Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cape Ann Dory

For those of us who are intrigued by the Cape Ann dory from West Port, Victoria, Australia, here is the latest note from Trevor Davidson. We’ve been curious to hear how this stout dory handles under sail… The boys from OZ have rigged a sprit sailed ketch which can also be rigged as a sloop. The variety of sail options for this boat are impressive.

Trevor explains it best:

“I’ve been amazed by the 22 foot Cape Ann’s predictable manner and good sailing qualities.
As you can see she is fitted with leeboards, I know the purists will howl, but it was never built to be a replica…”

“The rig consists of free standing aluminum masts, made of 90mm pipe. The sails are made from good quality polytarp material. The main has two darts in it to give it shape and it is a powerful sail. The mizzen is cut flat.”

“The boat can be set up with both masts with one or both sails being used.” There is another thwart near the centre of the boat allowing the stepping of a single mast."

"With both sails up she can be quite a handful, but a lot of fun. We carry about 90 kilograms of ballast in the bottom with two sails up, although this makes her a bit more difficult on and off the trailer.”

“We have experimented with different sail configurations and I think the best combination is the mizzen mast stepped in the centre with a boom and the sprit up, also with a small headsail. Two of us can handle her quite well set up this way without carrying any extra ballast. (Although my skipper and I are a fair bit of ballast!)”

“The other noticeable thing about this set up is the boat points up quite a lot better to windward, due I think to having a headsail and also the mizzen being cut flat, the tarp material seems to stretch enough to give a bit of shape without the darts.”

“The bottom and decks have been fibreglassed and the exterior of the boat has been painted with oil based paving paint (I think you guys refer to it as porch paint. It is very hard and has a low gloss, which I think suits the older style wooden boats.”

“The rudder is set to slide up the transom when the boat is sailed up on the beach, a simple but ingenious system”

Mr. Davidson is understandably proud of his dory. And I'm impressed, too.

Nice job, Trevor! Thanks for sharing your boat with us.

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