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BOAT SAILING

IN

FAIR WEATHER AND FOUL

BY

CAPTAIN
A. J. KENEALY





CHAPTER III

TRIAL SPIN IN A CAT-BOAT

CHAPTER IV

 

BEFORE GETTING a catboat under way from an anchorage, or casting adrift from moorings, the captain should see all gear clear, that the centerboard works easily in its trunk, and that oars, rowlocks and a baler are aboard. An oar is very handy for turning a boat's head round in a light air when she has barely steerage way on; and in case you are confronted with a flat calm, a pair of oars are indispensable for working homeward. A boathook, too, should not be neglected. There is a story that I heard in the forecastle, of a mean old Dutch skipper who left his new anchor ashore on purely economic grounds. He was afraid it might rust, I suppose. The result of this thrifty dodge was the loss of his vessel on the Goodwin Sands. My counsel to the young boat-skipper is to see that his anchor is snugly stowed away forward, and that his chain -- if his cable is of chain -- is properly shackled to the ring of the anchor, and that the inner end of the cable is fast to the heel of the mast by a lashing that can be cut if it is necessary to slip at any time. If the cable is of rope, take care that it is not made fast to the ring with a slippery hitch. Anchors cost money, and a bend that will not come adrift is quite simple to make.

Cast the tyers off the mainsail and hoist it, pulling up best on the throat halyards and then "swigging" on the peak till the after-leech is taut and the sail begins to wrinkle slightly at the throat. While you are setting the sail, let the sheet fly. Next coil down the throat and peak halyards clear for running, and see that the mainsheet is free from kinks and coiled so that it can be eased off at a moment's notice without any danger of jamming in the block. A kink in the mainsheet has capsized many a catboat. Before you reeve a new mainsheet, stretch it well and take all the kinks out of it. Take care that the running parts of all sheets and halyards are coiled uppermost, with the ends underneath.

Let us suppose that there is a nice breeze blowing and that your intention is to essay a four or five mile beat to windward, and then conclude your trial trip with a run home. Cast adrift from your moorings or get your anchor aboard, as the case may be, and start out on whichever tack is convenient. When on the starboard tack the boom is over to port, and vice versa. Lower the centerboard and fill away on the boat with one hand on the tiller and the other holding the mainsheet, which should never be belayed, but may be held by half a turn round the cleat until the boat comes nearly head to wind, at the same time lowering away your sail and making preparations for taking in a reef.

If you are a novice, and the water is neither too rough nor too deep and the breeze seems likely to last, and you think your craft is not up to carrying a whole mainsail, there is no reason why you should not drop anchor and reef your sail in leisurely and comfortable fashion. If you feel at all nervous take in a couple of reefs.

After sail has been shortened set the mainsail, hoist up the anchor again and thresh her at it. You will observe that she inclines less to the puffs under the pressure of the reduced sail, and that the lee gunwale is always well clear of the water. Watch the boat well; look out for coming squalls, and be prepared to ease off the sheet and luff up instantly should occasion arise. If there are other boats in company with you tacking toward the same point you must remember that those on the starboard tack have the right of way, and thus when you are on the port tack you must keep clear of them. I would not advise a novice in a boat on the port tack to try and cross the bow of a boat on the starboard tack unless there is plenty of room. Distances on the water are deceptive to the tyro, and it is well to run no risk of collision. If the boat on the port tack will not keep away for you when you are on the starboard tack, and seems to be making for you with the intention of running you down, keep cool. Stand by to put your helm hard down so as to luff right up in the wind or even to go about. If you put your helm up and keep away, and a collision ensues, you would probably have to pay all the damage. The strict legal rule is that the vessel on the starboard tack must keep her course and neither luff nor bear up. If this rule is observed you will be within the letter of the law. In yacht racing a yacht on the port tack can be disqualified if she is struck by a yacht which is on the starboard tack, no matter how the striking happened; if she herself strikes a yacht which is on the starboard tack; if she causes a yacht which is on the starboard tack to bear away to avoid a collision. It is apparent, therefore, that no wise helmsman will run any risks. If he is on the port tack he will give way with a good grace and try to look pleasant. It is better than a collision, which is sure in a brisk breeze to do a lot of damage, and may possibly cause serious personal injuries or even loss of life.

