naval architect and yard owner.
Archer (22 July 1832 – 8 February 1921) was a Norwegian naval architect from
Larvik on the south east coast of Norway. He was known for building seaworthy
and fast double ended pilot boats, yachts and rescue boats. He also designed
and built sailing ships for commercial trade and polar expeditions. He is most
famous for the rescue boats and the polar ship FRAM used in both Fridtjof
Nansen's and Roald Amundsen's polar expeditions.
Archer was born at Tollerodden in Larvik, the twelfth of thirteen children born
to parents who had immigrated to Norway from Scotland in 1825.
school and 1.5 year as ship builder apprentice, he went to Queensland,
Australia and joined six of his elder brothers doing sheep farming. Colin there
became the administrator and were in charge of transporting cargo to the coast
on and up and down the Fitzroy River. Read more on Gracemere Homestead here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gracemere_Homestead
Archer returned home to Larvik for an 18 months "service" to look
after his old parents. Under this stay he took up boat building and studied
international shipbuilding and decided to stay in Norway. In 1869 he was
married to Karen Sophie Wiborg (1838-1908) with whom he had five children. In
1872 he had built a house for his family next to his parent's house.
years after his return, he built some rowing boats and spent a lot time
studying the latest international ship and yacht design developments. This
included Fredrik Henrik
af Chapman (1721 - 1808) and John Scott Russell
(1808 - 1882). Archer was especially interested in the mathematic theories from
regarded as the first naval architect and developed calculations for
displacement, stability and a lot more. He was the first one to make the
displacement curve and after a lot model testing, concluded that most of the
curve should follow a parabola. However, his conclusion of the overall hull
shape, was confirming the shape of the time; "Cod's head, Mackerel
tail" and thus did not make any controversy. The "Cod's head-"
shape is characterised by having the midship section (point of widest beam) well
forward of amidships, ideally said to be 1/3 (33%) from the bow.
Russell's wave-line theory, however, was double controversy. Firstly he, also
after a lot of model testing, concluded that the midship section, should be
placed 60 % from the bow. Secondly, he as a mathematic lecturer, put out the
theory that the waterlines should follow mathematical curves, the sine curve
forward and the trochoid curve aft. Scott Russell was a well know engineer
having designed successful steam engines for canal boats, carriages and ships. Turning
the line back to front and introducing extremely hollow lines where they should
be full, did not get any applause. However, Scott Russell managed to get a
yacht and a few ferries in his home town Glasgow to adopt his lines. Not
surprising to us today, the sharp bow made the ships faster with less fuel
consumption. His design was used on Royal Mail ships and gradually also the
trans-Atlantic passenger ships adopted his lines. In the states the lines were
transferred to sailing ships which was the start of the famous extreme
Clippers. The lines were also tried on a New York yacht that got a lengthened
foreship. This led to two pilot cutters, one of them being the famous AMERICA
that beat all the English boats in 1851.
thought Scott Russell's theories was very interesting, but the extreme hollow
lines were not suitable for small boats. However, he put the midship section
well aft of amidships and made the lines as hollow as he thought advisable. The
displacement curve was made with Chapman's parabola.
built boats at the day, was built by the eye of the boatbuilder. Colin Archer
however, being a naval architect before he started building, also designed his
clinker-built boats and calculated displacement, sail areas etc. This gave him
a great advantage over the traditional builders to develop new and better
first sailing boats.
first sailing boat MAGGIE was built in 1866/67 and was clinker built and only
26 feet. The rig was 2-masted schooner with heavily raking masts and just one
large foresail; a true copy of the famous AMERICA at ¼ the size.
replaced the family's old boat of traditional design and was noted for her
speed sailing in the Larvik fjord. Archer built another 26-foot cutter for sale
and in 1869 got an order to the customs on a 40-foot clinker-built gaff rigged
cutter. This was too big for his small shed and was built outdoor as normal for
larger boats of the time.
were very satisfied and followed up with an order on two more, this time carvel
built, 36 and 42 feet, very strong and heavily built. With these large orders,
Archer had a large workforce employed and himself being administrator and
designer. Archer now advertised that he could take orders on all type of boats.
revolution of the pilot boats.
