Saturday, May 29, 2010

Frank Dye passes

Frank Dye 1964

courtesy United States Wayfarer Association

June 2008


'This is Frank and Margaret Dye with their tent equipped Wayfarer at Beale Park. Frank was about the first person to have the idea of using a Wayfarer dinghy for long distance cruising and over the years has made amazing trips to Norway and Iceland and also in Canada. Margaret is also a keen sailor and has made done some pretty adventurous sailing on her own account.'

courtesy Hostellers Sailing Club

Wayfarers with Dye style tents, Suffolk, UK

Frank Dye passed away, peacefully it is said, May 16, 2010, at the age of 82. He had a rich and rewarding life, at least looking from here. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, who shared many of his adventures. The Dyes are legendary sailors. Their collective contribution to small boat cruising is immense. Frank and Margaret's contribution, though in many ways practical, is in my opinion mostly conceptual in that it redefined the possible. Frank's cruises to Iceland and Norway, documented in Ocean Crossing Wayfarer, written by Margaret working from Frank's logs, is a seminal piece of work which has inspired and opened the imaginations of small boat sailors worldwide. Another, ater book, Sailing at the Edge of Fear, recounts the couples adventure sailing from Florida to Maine, over several seasons, surviving a hurricane and eventually sailing into the Great Lakes. Margaret has also written an instructive and insightful guide/treatise on small open boat cruising titled Dingy Cruising, informative and exhaustive, very detailed, if a little dated.
All this was accomplished in the 15ft 10in Wayfarer dinghy, designed by Ian Proctor. Some eulogists have equated Frank's epic journeys to those of Shackleton and Bligh. In fact, the Dye's original wooden Wayfarer is housed in Britain's National Maritime Museum bracketed by exhibits on Dame Ellen McCarthur and Shackleton.

The first book I ever read on sailing adventure was the Dye's 'Ocean Crossing Wayfarer'. I found it provacative and astonishing. I think their legacy is that together and alone, they have reimagined the posssible for what one could accomplish in a small open sailboat and have provided guidance to anyone seeking to cruise, at any level, in such boats. Considered together, Frank and Margaret have produced a sort of small boat sailing genius. On a hunch I wrote Webb Chiles to inquire whether he had been influenced by Frank's exploits when setting out to circumnavigate in his 19' open Drascombe Lugger Chidiock Tichborne. His reply:

"Of Frank Dye, although we never met, I was of course aware of him, and his voyage was one of those that did lead my thoughts toward my open boat voyage. Some others were TINKERBELL, and the voyage in a wooden Drascombe Lugger by two men, whose names escape me, from the U.K. to Australia, although I seem to recall they shipped it from the Med to somewhere in India because of problems in the Middle East. Such voyages made me consider how to expand the limits of what is possible. I think that Frank Dye made a great and original voyage."

Bravo, Frank, thanks, and ...congratulations on a life well lived!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Phoenix Rising: Silent Maid Sendoff

Silent Maid, a 33’ sleek gaff-rigged catboat, hand-crafted by Workshop on the Water at Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, PA, will be touring boat shows, regattas, and yacht clubs from New York to Maine. This lovely vessel is a recreation of the original Silent Maid, designed in 1924 by Francis Sweisguth for Edwin Schoettle of Island Heights, NJ,and built by Morton Johnson of Bay Head, NJ. Intended primarily as a cruising boat, the original Silent Maid was the B class catboat champion on the Barnegat Bay in 1925. The original boat will become a display piece at Independence Seaport Museum, preserved with all her history intact.

courtesy ISM

John Brady offering thanks to the volunteers who have helped make Silent Maid a reality.
Joan Bernstein, in the green 'lascivious biddies' T, organized the event, with the help of Wendy Byar and Gina Pickton.

Carolyn Hesse varnishing the mainmast

Gina Pickton working on...?

