Interesting Boats, August 2007

Interesting boats to ogle at the end of the summer.

Summer is winding down here in the Northwest. Lots of boats are heading for home, the kids are excited about seeing their school friends, and for some, jobs await. A few boats are headed out, looking for a last couple of weeks of cruising before winter sets in.

All of which means there are interesting craft to ogle, photograph, and maybe learn from.

full roach cruising main

This is a 1960s, late CCA rule era cruising design. She is short-ended for a boat of that era, which is good (waterline = speed). Check out the sail plan.


Some notes on speed:

  • Loose footed sails (like this main and mizzen) allow maximum draft adjustment. That’s fast.
  • Full battens reduce sail flutter, control sail shape, make the sail last longer, and allow more roach. This is faster.
  • The mizzen has fore and aft lower shrouds, but no backstay, so the mizzen has an agressive roach for a cruising boat. Roach increases effective aspect ratio, reduces induced drag, adds free sail area. This turns a mizzen that would otherwise be mainly a drag into an effective addition to the sail plan. Way fast (and cool).

A lot of older boats, which can be purchased for modest sums, will show you a really nice turn of speed with an application of these same principles.


Take this lovely little lady for example. Same era as the previous boat, conservative structure is probably going to show up below the deck, and that mast has way more factor of safety than we’d specify today. Put a modern suit of sails on her, including past the backstay roachy main, and you would surpise a lot of boats costing four or five times as much…and look really good doing it.

Aluminum Kettenberg 43

Speaking of mature boats, this is an aluminum version of the venerable Kettenberg 43. Built by Yacht Dynamics, under the watchful eye of Mark Coholan 43 years ago, she has recently been stripped of her interior and rebuilt by new owners. After all these years the hull is totally sound. As aficionados of aluminum boats this makes us very happy.

side deck anchor windlass

Now here is an interesting approach to windlass placement and chain storage. The windlass is mounted off center, well aft. This clears the foredeck, allowing room for a small forepeak with its own deck hatch. The weight of the chain is moved aft, which reduces pitching, and there is a deeper drop back here for the chain, so it self stows.


The chain needs to change direction at the bow to lead cleanly to the windlass. A vertical roller does this. Note the UHMW chafe block below the roller and anchor stock.

The one thing you would have to watch with this system is stopping off the chain pipe, to make sure it does not leak. This means removing the chain, and possibly the chain wheel, so the end of the chain pipe can be carefully sealed. Sealing chain pipes is always an issue, but in this case, being all the way to leeward, in heavy going on port tack the windlass is often going to be underwater.


We saw these folks motoring out of Roche Harbor. This looks like an early BOC single handed racer. You would not see the bow overhang today – that is just giving away speed. Check out the cassette rudder on the stern.

Tyee, tug converted to yacht

And so you don’t think we’re prejudiced against power boats (OK, stinkpots) how is this for cool? A converted woody tug. Bet they can tow all the dinghies in Puget Sound and not break a sweat.


We noted this sign on a homeowner’s lawn in Deere Harbor. They must have a real problem with visiting dogs. There is a point to this (see below).


Definitely one of the more unique boats we’ve seen. And if you have a dog aboard, according to the sign, they will not turn down your business.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 31, 2007)

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