A 23' 3" Pirogue-Rigged Cruising Sharpie
By William & John Atkin
A New Haven Sharpie
The design this month is a type of small cruising boat which is again becoming very popular for many excellent reasons. The sharpie represents a kind of boat which is simple in form, consequently easy to build. These flat-bottomed craft have a long history of useful work behind them and through more years than I can remember have proved grand little vessels whether used for work or play. If of correct design or model, sharpies are particularly able boats, having stability as well, and a surprising turn of speed. And if fitted with large centerboards or leeboards and rudders, they have unusual windward qualities. The rig, whether sloop or pirogue, is the utmost in simplicity and by an alchemy which I am afraid many do not understand, has proved efficient by a century or more of practical use. Thus, in the sharpie, time and experience have produced a little boat which will sail well, handle well and one which can be produced without great expense. Rumbletumbleann is representative of this kind of boat, and is not by any means the first of her type I have designed.
She has a pirogue rig -- sometimes called a cat ketch, if such a rig really exists. Pirogue is better, I feel. The main carries 132 square feet, the mizzen 90 square feet. The total sail area is 222 square feet. The masts are unstayed. Sails hoist on wooden hoops and are loosefooted. Booms swing on wooden jaws with mast collars and tack ropes. The booms also carry topping lifts. The cloths of the sails run parallel with the leaches; sails have no battens, no roached leaches, and have two rows of reef points and cringles, with proper nettles rove. I have found with small cruising boats that there are times when it pays to reef.
Rumbletumbleann is 23 feet 3 inches over all, 18 feet on the water line, 6 feet 8 inches in breadth; and draws 10 inches of water with her board up; with the board down, 4 feet 4 inches. The freeboard at the bow is 2 feet 10 inches, the least freeboard 1 foot 6 1/2 inches, and at the stern 2 feet. The lines show rather more flare in the topsides than is usual sharpie practice and the breadth is somewhat greater in proportion to overall length than is customary in boats of this type. The deckhouse is low, no effort being made to gain more than comfortable sitting-up headroom. The cockpit is large enough for a party of four with hinged side seats which when lowered provide a long stretch of floor, thus giving room for a sleeping bag or rubber air mattress. With a tent over the mizzen boom this provides extra sleeping space should this be needed.
The little cabin does not have built-in bunks or seats; air mattresses and sleeping bags are used, these laying on the floor boards at night and tucked away under the forward deck when not in use. The centerboard trunk always takes up a lot of room in the cabin of a small boat, but it has one useful purpose besides housing the board itself -- it forms a strong support upon which to hinge drop tables, one either side. There is a small built-in table upon which to stand a Primus or alcohol stove. Kapok cushions should be used for seats in the cabin. The headroom is 3 feet 6 inches.
Plans for Rumbletumbleann are $100




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