Sunday, May 17, 2009
This is exciting. Study plans for the Sanpierotta just came across Doryman's drawing board. Some quick studies will recognize this boat as Doryman's beloved Paku. No discredit to Mr. Culler is intended when I say he might have known of this boat when he designed his famous Good Little Skiff.
There is an obvious evolution there, no matter how it occurred, and centuries of history of Venetian boat design places the sanpierotta and it's cousins as the extant design for this type of skiff no matter where it occurs today in the world.
The Venetians adopted these boat designs from the Chinese and in the height of their empire were a culture which incorporated and disseminated the most practical innovations from every corner of the Mediterranean and beyond.
If you love a simple, elegant design as I do, you will be impressed by the lines depicted here.
The sanpierotta is a pure flat bottomed boat. No skeg, no extended keel. A hard angle of heel induces a keel in the sharp chine.
This boat is most efficient on the wind at the dramatic angle at which the chine forms a "V", steadying course and driving the boat slightly to windward. With the center of effort from the sail(s) slightly fo'ard of the center of resistance from the hull, the boat will track at a reliable 45 degrees on the wind when handled by experienced crew.
The historical crew of this fishing vessel, hampered by just a few inches of draft, could navigate in any water, including easy beaching on an inviting shore.
The boat develops additional lateral resistance with a large rudder, the reason for the extreme aft location of the main mast. Expect weather helm from this craft and active and attentive sheets!
The crew needs to be athletic and expect to jump to the lee rail at the slightest indication of a puff.
Of course a boat ballasted with a good catch of fish would be an asset!
Giacomo would like to mention:
"The larch used in these boats has been harvested from the Dolomites for centuries. Is the principal tree (with the white and red pine) of the Alps.
From the foresta di Panaveggio e di Tarvisio, the larch has also been used to build violins since Stradivari. A different instrument but a marvelous sound too."
My fealty to the esteemed Gilberto Penzo for his documentation of all vessels Venetian, and eternal thanks to my friend Giacomo de Stefano and his passion for the traditional boats of his home!