Sketchbook 7-30-16 #1

Blue Fin 50 Passagemaker

Length 50’-2”
Beam 12’-8”
Draft 50”
Disp. Est. 43,000 lbs.
Sail Area 672 sq. ft. in 3 sails total

You would have to agree with me that these are strange times in the U.S. and with an election coming soon, hate is literally promoted as a patriotic reaction to a rapidly changing world and good ole religious ferment is having expressions of violence on an almost daily occurrence. This makes me a nervous guy, and I am not alone in this feeling and reaction. But any keen observer of politics, and world news would know that this is really nothing new, it simply gets more play on the outlets for information media, social, print and screen. No one knows what to believe any more in a world where lying is an everyday occurrence and any fool can promote whatever agenda they wish and in a keystroke it is disseminated around the earth almost instantly.

But enough of this nonsense, let’s think of a proper design to sail to the ends of the earth while we still can freely and safely and this design would be one of my proposals for the proper platform to do that with. I note that the Bluefin 50 Passagemaker first started with a sheet of paper on my drafting table in early 2012 (if I am to believe my notes), visited about every six months till current times and I just today blew the dust off her to show to you.


Hallmarks are a box keel with almost full headroom in the engine room, a heavy and tall John Deere diesel engine in the box, with shaft in a straight alleyway to the stern. Ballast in the bottom of the box keel in two forms the first layer on the proper bottom of the keel box being made of a full 1 ½” keel shoe of type 316 stainless steel. This affords grounding possibilities and upright stance on any shelving beach. Just above that in the bilge is another 8000 lbs. of lead shot in an epoxy matrix in the bottom of the box. The epoxy means we have a smooth and easy to clean bilge but with the keel shoe and the epoxy/lead shot you have a lot of stability in the base of the boat.

You can see easily the layout, a three cabin version, galley up, proper sleeping cabin forward sporting full head and shower and aft a sitting room with its own head, quarter berth and dinette table either functioning as a shaded and private living room in the evening or if your inclined to take crew they would have a private space away from the skipper and first mate.


A simple sailing rig, two jibs on roller furling, and a boom furled mainsail all this set on a tabernacle mast (just in case I take a notion to want to do some canal cruising), the sail panels small enough to be easily handled but adding to make literally twice the effective cruising range to the vessel.

Twin booms on the sheer that hinge out to 45 degree angles each side fly paravanes on a chain/nylon line pendants, this is the most effective and simple way to add extra stability to a vessel when the weather and sea conditions dictate the necessity.

She is purposeful, uses all the tricks in the book for an easy to use Passagemaker boat that is stable and has good capacity for cruising all waters, mid to high latitudes and for getting onto cruising while we still have the capability of doing so! Enjoy.. Sam


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Sketchbook 7-28-16 #1

Shearwater 38 M.S.

Length 37’-8”
Beam 12’-2”
Draft 48”
Disp. Est. 28,000 lbs.
Sail Area 248 total

I wandered across the Shearwater 38 design in my files today and spent a few hours working on a true motorsailer version of it. This drawing and its weight of customer input (in this case my own dreams) is tempered by a spring cruise that we did this year on our venerable old Fishing Troller the ‘Josephine’ and a really tough and rough crossing of the Straits of Georgia trying to get over to Nanaimo B.C. before the marine stores closed for the weekend (i.e. chasing some electrical parts that were threatening to spoil our trip). I should have stopped for the afternoon and finished travelling across the Strait Saturday morning, but I bet that the opposing wind and tide conditions in the straits would soften a bit once the tide changed to an ebb sometime around 2pm. I certainly missed that bet and conditions worsened considerably with the tide change leaving me in what some would categorize as true survival conditions. Suffice it to say that the highest speed we could manage in the seas and winds was a very slow 4 knots over the bottom and could only approach the short and steep chop at a 45 degree angle that tended to geometrically lengthen the crests between each wave set. If I allowed Josephine to work the seas on her own at the 45 degree angle it was breath-taking in its scary complex of conditions, but if I viewed out the port side looking out into the wave’s squarely I truly had to control my breathing. This was not my idea of fun at the tail end of what had been up to that time a very good early spring cruise north.

So back to my design, the sail panels are very small, for two reasons the first of which is to make the panels so manageable that I would actually raise the sails rather than leave them flaked on the booms. The second reason is that when running in conditions like the ones we found in the Straits of Georgia this spring I could keep the sail panels up, helping soften the buffeting of the waves on my hull, minimizing the extreme motion the waves imparted to the vessel and helping my diesel engine drive the boat in conditions that would gray the hair of a normal mortal. So with this reduced rig I can fantasize even about cruising in high-latitude waters and still keep myself and the boat intact and seaworthy. Take a look and maybe you might agree with me that a snug and tough inboard rig, a proper diesel engine in the bilge, my best mate in a comfortable seat nearby and some of the those out of body moments experienced on days when all others dare to venture! Enjoy.


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