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Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

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  • Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Alan Hyde asked me to put together a "photo-tour" of my ketch. He asked twice, so I think he was serious. What boat-owner could ever resist such a request?

    So today I went hunting through albums. I seem to have many pictures of her at anchor, but very few on the hard showing her overall shape (including keel). Yet the one album I know has photos like this seems to be missing. Very frustrating! 2004 has vanished!

    She was built just after WW2. A Montreal doctor and wife put her together when materials became available again. She is cypress-on-white oak frames, with a live-oak keel and deadwood structure. From what I can see she's never had a plank off, yet there's no hull rot, and hasn't been any yet. Some of the cypress planks are full-length, over 40ft. There have been changes and repairs over the years to her decks and cabin -- these are the things that tend to decay.

    I don't know her design. I have no plans. Yet there are many similarities to Munroe's sharpie-influenced designs. The designer seems to have added just a little deadrise plus a shallow ballasted keel. Her LOD is 40ft. LOA 46ft. LWL 35 ft. Beam 10ft. Draft 40" board up, 7'4" board down. Displacement 18,000 lbs.

    So she's a long skinny boat -- 4 to 1 length to beam ratio. She's also shallow. She has 6'1" headroom in the aft cabin, but it decreases forward. The hull planks are just inches below the floorboards. Here she is before we repainted her and stripped her masts. (In the Western Islands of Georgian Bay, Lake Huron.)

    Let me just post this to see if it worked. More to come.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 11-22-2017, 09:56 AM.

  • #2
    If the photos didn't post, let me know. This is not my forte.

    Her keel is long and shallow -- about 3/4 the length of the boat. It is a casting of iron, about 11" tall and 9" wide. Just ahead of the mizzen, where the keel deadwood starts, the cast angles down to become a shoe keel that goes to the rudder post, about 2" high by 9" wide. This long, wide, casting was a good idea. It functions like the foundation of a house. It's a huge beam, and the boat can't flex much while it's bolted down tight. Also it's easier on the boat to left her in slings, since she's being lifted by her foundation. And this ballast keel is pierced for her centerboard. That means the board can't flex much -- the slot in the iron prevents it. And so the load on the CB trunk inside is greatly reduced. In this photo, taken at the time of purchase, the detail isn't great, but you get an idea of the layout. The shadow line is very close to the top of the iron keel. Unfortunately wood and iron are all painted bronze. (I'll take some photos this spring!)

    Her rudder is a blunt affair, high-drag-not-much-streamlining I'm afraid. It's rather small. She can be awkward to handle in small marinas. Often we use ropes and get her into confined places in stages. I wish some of her rudder surface were ahead of the post -- I think that would make it a lot more effective. As it is, sail balance is important in Drake. The helm is not over-powerful. And I wish that big 3-bladed prop could feather, but not enough to pay $2000 for it. I sometimes think that if I rebuilt the rudder to streamline it more, and put on a feathering prop, I'd get half a knot out of her.

    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 11-22-2017, 09:59 AM.


    • #3
      Excellent, Dave.

      Thank you very much.

      What you have shown does whet the appetite for more, however.



      • #4
        In the previous picture of her rudder, I should've mentioned that the group of men behind her are manhandling her new centerboard. If you can make out its shape behind them, it's a rectangle with one curved side. It goes up into the slot in the orientation you see it. The pivot pin is bottom left, and fits into a hole in the casting. In use, when lowered, it presents a fan-shape to the water. It is a steel plate, 3/8" (I think, or is it 7/16?), hot-dipped galvanized, which I replaced 3 years ago. Inside, the pennant is steel cable led from the roof, to a block on the board, up through the roof out onto the top, over a sheave and aft to a winch on the top aft of the cabin roof. It's not hard to wind up with this 2-1 rig, plus the leverage of the winch.

        Here we have her stern. Her previous name meant "breaking wave" in Quebecois french. We changed it to Drake III, standing for David-Robin-Austin-Kelly-Et al., which had more meaning for us.

        If you look carefully, below the waterline, you can see the shape of her deadrise to port. It's shallow and straight -- no "wineglass" fairing into the keel. Shallow draft was important to her builders because she was meant to sail in the St. Lawrence River near Montreal, which is only deep in a few places.

        It's a good stern. The overhang may be inefficient by modern standards, but we can sail all day in 7-footers and the stern deck stays dry. The lazarette under it is where I store my ropes, which is proof enough. There is a boomkin built on which allows a standing backstay.

