Join Date: Sep 2006
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Response to an old post.
I know some of the details of Brinestormer. My old boat (hull 14, Iris) was built with that boat as a sister ship. The two families built the interiors together at the Skoog place on Mercer Island back in 71-73.
Some funny history of those two early boats. They parked the two boats on the Skoog dock and Neil (the designer) supervised the wheelbarrow loads of lead scrap being loaded into the keel voids. They poured concrete over it all once he was happy with the way they sat in the water. I eventually glassed over it to make sure. The early hulls where actually laid up in 2-piece port and starboard molds. The halves got glassed together right down the middle. Sadly those beautiful old molds along with the deck molds where destroyed long ago.
I think most of the early hulls where fitted outside of the "factory" shop, by owners or other shipwrights. Many owners shared resources for rigging, parts and ideas, so there is a lot of similarity in the boats.
Well designed simple boats, very good performance for a cruiser. Initially tender, but like a rock after about 15 degrees of heel. Stable downwind. Very dry and safe in a large following sea. Points surprisingly well. The older spade rudder versions where a bit lighter and faster than the newer skeg rudder model, but the skeg rudder boats tracked better. After many years of hard sailing in mine I never had one structural problem with the boat.
Both Brinestormer and Iris did some remarkable passages over the years. Many other Mercators have cruised far and wide. I have lots of drawings, notes, and photos around if there is more interest. I sold mine in 2002, and bought a much larger boat. Sometimes miss the simplicity and ease of maintenance of Iris.