In 1800 all
pilot boats were still open boats and capsizing happened frequently. Pilots
were rarely buried ashore. Peder Norden Sølling
(1758-1827) a Norwegian in the navy, thought the pilots should have deck on the
boats and more ballast to make them safer. But heavier boats meant slower
boats, so it did not seem wise to invest in something that would put you out of
business. Sølling then got the government to sponsor boats built with deck. To
market this he visited the pilots wifes on stormy days and told about the new
design that would bring her husband safe home in any weather. By 1850, decked
pilot boats were the normal.
the heavily ballasting that Sølling prescribed, 4.5 tons, had been abandoned.
The boats were fairly flat bottomed, so such an amount of ballast had to be in
a large box which took up valuable space under deck in the 26-28 feet boats.
boats could sail in more wind than the open boats, which meant the risk was
higher, and not much was actually gained in security.
Archer started his boatbuilding, capsizing was still a huge problem.
first pilot boats built in new shed.
tried to introduce the English hull type with counter stern and plumb stem to
the pilots and fishermen with a boat launched in 1870, but without luck.
In 1871 he
sailed to Gothenburg in Sweden with his double ended yacht MAGGIE, re-rigged to
cutter (from schooner), and took part in a big international race with 81
yachts and 61 workboats. This was a spectacular event with over 6000 spectators
on steamships and on land. Archer got 3rd in a yacht class which
gave him a lot publicity in Norwegian newspapers. This should make it easier to
sell his boats. In the Gothenburg race, the Norwegian pilot boats from Hvaler
(next to Swedish border, right across the Skagerrak from Larvik) took all the
prices in their classes. Hvaler pilot boats were also common in the Larvik
he designed his first double ended pilot boat 33 feet on deck, clinker built.
building in winter more efficient, he put up a larger shed at the north west of
traditional pilot boats were still the "Cod's head"-type, but Archer
applied Scott Russell's midship position which gave a sharp bow. However, he
kept a fairly full deck-line, so the appearance of the boat was not too radical,
and the boat shape were familiar to the pilots. Draft was increased, and more
ballast used than his competitors and the boats became both faster,
manoeuvrable and more seaworthy.
The rig was,
also to get into the marked, converted from gaff to sprit as this was the
normal in this area, and it was cheaper. Helped by the publicity of his price
in the Gothenburg race, Archer got his first pilot customer.
Norway were not allowed to corporate, so especially where there were many
pilots, it was important to have fast boats to get to the ships first. This
first pilot customer sailed in the outer Oslo fjord where there were dozens of
pilots. He called the boat for PILEN ("Arrow") and noted for its
speed, it gave Archer more customers.
the start of the 2nd revolution of the Norwegian pilot boats.
architect and publishing theories
first pilot boat was built in 1872, Archer wanted to share his knowledge on the
new design theories. This could also be good advertising for him. In a series
of articles in a magazine, he published a 29-page lecture in boat design. He
explained in detail Chapman's displacement curve and all the mathematics for
the parabola curve for this. He also noted Scott Russell's recommendation of
the midship section well aft amidships but thought the wave-line theory had to
be modified for "smaller" boats. In table form, he listed all famous
yachts and sailing ships and calculated many figures for comparison. He also
presented several lines plans, mostly of American pilot boats, as he saw as
published the lines plan for his first pilot boat just built and recommended
other boatbuilders also to change their hull shapes. This well meant advise,
worked against its purpose, being put forward even before his boat had been
second pilot boat won a pilot boat race in 1873 and he got more orders, but not
as many as he hoped. Archer's boats were also in the upper price region. It
cost to build a garboard plank deeper and he did not build himself as his
competitors. When all workers were paid, it was not much left for him. Many
boats were also built by farmers in the winter to very cheap prices. In 1873 he
thought there would be more money in building ships than boats, so he got in
In 1873 he
thought there would be more money in building ships than boats, so he got in
contact with investors and in 1874 they founded the shipyard "Laurvig
Strandeværft", at Rekkevik in the Larvik fjord, with Archer as a 30% part
owner. Rekkevik lies 3 km from the inner harbour of Larvik where his boatyard were at Tollerodden. One of the investors were
ship owners and ordered the first ship, in which Archer was also a part owner;
a good garantie for the ship owner that good work was done. in 1886 Archer
became sole owner of the shipyard.
built four ships to his design.