        [ 12-23-2005, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: Dave Hadfield ]
        Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 11-22-2017, 10:03 AM.


        • #5
          Thanks Dave, very interesting. I love her bow. Lots of accommodation even tho she has a centerboard. Definitely show her underbody in the spring.



          • #6
            Great!!! Thanks. Munroe's Presto designs had some deadrise.


            • #7
              Beautiful boat! How much head room do you lose forward?


              • #8
                Hey, I'm not done. I've finally figured out thus scan-and-upload thing. Had to move to Imagestation. I've been on it all afternoon.

                It's about 5'5" forward. We call it a focsle, because there's a large hatch above it, but it's really just a forepeak. Two good bunks though, with shelves. Lot's of light and air. Too bad it's usually jammed with sailbags -- that's the downside of a shallow boat -- limited under-berth storage. Here's the saloon, looking forward.

                And here's the place itself, starboard berth, port one full of stuff.

                The only photo I've got facing aft is this one of my son doing dishes (with his friend). It also shows a corner of the wood stove which I set up for cool-weather trips. Its base tray fits into a CB inspection slot, and the stovepipe goes out the skylight. Works great. Wonderful on a cold wet fall day.

                This stove shot was taken on a trip just before lift-out, end of October, with frost forming on the decks. Cozy-looking, isn't it?

                Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 12-18-2017, 11:17 AM.


                • #9
                  Rod, the CB trunk is definitely in the way, but it sure mounts a nice table. There are 2 magnificent mahogany boards that hinge up and we can sit 6 (or even 8 friendly) for dinner. It's also handy to have a hole in the boat when you want to pour something in the lake you don't want your neighbours to see(!).

                  Let me keep going here... the cockpit is very long, over 7ft. Lots of room for sprawling while still being able to sail the boat.

                  The mizzen boom is quite high. The whole thing is not in the way at all, and it's handy to be able to handle or reef that sail from the safety of the cockpit. We don't normally have a bimini, but I had the hottest part of a very hot summer off, this year, and I improvised one.

                  That photo was taken in Gros Cap, on the eastern shore of Superior, in a tiny little harbour that scared us going in. The guidebook was inaccurate, and the water was so crystal clear that when you looked you couldn't tell if it was 2', or 12' or 20'. (It was a bit under 5. Bless the CB...)
                  Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 03-15-2008, 10:20 AM.


                  • #10
                    Here's another view of her stern. Robin carved all the nameboards out of cherry, with a mallet and chisel. But she's got to do one more this winter, because we lost one of the bow boards in a rough crossing of the North Channel, last August!

                    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 12-18-2017, 10:45 AM.


                    • #11
                      Absolutely stunning, Dave!
                      ~~~~√ √~~~~~~~~~~~~


                      • #12
                        Hey Dave, what a great cruiser. Your centerboard setup is very similar to Parker's Exuma 36 that I posted photos of in Houston. The centerboard housing was about 4 feet high at the stern end, and dropped down to about 30" forward. Nice table for dinner there too.

                        My Presto 30, whose plans are about to be completed will have the sams type of centerboard, simply because is the most versatile for real shallow water cruising. . . but it will have a foil shape for better performance.



                        • #13
                          Let me post a few more before I get distracted by a lot of seasonal non-boating stuff.

                          I don't have too many pictures of her under sail. (Who does, apart from John B.? Next year will be my "year of the photo".) But here she is in profile.

                          This was taken the first year we got her, before her masts were stripped and her paint changed. As you can see, the jib is hanked on foul and the mizzen is bagged out and stretched. (New one in 2002.) But it does point out that the rig is low-aspect. The mizzen is almost as high as the main (in fact when the main has a reef we appear to be a schooner). This was to allow her to get under a number of bridges in the Montreal area. And there's more separation between main and mizzen than in most ketches. The mainmast is located as far as possible forward -- any farther and the shrouds wouldn't support her. The result is that she'll close-haul without the mizzen being backwinded, more-so than most ketches. (Once we replaced the mizzen with a flatter sail, she began to self-steer, which now she does anytime the wind is ahead of the beam unless the seas throw her head off.) This combination -- big sturdy bowsprit to take the foresails, main well forward, mizzen tall yet backstayed, good separation, is unusual. It combines with the long keel to give her wonderful manners under sail. She is a very easy boat through the water. You can see that she's long and skinny and slices through the water, hardly pitching at all.

