A 17' 10" V-Bottom Knockabout
By William & John Atkin
A Useful Sailing Boat
A few years previous to our taking over the Red Boat Shop the Sammis's had built several boats from plans prepared by Charles D. Mower, a yacht designer for whom I have always had genuine admiration and respect. He was one of the greats of our time. Among the half models was one of a deadrise centerboard sailing boat representing an interesting little packet about 20 feet over all, 6 feet 6 inches breadth and most modest draft. I suppose she would have carried a gaff head knockabout sail plan, that being the vogue hose many years ago. The model showed modest overhang forward and a nearly plumb square stern with rudder outside. The chines rose well above the water line fore and aft and were submerged through the middle sections for about a third of the boat's overall length. The keel touched the bottom of the stern and swept in a pleasing curve merging into the contour of the overhanging stem. The hull form was not new, it antedates the design of Mr. Mower's cruising yawl Sea Bird by several years.
At any rate the little half model comes near to being the mother of most of the V bottom one design racing boats that now crowd the courses at the big yacht clubs; boats that vary in detail but are alike in origin. A boat designed to the likeness of the Mower half model will look very much like Sunbeam, this month's addition to MoToR BoatinG's expanding fleet of practical water craft. Her plans were drawn from notes and sketches I made long years ago and which, fortunately, were available for the basis of this design.
The plans of Sunbeam show a boat 17 feet 10 inches in overall length, 15 feet on the water line, 6 feet 2 inches breadth and with a draft of 8 1/2 inches to the bottom of the keel. The free board at the bow is an even 2 feet, the least freeboard 1 foot 2 1/2 inches and at the stern 1 foot 5 inches. With the centerboard down the draft will be 3 feet. The sail area is 125 square feet divided into staysail, 26.3 square feet; mainsail 98.7 square feet. The sails should be made of 4-ounce balloon cloth, be crosscut, and be provided with two rows of reef points and long nettles for easy reefing.
Sunbeam was designed for usefulness rather than racing and will therefore be an excellent boat in which to learn to become a seaman. Her sail area is modest, she has a roomy cockpit, reasonably wide side decks, lots of topside flare from end to end, rather more beam in proportion to length than many small centerboarders and all-in-all is a practical little boat for young or old.
Plans for Sunbeam are $100




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