The George Blog – 10 Most Recent Topics

10 Most Recent Topics
Deben 4¾ Tonner Plans posted in Design
New Design No. 178 – Starfire 23 posted in Design
Instructions Book 5 for Design No. 165 posted in Design
Re-caulking Dazy posted in The Odd Word
Addition/Extension posted in The Odd Word
Deben 4-Tonner posted in Design
Deben 4¾-Tonner – New Design posted in Design
Sapphire 27 posted in Design
Server Problems posted in News
A sad day for the UK posted in The Odd Word
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Deben 4¾ Tonner Plans

The first plans for this design are now on the site.

These show the basic longitudinal structures in plan and profile view, and drawings (including offsets) of the laminated frames.

The particular build for which these plans are drawn has an extended doghouse – the doghouse is extended by 200mm aft, though the companionway remains in the same place, giving a short entrance well as you come up from below into the cockpit.

This is a favourite arrangement of mine as it gives a sheltered area to transition from down below to the possibly cold and wet outside! It also makes a good sheltered place for the cook to stand mugs of soup and so on for the crew out in the cockpit.

There isn't a general arrangement drawing yet showing this arrangement – but I think it will improve the aesthetics as well as be very practical.
Date posted: Monday, 25 Feb 2019 | Comments (0)

New Design No. 178 – Starfire 23

We've added a new design, the Starfire 23 – the first of a class of lapstrake sailboats 6m (20') and above.

The boat is built on seven ply-sandwich ring frames that can easily be CNC cut. There are six strakes in all – a flat bottom strake, four strakes in the hull proper and a full-length coachroof strake, all of which can be CNC cut if wished; we will also provide the data to mark out and cut all the ply components by hand if a builder prefers.

The design features a full width coachroof which gives a spacious interior and simplifies construction considerably.

The accommodation has four berths, a small saloon, a good galley and a separate WC compartment.

Build plans for this design will be available soon.
Date posted: Saturday, 26 Jan 2019 | Comments (0)

Instructions Book 5 for Design No. 165

Up until now, current builders have been using #119 instructions for the later part of building their boats.

The new #165 Instructions Book 5 now carries the builder through to completing the deck and superstructure structures. It also covers turning the boat over, setting up, epoxying the interior, planing and bevelling the sheer and making the ballast keel pattern – there is also a section on casting your own lead keel.
Date posted: Saturday, 03 Nov 2018 | Comments (2)

Re-caulking Dazy

wgw_dazyRecently I've been helping a friend complete the restoration of his Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 14.

She has been completely re-timbered (new steam-bent frames), several new planks both port and starboard, and re-fastened throughout. She has also had new sidedeck carlings and beams and an all-new aft deck

The original sidedecks were refitted and the foredeck refastened; both were then covered with epoxy-bonded marine ply and Dynel cloth. The original coamings, washcoamings and trim have been refitted

As the photo shows, I re-caulked the hull – the last time I did any caulking was in 1969! It was a bit easier at 25 years of age, than it was at 73. Specially as to get at the bottom four of five seams I had to lay on my back on the concrete floor! And as you can see, I didn't have a traditional caulking mallet - my ordinary mallet had to serve.

Re-caulking a boat that has been out of the water for about five years is a bit tricky because the planking is very dry – you have to judge driving the cotton just enough to be secure, but not so hard that it causes damage as the planking swells up once she is afloat. To help this we wetted her out with rolls of wet sacking for about a week before caulking.

I guess I can put the caulking irons away for another 48 years now ...

Date posted: Friday, 21 Jul 2017 | Comments (1)


additionWe're building a small extension ("addition" in the US) on to our apartment to give us a proper front entrance hall and also a small second bathroom, with a shower.

The first good rainstorm produced water leaking under the door sill – between the sill and the floor plate.

Now you would think that a boatbuilder of my capabilities (?) could build a watertight glorified garden shed wouldn't you?

Very frustrating to say the least!! I though I had designed and built it to be properly watertight ...

Cheers -- George
Date posted: Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 | Comments (0)

Deben 4-Tonner

I've taken the opportunity over the holiday period to complete the recreated Construction Plan for the Deben 4-tonner.

This has been a long while coming – but it is hard to find the time to do this sort of work. Recreating a pen and ink drawing using a CAD program is surprisingly difficult: the two media are very different.

The original tracings of the Deben 4-tonner are 80 years old and very yellowed and fragile, so any form of printing is pretty much impossible – which makes it a scale rule and drawing exercise – which is very time consuming.

