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”

Adventures in Centerboard Design 2 – Virtues of the Daggerboard

Original Daggerboard Plan


(to start of project)

The Melonseeds of the 1880’s had daggerboards, as have most built since. Above is the original Chappelle plan drawing shown in black lines. A couple of things are striking about the original. First is the unusual crescent shape. It’s unusual enough that I had never seen one done like that before, and the reason for this shape is both interesting and ingenious. Continue reading “Adventures in Centerboard Design 2 – Virtues of the Daggerboard”

Adventures in Centerboard Design 1 – Fluid Dynamics

Fog above, Water below, Boats between

(to start of project)

 Random Thought #842:

Air and Water are both fluids – just of very different densities. There’s some limited mixing – clouds, fog, rain, foam – but gravity eventually separates them again, like oil and vinegar.

Ergo: Continue reading “Adventures in Centerboard Design 1 – Fluid Dynamics”