Maid's stern counter littered with tools, the previous Sunday as last minute preparation is underway

Here my brother John seems to be contemplating Torch, in for maintenance. Torch is one of the fleet of the much ballyhooed A Cat Barnegat Bay racing revival. This is a local to NJ racing class which evolved from the classic working catboats of Barnegat Bay and dates back to the 1920's. It is an all out pure racing group, constantly evolving, grounded in tradition, and a viable though expensive alternative to today's hyperventilated carbon fiber delicacies. John Brady and David Beaton and Son's Boatyard have been the main producers of the contemporary boats, each with about five builds. There is a valuable book on the boats, their origins and contemporary exploits here.
ohn and I were hanging out hoping to sight
and Pinta, replicas commissioned and sailed by the Columbus Foundation, due into the ISM basin for a weeks stay, but they had not arrived late in the day and we decided to go.

all photo's Thomas Armstrong

The Independence Seaport Museum is a Phoenix rising. Despite the not so distant trauma inflicted by a negligent and criminal director, the museum is healing and emerging as a vibrant and vital presence. The recent Tattoo exhibition mounted by curator Craig Bruns was a flash of brilliance, and the museum's core collection, library and archive is a deep and valuable cultural and educational resource. But the heartbeat of the museum is the Workshop on the Water, the museum's boatworks, where invaluable pieces of the past are renovated and maintained and where newly minted traditionally built instant classics are the norm. John Brady, lead builder at the workshop is recognized as one in the highest echelon of contemporary boatbuilders using traditional build techniques and is a very fair hand at designing boats with traditional roots. He is supported by a(very) small number of paid employees and a large group of volunteers, who range from quite skilled and experienced to completely green (not for long) folks wanting to get a taste of boatbuilding. If you stop by with a little time on your hands, you will be put to work. It offers a learning experience as deep as you'd like to take it.
John Brady is not only a gifted boatbuilder, he's also a very experienced sailor, and this summer he will be visiting ports from NY to Maine, campaigning the Maid in both races, appearances at boat festivals and assorted soirees. If you'd like to volunteer as crew, there may be some openings on some legs of the John Brady at215.413.8638 or

Here's the schedule:

May 25 Silent Maid departs Philadelphia for Bay Head, NJ
May 30 Bow Tie Party at Bay Head Yacht Club
June 11-13 New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, Newport, RI
June 25-27 Wooden Boat Show, Mystic, CT
July 10-11 Catboat Association, Wickford Rendezvous, Wickford, RI
July 17-18 New York Yacht Club Raceweek, Newport, RI
July 24-25 Woods Hole Historical Museum, Woods Hole, MA
July 30-Aug. 1 Padanaram Cat Rendezvous, race Kathleen, Padanaram, MA
Aug. 5 Castine, ME, race to Camden, ME
Aug. 6 Camden, ME, race to Brooklin, ME
Aug. 7-8 Eggomogin Reach Regatta, Brooklin, ME
Aug. 8-14 New York Yacht Club Cruise, stops in NE/SW Harbor, Swans Island,
Mercent, Gilkey Harbor, Camden, ME
Aug 18-22 Arey’s Pond Regatta, Arey’s Pond, MA
Aug 27-29 Herreshoff Regatta, Bristol, RI
Sept. 4-6 International Yacht Restoration School/
Museum of Yachting Regatta, Newport, RI
Sept. 11-12 Race Rock Regatta , Stonington, CT
Sept. 18-19 Greenport Classic Regatta, Greenport, NY
Sept. 25-26 Governor’s Cup, Essex, CT
Oct. 2 NY Classic, Manhattan, NY
Oct. 8—13 New York Yacht Club Cruise on the Hudson

For the inside view of whats going on at the Workshop, check John's website, and Wendy Byar's
blog Green Boats for frequent updates on the activities at WoW. Wendy is the dilithium fuel cell for the boatworks, a volunteer who radiates the energy for projects getting done and an invaluable member of the team.

I'd like to also mention that this incredible replica was generously commissioned by Peter Kellogg, with help from some friends, and he's put the boat into safekeeping with John and the ISM.

This communication was sent to me by Charles Bernstein to correct my erroneous assumption that the TSCA had organized the event:

"The sendoff was organized by Joan Bernstein (a WOW volunteer who is handling publicity and advance work for the Maid's summer tour at John's request,) with much assistance from Gina and Wendy as well as, of course, John Brady. "

Several members of the Delaware River branch of the Traditional Small Craft Association attended. What fun we had.

