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Designed by Al Mason for The Rudder magazine in 1944.
Written up in WoodenBoat magazine
No. 108, Sept./Oct. 1992.
Built by amateur, with professional help, in 1963.
LOA: 24'1" — DWL: 19' 2"
Beam: 7' — Draft: 3'7"
Displacement: approx. 4000
Mahogany carvel planking on oak frames; all Monel- and bronze-fastened. Deck and cabin overhead
fiberglass-covered plywood. Sutter Sails main and 110 jib. All lines but reef tack cringle lead
1963 Stuart-Turner 1 cylinder, 2-cycle, 4 HP gasoline marine engine.
This boat was built in 1963 in (so I’m told) Santa Rosa, California; two Sausalito couples
owned it in the early seventies. I have the log books they kept on what they called
Balasang. One of the couples sold their share about 1980, and the new ownership
renamed it Wood Wind. An individual later bought the boat from them and sailed it
in the San Francisco Master Mariner’s regatta in 1987, winning the Class IV Marconi division
and taking second overall.
When I came along, in 1995, the boat was settling into the mud in San Rafael. After a year of work and commensurate expediture, I had the sloop in pretty good shape and renamed Ceol Beag (kel bek), a Scottish Gaelic term for the more popular forms of bagpipe tunes, meaning “little music” (as opposed to Ceol Mor, or “great music,” the classical music of the pipes—more here if you’re interested in that). I learned most of what I know about sailing in this little sloop (though I’d learned some in my homebuilt 8-Ball gaff-rigged sailing dinghy) covering most of San Francisco Bay and even going out the Gate a few times. It’s a fast boat, but reasonably comfortable.
The last time I sailed out the Gate was on my way to Tomales Bay, on Easter weekend in 1997. The boat is moored there now, off the former Marshall Boat Works.
*It means “East Coast” in, I believe, Swedish—my understanding is that Al Mason served an internship (or equivalent) with Sparkman & Stephens in Scandanavia, and it was his experience there that inspired the design of Ostkust, as well as some of his other boats.