Jigsaw, replica of an 1889 Jersey La Rocque spritsail cutter

by · November 28, 2009


Jigsaw’s progenitors in La Rocque harbor c.1890’s

Jigsaw‘s original rig and later adaptation

Her hull lines as taken off The Volunteer by Mike Harrison with help from Alan Buchanan, Mike Jackson and Russell Wyness from Jackson’s Yacht Services while lying at the quay in St. Aubin on the Gulf of Saint-Malo.


All images courtesy Mike Harrison

While researching lug sails I ran across an image of this little gem and was immediately struck by that stunning topsail. I managed to contact her owner Mike Harrison and get some background. Launched in 1992, Jigsaw is a replica of a Jersey Oyster skiff, traditionally built of pine on oak. She was built to lines taken off a Jersey La Rocque spritsail cutter, The Volunteer, built 1889, by Mike and some friends. She’s only 13′ with a 5′ beam and draws 21″. The original boats were rigged double masted with a standing lug but Mike opted for a single mast standing lug with a jib forward. Initially he found the boat the boat a bit sluggish in light air, and after much experimentation solved the problem by adding that beautiful topsail, and reports her performance greatly improved.
There is a more detailed article on Jigsaw in the April 2007 issue of Classic Boat magazine. Initial contact with Mike was through the Woodenboat Forum. Much thanks to Mike and his daughter Phillipa for their ready assistance.

Oyster stuffing, anyone? Happy Thanksgiving.

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