Schooner ARIES, 86 feet
Brigantine LEON, 108 feet
ship FRAM, 140 feet
Auxiliary steam Yacht INGEBORG, 94 feet
Archer made a dozen designs for sailing ships, mostly three masted barks, that
were built at other yards on the south coast, the most in Arendal. Close to 20
were built as several were built from the same drawing.
shipyard also did a lot repair work and especially conversion and outfitting
for polar expeditions. Some pilot and rescue boats were also built at Rekkevik
when it was too busy at Tollerodden.
for the 1880 brigantine LEON has been reproduced by Harold A. Underhill in his
book "Plank-On-Frame Models and Scale Masting and Rigging, vol. I"
and such a large number of LEON models exists around the world, including one
at Royal Museums
Greenwich. LEON was built to Herlofsen in Arendal. Herlofsens were a sailor and
ship owner family and LEON stayed in the family until 1894. LEON then shifted
hands several times, but all Norwegian owners. In 1897 she had the rig changed
to schooner. Late autumn in 1915 she got a serious leak in the North Sea on a
voyage from Granton to Porsgrunn with
coal, and was abandoned.
shipyard Laurvig Strandværft was laid down in 1907, two years before Archer
retired and his boatyard also was laid down.
The most notable single ship built by
Colin Archer was the FRAM, which participated in Fridtjof Nansen's expeditions to
the North Pole 1893-96 and in 1911 in Roald Amundsen's historic
first expedition to
is now preserved in the Fram Museum on Bygdøy, Oslo, Norway.
In 1886 the 3-masted bark «Pollux»
was built to Colin Archer's design in Arendal for catching seals and whales. In
1897 she was bought by Carsten Borchgrevink and taken to Archer's yard and fitted out for
polar expeditions. Renamed «Southern Cross» she sailed to
Antarctica 1898-1900 and
did important discoveries later used by Roald Amundsen for his expedition to the south pole.
In 1898 the Italian prince and
Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi wanted to do polar expeditions. He travelled to
Norway and consulted the famous polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen. In 1899 Amedo bought Jason, renamed
her Stella Polare and took her to Colin Archer's shipyard. The
interior was stripped out and new beams, diagonals and knees heavily
strengthened the ship. Amedo sett of in June 1899 and Stella Polare had hard time in Amedo's
expedition but survived thanks to Archer work.
In 1899, Archer also fitted out Zarya for the Russian
polar expedition of 1900–02. So the two ships lay side by side at the yard. «Zarya» was
also strengthened heavily with internal frames and beams, and deckhouses were
added and modified. The rig was changed to barkentine (square sail on foremast only). In October 1899
the ship was certified by Norwegian authorities for a three-year expedition in
mentioned, Archer's first yacht MAGGIE was successful. In 1873 he had built
himself a new 36 feet yacht, counter stern and plumb stem. It was clinker
built, fairly beamy and with inside ballast. After doing well in races, he put
it out fore sale and built himself another one in 1876, also put out fore sale
after some races. More orders came in and built next to the pilot boats.
However, at this time, his shipyard was busy building sailing ships so the
production of boats at Tollerodden was limited to 4-5 boats a year.
boat with ballast keel in Norway was an 18 feet transom boat built in 1870.
Double enders were the normal, so this was probably influenced from abroad or
just a slightly enlarged dinghy, cheap to experiment with. In the years to
follow, larger versions were built by different boatbuilders. After some trial
and error, these became very successful, which led to them being put in separate
the time, made his boats deep with inside ballast cast to fit the hull shape.
