Monday, November 9, 2009

Wizard of Oz

One of Trevor's good friends is an older gentleman named Ozzie Whittley. Ozzie has been designing and building boats all his life. He's eighty now and an encyclopedia of boat design.
It seems to me that the Australians are adept at taking a simple design and tweaking it just a little to make it an exceptional design. This is certainly true of Ozzie.

The photos shown are a thirty foot dory or sharpie ketch, designed and built by Ozzie Whittley. The remarkable detail about this design is the lee-boards. They are small and unobtrusive. One objection that I have to lee-boards is their obtrusive vulnerability. These boards are a natural extension of the boat and remind me of fins, which is exactly what they are. Apparently they work very well, as Trevor tells me (he's thinking of building this boat) :

"The frames and stem for this boat were drawn up on an old piece masonite, which I got hold of and I have managed to take down a set of offsets. It has a fairly flat run aft and a widened stern to carry (2)18hp outboards, although he found one was easily enough.(14mph; I think the old villain likes a bit of speed). Anyway, as you can see she is junk rigged, for a 70 year old to single hand. He trailered her all round Oz to many different waterways."
"Unfortunately he sold the boat before I got a chance to sail in her, but going by what he tells me she is vice free and sailed on any combination of sails. The trailer was cleverly designed with large centre rollers made from 6" aluminium pipe, allowing a one handed launch, not bad for a 30'er!"

Vice free! What better recommendation can a boat have?! Trevor says he would build a single cabin, which makes a lot of sense in a thirty foot boat.

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