Friday, May 21, 2010

70th Anniversary Commemorative Return to Dunkirk

Boat Name: Aberdonia
Boat Type: Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 48ft
Boat Beam: 11ft 3 ins
Boat Draft: 4ft 6 ins
Boat Displacement: 20 tons
Boat Engine: 2 x Perkins M65 Diesels
Boat Construction: Carvel, teak
Boat Builder: Thornycroft
Boat Year: 1935

Boat Name: Angele Aline
Boat Type: Gaff Ketch
Boat Length: 55ft
Boat Beam: 17ft
Boat Draft: 8ft 6ins
Boat Displacement: 29.17 Grt
Boat Engine: Perkins 6-354 Diesel
Boat Construction: Carvel, oak on oak
Boat Builder: L. Bennay, Fecamp
Boat Year: 1921

Boat Name: BLUE BIRD of 1938 previously Bluebird II
Boat Type: Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 107ft
Boat Beam:20ft
Boat Draft: 9ft 10ins
Boat Displacement: 175 tons
Boat Engine: 2 x Baudoin DP12 400hp Diesels
Boat Construction: Steel
Boat Builder: Goole Shipbuilding Co Ltd
Boat Year: 1938

Boat Name: Chumley previously Chalmondesleigh
Boat Type: Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 26ft
Boat Beam: 8ft 6ins
Boat Draft: 3ft
Boat Displacement: 5 tons
Boat Engine: Chrysler petrol
Boat Construction: Mahogany on oak
Boat Builder: Chrysler Marine Co, Michigan USA
Boat Year: 1934

Boat Name: Endeavour
Boat Type: Cockle Bawley
Boat Length: 34ft
Boat Beam: 12ft
Boat Draft: 3ft 6ins
Boat Displacement: 11.78 tons
Boat Engine: Ford 80hp
Boat Construction: Carvel, pitch pine on oak
Boat Builder: Cole & Wiggens
Boat Year: 1926

Boat Name: Greta
Boat Type: Barge
Boat Length: 80 ft
Boat Beam: 20 ft
Boat Draft: 3 ft
Boat Displacement: 49 tons
Boat Engine:
Perkins 6354 Diesel
Boat Construction: Oak on oak
Boat Builder: Stones, Brightlingsea
Boat Year: 1892

Boat Name: Letitia
Boat Type: Motor Sailor
Boat Length: 30 ft
Boat Beam: 10 ft 6 ins
Boat Draft: 5 ft
Boat Displacement: 7.09 tons
Boat Engine: Ford 4D Diesel
Boat Construction: Carvel, utile on oak
Boat Builder: Johnson & Johnson
Boat Year: 1938

Boat Name: Iorana
Boat Type: Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 40ft
Boat Beam: 10ft 6ins
Boat Draft: 3ft 6ins
Boat Displacement: 8 tons
Boat Engine: 2 x BMC 1.8L Diesels
Boat Construction: Carvel
Boat Builder: D. Hillyard, Southampton
Boat Year: 1935

Boat Name: Margo II
Boat Type: Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 34ft
Boat Beam: 10ft
Boat Draft: 3ft 6ins
Boat Displacement: 7.30 tons
Boat Engine: 2 x 1.6L Diesels
Boat Construction: Carvel, pitch pine on oak
Boat Builder: Royal Boatbuilding Co, Poole
Boat Year: 1931

Boat Name: Maid Marion
Boat Type: Cornish Lugger
Boat Length: 39ft 6ins
Boat Beam: 13ft
Boat Draft: 5ft
Boat Displacement: 18 tons
Boat Engine: Ford 6 cyl 120hp Diesel
Boat Construction: Pitch Pine on Oak
Boat Builder: P. Mitchell, Portmellon
Boat Year: 1925

Boat Name: Iorana
Boat Type: Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 40ft
Boat Beam: 10ft 6ins
Boat Draft: 3ft 6ins
Boat Displacement: 8 tons
Boat Engine: 2 x BMC 1.8L Diesels
Boat Construction: Carvel
Boat Builder: D. Hillyard, Southampton
Boat Year: 1935

all material courtesy ADLS, all photos courtesy the individual boat owners

I learned of this today from the Man on the River weblog. Giacomo is poised for his channel crossing, at Ramsgate, which is hosting the 70th Anniversary Commemorative Return to Dunkirk. They will leave from Ramsgate Saturday, May 22. From The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships website I have this:

