Chebacco News 56 – Chebacco 25 has a new webmaster and a new look

Hi, I’m Andrew Yen.  IMG_7890I 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>  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!

Chebacco 25 0008

Start by building the moulds

Then add carefully measured and spiled planks

Then add carefully measured and spiled planks

The plank lines needed to be determined individually

The plank lines needed to be determined individually

The centreboard case is so large it required a winch to insert it into the hull

The centreboard case is so large it required a winch to insert it into the hull

The outer stem was made from a spotted gum railway sleeper

The outer stem was made from a spotted gum railway sleeper

the balanced rudder backbone is stainless rod - no welds.

the balanced rudder backbone is stainless rod – no welds.

The rudder shaft bearing is graphite filled epoxy

The rudder shaft bearing is graphite filled epoxy

The cockpit footwell is sealed - so no water can get inside the hull

The cockpit footwell is sealed – so no water can get inside the hull

Chebacco 25 10 010IMG_1583sIMG_1421sIMG_2684s


Sailing on Albert Park Lake – close to Melbourne CBD

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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.

7 thoughts on “Chebacco News 56 – Chebacco 25

    • Randy,
      you have a great blog about your great adventures. Chebaccowanderings is linked to in the “references” page but feel free to send me stories to publish on

  1. Hi Andrew, so glad you’ve taken on the site. I told Richard I’d try myself if no one else volunteered, just to keep it going, but I would have done a terrible job!

    Great looking boat you have there, first class all the way. I know you’ll have a wonderful time with her – I’ve sailed my Wayward Lass for 16 years now and still love getting out in her. Had a two week cruise up the BC coast last summer, great time.

    If your ever in Western Canada, contact Randy and/or I and we’ll show you some prime sailing waters.


    Jamie Orr
    Victoria, BC

  2. Hello Andrew!
    I just today clicked on the old Chebacco link in my favorites and to my pleasant surprise saw you had taken over the site! Nice 25er you have produced! You can see my boat Yaviza on Randys Chebacco wanderings blog.
    I think your boat is a great looking boat.
    Thanks and as Jamie Orr said if you come to Canada we can try to sail Wayward Lass, Bluster and Yaviza all in company!
    Cal Cran
    Calgary alberta

  3. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks so much for your note at – how exciting that you have revived! I hadn’t checked in quite some time, after it was inactive for quite a while. It’s wonderful news that you have taken it up, and I’m looking forward to reading the new material. Your boat looks tremendous!
    All best wishes,

    • Shemaya,
      I love your blog and have put a link on the Chebacco references page. I would love to get an illustrated article from you about you junk sail motorsailer chebacco adventures to publish on our site.

      • Hi Andrew,
        Thanks for your kind words about the Auklet blog, and for listing it on the Chebacco site. Doing an article would be fun – probably when the weather gets colder! I’m curious about the reference for calling my version of the boat a “motorsailor.” I have generally seen it as the “Glasshouse” Chebacco (for example in Boats with an Open Mind) though I see that it’s also referred to as a motorsailor on the “History and Variants” page of I’m probably sensitive about this because after several years of “motorless in training,” with a minimal electric motor, I now sail the boat without any motor at all! I did increase the sail area, when we did the junk rig conversion, to help with doing this in light wind…

        Anyway, thanks again for taking up the project – it’s wonderful to see it revived!

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