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Thread: Ralph Stanley schooner

  1. #1
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    Default Ralph Stanley schooner

    Not mine, but I like it. Recenlty read the "small schooners no good" thread, but this is appealing

    https://newlondon.craigslist.org/boa...204984613.html

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Hey! It's Equinox! She's a lovely little boat. I remember when she was built --for a fellow named Sage Goodwin, IIRC. She sails quite well, too, as I recall.

    Interesting that she now has a stern-hung outboard. She used to have a side-saddle rig on her starboard (?) hip.

    If I had the money and the need for a schooner, I'd definitely grab her.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    Hey! It's Equinox! She's a lovely little boat. I remember when she was built --for a fellow named Sage Goodwin, IIRC. She sails quite well, too, as I recall.

    Interesting that she now has a stern-hung outboard. She used to have a side-saddle rig on her starboard (?) hip.

    If I had the money and the need for a schooner, I'd definitely grab her.

    Alex
    Interesting to hear she sails well, I know nothing about schooners and was put off by what I've read here and been told by friends about that rig on a boat under ( X) feet loa. I like the Marconi main. Other than the outboard, I'm kind of smitten. Gave her a good look at this yr's WB Show, surprisingly spacious cabin. Fairly beamy Muscongous Bay sloop-shaped hull

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner







    They're giving her away! $10K !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Never saw a roller furling club foot jib before. Read somewhere it draws 3.5 centerboard up, looks more like about 28" to me

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Interesting to hear she sails well...
    "Well" is a relative value. Will she out-perform a similarly sized modern sloop? Not a chance. Especially not as a centerboard boat. Is she a kick to sail, with a manageable rig? Yep.

    IIRC, Sage Goodwin, who had her built, had mobility issues. He had previously owned a little (24'?) Friendship sloop named Eagle --when Sage put her on the market, my father considered buying her; I remember looking her over-- but found the sloop rig was getting to be more than he could manage. Ralph designed and built Equinox so that Sage could continue to sail. For that, the divided rig of a schooner was perfect.

    I keep having brushes with small schooners. The father of my "honorary grandmother" --the woman who taught my grandmother to sail, taught my father to sail, and in turn taught me to sail-- a man named Rodman Swift, had a 26' Alden schooner named Tyche. Alden didn't like her because he thought she'd sail better as a cutter, but Rodman (and his daughter) adored her. Maybe she would have sailed better as a cutter, but she couldn't have been better loved.

    Many years ago Bucephalus and I ended up rafted along side Lance Lee's 26' pinky schooner, Perseverence, in Rockland. We got to chatting --I hadn't a clue who he was at the time!-- and when I chanced to mention Tyche it turned out that his being invited aboard Tyche by Rodman Swift, *many* years before, was a significant element in firing his interest in wooden boats and eventually resulted in Perseverence.

    Then came Equinox, whom I have admired /coveted for a long time.

    Then Ralph expanded the lines of my own 19' sloop, Bucephalus, into the 28' (?) schooner Dorothy, for another friend of mine, Roger Duncan, when Roger's Friendship sloop Eastward was getting to be more than he wanted to manage.

    ...I know nothing about schooners and was put off by what I've read here and been told by friends about that rig on a boat under ( X) feet loa.
    Will a small schooner perform as well as a similar LOA sloop or cutter? Probably not. Will she be easier to sail short-handed? Probably. Will she catch at your heart like no other rig? For you, it sure sounds like it --I know I have the same sickness!-- and from what I've seen over the years that adoration is a big part of being satisfied with your boat. But it all depends on what you want in a boat.

    Fairly beamy Muscongous Bay sloop-shaped hull
    Yep. You've got it. Ralph does Friendship sloops, and a Muscongus Bay sloop is close enough that he'll work with that shape to get a shoal draft boat.

    Never saw a roller furling club foot jib before.
    They're quite handy. Self-tending and you don't need to morris about on the foredeck to set or stow it.

    Read somewhere it draws 3.5 centerboard up, looks more like about 28" to me
    I think you're right. I could have sworn she was closer to 2.5' DBU, 5' DBD. It has been a *long* time since I saw her in person, though. I left Southwest Harbor, Maine, in '96, and I think Equinox had been sold to CT by then. I can remember her on her mooring like it was yesterday, though, and stored in Ralph's yard in the winter, and crossing wakes with her while out sailing. I'm not as big a fan of a bermudian main as you, Earling2, but I really do love that boat.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    "Well" is a relative value. Will she out-perform a similarly sized modern sloop? Not a chance. Especially not as a centerboard boat. Is she a kick to sail, with a manageable rig? Yep.

