
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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Thorne,

    The whole idea of the project is to use 100% traditional materials and methods. Really the driving force behind the whole thing.

    As far as design the more I look into it I'm really leaning towards using a existing design and modifying it to the projects needs. Seems like that's how the type developed originally so thinking in it's own way that would be "traditional".

    That said, Carvel- looking to keep it as similar to original New Haven Type
    Two Crew
    Sail and Oar only
    Single Masted- unless a compelling argument can be made for two



    Deep thinking and some serious research are in order for sure. Thanks

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    I built a 15 foot sharpie with cross planked bottom using white cedar. Sides were 3/4 inch and bottom was 7/8. I kept it on a trailer and put damp carpeting down in the floors between launches to keep it tight. I also spread rock salt across the floor which dissolved into the wood and made it hygroscopic.

    It probably weighed about 400 lbs.

    Another guy and I once pulled it UP a sand beach using just one log as a roller. Later, we used some regular inflatable fenders as rollers and it was a piece of cake for two people to move it over the sand.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Thanks Brian. That's about enough info to get me into trouble.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Lowells Boat Shop (one of the original and oldest dory shops in New England) used to build their dories with solid wood (except for the garboard, which was plywood due to splitting problems with dory garboards), but glass and epoxy encapsulated from the garboard down (inside and out). That was a reasonable compromise for a trailered boat built traditionally otherwise. They did a heavy job on the glassing because you do not want water sneaking into an encasulated piece of wood. I had that dory built in 1984, and it is still going strong with a new owner. Consider a reasonable compromise for a trailered boat that is already a compromise with the "natural life" of old timey boats. -- Wade

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    I don't have the book in front of me to give you a page reference, but check out John Gardner's "Building Classic Small Craft." He has plans for a New Haven sharpie, I believe in the 18' range with modified sail plan and construction detail for a 20' version which addresses some improvements the original owner suggested. You could make it lighter I'm sure with thinner scantlings - probably the original was built with commercial oystering/fishing in mind. Reuel Parker in his "Sharpie Book" describes how he modifies profiles of his versions of Howard Chappelle's drawings to reflect the pleasure usage - less buoyancy needed in the stern for instance. MINOCQUA was a reputedly fast racing modified sharpie but I've yet to see her drawn down in the 18' range - perhaps Parker would do up a set if you commissioned him?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Here are pictures of R. Parkers' 18ft. Modified Sharpie Skiff I built a couple of years ago. Cold molded so great for sitting on the trailer. Great sailing boat and very stiff even in a 20 knot breeze with no reefing. photo 7.jpgphoto 6.jpgphoto 1.jpgphoto 4.jpgphoto 10.jpg

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by From Mystic View Post
    Another Sharpie Question!


    Wondering if it would be possible to build a 18ish foot Sharpie using traditional methods and keep the weight down to where it could be beach launched.(Everglades Challenge style). Been looking through Parkers designs. Just trying to get ballpark numbers to see if it a feasible options. Thanks!
    I take it you meen the entire boat is on the beach? Just use rollers to get the boat in and out. Much bigger boats are handled this way. Two or three pieces of 6" PVC pipe and you could roll it as far as you want. I used to move a 12' semi dory about 50 yards across the beach a low tide with logs by myself, you might need a helper.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    The advice I got while building my Reuel Parker 18ft Modified Sharpie Skiff was to build it heavy, so I did. 1/2 ply bottom and sides. epoxy and Dynel on the outside. Ready to sail, (PFDs, oars, sail, mast, sunscreen, water etc.), Tempo registered 420kgs /925 lbs on electronic scales. No, not including the trailer. I think a light Sharpie becomes a different boat and loses some of the appeal of a traditional Sharpie. If you want a lightweight Sharpie, build a Lightening.
    Last edited by leaotis; 01-11-2018 at 05:40 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    I once owned a traditionally built 18' sharpie. It was heavy, maybe 700-800 lb. On the other hand, Geary 18s, which were designed for sharpie construction, have been built at less than 600 lb. The class minimum is 525.

    http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3201

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Kevin, SAOIRSE is beautifully executed! I can't believe I missed a build thread for her! Leaoits, I've long admired TEMPO and your sailing videos of her. I'm curious if both of you could weigh in on a comment John Gardner makes with regard to the New Haven sharpie he depicts? He mentions the centerboard case has no forward thwart (and is consequently beefed up accordingly) so that two adults can sleep on the bottom, one either side of the case. That looks like a snug proposition in both your boats, is there much clearance under that thwart for your legs?

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Does 18' loa really qualify as a sharpie?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Does 18' loa really qualify as a sharpie?
    It's all in the eye of the beholder to call it what ever seems appropriate.

    If three men stand next to flowing water and one calls it a stream,the other a creek, the the third a river, which man is correct?

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    It's all in the eye of the beholder to call it what ever seems appropriate.

    If three men stand next to flowing water and one calls it a stream,the other a creek, the the third a river, which man is correct?
    Me.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by schoonerjay View Post
    Kevin, SAOIRSE is beautifully executed! I can't believe I missed a build thread for her! Leaoits, I've long admired TEMPO and your sailing videos of her. I'm curious if both of you could weigh in on a comment John Gardner makes with regard to the New Haven sharpie he depicts? He mentions the centerboard case has no forward thwart (and is consequently beefed up accordingly) so that two adults can sleep on the bottom, one either side of the case. That looks like a snug proposition in both your boats, is there much clearance under that thwart for your legs?
    There's not enough room to sleep beside the centreboard on the 18" modified sharpie. Beam, minus decks and centreboard width doesn't leave much room. Pipe berths might be a good idea on larger sharpies.
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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    My old 18' sharpie had plenty of room to sleep beside the centerboard. No seats, no deck, just an open rail. Of course, being traditional construction, it leaked a bit. By morning, my air mattress would just about be afloat.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by leaotis View Post
    There's not enough room to sleep beside the centreboard on the 18" modified sharpie. Beam, minus decks and centreboard width doesn't leave much room. Pipe berths might be a good idea on larger sharpies.
    Well I guess technically there is enough room to sleep if you're not much over 160lbs.

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    I did seriously consider making floorboards that would normally rest on the chine and centreboard bedlogs.
    To convert to a sleeping platform, you'd lift the floor board, rotate slightly, raise and then rest on the stringer and centreboard tie rail. Both are at the water line.
    This would make space for someone 180lbs and be a little less claustrophobic.
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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    My sharpie (paradox) is only 14' but is designed to displace 640kg fully loaded. Got her stuck on a beach once, took 5 blokes and a powerful twin engine power boat to drag her back into the ocean. Can't imagine launching her off a beach singlehanded... but didn't Matt manage to do it with his at the Everglades?

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Leaotis, thank you for the replies (and demonstrative photo!), it does look snug. Probably fine for younger kids but I imagine the style of camp/cruising you'd do in TEMPO it'd make more sense to pack a tent and sleep on land, yes?

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    Default Re: Traditional Sharpie- Weight

    Quote Originally Posted by schoonerjay View Post
    Leaotis, thank you for the replies (and demonstrative photo!), it does look snug. Probably fine for younger kids but I imagine the style of camp/cruising you'd do in TEMPO it'd make more sense to pack a tent and sleep on land, yes?
    Yes. Small Sharpies aren't a good choice for sleeping on. There are much better boats for that.
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