Otis–a Pelacanish sort of boat

Now that I had a big boat without a trailer, I needed something I could trailer to many different boating adventures like the Florida 120. So, I booted up that wonderfully simple boat design program called Hulls by Carlson Designer (https://carlsondesign.com/projects/hull-designer/) and got busy designing my new boat. Hopefully, the results would be a bit more successful than the first iteration of what would ultimately become Blue Dog.

I decided on a pram or scow shaped hull as you get a lot more boat by chopping off the 2 foot or more required for a pointy bow. I also decided on a lot of flare to the sides given my experiences with the reserve stability this gave to Knot Yacht. With these specs in mind, the first boat that leapt into my mind was the San Francisco Bay Pelican designed by Bill Short. This is a 12 foot boat designed to sail some of the roughest waters I have ever seen and do it with some aplomb. This boat would serve as my design inspiration.

First change was to increase the length to 14 feet so that I would have enough length, with the use of a bridge deck, for eight feet of cabin sole for comfortable overnighting. Second change was to reduce the amount of rocker to the hull. I sail on much calmer waters so was in favor of increasing the planning capacity (increase speed) over rough water handling. The file below shows the plot points to cut the hull and bulkheads out of 5 sheets of plywood. I used 3/8 inch for the bottom and 1/4 inch for the sides in an effort to keep the weight down. Could probably do the whole thing in 3/8th inch for ease.

After cutting out the sides and the bulkhead, I started building stitch and glue style measuring and cutting out new pieces to support the cockpit seats, deck, and cabin as I went along. Before too long, I had something 3D that looked somewhat boat like!

Hull and bulkheads from cut diagram. The rest I figured out as I went along.
Sometimes made modifications after…note lengthened centerboard trunk.
Had experimented successfully with canvas drop cloth and Titebond III as a durable coating so did that for the sole of the boat.
Also use the canvas and Tightbond III to cover the hull of the boat…more on this later
Put in structure for decks and a keel-stepped tabernacle made out of solid oak.
Cockpit seat tops and bridge deck with hatch dry fitted in.
Cabin and seat backs in place. Cut in storage niches in seat backs.
The portholes looked like eyes…in fact, the front of the boat reminded me of my Chug dog Otis hence the naming of the boat.
Otis the dog and the inspiration for the name of my new boat.
Really looking like a boat here!
First time on the water with a polytarp sail I had made for another boat. She still sailed well despite the cat rig…was intending to make her a sloop.

Ended up finishing the boat in a big rush to make the Florida 120. Bought sails from Stevenson Projects intended for their Weekender design. I had previously built their Pocket Cruiser catboat (see earlier blog posts) and knew them well. The sails ended up being a perfect fit. I met Scott Gosnell and his daughter Savannah in his newly built IMB boat and did some cruising pre- Florida 120.

Scott Gosnell and his newly built IMB.
Otis proved to be a bit faster boat but also a bit more cramped in the cabin. Later, Scott and I would attempt the Everglades Challenge in his IMB.
Picture Pat Johnson shot of me in my new Otis boat. Notice the nice fit of the Weekender sails.
Shawn Payment, in his Potter, and I were sailing along talking when John Bell came up and shoehorned in between us in his Core Sound 17. Great picture!

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