Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Swallow Scow Plans: The Rudder Magazine's Second DIY Scow

The Rudder magazine launched their second scow, the Swallow, a 24 foot, three person scow in December 1898, just three months after they started publishing the plans for the 16 foot Lark scow. A year later, in the November and December 1899 issues of the magazine, they would serialize the Swallow plans, and like the Lark, issue a stand-alone plans and building booklet  The design is credited to Charles Mower but the prototype builder, Larry Huntington, was a renowned scow designer in his own right. I can't imagine that Larry Huntington didn't have a large say in the design of this scow so I personally would credit the design to a collaboration, a Mower/Huntington design.

As with the Lark scow, the Swallow proved very popular with amateur builders and was built around the world. Unlike the Lark, the Swallow didn't make it wholly into today's sailing scene. In looking at all the modern day scow designs, it appears to me that only the Sea Island One-Design seems to have inherited a large portion of her DNA from the Swallow. (The Sea Island One-Design ended up wider, particularly at the back end.)

For those who wish to delve further, you are in luck; the Library of Congress has scanned the Swallow plans booklet into PDF format.


Click here for the Library of Congress PDF scan of The Rudder plans booklet of the Swallow scow.


The following photos were harvested from The Rudder Swallow plans booklet. As always click inside the photo for a larger view.

The cover of the booklet.



The lines. The very shallow arc bottom was also the shape of Larry Huntington's Seawanhaka scow, Question, of 1895.


Two photos of the prototype on her maiden voyage in December 1898, The Rudder magazine editor Thomas Day skippering and Larry Huntington crewing. The day was cold and blustery.




Entering the harbor.


Group boatbuilding party planking the hull and flipping her rightside.




Compendium of launch and sailing photos.



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