Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A New Boat

I'm planning on driving to New Hampshire in a couple of weekends and picking up a new (to me) boat. This one is the Batteau Black Sheep. It can be seen here and here.

It is a little late for the GAoP but otherwise is a good fit. I will be able to mount my larger swivel gun in the loggerhead. The small one I've been using in the Firefly is more of a cannon-shaped pistol than a real swivel gun. My larger swivel gun is the real thing.

Being able to accommodate a crew of 4 (including a gunner) to 8 is a plus. It has higher sides - we got some water over the sides if Firefly at Paynetown last year when the wind was causing waves and we were launching from the beach. We have a couple of events planned for the Great Lakes this year and I was a little concerned about waves there in Firefly if we get very far from land.

The flat bottom should be friendlier to being pulled up and should make a more stable boat (my wife is looking forward to that).

Downsides - right now it needs a new mast and I have been told that it "sails like a pig". I don't know if this is because it is a Batteau or because of the sail. It only had a square sail. I've checked and the Mackinaw Boat was similar to the Batteau but was usually sailed. A quick search of Google Images shows that these were gaff-rigged with a sprit sail so I might be able to work something out.

It is also a larger boat and needs at least three people to move - one at the tiller and two rowing. Right now I can handle Firefly by myself or with one other person. Also, I doubt that the Black Sheep is as fast as Firefly.

If I can get someone else to haul one of them, I probably will take both to Paynetown. I liked sailing Firefly in the lake there - it is much larger than the lake I usually sail and offered new scenery.

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