Monday, October 18, 2010

Planning to Build a Reuel Parker Periagua 14

I've decided on Reuel Parker's unique Periagua 14 for the dinghy that I'll be using aboard my Tiki 26 catamaran when I launch it next year.  With an overall beam of 15 feet, I can accommodate a long, slender craft like the Periagua 14 on the forward deck area, without the ends hanging off the sides (although after discussing it with Reuel, I may shorten it by a foot or two).  I want something long and canoe or kayak-like, that is easy to row, but with good load-carrying ability and room for two or three passengers in dinghy service.  I have Bolger Nymph that I built for the monohull I had previously, and it's a great dinghy, but something longer and sleeker is more to my liking.  Here are some photos from Reuel Parker:

In the photo below, you can see the pronounced rocker, the flare in the hullsides, and the pram bow.  It's like a stretched pram in some ways, but also brings to mind the sharpie hull form, which is favorite of Reuel Parker, who is after all, the author of The Sharpie Book.  This boat is very similar to my own Backwoods Drifter design, except that the Drifter is wider in the bottom and has a flat run amidships with no rocker.  The Periagua 14 is a pure rowing craft, though Reuel says that he has modified his to accept a small outboard at times. 

Although it is long, this is a lightweight boat, weighing in at approximately 65 pounds, depending on materials used.  Here is Reuel Parker's description of the design:



LOA                      14’

BEAM                   3’ 6 ½”

DRAFT                  4 ¼”

WEIGHT               65 lbs (approx)

The PERIAGUA 14 is derived from the drawings in Chapman’s Architectura Navalis. The type was used as a lighter and ferry on rivers and in harbors in Sweden in the 18th century. She looks like a long, narrow pram, and is surprisingly fast, maneuverable and easy to row. Despite her narrow beam, she has much better stability than the DORY 14 on the previous page.

Like the DORY 14, she is built around bulkheads (or frames) and transom, for which patterns are supplied. The bottom and sides are drawn to scale with measurements supplied--all that is necessary is to transfer the measurements to full-size plywood sheets (no lofting required). She may be built lapstrake if preferred.

The PERIAGUA 14 also has only one solid wood component--the sheer clamp. It is made by ripping a slot in the bottom of a hardwood 1x2, which in turn slides over the plywood sheer.

"I built the prototype in my barn in Maine in less than 10 hours, ready for sanding and painting. Mine has only one pair of rowing tholes, while the plans show two. These were originally made from grown knees—mine are plywood, and they work fantastically well (I think of them as “out-riggers”—like those used on sculls). However, they are also quite awkward, and I ended up cutting them down and installing right-angle-fitting bronze rowlock sockets."

David Halladay also built a Periagua 14 as a tender to his Tiki 30, Abaco. Here are some photos of his under construction and on the deck of the catamaran:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Photos of Reuel Parker's Schooner, Ibis

Reuel Parker recently sent me a new selection of photos to post on his Ibis blog, which I will do in the next few days.  Here are a few shots of Ibis afloat, some taken from his Bahamas cruise earlier this year.  This vessel is also for sale, and Reuel will be relaunching her this fall when he returns to Florida from Maine.  Details can be found below the photos.  Here's one taken at the dock shortly after launch:

At anchor somewhere in the Bahamas:

Somewhere off Andros Island, Bahamas:

Reuel Parker, designer and builder at the helm:

A couple of interior shots that show the spacious accommodations in this shoal-draft sharpie schooner:


Here you can see just how shoal-draft this vessel is:

The following is taken from Parker's description and "for sale" ad on his website:

IBIS is the new prototype MAXI-TRAILERABLE cruising sharpie schooner. Construction is complete and sail trials have been made in the Bahamas. IBIS felt safe and comfortable during both Gulf Stream crossings as well as several other open-ocean passages. She exceeded my hopes and expectations, and proved to me beyond a doubt that properly designed and built sharpies can be seaworthy and seakindly. IBIS is presently hauled out for the summer. I will re-launch her in November of 2010. She will be available for inspection and sail trials during Fall and Winter.

IBIS is for sale for $179,950.

