Tuesday, March 3, 2009


The Chebacco catyawls are designed by Phil Bolger, naval architect of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The plans for this boat can be found at Phil Bolger & Friends and also at Harold H. Payson and Co., part of Dynamite Payson's Instant Boat Series.

Chebacco Particulars:
LOA 19’ 8”, Beam 7’ 10-1/2”, Draft 1’ 2” (board up), and Sail Area 176 Sq. Ft.

Phil Bolger’s Chebacco 20 is a cat-yawl, with a short, unstayed mast, a high-peaked gaff mainsail with a relatively long boom, and a jibheaded mizzen sail with sprit boom.
The Chebacco is built in hardchined plywood or round hulled clinker built. You can see one of these little pocket cruisers under construction, with lively descriptions of means and methods at Chebacco.com. The plywood Chebacco is probably the most appealing to the home builder, and the lapstrake version, shown at left, is quite a beauty.
The owner/ builders of these simple, elegant boats are rightfully proud of their accomplishment.

Here we see our friend Chuck, happy as a clam in his plywood Chebacco Full Gallop.

And, in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, a rendezvous with Chebaccos and friends.

More Chebacco goodness:

Building a lapstrake Chebacco; on Tripod.

Chebacco FAQ.

Plans for the Chebacco.

Chebacco News.

A series of DoryMan articles about Chebaccos and other gunkholing boats.

If anyone has a Chebacco with a story to tell, I'd love to hear it. Send me some pictures if you can.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy the time I spend with your column. (It's worthy of something that sounds better than "blog.")

I am about 1/2 way through a pair of models, one lapstrake, one sheet ply, of the 20foot Chebacco.

Other than raising the cabin roof a bit, a tabernacle and making a smaller hole in the transom, I'm going to build it pretty close to plan, whichever one I decide on.

To be honest, my level of skill and available time being what they are, regardless of which one I like better aesthetically, I think I'm going with the sheet ply, which is still quite a beauty.

Thanks again, and please keep writing.

michael b said...

Thank you for your kind words. I would love to see some pictures of your models, if you don't mind. You can write me at mbogoger(at)gmail.com

I spent a week on a plywood Chebacco last summer and a better handling small boat you will never find. A bit tight in the cabin for a couple older fellas, but no real complaints there, either.

If you haven't seen it, the story of the Sucia Island Rendezvous can be found here: