‘Precious’, a Sam Rabl Picaroon for sale in San Diego

by · February 25, 2010

Illustration by Irwin Schuster, courtesy Annie Holmes

Precious racing circa 1995

Precious at the Coronado YC 2005

courtesy Annie Holmes

Precious at a boat show


Aft shot showing boomkin

Precious nuzzling Little Bird, a Rabl Titmouse, Annies newest passion.

all photos courtesy Annie Holmes

Mike Taylor of DIY Wood Boat.com sent me an email about a boat for sale by Annie Holmes in San Diego. Annie is the author of ‘Skiff Song’, which looks to be an interesting saga about the search into the history of a fifty odd year old small wooden boat which led to some unexpected results ( see below). Precious is a Sam Rabl Picaroon and appears to be absolutely gorgeous. Weston Farmer said she was “A delight to the eyes of every sailorman,” and the designer say’s she’s “the same boat in which Hank Hemingway had his great adventure in the Gulf of Mexico”.

Here are some particulars:

She is 1″ x 3/4″ strip-planked mahogany over oak frames, and is water-tight.
(She was coated with epoxy inside and out before launching.)
She is 18.5′ on deck and 24′ overall.
Her beam is 8’1″.
She displaces 4,000 lbs. and draws 3.5′.
She has a Sunbrella 3-piece full boat cover.

Annie says, “She’s a departure from the original design in that her builder made her a Marconi cutter rig instead of a gaff sloop with running back stays. That explains the boomkin and bowsprit, which are not on the original drawings. She is much easier to sail single-handed for that reason. I’ve owned her for 25 years and keep her in tip top shape. I bought her in early 1985 from the builder, who is a consummate craftsman. He still builds gorgeous custom violins and guitars, and he built this boat over a two year span and put her in the water in 1980. Her decks and laserettes are teak. Her full keel has a 700# (or thereabouts) lead insert. She is roomy and lovely inside: varnished louvered cabinets, a working sink, lots of storage, and two six-foot bunks. Light grey upholstery with forest green piping. She has a full compliment of sails, including a spinnaker, 180 lapper, staysail, main and jib. My jib is an old Hobie jib which fits fine. I should get serious about replacing it, as the plastic window is cracked. One of these days I will if someone doesn’t buy her first. At her last haul-out I stripped and varnished and over-painted the mast and spreaders, so that won’t have to be done for some time. She’s as lovely as she looks in the photos.

She is a dream to sail, and I’ve won lots of racing trophies with her, racing against other wooden boats. She’s taken prizes at local wooden boat shows as well. I have used her gently over the years and she always gets double-takes wherever we go.

I’m now in my seventies, and I have another Rabl boat, a mahogany strip planked Titmouse, which is on a trailer and will be cheaper and easier for me to maintain.”

(Annie is the author of ‘Skiff Song‘, a memoir about her search into the history of another boat, her 1939 vintage Australian 16-foot racing skiff, that took her on an amazing adventure down under. She has since donated the boat to Australia as a gift from the U.S., as it was the last of it’s vintage.)

Please email me if you have interest and I will forward your interest to Annie so that she can contact you.

You’ll find my email @ 70.8%

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