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post #11 of Old 03-23-2012
S/V Wyndwitch - Morgan 24
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Re: Herreshoff's Meadowlark sharpies

Hi Ballenas
nice to hear your hands on experience with one in a variety of weather.
I think one thing alot of folks forget about the sharpies and various other work boats once very numerous along the coasts is that they were meant to be loaded...if you read accounts from the big oyster times around the turn of the century they were quite literally hundreds of these boats in New Haven, East River Staten Island, Great South Bay etc etc doing all sorts of hauling and transporting fish and tons of oysters for the market, seed oysters and clams, salt hay for the stables ad infinitum and the ranged in size from 23 to nearly 90 feet in length. Of course not all were the New Haven style. But that basic hull performed a variety of tasks and did it well in what I suppose we would call a "coastal" role.

For instance fisherman and cord wood dealers ran loads along the south beaches into New York Harbor on a regular basis.
The rigs they use are a lesson too. sprit rigged or boomless mizzens allowed for work room and let wind spill when spill it must, :Efficiency in a sail is properly determined by the purposes to which it is applied so in that sense many of the older rigs were in fact quite perfect for what they were doing, and since cotton or canvas was the primary material, the larger rather low aspect arrangements were a sensible approach. There are others such as the working boats intolerance of sail changes when too much sail could be easily accommodated by taking a reef. Anyway I love the history of the work boats and think they still have some lessons to teach the boating industry of today ....Simplify simplify....
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