Forums: Whisstock Built Boats: 4 Tonner 'Saskia' - Gaff Rig Size New Topic Post Reply
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Posted: Mar 25th, 2015 at 11:58   |   Subject: 4 Tonner 'Saskia' - Gaff Rig Size
I am about to view 'Saskia' a 4 Tonner built, I believe, in 1946 with a view to acquiring her.
She is gaff rigged; in the photos I have seen, she seems a little under-canvassed - the main seems very small.
Does a sail plan for the gaff rigged version of the design exist against which I can check what I have seen ?
Many thanks.
Posted: Mar 27th, 2015 at 11:58   |   Subject: Saskia
Hi Nick

I have the original sail plan tracing - I've been intending to re-draw this and put it on the site for ages, but it's hard to find the time. The tracings are very fragile and I don't want to unroll them too often!

But I do also have an original blueprint and here are the rig dimensions - she was originally sloop rigged with a single staysail set on the bowsprit end.

Original mast length 31'0". This set a jackyard topsail. My father reduced the production length to 29'0" - the area of the main and staysail remained the same - just no topsail - he simply took 2'0" off the top.

Main luff: 13'6"
Main foot: 15'0"
Main head: 12'0"
Main leach: 24'9"
Main area: 210 sq ft

Mast rake aft: 12"

Staysail luff: 20'0"
Staysail foot: 10'0"
Staysail leach" 15'6"
Staysail area: 75 sq ft.

The bowsprit length from the FP (effectively the outside of the stemhead) to the forestay attachment was 2'6".

As with many boats of this era, the Debens tended to develop excessive weather helm (by today's standards) when pressed. So some were undoubtedly modified over the years - longer bowsprit/shorter main boom/less mast rake - being the most usual. Also many of the gaff rigged Debens were cutter rigged, with a longer bowsprit.

Saskia was Yard No. 336 and was built for Mr. T C Riggs, launched in September 1946. She was named after his daughter I think. She was originally cutter rigged.

Just looking at the photo of Cyrelia (1938) sailing at Woodbridge - Ted Marsh at the helm, my father braced in the cockpit - I don't think they were under canvassed - she is going pretty well!

Hope this helps. Perhaps you would let me know if you buy her and how she is doing?

Best regards


Posted: Mar 27th, 2015 at 14:30   |   Subject: Saskia
Many thanks, George.

I'm having a look at Saskia next week and will let you know what I find. From the photo I've seen, she looks to be in sound usable condition - having been well maintained by only 3 owners throughout her life. Currently kept on the Cleddau in Pembrokeshire (where I would be keeping her as well if the acquisition goes through).

Posted: Apr 2nd, 2015 at 20:29   |   Subject: Saskia
Hi George,
I had a good look at Saskia yesterday - what a delight !
She is structurally in first class condition and only needs a bit of cosmetic work doing. She is in a very original condition,her second owner (the present is only the third) owned her for over 50 years and she hasn't had a single season out of the water and is in sound sailing condition.
In the end, we decided not to proceed with acquiring her but I believe that her owner is about to put her on the market, so you may well see ads appearing soon.