Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico
Beefy, capable cutter-rigged sloop has a full-keel for stability but is easy to trailer and launch. Excellent lake boats and sturdy coastal cruisers, these bullet-proof boats have made intrepid voyages, and will sail along at 5 knots effortlessly. It's shoal draft and well-appointed cabin makes it a comfy overnighter or camp cruiser.
The company that made these, Bluewater Boatworks (Dave Autry), initially called it a 24. An article Octorber 1979 issue of "Sail" magazine titled "Texas Traditional" begins, "This traditional-looking 24-foot trailer/sailer has some unique features..." The Blackwatch Fleet posts this note: "Dave Autry's boats must be numbered among the rarest production boats ever manufactured. Dave's company, Bluewater Boatworks of Amarillo Texas, molded only 82 Blackwatch hulls between 1979 and 1981."
The accommodations include: two bunks, a galley with sink, ice-box, and a single burner propane/butane stove, voluminous chain locker, and ample storage in the cabin, and two large lazarettes in the roomy cockpit. This cutter has a 5' long bowsprit, all original Wilcox-Crittenden bronze hardware, 2 Perco bronze opening ports (and 2 fixed), and forward hatch. Hank-on jib or a furler can be added; the club-footed staysail is self-tacking and has reef points, the main sail has three sets of reef-points for storm sailing.
The Blackwatch has about a 2300 lbs. displacement loaded, with 800 lbs. being lead ballast. The boat is unique in that it's design is simply a smaller scale of a "blue water" vessel built to cross oceans. Further evidence of its pedigree can be seen in its materials (bronze fittings, mahogany toe rails, teak bowsprit), the sail configuration (a double-reefed main, self-tacking staysail, flying jib), and rigging (heavy gauge stainless, quality blocks, Dacron lines). All lines are lead aft to the cockpit for ease of sail handling while making the boat ideal for single-handing.
The Blackwatch moves well in light winds; all three sails and can handle heavy air (30+) using a double-reefed main and staysail. The boat sails easily up to its 6.3 knot hull speed and is a comfortable in most any wind condition. The double-reefed main is configured for "slab reefing" where a series of smaller lines run along the boom and back to the cockpit for reducing sail in a sudden squall.