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Old 06-08-2011, 05:43   #1
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Fiction Help ?

Morning all! My first post... I'm writing my first novel length story and could use some help making sure the parts dealing with cruising are correct. While most of the story does not happen aboard, a sailboat is central to a few themes and I want to represent her and cruisers properly.
The year is 1962, Catherine is a pre-WWII Rhodes Bounty I (wooden hull), and the main character "acquires" her after being drugged and tied to the motor while the old girl is leaky and in a bad Chesapeake Bay storm. Instead of sinking he gets her to port and over the course of a couple years starts to fix her up and live aboard part time.
Things I do not know, at least, are: Does the Bounty I have the same lines and cabin as the fiberglass hull Bounty II? If not, where can I find images or plans of a Bounty I? Did they even put large engines in sailboats in the 1930's - 1940s? What would some of the major issues be with an overhaul, assuming she was able to be made seaworthy? What sorts of electronics and cabin fixtures did they use in 1960?
I have a friend who is living aboard a Bounty II, that's what's given me the chance to meet cruisers and write them into the story. In theory, if there's more than one book to be written, the Catherine will become completly seaworthy and have a much nicer view of the water than sitting in a fictional version of Tom's River, NJ. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. I'm going to go scan the forum to see what ideas come up. Leam
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:12   #2
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Re: Fiction help?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Leam.

See ➥ Philip Rhodes Sail Boats
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:10   #3
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Re: Fiction help?

Thanks Gord!

I've found out that the Bounty was first planned in 1939, Design #452. She has an LWL of 27.5 and a beam of 9.67, with a ratio of 2.84.

Still looking for information!

Leam
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:06   #4
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Re: Fiction help?

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum Leam
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:08   #5
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Re: Fiction Help ?

In 1960 the electronics would be limited to a RDF (Radio Direction Finder) and a HF transceiver. Maybe a VHF transceiver. The transceivers would likely have just a few working channels. One needed to buy a crystal for each channel desired, and the sets only held maybe six crystals at a time. Might have a funky old depth sounder.

Because of horrendous power consumption, none of these would be left on, idle, unless the engine was running.

But some truly old-timer here may correct me as I was twiddling the radio knobs while eating Cheerios back then. (Oh, you still are?)
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:35   #6
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Re: Fiction Help ?

I was also eating Cheerios (or something) in 1962. Why Tom's River? If rebuilding a boat was a priority back in the 60s I think it would happen in Baltimore or Norfolk or possibly Annapolis. It's a long way from the Chesapeake to Tom's River in a leaky wooden boat in need of a rebuild.

There are lots of good sources for history on Chesapeake Bay that should get you sorted on what was available where in your time frame. Check the museums in St. Michaels and Solomons. You might also try to get in touch with Ginger Doyel ( Ginger Doyel :: Contact Ginger ).

Wooden boats are special creatures. One interesting oddity is getting the wood to swell again and the joints to stop leaking after it has been on the hard for a bit. You might try the Wooden Boats Forum ( The WoodenBoat Forum ).

Rigging was basic by current standards -- a lot of time would go into splicing wire. Some blood and swearing would likely go into it as well.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 06-08-2011, 13:35   #7
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Re: Fiction Help ?

I was still sucking my thumb then, but probably got some Cheerios now and again. Many years later I learned to sail at the mouth of Tom's River on a 23' Ensign with Nelson Sailing Center. I enjoyed myself and if I can figure out how to advertise for them in the book, I will.

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Old 06-08-2011, 13:57   #8
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Re: Fiction Help ?

As good an answer as any. Make sure the drafts work out. I don't know what the depths were back then but getting in and out of Barnegat Inlet now can be a trick with anything like 6'.
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