Sail Boat Plan Sitemap

Introduction - As indicated in the Table of Contents, this book is divided into three sections. The first section contains general information on sail boating. It was written for us by Gerald Taylor White. We were indeed fortunate in persuading Jerry White to produce this section because in boating knowledge and experience he has few peers. He was formerly editor of the magazines The Rudder and Motor Boat and at present is the director of both the Westlawn School of Yacht Design and Westlawn Associates, Naval Architects.

1. All About - Moogly, the Neanderthal man, was having troubles. The previous night he had, like men of the present generation, been out with the boys. Zigzagging caveward, he had faced Zook, his irate, club-swinging mate, who had promptly gone into action with a barrage of mastodon-bone dishware. In a frantic effort to escape, Moogly rushed to the murky river and executed a quick, but ungraceful, dive into the pea-soup waters.

2. Boating Terms - The language of boating hits landlubbers in their ears with the same amount of sense as would be the case if Ubangi were being tossed into the air. Starboard tacks have points but only sails have heads. A sheet is a rope, not a sail— and a rope isn't a rope, but is a line. A pulley is a block and a cringle has nothing to do with Santa Claus. You have a reef in your sail, which is where it should be, but a reef under your keel is bad medicine.

3. Boating Terms #2 - GAMMON IRON: A fitting at the bow through which the bowsprit passes.

GANTLINE: A piece of rope passing through a block at the masthead for hoisting a man aloft.

GARBOARD: The plank nearest the keel.

GASKET: A strip of canvas used to lash a sail after it has been furled.

GENOA: A large jib, often called a Jenny.

4. Illustrated - ..............

5. Illustrated #2 - ..............

6. Hulls - There are three basic types of sailing hulls, A each one more or less ideal for its particular use, yet the Indoor Yacht Club boys will argue far, far into the night about the relative merits of the trio of types plus innumerable variations of each. In the majority of cases, the amateur orators don't know what they are talking about. You hear that round-bottom boats invariably turn over, that V-bottom craft pound themselves to pieces, and that flat-bottom jobs are good only for rowing around a park lake. All of which is stark nonsense.

7. Hulls #2 - There are two basic types of keels. The fin keel is the least popular and its use is limited to racing boats (Fig. 11). Considered in an elementary way, it looks like a dagger centerboard that has been lowered all the way and fixed in place. Usually it is an iron casting with a cigar-shaped bottom acting as ballast. Note that it cannot be raised or lowered. Whatever its distance below water, that is the minimum depth of water in which you can sail. Most fin keels, even on small boats, require at least 36 inches of water.

8. Rig-and Why? - Just as there are numerous hull shapes and methods of construction, there are similarly numerous types of rigs. Some of these are applicable to almost any shape or size of hull, but the really good boat is designed to carry a certain type of sail arrangement and any variation from that type is apt to reduce the performance characteristics.

9. Rig-and Why? #2 - We can start by passing up the schooner entirely. Any man with enough jack to own a schooner either will know a great deal about boats or will have the wherewithal to consult a naval architect concerning the pros and cons. Yawls and ketches are invariably cabin boats used for cruising or ocean racing. There are reasons for their choice, as we shall see.

10. Makes Her Go? - It may sound simple to explain why a sailboat goes. She is blown along with the wind just as your hat goes sailing down the alley. But the man who is to learn the art of sailing cannot stop there. He must be ushered through enough theory so he will be better able to understand why he must handle sails and rudder in certain ways to obtain the desired results. If we were to simply accept the analogy of the hat and the alley, we would be pretty well up against it to account for the fact that a boat can sail in a great many directions other than in the one toward which the wind is blowing.

11. We Go Aboard - Sailing is a mighty safe sport but now and then something happens to damage your boat or some other craft. In most of these cases, the trouble occurs as you are either getting underway or coming in for a landing. You have no brakes and no reverse gear, nor can you sail directly into the eye of the wind. You can, if you use your head, provide & makeshift sort of brake and you can even go astern a bit under certain conditions. To get along properly, it is vital to plan your moves from pier side or mooring before you cast off. Otherwise, you'll find yourself booming down on the rest of the fleet or sailing kerbang onto a sandbar.

