Wednesday, August 3, 2016

George Steer's 1856 design "Laura"

In 1856, the last year of his life, George Steers, the designer of America, designed a small 24' racer for Harry Latrobe Roosevelt of Skaneateles N.Y. Named Laura, this Steer's racer would spend her entire career on Skaneateles Lake. On Christmas Day, 1936, after being hauled for the last time, Osgood R. Smith, John Barnes, and Art Emerick would measure Laura on the beach. Eight years later, Osgood R. Smith wrote an article on Laura in the August 1944 issue of Yachting magazine and included the lines they had assembled.

Laura provides a glimpse of how the New York designers were moving the lines of the New York oystering workboat into a recreational racer. (See also Chris Thompson's article on the 1853 Una design by Bob Fish). We see the basis of form that would be tweaked, some fifteen years later, into the all-out Sandbaggers of the 1870's. Compared to Sandbaggers,  the George Steer's Laura is a wholesome hull of moderate proportions though we can see the fine bow and the tucked-up aft rocker of the Sandbaggers. There is no record of Laura needing sandbags to be raced.

Laura's sections show a fair bit of tumblehome.
The beam is not excessive.

This side view has the stern lopped off because the copier distorted the stern as the page made it's way down into the binding of the book.

My night of Sandbagger sailing.

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