Chebacco.com has a new webmaster and a new look
Hi, I’m Andrew Yen. I live in Victoria, Australia and I am passionate about Phil Bolger’s Chebacco boats. Thanks Richard for all the time and effort (and money) you have put into the site over the years since taking over from Bill. Now it is my turn to help Chebacco owners and builders to share their experiences on the web. If you have stories to tell, email me <insert my first name>@chebacco.com. If you wish to support the site financially please use the “donate” button at the bottom of each page.
Chebacco 25 launched
I decided to build a Chebacco 25, Easter 2010, despite there being no other examples to follow and no designer to ask questions of. The design is described in Boats with and Open Mind (see the resources page). It is glued plywood lapstrake, 25’4″ long by 8’2″ beam. About as large as you would want to trailer behind a SUV. The designed displacement is 2,200 pounds (1 tonne) and she has a split rig a little larger than the 20′ Chebacco. The cockpit is huge, at 12′ long and the cabin is somewhat larger than the 20’ers cuddy. The outboard is located centrally in a transom cut out and I have a 15hp Johnson that so far has pushed her just over hull speed flat out. With the right conditions she might plane one day (Phil claimed a Chebacco 25 would plane with 15hp, but maybe he was overly ambitious).
I changed the cabin from a raised deck to a conventional trunk after struggling for weeks to get the plank lines and sheer line to “look right” on the raised deck cabin. I also borrowed the #540RD (Raised Deck Chebacco) rudder design and adapted the rig design from Bolger’s Martha Jane. The birdsmouth mast is hinged in a tabernacle and the lower section is counterweighted with lead shot. This means one handed 10 second mast stepping. That is quicker and easier than anything else you see at the boat ramp.
I sealed the cockpit footwell from the interior of the hull and the planking stock ended up 15mm rather than 1/2″ (12.4mm). Otherwise I tried to be as faithful to the original drawings as I could.
It took 4 years of evenings to build, over 40 litres of epoxy and lots of sheets of marine plywood – but she looks stunning. She is called KHAOS, and was launched 27/7/2014 on Albert Park Lake, close to Melbourne CBD. I suspect that this is one of the largest yachts to ever sail on this little lake and if I had asked for permission first I would have been told no!
As far as I know this is the first and only example of the Bolger Chebacco 25 in existence. Another hull, based on the Chebacco 25 design, was started in South Australia 18 years ago but, for personal reasons, is not yet completed.
I cannot speculate as to why no one else has taken up the challenge. Sure she is a bigger boat than the 20’er, so it has been more work to build (maybe a lot more work). But she is not much heavier when on the trailer and is easily towed by my SUV. The biggest issue with the size is the required space to store and manoeuvre it on the trailer. There is no turning space on my property so I have to reverse it from about 800m up the street and then up my driveway in order to park it.
But size has its advantages, I have comfortably sailed with 6 or more on board and have slept 3 in the cabin on one occasion. A planned modification (removing a sail locker that is taking up valuable space and not being used) will give me 4 berths in the cabin.