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Old 12-24-2009, 02:40 PM   #1
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Just poking around looking at boats in the area (for fun not shopping) and came across this old girl

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1985/Herre...L/United-States

in case the link doesn't work or something, she's a 47ft Leeboard Ketch. ... that's the biggest boat with leeboards I've seen and was wondering about you's guys opinions on her.... I love her shallow draft 2'8" which would really let a person get into some out of the way spots and her leeboards remove dealing with a keel trunk and the issues and space loss inherent to a swing keel... but would leeboards be strong enough to go to sea with? would you trust them in heavy seas on the deep blue? I presume they are through bolted and reinforced to frames but have no experience with leeboards myself... if they are strong enough why aren't they more popular?
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by atavist View Post
Just poking around looking at boats in the area (for fun not shopping) and came across this old girl

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1985/Herre...L/United-States

in case the link doesn't work or something, she's a 47ft Leeboard Ketch. ... that's the biggest boat with leeboards I've seen and was wondering about you's guys opinions on her.... I love her shallow draft 2'8" which would really let a person get into some out of the way spots and her leeboards remove dealing with a keel trunk and the issues and space loss inherent to a swing keel... but would leeboards be strong enough to go to sea with? would you trust them in heavy seas on the deep blue? I presume they are through bolted and reinforced to frames but have no experience with leeboards myself... if they are strong enough why aren't they more popular?
I know a fellow who is expert in all things Herreshoff and he's been drooling over that particular boat, btw

Leeboards are present on some very large working vessels used in shallow waters (pre-engine days). I've only used leeboards on small boats. The load is proportional to the weight of the vessel so they really do have a lot of stresses inherent in the design. On most small boat designs, the supporting brackets aren't really adequate so that if both leeboards are left down on each tack, the windward board usually is not adequately supported while the leeward one is supported by the boat hull and the leeboard bracket. The only small boats I sailed with leeboards were made to have both leeboards up or down at the same time with no really good way of pulling the windward one up to relieve stress. I have no idea if larger vessels have better supported leeboards or methods for pulling up a leeboard for each tack. David and I once built a leeboard sailing mod for one of our canoes--the official American Canoe Association set-up it was. Lateen rig and a single leeboard on one side. Followed the plans exactly. We managed to break that leeboard within 30 minutes of sailing on the maiden voyage--on the second tack.

Now, in our defense...I must add that the maiden voyage was in 20 knots of wind on Baffin Bay near Corpus Christi Texas. We went back home and built a second leeboard for the other side!

Getting away from leeboard issues--in terms of stability, that particular boat looks to be very sensitive to loading, IMHO. Its a "canoe" design and probably wonderfully fast but with questionable stability for bluewater sailing. Herreshoff designed some nice shoal draft boats--I suppose they are great for the shallow SE US as well as parts of the Caribbean where you could island hop without doing too much in the way of long passages. Monroe also designed numerous shoal draft boats--most with centerboards--for those cruising waters. The Monroe boats weren't known for their bluewater capabilities, just their gunkholing.

Have fun looking at boats
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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Here's an interesting discussion on no keel boats vs deep keel boats.

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80259
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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When I was still at school in the 1950's there were still many Thames Sailing Barges working the South and Eastern coasts of England. All except a handful had auxiliary engines fitted, I think the last pure sailing barge was the 'Cambria' which traded up to the early 1960's under sail alone. They were flat bottomed and were fitted with massive lee boards, and although not strictly 'ocean going' they continued to trade through some pretty dire weather in our winters. They traded a long way up some of our rivers, apart from the London River Thames. Usually just a skipper and his mate, they transported anything from building materials to farm produce and were not unknown to make the short sea crossing to Continental Europe. I believe two or three of them sailed to South America after the war where they traded under local ownership. The Dutch used leeboards on their 'Botters' too, which were also mainly coastal craft.

I think that the stability, certainly of the English barges, came through their width of beam. The old skippers would get in the lee of the sandbanks on the shallow South East coast, haul up the big lee boards and anchor in a few feet of water waiting for a favourable tide or a gale to blow itself out.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/t...s-Canthusus.jpg
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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The old skippers would get in the lee of the sandbanks on the shallow South East coast, haul up the big lee boards and anchor in a few feet of water waiting for a favourable tide or a gale to blow itself out.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/t...s-Canthusus.jpg
makes a good arguement for shoal draft boats... at the moment my boat is a Pearson 365 with only about a 4.5ft draft but personally I've found it to still be very inconveniently deep, largely because the underwater profile doesn't permit beaching.... my former sailing instructor and good friend Mel who lives somewhere near Hartlepool (I think) used to have an old 27ft hog bellied clinker built sail only boat that he made a living fishing on year round for about 20 years... she didn't have a keel or even bilge stringers (twin keels) but he took her out in all manner of crap weather and always came back... as I recall she had fixed external ballast in the form of a keel boot, which also protected the keel when beaching her (no leeboard)...

