Garvey 11.5

L.O.A.—11’ 6″

Beam—3′ 11”

Draft—5″/1’ 8” 

Sail Area—38 sq ft


This is a prime example of a small sailing New Jersey Garvey. The type is very highly evolved, very handy, very useful and quite beautiful; yet it has all but vanished. While suited to clamming, oystering, fishing, hunting and hauling a surprising amount of weight, today a garvey such as this would be used for pleasure rowing, sailing and poling through flats and marshes.

She would also make an excellent yacht tender, able to carry more people and groceries than the average tender of her size. She can be fitted with a small outboard by eliminating the external stern post (or offsetting the motor).

She will sail very well, being stiff and more weatherly than you might expect (her fine ends make her a close cousin to the racing scow). The loose-footed sprit rig is, in my opinion (and in the opinion of the New Jersey coastal fisherman), the absolute handiest of all small craft sails. To douse it, you fold it in half, stand the sprit up vertically, and wrap the sail three times around the mast. Lift the furled rig out of the hull and you are finished. No sail is easier or faster to rig. In sudden gusty weather, pull the snotter knot, remove the sprit, tie the peak of the sail to the mast near the tack and you have a crude leg-of-mutton sail almost half the size of what you started with. I used this rig in my 12’ dory Gandy Dancer for two decades and would choose no other for a small boat.

This design is for plywood/epoxy construction—light, cheap, fast and easy. Properly finished and built with quality material, the vessel will probably outlive her builder.