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Jim Francis' Fantasy, 1976 Pacific Dolphin, Essex, CT (updated July 30, 2012)  

In 1976, with the guidance and help of another early Dolphin owner, Lock Syme (Skua), Jim bought a hull and deck from Romaine Corbin at Pacific Dolphin in San Diego, CA , trailered it across the country (another story coming) and over a 3-4 year period finished Fantasy behind the Essex Island Marina.

Fantasy was lost in in Hurricane Bob in 1991 - chaffing through her mooring lines in the anchorage off Essex. The boat was declared a total loss but Jim raised her and sold her through a 'broken boat broker' who found buyers. This broker rented space at Legnos Boats in Groton and Fantesy found her new owner there. We have not yet found that owner but we are working on it.

Jim sent in the following series of great pictures and email

                                                                                         January 28, 2008


Attached is a zip file of photos of Fantasy.  The chronology tells everything.  You can note a couple of the non-standard aspects of Fantasy in these pictures.  Principally, note that the shroud chainplates are in the cabin top and the backstay has been split. What is not completely obvious is that the mast is 18" higher than the design.  About three minutes after the Off-Soundings photos were taken, we had a major pirouette and nearly sank the boat!  The crew was me, Jeff Going and Loch Syme.

Ciao, Jim

Webmaster Note: A close look at the pictures below coupled with Jim's comments above prompted me to ask Jim some follow up questions about his mast and rig. His emailed reply is frank and very informative. It is below the pictures.

August 19, 1991 - Hurricane Bob


Her rudder was torn away and she was holed.

Notice the keel damage and rudder area. Also notice slotted rail

The Skipper

Better times - An Off Sounding's Club racer's favorite place is a Block Island lighthouse to port and a nice breeze - here June, 1991


                                                                                                January 29, 2008


Basically, the taller mast was a bust.  The first boom was shortened from plan to keep the sail area constant.  Not enough drive.  Second boom (and main) were standard foot with taller hoist - this worked much better.  The boat really wanted drive in the main - perhaps a function of heritage (N.G. Herrshoff). The mast was a "standard" Dolphin section - I believe it came from Kenyon - I want to say it was 4x2.75 but I truly don't remember.  The standing rigging was one size up from whatever it would have been - concern because of the reduced shroud angle.  The wire was very stiff and there was never any stretch in the rig. 

The main bulkhead was centered below the mast step.  It was 5/8" plywood with (2) 5/8" plywood floors spanning the halves at the bilge.  (2) 1"x2" laminated white oak beams spanned the cabin top.  The plywood edges were "snotted" and gusseted to the hull and the cabin top.The floors and beams were thru bolted and epoxyed.  The shroud chainplates were pieces that Kenyon made for the San Jaun 24.  (You can see two more - they are the backstay chainplates.  The shroud chainplates were doubled and were thru bolted sandwiching the main bulkhead.  Bottom line - I figured the shroud loads were entirely contained in the bulkhead and the heeling moment was transmitted to the hull thru the edge of the bulkhead.

If anything, the construction was overbuilt - I never had any trouble with it.  Cover plates to seal the cabin top were a real pain to procure but ended up being rectangular with slots for the chain plates and a couple of screw holes to hold them down.  The shroud turnbuckles were squeezed between the chainplates with the clevis pins providing the atwartship pivot. All that said, moving the chainplates inboard was useful only in terms of walking on the deck.  The jibs never wanted to trim inside the lifelines.  In retrospect I'm not sure if that was the boat or the sails.  I was pretty new to boats and boat construction at the time and I may never have adequately communicated to Dave O'Neill what was going on. There was a baby stay but we found that cranking up the backstay put a little bend in the mast and that was quite enough to stabilize the mast.  So we never used it.

The engine - ah, yes.  For a year or two, Loch (Syme) and I traveled Southern New England buying Palmer Baby Huskies and PW-27s.  At one point I think we had seven or eight of them.  I ended up rebuilding a Baby Huskie.  I couldn't find correct piston rings for it so it always burned a lot of oil.  It was temperamental  and unreliable.  But it was still running when the boat sank! To repeat  about the  mast -  it didn't move!  It didn't even creak!  I have never experienced another mast that was so "solid". Hope this helps.



July 30, 2012. On an email tip from Gordon Kyle, (Windsong, O'Day #66) we found a "Dolphin 27" !!! for sale in Preston, Connecticut on Craigslist. Well, it was raining yesterday, the Olympics were playing endlessly on TV, and so a call was made to Joe Gliddon, the contact on the ad.

Joe has had this 'Dolphin' boat for 15+ years and had worked on her over the years. He was now thinking about moving, and was running out of time. He bought the boat from Legnos Boat (something clicked in your webmaster's brain!) and it still needed a lot of work. She had gone down in Hurricane Bob....

The search engine on the website brought up this page - the only one with Legnos on it. BINGO! We have found another Dolphin - our 207th. Click here to go to her




















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