Saturday, March 29, 2014

Old Shoe

That would be the Oldshoe by Phil Bolger. One of his "Square Boat" series. My friend Tom Gale is a square boat fan.

Tom sent me these photos of the maiden voyage in his new old shoe. His first impression was that she had a lot of leeway in a breeze. Here he's trying to tack to windward and miss that dock.

My first impression was that's a boat designed for utility and simplicity.
The Oldshoe has been described as a twelve foot cockpit, with the rest of the boat left off. Big, roomy and safe. Just right for Tom and his family who like to cruise Lake Powell every year.

The skipper looks pleased. I've never known Bolger's little square boats fail to bring a smile to the person at the tiller.

Thanks to Heather Gale for the photos.


Baydog said...

How can I order?

Dave Z said...

We lived aboard two larger versions of this series and loved 'em!

We substituted leeboards for the keel (being draft misers), and leeway was moderate.

Maybe consider Matt Layden style chine (and keel) runners? They're cheap and easy to add, and can only increase OLDSHOE's grip on the water.

Fair Winds!

Dave Z

doryman said...

Baydog, I believe you'd have to build one yourself - that's the whole idea, you know.

These boats sail very well off the wind and are hard to keep up with, especially for their size. As for sailing up wind, you do what our friend Dave Z does and wait for the wind to go in your direction.

I'll probably get a chance to give this boat a try next time I'm in Port Townsend (the pictures were taken on Mystery Bay). I'll be sure to report back.

John Kohnen said...

Oldshoe does make quite a bot of leeway, but it'll get you upwind in the end. You just need to have patience and sit back and enjoy being out on the water in such a comfortable boat. :) Not pinching up into the wind too much helps.

Elaine, an Oldshoe would make a very good boat for an occasional sailor. There are some tricks to sailing a cat yawl that they don't teach you in sailing class, but they're easy to pick up. Oldshoe is very forgiving and doesn't require constant attention. It's also gotta be the most comfortable boat under 12' anywhere. :)

I love the mizzen on my Oldshoe, Pearl! :)

"The cockpit of a 30-footer without the rest of the boat." :)

John C. Harris said...

Coming into this years later, but a comment on Oldshoe leeway: It's more of a boat-handling issue than a design issue. There's enough keel there for excellent windward performance, but you HAVE TO GET SOME SPEED UP before the keel can generate the necessary lift. A stalled keel is most noticeable in light air, of course, when you come out of a tack going really slowly.

The trick is to get the boat moving as fast as possible before tacking. Then sail the boat through the tack using as little rudder as possible. When you fill on the new tack, bear off a few degrees to build up speed. Once the keel is creating lift, you can tighten up. With careful handling, well-cut sails, and a clean bottom, the Oldshoe will sail upwind as well as any given conventional small craft of similar size.

doryman said...

Good to hear from you, John! Like any hard chined boat, the Old Shoe will use those edges to advantage, too. I never did get to sail Tom's boat, but have owned (and built) other boats that need to be roll tacked and crew weight is also an important factor.
( Good to see someone reading these old posts!!)

drbobfromopp said...

Hey I'm reading! And thanks!! Also building an Oldshoe. Hull completed (bottom-painted with truck bed liner paint!) and turned; now completing interior. Will be kept/sailed on Choctawhatchee Bay, Florida, in a sling, or boat lift, over very shallow water--2-3 feet deep. I'll report back on sailing results in a few months, but having a blast with the build (my 5th).

In furtherance of the "comfortable old shoe' concept--where its about the easy sailing---I plan to fit my Oldshoe with a mast tabernacle, mounted on the forward face of the bow transom (a'la Long Micro), making her EASY to use: Lower boat into water, fold up mast, sail away. (I would hand-set the mizzen)....Thoughts?

doryman said...

Dr Bob, I think that's the idea behind the Old Shoe. Having a blast is very commendable. Also, I'm very happy to hear from you.

Monsterslayer said...

Finding on the internet anything about the old shoe. I bought Tom Gales old shoe some years back. I bought it as needed a sailboat that my wife would enjoy sailing in without the usual sailboat lean that makes sailing for her not comfortable. I love the lazy sailing and comfort it affords. Camping in it would be nice for sure.
Now located around Lake Siskiyou Ca.

doryman said...

Monster Slayer. Now you got me. I'll be checking out your blogs soon.
Tom is no longer with us, but anytime I see a Bolger boat, it reminds me of him.