Beachcomber Sailboat VariationArticle By Randy Creswell
I was given a free sailboat. Its hull seems like that of the Beachcomber, but it weighs more than 27 pounds (estimate twice that) and is plastic covered in what was clearly a commercially done operation. It has a nylon lateen rigged sail with the letters SS on it.
Have you heard of a later version of the Beachcomber, or was the design bought by someone else? Since I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, relatively near Coopersville, is it possible that this was a "one off" or an experimental design?
Length is 333 cm (11 ft 11in) long if you don't counter the rubber cushion edge around it. Beam is 88 cm (34.65 in- 2 ft 10 5/8 in) discounting rubber bumper. Could be 12 ft by 3 ft with bumper... On a bit of the stern deck is remnants of the words from a black sticker in white letters "products." On the stern there is a metal plate mounted with the "FREO 8088 0574" The F could be an E. the "0574" is in larger, more irregular stamping.
Sail is blue and white striped with letters SS on a nylon sail that was made in San Francisco. (May/may not be original) The foredeck has the raised center ridge that looks like the Beach Comber deck. There is a single cleat, just aft of mast for the downhaul. It is mounted on a plywood square. There is a flanged aluminum sleve th mast slides into also mounted on the same plywood square. I haven't figured out how to weigh it but it seemed more like 50 to 70 lbs.
Instead of fiberglassing to patch up some cracks and splits, my wife suggested Gorilla glue. This may not be a restorers technique but it was cheap easy and fast and we put it in the water tonight.
The sail has a tag on it which says
Sail made by Kransco
So. San Francisco, Ca.
Neil Pryde LTD, Hong Kong
Model No. 115
The mast is pretty precisely 8 feet tall, with a black plastic cap that has a hole through it. The downhaul halyard passes through the hole in the cap rather than a pulley to raise the sail. The sail is as nearly equilateral as I can measure, at 10' 6" on each side, (not counting the curve of the leech), point to point. The "S S" symbol is imbedded in 2 overlapping equilateral black triangles.