One boat stole my heart before I ever saw her. I'd have to confess, Flygburen was the best of the PT Wooden Boat Fest; 2012.
This Tumlaren was built in Kirkland, WA by Richard and Andy McConkey between 1985 and 1993. The Tumlaren is a 22 foot square meter designed after the "skjaergaardskrysser" (loosely translated as "skerry cruiser"), a narrow, easily driven, light displacement sailboat common to the Skerry Islands of Sweden.
Knud Reimers designed the Tumlaren in 1936. Originally a carvel-planked boat, Flygburen was built cold molded, using four layers of Western Red Cedar veneers over a Douglas Fir frame.
The Tumlaren incorporated the long and narrow efficiency of a koster, with those of the even faster Square Meter yachts that where popular in Scandinavia at the time.
The Skerry Cruiser, like the Folkboat, was created for sailing in protected waters.
About the Skerry Islands, history tells us:
"...the Skerries is everywhere marked with detached rocks of various sizes, which stand up amidst the sea to tell us modems that this skeleton-like archipelago was probably at some remote period one continuous island of no mean extent. However interesting to the geologist and dangerous to the navigator, some of these rocks are of considerable practical utility."
Dr Robert Cowie (1874)
The intricate passages of the Skerries - around rocks and islands - require boats that are handy to tack and close winded, boats that accelerate quickly, using each puff of wind whispering around rock outcroppings and through the trees.
One detail really struck me, so I asked Andy why the headstay on Flygburen was mounted aft of the bow.
He told me:
"The racing design was based upon a sail area requirement, with no restriction on waterline length. Many of the square meter boats had similar headstay arrangements. A positive byproduct of the headstay location is the ease of flying an asymmetrical spinnaker from a turning block off the bow."
As for the lines of this "tumlaren-sterned" beauty, for once, I'm speechless.
Year built: 1993
Builders: Andy and Richard McConkey
Designer: Knud Reimers
In the first photo above, rafted up to Flygburen , we see more of Andy's handiwork, a Doug Hylan "Beach Pea". Andy has another important project coming up, so we'll check in with him later. Thanks go to him for the photos of his fine vessel, at anchor.
"Look from the land, and there are the green isles or dark rocks, gently sleeping on the bosom of the deep blue sea. Its gentle waves are here and there speckled by the white sail of the fishermen, as they go to and from the scene of their labours and trials. Overhead is the summer’s sun, pouring down his bright and cheering, but not scorching and enervating rays, to gladden all nature around. Sounds there are none, save the distant bleating of the sheep, the lowing of the cattle, the neighing of the ponies as they career through their native hills, or the cackling of the seagull; or if, perchance, you walk along the strand after the breeze has given place to the calm, your ears aid you in fully appreciating the notable line of Homer. Stand on the same hill on a stormy December day, and the scene is greatly changed There are the wild waves tossing their white-crested heads mountains high, and rushing on with the speed of a racehorse, till, dashing with the force of their mighty artillery against the lofty cliffs, they heave their white foam high into the air and far over the hills. Such a scene is conceived by the poet when he says, 'And Thule bellows to her utmost isles/ Woe to the hapless mariner who has such a coast for his lee-shore!' "Dr Robert Cowie (1874)