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Lionel Hill of Devonport Tasmania

"She reaches magnificently and runs nicely. "

Lionel Hill has not one but two clinker sailing dinghies, his Swallow 12 feet long,and a 10 foot dinghy sailed by his son Alexander. Here is his description.

"I am more pleased than I expected to be with Swallow. She was a romantic project but after taking her out with Seagull outboard, oars and sail and put them to use in one day withoutmuch fuss changing over I can see her utility value.

"She doesn't point very well. Last time I made a comparison she was several degrees moreoff the wind than a well set-up and sailed Mirror. ... The 10-footer points better and I havebecome keener on balanced lugsails hatn unbalanced lugsails (Bolger in 100 SmallBoat Rigs says they are both standing lugs as opposed to dipping lugs). I may try making a cheap balanced rig for Swallow. I am becoming better at pointing Swallow and some dayssem to go very well but I doubt that she tacks through 90 degrees, more like 100 -- 110.

"...An over-sheeted lugsail does not heel the boat as badly as an oversheeted Bermudan rig - I think. A good steady breeze suits her better than the gusty river windsperhaps because I have time to trim the sail. Of course she reaches magnificentlyand runs nicely. I'be had her in swells at the mouth of the MErcey River and outside without woory. However she doesn't like tacking into a chop. My pinching her probably doesn't help. I have found those wool yarn flow indicators set in sailsto be very useful.

"She was very difficult to bring about with the full-length keel. I subsequently taperedit from a point under the mast to the bow - roughly the first yard. That helped a lot. Iam currently tapering more off so that the taper will begin near the main thwart. Her rudderwas a gift from a friend and. although handsome, is probably a little small especially the wetted portion. The tiller shows a litle weather helm whn under way but doesn't seem too strong.

"I think it is necessary not to move the crew's weight across too soon when coming aboutand to ease off the sheet a little to let the bow fall off. Pulling it on aftre losing way coming aboutjust seems to bring her back into the wind. THis may happen more on one tack thanthe other. ... Certainly Alexander's 10 footer with a centrebaord is much easier to bring about.Swallow doesn't seem to make excessive leeway.

"My hull coast A$350 and has been very dry despite spending two years in a shed beforeI purchased it. The new 5 ounce tan Dacron sail cost A$350. Alex's 10 footer cost A$1500with sail and spars but no trailer. It was built from King Billy pine 15-20 years ago onBruny Island south of Hobart and used by the previous owner as a yacht's tender. Everyone admires ii, probably because it has an oil finish above the waterline and inside.I think Swallow's white paint helps to make her a drier boat. I soon changed thewhite seats and bottom boards to a pale green to reduce glare.

"My Swallow was a 12 foot clinker dinghy made in Launceston probably several decadesagao. The entire boat is King Billy pine, a soft antive wood that is now very difficult tobuy. Even the keel was this soft timber although a kseg of hardwood had been addedadt. The gunwales run externally to the top plank. Ther is no internal gunwale or inwale. Thereis alos no sheerstrake and rubbing strake overlaying the top strake assuming I haveunderstood that feature of some dinghies. I added a false keel by bolting and gluinga 6 by 2 peice of Celery Top pine, a harder and heavier native pine. This ran the entirelength being 10 to 11 feet long. It was dressed down and shaped to slightly smallerdimensions. Initially I simply put a 45 degree angle on the leading edge anticipatinglater adjustment. [see above] I added a mast step on top of the keel with threeshort cross timbers or floors to spread the force. ... I also added Celery Top pine side benches. ... Yes Swallow is quite a stable boat despite having slimmer lines than hernamesake.

"Here are a couple of images of my 10 foot clinker dinghy with balanced standing lug, i.e. the boom protrudes forward of the mast as well as the yard. She has a centreboard and sails better to windward than my Swallow. The finish is Dutch Siekkens oil."

Copyright © 2010 Stuart Wier. Reuse, retransmission, or reproduction is forbidden without prior written permission.