design by Fred W. Goeller, Jr.

This article is reprinted from The Rudder, Volume 32, Number II (November, 1916). Copyright 1916, Petersen Publishing Company.

The Sea Mew has been designed primarily for what may be called the kindergarten class. On the Great South Bay, on Jamaica Bay, on Long Island Sound, and on other pieces of water, there are many boys and girls under 14 years of age who are anxious to learn to sail, but whose parents are often timid about allowing the youngsters to go on the water without some experienced man being with them.

To keep the sport of yacht sailing alive it is absolutely necessary that the boys become interested, and the earlier they learn to sail the more confidence they will gain, and they will acquire the niceties of boat handling so that in later years they will be much more skillful than one who waited until late in life before taking up the sport. The SeaMew is an absolutely safe boat. It can be rigged as a catboat or as a sloop. Some prefer the sloop rig, but the best sailors are those who have graduated from the catboat class.

Several parents who form the summer colony at Bellport have agreed to build boats from these plans for their boys. They will be ready for next season. It is very probable, too, that a similar class will be built for boys or girls on Moriches Bay. Commodore Effingham Wilson, of the Jamaica Bay Y.C. is interested in the class and is trying to induce members of his club to build. The plans have been generally commended by those who have seen them and they are printed in The Rudder because it is thought that members of the other clubs will be interested.

One of the main features of these boats, aside from their safety, is their cheapness. It has been found absolutely necessary in promoting small one-design classes to have them as inexpensive as possible, consistent with good workmanship.

While these boats are of fairly light construction, the sides being 1/2 inch thick, yet with the lap-strake construction it will make the boats much stiffer than with heavier planking of carvel (smooth) construction.

The construction calls for a plank keel 1-1/2 inches thick by 8 inches wide, of oak sprung to shape; bottom frames sided 7/8 inch and molded 1-1/4 inches at the heel. They are widened out at the bottom so that the nailing strip for the chine can be let in the lower end.

(click image to enlarge)

In building the boat, after the molds are all in, this nailing strip should be let in and temporarily fastened. The top edge is square; but the lower edge is not beveled off until all the bottom frames are in so that the correct angles can be found along its entire length.

The lower edge of the bottom side plank is finished off square and the bottom planking beveled to fit this. Only by construction of this sort can a tight job be made of the chine, for it gives a good seam to calk with something in
back of it.

The decking is light and is covered with a light canvas - which may be of two pieces with a seam in the middle - set in a coat of heavy paint on top of the wood deck. There are two or three ways of fastening the canvas around the cockpit. It may be turned down inside, and the coaming set against it, or it can be tacked around the edge and a quarter round molding fitted in the corner against the coaming, covering the heads. The former way is the neatest, and if plenty of white lead is put between, there should not be any leaks along this joint. The outside edge is tacked along the outside edge of the plank-sheer and the edge and heads of the tacks covered with the 5/8 inch by 1-1/4 inch toe rail.

All the rest of the construction is shown plainly and the various sizes marked, and there is nothing which will present any difficulties. The mast step extends from the centerboard trunk to the stem, and the steps should be cut for both rigs so as to minimize the labor of changing from the cat to the sloop or vice versa.

The spars are all of spruce — solid — and can be gotten of clear straight-grained stuff. The mast for the cat rig should have the heart in the center for strength as it is practically unsupported except for the headstay.

The sails may be made of about 3 ounce duck, only if it is desired to have them hold their shape; they should be either single or double bighted, according to the width of the cloths, and to have them last, there should be a sail cover, waterproof, to go on every night.