Tuesday Morning Wood: John G. Hanna Design

Yes. I use sexual innuendo in advertising cheap or free wooden sailboats on Craigslist. Why? Because, one, I like sailboats, and two, I like history and, three, I like sexual innuendo. Especially on Tuesday mornings.

Every few days a guy named Gunner scouts Craigslist then loads up my email with his discoveries. I sort through ’em and cherry pick a few to pass along. In most cases wood. Almost always sail.

Wood offers an experience plastic (fiberglass) simply can’t. There’s something magical about wood. And, because most wooden boats are older than plastic, there’s a historic preservation vibe as well.

Yes. I’m taking my time getting started. Why? Because this morning’s woody is not up to par compared to what’s been given before. Today’s free boat on Craigslist is a John G. Hanna design gaff rigged sloop –Pico Denaro– from the 30s/40s.

The owner says “mast and spars good and usable.”

Although short and fat, with patience and understanding it might take you around the world some day.

Again, it’s free.

Right up until you take possession, that is.

Once you’d got your hands one it, much time and money will be involved.

Be advised: The owner of this woody is adamant it go to a restorer with “the skills and resources to complete the job.”

Check it out on Craigslist here.

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FYI: Wikipedia says John Griffin Hanna was a sailboat designer, famous for designing the Tahiti ketch. Hanna was born in Galveston, Texas, on October 12, 1889. During his childhood he was afflicted with deafness following scarlet fever, and lost a foot in a traffic accident. Around 1917, he settled in Dunedin, Florida, and was greatly influenced by the Greek double-ended sponge boats found in nearby Tarpon Springs, Florida. Shortly after his move to Dunedin, Hanna purchased a double-ended ketch-rigged sponge boat that had been built in Apalachicola, Florida by a Greek-American shipwright named Demo George. This vessel, and others that Hanna studied, would inspire the design of Hanna’s famous Tahiti ketch.[1] Hanna died in 1948. At least two boats of Hanna’s designs have circumnavigated the world twice. Jean Gau in the Atom; and Tom Steele in the Adios. The same source adds: Hannah was a gifted small vessel designer, but perhaps his greatest strength -and weakness- was as a writer and critic of other’s designs. He was let go by the Rudder [magazine] after a drawn-out feud with L. Francis Herreshoff, who was also a columnist there, and debated acerbically with Thomas C. Gillmer over Tahiti’s design antecedents.

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Thanks for playing along. Wink-wink.

— Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill