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Notes from the
(excerpts from the magazine)
by Jim Betts
Tinkerbelle Revised With
New Improved Design
Anyone remember 1965 and the epic voyage of Robert Manry
in his TINKERBELLE, a 13-foot centerboard sailboat? The 48-year-old Manry,
a newspaperman from Cleveland, Ohio, made a trans-Atlantic, 3,200-mile
trip in 78 days. He wrote a book called Tinkerbelle, which is long
out of print.
His trip was not intended to set a record, but did come on
the heels of such trips as that of William Andrews in his 14'-6" SAPOLIO
and John Riding in his 12-ft. SEA EGG. The record for the smallest boat
across the Atlantic was the APRIL FOOL, at a hair under 6 ft. This was in
1968 and was sailed by airline pilot Hugo Vihien. But then in 1983, Eric
Peters sailed TONIKY NOU, at 5'-10 1/2" across.
And so we will doubtless see even smaller boats try it.
But Manry's boat was a "real boat," not some pot designed more as a
"container. TINKERBELLE was a modified Whitecap class sloop built by the
Old Town Canoe Co. Manry added a cabin to this otherwise open boat.
But to the present - the new TINKERBELLE 2 is an
adaptation in some respects, an improvement on the original. The
dimensions of the hull are the same, but some minor changes have been made
in order to make it a faster boat. In addition, the centers are more
properly located and the sail area has been increased. While the original
boat was clinker-built, the new version is double-chine plywood in order
to make it more suitable for amateur building. She will sleep two below
and carry a fair amount of gear and there is an added large locker aft of
with supplies/or the Trans-Atlantic trip. Space does not allow for a
complete list, but the important ones are: (8) 40 bottles of
drinking water; (6, 17, 27) flotation foam planks: (1,3) bags of
food, (4,5) bags of clothes, blankets, etc. There are also extra
sails, more food, navigation books, instruments, spare parts, a
solar still, oars, bilge pump and much more.
Foam flotation blocks may be carried in the stowage areas
or glued to the underside of the deck. The mast is easily lowered.
TINKERBELLE 2 is designed to be easily trailered and can be built in a
Plans consist of table of offsets, construction details of
stations, centerboard trunk details, profile and sail plan, detailed plan
views and mast cross section. Price $20 plus $5.50 shipping and handling
in the U.S. (International shipping is $15.) Midwest Engineering & Design,
PO box 4706, Overland Park, KS 66204-0706. Web site: