The Magic of Maine

by Nick Scheuer (Moby Nick)

Page 1

It was a deeply satisfying close reach under a mild breeze over to Pulpit Harbor. ARDEA, the other Shearwater in our company, was able to make better progress to windward due to her foil leeboards and sail right in. TRUE NORTH trimmed her sheets as we drew near Pulpit Harbor, tacked back out once, then slipped in on the "wrong" side of the rocks, thanks to our very shoal draft. We were greeted by an osprey in the nest atop a high rock, the namesake "pulpit", right at the entrance to the harbor. A selection of wonderful boats lay within, wooden sailing yachts, Lobster Yachts, and a cruise-worn Friendship Sloop.

The couple in the RESOLUTE seemed as interested in our boat as we were in theirs so we eagerly accepted their invitation to raft up for a gam. They had sailed up from Essex, MA for a Friendship Sloop Rendezvous in Rockland. Other sloops were expected, and when the second, crewed by two young children and their father, Charlie, set up a 12-ga cannon on the RESOLUTE's afterdeck and fired a salute. Gayle and I greatly enjoyed the spirit of these Friendship Sloop sailors. A fine passage, a dramatic sunset, an osprey for Harbormaster, a Friendship Sloop with a cannon; a magic wand couldn't have made our first day any better. While you enjoy the sunset, which Gayle thoughtfully filmed for your enjoyment, let me tell you more about this brace of Shearwater yawls, ARDEA and TRUE NORTH, which set out from Rockland, ME on July 25, 2004 for a two week cruise all over Penobscot Bay. Only eleven of these marvelous cruisers were built by Edey & Duff of Mattapoiset, MA over a decade beginning in the mid-1980's. Shearwater was a collaboration between Phil Bolger and Peter Duff, intended as the "Big Sister" to Dovekie, an earlier Bolger design which E&D started building in the late 1970's. No two Shearwaters are alike.


Sunset at Pulpit Harbor promises a fine cruise

ARDEA, Hull #8, was built for Harry and Alice Mote. The basic rig is the original cat-yawl design, to which they've added a small overlapping jib for use in light airs. All of the halyards lead inside the masts, with those on the main mast leading aft to the cockpit.

Perhaps ARDEA's most noteworthy feature are the leeboards, an NACA assymetric foil of Harry's design. They reduce leeway to an extent that no other Shearwater is able to match her performance to windward.

Interestingly, ARDEA was built without the bow centerboard at Harry's request. Bow centerboards are a feature first incorporated in Dovekie about midway through the production run in order to correct excessive leeway when reefed when the leeboards partially raised for a shoal bottom. However, Harry felt that Shearwater's center of lateral plane, in relation to her rig, did not require the additional centerboard for balance. Even more interesting is a statement Phil Bolger once wrote in another context, "- - anything that generates eddies forward of the point of maximum beam will slow the boat". ARDEA is fast. Her saloon has a beautiful cedar ceiling, with a bulkhead forward of the berths presenting a striking oval passage to the forward hatch where the ground tackle is stowed. Galley cabinetry, all exceedingly lightweight, incorporates woven cane for ventilation.


ARDEA waits for some wind

ARDEA towed a small plywood flat-bottomed peapod (or double-ended dory) built by Harry some years ago and has withstood the test of time.

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