He also built several flat bottom transom boats, with steel plate centreboards.
autumn race in 1877, the owners of ballast keel boats, refused to start in
separate classes, and this practice came to an end.
designed his first yacht with a large ballast keel, cast in lead. This was a 35
feet narrow boat of the English type, counter stern and plumb stem. This was
very successful and after this, all yachts were built with ballast keels.
built about 125 boats with ballast keels and another 50 were built to his
design at other yards in his time.
keels on carvel-built pilot boats.
yachts with ballast keels in 1883, Archer thought it was time to introduce this
to the pilots as well. Archers persuaded his customs contact in the north to
order one to promote safe boots and it was financed by a foundation. Archer
also the same year, persuaded 3 Norwegian pilots that wanted new boats to have
them to his new design.
improved stability generated by the ballast keel, Archer reduced the beam to
33% as opposed to the traditional 38-40%. The pilots were sceptical, but the 35-37
feet boats proved to be outstanding in their performance; speed under all
conditions, manoeuvrability and resisted capsizing.
built several yachts to a sailing club in Gothenburg in Sweden, and they also
ordered one for different pilots to try out.
In 1886 in
Arendal on the south east coast, Archers pilot boats, totally outclassed all
others in a pilot race with 1,2,3,4,6 and 7th place of 12 participants.
Thereafter he was made a Knight of the Order of St. Olav.
years trying, the Swedish pilots were very satisfied with Archer's new type,
and a designer made his Archer-type that were built at many yards. In Norway, however,
other boatbuilders kept building the old type with poor windward abilities.
coast with all the skerries and fjords and deep water, makes it easy to sail
for shelter as long as visibility and local knowledge are good. At night, in
bad weather and poor visibility, navigating is dangerous. Many ships ended up
in the rocks. Another problem was fishing boats, all open at the time, that
either were water filled, capsized or were blow to sea in in wither storms.
European with rescue stations with rowing boats being launched on beaches, was
impossible here. Building large rescue boats, steamships were suggested, was
too expensive in the numbers needed.
traditionally been those who sailed out rescue, but many pilots were lost every
year, so that did not either seem like a good solution. Although Archers new
pilot boats the last 10 years had got good reputation, it was not fully
understood how seaworthy these boats really were.
In a severe
off shore gale on the southeast coast in February 1892, several of Archer's pilot
boats rescued many fishing boats. This got great publicity and now the idea
with pilots being the rescue service, was launched, and 3 boats ordered by
local societies at 38, 41 and 42 feet in length. The newly founded rescue
company wanted all boatbuilders to make as safe pilot boats as Archer's and put
out a design competition for building of two boats.
competition was no success as all other pilot boatbuilders were still building
the old type. However, the sailor
Stephansen had delivered a design on a 47 feet boat, narrow with large
displacement and very high freeboard. It had a small sail area on two masts,
more a rescue boat design than a pilot boat that needed one mast and large sail
area for pilot competition in the daily normal winds. It was decided to build Stephansen's
design in a modified version.
given the other order and his boat was also more a rescue boat than pilot boat.
With 3 pilot boats already being built, a larger boat for the north with hard
conditions and large fishing fleets, seemed sensible although it was against
was the rescue initially company wanted. The pilots could probably not afford
such a large boat, especially up north with less ship traffic.
based his design on his newest pilot boat. The lines plan was scaled to 46 feet
and slightly stretched so beam ratio became 33.5%. Freeboard height was
increased with approx. 20 cm. The keel was widened so the ballast keel became
considerably heavier, 6,5 tons. Inside ballast is approx. the same, 6-7 tons.
The boat was launched July 1893 and became RS 1 COLIN ARCHER.
it was soon realised, that to be of any use to the fishing men, the rescue
boats had to sail out with the fishing fleet every day. There were no weather
forecasts and no distress signals, so the rescue boats had to be at the scene
when the storm arrived. As wind increased, the smallest boats first, several at
a time, towed to safety. The rescue boat returned out and towed more until all
were in safety.
could off course not do this patrol service all day every day and withdrew from
the daily rescue service.
company had to take all the costs of crew and investing in new boats.
morning of May 20, 1894, a hurricane storm hit astonishingly on the coast all
the way north. RS 1 COLIN ARCHER who had patrolled Lofoten during winter had
arrived Vardø the night before. The harbourmaster received a telegram from the
fishing village Hamningberg with a prayer for steamship aid for fishermen who
were aboard anchored boats that could not sail out of the harbour due to the storm.
