The previous header photo was of two intent sailors on their SS Sloop, one of U.S.A's oldest dinghy classes. Designed by Benjamin Hallock of Moriches Bay, Long Island in 1908, he built 74 of them before he died in 1931. About fifty more SS Sloops were built after Hallock with at least one new build in the new millennium.
Moriches Bay, on the south side of Long Island, normally has a consistent sea breeze in the afternoon and the SS Sloop sports a low slung gaff rig designed to be easily handled in strong breezes. About thirty of the SS Sloop are still seaworthy and the centennial regatta in 2008 had a good turnout.
Hallock was known as a good builder of cat boats before he designed the SS Sloop. However, the flat sections and narrow beam of the SS Sloop show a lineage more towards the Seawanhaka racers rather than the fatter cat boats.
The SS Sloop has a small spinnaker which is set with both sheet and guy on the same side of the mast, not the usual arrangement for flying a spinnaker in modern sailboats.
The 16.5' hull (5.03 meters) has a long enough cockpit for three. The rudder is set inboard. The gaff rig definitely has a low center of effort.
A SS Sloop out of her natural habitat. This one is moored to a dock at Cayuga Lake, one of the finger lakes of upstate New York.
- Will Haines writes a blog about the SS Sloop and also has a link to some PDF's of SS Sloop plans.
- Another gaff-rigged dinghy from the same time period, the Cotuit Skiff