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Melonseed, 14 ft., 1999, Houston, Texas
There are nice boats, there are fine boats, and there are beautiful and beautifully built boats. This custom Melonseed is in the later catagory for those to which such things matter.
14 foot custom built Melonseed New Jersey gunning boat
New aluminum $1200 Trailex trailer made for the boat available for $800
"I'll tell you what makes this boat special. It is as shapely a lass as you will fine anywhere. From its hollow entry to its almost heart-shaped transom, this boat is a symphony of shapes. The sheerline is bold and sprung with confidence, freeboard is minimal. The sectional shape shows a firm turn to the bilge, ensuring excellent stability and a forgiving nature." Robert Perry, naval architect.
Built by Penn. boat wright Michael Stetser in 1999 for his brother, a ferry boat pilot. She is sheathed in fiberglass inside and out so no leaks and low maintenance. You can tell the care that went into the build when you note that all the brass screws in the cockpit coaming have the slots on the horizontal. Melonseed draws 6" with the board up. She has a swinging metal centerboard, not a daggerboard. The rudder follows the line of the skeg so she tracks well while rowing. The angle of the transom helps with a following sea. The 72 sq. ft. sail is by Dabbler Sails and the oars with leathers and horn oarlocks are by Shaw and Tenney. There is a removable rowing seat. She was recently preped for a Concours car and boat show, KEELS AND WHEELS, the fourth largest in the nation.
Howard Chapelle for the Smithsonian book AMERICAN SMALL CRAFT took the lines off one of the last 1880's gunning boats. The design was developed for working duck and geese hunters who after sneaking low in the marshes needed to get back to market quickly regardless of wind and weather. The design is now very popular with production builder Crawford making a fiberglass version. Only my boat has the oval cockpit, rowing seat, swing centerboard for beaching, strong lapstrake traditional look with added stability and show quality.
I was sailing on Long Island Sound to watch five America's Cup 12 Meters racing. The harbor master later said winds were up to 25 knots. The big boats must have wondered what I was doing out as they split tacks around me. On the whole trip I shipped about 1.5 gallons of water. She took the waves and chop like a cork while maintaining speed.
A lot of these boats are used for youth training and any accomplished sailer also fully enjoys the ride.
The light weight aluminum trailer has under 150 miles on it. This little yacht has always been maintained in near Bristol condition
Thanks to your fine efforts Melonseed 113 is sold.