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Lazyjack 32 Schooner A Shoal-Draft, Traditionally-Rigged Coastal Cruiser By Mike Turner

The Lazyjack 32 was designed as “a husky, shoal draft schooner for the man who wants a comfortable cruiser with no pretentions of beating a handicap rule.”

38 June 2012



fter three years of cruising our little 23’ Rob Roy yawl on Mobile Bay, my wife Pamela and I were ready for a bigger boat. We set some simple criteria: fiberglass for ease of maintenance; standing headroom below; and large enough to cruise two comfortably for extended periods but not so large to preclude single-handed sailing. We liked the ease of sail-handling and traditional appearance of a split rig, so began looking at ketches in the 32- to 35-foot range. Secretly I yearned for a schooner, recalling childhood memories of the old TV show, Adventures in Paradise, but realized that virtually no schooners had been produced in fiberglass in our size range. But we found a little ship that met both our criteria and my secret desire: Mystic Traveler, a Hermann Lazyjack 32 schooner. Designed by Ted Brewer (the same designer as our Rob Roy) and built by the Ted Hermann Boat Shop on New York’s Long Island, between 32 to 35 of the Lazyjack 32s were built in the late ’70s through mid ’80s. Most of the boats are found in the Northeast, but a half-dozen or so can be found along the Gulf Coast, South Florida and North Carolina. About half of the Lazyjacks were sold as bare hulls to be finished by their owners. The remainder, including our boat, were finished by the yard. According to sales literature, Hermann wanted, “a husky, shoal draft schooner for the man who wants a comfortable cruiser with no pretentions of beating a handicap rule.” Brewer’s design met this brief. Thirty-two feet on deck (39’ overall with bowsprit and boomkin), a displacement of 12,500 pounds and a full keel with shoal draft of 2’ 10” with the centerboard up (6’ 6” down) yields a heavy, sturdy boat that handles rough weather well but won’t win any races around the buoys. Construction is of solid fiberglass below the waterline, with wood coring in decks and cabin top. The schooner rig’s two masts and three sails, coupled with the long bowsprit and extensive use of teak and bronze on deck and below give the Lazyjack a decidedly traditional appearance. The Marconi mainsail (the aft-most sail on a schooner) sheets to a traveler aft of the cockpit. The gaff foresail sheets to a traveler on the cabin top. Both masts’ shrouds affix to external chain plates on the sides of the hull.