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Thread: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

  1. #1
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    Default Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Ok, gang. We’re closing in on starting this build. I have this week off of work, and if I can make a decision, I’ll start setting up. My plan is to work through the winter in my small shop and build what I can (centerboard, trunk, rudder, spars, prep stock…) in preparation for constructing the hull in the spring and fitting out in early summer. There are a lot of historic, traditional designs that I’m interested in, but have decided to start things off with a flat-bottom boat. I’ve had a few really great threads going lately, and have spent a lot of time considering this. Just need one last bit of input before we start making sawdust. So… here we go…

    Requirements


    • Day sail with a young family. 2 adults, 2-3 kiddos under 10 years old. All novice boat persons except for the skipper (me).
    • Trailered and dry sailed. The boat will see one or two weeks a year use in New England or the Chesapeake. Boat will be built and live in humid/damp central Pennsylvania. Potential for occasional day trips or weekends through the year, but that’s honestly unlikely.
    • Coastal waters around Connecticut, Maine and the upper Chesapeake.
    • Traditional build with cross-planked bottom. (Considering a ply bottom, but right now I feel good about a traditional build for how this boat will be used.) Any design must be built traditionally, or be modified for traditional timber-and-mechanical-fastening construction. Scantlings for the type seem to be pretty straight forward, so I believe a plywood boat could be converted fairly easily. No epoxy (I have a significant sensitivity…) but other glues and/or compounds should be ok.
    • Flat bottom, unless someone can convince me that something with a V bottom and deadrise (Chesapeake types) really isn’t much more work in terms of time.
    • Rig should be simple to set up and be able to be single-handed. Unstayed masts preferred, as is a two-mast rig. Traditional sharpie rigs are great. So are spritsails, ketches, yawls…
    • Rowing will be auxiliary power. Figure the ability to row 2-3 miles when needed.
    • Initial stability should be enough so non-boat persons aren’t freaked out upon stepping aboard.
    • Stability should be enough that we don’t need everyone on the rail to stay upright.
    • Inside depth should be enough so that the kids feel like they’re in the boat, rather than on it. This isn’t such a big deal, I can always add small side decks and comings.
    • Simple boat. Simple build. Workboat finish.


    So far, Chapelle’s “18 ft. Cape Cod Oyster Skiff” in American Small Sailing Craft is at the top of a significant heap. Single mast leg-o-mutton on a 23’ mast, reefed via a vertical brail along the luff. Beam is 5’-4” at the rail, 4’-3” at the bottom chine amidships. Interior depth amidships around the centerboard case is 18”-22”. Pretty much the archetype for flat-bottom skiffs in this length class. The plans in ASSC are very basic, but should be enough to build from… especially supplementing from boatbuilding books and other drawings of the type.

    Others designs I’m looking at:
    Chapelle’s 14’ Chesapeake Sharpie Skiff - too small, but the plans are very complete and will be useful for whatever does get built.

    Atkins’ ‘James Samuel’ - 20’ with a 7’-2” beam at the sheer. This is a burdensome design. I’m curious about likely sailing qualities. The cat rig looks to be a lot to manhandle when launching from a trailer and rowing will likely be un-fun. ‘Mother Hubbard’ and ‘James Samuel Jr.’ are in the same family with the same beam and interior layout, just shorter.

    Stambaugh’s ‘Catbird 16 - likely too small, but a charming design. But… stitch & glue. Ugh.

    Stambaugh’s ‘Windward 21’
    - 21’ with 6’-9” beam. I like this a lot, especially the small cuddy. It looks like it’s a deadrise Chesapeake type and I’m not sure what construction it’s designed for. Cat-ketch leg-o-mutton Sharpie rig.

    There’s literally a pile of others. Culler’s big 18’ “Good Little Skiff”. Gardner’s 20’ Sharpie. 16’ and 18’ boats from Jay Benford. And of course… there’s Reuel Parker. I’m anxiously awaiting The Sharpie Book (darn USPS…), but I think the 19’ Small Ohio Sharpie might be in the running.

    Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Appreciate any thoughts or considerations or suggestions for something that fits it with the above requirements that I may have overlooked. This is the week to set up and order plans if need be. So… what say you all?

    Best,
    Ryan

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    And because every thread needs a few photos…

    A Chapelle…
    67062_5358_4363_lg_01.jpg

    James Samuel
    AC2D89DF-F086-47CA-9217-F6A4C7015EA9.jpg
    EF2FABBD-1B3A-4655-A4BC-C3C098679851.jpg

    A Parker Ohio Sharpie…
    48B4E9C8-AF6C-49FC-9683-00BFC913F33F.jpeg

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Had some recent thoughts myself regarding a crab skiff or other sharpie/skiff design. Traditional construction I guess is a personal choice, but you seem to have a fairly significant size range that will make a major difference to the success of your criteria.

