What weight sailcloth?
Same for the mizzen.
What kind of grommets?
Available in any colors other than white? If so, what price?
What kind of warranty comes with them?
The fabric is 4 oz Dacron from Challenge. The shape of the sail can be anything you desire, i.e., leech hollow, edge round, draft location. But these are not matters that can be easily described without the 15 or so pages that the computer prints out on each sail we do (output that you receive when you order a kit). I hope you will just tell us for this first sail that you want the sail a bit fuller or flatter than normal or the draft a bit further forward or aft of normal or the leech hollow a little more or less than normal.
Dr. Richard Burnham of Cummington, MA, just finished a set of Chebacco kits. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Jim Grant at Sailrite
So, basically he says “we can make it any way you want, buy it and we will tell you how it’s made, see our web page”. Kind of a disappointment, especially as how their web page says “Gaff mainsail made from 5 oz. white Dacron© using the designer’s plans”, and I was wanting to get info on the “designer’s plans” for these sails.
Well, that’s about it. I think both Bohndell and Sailrite will give you a good set of sails. If you have more money than time/skill, the Bohndell sails are a good deal. For me, though, I’m thinking the Sailrite kit for the new boat. The deciding factors over going the Bohndell route being the much lower price, and the availability of the colored versions, and the fact I think they do the best design work on gaff sails.
A letter from Gil:
Joan and I spent June 25-29 at the New England Brass and Gas Meet, a biennial gathering of pre-1916 cars. Our 1912 Buick was one of 120 brass-bound beauties, and we drove it about 350 miles with a lot of shaking and rattling but no major convulsions.
The first day’s tour was to the Massachusetts coast, specifically to Gloucester with an ongoing spur to Rockport and back. Rather than go to Rockport through heavy shore traffic with our two-wheel brakes, leather cone clutch, square-cut gears and no stop lights or turn signals, we decided to try to find Philip C. Bolger and Friends. This is easier than it used to be. Most people in Gloucester, even in boat-related places, had never heard of Phil. But his concession to modernity, to the extent of getting a telephone (hooked only to a FAX line, and not used for speech), resulted in PCB&F being listed, complete with street address, in the directory. After we had chugged a few miles down a side road, we came to Resolution, Phil’s old liveaboard boat, moored in the front yard of a house. We parked in the street, went to the house, and walked all around it looking for the most likely door to knock on. Eventually, Suzanne appeared on an upstairs deck. After I told her we were the Fitzhughs who were building a Chebacco, that we were in town and wanted to meet her and Phil (who by then had also appeared), we were very cordially welcomed and invited in for tea and conversation.
And what wide-ranging conversation! The car, of course, was an ice-breaker. Suzanne is very knowledgeable about cars, having rebuilt a favorite station wagon and having worked extensively in auto mechanics in her native Germany (I hadn’t realized she was born abroad). She said there just weren’t many really old cars in Germany, since they didn’t survive the war; I said many of ours had been melted down in scrap drives during the war and used to make the bomb casings that helped ruin the ones in Germany. Phil had fond memories of growing up with Model Ts, but had owned two Crosleys in his youth. The Crosley was an American car almost as big as an English Morris Minor, and not at all related to the British Crossley (two esses) that was older and much more substantial. What mostly impressed Phil about the Crosley was how roomy it was; was this the beginning of his nonconformity?
Maybe the origin of the name Philip C. Bolger and Friends (plural, when most of the world knows the company as only Phil and Suzanne) is his comment: “I married six cats.” Indeed, there was always something furry in view, and one of Phil’s ongoing concerns is keeping the inside cats inside and the outside ones outside.
The current flap about licensing naval architects, recently discussed with various degrees of vituperation in both WoodenBoat and Messing About In Boats, has Phil and Suzanne well and truly exercised, and for good reason. A lot of well-known and highly regarded boat designers don’t have the technical academic background to design big ships, and so couldn’t pass the proposed licensing tests. If I want a custom-made aircraft carrier, I’ll go to a naval architect. If I want a sailboat, or something to catch fish from, I’ll go to PCB&F and damn the licenses.