IBIS is 51' 4" LOA, 10' Beam, 2' 6" Draft (7' 8" Board Down), 42' LWL. Her displacement is 14,500lbs and her empty trailer weight is 12,000lbs. She has a box keel containing 2,500lbs of lead, an additional 500lbs of internal ballast, and carries an incredible 250 gallons of water in integral central tanks for an additional 2,110lbs ballast. Her lead-filled steel centerboard weighs 1,350lbs, and is raised by the same 12v winch as that used for raising the masts. The winch is mounted on the foremast tabernacle, and uses dedicated batteries charged by their own solar-charger. Fuel capacity is 80 gallons, providing over 110 hours of motor time, for a range of over 850 miles.

Sail Area is 753 sq ft in three self-tending sails (gaff schooner). Her masts are tabernacled using an electric winch and permanently installed A-frame. Her bridge clearance is 35'; With masts down her bridge clearance is less than 10 feet. She is powered by an Isuzu 3LD2 3-cylinder diesel, which powers her to a speed of 8 knots, consuming only .75 gallons per hour. This makes her more fuel efficient than most large pickup trucks! IBIS has a stern boomkin not shown on the drawings below. The boomkin supports the main traveler, boom gallows, flag-staff and GPS antenna.

IBIS is based on the Washington State halibut fishermen of the San Juan Islands in the 1880's. These were double-ended sharpies intended for use in all seasons. Construction is composite wood/epoxy/fabric, with hollow Douglas fir laminated masts and main boom (bird's-mouth method). There are five water-tight bulkheads making this vessel as unsinkable as possible. She can be sailed or motored to safety with any compartment flooded.

More details and additional photos can be found at Parker Marine Enterprises.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Boatsmith Inc.'s New Tiki 36

David Halladay is now ready to move forward on his newly-drawn version of a Tiki 36 catamaran based on a scaled-up Wharram Tiki 30.  The Tiki 36 will offer many amenities not available on the Tiki 30 while still keeping the sleek lines and coming in at a much lower weight than the Tiki 38 with the schooner rig.  It will offer a longer waterline for faster speeds than the Tiki 30.  Here are the main differences compared to the Tiki 30:
  • Hull beam increased to 5'
  • Overall beam increased to 19'8"
  • Sheer height increased 12"
  • Forth beam added
  • Separate head and shower compartments
  • Wider main bunks and larger forward berth areas
  • Standing headroom in galley and nav area

From David Halladay's description:  The Tiki36 will weigh in at around 4300 lbs and will have a sail area of 600 sqft.  They will be built of foam cored fiberglass and fit out to the highest standards.  If you look at our spec sheet you will see that this is a well equipped boat and one that should be very comfortable as well as able to show her heels to many while keeping the rugged simplicity and seaworthiness that Wharrams are renown for.   These will still be custom boats and there is very little that can't be modified on them to suit the owner.  The helm pod for instance is very open to customizing to exactly whatever flavor suits you. This boat will fit into a  single 40' container for easy shipping. 

He's offering this fantastic cruising catamaran at an introductory price, and can provide a full spec sheet to show exactly what you're getting for your money.  There's nothing currently in production that could compare to the capability this boat offers in this price range. For more information, contact or visit his website at 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mississippi Coast Oil Spill Photos

I took the above photo near Waveland, MS on Thursday, July 8.   It is one of many that I went to the coast to shoot for a magazine article I'm working on about the impact of the spill on the Mississippi Coast.  To see a few more images from this series, click on this link to my Bug Out Survival blog here:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hull Cleaning Tips for Boaters in the Oil Spill Zone

Press Release from  Interlux and Awlgrip:  Here are some tips boaters who keep their vessels in the waters of the Gulf are likely to need in the near future.

Oil Spill Cleanup Tips For Boaters
From Interlux® and Awlgrip®

Tech Hotlines Also Open
Interlux 800.468.7589
Awlgrip 888.355.3090

UNION, NEW JERSEY (USA) – In the wake of what could be the largest oil spill in US history, leading yacht paint manufacturers Interlux and Awlgrip offer boaters in the impacted areas the following tips to help clean contaminated boats.

The surface of an antifouling paint that has become contaminated with oil can become “blocked” i.e preventing the biocide from being released, which subsequently leads to premature fouling. It will also result in a contaminated layer that will make adhesion of new antifouling applications difficult.

