A trailerable centerboarder, Gaviota is modeled after the schooner yachts made popular by John Alden.
General Comments: 23' trailerable centerboard schooner, modeled after the schooner yachts made popular by John Alden.
As silly as it may be, it makes more sense than the Hinterhoeller 25 ketch I used to race against. The historic fishing village of Cortez, FL is clinging tenaciously to its past even as other traditional Florida waterfront communities are irrevocably changed by modern development. Every April, the town is the site of a boatbuilders' gathering organized by the FL Gulf Coast Chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association, at which a large and eclectic fleet of handmade craft and the people who make them gather to mess about in boats.
On the way down the dock, we came across these people in the process of extracting their large dog from the cabin of their small sailboat.
The dock opposite the one we were on is an active commercial fishing dock with a packing house. When we got out to the floating docks where all the little boats were located, the first things we came across were some very nice paddling craft.
The lapstrake rowboat with the flat bottom in the background of this picture was a really neat boat, but this strip built open kayak made me scarcely notice it! As we were examining the junk boats and the funny little boat beyond them, our fellow catboat sailor, Catboat Willy, came over from his boat to greet us, so I took a picture of Willy and Paul under the dock shelter. The funny little boat at the end of the line was drawing a lot of attention, and someone asked whose boat it was. That got a few chuckles, but the actual owner chimed in to explain that it is constructed with a ballistic nylon fabric skin, and the flat part is actually the bow of the boat.
The largest boat to attend the Traditional Small Craft Festival was this gaff-rigged cutter named Surprise, which appears to be built on an old fishing boat design. The other "big boat" at the small boat gathering was the catboat Nadine, which is not exactly a traditional catboat, but is a very nice looking cruiser all the same. Up in the parking lot, we encountered another powerboat entrant: this outboard powered traditional strip built skiff. Back out on the dock, Willy's catboat Sea Bird is tied up next to another small power launch.
I caught a picture of the little launch as it was leaving with a very nice wooden decked kayak in tow. I walked out onto the sand bar to take a closer look at some of the boats scattered around in the knee-deep water. I do not know how it got away without my noticing, but here is a picture of Shark Bait under sail.
One of my favorites as I wandered the flat was this gaff-rigged schooner strip built canoe. There were many wooden boats finished bright, which is always a more attractive look to me than a painted boat, but this one really stood out.
I met the proud owner of this little lapstrake skiff called Rascal when I was standing out by the boats.
In the background of this picture, you can see the beautiful Melonseed from the above photo attempting to leave under sail.
The little green catboat is named Mar, and aboard were an old salt who seemed to know how to handle a dinghy and a young girl who seemed a bit terrified by the whole thing. I was walking around in the water when this lady paddled by in this really gorgeous wood kayak. I believe the moored boat is a Core Sound 17, and since I am very interested in that boat's big sister, the Everglades Challenge 22, I wanted to take a closer look, but it was out kind of far in deeper water. The Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) Boatworks is a traditional wooden boatbuilding program up in St.
Displaying her own shoal draft capability, this Americraft catboat has a businesslike appearance.
As I was getting ready to leave later on, I saw the trimarans disassembled and loaded on their custom trailer. We decided to walk up to the parking lot restaurant to get some food, and along the way I saw these fishing boats jockeying for dock space across the canal. OK, in this picture that contains no distractions, you can see that the fishing skiff has trim tabs on the transom.
One last shot in the water- this one of a classic rumrunner style runabout, but a bit modernized and with four stroke outboard power instead of the conventional inboard. At the other end of the boat appearance and condition spectrum, this neglected ketch sat in the parking lot with a condemnation sticker on the side, or what was left of the side. The sign pointing the way from the museum parking lot out to the FISH Boatworks area is an old boat, very appropriate. There were several project boats in various states of ruin and restoration around the yard, but the showpiece at the moment was clearly this wooden Bahamas cruiser that is being restored under a tarp in the yard.
