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Thread: Offered a boat, but what is it?

  1. #1
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    Default Offered a boat, but what is it?

    New member here, and hardly any experience. I've been offered an abandoned project.
    The previous owner left the country and the seller does not have any info except that it is a "Colin Archer".
    So I went there and it's a double ended ketch, LOD: 32, BEAM: 8,8.
    Can't find any existing boat that fits those measurements.
    Does anyone know what plans the builder could have used?
    Last edited by Lazy Dan; 03-04-2023 at 04:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Those are not the usual Colin Archer proportions. L. Francis Herreshoff did a few double-enders of approximately those proportions and your boat could be a version of one of those designs. Wagon Box is 30'3" by 8'10", Dulcinea is 30'9" x 7'8", Design #93 is 30' x 8'9", and Diddikai is 36'6" x 8'8".
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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy Dan View Post
    New member here, and hardly any experience. I've been offered an abandoned project.
    The previous owner left the country and the seller does not have any info except that it is a "Colin Archer".
    So I went there and it's a double ended ketch, LOA: 32, BEAM: 8,8.
    Can't find any existing boat that fits those measurements.
    Does anyone know what plans the builder could have used?
    A photo would be good, especially of her stern.
    8'8" on 30' is a bit narrow for a Colin Archer, even Spitsgatters are beamier than that.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    32'x8'-8" is slipping down towards the "canoe yawl" end of the double-ender spectrum (CY in the traditional sense, not necessarily a two-masted yawl rig) as an example, the mighty Westsail 32 has an 11' beam. I suspect "Colin Archer" is used as a shorthand way of describing a stocky double-ended boat.

    To the OP, pictures would really go a long way towards helping identify the boat.

    ETA: While Colin Archer is most well known for his big Pilot and Rescue boats he was a fairly prolific designer, there could well be a set of plans out there to these dimensions. I don't know where this plans are cataloged or even if they are for that matter.
    Last edited by stromborg; 03-03-2023 at 01:34 PM.
    Steve

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Taken a look through John Leather’s Colin Archer book...and there’s nothing shown that narrow I can see.

    Atkin drew a few but nothing to those dimensions either. Can’t see anything in Albert Strange’s catalogue. Or Aage Nielsen’s book.

    Pictures would likely get you an answer, yacht designers have a look usually.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 03-03-2023 at 03:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Very close. Especially the cockpit on the Diddikai. But was that a double ender?
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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    A photo would be good, especially of her stern.
    8'8" on 30' is a bit narrow for a Colin Archer, even Spitsgatters are beamier than that.
    Here's her stern.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    I suspect "Colin Archer" is used as a shorthand way of describing a stocky double-ended boat.

    To the OP, pictures would really go a long way towards helping identify the boat.
    I would think so too.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    The look of the boat got me wondering about George Buehler's designs. But a quick review of what's online doesn't show a true match, though there are double-enders bigger and smaller. The subject does have a home-made air about her, though.
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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    The look of the boat got me wondering about George Buehler's designs. But a quick review of what's online doesn't show a true match, though there are double-enders bigger and smaller. The subject does have a home-made air about her, though.
    Yes there is a resemblance.
    It's hard for me to tell what parts are original but the hull has a completely different feel to it than the rest.

    One thing I've noticed is that most boats that look like her have a different rudder attachment. As a novice I don't know the correct term so I'll attach pictures of it.
    Last edited by Lazy Dan; 03-04-2023 at 04:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Old lifeboat conversion - nicely done
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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Old lifeboat conversion - nicely done
    Interesting. Is there more to tell?
    Age? Did they just use the hull for the conversion? Where was the lifeboat built?

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    A canoe stern lifeboat ?

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    A canoe stern lifeboat ?
    Just so, not a lifeboat anything.
    She is a canoe sterned motor sailer or auxiliary yacht.

    That deck is a mess, it needs to come off.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    there was meant to be a question mark after my comment....(??) - but why not a canoe stern lifeboat??? (NB: I know nothing about double enders....)