    IIRC, Sage Goodwin, who had her built, had mobility issues. He had previously owned a little (24'?) Friendship sloop named Eagle --when Sage put her on the market, my father considered buying her; I remember looking her over-- but found the sloop rig was getting to be more than he could manage. Ralph designed and built Equinox so that Sage could continue to sail. For that, the divided rig of a schooner was perfect.

    I keep having brushes with small schooners. The father of my "honorary grandmother" --the woman who taught my grandmother to sail, taught my father to sail, and in turn taught me to sail-- a man named Rodman Swift, had a 26' Alden schooner named Tyche. Alden didn't like her because he thought she'd sail better as a cutter, but Rodman (and his daughter) adored her. Maybe she would have sailed better as a cutter, but she couldn't have been better loved.

    Many years ago Bucephalus and I ended up rafted along side Lance Lee's 26' pinky schooner, Perseverence, in Rockland. We got to chatting --I hadn't a clue who he was at the time!-- and when I chanced to mention Tyche it turned out that his being invited aboard Tyche by Rodman Swift, *many* years before, was a significant element in firing his interest in wooden boats and eventually resulted in Perseverence.

    Then came Equinox, whom I have admired /coveted for a long time.

    Then Ralph expanded the lines of my own 19' sloop, Bucephalus, into the 28' (?) schooner Dorothy, for another friend of mine, Roger Duncan, when Roger's Friendship sloop Eastward was getting to be more than he wanted to manage.



    Will a small schooner perform as well as a similar LOA sloop or cutter? Probably not. Will she be easier to sail short-handed? Probably. Will she catch at your heart like no other rig? For you, it sure sounds like it --I know I have the same sickness!-- and from what I've seen over the years that adoration is a big part of being satisfied with your boat. But it all depends on what you want in a boat.



    Yep. You've got it. Ralph does Friendship sloops, and a Muscongus Bay sloop is close enough that he'll work with that shape to get a shoal draft boat.



    They're quite handy. Self-tending and you don't need to morris about on the foredeck to set or stow it.



    I think you're right. I could have sworn she was closer to 2.5' DBU, 5' DBD. It has been a *long* time since I saw her in person, though. I left Southwest Harbor, Maine, in '96, and I think Equinox had been sold to CT by then. I can remember her on her mooring like it was yesterday, though, and stored in Ralph's yard in the winter, and crossing wakes with her while out sailing. I'm not as big a fan of a bermudian main as you, Earling2, but I really do love that boat.

    Alex
    Pitsligo--
    thanks for all that! Amazing you happened along and happened to not only know the boat but the back story, etc.
    I have a Ralph Stanley self-penned book here (R.S. Tales of a Maine Boatbuilder) and lo and behold, in the back:

    "1983 28' schooner Equinox, Outboard in a bracket, Centerboard, shoal draft, given to Mystic Seaport, sold to an owner in Westerley, RI, then bought and brought back to Southwest Harbor by Dennis Kavanaugh. Built by Ralph with help from Richard."

    (Bucephalus also mentioned: 19' Friendship influenced open sailboat, Sail only, Peter Forbes, Built as a boat a boy could handle. Was the subject of Hope Wurmfeld's book Boatbuilder. Has a club topsail. Co-built by Ralph and Richard)

    I would not have expected that boat to keep up with a modern hull and rig, especially to windward, but I would expect it to have a nice helm, and be substantially more fun to sail on a reach/downwind in a fresh breeze, and probably no slouch with the c.b. raised, though short-ish waterline, shoal draft, etc. I'm very partial to shoal draft boats, and liked the spacious feel of the cockpit, the low cabin house, the comfortable split rig that just looks relaxing to live with. I liked the Marconi main because my reptile brain says, "better sail shape," plus it's one less stick to raise and flog around, one (or two) fewer halyards, etc. Less weight aloft. etc. What I really liked was the "wooden" feel of the boat, no varnish other than the spars, I can just see the Kirby paint I'd put on her, the simplicity of traditional construction. The cabin was also surprisingly open and roomy, though low. That nice beam is why. I also would trust Mr. Stanley to know how to shape that kind of hull (as you point out). It's not a boat I'd try to take real far but it seems just the thing for the three, four day summer/fall cruises I'd buy it for.

    I have no idea why it's berthed at Mystic, but perhaps they rent slips?? That would be a little too good to be true.

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    I am also not in the market for a boat. But speed to windward is not my only goal. I own a 39' heavy ketch that often surprises racers on a close reach, but more importantly is comfortable in a sea, stable and roomy for deck work, easy to singlehand, lies to in various conditions under just the mizzen, or can be sailed up to a mooring or anchorage under just the mizzen. That's what I call performance.