12. Setting Sail - As the captain of a catboat, you would have one bit of canvas to handle and you'd have to learn the peculiarities of that rig for there would be no alternative but to set the one and only mainsail first and then grit your molars with a prayer that all is clear ahead. With any craft having two or more sails, your problem is simpler. This is because your boat will have a more powerful weathervane effect that will invariably swing her up head to the wind unless you have an unusual current condition.

13. We're Off! - With the information given thus far, you are ready for an actual trip. We have discussed the various types of rigs and hulls, the more important sailing vernacular, and the necessity of planning before you cast off on any trip. The basic theory of why a boat moves ahead has also been explained. What follows is putting into practice the points that have been brought out.

14. We're Off! #2 - Our situation is this: the main and jib are both trimmed to port. If we swing the bow to port to bring the wind over the stern, we must smartly slack off the main-sheet as we make the turn so there is no chance of the wind getting on the wrong side of the sail. Get this point firmly in your head. When you turn into the wind— that is, luff—you are reducing the pressure on the sails. You are, in effect, pushing out the clutch and putting on the brakes.

15. We Graduate - The information thus far has pertained to tile smaller boats. It is difficult to draw a line between what most people call a boat and a craft logically entitled to be called a yacht. Actually, any power or sailing craft used exclusively for pleasure is a yacht. On the other hand, most of us think of a yacht in terms of a craft fitted for cruising and requiring more than the usual two-person crew. Sooner or later, most sailing enthusiasts get larger boats or at least have opportunities to sail them.

16. We Graduate #2 - Obviously, fussing with sails is done chiefly when racing. There is every justification for mutiny on a cruise if the skipper is constantly ordering all hands on deck to trim sheets or to set or take in sails. Cruising is supposed to be lazy sort of fun where time is forgotten. Speed is certainly not the essence of sailing pleasure.

17. Racing Tactics - Entire books, many of them fat volumes too heavy to fling at cats, have been written on the gentle art of cutting your opponent's throat during a race. In fact, there have been bulky bundles of verbiage devoted solely to the pros and cons of racing rules. There is no getting away from the blunt truth that the men— and women too—who race sailing boats would protest wins by their own sainted grandmothers if they felt they had a chance to get away with it.

18. Boat Caring - The upkeep cost of a sailing boat can be kept exceptionally low if you are willing and able to do your own work. The most fragile part of your outfit is the suit of sails. How fragile it is depends upon the type of boat you have. If yours is a little general-purpose craft with a cat or knockabout rig, a good suit of sails should last you for 10 years, perhaps more. If, on the other hand, you are going in for parachute spinnakers, masthead-high Genoas, or even the regular sails in their light form, you may find the life of a suit of sails is not over a season or two before they have to be recut or repaired.

19. Trailer - When beach is reached, vessel is rigged and below, pushed into the water transom first.

At the stern, a youth makes ready to paddle the knockabout free once it becomes water-borne.

Below: One lad holds the trailer in position while the others move the boat out into deeper water.

20. Reefing - Right: Each reef has a row of short cords sewed at their middle points in grommets in the sail. These short lines are known as reefing points.

Right: To start to reef, tie the cringle in the luff securely to the boom as shown here. Use a square knot with one fall not pulled through.

21. Rebels - The 16-foot Rebel Class plastic sailboat is the answer to the small-boat yachtsman who wants a maximum of sailing pleasure with a minimum of boat care and upkeep.

Built by Ray Greene and Co., of Toledo, Ohio, the Rebel first came into being in 1948. It is made of Fiberglas, asbestos, resin, and several other chemicals. Fashioned over a wooden mold, the Fiberglas-and-resin hulls are baked in an oven at about 300° temperature under applied pressure. They stay in the oven about two hours. The hulls require no painting as a preservative and are so strong and hard that a rock which would pierce an ordinary wooden or plywood hull will barely leave a scratch on a Rebel.

22. Nippers - Since Ray Greene designed and built the first Nipper sailboat in 1937, more than 1,500 of these 12-foot cat-rigged craft have taken to the fresh-water lakes and streams of the Midwestern United States. Not only that, but they have been shipped to both coasts and there are some sailing in the West Indies and in South America.

