Paul Gartside’s 16′ Gaff Sloop, his Design No. 218, has its roots in SJOGIN, a 22′ traditional double-ended Scandinavian workboat built in the late ’50s. Paul designed a modified version of it, his Koster Boat, Design No. 176, and later developed three smaller versions. The last of them, Design No. 218, is the Gaff Sloop, a 16-footer with a transom stern. When Jonathan Sheldon of Hereford, England, enrolled at the Boat Building Academy (BBA) in Lyme Regis, he decided that this design fulfilled all his criteria for a new boat. He wanted a trailerable, stable, traditional-looking boat that he could sail, row, or motor either singlehanded or with a sizable crew.
John had taken his inspiration from a working peapod built in around 1886 in Washington County, Maine. It was the same peapod I had been drawn to in American Small Sailing Craft. Author Howard Chapelle notes that particular peapod was, when the lines were taken off in 1937, the last of its kind ever built Its type was used for lobstering near Jonesport up to about 1938. John’s Lighthouse Tender Peapod has a shape very similar to the original working boat; the chief differences in the new boat are a sternpost that is nearly vertical rather than raked, and the absence of a keel, which allows his boat to sit upright on the beach.