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Thread: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    I've built a slightly bigger ( 15 feet) flat-bottomed boat rather similar to this one, Jim's Jewel Box Jr.

    You can see my build thread here -

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ior&highlight=

    Anyway, to cover the slot weather tight I made a cover from a strip of old above-ground pool liner, which is a type of heavy vinyl.
    It's secured with snaps along the side and bungee cords fore and aft, spread over battens sliced from old 2x4 scraps on my table saw, which are set in a groove in the side framing that I cut with a circular saw.

    My boat has a pretty durn big double bed inside!

    In my climate, it's important to keep out of the fierce summer sun, especially for my wife and especially this year with our horrible heat wave.
    But yeah, it's a perfectly snug little cabin for cold and rainy weather too, and she can be sailed from inside while you stay perfectly dry!

    That's actually the big drawback to this type of boat, not everyone likes to sail from inside a cabin. On mine, I can sit on the aft deck with my feet in the cabin and the tiller between my legs. But when things blow up, I'll need to sit down inside on the windward side for ballast.

    My boat has a heavy, 1" thick bottom for extra ballast, and these boats are so high sided that they are self-righting.

    Eh, I modified my boat, making her into a cat-yawl to get the mast out of the cabin. You'd have to lower the mast on an I.M.B. ( I called it an IBM above, that's incorrect!) and set it on racks on the cabin top to put on a cover like mine. Or maybe just sorta fit it around the mast?

    My build used up 13 sheets of plywood, which gives you an idea of the size of the project. I haven't launched her yet, I'm still putting together a trailer for it.








    It's called a "Birdwatcher cabin", invented by Philip Bolger, and named after his first design that used it.

    Jim Michalak built the second-ever Bolger Birdwatcher, which is a big double-ender, and has been using that kind of cabin on many of his designs ever since.
    Jim's Birdwatcher shown below. Plans are at the Instant Boats site I listed above.
    It isn't terribly hard to build, and doesn't really need epoxy, but it' probably bigger than you need or want. It's a family-sized boat.



    Back to the small and simple side of things, I saw this article from Small Boat Magazine in my email just today -

    https://smallboatsmonthly.com/articl...1-NonSub2-July

    It's about a cool little garvey used for cruising -
    She's only 12 feet long, but the garvey shape means she has the capacity of a boat several feet longer.
    It looks like a heck of allot of fun and a reasonably snug shelter as long as the wind doesn't pick up to much!









    I've napped in my 11-1/2 foot Summer Breeze now and again, and thought I could rig up a boom tent for overnight use.
    I made one from an old tarp but experimentation with it never worked out well for me. The boom tent does need to be quite firmly fixed to withstand high winds and rain, and it is inherently hard to set up something like that in such a small boat that is so dominated by your own weight.
    Still, it can be done, and the wide side decks of the Garvey above are a real help - The stable flat bottom, wide side decks and high coaming around the cockpit make it ideal for use with a boom tent!

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    I'm currently building a garden workshop which would be a good venue for the build, but the boat would have to be able to get out down a long passage beside the house when completed. I envisage pushing it down this passage in a trolley/wheeled frame, with the boat in the trolley on its beam ends. Thus, the boat from keel to gunwale cannot be more than one metre (three feet, three and quarter inches, if you prefer!), the passage itself being slightly more than this. But there are also gates at either end. For reference, I just checked the bulkhead dimensions of SCAMP and it appears she is 670mm from the flat bottom to the gunwale (excluding the cabin/cuddy). She actually looks taller than that - I was surprised!
    So, one side of the alley is the house, what is the other side? A fence? Can it be taken down to get a boat out?
    Can it be lifted over the fence to get it out?
    Can you get it out going over the back of the garden?
    How well do you get along with the neighbors?

    But yeah, a Birdwatcher boat ain't going down that alley. It gets put on a trailer and stays there.

    I think I was pushed over the edge when I saw a local moor his Wharram cat in a few inches of water on the river, and it occurred to me just how many interesting places keel boats can't go!