23. Weasels - The Weasel was developed by Palmer Scott and Company, Inc., New Bedford, Mass., as a small family boat at a popular price. The cat rig was adopted as being the most efficient for a boat of this size. Situated as the builders are on Buzzards Bay, adjacent to Cape Cod, it was natural for them to use the cat rig, for the rig was developed in this area approximately 100 years ago.

24. Stars - Forty-one years ago, in the office of William Gardner, yacht designer, a young naval architect named William Sweisguth drew the lines of a keel sloop, 22 ft. 81/2 in. long with 275 square feet of sail. Thus the Stars were born. Ike Smith, of Port Washington, Long Island, built 22 of them, and they sold for about $260 each including sails. Today a Star costs, new and built by the most de luxe of the big-name builders, just about ten times that much; but Star sailors think they are about ten times as good as those first crude hulls.

25. Wood-Pussy - In writing the history of the Wood-Pussy, this popular little catboat might well be termed a War Baby. During World War II, Donald B. Abbott, sponsor of such well-known sailing yachts as the Weekender, Overnighter, Visitor, Caller, and Dater, found himself faced with the problem of war shortages. Not only were men and materials hard to find, but the pinch of high taxes was making itself felt to the extent that boat-minded folks were thinking in terms of smaller craft.

26. One-Designs - The National One-Design Racing Association was formed in 1937, shortly after the boat was designed. The designer, William F. Crosby, was Secretary-Treasurer of the Association for the first five years of its existence and was largely responsible for the rapid expansion of the class.

27. L-16 Class - The Luders Marine Construction Co., of Stamford, Conn., designed the L-16 in 1934 and built the first boats for the Fisher's Island Yacht Club. The class proved so popular that additional craft were sold all over the country and some even went abroad. All of these original boats were constructed with conventional planking. In 1945, however, Luders started building the L-16 of laminated plywood molded over a male fixture. This method of construction had been extensively used during World War II and had been developed, by Luders and others, to the point where it had become economical to use in pleasure craft.

28. L-18 Class - This is a beautifully designed and constructed little knockabout from Luders Marine Construction Co., Stamford, Conn. Luders was one of the pioneers in manufacturing molded-plywood boats. In developing this design, the paramount requirement was to make the craft non-cap sizable and nonsinkable. To accomplish this, a watertight bulkhead is installed at each end of the cockpit, forming a forward and an after flotation compartment, either of which will provide more than sufficient buoyancy to keep the boat and crew afloat should the cockpit become water-filled.

29. L-24 Class - Produced to be a smart sailing yacht, the Luder's L-24 has a graceful hull form and pleasing appearance, is suitable for racing with a crew of three or four, and has a cockpit and cabin comfortable enough for day sailing. All who have had the good fortune to sail this delightful craft have found her to be perfectly balanced and exceptionally fast. She has the feel of a thoroughbred.

30. Penguins - Penguin's designer, Philip L. Rhodes, has produced many successful and well-known cruising and racing craft. His ability is reflected in the fact that Penguins have consistently out sailed many other types of small racing craft.

Here is a dinghy class that has all the competition needed to satisfy the most rabid racing addict. A national championship is held each year, bringing together the best skippers of various fleets from all parts of the country.

31. Oslo Class - The Oslo Class sloop has a clinker-built round-bottom hull with a transom stern. A forward deck extends aft of the mast and side decks, 7 in. wide, are carried all the way to the transom. Floorboards, in easily removed sections, are fitted in the cockpit. A roomy seat across the after end of the boat has locker space built in below it. There is another seat in way of the centerboard trunk; this is in two sections and is removable.

32. Dinghy - The Firefly was designed by Uffa Fox, one of the outstanding naval architects of our time, for use in the single-handed sailing events in the last Olympics. Since then, fleets have sprung up all over the world. Over 1,200 boats are now in use. In America, the University of Pennsylvania and the Buffalo Yacht Club have racing fleets and additional interest has been indicated at Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Haverford, and St. Joseph's, as well as in Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts, and on Great South Bay.

