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Thread: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

  1. #1
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    Default Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I'm thinking of selling my strip and glass Melonseed and buying something else. The 'seed is a splendid boat, fast, pretty, sails in inches of water. But she is tight with even two aboard, and her shallow hull is not always comfortable. I am using a board across the bilges to improve seating. I've also owned the Melonseed for 10 years, maybe it's time for a change. I see Penobscot 14s for sale reasonably. They look very pretty and a bit more roomy than the 'seed. I do want a boat for bays and LI Sound, that can easily be launched, rigged, sailed off a beach, is dry with good performance. Has anyone sailed both? Any PB14 owners want to weigh in?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Is this a "purchase-only" decision or is building in mix? Also, is there a length requirement or is the limiting factor able to be launched off the beach? (different than sailed off a beach, I think...)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I would be looking to purchase, rather than build.
    Good question about the length. I store the boat in the garage. I have not measured the space for length, but the Melonseed on it's trailer fits with little clearance, so I think 14' is it. I mostly launch from ramps, though not all are paved.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    This is actually a somewhat interesting question. I almost want to say, "a bigger melonseed" but I won't. (The Superseed comes to mind designed by whosey-whatsey in Old Lyme). Them wood Blue-Jays are about right for the area and somewhat abundant in a wood boat kind of way. It would be possible to manipulate the rig and with some math drop in something that would be easier and perhaps offer more canvas for ghosting. A thought for you...

    I personally like the looks of the Penobscot but I'm just throwing out other ideas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Thanks.
    The Blue-Jay is interesting, there was one in my neighborhood when I was a kid.
    I am thinking of something convenient to dry sail, preferably glued lap, strip/glass or cold molded.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    To find a used wood boat that ticks your boxes may be tough......there are many fine choices if you build or have it built.....Oughtred's Tammie Norrie, Antonio Dias' Small, Vivier's Aber or Morbic 12, and Eric Hvalsoe's 13, to name a few besides the Arch Davis Penobscot....go a whisker longer than 14' and a host of other designs might fit the bill, including Clint Chase's Calender Islands Yawl, or the larger versions of Tammie Norrie and Small (Small-ish?) Or the Super seed....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I'll throw in a suggestion of my standby favorite boat, Ross Lillistone's Phoenix III. May be a touch too long for you at 15' 1" but I can't think of anything that would improve this boat. With two aboard, this boat has done the Everglades Challenge, the Texas 200, and lots of cruising on the Great Lakes.



    IF you could find one to buy, I doubt you'd be disappointed.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I'm not stuck on a Penobscot, though they do seem to come up for sale often enough.
    I have no intention to build a boat.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Hey--look at this! A Phoenix III for sale, $5900 (in Rhode Island so not far away...):

    http://sailingtexas.com/201401/sphoenix3100.html

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    One thing about the P14, it is light. Bare hull weighs around 130 pounds. Depending on the sail rig and wind conditions you will spend time tending to it like a Sunfish, similar length and beam. It does appear to be a versatile sail and oar boat though, which is why we chose to build one, primarily for rowing, with a sprit rig for fun. Several have been sailed down here in the Florida 120, along with the P17 and they got good marks.

    Would a Beetle Cat be better space wise? https://longisland.craigslist.org/boa/6133930810.html

    One of our favorites, but shhhhh, don't tell anyone it isn't wood, is the O'Day Widgeon. Very gentlemanly to store and trailer, but carries 2 folks with ease on nice seats. Our English Gent friend Murray goes everywhere in his, pulled by his awesome Chevy. He is currently sailing the Florida 120.



    Here he is giving me and my 200 pounds of movable ballast a ride, paddling through a tack because the wind was light.



