Monday, January 18, 2010
DoryMan goes over to the Dark Side
From all the time I spend here ranting about the evils of the internal combustion engine, you might think I detest motor boats. But that is not exactly true. The petrol engine is a blight, make no mistake. As are land based vehicles based on the infernal engine.
Which is a shame when one encounters a beautiful hull design driven by, of all things, a gas engine!
This is a "take off" of the famous BarTender from the 1950's, made by a Portland, Oregon company; Clipper Craft and was called a BarClipper. You might say that is an obvious rip-off and you would be right. The production of the BarClipper was cut short by George Calkins because it was just too close to his popular design.
It is a dory and for those who don't share my prejudice, it's a coveted surf boat design popular with ocean sport fishermen. I heard about this boat from Eric.
I have had the pleasure of corresponding for the last few months with Eric, who is building a ClipperCraft of a different design, more typical of the company. He contacted me because I worked for ClipperCraft about twenty years ago.
Though the dory is well suited for motor propulsion, a prejudice is still a prejudice. If a boat requires 50 gallons (or more) of fuel for a day's halibut fishing, it is simply not worth it, in my humble opinion!
That said, when Eric contacted me about Sparta to tell me she was to be given away, or scrapped, I couldn't resist. She is a fine design, pleasing to the eye and extremely efficient, driven by a 40 horsepower Grey Marine engine that is sixty years old, if a day.
I couldn't let her die!
I will probably not keep this boat, but will see her back to health. Ideally, she should be outfitted with an electric motor. Her hull design is efficient enough. That may be a dream for now, but as the infernal engine proves to be a dinosaur, maybe Sparta will live to see a new age.
The line drawing is of the BarTender from which this design was taken. The BarClipper is a foot longer, at 20'-6" and eight inches wider, at 7'-6"
Sparta is built of mahogany marine grade plywood and is a testament to the durability of that material. When I worked for ClipperCraft, we fastened the boats with stainless screws and Resourcinal glue, which is, I suspect, the same for this boat.