'Every 5 years the Association organizes a cross-channel return to Dunkirk. 2010 is the 70th anniversary of Operation Dynamo and so far over 50 Little Ships have indicated that they will make the crossing from Ramsgate to Dunkirk. Subject to urgent operational commitments, the Royal Navy has confirmed that it will provide HMS Monmouth, a Type 23 Duke Class Frigate to act as escort ship for this anniversary crossing and ceremonies in Dunkirk. HMS Raider, a P2000 University Royal Naval Unit Vessel will also be present to provide close support if required. As in previous years the RNLI will provide a lifeboat escort.
For further information, in the first instance contact'

I have written previously about the phenomenal story of Operation Dynamo, and was understandably excited by this commemorative cruise. I urge you to go to the Association's website to read the story of each boat, all are interesting. I have only presented a small number of the more than 50 boats taking part this year.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

News from Roger Taylor and Mingming

Front cover of Roger's latest book, due out in August

Roger was awarded the 2009 Jester Medal in recognition of his continuing efforts promoting and experimenting with singlehanded sailing.

Off the North of Iceland

Rounding the NW coast of Iceland, the headland at Straumnes

Off the headland of Straumnes, NW Iceland

all photos courtesy Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor is among those making last minute preparations for the start on Sunday of the Jester Challenge 2010. However, Roger and Mingming will likely not be making landfall in Newport with the rest of the participants. If conditions permit, Roger is planning, instead, in a move reminiscent of Moitessier, to head for a landfall at Cape Dwyer, Baffin Island, a cruise designed to mirror his cruise to Jan Mayen Island last summer, and again putting him within the Arctic Circle. I'm a little disappointed, as I had planned to meet Roger upon his arrival in Newport, but no matter. It's another great adventure for Roger and Mingming, and I'm sure he'll share his adventure with us. Godspeed and safe voyage to you, Roger.
Other news is that Roger was awarded the 2009 Jester Medal for perpetuating the spirit and traditions of ocean cruising established by Blondie Hasler and Michael Ritchie. Congratulations Roger!
The 'soft' photos are screen captures from Roger's understated but totally compelling and mesmerizing videos of last summer's cruise, these taken from the northwest tip of Iceland.

Roger has another book coming out, a book about his voyages in Mingming. I'm sure it will be as deeply engaging as his previous book, ' Voyages of a Simple Sailor', if not more so, will document his recent voyages in Mingming and will have some information on how Roger has adapted his boat for singlehanded sailing.

From the back cover:

'In his new book Roger Taylor follows straight on from 'Voyages of a Simple Sailor', taking us on three more extraordinary voyages aboard his junk-rigged Corribee Mingming. This simple, rugged 21' yacht, constantly developed and honed for effortless single-handed ocean sailing, goes where much bigger and more sophisticated craft fear to tread. Iceland, Rockall, the Faroes, Jan Mayen, the Greenland ice, together with a southern interlude to the Azores, are all encompassed in these enthralling adventures. Written in Taylor's trademark style - fast-moving, witty, uncompromising and intensely observational - these stories will take you to sea as you've never been taken before.'

Due to be published this August, you can reserve a copy here.

Roger! Bon Voyage, have a great cruise.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jester Challenge Preview

Some of the assembled fleet prior to the start of the 2008 Jester Azores Challenge

Copyright © Anne Hammick 2006 Copyright © Sandra Leek 2006

Trevor Leek, one of the organizers, will be sailing the reborn Jester

Kenyan Tim McCloy's China Blue is a modified junk rigged Folkboat fitted out in fashion which bears great similarities to Jester

photo courtesy tim McCloy

Roger Taylor's minimalist entry Mingming, a modified junk rigged Corribee MK1.
Roger is planning to start with the fleet but then take a divergent course, in a move reminiscent of Moitessier in the Golden Globe, and head for Baffin Island. I'll have more on Roger soon

