Seamew no 73 Ex Dotterel renamed Charlotte sailing in the river Wyre
Seamew Sloop Designed by Ian Proctor
--- 22ft. overall with retractable keel for deep and shoal water----
Built by the Bell Woodworking Company
( Information taken from Bells catalogue circa 1966)
Following the success of the Seagull and to satisfy the demand for a bit more than the Seagull has to offer, ie four or five berths, more room in the cabin, a forehatch, a self draining cockpit, flushing sea toilet, an inboard engine and more stowage space. Ian Proctor was commissioned to design a big sister to the Seagull, with similar sailing qualities and able to be built from a kit in the same way. After many months the drawings were produced, and in 1962 the prototype was built and tested.
Seamew has a retractable bulb keel which slides into a trunk, This is operated by a mechanical winch mounted on the trunk case in the cabin; when the keel is up the bulb still protrudes below the deadwood giving a draft of 1ft 9in. and when fully lowered the draft is 4ft 2in.. The great advantage of this retractable keel is that shoals and creeks can be navigated and quite often it is possible to nose into the shore and step off without getting ones feet wet; this also saves the trouble of towing a dinghy. One further advantage of the retractable keel is that she can be left on moorings which dry out , because most of the bulb settles into the mud or sand when dry.
Her seaworthiness has been proved during her trials and since. She handles more like a deep keel boat than the Seagull and is much stiffer too. Her beam is 7ft. 4in. and is also of the well proven four plank construction which gives a strong robust hull, weighing 22cwts all up.
Once again a masthead sloop rig was chosen carrying Main, Forresail, Storm jib, Genoa and Spinaker. Remote control reefing for the mainsail. The great advantage of this rig is the wide range of sail area that it permits using jibs of varying sizes.
The mast is pivoted in a tabernacle for easy lowering whwen rivers are to be navigated . Accommodation consists of two bunks in the cabin, one optional smaller bunk forward in the F/castle and two additional bunks slung above the cabin bunks which hinge down completely out of the way to form seat backs when not in use . A good sized portable table fits on the trunk casing when required. A hatch is provided forward which makes the foredeck easily accessible and provides good ventilation. There is a galley compartment with stowage for crockery, a sink and folding navigation table.
On the prototype a Coventry Victor Midget engine with Watermota Stern Gear, which proved very satisfactory indeed. A sea toilet was also fitted forward. These luxuries can of course be varied to suit ones personal requirements and pocket.
The cockpit is slightly smaller than in the Seagull but is of the self draining type with a watertight depth of 11in.