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Building the Christmas Wherry CD

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We're known more for building wherries than any other small craft. We began about 1970, with the Lincolnville Salmon Wherry, expanded with the Rhodes model, added the Newfoundland Trap Skiff, and designed the Duck Trap model. Despite the fact that all are of the same general type, and each and every one is a winner, individual differences and capabilities made us wish for one a bit more versatile. That's the way it is with boats.

Emails and visitors nagged us repeatedly for a wherry to fill the niche between our Duck Trap Wherry and Newfoundland Trap Skiff. They wanted a boat that would be in the 15' range and be able to sail as well as row. Additionally, we wanted enough beam to make her stand up under a good press of sail. Factor in that she needed to be a shoal draft centerboarder with minimum freeboard and enough weight to avert any corkiness afloat, have a capacity of 2-3 (or 4 in a pinch), and a sail rig that stows completely within the boat. That's a taller order than you might think, and the reason it took two years to fully develop her design. And yes, she can be outboard powered.

The Christmas Wherry fills that bill and then some...and she turned out to be one very fine-looking wherry.

 

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This was the prototype, here shown sitting on the shingle at Duck Trap. And here is Bella Mia afloat in Baltimore awaiting her first sail...

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And this is the Christmas Wherry Bob Panrucker built. He wrote to tell us, " My Christmas Wherry is absolutely ideal for the area I live in. She sails with the slightest breeze and is quite fast, very shallow draught makes her ideal for samphire picking (a local delicacy!). She still turns heads and is an absolute delight, although you have to watch the gybes – I try to tack instead! – I couldn’t have picked a better design, thank you."

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