I have a confession to make and that is i have a bit of a penchant for double-enders and yes, please be careful if you enter that as a search term on the internet or at least be prepared to be rather surprised ! and what’s more it’s nothing to do with work either.
Of course I am talking about boats only and i have noticed this odd phenomenon that i tend to take lots of pictures of double-ended boats be they ‘sharp’ , round, or canoe-sterned because somehow many of them just look right to my eye. It wasn’t always like this for me as there was a time when if a boat didn’t have a long sugar-scoop transom and a multi-panel super-bendy rig then i wasn’t really interested but all has changed and nowadays i seem to like ‘proper’ and seamanlike boats although I do also admit that i went through a final fling of big-assed (wide) boats such as the IMOCA Vendee solo boats and the world of wide sterned super maxi’s.
A lot of these boats that i like to photograph now are wooden boats such as Spirit of Mystery and Springtide, i guess its a logical way of bending the planks around frames and joining them into stem and stern-posts.
My own boat might best be described as ‘canoe’ sterned as its quite round, next to me alongside the wall is the Lugger , Spirit of Mystery and recently Chris has turned her round so that she is stern-on to me. Chris is wondering how to get the rudder off, i guess it will be a low tide job and some filthy furtling around in the mud to get at the lower mounting. Down at my regular waiting spot in sandacre bay there are currently 4 big boats, all big and chunky DE’s, one of them i have already covered but here she is again : Springtide alongside the quay.
One big boat at Sandacre i have been sailing past for years now….must be 10 at least and i have never seen moved nor have i ever seen anyone aboard her : i am still trying to find out the least snippet of information about her, here she is, name of Archangel .
I reckon she is a good 60 feet , maybe a bit more and she looks as though her hull might be ferro-concrete, i would love to get aboard and have a look over her. She is so green that she has her own eco-system growing and i think is knee deep in seagull poo. Another boat in the bay is this bright red i think steel-hulled yacht. She looks like a husky ocean-going cruising boat : i can just imagine doing a comfortable night watch under that cuddy. A very similar boat i found in the Fleuve Odet was called ‘Sabi’ and i would have loved to have photographed my ‘WABI’ alongside her.
Here is my old Frances 26 with her rudder off while i had to sort out her rudder mounting : the Frances 26 is i believe the best looking boat that Chuck Paine ever designed, maybe because he designed the original boat for himself, funny but the next one in the range looks awful to my eye.
There were i found some down-sides to the stern shape on WABI” : it was an absolute bear to make and fit the mount for her windvane self steering , we literally had to make a full copy of the stern first and take that to the stainless steel fabrication shop. Then when i did get the wind-vane fitted it was an awkward job perching on that tiny stern to get the blade up or down and fit the wind rudder. Generally a downside of double-ended boats is the loss of useful volume and space at the stern..like having 2 bow compartments such that the boat is always functionally shorter than a transom sterned boat.
This one i found alongside at the Falmouth yacht haven, i couldn’t see her name but she is like a big sister to my Frances except in chunky steel. Much of her fit-out is similar to my ocean-going set up though eg the hanked headsails and windvane self steering.
This lovely little boat is i think a scandinavian ‘spidsgatter’ : it has all the look of the type ie very low, clinker and double-ended. First time i saw her the owner was on board but i didn’t get time to stop and talk.
Steve Johnston wrote.
“Okay, I can help you with the double ender Archangel. She was home built on the River Exe by a guy called Rob. Made a superb job and probably the best ferro yacht I’ve seen. I sailed with Rob, his girlfriend Caroline and my (sadly late wife,) Jackie, soon after the boat was completed 30 years ago.
We sailed Dartmouth to Scillies where we left the boat and I understand Rob and Caroline sailed onto the West Indies. There my trail goes cold. Boat in pic is looking a bit tired now, but aftyer
The boat was kept in Dittisham Dartmouth.
Me : she has been sat there ever since i have been sailing in Plymouth and that is probably 15 years and i have never seen anyone go aboard.