Sunday, October 17, 2010

Townsend Tern

News Flash! New Design!

Kees Prins, manager of the boat shop at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington has produced a new design and it's gorgeous!
I saw Kees at a recent messabout at Fort Worden a couple weeks ago where the buzz was all about this new boat. He's an understated guy but it's clear he's excited.

The Townsend Tern is a cruising and gunkholing design featuring high performance and comfortable livability in one package. This is no easy task since one almost always precludes the other.

That's Kees and Chelcie putting her through her paces.
(Photos copyright by Laingdon Schmitt.)

The Tern is a 23.5 ft. electric powered, glued-lapstrake, trailerable cat ketch.
She is a custom build for a specific client with well defined needs. With input from Kees the boat turned out perfect for day sailing or extended cruising.

Kees has this to say:

"I designed her with a lot of input from Chelcie and Kathy Liu. They set all the initial parameters and we kept discussing things along the way."

His assessment?

"The Tern sailed well. She was stable, maneuverable, easily handled and we kept up with two T-birds on her trial run."


I immediately wrote to Kathy and Chelcie for some background information and I'll pass their observations on to you...

"When we approached Kees we were looking for a trailerable sailboat of modern wood construction with the following specifications:"

* Target length: 24 – 25 feet
* Target beam: 7 feet plus or minus 2 inches so that it would fit into a shipping container.
* Target displacement including motor, anchors, batteries, sail rig, etc. (everything but the crew) 2,300 pounds. (Lighter consistent with strength and stability is better.) Ideally the boat would have 2,300 displacement including crew and gear with 1,700 displacement empty.
* Draft, with shallow keel: 18 inches (maybe up to 2 feet)
* Minimal overhangs: LWL approximately 2.5 feet less than LOA.

"After some preliminary design work and discussions with Tim Nolan and Jim Franken it was decided to give up the container shipping concept and go with a wider, heavier, more stable vessel."

"In addition to the above, we wanted a boat that would be stable and easily single-handed with these additional features:"

* Free-standing carbon fiber masts
* Electric outboard propulsion
* No through-hull fittings
* Contemporary construction
* Sleeping arrangements for two
* Comfortable sitting head-room
* A navigation station
* Hand-held rather than fixed electronics
* Space heater (cook stove optional)
* A composting head
* Easy maintenance
* Minimally intrusive centerboard trunk

"The boat is about the target length (23.5 feet) heavier (about 3,500 pounds, all up), wider (7’10”) and more stable.

Kees was able to weave all of our other requests into the final as-built boat."

We have:
* A cat-ketch with free-standing carbon fiber masts
* A Torqeedo Cruise 2.0L outboard “fueled” by (4) Lifeline AGM 6-Volt, 220 Ah batteries connected in series, that fit under the seats in the cabin
* No through-hull fittings
* Glued lapstrake construction
* Comfortable sleeping arrangements for two
* Comfortable sitting head-room, even for tall people
* A navigation station.
* Hand-held rather than fixed electronics
* A Wallas single-burner, paraffin fuel cook-top with heater option
* An Airhead composting head
* Easy maintenance

"Ballast for the boat includes 850 pounds of lead in the stub keel, 330 pounds of batteries and about 65 pounds of lead at the top-aft end of the centerboard. Additional ballast comes from bronze keel bolts and metal in the lifting brackets. She is outfitted with brackets and sling so that she can be lifted by hooking a single ring and launched using a crane."

"The head slides out from under the bridge deck for use then is slipped back out of the way when not in use."

Very impressive!

Those who have read these pages for a while know that Doryman has been researching just such a boat for some time now. We've explored a few similar design parameters and this one just might be the best so far. Traditional good looks coupled with modern building techniques have created a high performance cruiser. No longer an oxymoron.

Congratulations to Kathy and Chelcie Liu and kudos to Kees Prins on a job well done!

Kathy tells me:

"She is on the hard at Boat Haven [Port Townsend boatyard] awaiting a trailer, proper registration papers and some finishing touches.
Once we have the trailer our plan is to move her back into the Northwest Maritime Center boat shop so they can finish the punch list --- then we'll go sailing!"

(I hope they invite Doryman)

Kees Prins is the builder responsible for the Ed Davis Tropic Bird design know as Sparrow, featured on the header of this blog. Truly a gifted and talented builder/ designer.

The Townsend Tern is a special boat and will be featured in WoodenBoat Magazine's "Small Boat" issue in December. Be sure to look for it there!

Please respect the copyright on the information posted here. Do not reproduce in any way.


Paul Mullings said...

Beautiful,my kind of boat

doryman said...

My thinking exactly, Paul!

Gulf Islander said...

Take a look at WoodenBoat#59 - "an amphibious cat ketch" Shearwater. She has wing sails, carbon-fibre spars, and now a Torqueedo 2.0 She is cold-molded, 27.5 by 8 feet and draws 14 inches - board up. She is 30 years old, a real yacht with teak decks and a fast and agile sailer. I have owned her for 14 years and keep her on her trailer in the winter. A great little boat.
John Robertson Saturna Island, BC

doryman said...

I don't have access to the issue you mention, but I see you run a charter with Shearwater. Perfect for the Gulf Islands! Pretty boat.

michael b.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful boat. I think this would give the Tern a run for the money.