    Coolest tow vehicle ever.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Hey--look at this! A Phoenix III for sale, $5900 (in Rhode Island so not far away...):

    http://sailingtexas.com/201401/sphoenix3100.html

    Tom
    Interesting find, Tom, but it's in the Wayback Machine -- the last date on the ad is 2015. -Dan

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Quote Originally Posted by snaildrake View Post
    Interesting find, Tom, but it's in the Wayback Machine -- the last date on the ad is 2015. -Dan
    Nonetheless, if you're looking to buy a boat, and willing to drive to make a deal work, this is a site worth checking daily. I drove 2,000 miles round trip to buy a great boat at a great price. Happy hunting!
    I once heard an old guy say "If you haven't been in trouble on the water, you just haven't been on the water very much."
    Now I'm the old guy!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    We recently acquired a Penobscot 14, and I've had a few sails in it in various conditions. Our boat came with the Lug sail (77 Sq Ft), the plans are also given for a gunter rig (95 Sq Ft) and a Sprit rig (73 Sq Ft).

    I've had a light air sail and a couple in stronger winds, reefed down in 14K with gusts to 20+K and two adults on board the boat preformed well, safely and under control, I think that is about the max breeze that the spars that came with the boat could handle.

    Don't know the size of your Mellonseed, but my guess is it would preform better than the p-14 in light air and be more exciting in heavy air, depending on which rig you have in each boat.

    The P-14 rows well (the 8'6" oars are a storage problem when sailing)

    Given that homebuilt boats are pretty affordable, I would recommend that if you find a boat you like (design, construction, and rig) buy it and give it a try, before selling your boat.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Thank you all for your input.
    I am willing to travel, but no more than about a day either way.
    Not a Beetle, as they are carvel, not really good to dry-sail. Also without seats.
    My Melonseed is a Barto plan, strip and glass. 13'4"x4'2", lightweight with a Crawford rig, 62sqft. The hull is quite light, and I have often used ballast, 15-40# makes a significant difference in any of my small boats.
    Buying another and trying them both is a very appealing idea, but not to my wife. I also only have space for one trailer.
    I'll keep looking and reading, and report any decisions I make.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I am going to look at a plank on frame carvel Catspaw. I realize that she may not be a very good trailer boat, but I do have a dinghy slip currently occupied by my dory tender. If I buy the Catspaw, it can be both tender and daysailer. The current owner states that it never leaked much on launching. Any thoughts?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I have an ancient f/g Beverly Dinghy, which is very closely related to the Catspaw in almost every respect, and it's a fun little daysailor and makes for a great tender. I was going to sell her a few years back, no bites as I purposely kept her overpriced, and I'll be honest I'm glad I kept her. Much fun, great beautiful lines (if correctly lined off! Check the sheer, some can be wonky), classic heritage, etc.

    However, if I was going for a carvel construction after all, then I'm going to second the Beetle Cat. I know, I know, it doesn't have "seats" but it is DAMN comfy sitting on the floorboards, tons of room, very deceptively ergonomic, and I think a more stable and interesting sailor. Makes for a terrible tender. My 2 cents.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    All good info 222.
    I think that if I wanted a catboat it would be a WoodPussy, they are available reasonably, and have a deeper hull than a Beetle.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Ok, so now what? (in reference to your Misc. thread)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I listed the Melonseed on the yahoo forum, no interest yet. I am considering listing it on craigslist. I sold my 19' dory that way, but very cheaply (it needed work). Any new purchase is contingent on selling the 'seed, for the money and the space.
    Right now I think my favorite is the Pooduck Skiff. My tender and the sailing dory are both dory skiffs, I like them. I've seen video of the Pooduck sailing, it looks good. I've also read and searched this forum about other small sailing designs. There is a good thread on the best 12' sailing dinghy. In the end it may well come down to what is available, though I don't really have to buy anything quickly. I would like to have something by winter, as I sail the Melonseed then. As a filler I have three folding boats, but only one with a rig.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    OOoooOOooooh the Pooduck-- Tres Sexie! One of my favorites and high on my fun list. Never sailed it, but I feel it in my bones.

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