Thursday, February 7, 2019

1970s Sailboat Built From Plans...What Is It? PETREL!

08 Dec 18:

The Skipper's family found plans in a magazine for a 16 foot sailboat in the early 1970s, they built her over the period of several years and then sailed her for many. Centerboard with a pop up rudder, small cuddy. We think the advertisement to order the plans from CT or Boston was in the back of a boating magazine or Popular Mechanics. No one can remember the name of the design. Does anyone recognize it? If so, please add a comment below.

11 Dec 18:

Builder Notes from Capn Jack
-105 sf main, 49 sf jib.
-Steel centerboard was made from stainless cut from a tank at the junkyard on Leopard. The shape was "enhanced" by a hacksaw, "modified" to suit the purpose. He has no idea how much it weighed, but it twas heavy.
-Mast was solid spruce, "Hell for stout" as Mr. Hazelwood would say.
-Rectangular spruce boom.
-Spruce frames, sawn.
-Spruce splashguard.
-Deck and Hull Douglas Fir plywood, exterior grade.
-She sailed around Corpus Christi, TX and made a trip to Wyanet, IL.

05 Feb 19:

We found it, on youtube of all places. She is a Petrel. A gent in Estonia is building a boat and I came across his video, and thought "that's it!"

He had a link to the plans, re-shared by Boat Builder in 1978, Craft Print Project #106. At first I thought that was too late, the Skipper's family's boat was built early 70s, but further research revealed that the plans were first published in Science and Mechanics magazine or Boat Builder's Annual at an earlier date, Craft Print #106.

"Science and Mechanics magazine published a number of Craft Print designs for boats by the naval architect, William D. Jackson. Plans were published in the Science & Mechanics magazine, Boatcraft, and Boat Builder's Handbook. Reprints from past issues were available as were full-size pattern sets. Many of the designs catered to the outboard boat racer, with design suitable for Class A, B, C or stock outboard marathon racing." (FiberGlassics)

A group in Canada made this nice video about Mr. Jackson, aka "Dadey".
"William D. Jackson made significant contributions to the home boat building industry, yet very little was known about the man himself....until now. Over two years in the making, this is the official film biography on the famous, yet very private person who made the Seaflea a household name. With never-seen-before photographs from his estate and with assistance from his daughter(Joyce Jackson Fletcher), Muskoka Seaflea is proud to present this 24 minute film that takes you behind the scenes of this prolific naval architect." (Muskoka SeaFlea)

05 Feb 19:

Pictures of a completed Petrel appeared in the April 1963 issue of Science and Mechanics, reference a picture found in a genealogy website. So the plans came out before April 1963, the hunt is on to find the original article, it could be in Science and Mechanics, Boatcraft or Boat Builders Handbook. Most likely Science and Mechanics since the picture looks to be posted in a Letters to the Editor section. We know it was republished in Boat Building

(Image Credit: Sarazin Family).

(Image Credit A. M. Sarazin).

06 Feb 18:

Found an older version of the plans, published 1944 in Boat Builder's Annual by Science and Mechanics Publications. The Annual had plans for 15 boats and the article was a little more detailed than the 1978 reprint. (Boat Builder's Annual, 1944. Science and Mechanics Publications)

More pages to follow.

04 Jul 19:

Colin contacted us from Ireland, they have a great collection of PETRELs over there.

An aquamarine painted marine plywood Petrel with yellow sails built 1970 and recently restored in 2017.
A Petrel race in the 1960's. The first ones were built with larch planks and no.1 had a cabin.
A red marine plywood Petrel built in the early 1960s.
A white marine plywood Petrel built in 1992.
My red grp Petrel with new red sails built in 1984. I restored her in 2014.
My green grp Petrel with new blue sails built in 1984. I restored this one in 2017.
Another Petrel I owned and restored back in 2013.Yellow /orange with red sails she's marine plywood and was the very last one built locally in 1993.

Thanks Colin for sharing the photos!

to be continued...

Science and Mechanics Craft Print List on FiberGlassics

Kristo Martin Petrel Build youtube
-Sailboat building timelapse, 16footer, part 1
-Sailboat building timelapse, 16footer, part 2
-Sailboat building timelapse, 16footer, part 3

Svenson's Free Boat Plans


  1. Hello from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford Ireland. Our local sailing had a fleet of around 43 Petrels and it was the Petrel which was adopted as the club class. The first were built in the late 1950's and we're made of larch planks as marine plywood was impossible to get . In the 1960's when marine plywood finally became available more were built. Then in the early 1980's a grp mould was made and about 10 grp Petrels were constructed!

    1. Hello Colin, that is amazing information, the Petrel looked like a fun boat. Are there any still around and do you have any photos?

      Thanks for sharing the knowledge!
      Clark and Skipper

  2. Hi Clark, there are about 13 still about. Mostly grp ones but also there are a 1970 plywood and the very last 1993 plywood. All Petrels were home built open cockpit versions except no.1 which had a cabin. No.1 was made of larch planks and was still in existence until quite recently. The grp hulls were made by a boatyard and home finished. I currently have 2 grp Petrels which I've fully restored. I've had 7 Petrels over the years and one of those I've owned twice. Our local sailing club still uses them for sail training etc which they are ideal for. I have tons of photos . Send me your email address and I'll send you on some.

  3. Look up our sailing club website and you'll get to see some Petrel's there.

    1. Great photos, thank you for sharing the link.