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Thread: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

  1. #1
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    Default Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    I would like to pick up where more or less where several related threads that touched on the Hoopers Island Sharpie left off.

    I believe that Chapelle's "Chesapeake sharpie" and Reuel Parker's "Maryland Crabbing Skiff" are Hoopers Island Sharpie's or slight variations of the basic type.

    I think that Chapelle would agree. I think that Parker might be unaware of his boats relationship to the Hoopers Island Sharpie (HIS).

    The only significant differences between the HIS type are Chapelle's dagger board like centerboard (also used by Parker) and the shape of the mainsail (e.g., the absence of a club and the end of the sprit).

    Below you should find rare Chapelle drawing of the last documented HIS built on Hoopers Island circa 1926... length 20'7" and a beam of just over 5'. It is remarkably similar to Chapelle's "Chesapeake sharpie" and Parker's boat which is essentially a flat bottomed version of Chapelle's design.

    I plan to build one of these. There is very little in the way of construction details basically the information below and a few notes

    http://www.roberthaynesphd.net/hoope...nd-sharpie.jpg

    I will try to keep posting on this topic and project as time allows.

    Regards, Robert
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Robert - Hoopers Island MD; 07-10-2006 at 10:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Lines of a1926 Hoopers Island sharpie taken by Chapelle in 1941


  3. #3
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    Keep us posted.Enough construction details could be found in the plans from Chapelle's 18' and 20'ers'.Are you going to use ply or solid timber?

    Chris

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    Default

    Where'd you find the drawing Robert ? Are locals going to help with advise and tools ?

  5. #5
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    Yorgie,

    I plan to build the boat as traditionally as possible (short of fanaticism), while using much of Parker’s plywood, epoxy and Xynole-polyester techniques. In other words I will be putting in more side braces than Parker’s design calls for. I want something that will be a little lighter, tougher, and easier to use and maintain, hence the cold molded approach.

    Time allowing I may build a version as traditional as possible using flannel, white lead etc.


    Bill,

    Pete Lesher curator at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum the told me about Chapelle’s drawing of the 1926 Hoopers Island sharpie (HIS). He had the original scanned, and made a copy for me.

    It seems that that few if any of the folk much under the age of 70 remember much of the Hoopers Island sharpies as documented by Chapelle. (e.g. the 1909 boat from Honga, the 1921 boat in Chesapeake Crabbing Skiffs).

    Honga was at northern end of Fishing Creek, the first or northern most of the three Hoopers Islands, currently called (1) Fishing Creek, (2) Hoopersville, and (3)
    Applegarth, from north to south.

    We do have a delightful and remarkable retired master boat builder (Calvert Cannon) now in his nineties, who has built sharp-end skiffs of the non-sailing variety. He has also familiar with the sailing version. He has been very helpful, and has been more than generous in answering all my silly questions. I expect he will continue to help me through this project. is more

    There are very few construction details. So I will borrow ideas from the one sharp-end skiff (local name for this family of boats which includes smaller sharpie/skiffs left on the island). The one remaining boat is a 16 foot version that was principally polled. It was used for tending peeler floats. Docks were rare here in the past and work boats were tethered to a single pole. The water men used sharp-end skiffs to get and from their work boats not terribly long ago.

    There are the sets of plans from “Twenty Boats You Can Build” from 1940 and 1943. The deadrise boat from 1943 (Naomi) is a somewhat modified version of the HIS, but documentation describes pretty traditional construction methods as far as I can tell, and in some detail.

    The flat bottom Sandy from 1943 appears to be of a traditional HIS. These planes like Naomi’s contain a good amount of construction detail. Books by Rabl and H.V. Sucher spend a fair amount of time describing how boats in this general area were built.
    In addition, as Kevin Brennen pointed a while back three of Chapelle’s Chesapeake sharpies were built around Saint Michael’s Maryland about 18 years ago. I am more or less in contact with builder one of these boats. It seems that there is 1921 HIS built around that same period that is currently on the western shore. I plan to track that boat down.

    There is also a fellow around Saint Michael’s that has built several of the boats in “Chesapeake Crabbing Skiffs”. I plan to get in touch with another gentleman from the area who was the first person to build a log canoe in 60 years or so (now some time ago).
    The HIS is clearly the direct descendent of the log canoe.

    I think I have enough resources to get at least parts of the project on good ground. However, be forewarned, expect to be begging for help, advice and support from time to time.