The interior of Mingming packed up for the Azores in the '08 Azores Challlenge

The smallest entry in this years Challenge at 20', the self built Golant Gaffer Just Right, is Gus Davidson's entry. She is sailing in support of Macmillian Cancer Support.

photo courtesy We sail the North Atlantic Ocean

Bill Churchouse and Belgean will be looking to repeat his performance in the '08 Azores, where he was first in.

photo courtesy Bill Churchouse via Jake Kavanaugh

Here's Bill in the cabin of his Westerly 22

photo courtesy Bill Churchouse via Jake Kavanaugh

Rory McDougall built his Wharram Tiki 21 Cooking Fat and then sailed her around the world, being the smallest catamaran to do so.

photo courtesy Rory McDougall

Guy Waites will be sailing his Contessa 26 Red Dragon

courtesy Guy Waites

Thomas Jucker's 28' Lyle Hess Bristol Channel Cutter built by Samuel L Morse in 1990. Marta was bought in the US for the express purpose of entering the Jester Challenge. Feeling unsure of his single handed capabilities, Thomas tested himself over the summer of 2009 by sailing first to Bermuda, then the Azores, and England.

Here we see the starting gun being fired (2008) with it's plume of talcum powder to make it visible to all entrants. the shot is fired from Ewen Southby Tailyour's Black Velvet by the late Mike Richey. Ewen is one of the organizer's of the event, and also a participant.

all photos courtesy Jester challenge/Jake Kavanaugh unless otherwise noted

"Camaraderie, fun and a lack of formality are the guiding principles: in effect these Jester Challenges are organised by those competing in them"

"It is vain to do with more what can be done with less" William of Occam 1285-1349

This yaar mark the 50th anninversay og Blongie Hasler's ' Amazing Idea'

This year's Jester Challenge is set to commence to the starting blackpowder blast at 1300hrs on Sunday, May 23 from Plymouth England. First run in 2006, The Jester Challenge has been instituted to restore to open ocean racing the spirit ot of Blondie Hasler's 'Amazing Idea'. The race is from Plymouth, England to Newport, RI. This will be the second time the Challenge has been run from Plymouth to Newport, the first was in 3006, with an amended version to the Azores taking place in 2006. It is a single handed race for boats under 30' intended to revive Blondies' vision of Corinthian, unassisted sailing in small yachts based on self reliance and seaworthiness. It is in fact, a sort of laboratory for developing tools and techniques for singlehanded sailing of smaller boats. Though technically not a raid, because it's not done in open boats, and not about rowing, I would posit that in some sense it is the inheritor of the spirit which allowed the inventors of the raid, the vikings, to sail from Scandinavia to the New World! The mother of all raids.

On the original conception of the Jester Challenge:

Notes by Ewen Southby-Tailyour
Up-dated 23rd November 2005
One of the aims of The Jester Challenge is for the skippers to take full responsibility for their actions and their vessels without nannying sets of rules (nor a £1000 entry fee). Another aim is that it should be FUN with the results not taken too seriously: who wins is less important than arriving safely. Sponsorship of the event and of individual yachts is not overtly encouraged - although Blondie certainly had no objection and was always grateful, knowing that without it his race would not have achieved the status it enjoys. The rules are at a minimum on the understanding that Challengers - as Corinthian yachtsmen - will accept that it is up to them to ‘behave like gentlemen’ with regard to the use of engines, accuracy of timings, numbers on board(!), adherence to common-sense, safety equipment and so on. We want to keep The Jester Challenge simple and un-fussy while proving that events like this can take place without all the hullabaloo and hype - and yet still be worthwhile taking part.
In 1960 Blondie Hasler's 'amazing idea was first sailed by five yachts, four of whom were under 26 feet: navigation was 'traditional', self-steering was 'experimental' and all crossed the Atlantic in good order. The only time that this has occurred. However, by 1968, he was worried that the race's success contained the seeds of its own death, with excessive competitiveness one of the reasons cited. Fearing a demise he planned a Series Two that, if necessary, would begin in 1980 with…no sponsor nor organising club…ordinary yachtsmen going about their (legal) business…making an independent passage on (their) own responsibility…no rules…no entrance fees…treating (the skippers) as adults who can…take their own risks….

