Chebacco News 54


Altus Trip – Richard Spelling

So I’m pulling Schroedinger to Altus; traveling on 40 west of OKC. Around mile marker 70 I start to see big huge windmills in the distance. As I get closer there are more and more, then a whole farm of them – maybe a hundred. I start thinking, “Hey, these weren’t here the last time I was through this way.” Then I get to trying to figure when the last time I actually WAS through here was – on 40 west of OKC. Seems it was while I was in the Marines going to El Toro, driving a friends Volkswagen van, with four bald tires, in the middle of a huge winter ice storm. Back in…. 1984. Time flies when you are having fun. I think I need to get out more..So I’m pulling Schroedinger to Altus; traveling on 40 west of OKC. Around mile marker 70 I start to see big huge windmills in the distance. As I get closer there are more and more, then a whole farm of them – maybe a hundred. I start thinking, “Hey, these weren’t here the last time I was through this way.” Then I get to trying to figure when the last time I actually WAS through here was – on 40 west of OKC. Seems it was while I was in the Marines going to El Toro, driving a friends Volkswagen van, with four bald tires, in the middle of a huge winter ice storm. Back in…. 1984. Time flies when you are having fun. I think I need to get out more… <grin>


With the “mountain” in site, on a two lane road, I have a blowout. With only a couple thousand miles on these tires and with the weight of the trailer well within the weight rating. Last time I buy tires at Pep Boys. Second blowout, actually, but the first one was caused by a roto-tiller hidden in the grass, so I can’t hold that against them.


Go to jack up trailer and scissors jack won’t fit under axle. Pull forward to a more level spot and it will then fit under axle but it won’t even begin to lift up the trailer. Break out truck jack and use it on frame of trailer to take some of the weight, then use scissors jack to lift axle up enough to get wheel off. Need to weld me up one of those funny looking “stick under axle and pull forward” trailer jacks.

Go to put on my spare (which is brand new, from previous blowout) and guess what. It doesn’t fit on the hub. The center of the hub (which I replaced years ago because the bearing races were loose in the hub) is just slightly too large for the rim.

And I’m in the middle of BFE so, of course, my cell phone doesn’t work. With fortuitous foresight I had tossed a 3lb hammer and 1-1/8″ thick piece of round stock in the bed of the truck instead of putting them up properly before I left. I bent over the new wheel and pounded on the hub center in a circular motion for about 10 minutes till I “persuaded” it to be a little bigger.

Nice wind for sailing when I get there but I just came off a night shift and a long drive, so I sleep

Next day the wind is real light but we go out anyway. Decent sail.


I pack up and head back, trip is uneventful.


Chebacco Lily Catchpole – Howard Sharp


It was a beautiful day and we managed to navigate without damage to boat or egos.

Some construction photos. Turning day; easily done by two and the slight slope outside the garage.


The cockpit construction, with bridge deck. I built in two battery boxes for the not too far off day when we will all be using electric motors (at the moment she’s propelled adequately at 5kts by a 5hp Nissan). Lily has navigation lights, and one of the battery boxes is taken up by a 1/2 size 12v battery recharged by a solar panel.

I’m keeping the boat on a trailer, launching it every time I sail, and motoring away from a crowded dock. I chose to lock off the motor dead center and use a remote throttle from the cockpit rather than reach back over the motor well. Rapid last minute changes of direction are not possible, but in my view the convenience of having throttle control right under my hand (or foot) is a worthwhile trade off. I’ve also found that I need to keep the centerboard down for better directional control, especially when in reverse.


Two weeks after launch, I took the boat to the boat to the WoodenBoat show at Mystic, CT, as part of the Phil Bolger tribute. Chebaccos were well represented,as you can see. From the left, Ben Ho’s raised deck version, with a lot of useable space in an enlarged cabin, and a self-draining cockpit, “Lily Catchpole”, and David? Robichaux’s “Grey Cat”.

We got to meet PB himself – Ben Ho with PB:

Here he is asking me to conduct experiments to see what effect raising the centerboard has on weather helm:


And on Saturday “Lily C.” and I were delighted with an honorable mention in the Concourse D’elegance owner-built category:

I’ve sailed bigger yawls in the past, but the Chebacco has reminded me just how useful the mizzen can be for a single-handed sailor. Even under motor, the sail can be used to reliably steer the boat for minutes on end, while I go about clearing things up for docking, navigating, or preparing for night. “Lily Catchpole” will easily sail at 5kts, and with 15kts of wind has reached 6.5kts under one reef – pretty good for a boat of this size. We’re planning a circumnavigation of Manhattan, and hope to bring you a report.



That Trip – Nick Hughes

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Dear Richard here is an account of our first journey in Sylvester the Chebacco we bought from Richard Elkan in London in May. My girl friend Sally and I left Greenwich , London at 5:10 a lovely calm morn with the promise of force 5/6 gusting 7 later in the day.