    I just love those Wharram cats! Faster than any dignhy mentioned above, that's for sure.
    The Hitia 17 has traveled thousands of miles. Comes apart for transport easily enough, but it's a bit of a big project maybe.

    Lets see, could the smallest, a Hitia 14 be used to sleep on?



    It has a duckboard deck, not a tramp. I like that. I think it's wide enough, 8 feet three inches beam, to sleep on one side to side.
    Sure is easy to build, carry through the alley, and transport on the car-top. No trailer needed!

    There may well be one of these in my future...

    The drawback is that it's a wet boat, especially sailed hard, and it can't be rowed. It can be paddled well enough though, and I be it could be sculled just fine.

    Not much free board on the Hitia 14, but for one person cruising, why not? I'd build a little wooden watertight sea-chest for my galley, and to serve as a seat at anchor. The tent would be odd, going from side to side instead of fore-a-aft.
    Is the deck big enough for a little one man dome tent?

    Given a good breeze, you could go allot further in a day on one of these. Better for more open water I bet, but not as good for gunkholing up Lilly-pad clogged side creeks.




    Perhaps a solo tent like this might just fit on that deck. Inside it's 7'3" by 2' 8". What's nice about it is that it's totally bug proof.
    That lets you sleep soundly in bug ridden marshes!






    I guess a feller could make just about anything work out if you try hard enough.
    Just depends on what appeals to you!
    Last edited by Etdbob; 07-14-2021 at 05:20 PM.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    He said he put this boat on his car roof.



    Does it not have any kind of keel? Like a pram but with chine.

  4. #39
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    Jul 2020
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    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew2 View Post
    Usual comment about Wayfarers is that they are quite heavy to heave about launching and retrieving.

    Here is one: https://intheboatshed.net/2010/05/18...now-available/ That has been cruised a bit.
    A2
    the Light Trow is about the same length and slightly less width than a Wayfarer plus it has two wooden masts, I doubt it is much lighter than a Wayfarer..
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  5. #40
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    central cal
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by LarixMaximus View Post
    He said he put this boat on his car roof.



    Does it not have any kind of keel? Like a pram but with chine.
    The red thing just afore the cockpit coaming is the dagger board. It is a sort of scimitar shaped affair, the curve of which allows the CLR to be abaft the slot, I would guess, which I think is so far forward to keep a clear cockpit. The placement of and reason for the shape of the board is pure guessing on my part.

    The lines and offsets are in American Small Sailing Craft.

    It’s one of my favorite small boats.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    I figured that little Gravey "Sneak Box" would catch yer interest!

    It sure ain't easy to cartop! It's heavy and shaped so you'd have to put it up there right-side-up. I'm sure you'd need help loading and unloading it.
    I like to car-top my boats, but not that one.

    Anyway, it's also hard to build. You'd have to loft it, it's a traditionally built boat.

    However -

    Jim Michalak drew a stich-and-glue plywood version!





