Midget--A Boat for the Midget Ocean Racing Club


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  • Pub No.: 5375
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by Edward R. Weber

Midget is designed to be one of the smaller boats under the MORC rule, with an overall length of only 20 feet. Thus her proportions affecting costs are such that many will be able to build or buy her who could not aspire to a 24-footer. Her hull lines and profile under water follow proved form, with a trend toward the old and proved rather than the new and rare. The profile underbody is long and full, with a real grip on the water, able to hold a course without yawing or broaching, easy on the helm and most seakindly. With a view to keeping costs down initially as well as later in upkeep, there is a trend toward lightness in her lines, which will also permit speed provided the boat is not burdened with too much weight from equipment and gear. This lightness gives long sailing buttocks and a clean run, little wake and a boat on which one can leave the helm for short periods to tend to other duties. Short fin keelers and centerboarders can claim speed and maneuverability but in a sense must be likened to a tricycle that can be spun in its own length, yet a one-wheeled unicycle that needs constant attention to keep her on course and driving ahead. Thus this “old-fashioned” profile suits the seas, it meets the cruising needs and will be a real racing companion and as valuable as an extra crew member. Space below on Midget is secured through the use of high freeboard and a straight sheer. These give her a modern look above water, following recent trends. At the same time, they have the necessary amount of boat below them to give proper balance. When one has a skimming dish type of hull, with modern high freeboard, then one has little control, but Midget has a blending of the modern in space and looks, and the old in ability and performance. There is 4-foot 5-inch headroom below—more than most 24-foot sloops of normal proportions. And if one looks her over, from plan to plan, he will note that she has a pertness and pleasing appearance despite the sacrifices made for the sake of interior space, comfortable sleeping and galley accommodations. One great advantage Midget has, as drawn, is the ability to sleep a third hand. Very often it is necessary to cruise a small boat such as this with three aboard, possibly to sleep three before a race or just after a particularly tiring race. It will be seen that by clearing off the galley and toilet tops one additional person can sleep athwartships in a sleeping bag or on an air mattress. Crowded? Yes, but necessary at time, and it is mighty seldom one cruises on a 20-footer that can sleep all three of her racing crew! For hatches there are the hinged forward hatch, a sliding companionway and two access hatches in the aft deck for the stowage space there. The forward hatch is a valuable safety factor and useful for stowing headsails or handling ground tackle. The arrangement plan shown provides for a completely watertight, self-draining cockpit, without even openings in the seats. Stowage under the seats is reached from the aft hatches or from the interior.

15 pages, 9 plate(s)


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