    14-15’ should be feasible to row only, but may limit your number of crew. Given the ‘non-sailor’ aspect and ages, rowing a 16-20’ skiff with 3-5 folks for 2-3 miles is likely to be a ‘never again’ experience, especially when the crew is cold, wet, or sunburned and the last snacks were consumed an hour ago. I’d recommend at least carrying an outboard, electric even. You’ll be glad you did. Apart from that, any of the pictured craft will likely fill the rest of your wishes.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

    Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by leaotis View Post
    "Leotis" of course is a sharpie builder, and producer of those wonderful videos. https://youtu.be/8V_JZTpdCDw


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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    0F03F8F0-203D-4BB2-BA9F-EF35DE12086F.jpg
    I actually forgot that I stole a photo of that boat to practice when I started drawing realism again.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    2DB515A9-F1A1-49A9-A191-56D70B0CE9C7.jpg
    Also, a 14’ flattie ain’t a whole lotta boat, you know? You definitely need to think bigger if you plan to have the whole crew often, I think.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Based on what you've described as your intended use and my own experience with having "non-sailors" aboard, I'd lean towards James Samuel. Yes, it's a beamy boat to row but you can put two rowers on a thwart, give them horned helmets and they're instant Vikings.

    Seriously though, non-sailors are going to get bored, one tiller and a sheet means one person doing everything important on the boat and the crew becomes moveable ballast. Give them enough room the spread out and relax without having to also be ready to jump to port or starboard with every puff will make everybody on board happier.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Amish Rob, thanks and help yourself to any of my images. I'm flattered.

    Chesapeake-sharpie-c1-1024x746.jpg
    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryfeet View Post
    14-15’ should be feasible to row only, but may limit your number of crew. Given the ‘non-sailor’ aspect and ages, rowing a 16-20’ skiff with 3-5 folks for 2-3 miles is likely to be a ‘never again’ experience, especially when the crew is cold, wet, or sunburned and the last snacks were consumed an hour ago. I’d recommend at least carrying an outboard, electric even. You’ll be glad you did. Apart from that, any of the pictured craft will likely fill the rest of your wishes.
    Thanks, for the input. Totally agree that temperament of the crew is going to make all the difference. I do hope they will eventually transition from ‘non-sailor’ to ‘old salts’.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    "Leotis" of course is a sharpie builder, and producer of those wonderful videos. https://youtu.be/8V_JZTpdCDw

    You, bet. The videos of Tempo pushed me over the edge to moving forward with a sharpie!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    0F03F8F0-203D-4BB2-BA9F-EF35DE12086F.jpg
    I actually forgot that I stole a photo of that boat to practice when I started drawing realism again.
    You can tell it’s him. Visor! Great art!

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    2DB515A9-F1A1-49A9-A191-56D70B0CE9C7.jpg
    Also, a 14’ flattie ain’t a whole lotta boat, you know? You definitely need to think bigger if you plan to have the whole crew often, I think.
    Such a great skiff. I’m definitely in the 18’-20’ range for a build. My mention on Chapelle’s 14’er is simply because the plans are very complete and may help if I go after the 18’er in ASSC. Those plans are a single post card-sized plate with the absolute bare minimum of details to build from.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    Based on what you've described as your intended use and my own experience with having "non-sailors" aboard, I'd lean towards James Samuel. Yes, it's a beamy boat to row but you can put two rowers on a thwart, give them horned helmets and they're instant Vikings.

    Seriously though, non-sailors are going to get bored, one tiller and a sheet means one person doing everything important on the boat and the crew becomes moveable ballast. Give them enough room the spread out and relax without having to also be ready to jump to port or starboard with every puff will make everybody on board happier.
    I do like the ‘Viking/Pirate man-the-oars’ scenario. I still wonder how something that’s basically a sharpie-catboat hybrid would sail. Also… the rig. Part of why I’d like a two-mast boat is to keep enough strings to pull to maintain a sense of participation. Plus… the mast on James Samuel looks stout to step at the ramp.

    Overall, though… I think the hull has a lot going for it. Wish I had a better sense of its sailing qualities. Though if it was a cat-ketch, I’d have plans in hand.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by leaotis View Post
    Amish Rob, thanks and help yourself to any of my images. I'm flattered.

    Chesapeake-sharpie-c1-1024x746.jpg
    Man, I do love the historical photos. Post what y’a got! You’re stoking the fires for a family flat-iron!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Anyone have input on the Stambaugh flatties or other designs I might be missing? Reuel’s book should be here tomorrow afternoon. I’m anxious to give the 19’ Ohio boat a look. Then we can make a choice. I think 18’-20’ with 5’+ beam should be just right. Hopefully two masts.

