Low Tide

Yacht Designer Tad Roberts' Web Log

Author Archives: admin

Cruising the West Coast of Vancouver Island by M. Wylie Blanchet.

Cruising the West Coast of Vancouver Island By M. Wylie Blanchet Published in Rudder Magazine of December 1936 Is cruising the West Coast of Vancouver Island feasible for the small cruiser? “Quite feasible,” I thought, when I examined the charts a few years ago in search of new waters. “Quite feasible,” I continued to think,[.....]

What is a “Bristol Channel Cutter”?

Marketing doublespeak…….We’ll build a fat little boat and call it a “Bristol Channel Cutter”, that’ll bring in the rubes……And it did and still does. The Hess designs are in reality pretty much the exact opposite of the original Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter’s, in that they are wide with lot’s of form stability and minimal outside[.....]


Sister Keelson installation by Sterling Shipyard. The sister keelson’s were a west coast substitute for floor timbers, adopted to do the floor’s job and deal with some other problems. Floors do at least two things; connect the two sides together across the centreline, and connect the keel to the hull bottom. The sister keelsons do[.....]


December Tow. I think of it as a tow, but it wasn’t all towing, we got the old MD2B to run for a few hours and even sailed a bit. It’s not far, Cadboro Bay to Silva Bay, about 45 miles as the crow flies. But it was December in BC, the tow was a[.....]


Paper Presented at the January 12, 1950 Meeting of the Society of Small Craft Designers TUNNEL STERNS William Garden, N.A., M.E. Shallow draft power boats are one of the most interesting and poorly understood problems with which the naval architect is confronted. The design and construction of such a tunnel constitutes a subject which can[.....]

Saving Old Boats

Assessing the significance of a vessel From: Recording Historic Vessels by National Historic Ships, UK. The goal of researching a vessel’s history is to gain a fuller understanding of the significance of: A) The vessel’s uniqueness or typicality in terms of its type and function. Is she a surviving example of a once-common type or[.....]

Scow Schooner hull design

Making a simple cardstock hull model of my 32′ x 11′ cruising scow schooner. Explaining a shape can sometimes be difficult. So I encourage potential builders to make a simple model. Even something very crude teaches all kinds of lessons in how a boat might go together. Having something to hold in your hand is[.....]

Geerd N. Hendal, Yacht Designer

Geerd N. Hendal (1903-1998) yacht designer of Camden , Maine. These drawings were published in The Rudder Magazine of April, 1948. I would guess this was an early proposal to Drayton Cochran for Little Vigilant (launched 1950 to a Walter McInnis design). Geerd was a well known yacht designer at the time but I have[.....]


I just finished my first quick read-through of the Leviathan accident report from TSB. Initially I’m totally disappointed. Usually I’m impressed by these reports but I know there is at least one lawsuit underway and this report leaves out (In my mind) some critical information. While the report states that an inclining was done and[.....]

Framing Wooden Hulls With UHMW-PE

Wooden boat building, like all construction methods, continues to evolve with availability of skills and materials. But I have to come down against the wholesale replacement of bent oak ribs with UHMW-PE. As a semi-temporary sister frame repair in isolated cases, the use of UHMW-PE makes perfect sense. It’s easy to install and holds fasteners[.....]