Masthead Yawl

system, and provides a binnacle for the compass and engine controls. There is a comfortable seat with footrests for the helmsman; the mainsheet traveler and winch are aft of the helmsman. The steering seat is raised so forward vision is excellent, and the helmsman is removed from the hurly-burly of the racing crew at the winches. Yet everything needed to sail the boat is near at hand. A man and wife could easily handle the boat.

Indeed, Wanderer was designed for just that. There is a coffee-grinder winch located on the after deck, plus a pair of sheet winches on each side of the cockpit coaming. The life raft has its own locker under the seat across the after end of the cockpit. The doghouse roof extends aft over the forward cockpit seats, giving protection from wind and weather, and the slanted main bulkhead provides a comfortable backrest. I can't imagine a nicer spot to enjoy the scenery, or a good book, than the forward corner of this cockpit, protected by the doghouse roof and side glass, yet available instantly to trim a sheet or spot a buoy. Because of the center island, however, this giant cockpit conforms to CCA volume requirements for offshore boats.

One might think that Cy Hamlin had given away too much of the boat to the cockpit, and that the below-deck accommodations would suffer as a consequence. Yet it would be hard to improve upon the cabin arrangement shown. Spaciousness is the theme, with comfort for a moderate-sized cruising crew, and enough capacity to accommodate a larger gang for racing. There are five fixed berths, plus two extension transoms. The layout has the great virtue of considerable symmetry about the centerline — a pair of V-berths forward, a matched pair of pilot berths, and extension transoms amidships.

There is an incredible amount of walking-around floor space. The cabin sole is all on one level, which is certainly preferable to the split-level ranch-style arrangements often seen with doghouses. The cook has a truly bounteous U-shaped galley to port, clear of fore-and-aft traffic to and from the cockpit. The forward leg of the U is a large icebox (which today would undoubtedly be a freezer-refrigerator), the after leg is a counter with double sink, with drawers underneath, while the base of the U is formed by the gimbaled stove on the outboard side. Across from the galley, there is an ample quarter berth, an oilskin locker, and a seat.

A large chart table to port and a hanging locker to starboard separate the galley area from the main saloon amidships. The navigator is given lots of space, both flat surface for chart work and stowage for the necessary gear and equipment. My only complaint about the accommodations is that the toilet faces athwartships — a fore-and-aft orientation is preferable on a boat headed offshore. Hamlin gives credit to the owner for much of the basic arrangement, which was based on several previous boats. Both parties deserve high marks on the layout.

A Graymarine 4-162 gasoline engine of 63 horsepower is specified. This tucks away nicely under a removable box that forms the first step up to the cockpit. The access to the engine for service and repairs should be excellent — more than can be said of the engine access on many modern boats, where it is often difficult to even get a glimpse of the engine, let alone work on it. Fifty-six gallons of gasoline are contained in two tall, narrow tanks under the cockpit. This arrangement allows for a big stowage lazarette in between the tanks, reached through a manhole in the cockpit floor forward of the helmsman's seat. There are large sail and gear lockers under the cockpit seats on each side.

The Wanderer is rigged as a conventional masthead yawl. Because of her light displacement, the rig is small for her length — only 934 square feet. Yet her sail-area-to-displacement of 18.49 predicts good performance. The aspect ratio of the rig is quite low; to my eyes she would look better with taller spars and shorter booms. The drawback to such a change is a slightly higher center of effort, which would affect her stability, so heightening the aspect ratio would have to be done carefully and the stability recalculated. But the taller rig would certainly improve the overall appearance of the boat.

The lines are not shown, although I have a perspective drawing showing a bow view of the hull. The shape is pretty much what you would expect — cutaway forefoot, long, straight keel with a narrow centerboard dropping through the ballast keel, and the rudder hung on the after end. There is a total of 14 feet of overhang in the bow and the counter stern, giving her a waterline length of 34 feet 2 inches.

As you have gathered by now, I like this design a lot. It offers truly outstanding accommodations and cockpit comfort, and excellent sailing qualities in a boat of considerable length, but very modest weight. Since construction costs vary almost directly with displacement, this design when built should prove to be a lot of boat for the money.

Cy Hamlin writes: "It always disappointed me that Wanderer was never built. She was one of those salubrious designs when everything comes together nicely; not only did no large problems arise, but when the design was completed, I was well satisfied with the results. Usually, by the time I have finished a design, I have a long list of ways in which I would improve it 'next time.' This has not happened with this design."

Perhaps someday the first Wanderer will slip into Center Harbor at sunset. The owners, friendly folk, will invite me aboard, and sitting below at the cabin table, I will look around and it will all be just as I imagine it — the feeling of space and comfort, soft highlights glinting off the varnished trim, the combination of aromas that emanate from the interior of a choice wooden vessel — cedar, teak, and tar, supper and rum, and the accumulated wind and sunshine of a good day's run.

Further inquiries about Wanderer should be addressed to: Cyrus Hamlin, N.A., Ocean Research Corp., P.O. Box 67, Kennebunk, ME 04043.

Further inquiries about Wanderer should be addressed to: Cyrus Hamlin, N.A., Ocean Research Corp., P.O. Box 67, Kennebunk, ME 04043.

A Shoal-Draft Ketch

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