Becky Thatcher modification
- Pictures posted in Photos. There is a short video on YouTube ( "becky thatcher
erie canal"), showing the disturbance at the bow at about 5 mph, with none seen at 2.5 mph.
(Revised post, with a reference.) This is a heavily modified Phil Bolger/Susanne
Altenburger Becky Thatcher. Becky Thatcher is designed having a sternwheel,
driven by a dual-pedal arrangement. It is 19'-6" X 5', with a 4' bottom.
Phil Bolger and Susanne Altenburger designed Becky Thatcher for a proposed, long
Erie Canal trip. The boat was built, and you can read their articles in Messing
about in Boats: V23 N18 Becky Thatcher and V23 N19 Becky Thatcher's Flipping
My boat does not have the sternwheel, and it has an extra foot of beam amidship,
with further consequences for the hull lines. The internal structure shows Jim
Michalak influences. It's built of 4' X 10' MDO and is about 20' x 6', 5'
bottom. The slot-top cabin is removable, up or down in 5 minutes, allowing
garage access. Headroom is 4' 11", so that, when I'm sitting on the aft box,
there is just enough clearance for my hat. The boat is powered by either a noisy
Yamaha 3 Hp or a silent Minn Kota 55# (12 volt) trolling motor. Two batteries
are carried inside the center thwart. I've included a Michalak-like rudder and
leeboard guard, toward rigging a 110 sq. ft. balanced lug. For sailing, I'll
replace the cabin with an slot-top cuddy or just sail it as an open boat.
Thus far, October 2009, we've used the boat mainly for one- to four-hour day-trips,
on the Erie Canal between Pittsford and Fairport, NY. It has handled well
in 1'-2' waves, Lake Ontario out of Irondequoit Bay, but would be better with a sail.
While there is ample room, we don't foresee any overnight trips.