Coot
A 27' 2" V-Bottom Schooner
By William Atkin
A 27-Foot Skipjack Schooner
Many requests have been received by the designer for a schooner design of small size, but still of sufficient seaworthiness and general ability to make it a worth while craft. The 27-foot schooner Coot, has been prepared for this particular purpose and should prove to be a very excellent and substantial little vessel. There is much to be said for a diminutive schooner both from the angle of cruising and for day sailing. It is far more interesting to sail a boat which has several sails than one with a single sail, and it takes more skill to handle the two sticker as well. Since the sails and spars are all small the work of setting, reefing and furling sails is minimized. Then, too, as different conditions of weather are met with there is unusual interest in setting just the proper combination of canvas with which to get the most out of the boat and remain comfortable while driving along in rough water, or ghosting along in light airs. To be sure there is more gear to look after, and all that; but since most of us have boats for the fun and work we get out of them the latter carries little importance.
Coot has sleeping accommodations for four which is enough for a small cruising boat. There are plenty of lockers, both for clothes and food, ice chest, toilet, stove, etc. The alcohol stove might be changed for a Shipmate as there is room for one of the latter. Head room in the cabin is 4 feet 8 inches; don't raise the freeboard or the cabin house to gain more headroom than this. If you do Coot will not sail well; and will look badly. Too much height spoils a sailing boat.
Turning to the lines let us see what manner of small cruising schooner we have. She is 27 feet 2 inches in length overall, 21 feet 6 inches on the water line, has 9 feet 8 inches beam and draws 4 feet. The freeboard forward is 3 feet 1 inch and at the stern 2 feet 1 inch, while at the lowest place the rail is 1 foot 8 inches above the water. Thus Coot is quite a chunk of a boat. With her 9,025 pounds of displacement and a ton of iron on the keel she will make a weatherly craft and will sail well, considering the moderate sail spread, which by the way is 397 sq. ft. Inside she will need about 1,500 pounds of ballast stowed beneath the cabin flooring. The clipper bow is used because it looks well and also because it is particularly appropriate to use on a craft of the skipjack model. Somehow it seems to fit the straight sides and flare of this type boat. It is a little more difficult to build on account of the necessity for decoration; but after all if one can build the boat the dressing up part should not be troublesome. It will be noticed that the after sections beginning at Sta. 8 have a reverse curve near the deadwood. This is to provide a little more room under the motor and contributes considerably to the strength of the deadwood and after part of the underbody, which incidentally makes a leaky garboard seam unlikely. There is always a severe wringing or twisting strain on a sailing craft when a large portion of the ballast is carried outside. The moulded sections aft strengthen this a great deal, because there is better fastening for the frames on the side of the deadwood as well as a solid backing for the lower edge of the garboard strakes.

The propeller shaft is very nearly parallel with the water line, a feature which will make ideal conditions for the operation of the motor. Any motor will give better results if it operates in a level position; the carburetion is better, especially in multi-cylinder outfits, the water cooling system functions better, and the oiling is uniform to all cylinders. If the propeller is set in a small port cut half into the deadwood and half into the rudder excellent results will be obtained while the boat is under power. A motor developing 5 to 6 h.p. will be ample for a speed of 6 miles an hour and I should not advise installing greater power than this. A single cylinder two cycle is shown in the plans; but a four cycle of one or more cylinders would do as well.

In the third annual Newport-to-Ensenada International Yacht Race in 1950 a Coot named Hurricane finished first in the Arbitrary Handicap Class winning the President of the USA trophy. Hurricane was one of the smallest boats in the race.

 
PHOTOS OF COOT
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