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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Friendship 31 sloop
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-26-2011 10:54 AM
WanderingStar I've owned one Friendship and sailed on several. None were hard to handle. Mine balanced so well that light lashings on the helm allowed her to self steer.
06-25-2011 11:45 AM
svHyLyte Friendship type Sloops were originally "designed" for the Cod Fishing industry, many ballasted with pigs of iron secured under removable wooden slats. "Designed" is probably a misnomer as the design evolved as necessary for a working boat over an extended period. The low freeboard allowed as small crew to recover nets more easily and a Friendship Sloop with a belly full of fish was near impossible to capsize. The rigs were overlarge and low to provide the power necessary drag nets, hence the Gaff rig that provided an enormous sail area relative to the size of the boat. While Friendship's are enormously stable and would track like they were on rails once set up, unloaded they had horrible weather helm and tracked only with a "fisherman's reef" and lots'a rudder. Joe modified his boat to a "Bermudian Rig" in the mid-60's while living in Key Biscayne, a move he described as a "transformation", tho' that move horrified more traditional watermen. At one point he was challenged to a race by another owner of one of Princess's sister ships (with the traditional rig) and Joe proceeded to sail rings around that boat, literally, from Key Biscayne to Coconut Grove and back. (That event is described in his second book.)

Joe was always "rebuilding" Princess. (I doubt if at any time there was ever a stick of wood aboard that boat that was more than 30 years old after he finished his post WWII rebuild in '47 or '48.) I suspect even now he's in Heaven's boatyard fitting newly milled Mangrove ribs into Princess's spirit with his tools tied to strings so he doesn't loose them in the sand/sea. "Mangrove--perfect stuff, last a 1,000 years..."

FWIW...
06-25-2011 10:02 AM
WanderingStar Interesting. I'm familiar with the history too. Friendships had a great reputation for seaworthiness, even back in the day. The one I know of that sank was an original I think, but racing in blustery conditions with topsails set iirc. I think the replicas that I've seen have about the same rig as the old ones, mine did.
You remember Schneider Pennant Sloops? My first keelboat was a 20' model built around 1961. I loved it.
06-24-2011 11:17 AM
Jeff_H I had not remembered that he bought Princess that early. Its been a very long time since I read any of his writings. In the mid-sixties he was still talking about restoring "Princess" like it happened yesterday. Joe was a colorful guy, and as a kid, he seemed way bigger than life to me.

His brother, whose name escapes me, ran a sailboat rental and sailing school on Manhasset Bay. As a kid, I worked at Sigsbee's Marine during the week, which maintained the wooden Pennant sloops that Joe's brother rented, and on the weekend I worked at the rental as a boat boy, prepping the boats at the beginning of the day and cleaning them up at the end of the day, and giving sailing instructions when requested or sailing with non-sailors to keep them out of trouble.

When I think about it today, I am amazed that even back in those simpler times, it somehow made sense to send out total non-sailors in leaky old wooden boats without an engine with only a 15 year old kid as the sailing instructor or chaperone, especially when I consider how little I knew then about sailing compared to what I know today.

I terms of my reference to capsizing and swamping, this refered to the older working Friendships which were worked in all kinds of weather, generally single-handed or with only a man and a boy. The yacht version tend to have higher density ballast, placed lower in the keels, and less sail area for their displacement giving them more stability and less likelyhood to capsize or founder. One of the glass versions that i sailed on had a self-bailing cockpit as well.

Jeff
06-24-2011 10:52 AM
WanderingStar The Dictator model, Jarvis Newman's 31' Friendship is an excellent boat. True, it is not a modern sloop. But it performs well, pointing high and sailing fast for a classic boat. (I've sailed on one). Jeff gives a good thorough description of the type, though I only know of one that capsized and sank, that while racing. I owned and sailed a 26' Pemaquid for several years and found her very seaworthy, great in big seas. If you're very interested, contact Jarvis, he still brokers the boats.
06-24-2011 09:45 AM
svHyLyte
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Another good Friendship Sloop book is Joe Richards series on the "Princess". Joe bought a wreck of an old Friendship after WWII and fixed the old girl up. I actually knew Joe and worked for his brother at a boat rental place in the mid-1960''s.

Jeff
Actually, Joe bought his boat in the winter of 1937 and spent 3 years restoring her before he took off for the "Caribbean". His book "Princess" is a classic. We were friends with the family and remain in contact with his daughter, Susan, who is still selling reproductions of Joe's wonderful paintings.

If you are interested in the Friendship type yacht, you might find the Nonsuch yachts of interest. For example, see 1988 NONSUCH 30 Ultra Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
06-23-2011 05:19 PM
mikewrightoo
friendship sloop sailing and handling

well i just got in from a couple of days offshore the westcoast of vancouver island with my fifty foot friendship sloop. What a pleasure to sail...i singlehand it with a alado roller furnling jib and a gaff rigged main.

i built this boat, steam bent yew frames, the best materials throughout...so although i have blocks and lots of ropes, once you practice a bit, raising and lowering the main is actually a peice of cake. ive owned plenty of glass sloops thirty feet and up and some multi hulls too and all in all they all have stuff to learn and they all have good and bad to deal with.

the friendship sloop is a very stable boat due to width and ballast combinations and is infinitely adjustable. surprisingly it was well known for windward and ive been experimenting with it and shurely it points very well, as well as my previous glass sloop. you just have to have good sail shape and let it climb, its quite fascinating. the long sloped keel with its flat sides keep a good grip on the sea, and having the max draft at the rudder post makes for a pleasant ride in following ten foot plus seas as ive just experienced.

Now there are a lot of armchair sailors out there, and there are a lot of lazy jacks now days, too fat to haul in a line, too pooped at an early age to do anything but press buttons.....so dont fret, try one of the old timers out and learn......its worth the effort and they look a heck of a lot better than they make em now and probably ride the sea better too..........thanks sincerely mike
02-09-2004 07:15 PM
Jeff_H
Friendship 31 sloop

drynoc

There are a lot of reasons that they were as heavy as they were. Some related to the intent of thier construction which was fairly robust to take the abuse of being worked. Some had to do with workmanship which was crude and cheaply done (double sawn frames and chunk forefoots.These boats were seen as somewhat disposible.) Some weight came from the very heavy rig. Much of the weight came from carry cobblestone internal ballast. It takes a lot of ballast to get much stability out of a low density placed that high in the hull. But also as a work boat the Friendship sloops had to be able to carry a proportionately large amount of cargo.

Jeff
02-09-2004 03:34 PM
Jeff_H
Friendship 31 sloop

Another good Friendship Sloop book is Joe Richards series on the "Princess". Joe bought a wreck of an old Friendship after WWII and fixed the old girl up. I actually knew Joe and worked for his brother at a boat rental place in the mid-1960''s.

Jeff
02-09-2004 11:07 AM
Art_Holloman27
Friendship 31 sloop

Jim,

You should read Nick Finneran''s book STANIEL CAY. Two teenagers find an old Friendship sloop in the mangroves in Biscaye Bay in 1948. They fix up the boat and go sailing around the Caribbean. Great sailing adventure story.

See www.nickfinneran.com
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