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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.

    www.tompamperin.com

  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.

    www.tompamperin.com

  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!

  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.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Yeah, me too. One of the posts in the 12' boat thread expressed a preference for a boat with fewer laps than traditional lapstrake. I agree with that.
    It's hard to let go of the Melonseed, which is a splendid little boat. Nothing I buy will be that beautiful, but I like sailing in the Sound, in a breeze.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    So, the melonseed is on craigslist. We'll see what happens.
    Meanwhile, there are both a Northeaster Dory and a Pooduck Skiff on craigslist in nearby states for reasonable prices.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    If anyone is curious, the Melonseed is getting some attention at a lowered price. I am looking for a Swampscott Dory now. There are a couple of Northeaster Dories within driving range. I don't think they are as pretty as some of their kin, but availability is an essential ingredient.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Have you seen the Northeaster Dory in person? They are kind of small volume-wise for their length. I was surprised.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I have not seen one in person yet. They do look very slim, reminiscent of the old racing dories. I really would prefer a slightly wider boat, such as Gardner's modified Swampscott. My prior sailing dory was quite large, 18'8"x6'6".

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Melonseed sold today. The new owner is very excited, it was a bit gut-wrenching to watch it go away.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Excitement is good, it increases the chances of a good home. Better get crackin' on that Swampscott... good luck!

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Thanks Call. I have contacted two sellers, and I am watching another boat. I will report my results.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Yesterday I bought a 17' Swampscott Dory. It was built in '89 at the Landing School, pine on oak. I am very confident that it is the Fred Dion model from The Dory Book. It matches the published boat in almost every way. It is quite tight, and has been living in a shed for a decade. I plan to dry-sail it from a not quite heated garage/basement. (The basement has the furnace in it, but no dedicated heat. Near the doors it stays quite cool in winter.)

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Wow, congratulations! Be sure to post some pictures! I'm going to dig out the Dory Book right now...

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I'll try to post pics at some point. I hope to have the boat in the water this week.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Great write up about Dion, thoroughly enjoyable! Looking forward to seeing it in action! I expect winter rowing pics with ice floes on the shore.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    I plan to put Wandering Star ashore this winter for the first time. She may come out early due to space limits and schedules. I am very glad to have something to sail Fall-Winter-Spring.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Melonseed, Penobscot Or?

    Sailed the boat today. Wind was very light, but she turns quickly and points well. Rows a little heavy, maybe longer oars, maybe filling in the partial double bottom.
    Hopefully here are some pics:


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