By the measures commonly accepted in the Nineteenth Century
this is still a small boat for any useful occupation.
We’ve grown accustomed to setting these issues aside
and giving precedence in our pleasure boats
to basing our choice on what we can afford
to build, buy, maintain.
When it comes to a working boat
we need to add back the factor of utility.

As we consider Boats for difficult times, we need to reassess what we mean by cost and utility. Cost not only in money or even in money at all. If a boat is built outside the money economy many other factors take precedence. Likewise, if we remove the exaggerated cost/benefits provided by fossil fuels – so long as we ignore the so-called externalities – we must measure utility in ways we may not readily recognize.

As with the smaller schooner boat, this craft looks to Nineteenth Century models as a way of approaching this other form of accounting. Robust and even redundant strength is achieved by using wood and metal in basic and relatively unprocessed forms together with a hull form and rig that is conservative in the very old-fashioned sense of that word. These factors combine and result in a boat we hope will have a relation of costs and utility that might give it a useful life in our uncertain times.

Clipper, Lines Profile

Beyond the boat itself another factor stands out. Designing, building, and using a boat like this promotes the practice and handing down, not only of skills and techniques; but of broader ways of doing things; ways of considering how a life is spent that have become rare in our day.

Resolute, 32′ Schooner-Boat Outboard Profile

One of the challenges this brings to the fore over the 32 footer
is the way its larger size begins to interact
with our sense of the private versus
what is best done communally.
Resolute can be much more readily seen
as an individual’s concern.
Not only are its relative costs lower,
but its more limited range of utility
make this a relatively easy expectation.
On the other hand, with a boat this size or larger,
we can begin to see how it might be best built by
and put to use serving a community.

This post is just a taste.
A fleeting glimpse at a potential craft.
Also a taste of what might be possible
if we look at how such a boat
might get built and used.
Just another way of looking at how
boats can become Vessels of Transformation.

This begins a series of posts exploring a variety of related designs in this size range and delving into the possibilities for such a craft.


  • LBP              46′ – 0″
  • LWL 39′ – 9″
  • Beam 12′ – 8″
  • Draft 5′ – 10″
Clipper Illustration

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©Antonio Dias, 2010 – 2023

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Published by Antonio Dias

My work is centered on attending to the intersection of perception and creativity. Complexity cannot be reduced to any given certainty. Learning is Central: Sharing our gifts, Working together, Teaching and learning in reciprocity. Entering into shared Inquiry, Maintaining these practices as a way of life. Let’s work together to build practices, strengthen dialogue, and discover and develop community. Let me know how we might work together.

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