    neakerbox Plans

    If you like to spend time looking at drawings of small boats one of the best books to invest in is Howard Chapelle's AMERICAN SMALL SAILING CRAFT. If you turn to page 65 you will see a drawing of the "Old garvey box, substitute for a sneakbox". The sneakbox itself is a fairly refined shape to be seen on page 313. They were small handy row/sail boats used by sportsmen around the Chesapeake a century ago but they live on in boats like the Sunfish that are very similar in size and style. Chapelle's old garvey box is the same size and style but with a simple flat bottomed cross planked hull instead of the sneakbox the round bilged hull of a real sneakbox.
    You can learn a lot more about the sneakbox on the internet. Start at the Eldritch Press shown in my links. There is a lot of stuff at Eldritch, mostly "literature". But for some good reason there is also a section on classic small boat books including Nathaniel Bishop's FOUR MONTHS IN A SNEAKBOX, complete with all maps and drawings which include details of a 1870's sneakbox. Bishop took his sneakbox from Pittsburgh down the Ohio to the Mississippi to the Gulf Coast to Florida. He camped almost every night. All was done with oars, no sail rig was taken. Quite a journey! And quite interesting to historians and anyone who lives near those waters (like me). Anyway, Al Tilley is the one who told me about Eldritch and who built the first Sneakerbox.
    Here is the writeup about Sneakerbox in the current catalog:
    Here is a new design based on a traditional boat, Chapelle's "garvey box". She's the same size and layout as the original garvey box. The prototype was built by Al Tilley of Montrose, Pa.
    I'm sure she's lighter than the old planked garveys, maybe half the weight because of the modern plywood box construction. Still, she's too heavy for casual cartopping (and not well shaped for it either) because of the extra weight of the deck. There's nothing to be done about it except to go to n open top design like Piccup Squared. But the old sneakbox boats were always decked.
    I put a lateen sail on Sneakerbox and didn't copy the original boomless sprit rig. The boomless rig would stow better but the lateen would easily outsail it and be much more likely to be rigged properly. What!! No pivoting leeboard?? This hull is too shallow to make one work well. I kept the traditional daggerboard. (Al has not built the sail rig yet, using the boat for recreational rowing.)
    Six sheets of plywood make Sneakerbox. The boat has taped seam chines. No jigs or lofting required.
    Plans are three blueprints with complete instructions.
    ROW/SAIL PUNT, 13' X 4'', 140 POUNDS EMPTY

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    The red thing just afore the cockpit coaming is the dagger board. It is a sort of scimitar shaped affair, the curve of which allows the CLR to be abaft the slot, I would guess, which I think is so far forward to keep a clear cockpit. The placement of and reason for the shape of the board is pure guessing on my part.

    The lines and offsets are in American Small Sailing Craft.

    It’s one of my favorite small boats.

    Thank you. I competely missed the board. Only half the article in the link downloaded, only now i see a slot in the deck.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    I figured that little Gravey "Sneak Box" would catch yer interest!

    It sure ain't easy to cartop! It's heavy and shaped so you'd have to put it up there right-side-up. I'm sure you'd need help loading and unloading it.
    I like to car-top my boats, but not that one.

    Anyway, it's also hard to build. You'd have to loft it, it's a traditionally built boat.

    However -

    Jim Michalak drew a stich-and-glue plywood version!



    It does not appear "curvey" as the original, but hard to tell from one photo. It might be more capable than it looks with some decks. Piccup Square looks better to me. But these seem more like protected water types.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    It is hard to tell from that one photo. Before building her I'd email Jim and see what he has to say about the design, and maybe he has more photos. In the past he's responded to my requests for info on his designs. I'd guess that the underwater shape is the same, but it does look like the sheer is flatter. Anyway, you'd certainly want to rig it as the original was, with a sprit sail. Jim put a lanteen on it, and the dagger board in the middle of the cockpit! You'd need the dagger board forward of the cockpit to have sufficient clear space to sleep in it, and that means a sail rig with the center of effort further forward.

    It has plenty of deck, the cockpit is only about 33" wide by 72 long. That's why it needs six sheets of ply to build. Sneakboxes were designed to be really low so you could sneak up on ducks and shoot 'em.

    The wide decks were to make 'em seaworthy so they could get across wide bays to where the shooting was, and also to hold lots of decoys strapped on and so forth.
    They are very interesting designs and have been used for long cruises.

    I'm not sure which is more seaworthy, the Sneakbox or Pickup. Both are pretty small boats, really, but both would work just fine I'm sure.

    The Sneakboxes were intended to be 50/50 row and sail designs though, so the sneakbox might row better than the Pickup pram.
    Last edited by Etdbob; 07-18-2021 at 01:45 PM.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Interestingly, six sheets of ply and maybe 5 quarts of epoxy is the very same amount of materials needed to build Jims "Sneakerbox" and also the Wharram Hitia 14.

    Interesting to see such different boats that can be made with the same pile of stuff!

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