Simple little load carrier,
or sporting sailor with a lot of performance for the money.
was fiddling around with the scale models and drawings for
a proposed series of flat bottomed skiffs when Richard Desborough
visited. I've known Dick for more years than either of us
care to admit to and for a lot of those years He has been
going to build one of my boats.
Now the fact that the Desboroughs live a good thousand kilometres
away means that our contacts are not so frequent and that
the ideas as to what he wants have usually changed from one
visit to the next, however on one recent visit I was proudly
told that the house renovations were at last finished and
could I draw a cartoppable sailing flattie of graceful shape
that would suit the estuary where the family holidays each
There was a bit of tooing and froing as we set the parameters,
the size and weight had to suit a compact Japanese car already
loaded with four adult sized people and their gear, and yet
it had to carry the same four on the
in a reasonably comfortable and safe way. Performance was
not to be a criteria but I've known the man a while, so she
has a very high power to weight ratio which allied with the
long waterline and slippery shape gives the boat very exiting
performance with one aboard, and more
than adequate speed with a heavier load. I know of one which,
in the hands of its 11 year old budding "Whitbread"
star is a constant headache for his club handicapper and which,
pushed with a three hp Mercury still carries his dad, a mate,
two dogs and a pile of gear out to a "maimai" in
the duck season.
Setnet is the fishermans version, without the centreboard,
bouyancy tanks and foredeck, she provides a stable and easily
propelled fishing platform. One which will stand quite rough
conditions in reasonable safety as long as the user doesn't
expect too much speed. She can be built very light enabling
someone who doesn't feel like humping heavy weights to slip
her into the water, and the same light weight makes her easy
closer winded than many realise, I know that there
are more than a few around who are embarrassingly familiar
with the shape of "Golden Bay's transom.
Building this boat is just the same as "Fish Hook".
She needs the same care to keep her square and straight that
the others in this series of "jigless" sewn seam
boats, and being a bit longer benefits even more from the
use of a lighter weight plywood such as Gaboon or Occume.
her "free" rather than pinching her, you'll find
that you make much less leeway when moving fast. The end result
is that you make better progress than otherwise, and the boat
is much easier to control. Note that this type of sail is
very powerful off the wind, and rather like many of the old
working boats from which she is descended Golden Bay"
may need reefing for downwind runs when the breeze really
I really like these little boats, they are simple enough
to not intimidate the first time builder, don't cost very
much, even when nicely finished, and return more fun for the
investment than anything else I can think of.
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