Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Sharpies are long, thin sailboats with plane bottoms, enormously shallow draft, centerboards and straight, flaring side. They are assumed to have originated in the New Haven, Connecticut area of Long Island Sound, United States, for the oystering industry, which thrived in New Haven harbor with its wide, shallow waters.

The type is believed to have evolved from the Native American trench canoes that were initially used in the area. European setters changed the original dugout form so that the sides and base were flat, to improve steadiness and hauling capacity.

It was around 1840-1850 that the initial true sharpies were being built in the New Haven area. These were long boats, approximately 27 feet or so, crewed by one man and rigged as a cat-ketch, with three mast steps; one at the bend over, one amidships and one in between. In light whether, two masts would be stepped at the duck and amidships, but in heavier weather, a single mast would be stepped in the middle. Larger models, up to 35 feet, were crewed by two men. The New Haven models were typified by plumb bows with the base just out of the water and surrounding, counter-sterns.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pleasure craft

A pleasure craft is a boat used for individual leisure or sometimes sporting purpose. Typically such watercrafts are automatic and are used for holidays, for example on a river or canal. Enjoyment craft are normally kept at a marina. They are not essentially intended for speed. They may comprise accommodation for use while moored to the bank. Many narrow boats have been transformed into pleasure craft from their previous use for cargo transport on canals.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


A dugout is a boat which is essentially a hollowed tree trunk; other names for this type of boat are logboat and monoxylon. Monoxylon (Pl: monoxyla) is Greek -- mono (single) + xylon (tree) -- and is frequently used in classic Greek texts.
Dugouts are the oldest boats archaeologists contain found. Within Germany they are called Einbaum (English translation: One tree). Einbaum dug-out boat finds in Germany day back to the limestone Age. The length of bark and hide canoes, these dugout boats were used by American Indians. This is probably because they are made of enormous pieces of wood, which tend to preserve better than, e.g., bark canoes.
Construction of a dugout begins with the collection of a log of appropriate dimensions. Sufficient wood needed to be removed to make the vessel comparatively light in weight and buoyant, yet still strong enough to support the crew and cargo. Particular types of wood were often favorite based on their strength, durability, and weight. The shape of the boat is then fashioned to reduce drag, with sharp ends at the bow and stern.
First the bark is detached from the exterior. Before the exterior of metal tools, dugouts were then hollowed-out using controlled fires. The burnt wood was then detached using an adze. Another method using tools is to chop out parallel notches crossways the interior span of the wood, then split out and remove the wood from between the notches. Once hollowed out, the core was dressed and smoothed out with a knife or adze.
For traveling the rougher waters of the ocean, dugouts can be fitted with outriggers. One or two smaller logs are mounted parallel to the major hull by long poles.