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post #11 of 14 Old 03-07-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Crew for Chesapeake Bay Skipjack

Well, it's no different in theory. Skipjacks are fractional rigged so most of the power is in the main. They were really built to reach across oyster beds pulling the dredges and don't really point that well. There is no weighted keel for adding righting moment so they are more like a big, flat bottomed, dinghy with a centerboard, and yes, they can capsize. There is a lot of windage up forward so getting them to turn into the wind, either under sail or power, can be difficult unless you have significant way on. Response is pretty slow. The main is HUGE. The boom on this vessel is 45 feet long. The last one I sailed the boom was 56 feet long and weighed in at about 900 lbs. Jibing is really dangerous in all but really light conditions. Traditional skipjacks, such as this one, do not have any engine but use a yawl boat for mechanical propulsion, which has its advantages and disadvantages. So, my original comment was meant to convey that you'll learn to sail on one of these, but it's going to be a little different than sailing a modern fin keel, spade rudder, cruising sloop. It's even different than sailing a more traditional hull with a full keel because there is no weighted keel, but response times might be more similar.

Gerhard
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-07-2015
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Re: Crew for Chesapeake Bay Skipjack

Quote:
Originally Posted by gstraub View Post
Well, it's no different in theory. Skipjacks are fractional rigged so most of the power is in the main. They were really built to reach across oyster beds pulling the dredges and don't really point that well. There is no weighted keel for adding righting moment so they are more like a big, flat bottomed, dinghy with a centerboard, and yes, they can capsize. There is a lot of windage up forward so getting them to turn into the wind, either under sail or power, can be difficult unless you have significant way on. Response is pretty slow. The main is HUGE. The boom on this vessel is 45 feet long. The last one I sailed the boom was 56 feet long and weighed in at about 900 lbs. Jibing is really dangerous in all but really light conditions. Traditional skipjacks, such as this one, do not have any engine but use a yawl boat for mechanical propulsion, which has its advantages and disadvantages. So, my original comment was meant to convey that you'll learn to sail on one of these, but it's going to be a little different than sailing a modern fin keel, spade rudder, cruising sloop. It's even different than sailing a more traditional hull with a full keel because there is no weighted keel, but response times might be more similar.

Gerhard
thanks. that's really informative. i had no idea they could capsize. i knew they were made to dredge. had no idea they were dangerous to jibe. so, instead of jibing, do you tack around? i do that in my sailing dinghy in heavy wind, when jibing would be tricky.

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post #13 of 14 Old 03-07-2015
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Re: Crew for Chesapeake Bay Skipjack

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime museum in St. Michaels,Md. have some excellent examples on display as well as in progress restoration projects for public view..


The list of remaining skipjacks may need editing as I think there numbers are less than what is indicated..

Last edited by aa3jy; 03-07-2015 at 10:09 AM.
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-07-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Crew for Chesapeake Bay Skipjack

Don't get me wrong, you can jibe the boats. There is just a lot of force coming across with that big sail and heavy boom, so it is usually safer and more controlled to do a "chicken jibe" as you described (tack around). (In spite of the name, there is nothing "chicken" about it...I call it good judgement.)

Gerhard
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