The beginner may, after threshing to windward for an hour or so, begin to feel homesick. Let him then put his helm up, easing the mainsheet off at the same time until he gets the boom at a right angle with the mast and the boat dead before the wind. He will at this time have to pay particular attention to the steering, giving the boat "small helm" and giving it to her quickly in order to keep her steady on her course. Steering a catboat in a stiff breeze and lumpy water requires both skill and experience. I should counsel a green hand to lower the peak of the mainsail and run her under easy sail until he acquires the art. In that case, should he accidentally gybe the boom over, the result is not likely to be particularly disastrous; whereas, if the sail were peaked up, the boom might snap in two or the boat herself might broach to.

The centerboard should be hoisted up into the trunk when running before the wind, and the boom should be kept well topped up. In some small catboats there is no topping lift and the sail has only one halyard, which hoists both the throat and peak. This is a faulty rig. Throat and peak halyards should be separate, and a topping lift should always be fitted.

I think it my duty to warn the inexperienced boat sailer against gybing his little craft. It is a maneuver that requires skill and care, especially in a brisk breeze. If you must gybe, lower the peak so as to "scandalize" the sail, and haul the boom well aboard as the helm is put up. As the wind shifts from dead astern and comes on the other quarter, carrying the boom over, ease off the sheet handsomely and take care to meet her promptly with the helm as she flies to, which is invariably the case. You can then hoist the peak up again.

If you have women and children aboard the boat, gybing should never be resorted to if the wind is strong. It is far preferable to luff up into the wind and tack and then keep off again.

In coming to anchor or picking up moorings make the boat describe a good sweep, so that she may come up in the wind and lose her way exactly where you wish. You can then either let go the anchor or pick up the moorings, as the case may be. Then lower the sail, furl it snugly, put on the sail cover, stow away everything neatly, haul taut the halyards and the mainsheet, which you should coil up, and leave everything tidy and in readiness for getting under way next time.

When, on a wind with a light breeze and in smooth water, it becomes necessary to heave to to let a boat come alongside, haul the mainsheet flat aft and haul the fore and jib sheets a-weather. If in a fresh breeze, flatten in the mainsheet, let the jib sheet flow, and haul the fore sheet a-weather.

For small open boats the anchor should weigh one pound for every foot of length up to twenty feet length. If the boat is ballasted, another half pound per foot should be added.

If you have the misfortune to get stuck fast in the mud or on a sand bank, you must act quickly. If you ground while running before the wind, lower your sails at once. If you have a dinghy, run out your kedge anchor, with a line fast to it, astern into deep water and try to haul off. Work the helm to and fro. Run from side to side so as to loosen the boat from her muddy bed. If the tide is rising and your kedge does not drag, you will be sure to get off.

If you run aground while close-hauled, let go the mainsheet, put the helm hard over and try to back her off with the jib, at the same time using a boathook or oar to try to shove her into deep water. If you have any passengers, concentrate all their weight as far aft as possible. Send out a kedge, and let all hands clap to on the line. If the tide is on the ebb, you may probably have to wait till high water. Now comes a ticklish crisis. If your craft is beamy, with full bilges, she will take the ground and lie easily as the water recedes. If, on the other hand, your little ship is of the deep and narrow kind and is not provided with "legs," you will have to improvise something in that direction to prevent her from careening on her side. "Legs" are not fashionable on this side of the Atlantic. They are props of wood shod with iron, one end of which rests on the bottom, while the other fits under the channels, or is lashed to a shroud. If you have no other spar available, unbend the head of the mainsail from the gaff. Stick it in the mud jaws downward close to the rigging and lash it firmly to a shroud. List the boat over to the side the gaff is out by guying over the boom and putting any extra weight you happen to have on the same side. The boat will then take the ground in safety.


CHAPTER IV

THE YAWL RIG

 

THOUGH I recommend the catboat as a general craft for knocking about and having a good time in, I am not blind to the advantages of the yawl rig. In fact, the bold young seaman contemplating long cruises and sometimes venturing out of sight of land will find that the yawl rig possesses no mean merit. For singlehanded cruising its worth has long been recognized. The sails are so divided that they are small and easy to handle, but this division of sail inevitably decreases the speed and also the weatherly qualities of the boat. If we take a catboat and change her into a yawl rig she will not be nearly so fast, nor will she point so close to the wind. There are fathoms of scientific reasons for this with which I will not bother my readers. Suffice it to say that it has been demonstrated practically over and over again.

