Preview: Fine Boat Designs – GROS MORNE, A 40′ Motorsailer by Eldredge-McInnis

April 3, 2015

Avatar Maynard Bray

This handsome little motorsailer design, named for a mountain on the west coast of Labrador where she was used, shows how skilled Walter McInnis was at drawing good-looking boats. She’s a husky creature as well; more motorboat than sailboat, but nevertheless carries a decent rig. Off the wind, with a feathering propeller, I expect she’d give you good speed as well as a very fine ride, the latter no matter what the conditions.

She’s arranged differently from most yachts in that there’s no main saloon. In her, you sit across from the galley with its wood-burning stove nearby. (A clue to her cool-climate usage.) There’s the usual stateroom with toilet, lavatory, drawers and hanging lockers up forward that can sleep four in a pinch, and another stateroom (with two berths) on the port side aft of the galley and under the trunk cabin, with an enclosed head opposite to starboard. And if more than six berths is ever needed, it looks as if there’s space outboard of (or over) the dining table, across from the galley. She was built to carry salesmen, so the writeup tells us, but there’s no mention of how many were aboard at any one time. (Might have given “party boat” an entirely new meaning!) But instead of traveling salesmen, it seems to me that she’d be perfect for a big family—or even a small one.

Motorsailers are great, and I speak from making many deliveries aboard the 58′ motorsailer BURMA between Maine and Connecticut when I often blessed her sheltered wheelhouse. It’s a real nice place to be during a blustery October nor’wester. This boat’s underwater profile looks a lot like BURMA and if she handles half as well, she’ll be a dream to use.

Another Walter, Walter Pinaud, built GROS MORNE. This Walter learned the trade from his father, Martin, and his brother and one-time partner, Jack, who I believe worked in the Boston area for both Geo. Lawley and John Alden. The old Pinaud yard, established in 1937, is now called Cape Breton Boat Yard and owned by OCH Guide Ben Fuller’s cousin Henry. Small world, when it some to boats!

Motorsailer GROS MORNE from the February, 1958 issue of The Rudder. Eldridge-McInnis plans can be obtained from Mystic Seaport.


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