    I wonder how tough it would be to draw Chapelle’s 18’ Oyster Skiff as a ketch…

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Here’s the lines for the Atkins’ James Samuel.

    94D75076-F280-407C-A7CF-1333DCCA2E8D.gif
    940D9C85-D119-4941-A0CF-8668CC5580D8.gif
    4C00C30E-701C-476B-AD64-ECA141B7C10C.gif


    I always enjoy their written descriptions too…

    James Samuel was designed originally for Jack Clapp of Greenwich, Connecticut, a good many years ago, and many sisterships have been built by both professional and amateur builders.

    James Samuel is 20 feet 1 inch overall by 19 feet on her waterline by 7 feet 2 inches beam and 7 inches draft with the centerboard housed. The freeboard is 2 feet 7 inches at the bow and 2 feet at the stern. It is obvious that she is truly a big skiff, a load-carrier of considerable ability and an all-around practical boat.

    Our big skiff is cat-rigged, with a simple and practical sail plan. The mast is raked rather sharply -- 15 inches in 10 feet. In the interest of economy, it may be gotten out of a grown stick of spruce or fir. The sail area is 164 square feet. While this is modest, it is comfortable for easy handling. There are two rows of reef points and no battens. For beginners in sail and for folks who sail purely for fun, James Samuel has a lot to offer. She has plenty of room for five or six people -- or more -- and is an ideal boat for a children's training program in camping and overnight cruising and for use as a yacht club tender and a safe rental skiff.

    There is a plywood construction section included in the working drawings, indicating the scantlings and materials. There is also a largescale drawing of the stem and its rabbet.
    Last edited by RyanGillnet; 10-03-2021 at 08:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Man, I do love the historical photos. Post what y’a got! You’re stoking the fires for a family flat-iron!
    and then they started putting engines in them.
    Early powered sharpie Beaufort.jpg
    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

    Mark Twain

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    That’s a fabulous photo. Truly.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    I actually forgot that I stole a photo of that boat to practice when I started drawing realism again.
    I didn't realize it was a painting at first. Great job on the shear! Thank you.
    I reckon someone doing line drawings of people's boats suitable for screen printing would do well. I'd pay.
    =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    1DAA970F-2CF4-4D36-8C5F-F094CEE1BE70.jpg
    I randomly chose this sharpie photo to draw as well. The very idea of drawing boats would likely never have occurred to me if I hadn’t wasted so much time here.

    And, thank you for the kind words.

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    Default

    Great thread!

    Do consider the advice above about rowing a 16–18 footer, with four aboard, and perhaps against current.

    Good luck!

    Kevin


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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    The Ohio Sharpie pages are dog-eared in my copy of "The Sharpie Book". Always liked the look.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Rob - that’s excellent!

    Rowing… I’m hoping that it won’t be a situation that I find myself in often and that I’ll have more than just me pulling. We may need to consider power of some sort if getting becalmed becomes a regular occurrence. I appreciate the emphasis everyone is putting on that scenario.

    I’m anxious to get a look at the book. The little I’ve been able to find online indicates that the Ohio boat is a contender. Any others between the covers to consider?

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Chapelle’s 18’ Oystering Skiff in American Small Sailing Craft. Looks good, but the plans are thin.
    E503AB7E-50B4-4FD0-9175-8FE3F0193A06.jpg

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    I have built the Mississippi River yawl, but I’d build probably any of those boats in the Sharpie book, up to a certain size.

    Of course, I’m a “three board” boat type of fellow.

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Have to say I'm not a fan of vertical reefs. An ugly bunch of sail going up the breeze. If you are really thinking family of non sailors, might want to think about this. Two masted rigs do give you more options, even a third step to single sail it. You might look at the Sharpie page in John' first book which has lots of info on construction. Biggest hassle for people wanting to do a NH style sharpie is the underslung rudder, not really friendly with how we use boats.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    Have to say I'm not a fan of vertical reefs. An ugly bunch of sail going up the breeze. If you are really thinking family of non sailors, might want to think about this. Two masted rigs do give you more options, even a third step to single sail it. You might look at the Sharpie page in John' first book which has lots of info on construction. Biggest hassle for people wanting to do a NH style sharpie is the underslung rudder, not really friendly with how we use boats.
    Hi, Ben. Completely agree with your assessment. Andrew Kitchen did a marvelous job explaining the vertical reefing of his rig over on the other thread, but I’m not keen on it for this boat. I’m hot for a two-masted rig for the versatility and to keep crew engaged. While they aren’t sailors now, they surely won’t become so without some task at hand while aboard.