More here and updated here.

This years entry list is a testament to the chord this event has stuck in the hearts of adventurous yachtsmen. The entry list for the first Challenge included 13 brave souls. This year's entry list shows a whopping 82 entrants!

You'll be able to follow the boats as they move across the Atlantic with Ocean Race Track here.

Special thanks to Jake Kavanaugh and Roger Taylor for their assistance in writing this article.

You should be able to follow the 'race' on Ocean Race Track.

See also Bill Serjeants post:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Campion Sail: Tom Dunderdale's 'Apple', et al.

A four plank aside half-decked Apple, gaff cutter rigged with tumblehome transom, sailing in the Alps
photos courtesy E. Reinhard.

Apple yawl dayboat, main and mizzen rigged with balanced lug sails and conventional transom
photo courtesy Tom Dunderdale, Campion Sail and Design

Apple yawl dayboat
photo courtesy Tom Dunderdale

Apple yawl dayboat
photo courtesy Tom Dunderdale

Peter Lord's 5 plank Apple 'Vips' with modified interior and his own carbon fibre spars and sail plan,
courtesy of Wojtek Baginski taken during the Raid Finland 2007 when he crewed for Peter Lord

Stitched and ready for glassing - Peter Lord's most impressive 5 plank Apple lugger with his own customized internal layout and rig. This hull is one of a number of variations based on the original 4 planker, including one with greater flare to the topsides and 3 inches more beam

courtesy Peter Lord

Vips in good company at Raid Finland, the lineup from left to right, Welsford, Oughtred, Herreshoff, Campion, Michaleck
courtesy Wojtek Baginski

Apple's Lug Yawl Sailplan- see her designer's comments below

'Pearl 16, a day sailer or beach cruiser, half-decked, with multichine stitch and tape or glued clinker-over-stringers construction. The hull is of 6mm ply, the deck and cockpit of 5 or 6mm, with centre-board and dagger-board options. The cockpit has various permutations, from deep and open, to reduced volume, through to self-draining, but all with built-in buoyancy. Pearl, with either a lug main and mizzen, gunter yawl or gaff cutter rig, is beamier, flatter floored, fuller transomed than Apple, with lead and water or water ballast.'

Here's Pearl's midsection redesigned for sleeping floors per my request

'George Holmes’ design the ‘Ethel’ of 1888 was digitised then stretched by Selway Fisher - who then drew up their own stitch-and-glue strake pattern for the hull, which I used when constructing the first one.

I further modified the appearance of the design during construction to produce the boat in the photo by altering both deck camber and sheer, and building a different deck and cockpit layout - with in particular the narrow, sweeping side-decks and coamings - as well as a new high aspect-ratio semi- pivoting daggerboard, a high aspect ratio lifting rudder and a wider, more practicable tiller (all necessary as I intended racing the boat), and altered the rig twice - both during construction and a few months after. Most construction details are different, too. Further detailed changes were listed in ‘The Boatman’ review in the October/November issue of 1992.

The final appearance of the boat - though not the hull - is different to both Fisher’s digitised design and the original ‘Ethel’. Fisher’s modified version - which he named the ‘Lillie’ - follows Holmes’ original layout of deck and cockpit, low aspect centreboard and non-lifting rudder, but with his own rig; and it is this which he offers in his on-line catalogue - though illustrated with a photograph of the changed deck and cockpit of my boat.'

"Though the gloss is no longer -some eight years later - as deep as here, you can still see your own face in the
original finish."

'Electra: with a lower, flatter and fuller floor, the lines of this canoe yawl could be likened to a compromise between George Holmes' Ethels 1 and 111, but she is longer - with more freeboard - slightly beamier and certainly more burdensome with a sharper, deeper bow for better windward work as well as a drier, more comfortable performance in a steep chop. For 7 plank multi-chine or glued clinker. Stable yet fast, attractive and able, light yet strong, the seven plank aside hull goes together reasonably quickly to give a satisfying traditional appearance with modern materials. Sealed tanks run under the side decks for a good part of the hull to provide buoyancy and strength. Provision has been made for 55 kg of water ballast if required. These hulls give a true planing performance if sailed hard, whilst retaining the noted sea-kindliness of the double-ender if sailed more gently.'

