Low Tide

Yacht Designer Tad Roberts' Web Log


The Cogge Nonsuch

In 1916 Douglas P. Urry was serving (probably RCN) in the North Sea. While reading off watch he came across mention of “the Cogge Thomas,” and started to wonder what that ship might look like. He wrote to his brother, F. Wavell Urry, in Vancouver, and Wavell started sketching. These drawings are the result, the[.....]

Drawing Signe

I started drawing Signe in January of 1987, the day I started work in Bruce King’s office. Years later I counted through our drawing file and I think there were over 80 sheets in the set. Joe Artese (interior design) made 3-4, Bruce made one, I did the rest. It took me about three years,[.....]

Ocean Racing Ketches

A recent question about the rig proportions of an older ketch caused me to do some comparison of several boats. Let’s look at two ocean racing designs separated by 50 years. Above is L. Francis Herreshoff’s design #47, created in 1930 for Dudley Wolfe who instead built the Frank Paine designed 72′ cutter Highland Light.[.....]

Dragoon, an Ocean Racing Ketch

Dragoon, an Ocean Racing Ketch Launched 1925 Built by H.W. Embree & Son in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia Designed by Ford, Payne, and Sweisguth Built for Robert Bavier of City Island NY Contract price (firm) $6,795 LOA 66’6” LWL 55’0” Beam 14’6” Extras (owner’s additions) Ratsey sails $1270 Engine installed $1000 Hollow spars $1000 Capstan[.....]

Vito Dumas and Lehg II

It’s almost 70 years since Vito Dumas sailed around the world alone in his 31’6″ Manuel Campos designed Lehg II. In 272 days at sea he sailed approximately 20,400 miles Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires through the roaring 40’s with stops at Cape Town, Wellington NZ, and Valparaiso, Chile. First Singlehander to survive rounding the[.....]


In my previous post concerning design ideas I mentioned Stormvogel, now let’s have a look at her. In the photo above, taken by Beken and Son, she is “charging through the Solent in the 1961 Cowes Regatta” (from Laurent Giles and his Yacht Designs). She had just been launched that year after building in South[.....]

Small Cruising Ketches

In the first of these articles on traditional small cruising boats we’ll look at the Sea Spirit, a 31′ ketch designed by Hugh Angleman and Victor Ward. These drawings were published in Sea and Pacific Motor Boat of May, 1962. The Sea Spirit is very much a smaller version of Angleman’s famous earlier design, the[.....]