/approached our college library differently, to say the least, than did most engineering students. This was where I could look forward each month to the arrival of The Rudder magazine, for me an event of far greater importance than discovering solutions to differential calculus problems. Not only did the new issue bring the next installment of L. Francis Herreshoff 's serialized "Compleat Cruiser," or a new marlinspike project by Hervey Garrett Smith, but design after design appeared from the drawing board of William Garden. Bill Garden's work had undeniable charm. The boats looked salty, as though you could move right aboard. You could, in fact, be a little jealous of the pipe-smoking, bill-hatted sailormen that Bill drew lounging in a bunk with a book, standing at the helm, or just admiring the view from the deck. He would occasionally include a wonderful perspective of his newest design, perhaps grounded out for bottom painting with a sketch of the proud owner, brush and paintpot in hand, standing in the mud and taking in the lovely lines of his new craft. How I envied those happy little stick-figured men.
As time passed and styles changed, Bill Garden's boats became generally larger and more sophisticated, and included state-of-the-art megayachts — doomsday boats, as he sometimes calls them — and The Rudder went out of business altogether. Several years ago, through the generosity of Orin Edson, one of Bill's patrons, all of Bill Garden's drawings up to 1967 were donated to Mystic Seaport Museum. These included all of my favorites from The Rudder days as well as many more that had never been published — a total of some 2,500 sheets all told, representing nearly 500 individual designs. To admit that I was pleased when my wife Anne and I took on the task of inventorying them, in situ at Bill Garden's West Coast office, would be a gross understatement. Being able to examine each of the drawings, as our limited time permitted, and question Bill about the backgrounds of various boats was about as good as it can get. Those plans are now at Mystic, and you'll have to go there to see the originals; but, believe me, the trip is well worth it. Alternatively, you can order copies by mail.
What this story is about is an entirely new design, but one that is obviously based on Garden's earlier style. It came about in the fall of 1992 while I was again at Toad's Landing (the name of Bill's island office/home near Sidney, British Columbia). We "just got to talking" about salmon trailers and halibut schooners and good, common-sense cruising craft for the West Coast. Out came a paper napkin (this was a conversation over lunch), and, before I knew it, here was a sketch of a 37-foot round-sterned powerboat laid out for cruising but with workboat character. We faxed that great little sketch back home to Anne, who wasn't with me on this trip, and I thought that would be the end of it.
But the wheels kept turning when everyone who saw the sketch was very enthusiastic, so Bill went into gear. High gear, in fact, which is his usual way of designing, anyhow. We pretended that Anne was the absentee client and that I was her on-site agent, paid to keep an eye on the designer. In about 40 hours over the next two weeks Bill went on to produce complete plans, and I'll feel forever privileged to have observed
LOA 38'6" LWL 34'6" Beam ll'O" Draft 4'6" Displ 15 tons
LXIX A Motor Cruiser with Workboat Character nearly every pencil line and to have shared in the excitement of turning four blank sheets of tracing paper into working drawings for the halibut schooner-cruiser that we called Dynamo.
Dynamo ended up with a raking round stern rather than the tugboat stern of the preliminary sketch, so she grew to 38 feet 6 inches in final form. Her draft was kept to 4 feet 6 inches as the reasonable minimum for seakeeping and the practical maximum for coastal cruising. From the start, the deckhouse was to be aft like a halibut schooner's and contain the galley and mess table as well as the steering station. We imagined this as a liveaboard boat for Anne and me (dreamers that we are), so our sleeping would be way forward in a double V-berth, which could be curtained off from the rest of the cabin. There'd be a couple more sleeping possibilities in that cabin, however, for occasional guests.
Arranging the cabin — sometimes called the main saloon — offered the greatest challenge and took the most head-scratching. The last of several versions, shown here, satisfied the requirements perfectly. This was to be the place where friends gather to enjoy each other's company in a snug and good-to-be-in space. When alone onboard, it was to be our living room. Comfortable seating — a low table, a fireplace, and plenty of natural lighting — was the chief consideration. Beyond that, a toilet room and lockers had to be worked in. I think the result is a cabin that most any sailorman or woman would enjoy being in.
Dynamo's hull shape features hollow waterlines, a nice flare at the bow, a perky sheerline, a stem profile with tumblehome, and a sculpted pad that fairs the overhanging counter into the rudderstock. We're totally in love with it, and find that the inset waist, freeing ports, and lower guardrail add even more to this vessel's charm. Drawing the lines plan was almost a knee-jerk operation, since there seemed to be never a question in Bill's mind about what the general characteristics should be. He drew the lines plan, complete with table of offsets, in just over seven hours.
Six-cylinder Chrysler Crown gasoline engines used to be the power of choice — the old standby — for working vessels of this size before, say, 1960, when diesels came into widespread popularity. Bill, of course, grew up with them. Thus, the recently overhauled, but not yet committed blue-painted Crown that sat in his shop became the logical engine for this fantastic fantasy. Less noise, vibration, and smell are a gasoline engine's advantages over diesel, and Bill claims it will be years before the considerable added cost of a diesel could offset its greater fuel economy. So we're all con tent with gasoline and plan on a safe installation and careful management to mitigate its inherent hazards. (If a diesel were to be installed, one could hardly go wrong with an engine built by Bedford.)
There'll be an abundance of small craft carried aboard Dynamo for excursions. A pair of canoes will ride on the housetop, where they can be dropped or raised by davits. In chocks forward of the deckhouse will rest some kind of sailing dinghy or pulling boat that the main boom can handle, and a little tender can be snugged up under the stern davits as shown. This fleet of small craft should greatly enhance the big-boat cruising experience.
For anchoring, Dynamo carries a roller chock and a drum-type windlass on the foredeck in the usual West Coast fashion. A typical long-shanked, Babbit-type anchor will be used, along with a good length of chain rode, so that anchoring will be both easy and secure. For steadying the roll in a beam sea and boosting her along in a brisk, fair breeze, she'll carry some sails in a rig yet to be fully worked out. But she'll probably carry just enough sail area to qualify as a motorsailer.
Dynamo will be a very comfortable sea boat that can take about any weather. She'll push easily at 6 or 7 knots, using about 3 gallons (or 2 of diesel) an hour. At that rate and with 500 gallons of fuel equally divided between two wing tanks, she can cruise almost the entire length of either the East or West Coast without taking on fuel.
Construction is rugged, to say the least, since Bill gave the boat the same scantlings as her working counterparts might have had. There's plenty of wood (Douglas-fir, yellow and red cedar, and gumwood) for withstanding an occasional grounding, and she'll be able to lie alongside an exposed wharf without fear of damage. The keel is 5Vi inches by 9Vi inches, the beams supporting the foredeck are TA inches by 3% inches, and the planking is 1% inches thick. These heavy timbers are quite different from the delicate Herreshoff-built yachts that I've come to know so well, but the service demands it, and the wooden-hulled commercial boats of the Northwest have proven how necessarily robust a hull must be. She's designed to be built utilizing the West Coast practice of bending the frames outside permanently installed fore-and-aft stringers, with a notched harpin along the forward sheer.
Dynamo represents low-key, leisurely cruising. She's not a boat for everyone, but she's a design with a lot of visual appeal and a load of practical utility.
More information from Maynard Bray c/o WoodenBoat Publications, P.O. Box 78, Brooklin, ME 04616.
Robust scantlings will reduce anxiety when r Dynamo takes the ground or lies alongside exposed wharfs.
Close inspection of the midship construction section reveals the author at the wheel.
Dynamo can carry a fleet of small craft.
Dynamo can carry a fleet of small craft.
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