dawn treader


Sarasota, Florida


Donald Ansley




I modified a Bolger design in creating this small sprit rig sailboat. Originally outfitting with leeboards I modified the boat in time with a conventional swing centerboard. Given the shallow bays of the Florida west coast were I to do it again I'd wack the vee off the bottom - two more chines and a football shaped bottom panel. This would decrease fairbody draft and make it easier to beach to boat.


I took this boat on a road trip from Florida to Maine one summer. Three sails in particular stand out in my memory.

The first was across Ocracoke Inlet to Portsmouth Island. The island was black with huge saltwater mosquito's and we'd not brought any repellent. I remember running furiously to escape the swarms out upon a small airstrip to a lone plane, the pilot quietly observing our panicked approach. He understood and by the time we got to him he had this gigantic aerosol can of OFF held out towards us. The trip back across the inlet was white knuckle all the way. A fresh breeze had kicked up and with the tide running fast out we had some really nasty standing like waves to traverse. In truth we were very lucky - to capsize in that outgoing riptide would have been bad news.

The second was a sweet afternoon sail through Marblehead Harbor, tacking and round underneath the beautiful sailing yachts anchored there. I could not help image L.Frances paddling his kayak out for a night on the rocks.

And lastly a crisp perfect day off East Boothbay Harbor, that blue blue of the Maine water and the green of the spruce trees along the shore, the friendly sun warming the flannel - just one of those perfect days.