Commentary by Mike OBrien

Myboatplans 518 Boat Plans

Build Your Own Boat

Get Instant Access

Drawn by Joe Gregory in the early 1970s, these 30-foot deadrise yachts, a schooner and a ketch, share essentially the same hull design. Both of these cruising boats stem from traditional Chesapeake bateaux.

The working bateaux appeared on the Bay during the late nineteenth century. Typical examples had shallow V bottoms with deadrise (the "V" shape) increasing forward to a sharp forefoot. Low sides swept aft from extraordinarily long longheads to substantial outboard rudders hung on flat, raked transom sterns. Masts, no matter whether a boat carried one or two, were always strongly raked. The sails' aspect ratios (length of the luff compared to length of the foot) often approached toy-boat proportions of little more than 1 to 1 — strange to contemporary eyes, perhaps, but powerful in the extreme.

These bateaux ranged in length from about 22 to 60 feet on deck. The smaller boats worked at tonging oysters and crabbing. Larger bateaux were (and in Maryland still are) used for dragging dredges across the oyster beds. Virtually all bateaux in honest employ were painted white above their waterlines. This color (or lack of color) kindly kept the wood orders of magnitude cooler during the Chesapeake's rot-friendly, hot and humid summers. Be that as it may, dark-painted bateaux invited suspicions of less-than-legal nocturnal activities.

As with many traditional craft, scores of yachts have been derived from the original working bateaux. Apparently, the type does not lend itself easily to the conversion process. More than one talented designer has succumbed to the lure of providing full headroom in too short a hull. The resulting monstrously tall deckhouses probably contribute more to aesthetic discomfort than technical disaster, but

A potentially serious functional problem lurks in another temptation — drawing a hull with too much, far too much, deadrise amidships. The attractions are clear. Increasing the deadrise permits: greater displacement (compared to a flat bottom) on the same waterline length without degrading performance; a lower cabin sole, thereby increasing headroom without driving the house still farther into the sky; reduced volume of deadwood; and reducing wetted surface (for a full-keeled hull if LWL, draft, and waterline beam remain more or less unchanged). Also, by specifying more deadrise, the designer addresses some clients' objections to chined hulls — especially, it seems, to hulls that show any hint of flat-bottomed origins. Indeed, deadrise can be a worthwhile commodity (the Ann Boats, as these design of Gregory's are known, show about 12 Vz degrees amidships). But, if we crank too much of it into one of these boats, we'll manage to combine a remarkable lack of initial stability (and inability to carry sail) with impressive leeway when sailing anything above a broad reach.

Joe Gregory has sailed the Chesapeake and studied its boats for a long time. His rules of thumb for capturing the essence of the bateaux, without compromising their performance under sail, evolved from averaging measurements of some 45 workboats. Of course, he applies his own good judgment to the standards when he's designing yachts.

Ship Hull DesignHulls Unlimited Deadrise
the same hull design as Gregory's deadrise schooner on page 111.

XXXIII Two Chesapeake-Style Deadrise Yachts

The working bateaux hull-design parameters delineated by Gregory are as follows: maximum beam on deck equals 33 percent LOD; beam at transom equals 65 percent maximum beam on deck; deadrise amidships equals 10 to 12 degrees; sides flare 3/2 feet for each foot of height (usually more near the stern); minimum freeboard equals 6 percent LOA; freeboard at stem equals 14 percent LOA; forward one-third of the chine runs in a straight rise to the stem and terminates just below the waterline.

Unlike the old bateaux, most of Gregory's variants display counter sterns. I suppose this device helps to balance the longhead visually. Also unlike the working boats, which virtually always had centerboards, the schooner and ketch shown here were given full keels. The increased draft will require that they stand clear of some pleasant anchorages, but the traditional cabin-cleaving centerboard trunk won't be missed. Offshore, the ballast keel's righting moment might be comforting. Centerboard bateaux can, and sometimes do, capsize — and they're not known for being self-righting.

Because neither tongs nor dredges would have to be hauled over the Ann Boats' rails, Gregory drew a hull with substantial freeboard. No need for skyscraper houses here.

The hull goes together Chesapeake fashion with the bottom cross-planked in a herringbone pattern. Up forward, staves (short, thick, vertical planks worked to shape) ease the transition from the sharp forefoot to the shallow-deadrise bottom. (Some of the older boats used hewn blocks to the same end.) This is a fast method for those accustomed to it, and it produces a cleaner interior than do most building techniques.

Gregory specifies 1 Mi-inch white cedar for the Ann Boats' sides; IVi-inch white cedar or spruce pine for the bottom; 1%- by 23/4-inch yellow pine for the frames; and 4- by 10-inch yellow pine for the keel.

So long as we're not after the ultimate-gloss finish, annual maintenance should prove easy and inexpensive. Twenty years on the Bay taught me to be happy with white latex house paint (over an oil-based primer)

for the topsides. It lasts well, covers better than any marine enamel of my acquaintance, and costs relatively little. Pay no heed to the derision of spectators. We're in the fine company of many working watermen, at least two well-known yacht designers, and one contributing editor of WoodenBoat magazine (Peter Spectre) who apply house paint to their own boats.

Choosing whether to build the Ann schooner or the Ann ketch comes down, of course, to preference and prejudice. I'm inclined to think that both rigs suit the aesthetics of the hull. Gregory considers the ketch easier to get underway. Once we're sailing, both rigs will be self-tending.

The bald-headed schooner makes do with a mainmast that is some 6 feet shorter than the jibheaded ketch's. Because low-slung electric-power lines guard the entrance to many a Chesapeake cove, this feature ought to be considered for Ann's home waters.

Arrangement plans for both boats are dead simple. The Ann Ketch has more room below because her house has been lengthened and moved aft slightly. Both cockpits, or at least the cockpits and the surrounding deck areas, measure little short of huge.

Because the first Ann schooner lives in a shallow river, she was built to draw 3 feet 6 inches. The designer tells us that the Ann ketch needs 4 feet 3 inches of water to float her ballast clear of the bottom. Neither boat is extremely shoal draft by Chesapeake standards, but — given good tenders — their skippers won't be excluded from too many tidal creeks.

Pure coincidence created the "Ann" class name. Owners of the first four cruisers built to these lines christened their boats, respectively, Julie Ann, Barbara Ann, Darcy Ann, and Carol Ann. Gregory, not inclined to fight the momentum, bestowed the title on the drawings after the fact. By whatever designation, this design seems to be a personal favorite in his fleet of bateaux that range from an 18-foot two-sail daysailer to a 46-foot three-sail offshore cruiser.

Joe Gregory can be reached at 301 Janis Dr., Yorktown, VA 23692. 1

Centerboard Schooner

the schooner version of Joe Gregory's Ann Boat carries a shorter house and modified keel.

the schooner version of Joe Gregory's Ann Boat carries a shorter house and modified keel.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment