Schooner and Flashboat

— Designs by Paul Gartside — Commentary by Mike O'Brien fs there one among us who has never lusted after a schooner? For sailors confined — by necessity or choice — to small craft, the pursuit can be particularly frustrating. Paul Gartside has drawn a solution for the problem: a 15-foot cold-molded daysailer/beach cruiser that will let you have your schooner and trailer it, too. Though it lacks the majesty of the schooner-yacht America or the great fishing schooners, his design displays grace in full measure.

Admired for its beauty but maligned for what are perceived as technical deficiencies, the schooner rig is not often selected for contemporary designs. As may be, Gartside's boat will withstand fairly rigorous assault by logic. The divided rig breaks the sail area into small, easily handled patches, and, as stability won't be this hull's strong suit, the low center of effort will be appreciated. The foresail might prove just close enough to the main to improve the airflow around the larger sail. In any case, backwinding won't be so great a problem as with the more popular cat-ketch. A sloop directs the flow with its headsail — and saves one mast in the process. The cost comes in the form of standing rigging you'll probably want to add to keep the jib's luff tgft '

Strongly raked masts lend much to this boat's appearance and help keep the sails out of the water in rough going. Also, the masts bury in the hull at most convenient locations — clear of the cockpits but handy for use as tent poles. Technical considerations aside, Gartside presents an unanswerable defense for his dropping a cat-schooner rig into this hull: "I like the way it locks."

Well-executed construction drawings reveal a dis-

mechanical crew member isolated from the rest of the party. The motor can be tilted clear of the water — a matter of no small importance, as dragging a lower unit all over the bay would prove unacceptable under sail and heartbreaking when rowing. Although the drawings show a bent aluminum pipe tiller (designed to clear the motor's powerhead), I suspect many builders will glue up wooden sticks to the same pattern for a more elegant look.

The centerboard trunk and mainmast are located off center for the usual reasons of strength and simplicity, and to keep the slot clear of the ground. We might notice this modest asymmetry, but the boat most certainly will not.

This little schooner offers plenty of sprawling space for the crew and ample stowage for camping gear — or, rather, it would if it were slightly larger. In fact, the designer believes the boat would work better as a cruiser if it were increased properly in size to about 18 feet by 6 feet. Concern for her rowing characteristics dictated the present 15-foot 3-inch length, and she ought to row quite acceptably with her rig lowered and her appendages raised. This is a true combination boat, and it'll be a rare day when her skipper can't get home, using either the sails, the motor, or the oars.

small downwind sailing rig lends visual interest to the Flashboat's drawings, but this is a thoroughbred pulling boat, pure and simple. Based on a class of raceboats in Gartside's native Cornwall, she's intended for high speed in relatively open water.

Discussing the extremely slack-bilged sections the tinctive stern treatment intended, in the designer's designer explains "If y°u want to make a rnmd rcw-words, "to hide the outboard motor." That job it will ing boat faster — without resorting to sliding seats perform quite nicely while keeping the unpleasant and outriggers — this shape evolves naturally." The

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