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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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Old 09-16-2009
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Crows nests, bowsprits, and other fun things

All of you fools are talking about things that don't matter; how stable a boat is, how fast, how well she deals with rough water or light breezes. but it is I, king of the armchair sailors here to ask the really important questions, like:

What is the smallest boat that you think could safely hold someone in a crows nest? I have decided, since I'm apparently not buying a large (read: > 18 feet) sailing vessel any time soon, I might as well have some fun looking around at things which most likely don't exist, and if they do, probably don't sail well.

My fondest memories involve being on the Argus, and riding in the tarred lines underneath the bowsprit, as we hurled through the water at somewhere over 3 kts (ok, it seemed fast at the time ) and I got to thinking about some of the things that made a boat great to me as a child.

The crows nest and the bowsprit, with net were both really big on the list, While we're at it, lets throw in a bow cannon or something of the sort. If not a crows-nest, then at least ratlines, which I seem to recall as well in my foggy memory. (I'm not entirely sure how much was real, and how much was added later in my mind)

I'm not sure if any boat that could support either could be an individuals boat, or if those only ever existed in the 50+ foot range that I consider the realm of the rich or institutions.

I was looking at some of the Dix steel gaff rigged boats, and pondering, with a tanbark sail, they do look salty (I have no idea how they sail) and I can't help but wonder if his little Hout Bay boats might actually have some combination of sailability and some feel of the salty old boats that made me fall in love as a child.

Anyone know anything about the smaller Hout Bay's, eg, the 30-33 gaff rigged?

Are there other boats out there in working mans land (< 40 feet) that are actually sailable and still feel like that childs wonderland "pirate ship" that probably never existed in the first place?

Just thought I'd ask.

Thanks. =)

-- James

Last edited by jbarros; 09-16-2009 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 09-16-2009
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I don't think the Lady Washington is for sale, but she is a beautiful boat
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Old 09-22-2009
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I love the idea of a crow's nest. When the kids are arguing with each other one could go on the bow-spit, another in the crow's nest and the third towed behind in the tender. Length of tow line would be inversely proportional to changes in behavior.
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With a Crow's nest, everyone will be complaining about the added weight that far up the mast. Maybe you could just widen out the spreaders somewhat to make comfortable seating up there...
Some boats do have bow sprits... Not very long ones though. You may have to change the sail plan around somewhat to have a nice long bow sprit and yet balance out the boat.
The thing now days, with the boat heeled over in a good breeze. You attach the kid to a spare halyard and hoist them over the side until their feet are just skimming the water's surface. It should be a warm day when you do this of course.
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Old 09-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbarros View Post
The crows nest and the bowsprit, with net were both really big on the list


Well.... I've got the bow sprit and 'net' but only a net to keep the Pug from slipping overboard



Trouble is it has a few functions so it won't fit your criteria The seat up front has a couple holes that the ladder slips into which was a necessity down in Annapolis where I bought it with no finger piers. I've made an adapter to use it as a side boarding ladder.
I'm sure Nauticat would whip up one for you for a few grand They do some beautiful work in Teak and Stainless. You should see the 'large dog' fold up side boarding ladder they made for a 44' for a few grand
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Old 09-22-2009
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My boat has a bowsprit long enough to walk out on, if you can reach the jibstay. No crow's nest, though I once went aloft (at the dock) on a twenty foot keel sloop. I'm over 200lbs, she didn't tip over.
Don't try a crow's nest on that kayak, though you could put a bowsprit....
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Old 09-22-2009
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Better than a crow's nest, a Cupola!

Here's a boat that might suit your taste. Just refit, with the finest materials, and a well found blue water cruiser with just a little TLC.

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yeah, it's a shame when boats are designed to some practical standard, like being able to sail, or fit in a slip. It gets in the way of my dream boat My little Josie had a 2' bowsprit I could go out and "surf" on with the tiller lashed (or with a friend at the helm) but going aloft was terrifying, magnified the motion something wicked. =)

I've got another 2 months till I get to start work on the kayak, let alone a real sailing vessel. Sorry for the silly post, I'm just killing time.

-- James
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