But although the yawl-rigged sailing boat of the smallest type has at least three sails -- foresail, mainsail and mizzen -- yet the last named, after once being set, practically takes care of itself. The mainsail, too, is quite easily handled, the whole sail being in the body of the boat. The foresail sometimes gives a little annoyance in taking it in, if the boat is pitching her nose under in a steep sea. This, however, is unavoidable. Headsails on all sailing vessels, big or little, have never been conducive to dry skins under certain conditions of wind and sea. The yawl is always under control, and in this attribute lies her chief charm. When a squall is bearing down all one has to do is to lower the mainsail and pass a tyer or two round it to keep it muzzled. When the gust strikes the boat she is under easy sail and is not likely to come to grief. If the squall is of exceptional strength, ease off the fore sheet and keep the sail shaking a little until you have felt the full strength of the wind. Act then as judgment may dictate. If the blow is very heavy and seems likely to last it may be necessary to take in the foresail and the mizzen, and close reef the mainsail.

If you are sailing with the wind abeam and a squall smites you it may not be necessary to lower the mainsail at all. Ease the sheet right off so as to spill the wind, and you will pass safely through the ordeal without parting a rope yarn.

In getting under way or in working up to anchorage in a crowded harbor or roadstead the yawl rig is one of the handiest known, for by having the mainsail furled the speed of the boat is reduced so that you can pick your way among the craft without danger of collision or striking flaws. So many famous cruises have been made in small yawl-rigged craft that there can be no doubt about their adaptability for such work, and to the man anxious for more ambitious achievement than merely sailing in rivers, bays and sheltered harbors, I most certainly would recommend the rig.

Despite the yawl's certain safety for single handed cruising, I am not in favor of sailing by myself. I prefer a congenial companion to share whatever pleasure or peril may be encountered. Of course one must exercise some wise discrimination in the choice of a cruising companion; for when once at sea there is no way of ridding yourself of an objectionable mate except throwing him overboard, which would not be exactly fair to him. Besides, he might throw you overboard, which would be bad for you. There are, however, hundreds of good yachtsmen and boatmen who have made long voyages alone and have written charming accounts of their nautical expeditions. John McGregor's Voyage Alone in the Yawl Rob Roy and E. Middleton's Cruise of the Kate (also a yawl) are two entertaining books of sea travel which I heartily recommend to those who contemplate sailing by themselves.

While I am in favor of a catboat for general purposes in the neighborhood of New York, yet when long distance trips are to be made the yawl rig will, on the whole, be found preferable.

That keen sportsman, Mr. W.H.H. Murray, is a firm believer in the yawl rig for cruising. In OUTING for May, 1891, there appeared a most valuable article from his facile pen entitled "How I Sail Champlain." The Champlain is of sharpie model, thirty feet on the waterline. She is of remarkably strong construction, her oaken keel being sixteen by twenty inches amidships and tapering properly fore and aft. Through this keel is sunk a mortise four inches wide and sixteen feet long, through which the centerboard works. This "fin" is of oak planking thick enough to easily enter the case when hoisted, but leaving little space between it and the case when in use. The centerboard is sixteen feet long, four feet deep forward and seven feet aft, and it has fifteen hundred pounds of iron for ballast.

Mr. Murray says:

"When the centerboard is lowered this mass of metal is eight feet below her waterline, and guarantees a stability adequate to resist any pressure which the wind can put upon her sails and the sails withstand. Of course I am speaking with the supposition that the boat receives, when under stress, judicious management."

 

The centerboard, which weighs two thousand pounds, is lifted by a "differential hoist," by means of which

"the helmsman, with one hand on the tiller, can, if need occurs, with the other easily run the heavy board rapidly up into the case. The value of this adjustment can only be appreciated by a cruising yachtsman. It places him in perfect control of his craft under all conditions of varying depth of water and difficult weather. In a heavy seaway; in rapidly shoaling water on an unknown coast; when suddenly compelled to beat up against a swiftly flowing tide; or when finding himself unexpectedly near a reef, unobserved through carelessness or not plainly charted -- this hoist is simply priceless. It is not over expensive, and can easily be adjusted to any yacht."

 

The cockpit is roomy, and, because of its high coamings, is also deep. The cabin is sixteen feet long, the forward half being permanently roofed. The after half of the cabin is constructed, as to its roof, in equal divisions. The forward half is tracked, and the after half is grooved to run upon it. Mr. Murray finds this arrangement most convenient, as it gives to the yacht such coolness and comfort as cannot be obtained in a cabin permanently roofed. The whole roof is so fitted to the coamings that it can be quickly and easily removed and stowed, leaving the yacht to be sailed as an open one, decked from stem to midship section. This arrangement is an admirable one for harbor sailing in bright weather or for racing.

