23 Foot Cutter

This boat was designed on speculation hoping that someone I know who was about to build something of similar size and character would like it. He persisted with a very ugly and unsuitable thing he got out of an English yachting magazine so I sent the plans to "National Fisherman" which did a nice article.

Shortly after the article came out, I learned that a fellow who had just started a friendship sloop an an excellent shop on the St. George River was in agony because he like this boat much better. He and the builder thought about it for a couple of days and decided they were too far along to change designs. If the National Fisherman article had come out a week earlier, I might have been able to watch one of my yacht designs being built, something that never happened while I thought of myself as a yacht designer. Who knows, maybe if they had built that boat it would have given me enough encouragement that I wouldn't have switched over to commercial craft. On the other hand, I've greatly enjoyed designing boats with real jobs to do so it was probably a good thing.

I sold lots of plans from the "National Fisherman" article but this would have been a remarkably complex and expensive little boat to build for the amount of space inside. As far as I know, only this modified fiberglass version was ever built but she has cruised all over Europe.

Back in 1981, I got a letter from Weston Farmer, a yacht designer and sage who was right at the very top of my list of those in the profession I had recently stopped aspiring to. He asked if I was the same Roger Long who had designed a boat he saw in "National Fisherman" and if he could buy plans. I wrote back that I was, sent him a set, and said that I could never take money from someone like him. He sent back this letter.

The comment at the end turned out not to be a joke as I heard a few days later that he had died. It was very bittersweet and always has made part of me regret that I didn't go on to fulfil his prediction. I have the check right here in front of me as I write this.

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