I have W. M. Blake's own scale rules – so I feel it is appropriate that I have been using them to recreate his drawings 80 years on.

big fishThe original construction drawing also has three amusing little fish sketches, one of which is reproduced here. All three are on the recreated drawing, as they were on the original.

Now I have the Gaff Rig Sail Plan and the Bermudian Rig Sail Plan to do – neither of which is as complicated as the construction drawing, so I hope to get them done in the next few days.

I will also be scanning two original Deben 4-tonner brochures, including specifications, which may be of interest to Deben owners and possible new builders.

I think that among the Deben 4-tonner papers is a corrected Table of Offsets, produced after lofting – if so I will reproduce this also.

These plans, together with the corrected offsets and the brochures provide sufficient material fo anyone who would actually like to build a Deben 4-tonner today.

Cheers – and a Happy New Year – George

Update 02:01:2017 – Gaff and Bermudian Sail Plans completed and added!
Date posted: Saturday, 31 Dec 2016 | Comments (1)

Deben 4¾-Tonner – New Design

I have just added another new design – the Deben 4¾-Tonner, inspired by the original Deben 4-tonner, the design of which was commissioned by my father in 1936 from W. M. Blake.

Bringing together the best of traditional style sailboats with modern construction techniques, this new design gives builders the opportunity to construct a traditional long-keel, round-bilge sailboat, based on a truly proven design (35 Debens were built between 1937 and 1960), with the structures simplified and intended for wood/epoxy construction.

In working through the design, I have also put together a list of all the Deben 4-tonners. As time permits, I will also be adding links to original photographs of these boats (where I have them) and news of their current status.

Date posted: Sunday, 25 Dec 2016 | Comments (1)

Sapphire 27

Some years ago we designed a super-classy modern sailboat called the Sapphire 27 – our Design No. 056.

Sapphire She was exhibited at the 1995 Southampton Boat Show. And she proved to be an extremely fast and capable sailboat. Unfortunately the company that marketed the boat went out of business and no more were built.

I think that is really sad, because she is a great boat. She has sailed thousands of sea miles from England to Spain and back, crossing the Bay of Biscay many times. She has more than fulfilled the promise of her early sail trials.

I always thought that the original design had one major drawback – she deliberately had only good sitting headroom down below. I reckon at 27' (8.23m), one should be able to have reasonable standing headroom throughout the accommodation, especially if the boat is to be for family use.

So we redesigned the boat to have a little more freeboard and coachroof height – so she has good headroom throughout. We simplified the ballast keel and re-did the structures so that a variety of interiors could be accommodated without structural alterations; and we simplified the rig somewhat.

Other than that she is the same great seaworthy and fast sailboat. She is not difficult to build – but as home builders know only too well, 27' is quite a lot of boat in terms of time to build.

Over the next few months we will be developing the build plans and instructions so that they become available as a download.

Date posted: Friday, 25 Nov 2016 | Comments (2)

Server Problems

The company that hosts had a serious mysql server problem and data became corrupted – which basically means that we have lost all database entries from 9th July to 29th September 2016.

So any member who registered between these dates is no longer registered. And members who purchased designs in that period will no longer be able to access them.

Ironically, automatic backups are created every 90 days and the next backup was due on the 1st October – so this problem couldn't really have come at a worse moment in respect of lost data.

So if you were a member prior to 9th July 2016, but purchased plans in the period 9th July to 29th September, and can on longer access them, please let me know and I will add them back to your Design Portfolio.

If you became a member between 9th July and 29th September and purchased plans, pleas let me know and i will re-instate your membership and access to the plans you bought. You will need to give me your UserName; I will issue a temporary password.

And if you became a member, but did not purchase plans, also let me know and I will re-instate your membership. You will need to give me your UserName; I will issue a temporary password.

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We will be taking steps to make a local backup of our database more frequently than the 90 days which the server does. We had been under the impression that the server backup was a continuous process, rather like Apple's Time Capsule – we were wrong ...

Date posted: Friday, 30 Sep 2016 | Comments (0)

A sad day for the UK

Vast sadness at the Brexit vote.

I've always though of myself as a European – now suddenly I wake up to find I'm soon not going to be one any more.

A horrible campaign ridden with lies, deceit and misinformation. An understandable but misguided – and in the end, useless – protest against the non-caring elite.

Very depressing ...
Date posted: Tuesday, 28 Jun 2016 | Comments (0)