1977 Blue Water 14
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from David of Sailing Texas: Idalisa has decided to sell her Bluewater 14! I sailed this boat two years ago, you can read about that below. It's a gaff rigged catboat and a real pleasure to sail.
When Idalisa called and asked me if I'd teach her to sail the boat her dad gave her I said sure. But I didn't expect this! A 14 foot gaff rigged sailboat is a little odd, and as I looked it over it was odder and odder. A cat boat with the wooden mast stepped far foward gives a lot of room behind the mast, and it's so beamy the amount of room in the oval self bailing cockpit is amazing. As you can see there's even room to lay down on the forward deck. Definitely the most comfortable 14 foot boat I have ever sailed.
The Bluewater 14 was designed by Dave Autrey and built at Blue Water Boat
Works in Amarillo, Texas. The company also built
the "Blackwatch", an 18-foot Dave Autrey design with a
similar hull to the Blue Water but with a fairly sizable cabin, a
marconi cutter rig, a wood bowsprit, and with aluminum mast and
rigging vs. the wood spars.
Storage? We took not one but two icechests, and a large bag packed with goodies! We had PFD's, paddles, and more on board. Two lazerettes to the stern of the cockpit held odds and ends, but the forward hatch opened to a truly cavernous area below deck! Big enough an adult could get inside if needed, but really not living quarters.
The huge rudder was inpressive and solid wood. Lots of wood on this boat, the mast, spars, toerail, tiller and traveler were also wood, and wood rings attached the sail to the mast. The apparantly unweighted swing keel raises completely in the hull with an easy pull on a rope, when we launched her I was surprised it floated in less than knee deep water. This is a great boat for exploring.
Such a short wide boat, and a gaff rig, I wondered how she'd sail? The short shoal keel and wide body just looked slow. With three people and all our stuff we set sail on Lake Grapevine. We spotted Pete in his Sovereign 17 ahead so I thought we'd try to catch him for some pictures, and we did easily. After saying hello I trimmed the sail to see how she pointed and pulled away. Pete did the same but the little Blue Water pointed so much higher we left him behind. Several times I looked back to see we were leaving a wake, while it isn't made to plane this is definitely not a slow boat.
The Blue Water is sensitive to where the people sit on her, but I never felt in danger of tipping over. She would heel easily at first and then just stop. When she heeled in a gust the weather helm would increase and up she would turn. The sail was easy to control, the mainsheet traveler passing right over the tiller. She tacked gracefully, it seemed she was taking her own sweet time coming about, but she always made it. The tiller can only move to about a 45 degree angle because it is under the traveler, just the right angle for a tack.
We don't know how many were made. The sail has a 14 on it so it should be the 14th one. One boater said she looked Swedish. Everyone who saw the Blue Water 14 had to tell us how beautiful she was, I'm sure she has quite an ego by now!
I have an offer of $4000. I have decided to take it. I am just waiting for the paperwork (title, registration, etc.). I'm trying not to get to excited about it just in case he changes his mind between now and then. So, yes, I guess it would be appropriate to go ahead mark the boat "sold". Wouldn't you agree? P.S. David, I cannot thank you enough - FOR EVERYTHING. Once this boat is sold, I still plan to call you every now and then, just to check in. Ted and I are planning a weekend vacation to Austin...maybe we can just stop by and say hello. In the summer, I would love to come up and "let" you take us sailing. I love the sport, as along as someone else is doing all of the work.
You are the greatest! I'll keep you posted on this boat and let you know when everything is finalized.
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