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Sunday, 9 Feb 2003
From Laurence Monkhouse
Hello - I have only just found your excellent article.
I attach a picture of our Hebe. She is a bit smaller than the S & A boats at 11' 11" oa, 4' 9'5" beam. Built in 1992 by the Lowestoft Boat Building Training Centre as a student project. These boats are normally half decked and rigged with a gunter lug but I asked them to leave her open, put in thwarts and seats 2" wider than normal and to leave the rig to me. She is fitted with a centreplate in some plastic material.
The rig as established after a bit of trial and error is basically a standing lug without mast jaws, with about 100 square feet of canvas, far more than the puny gunter lug she was designed for.
We are thrilled with her performance. She is exceptionally docile to handle (apart from a slight tendency to roll on the run). If you get a puff you can't handle you just let go the mainsheet and she stops instantly. She is obviously not a racing dinghy but is very comparable in performance with most boats her size, and can be rigged and unrigged while they are still wondering how to do the jib hanks.
We had her in France in 2001 at the Classic Boat festival at Morbihan, where she handled quite interesting conditions including going several miles out into the Atlantic with aplomb. I don't know why we gave up this sort of dinghy for sheer practical usefulness.
I also attach a picture taken at Morbihan, France, during the classic boat festival - some of the hundred or so bigger boats astern of Hebe - showing that her performance is not too bad. The French actually do updated versions of the S & A style of boat better than we do - the magazine Chasse Maree has sponsored various glued ply designs based on traditional boats, including a very attractive one about 15 feet long with a raked mast stepped right in the bow carrying something between a standing lug and a dipping lug, although in French tradition they don't dip it.
Hebe lives in Lowestoft, the most easterly point of the British Isles, and usually sails on the Norfolk/Suffolk Broads or on the River Orwell further south, both classic AR territory (CC, BS and WD SW)
All the best, and do keep up the crusade.