Re: Looking for Eric Jr.
I have loved the aesthetics of Eric Jr. for over fifty years, but if
my dreams are in the past, I am afraid that you sound years ahead of
yourself. First, since you have never sailed, it is absolutely
essential that you realize that part of the dream before committing
yourself to any other. Start off by Googling Tennessee sailing, and
explore yacht clubs and sailing schools in your region for classes or
opportunities to crew in regattas. The first thing you will learn is
how much time sailing will take away from every other activity. By
talking to boat owners, you will also get a feel for the costs and
skill requirements of storage, maintenance, repair, transportation,
and launching. Though you can learn how to sail from books, there is
nothing equal to honing your sailing skills in collaboration or
competition with others.
The next step is boat ownership, but, again, I would warn you
strenuously against trying to realize all of your dreams at once. By
this time, you should have developed a feel for the accessible
sailing waters, the boats that people use, and the costs and
tradeoffs you face. The three likely options will be keeping a boat
at a slip, dry-sailing with a launch in the same place every time you
go out, and trailering from home to one or more destinations. Not
being familiar with your location, schedule, family situation, or
means, I can't advise you how big a boat to get, but you should
consider how large a crew is necessary to handle a given design, how
many it will accommodate for sailing, and how many it will sleep,
either under a tent or in an enclosed cabin (if you are ready for
cruising). One compromise you should accept is that the boat be of a
type that is popular in your neighborhood. That means it will be
easier to find one to buy and easier to sell when the time comes. It
also means it will be fiberglass. Aesthetically, fiberglass lacks
something, but you can't yet imagine the cost and time that
maintaining a wooden boat demands. That will be doubly true if the
wooden boat is of traditional, plank-on-frame construction (as Eric
Jr. was designed to be). Planked hulls may be stored out of water,
but the seams will open and take time to swell closed. Trailering
and dry-sailing are unsatisfactory. Furthermore, you should seek
expert advice on prevention of rot and corrosion. Sometimes
materials that are durable in a salt-water environment decay rapidly
in fresh water.
In the end, AFTER you have had the experience of owning one or more
boats, sailing in all conditions, and cruising for extended periods
alone and with both compatible and incompatible crews, you may face
the existential question of defining yourself as the master of a
wooden cruising boat. Will it be an Eric Jr.? I am sure it can be a
handsome, comfortable and seaworthy boat for one or a crowded two,
but the design is 70-odd years old, and there have been many
advances. It will not be the fastest, most weatherly, or most
commodious boat for the length or cost. It looks so graceful because
of its low freeboard, narrow beam, and small cabin trunk. Thus, a
lot of the usable space in the hull has to be under water and held
under by a heavy ballast keel. To support that keel, consistently
with the economics and material availability of its period, it has a
massive, grown backbone. All told, it will weigh about 7,000
pounds. The difference between empty hull weight and designed
displacement, including crew and stores, is slight for such a heavy
boat. It can be shipped on a flatbed truck but never trailered.
A design is an abstraction, but you can't buy an actual wooden boat
off the shelf. If you should happen to find an Eric Jr. for sale,
it is likely to be very old. It may have been constructed by an
amateur with inferior materials and workmanship, or the plans may not
have been followed accurately, or it may not have been maintained and
will need extensive repairs to rotted deadwood, cracked frames, and
rusted fasteners. The engine and sails are likely to need
replacement. If you wanted to have one professionally restored, it
would cost as much as having a new one built, i.e., more than you can
afford and more than you can ever recover on resale.
Since you mention consideration of other designs, I should suggest a
couple of things about shopping for wooden boats. While traditional
wooden boats are not mass-produced, the closest you may come is to
buy one of a series that were built by a major yard. The materials
and workmanship will be reliable, the design will be widely
recognized (and the faults will already be discovered). Sizes range
from Beetle cats and Herreshoff 12 -1/2 footers to Herreshoff Fish
class, International 600s, Concordia yawls, and so on. Read the ads
in WoodenBoat and get a feel for what you can get for how much. If
you ever really want a traditional wooden boat, don't buy until you
commission a survey by a reputable surveyor.
