PILOT SCHOONER 60
The inspirational model for this schooner is one whose lines were
by the French naval constructor Marestier in 1821. The model is
extreme Baltimore Clipper, of shallow body, full beam and lofty
The powerful midship section exhibits very little deadrise at the keel,
and gradually increases into a gentle turn of the bilge and very
flaring, rounded topsides with low freeboard. My kind of hull!
shape lends itself perfectly to the construction methods described in
New Cold-molded Boatbuilding.
The schooner is 60 feet 6 inches between perpendiculars, 15 feet beam, draws four feet board up and nine feet six inches board down and displaces 50,000 pounds. The hull is different from the original in that it is a canoe-form (no deadrise at the centerline), has an elliptical fisherman transom instead of the wide thin quarters of the original, has balanced volumetric ends and a vastly different prismatic coefficient. The huge centerboard is foil-shaped, as is the balanced shaft-mounted rudder. The outside ballast is lead cast into a "flatiron"-shaped steel keel box--essentially an end-plate keel (the balanced rudder also ends in a similar shape). However, in profile the hull is very close to her inspirational model. The rig is even closer--the overlapping lug-foresail is retained, and the masts are raked more than ten degrees. There are shrouds and stays as the vessel is designed for offshore passages (the original rig was unstayed), and twin headsails are employed. Auxiliary power is a Perkins 4-236 diesel with a Hurth HSW 630V (Vee drive) 2.5::1 transmission.
The prototype Pilot Schooner 60 “Leopard” was my own personal home
and office for five years. The five-ton 500 cu. Ft. cargo hold carried
most of my boatyard tools and equipment. The schooner sleeps ten
making use of the settees.
There are presently four vessels in the Pilot Schooner Series—28’, 37’, 45’ and 60’. Pilot schooners have long been appreciated by yachtsmen seeking historic beauty and tradition, combined with power, seaworthiness, safety and comfort. I firmly believe the Virginia Pilot Boat model makes as ultimate a cruising yacht—or charter boat—as can be found. My years living and cruising on “Leopard” included the best sailing I have ever experienced in my life. Ripping across the turquoise Bahama Banks at eleven knots in the trade wind, steering with fingertip ease, naked in the warm sun, makes a lasting picture I need only to close my eyes and remember!