We decided to motor with our trusty lil’ Honda BF5 as we wanted to complete the trip of about 25 miles in one day as quick as possible. We passed quickly through the Thames Barrier, the old Docks , and wharfs and kept a weather eye open. We had decided that if the weather had taken a turn for the worse by the time we reached Gravesend we would overnight there but as it happened there was a N.Easterly blowing making for a nasty chop but nothing terrible, so we decided to press on.

However once we were in the mouth of the Thames Estuary the awful combination of a N.easterly now picking up in strength on an ebb tide made for a rough passage. The area is notorious for being rough in a North Easterly but we reckoned we had just enough of a window to get through. We then followed the Isle of Grain coastline at a very healthy distance as it dries out for about a mile and we watched as surf formed on the far shore. and so we headed for to the River Medway Estuary about 4 miles away.

And so it went… the wind now reaching the promised 5/6 and gusting more at times, not the most pleasant of journeys. the next two hours were bloody rough, the waves up to 7- 8 feet high. Sylvester’s bow rose up and up then we slide down or rather pounded down before the next one rose before us. After an hour we had not come to any grief and were impressed by Sylvester’s strength and ability in such a sea and motored on. We took on only little water as we were head on to the wind .. again most impressive.

Keeping well clear of the dreaded lee shore on the Grain shallows we literally ploughed on!! then as we approached the mouth of the River Medway we saw a small yacht run aground on the Grain shore, surf was breaking over her and it was frightening to watch. No one could get near because of the lack of water/ surf etc and she sent out a Mayday. Soon enough the police rib came out followed by the Sheerness lifeboat. In the meantime she had somehow found enough water to get free… a lucky man!

We then had the pleasure of entering the Medway with the N.E wind building up huge waves astern which were actually breaking .It was hard work to keep from broaching … surf down the waves …. yaw.. get ready and off we went again!! … even some big modern motor cruisers were struggling as they ran for shelter. Finally after about half an hour we were in more sheltered waters and could relax for the next two hours until we reached home.

We finally got back to our barge at 13.30, cold wet but very very confident in Sylvester’s abilities. We live on a 1926 Dutch barge and spent 26 hours bringing her back from North Holland to England but that was nothing compared to our first journey in Sylvester.. Thanks Phil Bolger to designing such a stunning little boat and credit to Bill Sampson who built her..Hopefully we shall be able to go for a sail soon.. but thats another story yet untold.
regards Nick & Sally


Inspector Clouseau a cold moulded Chebacco – John TumaRichard,

I am sending along some pictures of my modified Chebacco, “Inspector Clouseau.” Two weeks before the launch date, I discovered the boat was covered with pink overspray. It’s a mystery where it came from, hence the reference to the Pink Panther.

My boat is a combination of cedar strip and cold molded construction to the lines of the lap-plank Chebacco 20. However, I adapted the full keel from the glass house Chebacco for this boat. By eliminating the centerboard trunk, I was able to open up both the cockpit and the cabin. The boat carries 200 pounds of scrap steel and concrete ballast.

Inspector Clouseau sails to weather remarkably well, though how is a bit of a mystery, but off the wind this boat really shines.

The pictures show me out sailing in the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, and also out on San Francisco Bay.

If anyone is interested in knowing more, they can reach me at j_tuma (at sign) comcast (period) net.

John Tuma


PS: Thanks for putting the Chebacco News together. I really enjoy

seeing what other Chebacco enthusiasts are up to.


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Chebacco News 30

Chebacco News 30 – June 2000


Number One . . .


The first Chebacco

Peter Vanderwaart writes:

This is Chebacco number one being introduced to the world by Brad Story at the Small Boat Show in Newport, Rhode Island. This is the original cold-molded boat. Visible in the picture are several features that have been changed in the later, more-refined designs: outboard rudder, bolt on outboard motor bracket, rope traveler across the cockpit. The workmanship on this boat was absolutely first class and museum quality. The hull was molded and the frames fitted afterward, and the fits were perfection. As was the varnish. As was the paint. I can not say who is in the boat in the picture, but went I got on the boat, the persons aboard were Brad Story and his wife, and Peter Duff. I’m still sorry that I did not climb right into the cabin to see what it was like when I had the chance.

Peter Vanderwaart


And the latest . . .


The stocks are set up . . .

From Paul DiPasquale

Hi Bill,

Well, I’ve taken the first steps toward construction of a new Chebacco.
The plans are in hand and the shed (see attached photos) is built.

I took two weeks to build the shed, which is approximately 30’x12′. It
will serve as a boat building shed when needed and a garage
extension/carport when not otherwise occupied. The backbone was part of
the construction project also…built with pressure treated 4×4’s, 12ft.
in length and “scarfed” together with steel construction brackets.
I might add, for anyone thinking of such a project, the cost of shed and
backbone was under $500.00 U.S.