Regarding the handiness of Champlain Mr. Murray says:

"All yachtsmen know what a disagreeable job it is to reef a sloop or catboat in rough water, and from this cause many skippers will delay reefing as long as possible and often until too late. And because of this many accidents happen yearly. In this respect the yawl rig shows to the greatest advantage and commends itself to all sensible yachtsmen. For when the moment has come to reef, if the boat is running free her head is brought up to the wind, the mizzen and jib sheets trimmed in, and with the main boom well inboard the pennants are lashed and the reef points tied down, when she is let off again and goes bowling along on her former course. In Champlain the three reef cringles on the leech of the mainsail are all within easy reach from the cockpit, and the skipper, without leaving the tiller, can lash the pennants, and hence, with only one assistant, the three reefs can successively, if need be, be tied down. Indeed, so well do the jib and mizzen sail work in unison, that unless the wind is very puffy and variable, the helm can be lashed and she will hold her course steadily onward while the skipper is tying down the after reef points. It is a matter of pleasant surprise to one not accustomed to this rig how easily and rapidly a reef in most trying conditions can be taken in the mainsail of a yawl whose sails are well balanced.

"Moreover, unless the squall is a very heavy one, a yawl can be eased through it without reefing at all. For when the wind comes roaring down and the white line of froth and spray is right upon you, the boat can be brought up to the wind and the mainsheet eased handsomely out, and with jib and mizzen drawing finely and the main boom off to leeward the wind whistles harmlessly between the masts, while the yacht, only slightly disturbed in her balance, sails steadily along. Or, if the squall is a heavy one and there is no time to reef down before it strikes, the yacht can be luffed up, the mainsail let down at a run, and with the belly of the sail held within the lazy lines the yacht is under safe conditions. But ordinarily it is better to reef or even tie down the mainsail snugly, and as in a yawl it can be done rapidly and easily there is no reason why it should not be done and everything be kept shipshape.

"In cruising I often sailed Champlain under jib and mizzen alone, with the mainsail stowed and the boom crutched and tied snugly down amidships, especially in the night time when it was very dark and the weather foul. Under this scant canvas with a favorable wind she would sail along at a very fair rate of speed and even make good progress in beating up against quite a sea, and I need not say that it adds greatly to the pleasure of cruising in a small yacht with only one man for your crew to feel that you have your boat in a condition of perfect control. It is evident that with no other rig can this condition to the same degree be obtained or such a sense of absolute security be enjoyed.

"To an amateur nothing is more trying than coming to or getting away from moorings, especially if the wind is blowing strongly and the anchorage ground is crowded with other yachts, not to speak of vessels of commerce, bateaux, tugs and ferryboats. Under such circumstances it is no easy matter for any, save an expert, to work a sloop or catboat or schooner safely out through the crowded harbor or basin to the open water beyond; and it is all the more trying to a skipper if there is a strong tide running at the moment.

"But with a yawl the difficulties of the situation are almost wholly removed. For with mainsail unlashed he can hoist his anchor or cast off from moorings, and under his two small sails work his boat out slowly and safely from the jammed basin or crowded space within the breakwater. He must be a tyro indeed who cannot safely manage a yawl under the worst possible conditions of this sort.

"In cruising, if the weather is threatening it is well to carry a single reef in the mainsail until it clears up, for a yawl works well under such a sail with jib and mizzen furled. In such trim the yacht is as a catboat with a small sail, and as her main boom is shorter than a catboat's or a sloop's she can be worked in a very heavy sea with her boom's end well above the rollers. And I know of nothing more trying to a skipper than to sail his craft with his boom's end half the time under water. In such a condition the spars, rigging and boat are under a stress and strain which every prudent skipper dreads and seeks to avoid, and it speaks volumes in favor of the yawl rig to say that with it such a trying condition can never arise. Indeed a yawl under a double-reefed mainsail alone is in perfect trim for scudding. If well modeled she will neither yaw nor thrash the water with her boom's end, but career along almost with the speed of the wind itself. For her canvas is low down, as it should be, and her boom carried well above the seething water. In this shape, moreover, she can lay a course with the wind well over her quarter without strain, and it must be a very hard blow and rough water indeed to give anxiety to any on board of her."

