Other Designs by Matt Layden

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Matt's first home-made microcruiser (pic 1), Terrapin, was 16' long and had a 6' beam. With a fully battened mainsail and toed-in leeboards, she was reportedly quite fast to windward. She was cruised extensively along the North Eastern seaboard of the United States and she worked reasonably well. However, one day in the cold waters off the coast of Maine, the small flat bottomed boat experienced a severe knock down in a fierce storm. The boat went to 90 degrees and stayed there, supported only by her buoyant mast. When the winds abated, Matt righted his craft, but the experience started him thinking about a better and more seaworthy design.

This new design became Swamp Thing (pic 2). She was 13'-2" long and 44" wide, and she proved to be a novel sailboat because she did not have a centerboard or a leeboard. Instead she employed specially shaped external chine logs, which Matt called chine runners, to prevent leeway. These chine runners also had the added benefit of not picking up lobster pot lines or sea weed, which proved troublesome with the leeboards on Terrapin. Swamp Thing proved to be a great success overall, and she was sailed all the way from Matt's home in Connecticut to the Bahamas and back. The only trouble Matt experience during the entire trip occured one very rough night in the middle of the Gulf Stream when he was standing on deck signaling his presence with a flashlight to a nearby passing freighter. As luck would have it, the great ship passed too close by and the subsequent wake upset the already confused 10 foot seas. This ultimately caused the little boat to be knocked onto its side. Unfortunately, Matt then grabbed a chine runner for support, and that finally pulled the little sharpie over and on top of him. Nonetheless, the diminutive micro-cruiser was soon righted in the tepid waters off Florida, and Matt continued uneventfully onto the Bahamas.

After this long cruise, Swamp Thing was given away to a friend, and the construction of a larger version began. This sharpie became know as GJac (pics 3-5). GJac was 14' 10" and was similar in concept to her predecessor. After about a year, Matt had learned as much as he could from this boat, and he went on to build Little Cruiser, which had more comfortable accomadations. This 15'2" micro-cruiser was sailed as far North as the Bay of Funday and as far South as the Bahamas in the years that Matt cruised aboard her. Eventually, we came to own this wonderful craft as well as her sister ship, Swamp Thing.

Note: The leeboards you see in the pictures of GJac were added by a later owner