Eric, Jr.
A 25' 2" Double-Ended Knockabout
By William Atkin
A Fine Knockabout Cruising Auxiliary of a Very Seaworthy Type, Arranged Particularly for Amateur Construction
I have had more than a little experience with hulls of the double end type as typified by the late Colin Archer. In all of these I have stuck very close to the lines as made by that master of the double ender fishing boat -- the kind that is used off the rough coasts of the Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Many of you will remember the design which we called Eric, and which was a collaboration of ideas of Bill Nutting, Arthur Hilderbrand and myself; but all hinged on a most excellent design of a large double end life boat which was one of Mr. Archer's finest creations. I have since done a number of double end designs, but all of these were very much after the manner of Colin Archer and I have tried to have these known as Atkin-Archer double enders. Eric Jr. is, however, a child of my own brain. And while it resembles the Archer boats, it is essentially different. This one is not of heavy displacement, and is woefully narrow in comparison to any of the original types. It is shoal of body and very different in profile, especially below the water line. It has the ear marks of the Scandinavian in its stem and rudder, the latter being pure Colin Archer, and I think is very handsome.

The principal dimensions of this new double ender are as follows: L.O.A. 25 feet, 2 inches; L.W.L. 21 feet, 6 inches; breadth 7 feet, 7 inches; draft 4 feet, 0 inches. The freeboard at the stem is 2 feet, 11 1/2 inches, at the stern 2 feet, 2 inches, and at the lowest point, 1 foot, 7 3/4 inches. The displacement is 7,000 pounds. There will be 3,400 pounds of iron ballast on the keel and a matter of 200 pounds inside. So you see this Eric Jr. is a little boat. But what a lovely little ship to sail.

Eric Jr.'s rig was designed with a view to economy of fitting and the time for its making. And by all the experts it is a good and and efficient rig. The mast is tall but it has to be in order to gain the sail area required. But since it is set well abaft the stem it can be nicely stayed against strain and breakage. I found long ago that it is not at all necessary to rig up these tall masts with a lot of spreaders, struts and complicated stays and shrouds. All that is necessary is a head stay and topmast stay; two shrouds, one leading from a point about two thirds the height of the mast from the deck and the other leading from a point about half the height of the mast: the first of these to lead pretty well abaft the mast and the other in line with the mast or slightly forward of this point. Back stays are always needed and in this rig these should lead from the same position as the after pair of shrouds.

There is a generous amount of deck room on Eric Jr., and deck room is very essential on a sailing boat because it is necessary to get around without jumping over houses and climbing through windows and such. The cockpit is planned for the comfort of two; in fact the whole design was worked out for two and no more. You cannot clutter up a small boat like this with a big party and have any fun with her.

Looking below we find a simply laid out cabin for two. The galley is aft, having sink and dish locker to starboard and stove and table to port. There is room under the sink for a small ice box if this luxury is desired. Now come the two bunks 6 feet, 2 inches long and nearly 2 feet in width. The water closet is up under the forward deck. Of course there is nowhere near full headroom under the cabin house or the forward deck and headroom enough to stand under is only obtainable in a small craft like this at the sacrifice of sailing ability, safety and appearance; it just ruins a little boat this making her too high. As it is there is 4 feet, 8 inches headroom under the cabin house and five feet under the companion slide. Don't push up the top and don't add a few inches to the freeboard. If you do not object to a narrower floor the latter might be lowered a few inches in order to increase the headroom. After all you will find that lack of headroom is one of the least objectional features a small boat can have. There are many things far more important than this.

Turning to the lines you will find Eric Jr. a slim bodied craft and one that will be easily driven either in smooth water or rough. Her centers are pretty much amidships and with easy lines both forward and aft she will be comfortable when some auxiliaries I know of will be jumping their bows under. There is enough overhang and flare both at the bow and the stern to make a dry going thing of her in almost any weather. She has enough fore foot to prevent falling off when poking into a head sea, but not so much as to make her hard headed.

The 32 footers really had too much beam for their water line length and too much displacement. They sailed well and for their type fast, but this one will sail lots faster. And under very moderate power she will dust along, judging from the speeds we got from the wider and heavier boats. I have shown in the cabin plan a single cylinder two cycle engine or 2 1/2 h. p. This is the smallest engine I would suggest. Of course if you care to dig into more money some one of the little multiple cylinder four cycle engines would be ideal. But Eric Jr. does not need more than 10 h. p. at the most. So you see there is a wide range of engines on the market from which to make a selection.

All small auxiliaries should handle easily. They are usually sailed with no more than two for crew and should be so balanced and rigged as to be handy for even one hand' to manage in any unusual streak of weather. Little boats like this Eric Jr. have made some wonderful cruises. She is the sort of packet in which one can set out for any port, within reason, with assurance that she will reach there, not only in good time, but comfortably as well.

 
PHOTOS OF ERIC, JR.
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