Design by Joseph H Hack Commentary by Joel White

A boat created by a designer for his own use is always very interesting and instructive. The designer is dealing with the most demanding client of all — himself — but also the ideal customer from the point of view of similar personal taste and design philosophy, and one with whom communication could hardly be better. If the designer in question is the president of a firm that deals almost exclusively with producing designs for tugboats and barges for use all over the world, then we must indeed be curious about the sort of yacht he has personally designed, and built, for himself.

Joseph H. Hack, president of Marine Design, Inc. (formerly Tarns, Inc.) drew the plans shown here in 1960. His letter accompanying the drawings states:

"I guess it's quite common for yacht owners to feel something special about their boat, and I find myself no exception. Having designed and built the boat myself only reinforces this feeling. This boat was built in 1965 with four others following, so ample time has elapsed for the boats to prove themselves.

"Living on the South Shore of Long Island and cruising eastward in the summer months, we need a boat that is shoal-draft, has a strong bottom for grounding, is capable of running inlets, and is a satisfactory deep-water sailer as well. In addition to this, I wanted to go to a shoal-draft keel and get rid of the centerboard. Centerboards work well in deep water, but if you are constantly grounding on them, between the twisting and stones, they can sure be troublesome. I also wanted a simple backbone structure; after all, I am really a naval architect and not a boat builder."

A photograph of the finished boat indicates that Mr. Hack is being modest about his abilities as a boat-builder. The 36-foot sloop in the picture looks very handsome and well finished.

To accomplish his stated purpose of designing a shoal-draft yacht without a centerboard, Mr. Hack has drawn an underwater profile with a maximum draft of 3 feet 6 inches, a keel with very little drag (the bottom nearly parallel to the waterline), a rather deep forefoot, and a sternpost with moderate rake. This gives a lot of lateral plane underwater, which is the justification for eliminating the centerboard.

It is certainly true that eliminating the centerboard makes the boat much easier and less costly to build, avoids a prime source of potential leaks, and does away with all the nuisances of having a board-jammed slot, noises at anchor and at sea, and loss of inside space to the trunk and lifting mechanism. But it is also true that a well-designed centerboard is a more efficient device for reducing leeway than is a long, straight keel profile. This is the sort of compromise that designers are always wrestling with — will the good points more than offset the bad? I imagine that the boat does well to windward, but would surely do better with a centerboard, less forefoot, and less wetted surface. Still, I think the tradeoff is a good one. Her interior would be more cluttered if the centerboard trunk intruded into the cabin, and even if it did not, there would be potential jamming and noise problems, as well as the inevitable ones of cost and difficulty in construction.

The lines plan shows an overall hull length of 36 feet, 25 feet on the load waterline, beam of 8 feet 10 inches, and draft of 3 feet 6 inches. The only surprise in this set of numbers is the beam, which is considerably less than is usual in a shoal-draft vessel of this length. At a time when length-to-beam ratios of three are normal, even for deep-keeled craft, here is a shallow boat with a length-to-beam ratio of more than four. It is true that her waterline beam is nearly equal to her beam on deck, which gives her wide, firm bilges. I

imagine that Mr. Hack wanted to keep beam down to improve her windward ability, especially in a seaway, where a beamy boat tends to be slowed by wave action. The argument for a beamy boat, of course, is much greater interior volume for accommodations, more spacious decks and cockpit, and — other things being equal — improved stability. We will see in a minute how this narrow beam affects accommodations.

This design has very nice, easy buttock lines, and fair, flowing diagonals, both of which indicate a boat that should sail well. Her bow and stern overhang, combined with a generous-sized counter stern, make for a boat whose sailing length will get longer, and thus faster, as she heels. To me, her bow sections look a little full, and I wish her forefoot and the forward end of her keel were a little more streamlined. But, all in all, she's a handsome hull, nicely drawn.

I am surprised that the ballast keel shown on the construction plan is so small — only 3,430 pounds of lead. The designed displacement of the boat is 11,900 pounds in salt water. The 3,430 divided by 11,900 gives a ballast ratio of about 29 percent, a bit lower than is usual in this type of boat (33 to 37 percent would be the normal range). However, a call to Mr. Hack elicited the information that there was no additional inside ballast, and that the boat had sufficient stability. The sail area of 530 square feet is modest for a boat of her size, and Long Island, New York—her area of intended use—has relatively gentle summertime breezes.

The boat's construction is conventional, but well thought out and with many nice touches, such as a bronze knee aft where the sternpost meets the keel, bronze fish plates instead of tenons connecting the sternpost to the keel and horn timber, and a good chainplate arrangement with Monel straps running down the insides of the frames and tying into the floor timbers. Planking is 7«-inch Port Orford cedar over Ty»-inch-square white oak frames. The deck calls for Vs-inch teak over '/4-inch marine plywood.