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by earling2 View Post
    Interesting to hear she sails well, I know nothing about schooners and was put off by what I've read here and been told by friends about that rig on a boat under ( X) feet loa. I like the Marconi main. Other than the outboard, I'm kind of smitten. Gave her a good look at this yr's WB Show, surprisingly spacious cabin. Fairly beamy Muscongous Bay sloop-shaped hull
    I am reminded of these little fellows.


    Pilot boats that had to sail well.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    I have a Ralph Stanley self-penned book here...
    I have the same book --I think all of us who knew Ralph bought a copy. However, be aware that history can be... um... fluid, in Maine. I can promise that some of what's written in there is a wee bit different from what actually happened. I haven't checked over the table of boats carefully, but I know there are some errors. As listed, Bucephalus was Hull 1 of the 19' sloops, but she was launched July 1, 1986, not the 1985 listed; Little Folly, Hull 2, was launched about a month later.

    The unnamed 1981 44' "Lobster boat" was the Barbara Carol, built for Bumpy Bracy, a local fisherman. The reason she's not named is because there was a HUGE lawsuit over her: Bumpy refused to pay Ralph, and Bumpy was intimidating enough that things got a bit scary for a while. Ralph had to sell Endeavor, the Friendship he'd built for himself, to keep afloat financially. The lawsuit put Ralph so far into the red for so long that he eventually approached my father to suggest that now would be a good time to commission that boat he (my father) had been talking about for years. Ralph was a good friend, and my father (an architect) had recently had a good client who actually paid his bills, and I was at the point where I was ready for my own boat --and that boat became Bucephalus. Ralph was over a financial barrel, so built Bucephalus pretty much at cost, just to keep the shop open, which was the only way my father could afford her. Barbara Carol was a fantastic boat, but Bumpy was so angry when he (eventually) lost the lawsuit that he pasted adhesive letters across the front of Barbara Carol's shelter, "For information about poor built boats:" and Ralph's phone number. Anyway, Ralph was apparently still angry enough at Bumpy (long dead) and his sons (chips off the old block) that he even refused to name the boat in the book's table of listings. But it's because of Barbara Carol that I have Bucephalus.

    I would not have expected that boat to keep up with a modern hull and rig, especially to windward, but I would expect it to have a nice helm, and be substantially more fun to sail on a reach/downwind in a fresh breeze...
    That's pretty much my understanding of the boat. I remember Sage looking as happy as can be sailing her, or even just spending time in her cockpit. For what you envison, you'd be hard pressed to fault her. And my preference for a gaff main is in no way a condemnation of the boat or her rig, just a personal preference.

    I have no idea why it's berthed at Mystic, but perhaps they rent slips??
    They do. Or they used to. When I worked there, in Shipyard, they'd rent out the slips behind the shipyard all year, and then in winter they'd rent space along the wharves to larger vessels coming in for winter lay-up. That's how I got to meet Grayling and a few other celebrities: the head of the paint shop was also in charge of keeping an eye on the tenants, and he brought me aboard with him to have a look.

    Other than the outboard, I'm kind of smitten.
    Yeah, that outboard needs to go away. If she were mine, I'd probably start by throwing the outboard overboard and rigging oars, or at least a sculling oar --but I'm a die-hard masochist in my distaste for motors. If that didn't work --and I know from sailing out of Noank that it certainly can get glassy on LI Sound-- I'd revert to her original sidesaddle rig. I can't remember precisely, but I could swear Sage had something like a Seagull, that was light enough he could tilt it up (sideways), and then lift it out of its bracket and stow it in a locker.

    As for smitten, I'm with you!

    But speed to windward is not my only goal. I own a 39' heavy ketch that often surprises... That's what I call performance.
    Words of wisdom, from good experience. Speed, or windward performance, is not the only mark of good performance. I expect Equinox would be an excellent boat by most other criteria. And even in the categories of speed or windwrd performance, I doubt she'd be truly disappointing.

    Pilot boats that had to sail well.
    Amen.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    It's true. A boat less than about 40' is not an ideal place to put a schooner rig. A smaller boat will suffer more from the disadvantages of being a schooner than will a larger boat. She will also be less able to benefit from a schooner's advantages. That isn't to say that a small schooner can't be the perfect boat. To begin with...she's a schooner! How could you not love her? She's cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, cheaper to moor, and she's just as purty as her bigger cousins. But...and I try to say this as gently as I can, the schooner rig belongs on a big boat. If you ever get a chance to sail a big schooner on a golly reach in a good breeze, you'll see for yourself. Help me out here Jay, you know what I'm talking about.

    When I worked for Captain Eddie, he had a Rhodes 33 that had been re-rigged as a schooner. If things ever got slow at Weinberg's Navy, we took care of, and went sailing on "Pinky Schooner". The poor gal couldn't sail her way out of her own wake. On deck, the spars just seemed to always be in the way; and below, she was a chopped up mess of unusable space. This is an extreme case because Mr. Rhodes never intended her hull to carry a schooner sailplan.

