Pitthirrit on albert park lakeAfter we sold our B&B Yacht Designs Core Sound 17 we were without a boat for a year. That when was I decided that it was time to start on the next build. Initially, I had wanted to build a CS17 Mk3, which has a cabin, but when the plans arrived I discovered that the plans had been updated, and was now a few inches wider than had been detailed on the B&B website. It doesn't sound like much of a change, but it was enough to make the boat unable to fit down our driveway. So, back to the drawing board...

I could have built another CS17 Mk1, or a CS15, but I was taken by the B&B Yeach Designs Lapwing 16, a glued lapstrake cat rigged ketch. Slightly smaller than the CS17, it appeared to have everyting I liked about the CS17, but with a more traditional feel.

Lapwing 16: Pitthirrit

Sail Number     24
LOA   4.77M (15' 8")
BEAM   1.69M (5' 6 1/2")
DRAFT   20cm – 1.06M (7" - 3' 6")

Empty weight of the boat, including masts, sails and sheets, is around 210kg (approximately 463 lb). When the saftety gear and odds and ends are added, the boat weighs around 250kg (roughly 550 lb). Adding our Honda 2HP air-cooled outboard and 5 litres of fuel takes the weight up to 268Kg (just under 591 lb).

This is a slightly modified version of the design, as, after consulting B&B Yacht Designs, I didn't add the decking, and opted instead to keep the boat completely open.

The name? I called our Lapwing Pitthirrit, the name for a Masked Lapwing in the Dhauwurd Wurrung language of the people of Gunditjmara country (the area around Warrnambool, Victoria). Given the changes I've made to the deck layout I thought that it was an appropriate name. Pitthirrit is pronounced Pitirit.

The photos below are from our first sailing day in Pitthirrit, in April 2021. One of the other boats on Albert Park Lake that day was Kirsty Ann, the CS17 I built back in 2005. The wind varied from none to a touch over 5 kts, but it was enough to get us to the end of the lake and back in the company of other members of the Wooden Boat Association.

So far, the only changes I've had to make is to add small wooden blocks to the aft side of each mast, to prevent the boom straps from sliding down the mast when the snotters are tensioned. In these photos you can see that the booms are sitting at the very bottom of the opening, and the snotters are actually pulling on the sleeves. Hopefully these blocks will prevent this in future.



These pages detail the build of our Lapwing over the course of 2020, and into 2021. Perversely, I was able to get lots of work done in January and February 2020, but as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded I had less time to work on the boat, and progress slowed down somewhat.