    Regards, R

  6. #6
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    Hi, all

    Robert, you may remember me; I'd posted some questions back in Feb or March re rigging my R. Parker-designed "Maryland Crabbing Skiff." You pointed out (no pun intended) that the boat was actually derived from the "Hooper's Island sharpies," which is quite evident when the two are compared.

    I'm in the finishing stages of my boat - needs only topside paint and varnish, and rigging. I found out quite by accident, literally, that the boat is very strong, even with the number of braces that Mr. Parker specified. In short, the boat was sitting on her building frame outside of the friend's shop where I built her, and the wind blew her over, building frame and all. She came to rest three quarters upside down, resting on the CB post.

    We did a second unintended dynamic test last week when we loaded the boat up onto a 12' dolly preparatory to moving her to my house. We jacked up, in turn, each end of the boat to a height of 2' plus and placed sawhorses about 2' from each end, leaving 16' of boat hanging free. There was no sag and no flex.

    Could I suggest that when you build your boat, that you use fiberglass to sheathe the hull instead of Xynole polyester? Despite Mr. Parker's claim, I found the Xynole harder to work with than 'glass, and it absorbs huge amounts of expensive epoxy. Granted, there's no itch factor and it conforms to compound curves. However, with a little care, the itch when working with 'glass can be avoided, and it wets out much nicer.

  7. #7
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    LakeErieSailor,

    Thanks for the update on your progress and dynamic test results. I want to keep the boat relatively light and economical so I am very tempted to follow your recommendation regarding glass over Xynole polyester. By the way, how was Xynole harder to work with than glass?

    Robert

  8. #8
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    Lightbulb Re: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    Hello Robert,
    at the moment I prepare a 1'=1'' model of her.
    I am so free to add three plates I have taken from my Chapelle "Boatbuilding" edition - plates No.30,40 & 41.
    As far as I know it is one of the finest sets of plans I ever got in my hands...
    So it will be fun to follow your 1'=12'' building log in here.
    Is in here any intrest in a scratch model blog at all?
    Regards from Germany from
    Gorg

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorg View Post
    Hello Robert,
    at the moment I prepare a 1'=1'' model of her.
    I am so free to add three plates I have taken from my Chapelle "Boatbuilding" edition - plates No.30,40 & 41.
    As far as I know it is one of the finest sets of plans I ever got in my hands...
    So it will be fun to follow your 1'=12'' building log in here.
    Is in here any intrest in a scratch model blog at all?
    Regards from Germany from
    Gorg
    Some interest here, but it needs to be pushed along. http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...Models-Section
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    Hello Nick,

    I started my text with some pictures.
    Would you think it will be best to put it in a extra thread under the 1'=12'' threads?

    Hope you have fun with it.
    Gorg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    Hi Gorg,
    I had a look. May I suggest that you post the url for the larger image than the thumbnail. it will make the posts easier to follow.

    See what feed back you get from that thread, then decide whether a dedicated thread would be better, on balance it might be so.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    I have an 18'-6" version of the boat you posted. It is cross-planked, flat bottom, frameless construction of virginia pine and white cedar. It has the same rudder and centerboard, with a balance jib, but no bowsprit.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    Thanks Eddi for the interestin information... can you help me with some pictures?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    I'm just bumping this thread back up because not much else on the forum interrests me this morning.
    It occurred to me after sailing Katie-K-II (my 20' long 2 sail crab skiff) last weekend that this boat is nowhere near as quick and lively as the 18'-6" double ender. It's relaxing to sail the bigger boat especially with a few people on board, but the little one is more of a thrill. It's uncomfortable to sit in, and your gonna get a wet rear end. But when you get a steady breeze, even only 6 or 7 kts, it feels like you're flyin'!
    I like to move forward, let go of the tiller, and steer with an oar in the oarlock from the windward side. Just dip the oar occasionally to adjust your course. Water will squirt through the slot in the top of the cb case every so often.

    So I am curious.....How different a plywood/'glass version of one of these boats would feel. Both of mine are solid wood. They get heavier as the season passes because I leave 'em in the water. I bet that 20' double ended plywood boat would go, but is it as stable?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Hoopers Island Sharpies (sailing double-end crab skiffs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddiebou View Post
    It occurred to me after sailing Katie-K-II (my 20' long 2 sail crab skiff) last weekend that this boat is nowhere near as quick and lively as the 18'-6" double ender.
    Eddiebou, can you post a few pics of Katie-K-II and tell us a little about her. I'd love to see her.

    Thanks, Mack
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