Friday, August 16, 2013

Celebrating Belle Starr, On the Water

At the end of a very productive week, we find the sloop-rigged cutter Belle Starr in the water for the first time in many years.

Belle Starr, as you know, is a Stone Horse, built in wood, as originally designed by Sam Crocker. This 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 hard-chined sections and a transom-hung rudder.

After a year and a half in the shop, Belle Starr touched water this week at family-owned Zittle's Marina, outside Olympia, Washington. The launch was flawless, stepping the mast went smoothly and the boat sat pretty on her lines. It's fair to say, this deserves a celebration.

With an enormous amount of help from friends and the professionals at Zittle's, this project has reached a milestone. My very good friends, Doug Follet of Olympia, his brother Steve, from Vermont, and Doug's son, Ian, of Seattle, all chipped in to make two days of rigging and outfitting go smoothly. My heart-felt thanks to these generous men!

Launch Day for Belle Starr from doryman on Vimeo.

The four of us took the cutter out for a trial sail and wouldn't you know, a calm day of 3-4 knot breezes suddenly built to 15 knots. We turned around and headed back but there was enough time to see what could be done to finish the rigging.

test sail from doryman on Vimeo.

Belle Starr behaved like a thoroughbred. Look for updates, right here, in the days and weeks to come. She is bound for adventure...


EyeInHand said...

Very impressive Michael. Very. Looks like a big basket of fun ahead.

Bursledon Blogger said...

Congratulations Michael, Belle is looking like a Star, looking forward to seeing her sailing -

Brandon Ford said...

Nice! I've always liked the Stone Horse design an you really made her into a beauty. The blue hull is great!

She sails well too!


doryman said...

Thank you, gentlemen! I'm pretty excited, as you might imagine. The plan is for a shake-down cruise this week, stay tuned.

Steve said...



StoneHorse46 said...

Well done.

Check out the Stone Horse Owners' Group,