In politics, Phil votes Libertarian. (Why am I not surprised?) We agreed he was the Libertarian equivalent of a Yellow Dog Democrat (for those overseas, that’s someone who’ll even vote for a yellow dog as long as it runs as a Democrat). Phil has no particular regard for Ralph Nader and “that guy with the ears” (Ross Perot); he thinks they just wanted an ego trip. The Libertarians are trying to build a party that believes in smaller and less intrusive government, oxymoronic as that may sound.
Phil said he owed Bill Samson a letter. He was very complimentary about Bill’s efforts with CN and hoped someone would be found to take it over. This was before either of us knew of Richard’s succession.
We ended the visit by taking P&S for a ride in the Buick. It was altogether a delightful interlude, and no doubt much more pleasant than the drive to Rockport and back would have been.
Our tour on the last day took us to Newburyport, where I visited a small maritime museum. The price of my ticket entitled me also to visit Lowell’s Boat Shop, the oldest in the country, founded in 1793. We had a good tour, and I said I was building a Chebacco. One of the boatbuilders said a friend of his, Brad Story, had built several. But, he said, Brad has gone back to his roots – being an artist, which he was before he got into boats – because of health problems. He has serious back trouble and has also had both ankles fused. This, folks, is a real shame. Remember, Brad commissioned the design in the first place, so he’s the cause of what many of us are building as well as the builder of what not a few of us are sailing.
Best regards to both. Richard, welcome aboard.
A letter from Jamie:
I’ve fixed up my cockpit so I can raise the floorboards to seat level, for sleeping. I sent a note to Bill Samson about a recent cruise, and he thought this idea might be of use to other Chebacconists, so I’m sending it to you for the new Chebacco page, if you want it. I’ve attached pictures of Wayward Lass showing these, and a couple of other additions. Feel free to edit as needed. These modifications have all been tested in use and worked just fine.
My floorboards are 1/2 inch plywood, all cut to the same length, including
the two that run up along the centerboard case. (The small gaps this leaves
at the end of these two are filled with spacers of the same material).
I used a jig made of the floorboard material to mark where the upper edge of
the supporting cleat, or rail, should come to. The rails themselves are
made of leftover trim, an African mahogany of some description, finishing
about 5/8 square. I screwed these to the seat fronts, bedding them in
polysulphide so they can be removed if need be.
To span the cockpit safely, the 1/2 inch ply has to be reinforced underneath
— I used fir, 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch, on edge. This can cause complications, as
the reinforcing pieces have to be positioned to clear the centerboard case
and mainsheet block while the floorboards are raised, as well as the bottom
of the boat and anything stored in it while the floorboards are in their
usual position. A 3/4 inch ply might work without reinforcement, but better
test it first.
Note that the mainsheet has to be out of the way for sleeping. I loop it
over the end of the boom and let it run from there under the platform. The
boom is held steady by the two short lines to the quarters. (I also use
these when anchored or motoring as the mainsheet alone lets the boom wag
back and forth a bit.)
I’m thinking of adding extra boards for use as seats at either end of the
cockpit, or as a table. These would be narrower, and could be stored under
the seats (reached through the cabin) when not in use.
While I had the boards out, I thought I might as well take a picture showing
how I use the space below for storing my anchors (8# danforth and 25#
fisherman). With the rope flaked (piled) as shown, it pays out without
kinking. Beer is stored under the next board aft where it will stay cool
(but not icy) – a very useful space all round!
Since my mast is square at the bottom, when the halyards were slacked off
the jaws used to jam and the boom couldn’t swing. To make it easier reefing
and furling, I added the collar shown on the mast. The collar lets the boom
roam around without damaging the jaws. It also keeps the boom up when
anchored with the tarp set up for a tent. The vertical strips above the
collar are for the chafing when sailing — my mast was starting to get a bit
chewed up by the jaws — I also leathered the jaws. The rope at the bow is
for the danforth, it’s left like this so that the anchor can be dropped
quickly from the cockpit. (The Jonesport cleat on the bow is made as drawn
on the plans, works very well too, holds the anchor rope right on the
centerline, is worth the time and effort.)
Finally, I’ve shown the slots in the gunwales, designed to hold 1″ webbing
for tying down a boom tent. I’ve got a slot every 2 feet or so, from just
behind the cockpit to just ahead of it — these need to be cut before the
rubbing strip is fastened on. I haven’t made a real tent yet, but the slots
work fine with the polytarp tent!
That’s the lot. Good luck with the newsletter, looking forward to your