33. Comets - The history of the Comet Class begins down on the Chesapeake Bay during that area's darker days of sailing. In the early Thirties, interest in sailboat racing had hit a record low. Because of the depression, big-boat sailing had waned very sharply and there was little or no competitive racing. Except for a few Stars, there were no one-design boats as we know them today.

34. Snipes - The Snipe was originally designed by William F. Crosby in 1931 as a small, sporty craft that could be carried about easily on a trailer and yet be capable of sailing in almost any waters from protected inland lakes to the open ocean. She was made 15 ft. 6 in. long so that a builder could plank her with standard 16-ft. boards and thus not be required to pay premium prices for over-length lumber. Beam was set at 5 ft. and draft of hull alone at about 5 in. Snipes may be equipped with either pivoted center-boards or dagger boards, whichever the builder prefers.

35. Beetle Cats - On any week end of the beautiful New England summer, a visitor to that area's historic seacoast will invariably be impressed with fleets of wide-beamed sailing craft that, whether following a race course or out for a day's carefree sailing, are always riding the waters with graceful ease. They are the Original Beetle Cat Boats. You see them everywhere on the north and south shores of Cape Cod, on Buzzard's Bay, on Narragansett Bay, at Nan tucket Island (where they are called Rainbows), and more recently on the Great South Bay, Long Island.

36. Beetle Cats #2 - The bow of this boat is generous in proportion, so that even an extra-large man can stand on it without tipping over—a feature that is much appreciated when landing at a dock or float. The fact that the mast is short and the deck is long reduces to a minimum the possibility that such a boat may capsize while riding at its moorings, even in exposed locations where seas become decidedly heavy.

37. Dyer Dinks - Frostbiting has now reached a height of enthusiasm never dreamed of by the handful of diehards who introduced this sport on a wind, rain, and snow-swept New Year's Day years ago. Every Saturday and Sunday throughout the winter, thousands of yachtsmen and intercollegiate and interscholastic sailors get together all over the country to race their dinghies.

38. Rhodes Bantams - AS THE late war was drawing to a close, a group of small-boat enthusiasts met to decide on a new postwar sailing class. Out of this meeting came basic specifications for the Rhodes Bantam. What was decided on was a boat of about the size and speed of the International 14-Footer, one with the comfort and stability of a Lightning, one that would be easy for an amateur to build, and one that would be inexpensive to build or purchase.

39. Lightings - The Lightning was designed by Spark-man & Stephens, Inc., of New York City, and the first racing fleet was formed in 1939. It is a 19-foot knockabout with a cockpit that's 10½ ft. long. C. L. Nicholson II was the sponsor of the first fleet and served as the first President of the Lightning Class Association, which was formed in New York on January 12, 1939. Gilbert L. Wolf and John L. Koehne were the first Vice-Presidents and E. Gordon Cronk was the first Secretary-Treasurer.

40. 210 Class - The "Two-Ten" is a sleek, sporty, double-ended racing sloop with modern, long, low lines, an overlapping Genoa, and perfect balance; she's a roomy day sailer, simple to handle, unsinkable, and easy to maintain. Her most striking feature is the light, long, narrow hull made by gracefully double-curving four huge sheets of plywood to form a rigid structure that cannot hog out of shape. Homely slab-sided plywood boats are a thing of the past now that it's fully realized that double curvature in plywood is possible.

41. The "S" Class - The "S" boat was designed by Herreshofi, "The Wizard of Bristol," and built by the Herreshofi Manufacturing Co. about 25 years ago. Although developed primarily for class racing, it is large enough so that when fitted with berths and a stove, it is quite comfortable on short cruises in protected and coastal waters. The rig, with winches for both halyards, is so arranged that one man or woman can handle it under any condition. Like all Herreshoff boats, the "S" was built by expert mechanics from the finest materials. As a consequence, "S" boats are still racing actively today while many of their contemporaries have long been forgotten.

