Bayfield 29 A Timeless Classic By Rebecca Burg
Designer: Ted Gozzard LOA: 29’ 0” LWL: 21’ 6” Beam: 10’ 2” Draft: 3’ 6 “ Ballast: 3,000 lbs Displacement: 8,000 lbs
n 1970, a humble wooden shed in Bayfield, along Lake Huron in Canada’s Ontario Province, became the birthplace of a Gozzard-designed series of sailboats. In time, Bayfield Boat Yard, Ltd., outgrew the shed and moved to the nearby town of Clinton. Production included a 25-foot sloop, 29-foot, 32-foot and 36foot cutters and 40-foot and 46-foot ketches. In the late ’80s, a fire damaged the yard and forced a shutdown.
The Bayfield 29
About 350 Bayfield 29 cutters were splashed during the yard’s brief, but productive existence. Like her sisters, the Bayfield 29 features Gozzard’s trademark clipper bow with scroll-work trail boards and a sweeping sheer line. Fiberglass mat and woven roving was layered by hand for a solid hull while the topsides were cored with balsa. The interior cabin headliner is a separate section of fiberglass finished with white gelcoat. A slotted black aluminum toe rail is part of the through-bolted hullto-deck joint. Internal ballast is 3000 pounds of solid lead under a keel-stepped anodized aluminum mast. A medium displacement cruiser, the 29 weighs in at around 8500 pounds. (The boats ended up being slightly heavier than their stated displacement.) The 29 is masthead-cutter-rigged with a teak bowsprit platform. Many 29s have been customized with longer bowsprits that extend past the beak, the forestay moved forward and a bobstay installed. When shopping for a 29, be sure to inspect the in-deck chain plates that support the outer shrouds. If the caulking around this area isn’t maintained, water intrusion will spoil the interior woodwork. Hidden behind removable wood trim, all chain plates are accessible from the cabin interior for inspection/replacement. Visually appealing, but costlier to create, the hull has some tumble home and molded eyebrow grooves. Tumble home, a convex curve in the hull’s sides, was a trend started by the wooden ships of old in their attempts to discourage pirates from boarding. Tiller steering is standard, but an Edson wheel was a popular option. Most Bayfield 29s on the market will have wheels. A gunkholer’s joy, the boat’s underbody is shoal draft at 3’ 6”, with a fixed full keel and cut-away forefoot. With that wide, flat-bottomed keel, the 29 doesn’t sweat soft groundings. External teak accents such as handrails, trim and stern taffrail add traditional appeal. A molded-in deck anchor locker with lid and drain hole fits a Danforth-shaped anchor. The interior layout is an uncommon one. Instead of a Vberth, there is a head with sink, vanity, toilet, cushioned seating and hanging locker with storage spaces forward. Teak grating is fitted over the floor. A wooden door closes and locks to the head area. www.southwindsmagazine.com