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Thread: Mystery 20' wooden sailboat from 1940s... anyone recognize this design?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Default Mystery 20' wooden sailboat from 1940s... anyone recognize this design?

    I recently acquired a slightly dilapidated but solid little boat from a friend. The story attached to her is that she was built by a one-armed Polish man in Vancouver, BC, in 1942. Nobody I've talked to seems to recognize the design, and I'm wondering if she was a one-off, experimental build? Her keel is iron, and I think she's fully cedar plank on oak. Lovely little boat. Her name is Wren. Fractional sloop rig.

    Here are a few pics - if anyone recognizes the design, please let me know! It's not critical, it's just that I'm curious, and it would be nice to be able to tell people what her design is. I do get asked a lot


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Bainbridge Island WA
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    Default Re: Mystery 20' wooden sailboat from 1940s... anyone recognize this design?

    I've no idea what she is other than a very sweet looking little craft.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    BC Coast
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    3,325

    Default Re: Mystery 20' wooden sailboat from 1940s... anyone recognize this design?

    Is she a V bottom boat with the chine disappearing as the counter stern gets near the transom? I am going to suggest she might be a Foster design, though the bow looks a little different. Foster was a part-time designer and builder in the Vancouver area, I think came up originally from the US east coast, Delaware. There are still a handful of his boats around the coast.

  4. #4
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Mystery 20' wooden sailboat from 1940s... anyone recognize this design?

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    Is she a V bottom boat with the chine disappearing as the counter stern gets near the transom? I am going to suggest she might be a Foster design, though the bow looks a little different. Foster was a part-time designer and builder in the Vancouver area, I think came up originally from the US east coast, Delaware. There are still a handful of his boats around the coast.
    That sounds reasonable. She does match that description. Can't find any examples of Foster-designed boats online... don't suppose you'd know of any pictures?

    I did find a listing in The Nauticapedia for a similar vessel built 2 years after, with the name Wren II, by someone with a very Polish last name, in Vancouver... the ownership details clearly show it's not the same boat, but the similarity in name suggests possibly the next take on this design. Maybe?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
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    San Francisco Bay
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    11,148

    Default Re: Mystery 20' wooden sailboat from 1940s... anyone recognize this design?

    Regardless of who designed her, I'd like to know how a one-armed man could build a boat? People have amazing ways of overcoming handicaps. He must have been a very clever guy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Mystery 20' wooden sailboat from 1940s... anyone recognize this design?

    Seems to have been a bit of a thing in this part of the world. Here's a story about a one-armed, BLIND boat-builder.

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