42. Atlantics - One of the largest, fastest, and best known of the one-design racing yachts regularly seen on Long Island Sound from mid-May to mid-October is the Atlantic Coast One Design. It is still going strong despite the fact that it is 23 years old. Due to its perfect suitability to local waters and its sound construction, the class will last indefinitely with proper maintenance. A sweet, easy boat to sail, it can do QV2 knots without planing and is extremely steady, safe, and seaworthy in strong winds and heavy seas. It is a keel sloop with a Marconi mainsail, a loose-footed jib, a parachute spinnaker, a standing backstay (no runners), and a large open cockpit. Although a crew of two can easily handle it in moderate weather, up to five persons are usually seen aboard.

43. Optimists - In mid-August of 1948, down here in Clearwater, Fla., the last race of the Orange Crate Derby had been run and the winner had been declared. This competition was the local version of the nationally known Soapbox Derby and was sponsored by our Clearwater Optimists Club, whose motto is, "Friend of the Youth." Ed Erd-man, then president of the club, and other club members felt that a more ambitious project, which would permit service to youth for more than one day a year, was in order.

44. Ravens - planing center boarder, the Raven is not only fast off the wind, but surprisingly speedy upwind, especially in a chop. Under these conditions, it performs best in either a ghosting breeze or a wind blowing at 15 knots or better. When reefed in a 25-knot breeze, it will stay right with any boat up to and including a 38-foot U. S. One-Design. Thanks to the fact that it has very little overhang, it can go to windward in a chop so rough that six-meter boats have to run for home. When sailing upwind, the best angle of heel is 15°. If necessary, the boat should be pinched a bit so it will stay comparatively level.

45. Hamptons - The Hampton One Design was designed during the winter of 1934 by Vincent J. Serio for a group of yachtsmen at the Hampton Yacht Club, Hampton, Va. The group was seeking a fast, light, able boat adaptable for one-design racing in local waters. This required a boat with shallow draft, light weight, and good all-around sailing ability. The newly designed Serio boat appeared to meet the desired requirements, so five of them were ordered for the 1935 season. The Hampton Yacht Club was so impressed with the qualities of this boat that it was adopted as a one-design by the club.

46. Thistles - In the past, good round-bilge boats were expensive, but molded hulls now make it possible to build them for the price of boats with chines. The Thistle has a round-bilge molded hull and is designed and rigged to give the best possible performance. She is a big sister of the famous International 14-foot Dinghies, which have led the way in the small-boat field for many years.

47. 14-Foot Dinghies - It is difficult to beat the International 14-Foot Dinghy for spirited sailing and racing in either sheltered waters or those exposed to the open sea. A planing boat carrying a variety of sail, it moves fast in the lightest of air and really takes off in a blow. Because the crew of two generally weighs the same as or more than the fully rigged boat, and because the sail plan towers (about 25 feet) in proportion to its length, the "14" is very lively indeed.

48. 14-Foot Dinghies #2 - The International 14-Foot Dinghy Class was founded in England in 1922. Its measurement rule was based on experience gained from many years in three of the most popular English dinghy classes, of which that of the West of English Conference was most similar. An interesting sidelight to this is the fact that in a major regatta in 1929 one of the West of England Conference dinghies, built in 1911, man-aged to finish in sixth place! The wealth of experience that went into the drafting of the measurement rules for the International 14-Foot Dinghy Class is largely responsible for its lasting, healthy existence.

49. 110 Class - Greyhound of the small-boat field is the International 110—the long, low double-ender you'll find streaking along race courses from Maine to Argentina; from Marblehead to the Philippines. Within each of the 29 fleets, you'll find adventurous racing, a healthy code of sportsmanship, and a fraternity that has made the 110 organization one of the closest-knit of all yachting associations.

50. Stropped Blocks - Rope-stropped blocks may be old fashioned, but they do give a cruising boat a salty air. And in addition they have several advantages over the modern type. First, they are quiet; they won't clatter noisily on deck or against the mast. Neither will they mar your paint or varnish, for the rope strops act as built-in fenders. Then, being streamlined and without outside metal parts, they are not likely to foul anything. And all important for many of us, they are not expensive, nor are they difficult to make if these instructions are followed.

51. Maintenance - Wood patches wherever needed—for example, this graving piece in a centerboard — will make boat last longer.

Sailor's equivalent of a thimble is his palm. The most useful sail needle is the No. 15. It is 2V4 inches long.