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Thread: Penobscot 14 vs shellback dinghy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    473

    Default Penobscot 14 vs shellback dinghy

    HI All I'm ogling a penobsoct 14 and I'm curious what folks think of them? i find my Shellback to be very rewarding but due to it's 11' 3" size it will never be comfortable sailboat for 2 people, otherwise excellent though.

    I notice the Penobscot (where did this name come from???) has battens on it's strakes inside

    Will the extra few feet make it drier and more comfy in edgy conditions(edgy for a shellback I mean)

    Any owners or people with experience with them?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Penobscot 14 vs shellback dinghy

    So I am literally in the same boat - have a lovely Shellback built by a fine craftsman (not me!). Fantastic for solo adventures. The size is such that I treat it like a canoe at times (have even gently nudged it over a view beaver dams in the Adirondacks of NY).

    My reply is to point out that Shellback has a larger sister, the Pooduck. Ever so slightly larger with Shellback at LOA - 11' 2"; Beam - 4' 5" and Pooduck at LOA - 12' 10"; Beam - 4' 6". For some reason when I started this reply I thought she was much larger. Of course the Penobscot 14 (fine boat, I like his building approach for a beginner like myself) has a larger sister as well - the 17.

    Anyways, I recently added a few fenders to my Shellback, tied to the fore and rear bench seats as flotation. I have a reef. Never cleat the mainsheet and am comfortable in my PFD but I hear you - the Shellback offers an exhilarating ride at times and I find myself curtailing plans occasionally.

    When I think bigger (but not to big) I think of the Penobscots, Phoenix/FirstMate from Lillistone; Walkabout/Long Steps from Welsford; Caledonia/Sooty Tern from Oughtred; Scamp from Welsford again...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Penobscot 14 vs shellback dinghy

    I think once you are in the 14 ft range, you might as well broaden your search -- you're big enough to require a trailer, and there are a lot of really nice boats in the 14-16ft range (i.e., small enough to not require more than one scarf in plywood, and likely to fit in even small garages).

    My selection involved the Goat Island Skiff, the Phoenix/First Mate, Argie 15, and what I eventually settled on, Campion Apple 16. I ruled out the Goat Island Skiff because I was looking for a little more stability (ability to be ballasted, not quite as tippy... perhaps losing some performance but that's okay), the First Mate because, despite the length being similar, it's quite a bit narrower, and is really a 2 person boat (vs 3-4 on the rest), and between the Argie 15 and the Apple 16... really it was just aesthetics -- the plumb bow, lug yawl, just appealed to me. The Argie might be a more practical boat (certainly the transom is easier to stick a motor on). People also like the Calendar Islands Yawl 16, though I wasn't sure about the interior arrangement, how tested it was (a few more have been built since then, and people seem to really like them), etc.

    I also decided, early on, that I wanted something fast (ish) to build, which ruled out a whole slew of really wonderful glued lapstrake boats in this length... probably the most popular being the Ilur, but Oughtred has a few in the same length range...
    Daniel

    Building a Campion Apple 16.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Penobscot 14 vs shellback dinghy

    Cool. I have foam floatation under all my thwarts, probably about 150lbs worth, as well as my fenders, I have a reef, and I have a removbable bowsprit that i always use with a couple different headsails depending upon wind force.
    I find the shellback reefed won't push through short steep chop as it doesn't have the momentum, it becomes more manageable but the chop kills it's speed,however with the full main it's overpowered in those conditions. If it's not choppy reefing is great.

    I actually use a cam cleat mounted to the top of my dagger board. I can un-cleat easily at any time and have never dumped the boat. Shellback's are cool. For me it's mostly a matter of space (passenger!)and slightly better capabilities weather-wise. In that size I don't see it getting much better, but even a little would help.

    I launch my shellback with a kayak dolly whenever there's a place I want to explore that doesn't have a close launch. Works great.

    Quote Originally Posted by jshaley View Post
    So I am literally in the same boat - have a lovely Shellback built by a fine craftsman (not me!). Fantastic for solo adventures. The size is such that I treat it like a canoe at times (have even gently nudged it over a view beaver dams in the Adirondacks of NY).

    My reply is to point out that Shellback has a larger sister, the Pooduck. Ever so slightly larger with Shellback at LOA - 11' 2"; Beam - 4' 5" and Pooduck at LOA - 12' 10"; Beam - 4' 6". For some reason when I started this reply I thought she was much larger. Of course the Penobscot 14 (fine boat, I like his building approach for a beginner like myself) has a larger sister as well - the 17.

    Anyways, I recently added a few fenders to my Shellback, tied to the fore and rear bench seats as flotation. I have a reef. Never cleat the mainsheet and am comfortable in my PFD but I hear you - the Shellback offers an exhilarating ride at times and I find myself curtailing plans occasionally.

    When I think bigger (but not to big) I think of the Penobscots, Phoenix/FirstMate from Lillistone; Walkabout/Long Steps from Welsford; Caledonia/Sooty Tern from Oughtred; Scamp from Welsford again...

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