South Centerboard Case and Deck Beams



(to start of project)

New Years Eve. No partying for us tonight – we’re packing for a trip to South Carolina in the morning, visiting family for a few days. The weather is only barely cooperating, with sleet and snow every night, warming enough afternoons to melt it off cars and roads.  We still have snow on the ground from before Christmas. Between that, and the fact that all four of us and three dogs will be making the 10 hour drive in one car together, it should be an interesting trip, to say the least. Continue reading “Resolute”

Greeting Cards

The Red Shed in Snow


(to start of project)

Two feet of fresh snow has preoccupied us the last several days. It broke a record for snow in December here, turning our little town into Currier and Ives prints, and giving us fun things to do outside. Between playing in the snow and holiday preparations there’s been precious little time for boatie things – which seem strangely foreign at the moment, as though Summer is a place in the South Pacific.  It is time well spent, though.

In the meantime, it is Christmas Eve, and a good time to share a little cheer. Continue reading “Greeting Cards”

Warm Inside



Big snow storm tonight. Took two hours to get home, and Terri is still stuck in town, staying with friends.

It’s already deeper than the dogs. Emily is outside with them, and they bound through it like antelope, or burrow like groundhogs. I can hear her laughing in the dark.

It will fall through the night and into tomorrow.

A good night to be warm inside by the fire.

We’ll have a White Christmas.




The Centerboards

Final Centerboard Testing, half down


(to start of project)

We got our first snow of the season today. Big, fat, soggy white croutons fell all day long, vanishing as they touched the ground. It marks the end of fall here, and one year of working on these boats. Something about the calls of geese heading south creates a feeling of urgency, and makes me want to get a move on. I’m really looking forward to getting these on the water. Thankfully, the Centerboards are essentially done. Continue reading “The Centerboards”

Adventures in Centerboard Design 4 – The Magic Crescent

The Magic Crescent


(to start of project)

So, let’s review:

A centerboard is more convenient than a daggerboard, simply because it kicks up when it hits bottom, and can be raised and lowered easily for beaching or sailing in shallow water. But, it’s less convenient because the space it requires is like having and extra person on board who sits right in the middle of the boat and refuses to budge. Compromises can be made to minimize the inconvenience, including changing sail size or position, moving the board forward of optimal balance, increasing weather helm, and/or reducing the size of the board. Any or all can be tweaked to give up more or less cockpit space. Continue reading “Adventures in Centerboard Design 4 – The Magic Crescent”

Adventures in Centerboard Design 3 – Prior Art

Don Scott’s centerboard trunk, with removable rowing seat.


(to start of project)

On a project like this it’s always good to see what other people have done before starting something new, especially when it’s an element crucial to the handling of the boat. Sources can be hard to find, though, and when you do there’s usually very little evidence to help you follow how they got from A to B. This is particularly true of the centerboards as, in many cases, builders start out with daggerboards they replace months later, long after interest in documenting the project has waned. Over time, though, I’ve collected some examples of the different designs I found while researching my own. Continue reading “Adventures in Centerboard Design 3 – Prior Art”

Visual Interlude

South, down under


(to start of project)

Lovely T says all these words are well and good, but she misses seeing pictures, especially of the boats, which is what all this is about. I don’t usually do requests, but she’s actually right, it has been a long time, and she is the First Mate, after all. So here ya go. Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week. Continue reading “Visual Interlude”