Monday, June 22, 2015

Norwalk Islands Sharpie 23 for Sale

Yesterday I had a chance to personally inspect a Norwalk Islands Sharpie 23 (N.I.S. 23) that is currently for sale in Cocoa, Florida. I've read about these Bruce Kirby designs for years, but had never seen one, as they are rare in the U.S. and even rarer on the used boat market here. When Dave Lewis, the owner contacted me to let me know it was for sale, I planned to pass the information along to my readers here. As it happened, I had an opportunity to get involved with a big teak deck job for Boatsmith a bit farther down the coast, so I was able to stop by on the way home and meet Dave and have a look at the boat in person.



An experienced sailor who has explored lots of remote parts of the Bahamas in shallow draft boats, Dave has been impressed with the N.I.S. 23 but is now ready to downsize to something more suited to quick and easy launching for local daysailing.  Considering the cost to build a new boat this size, never mind having it professionally built as this one was, I think this trailerable cruising sharpie could be a good deal for the right person.  The boat has been stored indoors and comes with an excellent trailer that Dave had built after he purchased the boat from the original owner. The entire package is in good condition, as you can see from the photos.









Here are the particulars Dave provided, along with his contact email for anyone who wants to know more about this unique wooden boat:

She is a 23' Kirby Norwalk Island Sharpie(N.I.S.); has a free standing cat ketch rig.  Masts are carbon fiber.  Have two suits of sails: one white, loose footed; one tan bark, fully battened.  All running rigging leads to cockpit.

Professionally built 1996 by Sea Island Boat Works, Charleston, S.C.  Hull is epoxy coated inside and out; hull exterior sheathed in glass cloth.  Two settees (adult bunks) provide comfortable sitting headroom with main hatch cover closed.  No amenities except cockpit cushions and interior cushions for bunks.  Standard horizon VHF.

LOA 23' ;  Beam 7'-5" ;  LWL 22' ;  Disp. 1900# ;  Draft 4.5' board down;  8" board up.

I've enjoyed sailing the boat in the Indian River here in Cocoa.  The boat has always been dry sailed.  It currently resides on a single axle aluminum trailer in my garage.  This combo tracks well with a medium vehicle.

This vessel is easily single handed and makes a great daysailer, weekender. 

Dave Lewis, delewis59@yahoo.com

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sailing the Apocalypse: A Misadventure at Sea

I've written much here over the years about Wharram catamarans, and my regular readers here know that I'm a big fan of all of James Wharram's designs.  I have built a Hitia 17 and a Tiki 26 from plans and restored and sailed a Tiki 21. I've also been involved in the professionally-built Wharram catamarans coming from Boatsmith, Inc. in Florida, and no doubt will build or buy another Wharram cat at some point in the future.

So, even though I'm not building another Wharram catamaran at present, they are obviously on my mind a lot as they keep coming up as the featured vessels in my fiction projects.  For those of you who may not have seen it on my main website or other blogs, I have a new book out that was just released this past weekend.

Sailing the Apocalypse: A Misadventure at Sea, is the story of a man who is obsessed with the idea of building a big Wharram cat (Tiki 46) to get his family away from what he believes is a country on the verge of collapse. Terry Bailey has done his research and knows the advantages and virtues of a Wharram for his purpose. He greatly overestimates both his boatbuilding and sailing experience, however, and the story becomes a series of screw-ups and misadventures as he forges on with more determination than good seamanship. This book, at 304 pages, is the first in what will be an ongoing series that follows this family's adventures. I think most Wharram enthusiasts, as well as boatbuilders and sailors in general will be able to relate. The full description is posted below the cover image. You can get a copy of Sailing the Apocalypse in either ebook or paperback from the links at the bottom of this post.


Terry Bailey is convinced America is doomed, and the last hope for his family is to escape to sea. 

How far would you go to protect your family if you were convinced America was in imminent danger of collapse? Would you build an underground bunker and stockpile it with weapons and supplies? Buy a cabin in the woods and start growing all your own food? Sell everything off and move to a survivalist’s stronghold in the mountains of Idaho?

None of the above would be enough if you were obsessed with boats the way Terry Bailey is obsessed.Terry has an escape plan to sail to the very ends of the earth; the only real option left to survive what’s coming, according to him. Convincing his new wife, teen stepdaughter and preteen stepson that time is running out, he sells his recently-acquired family on the necessity to build a boat. Two years of hard labor later, Terry has his ship—a huge ocean-going catamaran sloppily cobbled together from plywood and epoxy in their backyard in north Mississippi. 

When the ship is ready to launch, Terry christens her the Apocalypse, and the four of them move aboard for good, bidding farewell to life on land along with everything and everyone they had known before that day. There is no need to wait for a disaster to strike, because Terry Bailey has created his own. Now he is about to drag his entire family over the horizon with him. Sailing the Apocalypse is the story of a man who is about to go too far, and is told from the perspective of the twelve-year-old stepson who watches it all unfold as he is swept along for the ride.

Sailing the Apocalypse is available in ebook form from Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.  

You can get the paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  

Both formats are available in the various Amazon stores worldwide as well (UK, France, Germany, Australia, etc.).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Boatsmith's Ariki 48 Nearing Completion

My friend, David Halladay, of Boatsmith, Inc., has just posted an update of the nearly-finished custom Wharram Ariki 48 he and his crew have been building in West Palm Beach.  It shouldn't be long now until launch:

"A boat is freedom, not just a way to reach a goal."
Bernard Moitessier - A Sea Vagabond's World

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