Tuesday, March 3, 2009


The Chebacco catyawls are designed by Phil Bolger, naval architect of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The plans for this boat can be found at Phil Bolger & Friends and also at Harold H. Payson, part of Dynamite Payson's Instant Boat Series.

Chebacco Particulars:
LOA 19’ 8”, Beam 7’ 10-1/2”, Draft 1’ 2” (board up), and Sail Area 176 Sq. Ft.

Phil Bolger’s Chebacco 20 is a cat-yawl, with a short, unstayed mast, a high-peaked gaff mainsail with a relatively long boom, and a jibheaded mizzen sail with sprit boom.
The Chebacco is built in hardchined plywood or round hulled clinker built. You can see one of these little pocket cruisers under construction, with lively descriptions of means and methods at http://www.chebacco.com/chebacco-news/ . The plywood Chebacco is probably the most appealing to the home builder, and the lapstrake version, shown at left, is quite a beauty.
The owner/ builders of these simple, elegant boats are rightfully proud of their accomplishment.

Here we see our friend Chuck, happy as a clam in his plywood Chebacco Full Gallop.

And, in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, a rendezvous with Chebaccos and friends.

More Chebacco goodness:

Building a lapstrake Chebacco; on Tripod.

Chebacco FAQ.

Plans for the Chebacco.

Chebacco News.

A series of DoryMan articles about Chebaccos and other gunkholing boats.

If anyone has a Chebacco with a story to tell, I'd love to hear it. Send me some pictures if you can.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy the time I spend with your column. (It's worthy of something that sounds better than "blog.")

I am about 1/2 way through a pair of models, one lapstrake, one sheet ply, of the 20foot Chebacco.

Other than raising the cabin roof a bit, a tabernacle and making a smaller hole in the transom, I'm going to build it pretty close to plan, whichever one I decide on.

To be honest, my level of skill and available time being what they are, regardless of which one I like better aesthetically, I think I'm going with the sheet ply, which is still quite a beauty.

Thanks again, and please keep writing.

doryman said...

Thank you for your kind words. I would love to see some pictures of your models, if you don't mind. You can write me at mbogoger(at)gmail.com

I spent a week on a plywood Chebacco last summer and a better handling small boat you will never find. A bit tight in the cabin for a couple older fellas, but no real complaints there, either.

If you haven't seen it, the story of the Sucia Island Rendezvous can be found here:






Ayen said...


I notice some of your visitors are getting 404 errors from your page links. I invite you to update your links to the chebacco.com site and also to the payson plans site.

the FAQ site is http://www.chebacco.com/chebacco-faq/,
the blog is http://www.chebacco.com/chebacco-news/,
the payson plans sales is http://www.mcssl.com/store/hhpaysoncompany/instant-boat-plans/chebacco

you may have written these words eight years ago but you are still getting readers clicking on your links.



doryman said...

Thank you for the update, Andrew. I see the Chebacco news site has been recently reactivated, which I assume is your doing. Good on ya. I've updated the links here, per your suggestions, for which I thank you very much. In the days since this post went up, Blogger has been purchased by Google, so some formatting of old Doryman pages is messed up, for which I can only apologize. It would be a task worthy of Hercules to bring this blog up to standard, so suffice to say, I mostly look forward unless some kind soul calls these old link errors to my attention.

Thank you again. The Chebacco is indeed one of Bolger's finer efforts. My opinion over the years, hasn't changed on that.

Boat Tinker said...

I am considering downsizing from my 7 ton gaff cutter to the stretched Chebacco (#602?). I am only kinda joking when I say anyone want to trade?

doryman said...

Hey, Ben,
Good choice. I've sailed a Bristol Channel cutter a few times. It's a lot of work, isn't it? The Chebacco will feel like a dinghy in comparison. Good luck!