Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Some Designs In The Offing

Descriptions and Links To Design Blogs

(someday this will be a website)

     The purpose of this blog has from the start been an effort to advocate for the elegant pastime of a life in sensible boats. This thought has from the perspective of these writings been built around a simple, central theme: that a good boat is one that gets used often.As a philosophy of design this is all encompassing, as boats are designed for many purposes and circumstances, but only the good ones get used often. This applies equally to the simple skiff and the most extravagant yacht, with neither having the slightest claim to any value at all if they never leave the dock; or, either may have value beyond common measure if used often and successfully on the voyages of escape and renewal that compelled their creation from the outset.

     This blog has evolved into a philosophy of boat design narration, which is well and good and arguably necessary for the greater world of pleasure boating. Future postings will continue to expound on this theme, in the interest of presenting general ideas about types of boats that will best serve defined purposes and so be used often. From these discussions, specific designs will emerge.

     More to the point, specific blogs will also begin to emerge that will describe and display the details of specific designs as they emerge. These will be divided between the four categories, Masters, Journeyman, Apprentice, and Working. Links to these blogs will appear (as they become active) at the top of each of my boating-related blogs. Whether individual designs will ultimately have their own blog will be decided in time. One final note before briefly discussing upcoming designs:

     some day this will be a website

     Details, drawings, and photographs for the following designs and design concepts will appear and be expanded on at:

I) 42 foot Motor Cruiser: Hull design by Seth Persson
       In 1974, the 42 foot party fishing boat Capt. Bob II was launched, and went on to serve for more than thirty years in that capacity. The hull design by Seth Persson features a round hull at the bow, developing into a chined cross section from midships to the stern. The resulting vessel has the seagoing capability and smooth ride of a round hulled vessel and the efficiencies of a chine hulled motorboat. With 14 feet of beam, this design affords the potential for a spacious, comfortable, long distance motor cruiser. 
     Over the coming months, work will commence to produce the designwork needed to construct a well appointed, capable cruising motor vessel. This will include modifications to the construction plans aimed at utilizing modern materials and methods to improve the quality and longevity of the finished boat.

II) 28 foot Down East motor launch. 
     Also incorporating the round hull forward to hard chine aft hull style, this design by Jon Persson has the narrow beam (8 ft. 6 inches), classic sheer, and tumblehome aft which mark the Down East-style lobster boat. Intended for a variety of engine and power systems, this launch will be configured as either an open launch or cuddy-cabin weekend cruiser. The hull design will afford an efficient, comfortable ride with a good turn of speed.

III) 18 foot Connecticut River Pulling Boat
     Designed on 1982 by Jon Persson, the Connecticut River Pulling Boat is a recreational sliding seat rowing boat capable of being used on moderately open waters. Stable and roomy, this design combines practicality and elegance for the enjoyment of light exercise and serene settings.
     Originally built as a lapstrake plywood boat with steam bent oak frames, this design is  to be modified to allow the option of cedar strip planking. And, while custom built rowing gear has been the choice in existing boats, provisions will be made to accept manufactured rowing gear and rigs.

IV) Mink. This was the working name for a 32 foot sloop developed by Seth Persson as a boat for himself and his family. With this design, Seth combined the best features of a Nat Herreshoff design with a 1930's boat named Driad and the highly successful Finisterre. While Mink was lost in the fire of 1964, her lines survive and her design will be completed for construction as a modern 
cold-moulded  boat.

V) YOT's. This is a long-held notion to develop a set of designs for classic and quite able sail and power boats in a size range that makes them easy and simple to use with crews of all ages. The premise is to work in the 16 to perhaps 25 foot range (large enough to be genuinely useful), while maintaining the look of much larger yachts. The list of designs being considered include a 21 to 22.5 foot classic sloop, a 21 foot version of  Down East launch, a schooner in the 25 foot range; a square rigged yacht, a commuter boat, a sailing machine with ballasted keel. The intent is to produce designs fun to own and use, which will as always get used often.

VI) Valhalla. This is an idea for a 47 foot ocean cruising ketch that has been under consideration for some time. A balance between comfort and ableness is sought, with a good turn of speed coming from a well-proportioned, full keel, full displacement hull design. A practical interior is planned, working around the real needs of long distance sailing on the open ocean. Construction will again incorporate the best of modern materials and structural design, with wood/epoxy being the probable choice. A second choice of plank on frame construction may be designed as well, if just for sentimental reasons.

     Further information on these concepts will appear and grow with time at To discuss these ideas as they develop, I may be reached at

1 comment:

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