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35Re: [AtkinBoats] Re: Sailing Skiffs

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  • jkohnen@boat-links.com
    Jan 25, 2004
      Several years ago, the first boat I saw when I arrived at the Depoe Bay
      Wooden Boat Festival was a fancy sprit-rigged sailing skiff. I looked it
      over and thought, "I could see myself in a boat like this, only not so
      fancy." It was a Footloose built by boatbuilder Louie Brochetti from


      I'd previously been of the mind that skiffs should be slender, but the
      Footloose looked just fine, it's got a fair amount of flare in the sides, so
      while the beam a the gunwales is a lot, it's not too bad on the bottom. At
      any rate, I ended up buying Louie's skiff several months later.

      The sprit rig took some getting used to, and I'm still figuring it out. I
      really like not having a boom to hit me in the head, and the rig is so
      simple it only takes me a few minutes to get rigged. All the spars store
      inside the boat, under the cover. Pickle (named after the RN schooner that
      brought news of the battle of Trafalgar to England) sails well, going to
      windward well enough to get me where I'm going, but not like the go-fast
      boats. The loose-footed sail's weak point is running downwind, but I've
      never experienced the "death roll" I've heard about people getting into with
      other loose-footed sailed boats. Pickle is a poor drifter. Warren Jordan
      designed Footloose for the lakes and bays on the Oregon coast, where it's
      usually windy, so the sail area is small. Louie specified quite heavy
      sailcloth, and the sail is cut fairly flat, both of which don't help in a
      light breeze. When it comes time for a new sail, I'll go with lighter
      sailcloth. Reefing a spritsail is difficult, and in Pickle involves standing
      up near the bow and reaching way up the mast to slip the snotter down to the
      reefed position.

      Pickle is very stable, and sails quite flat. The argument that a flat-
      bottomed sailboat won't pound badly because it's usually heeled over,
      presenting a V to the water, applies less to fat flat-bottomed boats. It's
      best to take a passenger along to catch the spray when out on a choppy day
      (I know you're here, Joe <g>). What's worst though are motorboat wakes when
      the breeze is light, they'll stop Pickle dead. :o( I weigh over 16 stone,
      but can stand up and stomp all around in Pickle without fear, which is a
      very nice thing about fat flat-bottom boats.

      I sail Pickle sitting on the floorboards between the sternsheets and the aft
      thwart, leaning against the side, very comfortable for my crotchety middle-
      aged bones. The interior of Pickle is all cluttered up with thwarts and a
      centerboard trunk, but that's normal for that kind of boat. Makes me
      appreciate leeboards, or keels. But take a look at Alone for a skiff that
      tries to address the problem:


      Pickle is a sailboat first and foremost, she rows OK, and powers OK (a 2-
      horse is plenty), but likes sailing best.

      All in all, Pickle suits me very well at this stage in my life. Warren
      Jordan is a former commercial fisherman who's decided that the only kind of
      boating he'll be doing from now on will be peaceful, comfortable, safe and
      fun. This shows in the design of Footloose. It's a Good Boat.

      On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 02:18:51 -0000, Dennis wrote:
      > John, ever since reading Stambaugh's good skiffs, I've wondered about
      > Jordan's Footloose. Care to give a testimonial? I'd be interested in
      > hearing what you have to say about her.
      > > http://www.jordanwoodboats.com/

      John <jkohnen@...>
      Show me a man who has enjoyed his school days and I'll show you a
      bully and a bore. <Robert Morley>
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