 

That the Champlain is a capital sea boat is beyond question. Her owner thus describes a run on the lower St. Lawrence in returning from a cruise to the Saguenay:

 

"We passed Baie St. Paul in the evening, whirled along by a rising gale blowing directly up the river. The night was pitchy dark, the tide running fiercely on the ebb at the rate of five miles an hour at the least. The water was very wild, as one can easily imagine. Stemming such a current it would not do to shorten sail if one wished to pass Cape Tourmente and get into quiet water, the Isle of Orleans and the north shore, so we let every sail stand, cleated the sheets tightly and let her drive. How she did tear onward! The froth and spume lay deep on her pathways and afterdeck. The waves crested fiercely, rolling against the current, and the black water broke into phosphor as we slashed through it. I do not recall that I ever saw a yacht forced along more savagely. How the water roared under the ledges and along the rough shores of Tourmente! And I was profoundly grateful when we were able to bear off to starboard and run into the still water back of Orleans. Perhaps that midnight cup of coffee did not taste well! Its heat ran through my chilled veins like Chartreuse. I can taste it yet ! "

 

The ordinary jib-and-mainsail-rigged boat, as seen in the waters round New York, might easily be improved upon. In the first place, the majority of them are too much after the skimming-dish pattern to suit my fancy. Then the mast is stepped as a rule too far forward for the best work, and renders reefing difficult, as she will not "lay to" comfortably under her headsail, whereas if the mast of a boat is stepped well aft, cutter fashion, the boat will lay to quite well, and reefing the mainsail is easy. The American sloop rig is open to the same criticism, and that is why the English way of rigging a single-sticker has been adopted in all our new racing craft. To my mind there is nothing more hideous than a "bobbed" jib. It renders good windward work impossible, as it causes a boat to sag off to leeward and is in other ways a detriment. A small boat with the mast stepped in the right place and carrying a jib and a mainsail is, however, a very satisfactory craft, good at beating to windward as well as reaching or running. I should advise that a "spitfire" or storm jib be carried along whenever a sail of any distance is contemplated, and also a gaff headed trysail, so that the adventurous skipper may be always prepared for storm and stress of weather. This extra "muslin" takes up little room when properly rolled up.

The simplest and safest rig in the world is the leg-of-mutton sail. It is the one fitted exactly for river work, where one is sure to encounter puffs of some force as ravines are reached or valleys passed. To amateurs it is the sail par excellence for experimenting with, for no matter how many blunders are made a mishap is well nigh impossible. The leg-of-mutton sail has no gaff, nor need it have a boom. There is little or no leverage aloft, and all the power for mischief it has can be taken out of it by slacking off the sheet and spilling the wind. The learner might with advantage practice with a sail of this shape until he becomes proficient. If he eventually determines upon a jib and mainsail or yawl rig for permanent use, he may avoid wasting it by having it made over into a storm trysail.

I would strongly advise every amateur skipper to shun the ballast-fin device as he would shun cold poison or a contagious disease. That is unless he intends to go in for a regular racing career, in which case the cups carried off might possibly compensate him for the woe, the anguish and the premature gray hairs inseparable from this contrivance. Mind you these remarks of mine apply only to amateurs and not to grizzled sailing masters of yachts who fully understand how to navigate and handle all types of pleasure craft. Theoretically the ballast-fin has many obvious advantages.

 

TYPE OF FIN-KEEL.

The fin consists of a plate of iron or steel to the base of which is affixed a bulb of lead, which, being in the best possible place, insures stability. The fin proper gives lateral resistance in an almost perfect form, for there is no deadwood either forward or aft and the least possible amount of wetted surface. I remember when a little boy in a fishing village on the bank of a landlocked arm of the sea, where the water was always smooth, how we youngsters came to appreciate fully the worth of an improvised ballast-fin. We used to enjoy the diversion of model yacht sailing and the delights of many regattas. I owned one of the smartest models in the village. She was rigged as a cutter with outside lead, self-steering gear and all the latest maritime improvements, and she generally came out a winner. I tell you I used to put on a great many airs on this account, and as a natural result was duly hated and envied by my playmates, who owned more or less tubby craft that could scarcely get out of their own way.

