Surprise Series

This group of designs is in many ways our celebration of having settled here in Eastport, Maine. Eastport was once home to many vessels of the Pinky type. We set out to design some which would retain the essential characteristics and appeal of the originals, while making them better boats for modern purposes. The result is a group of very salty and traditional-looking heavy displacement vessels that will take you anywhere you care to go, with their easy handling, strength, and sea keeping ability. They will be faster than the originals, especially upwind, without sacrificing the legendary sea keeping ability for which Pinkies are well known. The origin of the word "Pinky" is obscure, and like many nautical terms when you trace it back it seems to be both very ancient in origin and inconsistently applied. Not all Pinkies had the distinctive overhanging bulwarks aft. Most of the smaller Eastport vessels did not. However, the name appears to be associated with this characteristic as you trace it back, and it is widely called a "Pink" stern. It's purpose? Well, it looks good, it provides some extra security and shelter to the aft deck, which sometimes seems a tad exposed on a double ender, and it often was used as a boom crutch. The crude toilet seats, which were often mounted in the bottoms of them, suggest yet another practical function!

We had these designs well underway when we learned that another designer/builder with our family name had built Pinkies right here in Eastport, in the late 1800's. Later a grandson of his partner Samuel Varner came by with a sailing model of a pinky to show us.

Silver Gull 40 / Surprise 18 / Stock Plans Order Form / Stock Plans List