Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 195 Times in 159 Posts
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I have been very impressed with Jay Benford''s sailing dories, (which I don''t really think of as dories since they fall somewhere between sailing dories and keel versions of ''Egret'' style sharpies). Anne Hill describes, in glowing terms, voyaging over long distances in 34 foot Benford named ''Badger'' which is my favorite of the designs in this series. There is a lot to like about these boats and I think that Benford has really done about as much as can be done with the type.
These should be cheap and easy boats to build in a sturdy and reliable manner and offer a nice balance of performance and comfort. (I have actually considered building a small double-ended sharpie with a fin keel as a daysailor for my own use but to my own design.) I know Jay personnally and I''m familiar with his work. Although he has designed some wonderfully beautiful and complex designs over the years, I really admire the way that Jay Benford has of designing simple boats that are far more than the sum of thier parts. Certainly this series would fit that description.
All of that said, flat bottom boats will be more prone to pounding and more prone to a quicker motion. Benford moderates that a little with a comparatively fine entry (for this type of design), a comparatively narrow beam, and a relatively deep center of gravity but I still think that the flat bottom forward would really pound going to weather in the kind of short chop that you might find on the Chesapeake Bay.
I am not a fan of the junk style lug rig on Badger. This is a great rig for the kind of reaching that one might do on an extended ocean passage, but for coastal work they are not as weatherly as I would like. For me, the real deal breaker on the Lug rig, is thier tendancy to death roll downwind (been there, done that, got that sopping wet Teeshirt after being pulled from the water) and so I personally would do a different rig.