But the day arrived when my pride was destined to have a fall. A shrewd youth of Scottish extraction came to our village for the summer with his father. He had the keenest, greenest eye you ever saw, and one of those money-making noses that are unmistakable. His whole physiognomy and form indicated shrewdness. He mingled with us for some time on the beach, mudlarked with the boys and watched our model yacht matches with undisguised interest. We all got the notion that he was an inland landlubber, though it is only fair to him to acknowledge that he never told us so in so many words.

One Saturday afternoon, after my little cutter had surpassed herself by distancing all her opponents, I indulged in some unusually tall talk, and challenged each and every one of my rivals to a race across the "creek," as the sheet of water was called, offering to give them four minutes' start, the distance being half a mile.

To my surprise, our green-eyed friend came along and accepted the challenge, saying that on the following Saturday he would produce a craft that would knock spots out of my cutter without any time allowance whatever, and without the aid of a longer hull or larger sail spread. He also remarked that he had a month's pocket money saved up, and was willing to wager it on the result. I accepted his offer without superfluous parleying, and in my mind's eye was already investing that pocket money of his in various little treasures for which I hankered. But, for all that, I made every preparation for the fray, using very fine sandpaper and pot lead till my boat's bottom was beautifully burnished, and seeing that her sails and gear were in tip top racing condition. All the boys wondered what sort of a craft my opponent would bring out. He had never been seen with a boat of any description. We laughed in our sleeves and whispered it about that he would probably produce one of those showy vessels that one sees in the city toy store, and that generally sail on their beam ends.

The hour for the race arrived. The boys were all excited and flocked to the water's edge, whence the start was to be made. There was a goodly throng of them present, and, notwithstanding their contempt for the Scotchman, it was no doubt the desire of their hearts that some of my overweening conceit should be taken down a couple of pegs or so. Presently my rival appeared on the scene, carrying in his arms the queerest looking craft any of us had ever seen. Her hull was shaped like an Indian birch bark canoe, except that to the rounded bottom a keel was fastened. A groove was made in the keel, in which an oblong piece of slate was placed, to the bottom of which a strip of lead was secured. The rig was that of a cutter, and I noticed that her sails were well cut. She looked quite businesslike, and when she was measured we found she was two inches shorter than my cutter.

There was a nice, fresh westerly wind blowing, and quite a lop of sea running for diminutive craft such as were about to race. I had already deemed it prudent to take in a reef in the mainsail of my vessel, and set a No.2 jib, but my Scotch friend said he thought his boat would carry whole sail without any trouble. The course was south, so the craft had to sail with the wind abeam. The start was made, my boat being to windward, as I had won the toss. And that was all I did win. The "ballast fin" craft beat my cutter so badly that even at this distance of time my ears tingle and I feel ashamed. While my boat was burying herself, her rival took the curling wavelets right buoyantly, standing up to her work valiantly, and moving two feet to the cutter's one. We accompanied the model yachts in rowboats, keeping well to leeward, but quite close enough to observe their movements accurately. That was my first experience of the ballast-fin. We all became converts, and shoal, round-bottomed craft with slate fins to give stability and lateral resistance, were thenceforward the fashion. My successful rival, we afterward discovered, was the son of a naval architect of repute, and he is now practicing his father's profession with a good deal of success.

Thus I have not a word to say against the ballast-fin so far as racing is concerned, but in cruising the average man who sails for pleasure wants a craft that he can haul out of the water easily to scrub, clean and paint. Now, if you put a ballast-fin boat on the mud for any one or all of these purposes she requires a "leg" on each side to keep her upright, and also supports at the bow and stern to prevent her from turning head over heels. The stationary fin always represents your true draught of water. It is always with you, and is an integral portion of the boat's hull. If you happen to get stuck on a shoal -- and this is a contingency that has occurred frequently to the most skillful and careful navigator -- in thick weather, for instance, your lot is by no means to be envied. This is particularly true if the tide is falling fast. The boat would go over on her side as soon as the water got low enough. The crew and passengers might have to wait aboard until high water, and a precious uncomfortable time they would pass I am certain. When the flood tide made it might be a moot question whether the boat would float or fill with water.

The movable centerplate will always let you know when you get on a shoal, and will in nearly all cases give you warning in time to avoid grounding, which is always an unpleasant predicament, and one entailing much labor. Then, again, the anchorages at which small boats can safely lie are generally pretty shallow at low water and the ballast-fin is found to be mighty inconvenient for such places.

 

SAIL PLAN OF FIN-KEEL.

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1.0 07/30/00

Edited by Craig O'Donnell.
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