In the open and vulnerable harbour, the boats were wrecked in the surf as the
boats broke off the anchor lines.
RS 1 was
shown the telegram, but no one expected a sailing vessel to do anything in such
weather. The surprise was great when RS 1 immediately set sail and sailed out in
the rough sea; no one expected to see it again. The only steamship that ventured
out when it had gotten up the steam pressure, had to return right outside the harbour
and barely made it back to safely.
RS 1 was 37 years old Nikolai Anthonisen from Nevlunghavn. He had been mate on the
Archer pilot boat GARIBALDI, which saved fishermen during the Langesund storm
two years earlier, so he knew what a boat with iron ballast keel was good for.
But when he saw Hamningberg harbour, he realized that this was a dangerous
task. The waters were shallow, and the waves were breaking all over the place.
He could not guarantee that this would be safe, but he got the crew's consent
and at risk for their own lives, they sailed in.
in Hamningberg who waited for a steamship, saw something white like a sail, but
thought it would be a ghost as nobody could sail in such weather.
But RS 1
sailed into the harbour, tacked and jibed as they wanted between all the boats.
After taking onboard 22 people, they sailed out of the harbour - again against
like this no one thought was possible. This was not only seen by the fishermen
in the boats; on land everyone's families stood fearing for their loved ones.
On the way
out, RS1 was buried by a breaking sea with the mast horizontal and the sails filled
with water. Underneath the deck it became dark and water was sprayed down through
hatches and chain holes. The rescued people were thrown on top of each other
and thought this was the end They panicked and wanted to get out before the
boat sank. But before they got out, the iron keel and ballast made sure that
the boat righted herself again. The dinghy on deck was smashed, but otherwise RS1
was undamaged and tight.
For the saved,
this was magic. Well back in Vardø harbour, a new telegram was waiting as more
fishermen, after seeing what RS 1 could accomplish, signalled after rescue. RS
1 went back and saved another 14.
for the rescue boat could not be obtained.
If a storm
arrived when the rescue boat was in harbour, they sailed out to look for boats
in distress and did not return until they were sure no other boats were out.
the 3 pilot
boats were given to the rescue company within half a year.
rescue boat was lost at sea with the crew lost.
boats did not only sail out to rescue,
rigged rescue boats were built from 1893 to 1924. 28 of the ketches were
Archer’s design and 13 built by Archer. From 1909 – 1924 the last 13 were built
in Risør area (35 n.m. SW of Larvik).
Society for Sea Rescue (Norsk Selskab til Skibbrudnes Redning). This 47-foot
boat proved so seaworthy that 33 were built, building Archer and his shipyard a
reputation for building durable and safe ships.
2 new plans. Mk II in 1897 has more overhang in the bow profile and thus more
flare in the bow sections and a slightly fuller waterline in the bow. Length
over deck became 47 feet and the boat had a bit more stability for better
towing power. Mk. III came in 1908 with 20 cm more beam (34.4%) and a
considerably fuller bow, but a finer stern. All versions have the midship
section approx. 53% from bow, but mk. III’s lines are more symmetrically shaped
than Archer normally used. The mk. III rescue boat was considered the best boat
in strong winds and most towing abilities. This is mainly because the fuller
bow gave more stability and easier motions, so it could be driven harder with
less reefing. It was obviously slower in light airs, but that was off course of
no importance for a rescue boat.
kept relatively light with frame spacing 60–66 cm c-c with a thin stem bent oak
rib in between. Planking was 38 mm oak and the inside of the frames was also
planked (ceiling) with 50 mm pine. This was caulked watertight to the watertight
cabin sole (floor) and thus, they had a double hull and stayed floated when the
planking was holed or got a leak.
minimized pitching, ballast was concentrated amidships, and anchor windlass and
chain placed aft of the mast.
