open sore

Our friend Webb Chiles makes a an open and shut case…
This morning I walked the short distance along the harbor front to the Maritime Museum to view the boat in which a South African claims to have made an open boat circumnavigation. I had seen it when I was here in THE HAWKE OF TUONELA in 2008 and wanted to verify my memory.
As the photos clearly show this boat is decked. Decked from the bow to aft of the mast. Decked from the bow along both sides to the stern. Decked essentially as much as is GANNET or J-24s or every other small flush decked boat. There are Moore 24s with cut out sterns that look very much like this boat.
If I were to seal off GANNET’s companionway and live and sail her from the cockpit, she would still not be an open boat. She has a deck. CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE did not. Neither does Steve Earley’s SPARTINA, a Welsford Pathfinder. They are open boats. Not having a deck is what makes a boat open.
The South African sailor did complete an interesting small boat circumnavigation. He did not do it in an open boat. Here is a picture of an open boat.
Read on.