I do not know what this boat is, but my first reaction to it was "Incredible Hulk." The bilge underneath the engine compartment was rotting out, among other things, but I guess someone has in mind restoring the boat. Starting with the little two-person inflatable raft I had as my very first boat, I have always loved the freedom and the feeling of being out on the water. This is an 18 foot version of the yawldory hull with high performance sails, centerboard, and rudder by Eric Sponberg.
I also drew a sail plan, based on the practices of the time and a rough sailmaker’s sketch of the original vessel.
Erik went over the details of this plan in great detail, even making sure that the block were exactly scale size.
The deckhouses and topping lifts are not shown because my part of the project came to a sudden end.
The design fee was one of my double paddle canoes so we would have a second one for my wife. Location: albany modifying a staysail schooner Is is possible to modify a staysail schooner to a gaff schooner? Location: French Guyana Staysail schooners can have a number of different arrangements. Depending on the exact arrangement , geometry , mast placement etc changing to gaff can result in substantial improvement in performance. Basically your question is too vague to be able to answer with any kind of precision as is.
Originally Posted by Tcubed I have many years of experience as a rigger on both traditionally rigged and modern boats. Location: French Guyana A 'reverse marconi' foresail to fill the gap between main staysail and foremast on a staysail schooner without a boom is extremely inefficient as the sheet has nowhere to go but to the mainmast, ie on the centreline of the boat. Even with the boom though it is not so optimum as all these sails have a triangular planform which is a drastic departure from the optimum eliptical planform.
Location: Eustis, FL Simply put, a staysail schooner will perform better up wind then a gaffer, but down wind the gaffer has an advantage given both fly working sails.
Generally the staysail schooner is a handier rig to operate, particularly if short crewed, then a gaffer.


It's unlikely you'll find a reasonably modern design, staysail schooner that wouldn't require considerable effort and expense to convert to a gaffer. Location: Chonburi just can use a full batten big roach main to increase sail area up high, and acheive the look of gaff, with better performance? My goal is to leave the masts where they are, change the main and fore to gaff rigs and add topsail above each. Location: Eustis, FL Nope, it can't be balanced well with the masts in those locations and gaffheaded sails installed.
Location: albany I was hoping to not only keep the masts in place but keep the center of efforts close to the same as well. Location: French Guyana I think you ' re thinking pretty logically but you still haven't stated what your precise objectives are in doing rig changes. Seeing the first picture , it is in fact possibly one of the worst examples of a mule i have yet seen.
I agree that moving mast positions is suddenly a lot more work, so would avoid such drastic changes. It is important to realize that if the center of effort is lowered it must also shift aft to achieve the same balance, but will be less affected by heel. Location: French Guyana Here is a very quick and crude picture of what i'm imagining spur of the moment. Location: florida You can spread out the expense a little by just going to the gaff foresail, leaving the main as is except for removing its forestay and adding a spring stay.
I realize the boat is small for a schooner rig but I am trying to keep the size manageable (even if I am not keeping the rig manageable). Regarding the comment suggesting increasing the roach I am not a fan of roach or battens at all and would rather have a leech line if the sails are to be new or cut. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. To get WoodenBoat delivered to your door or computer, mobile device of choice, etc, click WB Subscriptions.
The guy who built it did so in plywood and just about the time that he passed away so did the boat.
Fishermen established the settlement in the 1880s and commercial fishing, particularly for mullet, has been a way of life ever since. Traditional boatbuilders are a bit like old Florida fishing villages: endangered by the modern world in which they have largely been replaced, yet persevering anyway. The museum building is the old schoolhouse, restored and filled with model boats and ships and maritime memorabilia. Out front, they have a traditional Cuban fishing vessel that was used by some Cubans to escape the Castro regime. With the teenager lifting from behind and dad tugging from above, the dog managed to get out the companionway opening, but it was not pretty! The picture at left shows the current state of fishing technology: fast, shoal-draft boats that are capable of netting fish and setting crab traps in the shallow bays and backwaters.