    My love of schooners is pretty well known around here, but if I were to choose a small boat, she'd probably be a sloop or a cutter.
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    What a great bunch of posts.

    As for the R. Stanley book, he's pretty straightforward about that lawsuit, which almost killed him and his business. He's not especially coy about it. Sounds horrible. He goes into some detail about the origin of Bucephalus (I think, it was late last night...) so kudos to your dad. Little guys like Stanley need that kind of patronage, at times, like 15th cent artists.

    My attitude toward windward performance... well, it's relaxed, to say the least. Flexible expectations. I don't race. I also value "friendliness" in a boat more than anything else and have amazing capacities for rationalization of sub-par aspects of things if I fundamentally like sitting in the cockpit of the thing in question. To a degree. Some boats just feel right...

    I also have a loose connection with some people in love with schooners---big ones--like Rebecca, Juno, Charlotte, and When and If so I've definitely seen the passion. I've never been on one but maybe someday....

    now, as for that engine....an excrescence, plain and simple. It would be equally awful to bore a hole in the backbone and cut out a big prop hole in the skeg...The side-rig could be OK; clumsy though

    Anyhow--all food for thought, I have a house and two cars and at least seven boats to sell before I do this to myself ....

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    I sort of recall that she was owned for a time by an MSM employee, and may have been sailed out of the Seaport. If so that's why you have the OB, two drawbridges which need to be negotiated to get up river. I could do it in my catboat wind tide and timing willing, but there was an outboard that could be rigged. All it needed to be was a light 4horse. This looks a little more substantial. VERNON used to have a OB that rigged on the quarter, a big seagull I think. When I got her she'd been rigged with a off center folding prop for an electric drive, said motor no longer existing, we fitted a little diesel in place.
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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Vernon Languille..... I think I saw that boat in a Moffett Race one time, really flying. God knows when that was. But I really admired that boat.

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Roger Taylor spoke very well of that 25' glass Tancook schooner he had.

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    I also value "friendliness" in a boat more than anything else and have amazing capacities for rationalization of sub-par aspects of things if I fundamentally like sitting in the cockpit of the thing in question.
    That's a really good way of thinking, as far as I'm concerned.

    I also have a loose connection with some people in love with schooners---big ones--like Rebecca, Juno, Charlotte, and When and If so I've definitely seen the passion
    I'm a complete schooner junkie. Back when I lived on the east coast I was fortunate to sail a bunch of the Aldens --Malabar II, When & If, Heart's Desire, Voyager-- and they're well worth falling in love with. The big ones I've sailed --Bowdoin, Californian-- are fun too, but I like the smaller ones better. Even the ones that don't sail especially well --Rachel B. Jackson-- can be fun. There was a time when my dream schooner was a Malabar IV, but I've since realized that's a complete fantasy: I could never afford the moorage, let alone the upkeep, and the purchase price doesn't bear thinking about. Something like Equinox? Do it, man! If for no other reason so that I can live vicariously through you!

    now, as for that engine... The side-rig could be OK; clumsy though
    Best of a bad situation? If you have the time and energy, sweeps would work. I kept Bucephalus in Noank while I was working at MSM, but I did bring her through the bridges a couple times without any engine. And Ben Fuller managed in his catboat, so there's certainly a fair bit of precedent.

    Vernon Languille..... I think I saw that boat in a Moffett Race one time, really flying.
    Vernon was a mover. I never crossed wakes with her, but I sure heard a lot about her.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    As long as I"ve never sailed one of the big boys, I'd probably really like Equinox just fine. I'm partial to big, low sail plans like that, low stress rigs, catboat-type cockpits and cabins. and the ability to anchor in three feet of water is worth losing at least 10 degrees to windward... or maybe putting up with a little extra pitching from the weight of the sticks. Or the tripping over a mast in the cockpit. Or whatever it is that's problematic about the little ones.

    Well time will tell. I'll just have to follow that one and see if it's up for sale if in the near or long term when I can bring something like that into my life. I'll do it for you, Pitsligo, if not for me.

    It's a funny thing, though--you got me remembering why I like catboats. There's something about a big, low, powerful sail that's really satisfying. I have a feeling that sitting directly under that main and looking forward at the foresail, with the club foot pulling way up forward has got to be addictive. (bad thoughts bad thoughts)

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Good thoughts, good thoughts.

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    I'm with Thad: *Very* good thoughts.

    Always happy to be a corrupting influence.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Ralph Stanley schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    I'm with Thad: *Very* good thoughts.

    Always happy to be a corrupting influence.

    Alex
    I appreciate the enabling, er, help

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