An 18' 10" V-Bottom Keel Knockabout
By William Atkin
A Smart Little Sail Boat
I have noticed particularly wherever I go around the water that there are always one or two wholesome plain little boats sailing all the day, weather notwithstanding, while a great fleet of racing craft ranging from dinghies to Internationals lonesomely bob at their moorings excepting for those few hours twice a week between the barks of the starting and finishing guns. This month's design, Kay, is very similar to a practical, fast and able sailing boat that is owned by a neighbor. It is always busy. Weekends Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor with Little Boy Neighbor are off somewhere; the rest of the week Mrs. Neighbor and Little Boy sail the boat and keep the bottom from fouling up with grass. The boat affords joy with a minimum of upkeep, is easy to get under way, easy to tuck away, easy to haul up on the beach, strong, wholesome, and long lived. And very easy on the pocketbook to purchase. It is a wonder to me more craft like this are not used by yacht club people. When the Neighbors sail by folks on the club float will say, "There is an amusing little boat, a very nice little boat." And the following week buy its exact opposite with all the care the opposite kind requires. People, I sometimes think, are funny.
The cockpit is comfortable for two or three persons and such is the design that unless it blows very hard and you carry full sail there is no necessity to be hanging over the windward rail in order to keep afloat. Somehow nowadays few yachtsmen ever tuck in reefs. The rig is straightforward and simple; mainsail carrying 99 square feet and staysail 24 square feet; total area 123 square feet. Just a moderate sail plan for a comfortable boat. The standing rigging is well tried out and has many advantages over the strut-spreader, spreader-strut, etc., arrangement so much used today. Little boats are better without all that kind of gear aloft. Personally I would not have a boat that has to be rigged and re-rigged every time it is used. Better to keep the. sails bent and protected by sail covers and mildew proofing than to be lugging sails to and fro all season long. Small open boats, motor or sail, should have a proper cockpit cover against rain and spray. This may require ten minutes' time to remove and replace, but without it hours will be spent bailing out and drying out every time one shoves off, a messy job at best. A boat half full of rain water holds hard and I have noticed is always the first to break loose every time it storms.
Kay is a typical deadrise model, neither flat on the bottom nor of extreme V sections. Her over-all length is 18 feet 10 inches; length on the water line, 17 feet; breadth, 5 feet 4 inches; and draft, 1 foot 10 inches. The freeboard at the bow is 2 feet 2 inches; the least freeboard, 1 foot 4 inches; while the freeboard at the stern is 1 foot 6 1/2 inches. There is a wooden fin carrying some 230 pounds of lead. The rudder post and rudder are protected by the fin and cannot be easily damaged. The fin is 3 inches thick and substantially through bolted to the keel and apron. The hull is fitted with watertight compartments fore and aft. Any boat with a heavy metal keel should be fitted thus. Open boats with inside or outside ballast will sink surprisingly fast if filled and are lacking in proper flotation spaces. There should be rigid rules about this kind of thing; it is something to which more attention might very properly be given.
Plans for Kay are $100






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