                          That's not to say she's a whiz close-hauled -- long-keeled ketches rarely are -- but her performance is respectable.

                          We used to cruise alongside a modern fin-keel spade-rudder sloop (Ticon 30) and never disgraced ourself.
                          Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 12-18-2017, 11:37 AM.


                          • #14
                            But in truth, a long skinny shallow boat does not have a lot of power upwind. When the wind goes to 30 kts, and the seas rise to 6 ft, I can't really hoist enough sail to drive her against them. If I do she lays over too far. To be able to support that much sail, the hull has to be wider or more deeply ballasted. So I generally head off a bit and make a different plan.

                            I sailed "against" a Bristol Channel Cutter one afternoon in conditions like that. She did better upwind. On the other hand her cockpit was drenched with spray (it's very rare to take spray in the cockpit of Drake) and of course it wasn't shallow draft.

                            Her ketch rig does allow a lot of playing with different sails. Frankly, I enjoy that. Our simplest downwind rig is the spinnaker, but we fly it from the mizzen. This is dead simple. It doesn't require any poles or uphauls and downhauls and things because it's spread over the middle of the boat. The tack is generally to one of the stanchion bases. We raise it from, and douse it down, the main companionway -- perfectly protected.

                            The reason we can do this is because the main standing backstays are individual. In most ketches a single wire comes down and attaches to a V-shaped bridle that goes to chainplates or deck fittings on either side (like an upside down "Y"). This arrangement gets in the way of a mizzen staysail or spinnaker. On Drake, I rigged the backstays with big pelican hooks, and I can get the leeward one completely out of the way for hoisting a sail there.

                            Another variation is the square. It's a bit of a fussy thing to raise and trim, but very nice when it's up. You certainly don't have to worry about gybing it. I keep the yardarm on the cabin roof (I made it the same length) and hoist it up with the sail attached and gathered to it, held tight to the spar with rubber bands. When all is aloft I haul on the sheets, the bands break, and the sail drops and fills nicely. I admit though, it takes an extra hand to run the square, since it's shape is affected by 2 braces and 2 sheets, and all need adjusting every time the wind or heading shifts.

                            Yet another intersting hoist is the "mule" or main backstaysail. Again it's a fussy thing to hoist since I use a sprit to give it shape, but once up it does wonderfully. It looks after itself when you tack. It sets very closehauled. Its biggest area is up high where the wind is -- imagine a jib that works upside down. We only fly it in winds under 15 kts, but when we do, we gain a knot and point up 10 degrees instantly. In this photo we also have the square up -- 5 in total. (I'd hoist more but I haven't enough rope.)

                            Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 12-18-2017, 11:43 AM.


                            • #15
                              Her masts are unusual. They are the original sticks, glued, square-section sitka spruce a la LFH, mounted in very sturdy tabernacles. They are arranged so that the masts can be lowered and then raised by the anchor windlass. I've done it. It works, though it takes a while since most of the rigging has to be loosened and then tensioned again. To do it the forestay is extended by a sturdy rope, and then led forward to a very strong block made fast to a ring at the end of the bowsprit, and from there to the windlass. The forward-leading shrouds are disconnected. The lower bolts are removed from the tabernacles. Then easing the forestay allows the masts to pivot aft. You go under the bridge. Then you hit the windlass switch and the masts go back up again.

                              You wouldn't do it on a day-trip, but if it saved a day or two's travel you would.

                              I am amazed at the quality of these masts. They are nearing 60 years old. There is no rot in them. (How many aluminum masts will go 60 years?)

                              The fife-rail was something I built. There were too many halyards for the original 2 cleats. Now there are 8 pins. They work very well. When you figure out how to "swage" the line around the belaying pins you can get the halyards quite tight.

                              There are no halyards leading back to the cockpit. On the other hand, there is lots of room to work up at the mast, good footing, and by doing your hoisting there it keeps a lot of line out of the cockpit. Notice how the cabin roof is clean and uncluttered -- very good for lying on and with little to trip your feet when handing the main.

                              Well that's about it. I wish the photos were better. Next year I'm going to make an effort, starting when I take the tarps off and continuing until haul-out.

                              One final photo. She's a fine little ship and usually a lot of fun.

                              Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 03-15-2008, 11:12 AM.