I heard from Bill Bronaugh recently about a boat he built after a stint as a student at the Great lakes Boat Building School. Our good friend Kees Prins was an instructor there last year, during an eastward bound cross-country trip he made. Bill had a definitive idea of what he wanted in a boat and Kees had the talent to make that boat a reality. Bill built his boat after graduating, while working at the Chesapeake Maritime Museum and has been applying his newly developed skills. It shows in his first build, of the Merlin Yawl, Falco.
"When last we spoke, I was a student at the Great Lakes Boatbuilding School in Cedarville Michigan where Kees Prins was a guest instructor. Kees and I got on the idea of developing a new boat together. Today I launched that boat."
"It is a derivative of a No Mans Land Boat, specifically the Beetle model, and a peapod. It is 17' 6" in length, 5' 7" beam and carries a gaff yawl rig of approximately 130 square feet. It has a gaff main and a lug mizzen. Construction is glued lap using 9mm ply for the planking, 12mm ply for the watertight bulkheads and 9mm ply for the decks.
"It has a flat keel plank like a wherry and it is two layers of 18mm ply. The stem and stern posts are laminated Angelique, as are the centerboard trunk cap and ends. The double rails on the outside, the inwales, breasthooks, and all of the thwarts and side benches are Honduras mahogany. The floorboards are sassafrass. The mast and spars are old growth CVG doug fir. It has a hollow birdsmouth main mast and all others are solid."
"The paint is Fine paints of Europe which I had mixed to match Kirbys green/grey for the topsides, the sheerstrake is matched to Marshalls cove off white and the interior is FPOE light grey. The bottom is epoxy and copper powder which I got from Progressive Polymers."
"My sails are on order. I really wanted to use Oceanus cloth, it is just wonderful stuff. I've sailed on three large vessels that used it and its wonderful to handle and to listen to (or not listen to) and it is a beautiful cloth, on the right vessel but the lightest weight they offer is 7 oz and I am limited to 5.5 oz as a heavyweight cloth on my little ship and 7oz wouldn't do. I'm looking around for options that match my wants though. The rig consists of a 109 sq ft gaff main and a small 22 sq ft lug mizzen."
"I named the boat FALCO. The design is the Merlin Yawl after the Merlin Falcon, a small, swift predatory raptor that inhabits coastal regions.
The scientific name of the Merlin is Falco Columbarius, hence, FALCO."
Thank you, Bill.
We hope to have the privilege soon, of seeing your fine vessel under canvas.