S/V Charlotte
The Boat
Sailing in 25 knots to Bequia

Charlotte is a 51' custom steel sloop designed by Robert H. Perry and built in the Pacific Northwest by Dieter Pollack and Loren Schmidt in 1991.   Her origination and build are best captured by the following design review that Bob Perry submitted to "Sailing" magazine.  I had the priveledge to visit Bob in his Seattle office, view detailed plans and speak with him about the boat well before I flew to Florida to view her.

Hauled for survey in Ft. Lauderdale
From the masthead



When you think of steel yachts or steel boats you usually come up with an image of work boat style construction and de­tailing at its best and on the otherhand home built amateur building details at their worst. This cutter for Dr. Don Dickerson of Florida will be the fourth in a series my office has produced with Dieter Pollock of Vancouver, B.C. and each of these yachts is in every way a first class vessel built to the highest standards of yacht quality finish.

In many ways, Dr. Dickerson is the ideal client. After spend­ing several hours aboard our last steel project, DIVA, Dr. Dick­erson said, "I want one, but make mine a little bigger." Dr. Dickerson's design is based upon DIVA with the addition of 4' of LOA and subtle revisions of the interior layout tailoring the new boat to Dr. Dickerson's love of diving and warm weather cruising.

To build the new boat I put together the same crew responsible for DIVA's success. The steel work was done by Dieter Pollock then the boat was shipped to Seattle to be finished by Loren Schmidt's yard. The hull was laid out from computer generated full size patterns utilizing the radius chine method with a 28.5" radius to soften the chines. The result is in all re­spects a round bilge design. Dieter's artistry is very evident in the ends as he varied the radius to achieve very shapely bow and stern shapes.

and stern shapes.

The hull shape has moderate deadrise and a wide BWL for good initial stability combined with a high positive righting moment angle. The capsize screening munber is 1.65. Draft was reduc­ed to 5'4" in light of the shoal area of operation. The d/1 ratio is 256 putting this design right in the "medium" displace­ment range. The stern was kept beamy in order to maximize the useable swim step area for ease in access to the boat during diving operations.

Hull construction uses 3/16" plating for the hull with 3/8" plating for the keel fin. There is 10,000 lbs. of lead ballast inside the steel keel "envelope". The steel keel envelope it­self weighs 2,500 lbs. Above the ballast in the keel there is a 250 gallon, integral fuel tank. I have found that putting the frames on 27" centers works well for structure in addition to eliminating the need for additional partial framing for bulkheads. With two execptions the joiner bulkheads are all attached to structural frames. The longitudinal frames are on 12" centers.

On deck we have used a mid-cockpit layout similar to DIVA's with a T-shped well. Lessons learned in DIVA allowed us to clean up the deck layout on the new design. There are 11 hatches on deck all by Hood. We are using the Lewmar Commander System to power the primaries and mainsheet winch in addition to the furling gear for both genoa and main. Perhaps the most unusual feature of this deck is the stepped transom area, again taken from the DIVA project. This makes it very easy to come and go from the yacht in heavy diving gear.

Utilizing the extension settee berth in the main cabin, the Dickerson yacht can sleep three couples. We used one odd frame spacing in the machinery area to give more room around the pleth­ora of mechanical components. Again, lessons learned on the DIVA project allowed us to refine the interior layout with the aid of the additional volume of this bigger hull.  The spars and furling gear are by Hood with the sails by the Seattle North loft. The cutter rig was chosen for ease of hand­ling and the use of Hood's hydraulic furling gear operated from the Lewmar Commander package should make for very easy operation.  This design uses the venerable Perkins 4.236 for auxilliary pow­er. There is tankage for 300 gallons of water. The gen set is a 12.5 kw Northern Lights.  Dr. Don Dickerson's yacht is scheduled for launch in December '90 and will be cruised in the Northwest before heading home to Florida.

Robert H. Perry