Martha Jane Graham Cheers' Shirley Valentine, building, sailing and cruisingnew
Text (c) TJ Fatchen.  Photos (c) G Cheers, TJFatchen 1997-2001
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The Martha Jane design derived from a search for a trailerable Black Skimmer, without the very tall mast, overlength and weight.  Nevertheless, at 23'6" x 6', and a 7" draft, she fills the midrange gap in the Advanced Sharpies, between the AS19 and AS29, as a shoal-draft true sharpie, waterballasted and the pointy bits missing for trailerability, and the balanced lug to set a lot of area down low,

Phil Bolger & Friends Inc recently ran a redesign to improve her self-righting qualities, with sponsons, additional ballast and a higher cabin in various combinations.  Shirley Valentine was built with a cabin slightly higher than original plans, and has been rebuilt with the designed sponsons and the additional ballast.  Graham Cheers, who trails this boat over half of Australia (doiwn the Murray River, to the Murray Lakes, up to Cairns, lives in NSW etc etc) says the rebuild is "like having a brand new boat", and the additional ballast and sponsons have really lifted both her performance and utility.  More later!
 

The text isn't complete for this page so a selection of photos is presented just to keep you happy!  The Martha Jane is the boat the Tadpole family were about to build when the AS29 popped up and couldn't be refused.  At 23'6", and waterballasted, she's eminently trailerable.  There's been a redesign to improve her stability, which has resulted in an even better boat than she was to begin with.  We'll try to put stuff on this page over the next few weeks.

 
 
Two reefs.  For good reason...
One reef.

  One reef.
SquareBoat, SquareBrolly (cruising) on the winery landing, Finniss River.
Sandbanked at the Murray Mouth, Feb 2001

 
 
Cruising: entering a reed berth at Narrung
Cruising: the morning after in the reed berth at Narrung, under the 150-year old Point Malcolm lighthouse.
Spacious cabin...
And there are building shots to come, not to mention the rebuilding with sponsons and more ballast
Shirley Valentine up to no good...

 

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