Friday, December 27, 2013

A Custom-Built Hurricane Sloop is Shaping Up

The Hurricane sloop we've been building for Bill Ryan is finally nearing completion. It's been a long process since we decided to include a new deck mold in the project. Norah is stunning; a real sleek and fast-looking profile until you get a look at the cockpit. There's so much room! Without skipping a beat on details, we have worked hard to keep the construction simple but stylish; function but beautiful.
The trim on this boat is all teak with varnished coaming and bare seats and floors. The rails have been left unfinished as well. The juxtaposition of eight coats of varnish alongside the unfinished seats is stunning. It will keep maintenance and varnish anxiety to a minimum; an important consideration as far as sailing priorities are concerned. 
The floorboard details are unique and a stand-alone feature that we hope will distinguish our Hurricane from other day sailors. The storage on board is amazing for an open boat. Forward under the deck is a roomy anchor locker. This boat will not have a hatch, opting for easy access to stowed gear. Under the seats are bays that can hold life vests, cushions, and other gear. Cushions would be a lovely option!
The bridge deck serves as storage on Norah. Our first Hurricane, Meander used the bridge deck to store batteries to a Torqueedo outboard. This owner has chosen a sweep! We have designed a simple spruce oar that will stow under the deck out of the way. When needed, it can slip into a rowlock located on the transom.
Not everyone would be comfortable rowing out of a tight spot but this boat is a perfect size and weight to skull. 

It will look like the sweep pictured here on the right. Granted there's no reverse but warping a couple of dock lines could get you out of this situation. Norah will be on a mooring and not docked, and will have a good chance of maneuvering out of tight spots. 

One of the challenges we face as production and custom boat builders is knowing when to draw the line. If the owner is creative and willing, this boat calls out for customization. The cockpit is a prime example. We can configure it to accommodate any design. We are toying with the idea of installing a Mastervolt Pod E Propulsion System in a Hurricane. It may require altering the bridge deck but it's certainly feasible. How wonderful that could be to not have an outboard hanging off such a beautiful transom!

Rigging, hardware and a test sail are next on the order. The spars are made, varnished and ready for the final hardware fitting. The remaining deck hardware just arrived, and those parts will dress up the somewhat barren look very quickly. We are setting up the main sheet system same as Meander. There'll be two cam cleats on port and starboard, allowing sail trim from either side of the boat. It also keeps the cockpit clear of lines and hardware to trip over. Jib sheets will have winches and halyards will run aft for easy access. This boat couldn't be easier to single-hand but has all the modern techno materials to make it thoroughly functional and fun!

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