Designer: John Harris, Chesapeake Light Craft
Builder: Gary Hardy 2021
DRAFT…………12cm - .762m/5″ – 2′ 6″
SAIL AREA …….11sq. m/62 sq. ft.
HULL WEIGHT…45kg/95 lbs
I wanted a boat that I could beach-launch relatively easily, as I am finding the boat ramps are becoming too busy on any nice day you might want to get out. I needed something that Anne would be happy to come out in with me, and something with room for Ozzie the dog. Ideally I wanted something I could car-top. I wanted something with relatively light spars, as the masts on the Core Sound are getting heavier by the day. I have always wanted a decent row boat. And a double ender would be nice. And, to be honest, I am more of a sailer than a nailer, so something that would not take too long to build would be good too. I tossed up between the various 15 foot double enders. I got a lot of inspiration from the wonderful French Arwen Marine site, which has pages of lovely photos of French chaps sailing Skerries and lots of other splendid traditional craft on idyllic waters and partying at picturesque French villages. I eventually chose the CLC Skerry, got the ply and the plans for Christmas and my birthday, and finished the boat in July.
I am still learning and tweaking (three months and 21 launchings later), but so far I am very pleased so far with my choice. I can rig the boat and be on the water in around 20 minutes. I can lift and install the mast with one hand. I can easily launch off the beach, even through the swamp in front of the yacht club at low tide. I have a folding trolley, so I can launch in one place and land in another, if I am prepared to push a bit further. After a bit of tweaking I have got the sail balanced about right. The boat is reassuringly stable and well behaved. With a reef in I have been out in 20 knots without any anxiety. I can row the boat at 3 knots in short bursts, but maintain around 2.5 knots at walking pace input of energy.
I have proved that I can get the boat up on the roof of the car, using my loading device, and while I would much rather use a trailer, it can be done, and opens up potential trips where we tow the teardrop trailer and bring Derry the Skerry on the roof of the car.
The main modification I have made is to install removable side seats. I discovered very quickly that in light airs, you need to keep your weight sort of central, which means kneeling on the floor. I trust that my right knee will recover eventually from my first outings. Seats make the boat infinitely more comfortable and it is much easier to make those micro adjustments in weight distribution and trim. I have added a bracket so I can lock off the Norwegian push pull rudder, and another so I can lock off the mainsheet. When the wind is steady, the boat jogs along beautifully with tiller and mainsheet locked off, perfect for a relaxing cuppa. Top of the future enhancements list is a spray dodger, so Ozzie doesn’t get splashed when the wind kicks up and the spray comes over the side.