A Tribute to Phil Bolger
On Wave Watcher, Bob kept track of the route we took through the San Juan Islands. Wave Watcher is a Phil Bolger designed sharpie with a sprit boom main, built by Bob. An extremely efficient vessel.
Bob's Bolger Birdwatcher is a self righting design with modest sail area. It's narrow beam and shallow draft make it a perfect gunkholing boat that can be rowed, sailed or driven by motor.
The three Chebacco present at Sucia Island were also designed by Phil and are characterized by ease of handling and practical efficiency.
The Chebacco 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.
Jamie's Chebacco Wayward Lass is straight off the plans, simple, elegant and a true head turner. Painted green with light brown decks and an open cockpit, she has a traditional flair.
Chuck's Chebacco Full Gallop has a few inches more height in the cabin than the plans call for and he went one step further by raising the cockpit to accommodate a self bailing sole. A good practical idea, if this extremely seaworthy boat were to ever take on any water!
Chuck is a fan of cutters, so he added a bowsprit with a foresail. We spent quite a bit of time discussing which points of sail favored the additional forward sail area, without which Chuck's Chebacco would be the nearly identical twin to Jamie's. The red hull and tanbark sails further set Full Gallop off.
Cal Cran and George Korbach brought Peso a 20' Chebacco from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Peso offered yet another cabin interpretation. By increasing cabin height and adding slightly more width, this Chebbaco offered the roomiest accommodations of the three.
The Elegant Punt, also by Phil, was represented by Alan's dinghy Creamsicle. Alan has been sailing this little punt since he was a child and is a very proficient mariner.
I had the privilege of sailing with Alan and Jamie on Wayward Lass when they, accompanied by Chuck, graciously ferried me to the Rendezvous on the second day of the trip.
Lou brought his interpretation of the Elegant Punt as a tender for his Great Pelican Toucan. Lou is a talented boat builder as his little yacht and matching tender demonstrate.
Bolger's Advanced Sharpies have their ancestor in Jessie Cooper, a 25'6" cruising sharpie designed as a live-aboard in a minimal package.
Paul and Meg came from Seattle, Washington with their Jessie Cooper cat yawl sharpie, Tomboy.
And Ratty would say:
"Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! 'Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then someday, someday long hence, jog home... when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company."