Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Header Photo: Philadelphia Tuckup

The previous header photo was of the reproduction Philadelphia tuckup, Marion Brewington, built by the Independence Seaport Museum. I lifted this photo from the Green Boats blog which unfortunately went dormant two years ago.

The Philadelphia hiker and tuckup were America's first racing dinghies. Racing these catboats on the Delaware River was going full bore in the 1870's (which indicates that it was developing in the 1860's and maybe earlier) and continued to the early 1890's, when expanded commercialization of the Philadelphia waterfront shut down the tuckup yacht clubs and their boat houses. Following the lead of the sandbaggers, the unlimited hikers had ridiculous sail plans, carrying cat rigs up to 450 square feet. The  Marion Brewington is a fourth class tuckup which had reduced the sail area to a more sensible 177 sq. feet (but still on the overpowering side in modern terms), set on a gaff rig on a hull of 15 feet in length. The fourth class tuckups were normally crewed by two. The two hull lines of tuckups that have made it to the present day, the Thomas Seeds and the Spider, are both fourth class tuckups

Ben Fuller put together a very interesting history of the hiker and tuckups in issue #148 of Woodenboat, pages 46 through 53. Well worth a read if you can get hold of a copy.

The famous and somewhat controversial American painter, Thomas Eakins, painted the hikers in his well known Sailboats Racing on the Delaware (1874).

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