re: Scarper Flo (SF), 9.5m Gaff Cutter
I’ve recieved a gratifying amount of mail on this newish tilt at an oldish
concept. I’m answering all the queries that came via the list here in a
single posting. SF is a Blue water live-aboard Gaff Cutter for a
couple to grab their dog and leave for good!. SF is both affordable
(WLL<30) & owner-buildable (Ply on ply/ring frames, single hard chine.)
NB. Query #1 covers plan aquisition & my general philosophy in this area.
From Mike Stockstill, email@example.com …
March 31, 2000
Do you have any study plans available?
A: Study Plans are avaiable for $25 US…
the cost is mainly in A3 Color Photocopies and US Airmail
If interested air mail a money order to
Jeff Gilbert Design,
9 Birbai Place, Waramanga,
ACT 2611, Australia.
I’ll send your package the same day.
You’ll get some real nice pictures for your wall, even if you dont build.
You may be better off buying the full set of 30 pages of offsets and plans
for $US 50.
Included are full 3-D offsets and full 2-D developed panels,
all at 82 centres, so that you can position bulkheads to suit yourself.
The warning, and reason for the lowish price is this…
you are buying plans which will ultimately produce a good craft,
but only with a fair bit of input from you…
I draw and computer run plans to the stage where an experienced builder
could proceed, a competent back yarder too. Even had I the time, I wouldn’t
have the inclination to go the whole hog and write step-by-step manuals, as
these construction techniques, sequences and details have been written
plentifully and so much better by others.
For example, for this kind of construction, I’d recommend
Buehler’s Backyard Boatbuilding:
From: Peter & Polly Vanderwaart <firstname.lastname@example.org >
March 29, 2000
I want to ask you about the hull shape. Offhand, I don’t remember
seeing a v-bottom boat so deep forward and so shallow aft. The effect
is somewhat exaggerated by the extended “mackeral’s tail” run. What
is your thinking, and how did you develop the shape?
A: My brother also picked this up. I think there is a bit of a tendency to
superimpose a Bristol CC over this design. In fact there are more
differences than similarities.
Scarper carries a large spread of sail, with the mast fairly forward,
out of the full head-room area of the accomodations…
Consequently I wanted a lot of forward flotation, and went for it
with the deeper forefoot. The forr’d 2/3 beneath the V-berth is
dedicated to this (about 30 cubic ft).
I’m 6’3" tall and wanted galley headroom while retaining an
elegant sheer, low and upswept into a longish bowsprit. The only
way to achieve this is to go deep, in this case it shows up in
the forefoot. Another reason is that the narrow beam/fine
entry -this gives the headroom (& adds speed) without a
huge displacement penalty. This kicks out a lot
of lift at the bow…again the deep fore-foot compensates.
The long aft run…(incredibly, given the extent of accoms,
this design works at 27’ 6" ie nearly 4ft cut off aft)
I was after speed. and lowish wet area cf a conventional
long keeled cutter. The ballast (40% inside, u/floor)
is taken care of in the centre third of the boat, & with
the drop/ bilge keel combo tking over the whole nature
of the ship, the long keel is replaced by a much atrophied
version, which assists directional stability & protects
both motor & rudder.
On the “Mackarel” tail, take a look at Zoe, by Daniel Z
Bombigher, a veritable Hot-Rod of a Gaff Cutter,
and IMHO the “Classic Design of the Century for Extremely
Short Persons”! (see p.91 Aug 1999 Classic Boat Mag).
The L-shaped board is also the first that I can remember where the
foot of the ‘L’ is allowed out of the centerboard case. I would worry
that there could be trouble guiding it back into place, especially
with a side load.
A: If its hard to haul up because of lateral forces, it will be because
you are hard on the wind and hence it might be prudent to
leave it down!(accidental fail-safe design!!?). Actually the boat is
heavily ballasted at 50%, of with the board only 10% of overall.
There is no need to deploy it in shoal areas, or be pulling it
up and down like the Keystone Cops. There IS a mistake in the
dwg…the haul up cable should protrude from the tip not go thru it
from the side. When hauling it up (use a long-handled crank onto
drum) this will guide the tip into the slot and she’ll scrape on in after
The slot could have a couple of 45deg lip guide plates to help it in.
The tip itself would be ground to a rocket nose cone shape.
Both board & entry slot are heavily bevelled, so that at worst
it would scrape along in like tight scissors.
I’m happy to redraw the Drop Keel Profile…this is, after
all, an appendage. The plate profile from tip to aft upper
semi-cicle about the axle could be changed to a constant
inside curve which equalises the problem. Again,
reshaping the board as a triangle with a tangent from the tip to
the upper semicircle about the axle would work fine but make
access to one side of the Dinette a real clamber.
Another option is go rectangular…whack the tip off with oxy,
then throw more lift weights in the bilge (NB boards on Zoe).
Question # 3
From: Sidney L. Patin <sidney@s…>
Mar 27, 2000 (message 404 BCC Archive)
How much would she cost to build in a yard …
A: These boats are conventioally carvel on steamed frames, and so are very
expensive. Chuck Paine’s Rockport 30, whilst an extraordinary boat in all
will set you back $450,000 US.
…and can you tell me who has already built your design (email
A: In round figures, the number built is zero. The level of interest is
moderate, but steady.
How much are the plans?
Cheap, with reason. Please refer to Question 1 above.
is there a way to build the boat with a bit more beam than 8’4’’ (that
would be kind of skinny for a live aboard IMHO)? For something that
length, I would be looking for a beam of about 10’ or so, so my wife
would have room for her grand piano. Ha ha.
A: Fair enough. I have seen a custom cat design with a music room … a
Shuttleworth I think. You’ll find most Pilot Cutters are in fact 10ft wide.
(On the other hand some Sydney, Australia inner city Terrace houses are,
incredibly, 8 feet wide. But they dont even float!) Lyle Hess’ definitive
BCC has a 10’ 1" beam on a LOD of 28’ 3’’ which gives a relatively
Tardis-like ratio of 2.8 to Scarpers slender 3.8.
In Scarper I deliberately sacrificed beam for gains in speed, stability,
elegance and land transportability, in that order. So naturally you can
have ten foot beam, but you will add cosiderable displacement
due to the constraints forced on the design by the simplicity
of the single chine construction. You could control the
displacement by cutting the deadrise (and adversely affecting motion
comfort). You would gain some form stability. Like all design exercises,
no changes are without consequence. Ask your wife to replace her
piano with a flute! Very peaceful, too.
I hope the above is of assistance. I would be delighted to answer
any further queries if you can handle the delay!
Jeffs Ply Interpretations.