all material courtesy Tom Dunderdale/Campion sail and Design, unless otherwise noted

Tom Dunderdale's elegant distillation of the British workboat, especially those from Cornwall, Kent and Sussex, really caught my eye. His flagship boat is the Apple and her plumb bow, lug yawl rig and raking transom hit home for me, but there are many iterations/variations. Conceived with an eye to tradition, the designer states:

Apple is a sweet-sheered, originally yawl-rigged, balanced lug day-sailer that has a surprising turn of speed. From her plumb bow to her raking transom, she has very much the air of a traditional boat, but her lines reflect modern thinking more than might at first be apparent. With the original small yawl lug rig layout she is exceptionally easily controlled with finger-tip-light steering at any degree of heel, showing the inherent balance of the hull form and will heel to some 40 degrees without driving the gunwale under when hard on the wind, remaining well mannered and docile. The flair of the forward sections tends to throw spray clear and she is surprisingly dry when sailed hard. Off the wind in a breeze, she lifts smoothly onto a plane without effort or fuss. In lighter airs, she slips along in a most satisfying manner, and will even sail herself for short periods if the sails are balanced carefully. For those who regularly sail in light wind areas, the large light weather mizzen makes for a truly stunning performance. And when the wind dies in the evening, she will row surprisingly well as the quarters are well lifted, the beam moderate and the weight surprisingly light thanks to the glass/ply/glass construction. Should a more sedate approach to sailing be required, the Apple will easily accommodate sand or shingle ballast bags as she has considerable carrying capacity without spoiling her sailing lines, and such disposable ballast ensures that easy manhandling ashore is not lost. Integral water ballast tanks can be built in to the decked version, too.

Apple was designed as a rewarding, handsome, open day-sailer for large lakes, rivers and sheltered estuary waters, one that could be built in a modest single car garage on a very modest budget yet would engender a real pride of ownership, with an ability and performance to entrance and enthuse her crew, most especially when sailing in company with modern craft, and not demoralize them with indifferent or poor sailing qualities once the novelty of sailing something 'traditional' has worn off. In her original open form, she is not, however, designed for cruising exposed coastal waters in strong winds - which is in keeping with other open or even partially decked designs, traditional or modern, old or new, including some supposedly able 'cruising' dinghies and dayboats - as it would be asking too much of such a light and almost totally open boat - and such a simple, inexpensive one - and probably of her crew, too. [But note that with the substantial reduction in open cockpit space as well as increase in weight to give the necessary momentum to punch through head seas, the decked, ballasted version is more suitable for open waters. The inherent exceptional balance of the design makes for far sweeter, easier handling than the hard-mouthed antics of some portly dayboats when over-pressed, whilst the ballast provides surprising power and stability with the crew inboard. There's a general absence of slamming when driving hard through a short hollow chop with little thrown spray or when weaving through a confused head sea and partially luffing the crest and then bearing away down the back, whereas a full bowed 'U' sectioned boat in such conditions will stamp and slam if not stop, throwing spray, thin sheets or, if they're really unfortunate, solid lumps of water at her luckless crew. In such conditions, a dry, well-tempered boat truly shines, and Apple is just that.] Within the constraints of the design, there really is little on the water that approaches her - she is handsome, able and distinctive.

Digging a little deeper into the Campion website (a word of warning: at first navigating the website is a bit like learning to drive in a foriegn country, challenging, but worth the effort) I discovered a wide range of delightful small boats, most of them with a traditional feel, and all drawn with the amateur builder in mind, using modern materials and construction techniques. With some of these designs, Tom offers a dizzying array of options, allowing the builder to tailor the boat he builds precisely to his needs. In addition to the Apple, I especially like the Pearl and Electra designs (see design notes above). I am so taken with the Pearl in fact, that, notwithstanding great designs by Oughtred, Welsford, Vivier and a covey of American designers, I'm ordering plans of Pearl. Of course, it'll no doubt be a long time building, and I need to get my O'Day in this year. I've been corresponding with Mr. Dunderdale, both as a collaborator 0n this article and as a potential design client, and have found him forthcoming, generous and erudite.