    Larks

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post

    That deck is a mess, it needs to come off.
    That's what I thought. She's a pretty big project for someone like me so I'd like to know her potential. That's why I'm trying to find more information about her.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Before one considers fixing any old boat, get real about the expense of moorage ,insurance and maintainance.
    She looks like a no go to me .
    Easier , cheaper and faster to build new .

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Before one considers fixing any old boat, get real about the expense of moorage ,insurance and maintainance.
    She looks like a no go to me .
    Easier , cheaper and faster to build new .
    Thank you for your advise. I wanted to get a nice well-built hull to knock a year of my build and and put all my rookie mistakes above the waterline.
    But that does not mean she is it.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    It's difficult to assess the condition of a boat from pictures alone, unless it's falling apart. Have someone with experience inspect it thoroughly. Consider hiring a surveyor, which will probably cost less than moving the boat.
    As to her origin, is there any documentation or hull number? Names of prior owners?

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    I was wondering about that deck. I've never seen deckboards go in so many different directions before. Like a
    patchwork quilt.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    There is indeed a lot of "funkiness" about the boat. That aft deck area looks terrible, what is the metal (galvanized?) sheathing on the bow covering up? Why is there a big hump in the waterline?

    The things I always wonder about a boat project like this are: How long has she been sitting on the hard and why? Something made somebody decide to haul the boat out and they rarely fix themselves. It got abandoned for a reason.
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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Have an experienced wood boat surveyor go over her.
    You can get an idea of her condition by going over her yourself. Tap with a light hammer or small mallet, any dull spongy sound is a warning of rot. Look at the fastenings, if they are green verdigris OK, copper or bronze, if rusting, be aware. Poke any suspect looking wood, especially around rusty fastenings, with a brad awl or electricians screwdriver.
    But a surveyor will advise about how much wood needs to be scrapped.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Thank you for advise on how to move forward. But before I decide on that I want to know what kind of boat one could expect from her. That's why I asked about the designer. If she was an Eric for example, I would love saving her as that is a proven good design, but I can't find anything about this and that makes me hesitate about moving forward.
    Is it most likely a bad design since its not known?
    Why is she so narrow? How will a hull like that perform?

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    I don't think she's that narrow, Just not extra beamy maybe.
    It seems like people are saying, and what you found yourself, is that she might be a one off, or based on an existing design with modifications which make it hard to pin the design down. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad design. THough there are some dodgy aspects whether added or by design.

    I think the first factor you should consider is the amount of work involved, not whether it's a design worth saving, thus the suggestions of thorough survey by yourself or a professional.
    Even if it was a proven design it might still be more work than building from scratch.
    It might not even be worth saving, good design or not, unless you are on some sort of crusade or insanely quixotic by nature

    Go look at the Tally-Ho rebuild and see how many years, $$ and resources, it takes to properly rebuild a boat from scratch even with the help of many volunteers and generous donations. Leo has very cleverly managed to make his passion into a self-sufficient enterprise and will see it through. tThough he has obviously worked very very hard and has sought very opportunity to monetize his efforts into excellent entertainment for others, so that he can continue with said passion. I'm applauding his efforts not critcizing them.

    I suspect once one gets into the meat of a rebuild the romance of 'saving' a boat wears quite thin to your average person
    Last edited by Toxophilite; 03-04-2023 at 04:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    THough there are some dodge aspects whether added or by design.

    I think the first factor you should consider is the amount of work involved, not whether it's a design worth saving, thus the suggestions of thorough survey by yourself or a professional.
    Thank you for your reply. I don't think my approach is as romantic as Leo's. I'm just trying to cut corners getting a well renown designed hull since I have a lack of knowledge and somewhat securing the investment of putting all those hours and money into the project.
    What dodge aspects can you spot from the pictures?

    What I'm looking for is a project hull. This comes with a solid engine. Since I will need to get help to re-rig I figure starting from a hull would cut my hours in half rebuilding deck, cockpit and interior. Does that seem realistic?

