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”

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”

Rockfish River

Rockfish River above Schuyler



Rockfish Gap has been a natural gateway through the mountains for thousands of years, Once travelled by Indians and wildlife along a footpath from the coastal plain to the Ohio Valley, today a highway, four roads, two railroad lines, and the Appalachian Trail all converge on this spot. Black Bears still follow the route as they move from one valley to another, lumbering along on the shoulder of the road like pedestrians. The Blue Ridge Parkway begins here, heading south, as does Skyline Drive, going north. From the crest of the ridge there’s a view that stretches for 20 miles down the Rockfish Valley, and it’s one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. As many times as I pass through there, my heart still hurts when I see it. The Gap and the Valley both are named for the Rockfish River that winds below, and it’s astonishing to think the entire view was created by that little stream, small enough to throw a stone across. Continue reading “Rockfish River”