Because of changes over the years in cost and availability of
materials and new fastening and coating techniques that make it safer
to transport and store boats out of the water, however, the meaning
of a small wooden cruising boat is different from what it was in
Billy Atkin's day. Phil Bolger and Iain Oughtred, to name a couple,
have carved out a niche for designs that are either extraordinarily
refined or dramatically simplified and take advantage of all the
technological possibilities. Something like Oughtred's Wee Seal or
Bolger's Chebacco would be an excellent, trailable pocket cruiser.
They still aren't as cheap as fiberglass.
I'll leave you with a final thought: in the last analysis even saying
that a boat is a compromise doesn't go far enough. It is not that
the boat you choose will not be ideal for every purpose; any boat
will be completely incapable of serving every purpose. A boat that
weighs 1,000 pounds may be one you can trailer to a week on salt-
water bays, but it will be inappropriate for extended offshore
passages. At the same time, it will be too heavy, expensive, and
slow to launch and rig to allow you to drop it in the water any time
you feel like it. The process of learning about boats can take
years, but learning about yourself takes a lifetime.
- Eric, Jr. is not trailerable if built to the plans. Traditional carvel
construction just doesn't hold up on a trailer. If you built Eric, Jr.
strip planked with fiberglass sheathing, or cold-molded (maybe the hybrid
strip/molded construction Reuel Parker favors), she'd be marginally
trailerable, but launching and setting her up would be a chore you
wouldn't want to be doing more than a few times a season. There are no
Atkin drawings for cold-molded or strip construction, so you'd have to get
another designer to work up the construction specs for you. Paul Gartside
and Jay Benford are familiar with Atkin designs and would be good choices
for the work.
Eric, Jrs. are good boats, but they aren't world cruisers. Lots worse
boats have cruised the world, but that's not what Eric, Jr. was intended
for. It's unfortunate that Wm. Atkin chose the name "Eric, Jr." because
she shares little with Eric other than two pointy ends. Eric, Jr. is much
svelter than Eric, with a lot more sail area for her size. She's designed
for spirited cruising in semi-sheltered waters with occasional open ocean
hops when the weather is fair. The kind of boating most cruisers do, even
if they dream of the South Seas. <g>
On Wed, 18 Jul 2007 09:03:57 -0700, Justin wrote:
> i'm currently looking at and looking for an Eric Jr. wooden.
> i'm wondering is an Eric Jr. trailerable? 7,000 lbs? wooden....
> and i know i must make many compromises in regards
> to having a world-cruising pocket sailer that is trailerable and
> very affordable as well.
Power always has to be kept in check; power exercised in secret,
especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly
dangerous. <William Proxmire>
- A long time ago a fellow named Archimedes proved that the weight of the
water a floating object displaces is equal to the weight of the object.
But the designed displacement of a boat rarely equals its actual
weight/displacement. The design displacement is an educated guess by the
designer of the weight of the empty boat, plus the weight of the usual
crew, fuel, drinking water, food, spare parts, tools, and so on. Usually
the designers don't realize just how much _stuff_ people can cram into
their cruising boats, so many boats end up displacing more than the
designer intended, and they get heavier as they get older. <g>
On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 09:46:03 -0700, Dirt wrote:
> Well here's a few things that should get you pointed
> in the right direction. Eric jr is a great looking
> boat, but in no way is it a trailer boat. Displacement
> is the volume of water that is displaced by the hull
> of the vessel measured in pounds or tons, it is not
> the actual weight of the boat....
Never board a ship without an onion, is sound doctrine. <H. W.
Just go buy a small day sailer, throw up the rags and have some fun
man. Don't get bogged down in all the details of finding the perfect
boat. If I was you my criteria would be something cheap to store in
the water ready to take off at a minutes notice.
Buy something small, fast, and tender. why? because thats the kind of
boat thats going to be the most fun to sail if your inexperienced, and
you will learn to sail a lot faster than on a larger boat. Also if you
blow your whole wad up front your constantly going to worried about
doing any damage and frankly you probably will.
thats my two cents take it or leave it but just find a way to go
sailing. Good luck man.
- Can anyone tell me where I can get a propeller shaft seal like the one
Robb White used on his Rescue Minor?
I think he used one that was made for a water pump, didn't he?
- I haven't seen what he used, but based on his description, I think
what are shown on this page are similar:
On 8/16/07, Kenneth Grome <bagacayboatworks@...> wrote:
> Can anyone tell me where I can get a propeller shaft seal like the one
> Robb White used on his Rescue Minor?