Cleaning of contaminated antifouling surfaces:

For hard polishing and ablative antifouling paints that have been heavily contaminated the best method to use when treating the bottom is to use a paint-stripper such as Interstrip 299e to remove all the pollution and the paint, then scrub the substrate using Fiberglass Surface Prep YMA601 and a coarse Scotch-Brite pad. Rinse with fresh water. Repeat until the surface is clean (when the water cascades off of the surface with no beading or separating). Allow the surface to dry thoroughly prior to re-painting. The same process is recommended on metal boats however to avoid corrosion the metal substrate should be prepared by grinding or blasting after the cleaning process and prior to priming. To aid adhesion apply InterProtect 2000E primer per label instructions.

Sanding or sand blasting a surface that still has oil on it may drive the oil into the surface and cause a loss of adhesion of the subsequent coats.

If the coating of oil is light, powerwash and then use a household detergent with water to scrub off any pollution. Then scrub using Fiberglass Surface Prep YMA601 and a coarse Scotch-Brite pad and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Let dry prior to re-painting. Polishing paints such as Micron Technology, may be re-launched without painting assuming the film thickness of remaining paint is adequate (2-3 mils dry after scrubbing) & the next application is scheduled within 5 months.

Cleaning of contaminated topcoat surfaces:

Contaminated topcoats should be cleaned as soon as practically possible to minimize the damaging effects of the crude. If the surface of a topcoat is contaminated with crude oil, staining and possible degradation of the topcoat may result from the acidic nature of the contaminant. The recommendations below apply to Awlgrip®, Awlcraft® 2000 and Interlux® Perfection topcoats. If there is any doubt of the type of surface in question always test a small area first.

In the case of heavy contamination, the material may be a thick, sticky tar-like material due to its exposure to the elements. It is recommended that these surfaces first be cleared by wipe down with T0016, T0170 or Mineral Spirits followed by power washing, and then cleaned with Awlwash® at a 4 oz/gallon level (or household liquid detergents such as Dawn). The detergent washing step of the cleaning process must be done in manageable areas. Each area should be then be thoroughly rinsed with plenty of clean water before moving on to the next. DO NOT allow detergent solutions to dry on the surface.

Hulls exhibiting ‘sheen’ contamination may be cleaned with the regular concentration levels of Awlwash, though they too may benefit from a prewash wipe down with T0016, T0170 or Mineral Spirits to loosen the film.

In both cases, it is recommended that the newly cleaned surface be protected from further contamination with application of Awlcare®.


Contaminated waste water should be collected per local marina guidelines, local authority regulations and/or Clean Water Act requirements. Collecting the water and the emulsified crude will prevent spreading of contamination. Crude and solvent contaminated wipes must also be disposed of in a responsible manner.
For further assistance, call Interlux Technical Service, 1+800.468.7589 or Awlgrip Technical Service, 1.888.355.3090. For more information about Interlux products, visit For more information about Awlgrip products, visit

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mississippi Sound Article in Current Issue of SAIL

One of my most recent magazine projects was an article for SAIL, that is featured in the current issue (May 2010). The article is part of SAIL's "Great Coastal Cruises" series, and highlights the Mississippi Sound and the barrier islands of the Gulf Islands National Seashore as a great destination for weekend or longer cruises on the northern Gulf Coast.

My friend, Dick Dixon, a photographer who lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and frequently sails out to the islands contributed this awesome photo of a Horn Island sunrise:

All of us who love these islands and the cruising grounds of the northern Gulf of Mexico are waiting with dread to see what will happen with the massive oil spill that is threatening to destroy it all.  It seems at this point no one has the answers, only speculation about what will happen and how bad it will be, and whether we can do anything about it.  After such a battering from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a blow like this is the last thing we need.  All we can do his hope and pray for the best and that it won't be as bad as some predict.

If you don't have a subscription to SAIL, you can get it here:  Sail

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Article in the Current Issue of Cruising World

I have a short article in the current (April, 2010) issue of Cruising World, in the "Shoreline" section.  The piece is about David Halladay receiving James Wharram's blessing as the first officially licensed professional builder of Wharram designs in the U.S.  Hopefully articles like this will bring more attention to the beautiful boats David is creating in the Boatsmith shop and more sailors will consider a Wharram cat a viable option among the many choices out there.  Look for it in this issue on newstands now:

I'm not sure how long this link will work, but for now you can click on the inside button in this embedded version of the article and view it at a readable size: 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Switching from a Steel Mono to a Plywood Catamaran

There's an article in the current issue of Good Old Boat that I found of great interest, particularly with my fondness for Wharram catamarans.  This magazine is of course, primarily focused on restoring and sailing older fiberglass boats, which generally means monohulls simply because there are so many more of the them available in the used marketplace. 

