Dennis Marshall

Chuck, here are a few pictures of the Dobler that I completed last summer. I finally got the chance to take her out for the first time this season. It has been a chilly and wet spring here in Western Michigan. All told, I have had her out 5 times since completing her. She sails just as T.F. Jones' reports in his book Boats to Go.

The sprit sail has taken some getting used to. I have devised what I call a "bastard brail" to scandalize the sail. Two lines are attached to eye straps on the end of the boom and run through eyestraps attached to the mast, down to the partner and then run aft where they can be cleated off on the dagger board case. It works reasonably well, but leaves some sail near the top of the mast loose which makes for a lot of drag when trying to row back to the launching ramp. Also, I placed a block on the mast partner for the snotter which is also led aft to a cleat on the dagger board trunk. I have found that this arrangement allows me to set the sail better by more easily adding tension to the sprit.

I will probably build a kick-up rudder for the boat. The other day, the dagger board grounded out on a sand bar. When I moved forward to lift the board from the case, I turned to see that my rudder had leveraged itself out of the gudgeons after dragging over the same obstruction and it was floating free of the boat. By the time I got back to the stern to retrieve it, the 25mph winds and waves had almost put it out of my reach.

Other than the slight modifications I have mentioned above, the boat is a delight to sail and even single handed in 25mph winds with no reef in the 86sqft sail, I have not felt the boat to be overpowered or out of control. I have had her out in 2-3 ft chop and she moves beautifully through it, although it can get rather wet in those conditions while sailing to windward. Normally, I sail in 10-20mph winds with 1-2 ft chop and in these conditions she is as dry as a bone.


Dennis Marshall