53' schooner "BARBAROSSA"

   Here's what I call the "Modified Pilot Schooner" rig. It's for those to chicken to use the old time version, shown below. It would be simpler to handle though, more weatherly, not as good off the wind, and easier to handle. There's also a version with a boomed fore, gaff rigged, and a Marconi main. I won't post it here but will point out that you can mix up the rigs anyway you please. The plans show all of them

   Here she is showing a gaff "Pilot Schooner" rig. This is the most handsome way to rig her and if I was planning on using her for vacation and general fun sailing, especially if I used her in the Seattle area where I would be attending the schooner races, this would be my rig. It could be a handful though but that's what makes it fun!

 

 


I've noticed that many folk in the yacht design business are awfully serious about things. We each work out a particular style, and given the chance can write pages and pages of glowing adjectives about why this type of thing we do is best.
We serious people like nothing better than sneering at those who like different sorts of boats than we do, judging people's intellectual and emotional development by the yacht type they advocate.
For years I stood tall at the barricades myself. I KNEW what was best, and why, and anybody who disagreed was stupid or a charlatan. But recently I've become "born again," so to speak. I now understand that the whole purpose of a pleasure boat is for fun! My transformation happened after a particularly ugly production boat ricocheted off the 8 coats of varnish on my restored Chris Craft's transom, and then proceeded to poke it's droopy bow pulpit through my new side curtain. Confronting the 300 lb. idiot driving this thing, and who was very embarrassed and immediately offered to pay for the damage, I suddenly stopped and saw him in a different light. Rather than dismissing him as a moron of no esthetic sensibilities and less boat handling skills, I realized that he was just a normal working guy like me. Cut him and he bleeds. Tickle him and he laughs. Like me he enjoys being on the water, and the only way he could get on it was by making monthly payments to the bank for this new boat. To me it was very ugly, of course, but looking at it, I saw its purpose; it had twin V-8 engines and was fast, so he could cover ground on the weekend. It had room for his family to spend vacations aboard. Rather than standing back and acting superior, as so many people I know do who can't afford the sort of boat they believe is politically correct, this man was out on the water. Actually, the boat, while not what I would like, had a certain grace, rather like the boring sleekness of a new Oriental car (OK, so I'm not TOTALLY reborn).
Anyway, I had to discuss this before trying to describe my new schooner design, because this boat has NO serious purpose! It was designed for fun. But then I suppose that's serious too? The plans were commissioned by an Austrian businessman who will be using it on the Mediterranean. He won't live aboard. He has no yearn to single hand Cape Horn. He doesn't want to race around the world. He has no message to preach. He wants to have fun, live a fantasy of a stout ship and good rum, to be, on vacations, a "schoonerman." A dose of these things once in a while will keep his perspective back in the real world, I think.
The hull form is rugged yet actually quite trim for the type. Double ended with an outside rudder, long keel, low freeboard, and a relatively narrow water line to give flair to the sections for plenty of reserve buoyancy, she ought to be quite seaworthy. She also displaces enough to be built stout enough to knock around Mediterranean and Agean ports and left unattended without worrying about. I've spent time over there, and saw that there are few marinas with floating finger piers like we're used to in the States. Rafting, tieing to pilings, and anchoring out is the norm. In Greece and Turkey in particular you're apt to have a fishboat or big charter boat raft against you. In that part of the world you want a boat hefty enough to shove back.

   The hull lines show moderate curves which make it less trouble to bend material around. She has a fairly flat "run" to should move pretty good. The rudder angle seems extreme but I've seen more in boats from Scandinavia. The curved stern stem complicates hanging the rudder but sure looks good....


The first one to be built is of epoxy/plywood composite, and has a single chine hull. The plans also show a round bottom version for cold molding, strip, or conventional wood construction too, of course. Epoxy seems to have revitalized wood construction, and now wood has reappeared as a practical material for a custom boat. While steel and aluminium are quick to build in, I’ve always liked wood and think this boat’s particular look almost needs to be wood. Which I’m the first to admit makes absoluetly NO sense. However, plans will be available for steel construction too, so it's your choice. I personally think she displaces to much to be practical for aluminum construction, but that's up to a builder.

   Here's preliminary round bottom lines for her. It looks pretty this way but she also looks pretty with the chine hull and that's less trouble to build!


The interior is set up for four to be comfortable during extended vacation use, and will house 6. She has a permanent double bunk, a big dinette that folds down into another double, and two singles. There's a large galley with a 3 burner propane range, and a large "head." Actually, maybe bathroom is the word to use here, because the space is as big as many apartment bathrooms.

 

 
 This shows the interior a bit better than the above. This interior was planned to be good for vacation use hence the ability to sleep 6. For live aboard I'd likely loose the 2 bunks at the companionway, and maybe install the engine with a vee drive to move it aft some.


T
he engine sits out in the middle of the living area, covered with an upholstered box. I never thought much of this until I got my old Chris Craft running. It's a great place for the engine because maintenance is so easy to do when you don't have to stand on your head to reach things. However there's no reason a hydraulic drive or vee drive arraignment couldn't be used, so the engine could be stuffed back under the cockpit. The specified engine is 70 HP to give the power to push her through the short and steep chop found over there.
The sailplan was fun to work up, and neither her owner or I could decide exactly which way to go so four versions were made to study. The basis is the pilot schooner rig, which has an overlapping foresail without a boom. The old schooner AMERICA (namesake of today's races) was rigged like this. It's a very powerful rig, so much so that it was banned in ocean racing in the old days. The marconi version would be the easiest to handle, but is just a bit dull looking when compared to the others. However, it would be the easiest for a short handed crew to deal with, so for long cruising I'd look at it seriously. The other three are more traditional, differing in that the fore mast is 24" further ahead on two of them. I think I would rig her as version "B" if I was building her for vacation and weekend use. This gives lots of sail (2486 sq. ft.) and lots of ropes to play with. It sure would look sharp! Remember, this boat is for fun! So, the sailplan was designed to look good and to provide opportunities to learn real old time sailing skills. Granted it's not the most practical by current standards, but just what is practical? Is any pleasure boat practical? Practical for what? This big sailplan is practical because it will be fun to use and look at, and very satisfying to know how to handle. After a weekend or summer vacation of handling a real schooner like this, the business world will be tame stuff indeed.


Particulars

LOD
: 53' 2" ... LWL: 46' 11" ... Beam: 13' 11" ... WL Beam: 13' 3" ...
Draft (loaded) 6' ... Displacement (loaded) 58744 lbs. ... D/L ratio: 277

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