May 10, 2017
When I used to race on Bluenose Class sloops years ago, it was always an education in the evolution of yacht design when we came across a Bluejacket. Roughly the same size and weight as the Bluenose sloops, the Bluejacket could work its way by us on any point of sail and stay drier doing it.
The Bluenose Class sloop (a lovely boat!) was designed by William Roue in the 1940s and the Bluejacket 23, by C&C in the late 60s, when fin keels and spade rudders were the newest thing.
The Bluejacket 23s were built by PaceshipYachts in Mahone Bay from 1967 until the 1970s. Their fin keel and spade rudder design weighed in at 2,000 pounds. The boats were available as a daysailer and as a MORC version. The MORC boat was modified to meet the requirements of the Midget Ocean Racing Club rules, with positive flotation, and small enclosed cuddy and a self-bailing cockpit.
Even 50 years after they were designed and built, the Bluejacket 23makes a very attractive daysailer with its roomy cockpit, stability and good sailing qualities. Today a Bluejacket can be purchased for a very modest price and is a wonderful way to get into keelboat sailing or a great boat for someone looking to slow down and simplify. A few other boats were built in Ontario to the same basic design, including the Classic 22 and the Viking 22.
Paceship Yachts was the only volume production boat builder Nova Scotia and we hope to have a brief history of the company in an upcoming newsletter Bluejacket, courtesy of John Meisner