I admit to a prejudice against this type of deck construction, having seen so many cases where water penetrated to the plywood, where it just sits and festers until real rot problems develop. Repair is very difficult and expensive, and usually the problem isn't discovered until rot is quite advanced and widespread. I really think that if teak decks are wanted, they should be solid teak with no underlays, so that a leak is immediately noticeable (nine times out of ten it will be directly over your pillow) and can be fixed before disease spreads into the deck framing. The solid teak also gives sufficient thickness to the deck so that the inevitable wearing away of the wood due to traffic and cleaning shouldn't be a problem for many years. Personally, I like a deck of high-grade mahogany plywood covered with Dynel and epoxy; it is watertight, long lasting, and except for painting, maintenance free. End of lecture.

The cabin trunk sides are l'/s-inch Spanish cedar, raked inboard for appearance and more deck space. The cabintop is three layers of '/-inch plywood molded to the crown without beams. Headroom under the doghouse aft is 6 feet, while going forward, it becomes progressively less until at the forward end of the cabin trunk it is just over 5 feet. If cabintop beams were used, these figures would be reduced by about 2 inches. I am glad that Mr. Hack gave precedence to moderate freeboard and a good-looking profile rather than full headroom throughout. The insistence on full headroom has done more to spoil the appearance of modern yachts than any other factor. You hardly ever see a cruising boat now under 45 feet that doesn't look like a high-rise apartment building.

Mr. Hack has drawn a conventional arrangement plan, with two berths forward, then a toilet room the full width of the boat, the main cabin with two berths and drop-leaf table, a smallish galley to port, and to starboard a hanging locker, chart table, and electronics area. The hanging locker has an unusual feature in that the top swings to one side so that it is easier to see into and get at the contents. There is a nice hinged backrest that makes the main cabin berths comfortable for sitting and dining, and that swings up under the cabin lockers out of the way for sleeping.

The toilet room is a bit unusual in that there are two doors that hide the toilet to port and the lavatory sink to starboard and create a corridor to the forward stateroom. In order to use the facilities, these doors must be opened (or is it closed?) athwartships, thus making a full-width room. But it must take a skinny contortionist to close both doors. The first door would be easy, but it doesn't look to me as though there would be much space left for the person closing the second door. (Mr. Hack tells me that the forward door was changed to a sliding curtain to cure this problem.) This arrangement also forces the toilet itself far off the centerline, and mostly out under the deck, rather than under the cabin trunk. Another foot of beam would have opened up the accommodations considerably, giving those few extra inches that often make a big difference. But again, every design is a balancing act. Performance against space, beauty against headroom.

My other minor quibble is with the cockpit. As drawn, the seats are quite narrow (about 12 inches) and the vertical coaming that makes the seat backs looks cramping and uncomfortable. My inclination would be to narrow up the side decks aft a bit, widen the seats, and cant the coamings outboard to form a slanted backrest. The drawings also show access to the stowage space under the cockpit seats through five rather small lifting doors. I would rather have the entire

Seating Plan For Tiller Boat

seat hinge up, with gutters to carry off water leakage.

Mr. Hack states that one of the very few changes made to his boat is the addition of wheel steering. A wheel takes up less space than a tiller, and in most cases enlarges the amount of seating space available.

There are a couple of unusual features: a built-in icebox under the galley counter to port, and a portable-type refrigerator under the navigation area to starboard. And the gasoline tank is forward, under the V-berths. Other than having a long supply line running aft through the cabin, there is nothing wrong with this arrangement; it is just not often seen. (It should also have the psychological effect of inhibiting smoking in the forward berths.)

A great deal of attention has been given to ventilation of the below-deck spaces. The high lockers outboard of the main-cabin berths have slatted bottoms, the outboard portions of the galley and navigation counters are gratings, and the cockpit lockers under the deck also have slat bottoms. All these efforts will pay off in keeping the wooden yacht sweet-smelling and long-lived. A moving supply of fresh air below is one of the best rot preventers known.

The sail plan is a simple masthead sloop rig, but with the mast placed a little farther aft than usual, giv ing a relatively larger foretriangle and a smaller mainsail. I suspect that access in and out of the toilet room may have had an influence on the mast position. Because of the boat's shoal draft and narrow beam, the sail plan is not large, but it should be efficient. The spars are wood, and the mast scantlings show >4-inch walls throughout, which give a fairly light stick. This will improve sail-carrying power, for a few pounds saved aloft can make a big difference in stability. A large genoa is shown for light weather, and a smallish heavy-weather jib whose luff reaches only two-thirds of the way to the masthead. For offshore work, one would also want a trysail, and a very small storm jib.

So here we have a naval architect's own dream ship — his answer to his own personal needs and desires in a boat. The fact that four more were built after the original boat is a strong indication that the design is successful and appeals to others. I find her very attractive, and I'll bet Mr. Hack's tugboat designs are good looking, too.

Further inquiries should be addressed to: Joseph F. Hack, Marine Design, Inc., 5418 Tradewinds Rd., Fairfield Harbour, New Bern, NC 28560.

Designer's Design

Designer's Design

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.

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