he gave her away before we met because like small farms small fishers have pretty much gone out but I've always had a fancy for an old boat like that... shoal but beamy and stable, slow perhaps but safe and can get in about anywhere.
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:02 PM   #6
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If you'll permit me to drift off lee boards for a minute? I laughed when I read your description of your friends boat " clinker built hog bellied, sail only"

In my own county of Sussex the old inshore fishing boats were once known as Hogs or Hoggies. Many of our sea beaches are shingle (pebbles) with only a little sand in places and the boats were hauled up the shingle by capstans set above the tide line. The boats all have a hole through the forefoot at the base of the stem to take the hauling chain and wire. The modern boats being of steel are much heavier and have bilge keels with wide runners on to slide up the beach more easily.

The old time fishermen would work in some fearsome weather conditions to earn a living, so the old clinker boats had to be strong. There are still a few later ones about, all with engines now of course and sometimes even a little one man wheel house added.

[img]Hastings_Fishing_boat_1934.jpg
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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In my old dagger board catamaran we only used the leeward board, does this boat employ the same principle?
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:37 PM   #8
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Yup Saxon, black and brown hull is about the lines of his (from pictures I've seen) only his had a deck and bit of a dog house (not a wheel house)... seeing boats like that and knowing they've spent many a year sailing the hard North Sea and Skagerak really makes me question the need for the keel... granted they give you a nicer ride but that they take away the ability to beach is a pretty big drawback to my mind..

Kiteserfer.... the daggerboard concept on a cat is similar in principal to the leeboard concept, mostly to reduce leeway, however on a leeboard design only the leeward board should be employed because the boards are attached externally and the leeward board gains it's strength by being braced against the hull when the boat... if you use the windward board it is being pulled away from the boat, increasing the chance of breakage... with daggerboards the boards are supported internally and thus the stresses on the windward board are no greater than on the leeward board...
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:47 PM   #9
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@redbopeep

In the Netherlands are a lot of flat boats with leeboards. Mostly they use leeboard wire winches of LVJ. Last september there were a few of these boats in New York at the Hudson. The length of these boats go up to 18,50 meters for the "lemsteraken" and 30 meters for the so called "bruine vloot" ships (they charter for days of weeks with a group op people).

Greetings Fox
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:19 PM   #10
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Saxon. You don't happen to know of a designer that does those types of boats do you?.... I'm sure any designer could do them... but I'd like to look at plans and if I'm gong to look at plans I'd rather look at plans by someone who focusses in an area than plans by someone who is doing them as a one off.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:19 AM   #11
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Saxon. You don't happen to know of a designer that does those types of boats do you?.... I'm sure any designer could do them... but I'd like to look at plans and if I'm gong to look at plans I'd rather look at plans by someone who focusses in an area than plans by someone who is doing them as a one off.
The last person that I personally knew who used to build clinker boats was Mr Lower from my home port of Newhaven in Sussex, but unfortunately he died quite a few years ago. He was the last builder of those boats from a well known family of traditional boat builders. The design of those boats goes back so far Atavist, that I think apart from the installation of engine bearers and drilling the stern post for a prop shaft the plans haven't changed for a century or more so there will be no living designers, but I'd wager there are plans about somewhere still, so it would not be impossible perhaps to find some.

Unfortunately I'm still outward bound, in Portugal at the moment but headed East into the Mediterranean in the Spring and on towards the Black Sea, so it will be a while before I get home. I can't assist with a search from here, but when I do get home there are still people that I could ask for you. I've got an old mate who helps out at the Brighton Fishermans Museum and he started as a 14 year old working off Brighton beach in those boats. He would be a good source of information, I'm sure.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:25 AM   #12
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sad to think of those old boats as a dying breed... they servered their purpose well... glad to hear there is a Fisherman's Museum which will hopefully preserve at leaast some of them.

I'll keep poking around on my end for plans... being in the US however boats like that are pretty hard to come by.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:28 PM   #13
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Atavist, you might like this design...



Click the pic
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:40 PM   #14
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I do indeed like that design... I don't imagine she has much headroom inside but that's another trade off for the super shallow draft....

thanks for the link.
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