The rig was
ketch (two mast) with relatively short mast and very small mizzen. In strong
wind, they normally sailed with main and staysail only, often reefed. With
boats in tow, the mizzen was used to point higher to the wind and help tacking.
The rig was basically the same for all boats, but the spars became heavier for
sailing rescue boat was built in 1924. Next generation boats, the Bjarne Aas
design with engine but also full rig, did not come until 1932. A dozen of
Archer's design served without an engine until 1940. With engine installed,
they served until 1960.
for his yachts.
Archer built about 60 yachts, each to unique drawing, half being double enders
and the other half with counter sterns. Many of both double enders and the counter
stern yachts, have plum stem (almost vertical, straight stem). All yachts have
more undercut forefoot than the workboats, especially after 1897 and then with
the known Colin Archer curved stem profile.
22-30% of length over deck. (As opposed to 33-36% for the pilot boats and the
NANNA built 1898 by Colin Archer. The cutter
rig is typical for his yachts.
even the larger ones at 60 feet, except one (Asgard), and all pilot boats, are
cutter rigged (one mast). The yachts have their main boom extending the stern
with several feet which together with a relatively tall mast, gives very good
performance on all points of sailing. (The pilot boats' boom normally extends
the sternpost by one foot. Only the rescue boats and a few fishing boats, are
ketch rigged (two masts)). Sail area for the yachts are in the range 100-125%
of waterline length squared, pilot boats 85-90% and the rescue boats 70%.
all boats, Archer spaced of grown pine frames 2 feet c-c with a thin steam bent
oak rib in between. This, together with thin, canvassed decks, made the yachts
fairly light. (The rescue boats have heavy ceiling (planking inside the frames)
that made them strong and unsinkable, but heavier.)
have large ballast keels and normally no inside ballast, except a little for
trim. (Pilot and rescue boats have equal keel weight and ballast weight.)
Wave Form Theory
spent much time calculating how an efficient hull should be designed. He
started with Chapman's displacement parabola curve, but with Scott Russell's
positioning of the midship section; well aft of amidships and thus with sharp
In 1876 he
swapped Chapman's parabola for the displacement curve, with Scott Russell's
wave curves; the sine curve forward and the trochoid curve aft. This sounded
very logic and gave designers more freedom in shaping the hull than Scott
Russell's theory. Many used his theory, either directly or as a guide.
We know now
that the theory is not correct at all, but it did away with the old Cod's
Head-Mackerel Tail-type. However, unless a well undercut forefoot, the bow line
became very sharp with a tendency to make the boats "pitchy" and wet.
The theory did not change Colin Archer's early lines as they were already sharp
in the bow; it more confirmed them. With more undercut forefoot and the
displacement curve extending the designed waterline, the lines became fuller
and Archer's boats became the seaworthy boats he is known for.
this day, people consult his work when designing new boats.
the Order of St. Olav -1886
of Order of St. Olav -1896
boats, deep and with heavy ballast keels and sharp bow, had a seaworthiness no
one believed could have been possible. Archer's type double enders therefore
became referred to as a Colin Archer or Colin Archer-type no matter who
designed or built them. Boats are still (2018) being built and labelled Colin
Archer-type. Archer built about 120 double enders, but thousands, in all
materials, have been built worldwide.
Archer built about 200 boats. 125 of them had ballast keels. His designs were
also built at other yards, about 50 in his lifetime.
of his boats are still sailing plus about 10 of those built at other yards in
closed his business in 1909, at 78 years old.
Archer sold several boats to Sweden in the early 1880s and Swedish designers
soon adapted the Archer type for pilot boats and yachts. Norwegian pilot- and
fishingboat builders converted to the Archer type after the rescue boat had
shown its seaworthiness in 1894.
Archer also had
customers in Denmark, Germany, Holland and England. In 1904, he built a boat
for the writer Robert Erskine
the rescue boat lines have been the most popular design to copy or modify.
Thus, the Archer-type outside Norway, has a lot more beam and
smaller rig than Archer's actual yachts.
