Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Norwalk Island Sharpie?

Not a boat you might ordinarily associate with the choppy waters of the Solent, this looks like a Norwalk Island Sharpie which are a range of modern, ultra shallow draft yachts designed by Bruce Kirby and inspired by American east coast working craft. Mr Kirby is perhaps more familiar as the designer of the Laser dinghy.


Although shallow draft, these boats which appear popular in Australia have made some impressive voyages and have an enviable reputation for sea keeping as well as speed.

While a rarity on the Hamble as a cruiser for the Solent this boat makes a lot of sense,  the unstayed masts should be quick and easy to rig at launch time, in any yacht fast is fun, plus speed means a wider cruising range whether for day sailing, a weekend away or the summer holiday. What I especially like is the shoal draft, imagine being able to sail in all that shallow water where the crowds don't go - Keyhaven, Priory Bay, all the out of the way places in Chichester harbour, lovely.


I've long been fascinated by sharpies and the Norwalk Island boats in particular, I'd love to have a sail in one, so if the owners are reading I'll be the one who stops buy in a black rowing skiff to ask you all about your boat - or of course you could always email me here!

54 comments:

  1. I'm with you on sharpies Max. But I guess you know that!

    Some 10-15 years ago there was a story in PBO about one of these boats in the UK, so there are one or two around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I'm the moderator of the Norwalk Islands Sharpie forum and would be happy to try to put you in touch with other owners and / or answer any questions you might have. The NIS in the photos appears to be a 26 footer (NIS26), though not one I am aware of. Send me an email if you like - nispete@yahoo.com.au. All the best. Peter

      Delete
  2. I am the builder and owner of a slightly smaller version of the one you saw on the Hamble. We haver a 23ft version called Kivu, based on the East Coast at Pin Mill, River Orwell. Your comments about the NI Sharpies are correct and we have thouroughly enjoyed ours, regularly spending weeks aboard often in Britany. Pity they didn't sell well here post the PBO article, but it inspired me.Do contact me if interested at paul@daltry.co.uk

    Paul

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  4. Beautiful yacht. I really want to cruising on that.

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