They were built as part of a competition to build kayaks out of waste building materials, if I understood correctly. He appeared to by trying to scull in the direction we had been told was "forward," but was not having much success and the wind and tide were taking him sideways toward that narrow creek opening. I guess they stripped the sails off for show, but I do wonder about that monster outboard motor bracket.
If you're going to have a powerboat at a traditional craft festival, this is certainly a good choice! This one has a little air-cooled engine in that box, which sounds like a bad enough idea to send me running for a chainsaw and an outboard.
Being a multihull enthusiast, one that caught my eye right away was Shark Bait, a kayak trimaran with a ketch rig.
It looks like the sail has zippered panels to reduce sail area and the mainsail is missing one. It straddles the line between cute toy and real boat nicely, and the workmanship was excellent. I think that is a mahogany deck on this Melonseed, and the rich, red color goes nicely with the tanbark sail. I commented that his engine seemed a bit big for the boat, and he told me that she sails and rows nicely, and that 5 hp two stroke engine will actually make the boat plane with a light load! They kind of got blown into the pilings over there, and were having a bit of trouble getting out. They were moving right along downwind, then picked up some speed turning up toward the flat where I was standing.
That light wood used for the deck really had a nice glow to it that does not come through in the picture. It looks easy to fix, and a fix on one of these is a lot easier to hide than on one of the gorgeous wooden boats. I like the cockpit grate and the wide side decks, but it needs oarlocks and a place to use them.
I like the tanbark sail and simple Marconi rig, but the sail looks a bit small to my eye for a catboat.
One of these has a Marconi cat rig with a roller furling mast, while the other has a fractional sloop rig with roller furling jib. The shallow waters and strong currents in inlets along the west coast of Florida would have been hazardous for an old square-rigger, so the solution to approach a new shore was a small boat with six rowing stations.
It does not look powerful enough to damage a ship, nor accurate enough to hit a small boat. You can see a crack that is several feet long on this side, and the rest of the boat was not in much better condition.
The hull shape looks a lot like the native dugout canoes on display in the museum, but it is not a dugout.
I wanted to see a slice of what people out there are building to get some ideas and came away with more than I expected.
With my father's help, I added a hard plywood floor to that little inflatable, and that was the beginning of a long chain of boats I have owned, loved, maintained, modified, fixed, enjoyed, and scared myself to death on over the past few decades. I may add other boats from time to time as I find suitable pictures so check back occasionally.
I designed this 39 foot, foam cored, fiberglass schooner in 1973 intending to start a boatyard with a friend. You need to post some pictures or post a sail plan, so i could determine what your options are. Also , whenever a sailplan is so heavily subdivided there is loss of efficiency at high angles. She was a pretty little thing, and I thought about buying her from the family but eventually passed. Retiring the last of the fishing fleet and bulldozing the fish packing houses to create condominiums and dockominiums for retiring midwesterners and tourists might make more economic sense, but the old fishing families in Cortez might argue that their self-sufficient lifestyle and connection to the local environment have a unique value that is worth preserving.


I decided to go up to check out the 2011 Great Florida Gulf Coast Small Craft Festival to see what it had to teach an aspiring boatbuilder like myself. They have also acquired the historic Burton Store, which survived the 1921 hurricane that devastated the rest of Cortez. Inside are pieces of other old boats, diorama models depicting traditional fishing life, and a number of nice wooden model boats.
Beautiful dog once on deck, but a good reminder for sailors to try to fall in love with smaller breeds.
Commercial fishermen have come a long way from the days when net spreads for drying cotton nets and much more primitive boats dominated the shoreline. It is hard to see in the photo, but that leeboard on the other side of the boat is a real work of art. They seem to have been made in skin and frame fashion, using whatever wood was around for the frame and Tyvec or groundcloth or something for the skin. That pretty much stopped the conversation, as no one really knew how to react to this boat. It looks sturdy enough to take an engine in the 20-30 hp range, big enough to drive the boat.
