Preview: The Three Boats I Lust After (and Why)

January 9, 2012

Harry Bryan

I must protest.  I have spent some time thinking about the title of this submission and feel that it has been my good fortune to admire boats without being victim to an overwhelming desire to own any specific design.  This may be due to the fact that, as a boatbuilder, nothing but time (if you drag out the building process long enough, you can afford most anything) prevents me from having the boat I want.  Lust implies the satisfaction of embracing something that is missing and I find that the boats I have owned and that I take care of at present are sufficient for my contentment.

Now, having said that, there still is room for a quiet affection for a few designs—boats that I would love to build for someone who shares a similar view.

First on my list is the 22-foot yawl Jenny Wren designed in 1905 by C. G. Davis.  This design is presented in Chapter 4 of Weston Farmer’s book From My Old Boat Shop. I have a soft spot for what were called tabloid cruisers, small enough to attract an owner of limited means, yet large enough to promise safety and modest cmfort.  Her gaff yawl rig is low, yet ample—easily shortened down, yet retaining balance. She would have a light helm.  Very little is shown of her interior arrangement. Jenny’s interior could be made into a cozy, intimate space where a seaman of any age would feel at home. Today it seems as though many boat’s interiors are designed first, then surrounded by plastic shells made to fit that are called hulls.

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