Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stone Horse, Belle Starr

The Stone Horse, Belle Starr has been moved from the empty shop where she spent the last three years in lonely seclusion.

A boat should not spent its life inside a shop.

It was a cold day, typical of midwinter in the Pacific Northwest. The air appears thick enough to cut with a knife!

This was a herculean task, but with a talented crew all went smoothly. Her new digs aren't very deluxe, as storage goes, but she will not be there long. The plan is to have her ready for the upcoming summer season. All of the wood protuberances have weathered and checked so badly they need to be replaced. The list includes the bowsprit and boomkin, plus tiller and rudder cheeks.

The cockpit is surfaced in teak, which needs to be recaulked and refinished and there is a small area of rot in the main bulkhead. Of two hatches, one is in very good shape and the other, not so much. The sails need to be restitched and some of the sail hardware replaced. All in all, there is not a lot to do. Maybe a month of full time work.

The challenge will be the distance traveled to get the work done. I find myself in a compromised situation. Being an advocate of reduced carbon emissions, each year the internal combustion engine looses more cachet in my book. I would like to see humans abandon this poisonous contraption all together. So, the three hundred fifty miles between me and Belle Starr will require some creative transportation involving buses, trains and possibly a bicycle.

The notorious Belle Starr was a professional outlaw who's life was defined by the civil war in the US. She fraternized and married within the indigenous population of the rural South, which earned her a tarnished reputation. I suspect she was an exceptional person in her day and possibly any other day as well, but history is hard on self-determinate women.

Then, as now, marginalized individuals are forced to do what they can to survive and might end up in prison, while the real criminals run the country and become rich.

This Sam Crocker classic was designed in 1931. Less than forty were built before production was interrupted by WWII. Some of the original wood models are still sailing.
An additional 150 fiberglass Stone Horse models were built by Edey and Duff between 1969 and the early 1990s.

The defining feature of the Stone Horse 23 is her raised, flush foredeck and integral coamings. Twenty three feet on deck, the overall length of the Stone Horse is 28’-3” with a bowsprit and boomkin. The hull has a full keel with traditional wine glass sections (or in this case, hard-chined sections) and a transom-hung rudder.

Often referred to as a cutter, the Stone Horse is more accurately a cutter-rigged sloop, as the mast is stepped well forward of maximum beam and the mainsail makes up more than 50% of total sail area. The masthead rig employs twin headsails and sail area is 339 square feet.
The displacement/length ratio is 325 and sail area/displacement ratio a respectable 19.2. Ballast is 44% of the overall displacement. The design displacement for Belle Starr is 4500#.

Reportedly, since the beam waterline is broad, she stands up well in a blow. While it takes a good breeze to get her started, she tacks easily and balances well without the tendency toward excessive weather helm occasionally found on boats with proportionately large mainsails.

LOA: 23 feet, 4 inches
LWL: 18 feet, 4 inches
BEAM: 7 feet, 1 inch
DRAFT: 3 feet, 4 inches
WEIGHT: 4,490 pounds
SAIL AREA: 339 square feet
HULL: full keel, keel-hung rudder
AUXILIARY POWER: outboard in a well

DESIGNER: Samuel Crocker
BUILDER: Scott Hauser; Hauser Boatworks, Olympia, WA.


Ty Fields said...

Good Evening,

I grew up in the Willamette Valley and met you a handful of times. I worked for The Lincoln County Sheriff's Marine Patrol up until this year. I also assisted the youth sailing program during the summers in Newport, Toledo, and Lincoln City.

I spent most of my free time walking the docks with my camera and talking to anyone around.

Last January I moved here to Cape Cod and work for a small wooden boat shop. We build, restore, and maintain wooden boats, but recently bought the rights to a couple of fiberglass Herreshoff reproductions. Now we build the Doughdish and the Stuart Knockabout as well.

With the recent additions, the shop hired a couple of guys who had been involved in the reproductions since their beginning. Among a few other boats they also built the fiberglass Stone Horse.

Great boats, even the glass ones! If there is anything during her restoration I can do to help, let me know.


doryman said...

Hey Ty!
I visited your old site a few weeks ago and there was nothing new, so I wondered where you were...
I think I knew you were back east - maybe Dion told me.
Congratulations, sounds like a good gig.

Thanks for the offer and I'll keep it in mind. The first order of business is to sand and paint every surface. Then on to details and potential upgrades.

laingdon said...

Congratulations on the new vessel!

Should you happen to come across anyone seeking a similar type of boat- Oyster will be needing a new home eventually. Sooner would be better for me, but that seems a little unlikely.

As you say, a boat should not spend its like in a shop, and I foresee little hope of my getting Oyster back in the water.

doryman said...

Oyster is a great boat. Your kind of boat.
How about a rendezvous sometime this summer? I'll do my best to get Belle Starr back in the water by June, then it's northward bound.