    Gardner’s pages on the 18’ or 20’ sharpie are great, and certainly give plenty of details on construction. The rig is right, too. However, as you say, the rudder (and round transom) keep me from considering this design for a build. Ditto W.B. At Mystic, as described in your 87 Boat Designs.

    The rig seems to be the hang up. Several of the boats in consideration have lovely hulls that are straightforward to build and will serve well. Chapelle’s 18’er is good, but single leg-o-mutton with vertical reefing. Atkins James Samuel has that big unhandy cat rig that looks a bear to set up on a trailered boat. The photos of the built Ohio sharpie look better. And I’m intrigued by the built Chapelle skiff with spritsail, topsail and jib.

    May need the assist of a designer or sailmaker to end up with a handy rig matched to the right hull…

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    https://www.amazon.com/Working-Guide...361122&sr=8-10

    I don't think the Working Guide has been mentioned yet. Nice brief overview of the usual suspects but he also has a section on figuring out things like the Center of Effort on sails and how to combine two or more sails on one boat to find the overall COE. You're right to be thinking about raising a big mast but you'll have crew and a designing the step to keep the heel lined up isn't that big a deal.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Hey, Steve. It’s on its way. Also need time to go through the Bolger’s 103 Sailing Rigs online. But truthfully, once I decide what I want in a rig for this boat, I’ll likely reach out for assistance. I’m a smart fella, and can figure out steps and partners and overall handling, but I’ll feel better with some experienced guidance before building spars and ordering sails.

    I’m currently thinking a cat-ketch with spritsail main (boomed or boomless…?) and a leg-o-mutton mizzen. Or a yawl. Or something like Culler’s Sharptown Barge. Or…

    I actually really like Culler’s boats and rigs. Hmmm…

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Stambaugh’s Catbird 16. Optional lug-yawl rig. Too short and stitch-and-glue, but a charming design.
    A4BCBEFA-BF92-4B69-B741-504A4890BBCB.jpeg

    Standard cat-ketch.
    3B5A497E-1F5B-41EE-B6D7-8FE462E29F28.jpeg
    EDD1B7A9-A7F3-48F5-AE03-DF92744BAAC9.jpeg

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Stambaugh’s Windward 21. This has deadrise and I’m not sure about construction methods, but this is well thought out.

    C11DB1C0-65BB-444E-8B61-009FC7A819AC.jpeg

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Hi, Ben. Completely agree with your assessment. Andrew Kitchen did a marvelous job explaining the vertical reefing of his rig over on the other thread, but I’m not keen on it for this boat. I’m hot for a two-masted rig for the versatility and to keep crew engaged. While they aren’t sailors now, they surely won’t become so without some task at hand while aboard.

    Gardner’s pages on the 18’ or 20’ sharpie are great, and certainly give plenty of details on construction. The rig is right, too. However, as you say, the rudder (and round transom) keep me from considering this design for a build. Ditto W.B. At Mystic, as described in your 87 Boat Designs.

    The rig seems to be the hang up. Several of the boats in consideration have lovely hulls that are straightforward to build and will serve well. Chapelle’s 18’er is good, but single leg-o-mutton with vertical reefing. Atkins James Samuel has that big unhandy cat rig that looks a bear to set up on a trailered boat. The photos of the built Ohio sharpie look better. And I’m intrigued by the built Chapelle skiff with spritsail, topsail and jib.

    May need the assist of a designer or sailmaker to end up with a handy rig matched to the right hull…
    As long as you were modding stuff, there is no reason that you can't square stern one of those NH sharpies and skeg it enough like the Oyster skiff to have enough materials onto which to hang a rudder. The round transom was handy for oyster tonging, where you could just walk around your boat. Your decision would be to do a barndoor per tradition or a kick up.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Culler’s Sharptown Barge. A bit long and lean, but an interesting sail plan.
    F0594B5E-2B6B-4EC5-8D31-D5F55DB2084B.png

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    Default Re: Flat-Iron / Sharpie Design Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    As long as you were modding stuff, there is no reason that you can't square stern one of those NH sharpies and skeg it enough like the Oyster skiff to have enough materials onto which to hang a rudder. The round transom was handy for oyster tonging, where you could just walk around your boat. Your decision would be to do a barndoor per tradition or a kick up.
    Continue the sheer and chine in a fair curve to the last station and draw the transom… add skeg and rudder… hmmm… need pencil and paper to draw it out methinks…

    Or mod Chapelle’s Oyster Skiff with Gardner’s rig? Your write up of the Sharpie at Mystic has me determined for a two-mast rig. Plenty of strings and all.

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