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White Eagle 60

2007 January 7

Performance cruiserr

Tullie Gordon began stopping by the office in early summer. We talked boats for the next three months. I finally suggested that he fly to California and arrange to sail on my 55-foot design Stealth Chicken. Tullie arranged to crew on Chicken for the Ensenada race. During this race, he steered Chicken at more than 15 knots. He returned to Seattle primed and ready to begin. "I want one like that, but bigger."

Tullie's new boat is a 60-foot performance cruiser with a racing bent. The hull form features a broad stem and relatively firm bilges. The D/L is 109 on a displacement of 32,000 pounds. The keel is a vertical, constant-chord fin with a 9,500-pound, torpedolike bulb on the bottom at 8.66 feet draft. Tullie and his two sons are tall (6 feet, 7 inches), so I designed in 6 feet, 9 inches of headroom throughout the boat. The rest of the interior is laid out to a scale that will work well for tall people.

The owner's stateroom is forward and includes a large head with a big shower stall/tub. I combined the chart table with the freezer in order to increase the top of the chart table for a spacious nav area. The aft head is tight but it does have direct access from the starboard quarter cabin. Pilot berths were designed for a racing crew or the grandchildren. The port quarter cabin, which features pipe-style upper and lowers berths, will do double duty as a workroom.

The deck features a two-level cockpit. The aft portion is raised for visibility and the forward section drops down a step for protection under the hard dodger. Seat backs are deep in this area with the seatings all on one level. I chose two carbon fiber wheels to open up the cockpit area and provide easy access to the swim step. Side decks are generous.

Jim Betts of Truckee, California, is building the boat. The hull is aluminum and the decks are composite glass and carbon fiber. To achieve an attractive rollededge look to the sheer, we used a split pipe detail to mate the glass deck and the aluminum hull together. We split and rewelded a section of mast extrusion to form the bowsprit which supports the two anchor rollers and the tack for the asymmetrical chute. The bowsprit was masterfully built in aluminum by Bett's crew and ties into a recessed area for the anchors that fairleads to a windlass in the well. The Harken genoa furling drum is also in this well. Lines lead aft from the mast under the hard dodger to the winches, including the electric main halyard winch.

Designing the boat for Puget Sound meant a tall rig. Skip Chetelat of Forespar helped with the rig design. A staysail stay is included for heavy-air sailing. There is no mainsheet travelers You do not need one on a boat like this. There is never a time on this style of boat when you need to pull the boom up to centerline, let alone beyond centerline. If you do, you would be oversheeting the main.

We are using the I 00-horsepower Yanmar diesel with a Hurth V-drive with 2.5 to I reduction and RTL's AutoProp.

The launching is set for midwinter. Tullie and I have had a good time putting this design together, while the crew at Bett's yard is doing a great job on the building end.

Optimized cruiser for performance-loving owner.