Blue Bird
An 18' 1" Keel Cruising Knockabout
By William Atkin
The Fast Little Auxiliary Blue Bird
In the spirit of spring and the coming of the song birds herewith especially appropriate is the latest little number of MoToR BoatinG's family, Blue Bird. For the spring, mind you; and, forthwith, a golden opportunity by which to assuage the urge that calls immediately for a boat. Not too big, mark you, is this Blue Bird; and yet not a tiny bit of wood and canvas. Blue Bird's modest 18 feet of over all length, because it is coupled with generous breadth and depth of hold becomes a big boat. To be precise the over all length of this youngest of the family is 18 feet 1 inch; the water line length is 16 feet; the greatest breadth 6 feet 10 inches; and the draft exactly 2 feet. And let me remark; she needs not a center board. The freeboard at the bow is 2 feet 5 inches, and at the stern, 2 feet. Between the cabin floor boards at station seven the depth from the line of the sheer is 2 feet 6 inches. So you see there is unusual room in the hull for so small a boat in over all length.
The sail plan shows the rig that is the mode just now and carries 175 square feet in staysail and mainsail. This makes a handy rig and about as simple as it can be. All halliards, topping lifts, and sheets lead to the cockpit. The little boat, of course, steers with a tiller.
The cabin of Blue Bird can be made a mighty cozy little place. There are two good sized bunks, on one side a table built in for sink and ice box, while on the opposite side there will be a table for stove, and lockers below. Room is provided for dish shelves. There will be fair room below the bunks for stowage, too. The motor, if it is one of the small and light single cylinder types, will fit beneath the bridge deck. There is ample room here for a small twin cylinder marine motor. In the matter of power I would not advise anything over 8 h.p. The cockpit floor is not intended to be self bailing. The headroom under the companion slide is 4 feet 2 inches and sitting up room over the bunks 3 feet 2 inches. In the matter of headroom what more might one expect in this little boat. I know there will be builders who will lower the floor, raise the height of the sheer, the height of the cabin sides, the house top crown, and many seemingly small items in an effort to improve the design or to make it adaptable to some very particular requirement. And in about six months I'll receive a letter telling me the boat does not perform as specified and that I should not encourage people to build boats at all. If you will leave her as she is, then you will have an excellent little boat, measuring up to all expectations.
There is one change permissible. The lead ballast can be built in the keel or carried inside. Inside ballast has the advantage of being easily removed and will be somewhat less expensive than the cast lead in the keel. I think it will depend upon where the boat is to be used, the facilities for hauling out and transporting, as to which form of ballast to carry.
 
PHOTOS OF BLUE BIRD
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