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Deansbox Plans

Deansbox Plans

Our Price: $37.50

Description Particulars

Deansbox was designed for Dean McClure down in Key West. Dean had an interesting background in boats including a Dovekie and a Chapelle sharpie (junk rigged, to boot). He was looking for a daysailing boat for his shallow area, small enough for easy handling and yet big enough to not require prerfect balance on the part of the helmsman.

I've lost track of Dean but a few years ago he had this boat built by a pro down there. I never got a photo of the completed boat or a test report. So if you live down there and have seen it, I'd like to know how it's doing.

Dean was very specific about needing, but not wanting, a small motor. It was more or less required by the docking situation down there, he said. I can believe it because there are no marinas around here that allow you to sail in and out of a slip. (But I do recall a visit to Panama City, Fla, to a man who was operating a 30 or 40 foot ketch out of the public marina there with no motor.) So Deansbox got a real motor well. One or two horsepower is plenty for a boat like this. Usually the best plan is to start the motor and steer with the rudder, although that won't do in crowded areas like a marina where quick response to the gear shift or throttle are required. And that was a problem with the boat, as I recall. They cut down the aft deck a bit to make it something more of a motor boat. It's a fact that even the smallest motor will quickly dominate a sailboat. The stern gets very crowded and heavy, especially when you sit aft to work the motor.

The hull shape is the best box I could think of, side and bottom curve matching per Bolger's theory to minimize swirling around the chine. My older Pencilbox design is quite similar and that boat sailed very well. With the ends high out of the water, these boats will maneuver like sports cars if the waves aren't too steep. The hull has big 8' long benches on each side for comfy seating and buoyancy/storage boxes fore and aft. It uses the simplest of nail and glue instant construction requiring six sheets of 1/4" ply and two sheets of 1/2" ply.

Dean wanted a mizzen for steadiness (although I'm pretty sure a daysailer might be better without). The main is a 92 square foot balanced lug, one of my favorite sails, and one which Dean wanted to try. The proportions of the main shown are what I feel now to be the overall best. In particular I like to hoist the yard at about 40% aft instead of the usual 33% which is what most old manuals will recommend. The more "balanced" the less the sail will twist and the closer it should point. But you can overdo it. Actually the old 33% rule is fairly good except everything conspires to pull the sail aft in reality. So if you hoist at 40% , the yard might really cross the mast at 33%.