My friend Ralph Merriman is a prolific amateur boat builder. He wrote to me recently to catch up on news and it was no surprise to hear him say:
"I am building another boat, this one a 16 foot daysailer to the Pearl design by Tom Dunderdale in England.
"I chose Dunderdale's Pearl over a Welsford Navigator. Fine boat that Navigator, but there are so many out there and I so easily succumb to the allure of something different."
Just to get a little perspective, Ralph built the kayak he works out in most days.
He also built this Iain Oughtred Whilly Boat, which now belongs to Mike Scott.
Here's Mr. Scott putting her through her paces.
I came very close to buying this strip-planked Adirondack Guideboat last year. Ralph told me it was a dream to row, and he's right.
He hasn't sold it yet........
For those who are familiar with the work of Kees Prins, you know that his new cabin cruiser, Fetch was a hit at the recent Port Townsend Boat Festival. She even made the cover of Small Craft Advisor.
What I didn't know is that Ralph built the original open daysailer Kees started with for this project.
There are probably more on this list, but back to the Pearl. Ralph has made his masts, rudder and centerboard. The strongback is set up and the plank lay-up has begun.
Why do I get the feeling the completed boat is not too far off?
Please stay tuned...
LOD: 4936mm or 16ft. 2in.
LOA: 6036mm or 19ft. 9in.
BOA: 1820mm or 6ft
Max. design displacement: 575 kg; Min.: 330kg
Hull weight: 135 - 160 kg
Ballast: 75 - 125 kg
Gaff rig (nominal): 123 sq ft / 11.4 sq m. or 136 sq ft / 12.65 sq m
Lug and Yawl rigs: approximately 11.5 sq m