What may appear at first glance to be a death grip on both rails by the passenger was really more of a relaxed sprawl. I like outboards on small boats and dislike tiny little inboards in tiny little spaces, but that just looks wrong.
OK, so maybe it's worth it to carry the larger engine around, if you're going to have one aboard at all.
The young girl yelled, "We're going to crash!" About that time, the skipper turned the rest of the way into the wind to stop the boat and I grabbed the bow, though it was not really necessary.
This is the same little kayak that was being towed by the black motor launch in a photo above. I got close enough to take this picture as a Melonseed sailor went by, then turned back toward the dock.
It is about the size of the LAMP boat, but looking at the two of them, I would rather sail the LAMP boat with a couple of friends, the catboat by myself.
It is hard to tell, but it looks to me like that mainsail rolls around the boom when not in use on the sloop rig, which looks considerably more powerful. Usually, trim tab controls are on the console near the throttle and steering wheel, but that is a tiller steered boat with no visible console. I thought the matching shirts made the whole thing a bit too attractive to be in the water, but I seem to have that opinion about a lot of good looking boats.
On the way back to the boat building area, I saw the old Burton Store sitting in the field awaiting restoration. Subsequent research about the boats I saw has led to many more boats, and at this point they all seem to highlight something else about boat building that I do not know.
The source was a very detailed lines take off of the badly hogged and heavily modified hulk.
This in turn creates a very large heeling moment , especially as it is so high up, and a weak forward force component. Many slots will delay the point of stalling, but i tend to think that upwind is always the point of sail which should take optimization priority. Sheeting angles can be difficult, but carefully thought out rigs can work exceptional well. This means major surgery to the yacht's hard points (steps, chain plates, torsion rods, plus deck and interior modifications, etc.) to suit the new rig. This will give you half the look you are going for, at considerably less than half the expense.
Of course, I owned a 40' LOD schooner for several years, and yes, that kind of rig is easy for a person or a couple of people to handle by themselves and have fun with it. I was taking pictures of the models, including the catboat at left, and talking with one of the museum volunteers when one of my fellow catboat sailors, Paul, walked into the room. It kind of looks like someone took a chainsaw to a really nice rowboat and stuck in an outboard.
I was hoping to get the opportunity to see it sail, and after a while, I did, but only from a distance. The wind was not all that strong, so the reduced sail area suggests a light air flyer to me. That's a big mast, and while I never saw the whole sail, it must be pretty large judging by the boom and sprit laying in the cockpit. I think that one is even smaller than the SCAMP, which is my favorite entrant in the "smallest is best" cruiser department. It looks fun and easy to sail, though, and if it is not too heavy should perform OK in all but the lightest winds. The boats are not very different in size, almost twins it seems, but the rigs are very different. Boats in this condition always make me wonder: on the day they launched this boat, did anyone imagine it would come to this end? It looks like a pretty ordinary Florida Cracker Shack, but a bit larger and older than most. I'm guessing another year or so of this might be enough to teach me all of the things I do not know, at which point I can start learning some of them!
Paul signed the registration for the dinner that night, then we decided to walk on down to the docks and check out the boats. It looks like a shoal draft design, so I guess they might just put a 25 hp on there to drive the boat. Places that are out of range at slow speed are suddenly not so far if you are in a planing skiff. The girl seemed astonished and pleased that the boat and dock were not a joined mass of splinters. You probably don't want to mess with the jibs but if you had one self tacking jib instead it would be more efficient and you would end up with only the foresail to deal with when tacking.
Cutting the masts removes weight high up which does wonders to righting moment , not to mention windage. It would not be fun wrestling such a heavy engine on and off the bracket by hand, but it looks like the mainsheet could easily be used for that purpose. Or maybe I would just paint it and use it, but I don't think I could use it if it looked like that.



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