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New Challenge Boat.


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Not quite satisfied with having only two boats to choose from, I went ahead and started a new quick build one person cruiser boat design.  It is a crude imitation of a Barnegat Bay sneakbox but the hull shape is taken from Gavin Atkin's Hot Rat with the aft section being designed for planing performance.  The pictures shown below are after about 4 hours of building.  I will try and explain a little of what you see.

First picture is from the bow which, while it looks square, does have rocker down below.  There is a full forward bulkhead about 25" aft of the bow to which the mast-step will be braced.  This also provides flotation and, with a good hatch, can also provide some storage.


Second picture is from the stern.  The aft bulkhead is at the aft part of the cockpit opening.  Again, it is a full bulkhead providing flotation and a hatch will given access for storage.  There is a little over 7 feet of stretching out room between the forward and aft bulkheads with freeboard of 12" for footspace when laying down.  The cockpit opening will be covered by a flexible pole arrangement similar to dome tents.  If I design it right, there is the possibility of sailing with this in place when raining.  However, for true speed the skipper will want to hike out on the side decks.

width=487 height=650http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn17/swidm/Expedition%20Rat/Stern.jpg[/img]

The next two pictures actually show there is rocker to the hull with a nice flat section aft for planing performance (hopefully).  Displacement at 400 lbs. 


I plan on filling and sanding the chines before taping with polyester resin.  The rest of the hull will get a simple paint job.  I want to minimize time spent building and wind up with something light enough to hoist to the roof rack of my car. 

I am thinking of some different names like "The Box" for the actual name of the boat.  Did think of "Casket" or "Coffin" but I am a little to superstitious to name a boat that.  What do you think?

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Hey Scott,

What is that in the background of your last picture? Kinda looks like "Queequags Coffin" with some sort of bedsheet sail on it. BTW, it looks like the "Coffin" is coming along quite well. I would be willing to bet it will be fun to sail. Are you planning lee boards for her?

Whatever you bring, I'm sure you will have a good time. I hope the winds are a little more favorable for what we plan to do. Last year's beat upwind was a bit of a challenge.


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I have been working on the boat but, like most of you know, things start to go very slowly when getting close to finishing as you spend time sanding, filling, sanding and etc... Here are a few more pictures though:


Deck is epoxied and if you look closely you will see a mahogany board to port.  This is the upper part of my leeboard system and has holes drilled every 3" for the leeboard pivot bolt.  This should allow for some adjustments while underway or when reefing the leg o mutton sail.  The lower part is a bumper that keeps the board out away from the hull.  Still might do a little more to reinforce the upper board as it will have a lot of stresses on it during certain tacks.  Also in this picture are the flexible poles for the tent arrangement over the cockpit.  I may cut them a little bit shorter so the peak is lower.  Goal is for something that is comfortable but also something I could sail with in place on raining or bad weather days.

width=850 height=637http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn17/swidm/Expedition%20Rat/8b5a5588.jpg[/img]

One of the things I have laying around the house is a closed cell foam pool float.  I used the sister to this float for the cockpit cushions on my MacGregor 26D (with sunbrella coverings) and found them very comfortable to sleep on.  So, this will be my sitting pad, sleeping pad, swim float, and add to my emergency flotation. 

width=487 height=650http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn17/swidm/Expedition%20Rat/4b5db9ec.jpg[/img]

With a name like Queequag's Coffin you have to paint the hull of the boat black of course.  I will also be adding handles around the boat to make lifting easier.  A good friend of mine in our local sailing club has a pirate raftup and he is insisting I make a paddle look like a skeleton leg with foot attached, dress up like a pirate, and come paddling up.  Ever seen "Dead Man's Chest?"

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  • 4 weeks later...

She sails! I tookQueequag's Coffin out to sail today in variable winds with gusts up to 15mph and she sailed beautifully! I just couldn't get over the little rouster tail behind the rudder as we went flying along. She was wonderfully stable and very fast on the water. Kudos to Gavin for a wonderful design of Hot Rat whose hull I pretty much built verbatim other than 2" more freeboard.

Perhaps the most successful first time sail of a boat I have ever had. The mast and sail are off of a captiva boat and feature roller furling around the mast which worked wonderfully and was a delight. The rudder is a kick-up push-pull and she has one leeboard which I got in just the right spot. I had one of those closed cell foam pool floats in the bottom which was great comfort when there wasn't enough wind to hike out which wasn't all that often. I did wash the rails a time or two but a little extra hike out with my toes tucked under the deck got her back from the brink quickly. Going to be a great one-person cruiser!

I do have to mention that the hatches were underwater several times and only leaked a few drops. They were not yet modified and I think a little foam weather stripping around the edges will get rid of any leak. Will have my duck tape along just in case of course. We had some wicked powerboat chop and she plowed through just fine. Only took some splashes over the deck when I got hit broadside by a particularily nasty wave created by a slow powerboat towing kids behind who steered within 20' to look at the cute boat.....grrr....

I didn't get any pictures on the water but here is the latest picture I have showing the mast and sail with the electrical conduit boom. The boom fits down into a pipe in the deck and acts as a downhaul. Since this picture, I lowered the whole mast assembly a little since this picture


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  Woo Hoo!  Congrats on the first sail!  It sounds like you really put her through her paces the first time out!  :cool:

  Try not to be too frustrated by the curious stinkpotters - I consider it a courtesy every time one slows down to maximum-wake speed just to get a better look :lol:

  I remember seeing that rig style on a plastic boat and liking the rig - I'm glad to see it being used on a homebuilt and I look forward to the future sailing reports.

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  • 10 years later...

I think that's a fine-looking boat and I'm not surprised that it sails well. Here in New Jersey, we call that a garvey. The first picture below is the plan for a  small garvey from Howard Chapelle's classic book American Small Sailing Craft. Chapelle calls it an "(o)ld garvey box, substitute for a sneak box."  He took the lines from a boat in Tuckerton, NJ. The New Jersey Friends of Clearwater have a traditionally-built, 26-foot, two-masted garvey based on another Tuckerton boat.


Jim Michalak designed a plywood version called "Sneakerbox." The photos are of a model. The model differs from Michalak's design in the deck construction and in the spritsail. Michalak's design included a lateen sail as shown in the last picture. Plans are available on the Duckworks website.

Fair winds!






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