mystery boat: what is it?

a few days ago, a friend of the blog sent me a few pictures of a mystery boat that they own, but are not exactly sure what the boat actually is… here are a few details:

  • the reader described it as a scow, similar to a Butterfly
  • approximately 12-feet long, wood construction
  • aluminum mast and spars for a lateen rig
  • a (ridiculously!) large rudder and centerboard, also built of aluminum
  • looks like it has some mast stays, and the mast would sit on a base fixture (the mast doesn’t go through the deck into a mast step)
  • it seems like the mast stays would really limit how you can adjust the rigging points for the lateen sail

I searched the “CloneFish” archives at the Yahoo Sunfish Sailor Group to see if it was listed there – but didn’t see anything quite like this.

so what say you? any of my blog readers know what this mystery boat could be? see a few pictures below:

mystery fish 3

mystery fish 1

mystery fish 2

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7 Responses to “mystery boat: what is it?”


  1. 1 Linda October 16, 2015 at 6:48 am

    My guess would be that it started as a “poor man’s” version of a sunfish.
    The hull looks to be very heavy, needing the huge sail (sqft?) to get it moving and the ridiculous rudder….. goes with out saying

  2. 3 Jonathan Smith October 16, 2015 at 10:30 am

    So where do they sail her? And pictures of her under sail? What’s the history on her? Looks like a homemade, but based on something else they saw. You’ve got to admire the boat, and whomever built her, if for no reason other than the adventure of making something from wood and cloth and metal and line. Play is “proned” into us at birth.
    JWS

    • 4 Cameron Conolly October 16, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Jonathon,
      I’m the original owner of the boat. I got it from my uncle after learning to sail who happened to pick it up for free, but it didn’t include a sail. I’m sure that if I had the sail I could better identify the boat. There’s still a few parts I need to replace, so I haven’t been able to sail it yet.

  3. 5 Tweezerman October 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Looks like the Crosby Skimmer Moth which I wrote about in Earwigoagin. The original had no cockpit but it didn’t take long for builders to add a cockpit to the design.

    A French Skimmer Moth looking very close to your friends boat.

    Tweezerman

  4. 7 WV October 17, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Looks very similar to Scott Widmier’s late, great Queequeg’s Coffin


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