I started laying out bulkheads and frames this week and hope to have
bottom and sides done in a few days. I am planning to use AC plywood and
Epoxy Resin throughout the boat. One thing worries me a bit and that is
the ambient temperature in this area. We are near Myrtle Beach, South
Carolina and in summer the temps, even at night are close to or above
70%F. I guess we will see what happens when I start mixing batches of
resin and hardener.

I have to admit my anxiety level is kind of high, but I keep asking
myself “what is the worst thing that can happen” (other than waste a
bunch of time and money)? This is balanced by pictures (in my head) of
me and my new Chebacco sailing happily around the beautiful islands and
clear blue water of the Florida Keys.

If there is a Chebacco owner anywhere in the southeast U.S who is
willing to let me have a look at his/her boat please let me know. My
time is my own and I am always ready to travel.

Anyway, enough rambling for today! I’ll keep you posted as things move
along and hopefully will be able to share some construction photos too.

Best regards,

Paul DiPasquale
Conway, South Carolina, U.S.A



Chebacco Motorsailer for sale

Bob Cushing writes:

Hi Bill,

Just a note to let you know my Chebacco Motorsailer is for sale  -I
want to keep building so I have to keep selling. We sold our Microtrawler to
a local jewelry store owner and he loves it. If you know of anyone who might
be interested please send them to us and we will be as flexible as possible
on pricing. It is essentially a new boat -very little use and professional
build quality w/new honda 9.9 w/remote controls and new galv trailer ,

Bob Cushing     315-687-6776

There’s a write-up on Bob’s superb motorsailer in Chebacco News #17 and #24. That should make your mouth water.

Aussie sleeping arrangements

Tim Fatchen (AS29 owner) writes

In discussions about sleeping arrangements, I haven’t seen the following
mentioned, yet it makes the smartest approach to sleeping accommodation
in an overnighter or yea, even within the floating luxury of an AS29. It

—the traditional Oz swag (as carried by suicidal kleptomaniac musical
swagmen) or its more recent incarnation. For those unfamiliar, the
traditional form is a large oblong of proofed heavy canvas (truck
tarpaulin standard) cunningly folded about blankets, pillows, thin
mattresses etc, suitable for rolling out on ground of any condition.
The more modern variants come with a pre-sewn semi-bag shape, zippers,
flyscreens, God-wot things.

Lurking within my own swag, which doubles as work bedding when in the
arid interior, are a continental quilt (doona), sheets, a backing
blanket, 4 inches of foam as mattress, a space blanket, two pillows. All
are weatherproofed by the canvas, and easily carted about, hurled into
sleeping cabins etc.  Looks neat, is very warm, won’t get wet with the
occasional watchkeeper  taking off wet oilskins in the galley, or for a
Chebacco, the canvas will shed the occasional splash.  Much more elegant
and effective than soggy sleeping bags and the hopeful wet blanket. Buy
one if buyable (NZ, Oz). Make one if not.

Tim Fatchen

Sounds interesting, and very practical! Now, if I could just get some of the junk moved out of Sylvester’s cuddy . . .

A Cautionary Tale

I went mad on Monday, and took out Sylvester in a blow of wind. A scary

When I rowed out it was an F4 and I decided, prudently, to put in two reefs.
Boy! Am I glad I did? The wind kept on rising, and even with the two reefs
in, she was soon on her ear, with the lee gun’l under, water lapping over
the coaming, and quite hard to steer – probably because the rudder was
mostly out of the water! She was very sensitive to the way the mizzen was
set – probably because the mizzen is getting nearly as big as the main, when
two reefs are in. Steering had as much to do with working the sails as the
rudder. I’ve heard Light Schooner folks saying this, too.

The nice bit was that she could be balanced to go to windward without any
weather helm, though a little weather helm is nice to have in these

I started getting seasick (getting up to F6 by now) and started the OB,
dropped the main, and motored back to the mooring. I approached the mooring
from downwind, but whenever I slowed down on my approach, the head fell off
and I had to start another circuit. BTW – one feature of the Chebacco I
don’t like is how far away the OB is from the cockpit; with boom,
boom-crutch, mizzen and what not in your way when you want to get at it to
throttle back, switch off, steer or whatever.

At the third attempt, I approached the mooring under full power, grabbed it
on the way past and hooked on. I was wrestling my way back to the OB to
turn it off when the prop snagged the mooring strop! I had to resort to a lot
of foul language to get it untangled.

I was thoroughly seasick by the time I had her all squared away, and rowed

It’s not an experience I’d care to repeat, at least not single handed, but
it is comforting to know that the boat behaved herself in these conditions –
even making decent headway to windward!

BTW – the wind strength increased further that night. Gusts of 80mph were
recorded on the Tay bridge!

Bill Samson

And finally

I did have another couple of contributions, but haven’t been able to clarify the images that came with them. Amybe next time . . .

Bill Samson can be contacted on :

Chebacco News is at

Snail mail to Bill Samson, 88 Grove Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 1LB, Scotland.