rover schooners

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... the vision defined by curves ... and the curves ... defined by numbers ...


Jolly Rover


The Jolly Rover schooner is the ultimate in sailing tour boat design. To be a successful tour boat under sail, she must have superb sailing qualities on all points of sail with a full passenger load, good handling properties under power in confined spaces, uncrowded passenger accommodations, both on deck and below, two on board heads, a ships store, great dock appeal, economical to operate, economical to build, and economical to maintain. The Jolly Rover accomplishes it all. And the design is also an accomplished deep sea sailor, proven by many ocean passages.


The first USCG approved sailing tour boat design was the Seattle Rover. From that design and experience from many subsequent designs, I incorporated modification to come up with the Jolly Rover. The round ship type stern was changed to a “pirate” type stern for more deck space and dock appeal, the aft cockpit eliminated, the two main deck hatches were elongated to allow easier access to below spaces and better deck seating, the forward raised deck eliminated and the bow extended giving more deck space. The helm station was shifted to the poop deck for better visibility.


As for the rig, I maintained the entire Seattle Rover rig, since she is such a great sailer, except for splitting her one square sail into two square sails with two yard arms. This made the squares much handier, and looks so very cool. The change to two square sails was first used on a modified Seattle Rover design and named the Virginia Rover design.


The Jolly Rover and the Jolly II Rover were built for our account and operated under our flag for several seasons before being sold. One now works out of Key West, Florida ( and the other out of Buffalo New York ( They are much admired in their home ports. The Seattle Rover, after an illustrious career on the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Massachusetts, Florida and Hilton Head SC settled down in Saint Augustine, Florida and renamed the Freedom. After 31 years of service, she is in perfect condition. Check out her web site (


No compromise in strength, sea kindliness or sailing ability has been made. In developing the scantlings, which are based on ABS rules for vessels under 61 meters, special emphasis has been placed on shapes and weldments for ease of construction and corrosion prevention to reduce initial and long-term costs. Construction is a single rolled chine hidden below the waterline. Framing is flat bar longitudinals on flat bar buck frames on 4' centers giving the 1/4” and 3/16” thick hull plating a nice fair structure to lay on. The use of flat bar for the framing also makes for ease of welding and the all important sand blasting.

There is no other schooner design to equal the Jolly Rover for either work or pleasure.

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