is a 40’ gaff-rigged centerboard ketch with a raised deck. She was designed
for wooden construction, round bottom, with steam bent or sawn frames. She is
a very powerful vessel, and her large rig was very handy. She was one of the
few vessels on which I have used a raised deck; however, on these shoal hulls
it often becomes mandatory on lengths under 45’. Her shoal draft precludes
using a jib-headed rig, which would increase the heeling moment without
gaining anything in speed.
is a very simple V-bottom hull to construct. She was designed and built in
wood, although at least one of them has been constructed in aluminum alloy.
She was very, very fast, and was based on a larger vessel built of steel,
named APOSTLE, on which my wife, daughter and I lived aboard and cruised for
three years. While aboard APOSTLE, we rode out a hurricane in the Gulf of
Mexico with the centerboard up and under bare poles for many hours. She was
more comfortable than other small vessels on which I have been at sea in a
hurricane. Her draft was 22” with the board up. Full headroom is impossible
in this type of vessel below 45’.
was designed as a centerboarder because, at low water, 2’3” was all that
could be taken over the bar. On the mold loft floor and after making a couple
of patterns, it was decided it would be better to wait for the tide and to
eliminate the centerboard. She then had a keel added. I designed this boat for
Ray Kauffman, who circumnavigated in the 1930’s in a ketch named HURRICANE.RADIAN was built at my yard in Virginia.
BELLE IV was the smallest of this family, and was an excellent sea boat. She
had a cross-planked bottom with plywood topsides and deck. After a couple of
years, her centerboard was removed and a shoal keel added which increased her
draft to 2’8”. A number of others were built to this design with the shoal
keel. One crossed from California to Hawaii, thence to the Panama Canal and up
majority of this family has been built in the V-bottom hull configuration.