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Dear Chuck,

Here's a boat I built last year to my own design. I recently submitted an entry to your design competition and referred to this design in the text. This boat rows well considering the bluff bow. She's on the heavy side, about two hundred twenty pounds when empty. I've yet to sail her since her sail wasn't ready before the winter. I based the boat on an idea I had for a shallow draft cruiser. The bigger boat was supposed to use either lee boards, or, canted bilge boards which dropped down through the side decks. The slots for these were meant to drain the decks as well as allow for easy maintenance. In either configuration, the boat needed to be fairly wall sided to accommodate the boards.

I didn't have the nerve to build the full size boat without trying her out half scale first. I figured this might save me some hassles in the building process and if the smaller version turned out to really stink, I could build on that experience and design a new and improved version. Well she didn't stink, but some of the things that bothered me in the first boat needed fixing.

First of all, the wall sides called for by the boards looked well, ugly. Also, the distribution of the displacement didn't really allow for the bow and stern stowage that the cruiser would need- the keel had too much rocker    Lastly , I felt the transom could stand widening so that the cockpit could be truly comfortable. I'm sure you can appreciate my reluctance to invest the time and money in building an ugly, uncomfortable boat with mediocre storage. So back to the drawing board and the refined design is what I wound up submitting. I don't want to give the impression that this boat is not a fine little vessel, she is. Stable and easy to row, she carries her way well and is a hell of a lot of fun. I just want to get the best boat I can out of myself so that I don't feel like a schmuck at the launching ramp.


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