> I think he used one that was made for a water pump, didn't he?
> Ken Grome
> Bagacay Boatworks
> I haven't seen what he used, but based on his description,Hi Ron,
> I think what are shown on this page are similar:
Thanks for that link! It got me started on the right track, then I
found some other web sites with even more details on this type of pump
shaft seal. It looks like I can use them in the boat I'm building now,
and well as in several of the inboard powered boats I'm designing.
These Atkin tunnel-stern Seabright skiffs are intriguing to me. I
especially like Shoals Runner's bottom design. I know of no other boat
that offers such an attractive combination of features as these:
1- a very well protected propeller and rudder
2- drafts only 6-7 inches with the prop in the water
3- sits stable and upright when out of the water
4- can be beached almost anywhere without damage
5- can be trailered on a cheap flatbed utility trailer
6- is very seaworthiness in offshore conditions
7- uses an inexpensive, fuel efficient inboard engine
8- gets better than average mileage at 15-20 mph
9- runs efficiently throughout its entire speed range
Lots of people seem to be very intrigued by Rescue Minor. But as I
understand it, Shoals Runner is William Atkin's last design of this
type. This suggests that he may have identified deficiencies in his
earlier models (possibly including Rescue Minor) and corrected them
when he designed Shoals Runner.
This is only a theory of course, but it appears to 'make sense' to me
after reading performance reports on Rescue Minor and noting subtle
differences in the characteristics of these two hulls from the line
drawings on the web site.
I'm designing some new versions of these tunnel-stern Seabright skiffs
myself. I'm leaning toward hull bottoms that look more like Shoals
Runner because of my theory that the more recent designs in a naval
architect's portfolio are often better boats than earlier models.
I also remember reading that Robb changed to a conventional shaft seal
after hearing that the ceramic types, when failing, failed suddenly
with no warning at all.
--- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, Kenneth Grome <bagacayboatworks@...>
> > I haven't seen what he used, but based on his description,
> > I think what are shown on this page are similar:
> > http://www.mcmaster.com/nav/enter.asp?pagenum=3372
> Hi Ron,
> Thanks for that link! It got me started on the right track, then I
> found some other web sites with even more details on this type of pump
> shaft seal. It looks like I can use them in the boat I'm building
> and well as in several of the inboard powered boats I'm designing.boat
> These Atkin tunnel-stern Seabright skiffs are intriguing to me. I
> especially like Shoals Runner's bottom design. I know of no other
> that offers such an attractive combination of features as these:[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> 1- a very well protected propeller and rudder
> 2- drafts only 6-7 inches with the prop in the water
> 3- sits stable and upright when out of the water
> 4- can be beached almost anywhere without damage
> 5- can be trailered on a cheap flatbed utility trailer
> 6- is very seaworthiness in offshore conditions
> 7- uses an inexpensive, fuel efficient inboard engine
> 8- gets better than average mileage at 15-20 mph
> 9- runs efficiently throughout its entire speed range
> Lots of people seem to be very intrigued by Rescue Minor. But as I
> understand it, Shoals Runner is William Atkin's last design of this
> type. This suggests that he may have identified deficiencies in his
> earlier models (possibly including Rescue Minor) and corrected them
> when he designed Shoals Runner.
> This is only a theory of course, but it appears to 'make sense' to me
> after reading performance reports on Rescue Minor and noting subtle
> differences in the characteristics of these two hulls from the line
> drawings on the web site.
> I'm designing some new versions of these tunnel-stern Seabright skiffs
> myself. I'm leaning toward hull bottoms that look more like Shoals
> Runner because of my theory that the more recent designs in a naval
> architect's portfolio are often better boats than earlier models.
> Ken Grome
> Bagacay Boatworks
> I also remember reading that Robb changed toHi Lewis,
> a conventional shaft seal after hearing that the
> ceramic types, when failing, failed suddenly with
> no warning at all.
Thanks for this information.
Do you happen to remember where you heard or read this? If so can you
point me to the reference? I'm asking because I thought I had read
everything there is to read about Robb's Rescue Minor, and this is news
I don't know much about ceramic shaft seals either. Maybe they fail
catastrophically and maybe they don't. I'm reading about them now ...