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Only if the hull is solid. It is very difficult to tell from the pictures but judging by the state of the deck a lot of freshwater has most likely got in where is it doesn't belong. If you end up having to start chasing down the rabbit hole of replacing bits of the backbone let alone frames and floor timbers that time saving you were hoping for might well disappear.
    Steve

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    There is indeed a lot of "funkiness" about the boat. That aft deck area looks terrible, what is the metal (galvanized?) sheathing on the bow covering up? Why is there a big hump in the waterline?
    Yes she's... special...
    I believe the previous owner did some funky work to it. That includes the galvanized sheathing on the bow. I will look underneath before deciding.
    On what picture do you see the hump? I haven't thought about it.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    Only if the hull is solid. It is very difficult to tell from the pictures but judging by the state of the deck a lot of freshwater has most likely got in where is it doesn't belong. If you end up having to start chasing down the rabbit hole of replacing bits of the backbone let alone frames and floor timbers that time saving you were hoping for might well disappear.
    Thank you Steve. I understand it is difficult to tell from the pictures.
    To me it seems like someone took care of her hull before the last owner started to make some interesting fixes.
    Still slightly worried about the keel as seen on the rudder picture, and what is underneath those metal sheats on the bow.

    IMG_20230303_160940.jpg

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy Dan View Post
    Thank you for advise on how to move forward. But before I decide on that I want to know what kind of boat one could expect from her. That's why I asked about the designer. If she was an Eric for example, I would love saving her as that is a proven good design, but I can't find anything about this and that makes me hesitate about moving forward.
    Is it most likely a bad design since its not known?
    Why is she so narrow? How will a hull like that perform?
    She will slip through the water faster than a beamy Colin Archer form. 8'8" on 32 foot oa is not excessively slim, especially if she has the draft to put the ballast well down in 't watter. L Francis Herreshoffs Marco Polo is only 12' on 55' oa length.

    Many good boats were built by small yards who knew what they were doing, with generations of experience behind them, without having their plans discussed in any Yellow Welly magazine.
    How old is she? How long has she lasted without falling to bits?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    She will slip through the water faster than a beamy Colin Archer form. 8'8" on 32 foot oa is not excessively slim, especially if she has the draft to put the ballast well down in 't watter. L Francis Herreshoffs Marco Polo is only 12' on 55' oa length.

    Many good boats were built by small yards who knew what they were doing, with generations of experience behind them, without having their plans discussed in any Yellow Welly magazine.
    How old is she? How long has she lasted without falling to bits?
    Wow. I have no idea how old she is. But you are certainly getting me all fired up here.
    I will go back tomorrow and inspect that hull even more.
    Thank you Nick.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    Why is there a big hump in the waterline?
    Someone can't paint a straight line for toffee. The shear line looks OK.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    I’m kind of surprised at the level of negative responses here - although I don’t know double enders there’s nothing in those photos that suggests this boat isn’t solid and well put together. I don’t see any weeping rust, open seams, mould, damage or outward suggestions of rot - I don’t know the purpose of the tin sheathing up forward below the waterline (is it hiding something?) but I do see a nice fair hull and sheer, solid looking timbers throughout and a rather nice shape to her.

    The deck planking might look unusual but why would that that make it any less solid? It can be laid over with thinner longitudinal planks for appearance or sheathed.....and I’ve seen a few old fishing boats with funkier looking decks than that.
    Larks

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    I thought the exterior of the hull looked fine too. And that one interior shot looked pretty nice. I think most people are saying investigate fully before acquiring so you know what you're getting into. That's all I was saying. Look really well before you leap.

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    I’m kind of surprised at the level of negative responses here...


    The deck planking might look unusual but why would that that make it any less solid? It can be laid over with thinner longitudinal planks for appearance or sheathed.....and I’ve seen a few old fishing boats with funkier looking decks than that.
    I am okay with tough love and since the deck is leaking and its not really the layout I want I will rebuild it anyway.
    But as the design seems to be unknown I went from "what is it?" to "is it a good design?". And it is just now that I'm catching up with the thread and will focus on the condition of the hull. Thanks to everyone helping with tips on how to check that!

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    Default Re: Offered a boat, but what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    I thought the exterior of the hull looked fine too. And that one interior shot looked pretty nice. I think most people are saying investigate fully before acquiring so you know what you're getting into. That's all I was saying. Look really well before you leap.
    Thanks for reminding me. Will do!

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