Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reuel Parker Egret 31.5 Sharpie Build Blog

During my most recent visit with Reuel Parker, which has now been a little over a year ago but certainly doesn't seem like it, Reuel gave me the study plans for an enlarged Egret-styled sharpie.  Based on the original 28-footer made famous by Commodore Munroe in Florida, this 31.5-foot version offers much better cruising accommodations, although like all sharpies, still minimal for it's size.  Reuel said it was the most boat that could be built for the money and pointed out that it would be quick to build, trailerable and yet capable of crossing the Gulf Stream and exploring skinny water off the beaten track, like the Bights of Andros, one of his favorite places in the Bahamas to hang out.

I was intrigued, but not ready to start another boat building project so soon after selling my Wharram Tiki 26.  In fact, the reason I was in Reuel's neck of the woods in Florida was to inspect a Liberty 28  Cutter that was offered by a brokerage nearby.  I didn't make an offer on the Liberty, and ended up buying my Cape Dory 27 several months later, but I've pulled out those Egret study plans more than a time or two.  I kept hoping someone would build one, and now it is happening.  A Google search of the design turned up Dennis Woodriff's build blog, started in 2013.  Building in Virginia, he made rapid progress until winter and a move put him on temporary hold.  The hull has been built and turned and he is now finishing the interior, deck and house structures:

I got in touch and learned that Dennis has extensive sailing experience and plans more big adventures when he launches his new Egret sharpie.  I'm anxiously awaiting the continuation of the build, and I'm betting that once the weather improves we won't have to wait long to see this new Parker design launched.

For more on the Egret 31.5, the description of the design is available on Reuel Parker's site here.

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"A boat is freedom, not just a way to reach a goal."
Bernard Moitessier - A Sea Vagabond's World


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