Back when I was living on a non-mobile peniche on the outskirts of Paris (1985) I really wanted to build a small cruising sailboat just about the same time that Tad Roberts got a mention in Cruising World for his Harry design.
It was love at first sight. A scow with an LOA of 26′, a beam of 11′, and a draft of 1′ 3″ seemed to fulfill all of my wants and needs at the time. I was especially enamored with the gaff rig (including top sail) and leeboards. Plus, it had a real in-your-face personality that just screamed “I am not a plastic bleach bottle!”.
Which, for someone who’d lived for a while on a 100-foot traditional schooner as well as a CAL 20, seemed to make all kinds of sense. I planned to get the plans, find a place to build it, and get cranking but a variety of things got in the way and I found that I was building a Wharram Tiki 31 on a small island on the Seine instead.
Life happens, does it not?
I’ve always regretted not building a Harry. In hindsight, it would have been the right boat for us at the time and the perfect boat to retrace the voyage of the “Dulcibella” from “The Riddle of the Sands” by Erskine Childers in the Baltic and Frisian Islands. It would also have made a great documentary film as well.
Tad Roberts did an update/redesign of Harry, the Harry 2, which is an excellent design but does not quite stroke my heartstrings the way that the original Harry did.
First love and all that, I suspect.
I’ll have another under-30-foot scow tomorrow…