October 30, 2014

A sailor's favorite dream

ONE OF THE THINGS sailors like to do is day-dream. Mostly they dream about beer and women, but sometimes they dream about boats, specifically the boats they’d like to have built for themselves if they won the jackpot.

I was reading about one such boat the other day, an 80-foot, 50-ton, gaff ketch. She was designed by Edson B. Schock in 1941, in response to a request (presumably from someone who’d just won the jackpot) for the design of a yacht suitable for a cruise around the world.

Nobody in those days thought a 20- or 30-footer was suitable for crossing oceans, so Mr. Schock suggested an auxiliary ketch of rather larger dimensions, and he also argued for a gaff ketch rig because, as he pointed out, most of the trip from New York, through the Panama Canal, and south and west across the Pacific would be largely off the wind.

This boat was meant to accommodate the owner and two guests in some high degree of comfort. “Your party of three should require two staterooms, one double and one single,” said Mr. Schock, “and in addition it would be advisable to have an extra stateroom for your captain and also radio officer, should you consider it necessary to carry one.”

He also estimated that the crew’s quarters should have accommodations for three.

“The sail area would be about 2,800 square feet in the working sails, and the auxiliary power a 100-hp diesel engine with 650 gallons of fuel oil and 1,200 gallons of water.

“The lighting would be by DC current from a diesel generator and batteries which would also supply current for an electric refrigerator and an anchor windlass.

“In the design of the hull it would be advantageous to keep the displacement rather light in order that she would ride easily and lift to the seas, thereby keeping her out of the class of heavy displacement yachts which are frequently referred to as half-tide rocks when they are so heavy that they do not rise readily in a head sea.

“The construction, if of wood, would consist of double-sawn frames with either yellow pine or Douglas fir planking below water, and teak above with teak decks and all upper works of teak.

 “A yacht of this type and size . . . would make ample room for all and not be too cramped for such an extended cruise,” Mr. Schock concluded. “She would prove very seaworthy under all conditions.”

Well, I must say that all this talk about staterooms makes this a very attractive design, at least to anyone who has won the jackpot, but I find it a little worrying that Mr. Shock makes no mention of the extra accommodation needed for the stewards who would be running back and forth with the gin-and-tonics, and neither does he provide room for even a modestly-sized troupe of dancing girls. What the heck, if you’ve truly won the jackpot, you might as well go the whole hog, don’tcha think?

Today’s Thought
Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It isn’t. It is the opposite of vulgarity.
— Gabrielle (“Coco”) Chanel, Ladies’ Home Journal, Sep 56

“Are you still breeding birds?”
“Yeah. I just crossed a homing pigeon with a parrot.”
 “What for?”
“If the pigeon gets lost it can ask the way home.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)


CNH said...

What does 'double sawn' mean?

John Vigor said...

CNH: A traditional double-sawn frame is made up of several pieces of wood called futtocks placed end-to-end to fill the space between the keel and the sheer. A second, similarly constructed frame (but with the joints in different places) is installed alongside the first and the two are bolted together through the sides, making it almost as strong as one solid piece.

John V.