New construction is not often mentioned here, but in this issue there is an article by frequent contributors, Dave and Jaja Martin about their choice to sell their steel monohull, Driver, and build of all things, a Wharram Tiki 30.  Now I've followed their writings for years and reading of their exploits such as sailing a modified Cal 25 around the world and cruising Arctic waters on Driver sometimes caused me to question my own choice of a plywood cat over a good sturdy monohull.  But in this article Dave explains his rationale and the solid reasons he chose a Tiki 30 when he decided a multihull would be the best choice for the kind of sailing they intend to do next.

Not surprisingly, his list of reasons in his choice mirror my own reasons for choosing a Tiki 26 after losing a 26-foot monohull in Hurricane Katrina.  The Tiki 30 works better for them, because they will be sailing as a family and they wanted the largest demountable cat that could be reasonably trailered and still powered by a single outboard.

In the next issue of Good Old Boat there will be another installment on this project where Dave gets into details about material choices in modern plywood boat construction. I will be eagerly awaiting it, and I especially look forward to the inevitable future articles that will likely be published in several of the major sailing magazines about the Martin's adventures on  their new Tiki 30.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boatsmith's Tiki 30 Abaco is on the Cover of Cruising World

I should have posted this earlier in January, but it slipped by.  If you subscribe you may have seen this cover image on the February issue of Cruising World.  That's David Halladay's Tiki 30 Abaco, the Boatsmith demo boat I was involved with building and blogging about on Pro-Built Tiki 30

This shot was taken in the Exumas by yacht photographer, Onne van der Wahl, after David Crawford and I sailed it over to Nassau back in June to deliver it to him for that purpose.  Unfortunately, Abaco is almost lost in this sweeping wide angle of sand, sea and sky, but hey, regardless of that, she's a cover girl now, and Cruising World is nothing to sneeze at.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Building a Boat

Stole this from Boat Bits. This is just too cool to pass up: Matt Mays from Terminal Romance. Check it out and then get out to the shop.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reuel Parker's Ibis Sharpie Nearing Launch

Reuel Parker is in the final stages of his 45-foot sharpie schooner project, Ibis.  Here are some photos taken by David Halladay during a recent visit to the build site in Ft. Myers.  It's not everyday that you see a flat-bottomed, shallow-draft vessel of this length.

This is Parker's concept of a "maxi-trailerable" sailing vessel.  While Ibis is not something that you would trailer down to the lake for a daysail, she is a vessel that could be trailered if necessary, for off-season storage or maintenance at home, or for reaching distance cruising grounds in a hurry.  To trailer this much boat, you will need a substantial truck, like one of David's work trucks parked alongside in the photo below.

Here's a close-up shot of the stern, showing the balanced rudder and how it is hung on the narrow stern.

The mast is mounted in a substantial tabernacle.  Reuel Parker describes the advantages and the design of these in his book:  The New Cold-Molded Boatbuilding: From Lofting to Launching.

This view of the bow shows the bowsprit and samson post, as well as a custom A-frame that is used to assist in raising and lowering the mast.  When not in use for this purpose, it will be fixed in position at the correct height to form a bow pulpit rail.  This is a brilliant example of multi-functional equipment incorporated in this simple vessel. 

Designed for cruising the in the tropics, Ibis is equipped with plenty of opening deck hatches and opening portlights.  The cockpit is also shaded by a bimini.

Down below, the interior has a spacious feel with white paint and light-colored wood trim.  This vessel is designed for a simple style of cruising and living aboard in out-of-the-way places like the Out Islands of the Bahamas.

Ibis is based on the smaller 36-foot San Juan Island Double-ended Sharpie, described in detail beginning on page 141 of his definative work on the type:  The Sharpie Book
"A boat is freedom, not just a way to reach a goal."
Bernard Moitessier - A Sea Vagabond's World


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