In 1908 the 47 feet
OEGER was designed by Archer but built in Porsgrunn. The customer was the
English sailor Haig that had already sailed in north Norway and wanted to have
a more seaworthy boat to go to Spitsbergen. The lines were narrower version
(32% beam) of the mk. III rescue boat. The rig, however, was cutter with large
sail area. The boat was sold to Ralph Stock in 1919 that undertook a cruise
around the world with her.
In 1921 the
book The Cruise of the Dream Ship was published. This was
Ralph Stock’s cruise with OEGER. The book became extremely popular with many
In the early 1920s, a
47 feet yacht was built in China. The lines were based on Colin Archer’s 1908
mk. III rescue boat plans. The boat was named SHANGHAI and sailed to Denmark in
1923/24 by the Danish owners and put out for sale.
In June 1923, plans
for SHANGHAI were published in the American magazine MotorBoat.
SHANGHAI was sold to the American judge F. DeWitt Wells to undertake a voyage
in the wake of the Vikings to America.
In 1924 William Atkin
was contacted by W.W. Nutting, editor of the American magazine MotorBoat and
previous Atkin customer. He wanted a yacht based on Colin Archer’s rescue
boats. Atkin designed a 32 feet yacht with lines basically a scaled down
version of Colin Archer’s mk. III rescue boat, slightly sharper bow lines and with a cutter rig. The project was called ERIC and was
published in the Motorboat. Nutting, however, heard that boats were
cheaper in Norway, cancelled the building and went to Norway. There he bought a 40 feet second-hand double
ender. Although built as yacht, the lines were basically of a fishing boat
design with great beam (by 14,5 feet – 36%) and without a ballast keel. It had
high bulwarks and the large cockpit were not self-draining for access to the
engine beneath. Nutting wanted to sail the northerly route to
America, called the boat LEIV ERIKSSON and left Norway at same time as
SHANGHAI. Unfortunately, Nutting and his crew were lost without traces off
Greenland in September. SHANGHAI also got into trouble; their sails parted, and
they blew ashore on Nova Scotia, but the crew were rescued under dramatic
William Atkins plans
for ERIC, published in MotorBoat arose immediate interest.
Plans were modified with new interior, ketch rig and three boats were built and
launched in 1925. Atkin got more orders and more Archer-type were designed. The
INGRID in 1934 is 37,5 feet and a stretched version (beam 30%) with well
undercut forefoot and hollow waterlines. The lines thus resemble Archer’s yachts except
Archer had greatest beam further aft. Archer, on his later yachts, used fuller
lines, especially aft.
The Eric went
on to become very influential in ocean sailing, with boats such as Vito Dumas's Lehg II and Robin Knox-Johnston's Suhaili making notable circumnavigations, the latter
becoming the first boat to be sailed single-handed and non-stop around the
world in the 1968 Golden Globe
Race. Suhaili was very under canvassed and definitely the
slowest boat in the race, but as the only of the nine starting boats to
complete the race, she took both first prices, the first and the fastest boat!
Another Colin Archer
type boat to become very famous in the 1968 Golden Globe
Race, was the
French sailor and author Bernard Moitessier in his custom-built 39 foot steel ketch Joshua. She
has a tall rig and was catching up on Suhaili, but instead of
passing the finishing line, Moitessier continued around the world to Tahiti,
thus sailing 1,5 times around the globe, non-stop, single handed.
In the 1970s, Atkin's
ERIC design was adapted to glass-reinforced
plastic by William Crealock, and became the Westsail 32; this famous cruising boat has, in turn, inspired
many imitations, so that the "Archer double-ender" style of boat
continues to be popular to the present day.
The Argentinian naval
architect Manuel M. Campos based his designs on Archer/Atkin and built Vito Dumas's Lehg II in 1934 in Argentina. Other of Campos designs
have less draught that the typical Archer-type.
Tahiti ketch is clearly
derived from the Archer-type. Tahiti ketch are characterised by a straight
sternpost, less draught and their small rig. The straight sternpost and hull
shape make them easier to build.