View Full Version : In the meantime....

Jess Potter
03-18-2004, 03:59 AM
OK. So I started the lofting process for the Blackfly and so far everything is going good. This lofting thing is all coming together now that I've done it. I can tell this boat is going to take me along time build. I work 4 tens so That gives me three solid days to work on boats. WooHoo! Anyways I figure this boat will take me until at least the end of the summer if not longer. Well the whole point of me building a daycruiser is so I could learn to sail this summer. I know I won't be able to finish it in time. I'm in alaska so as far as summer goes its a now or never situation. So I'm still going to build the "Blackfly" but in the meantime I want to build H. Paysons "Gypsy". It's quick and cheap and I could probably get it done before summer hits.

So my question is...If you look at the study plans of the "gypsy" it shows like 4 or 5 frames that are supposed to stay in even after the boat is finished. Well besides it looking tacky. It also seems to be a little overboard and takes up a tremendous amount of room. Now I know they need to be there for support of the boom and sail but I've seen alot of stitch and glue sail designs with not nearly as many frames. I like an open boat. Is there anything I could do here? I was thinking I could either take some out completely or double some up or do something different with them please help :confused: Thanks, Jess

P.S. here is a direct route to the "Gypsy" Page http://www.instantboats.com/gypsy.htm

Norm Bernstein
03-18-2004, 09:43 AM
I built a 'Gypsy' way back in 1988 or so... my first attempt at boatbuilding. I don't recall how much time it took, but it wasn't much... maybe a couple of months of occasional evenings. I don't remember the total cost, either, but I'm sure it wasn't much... maybe a few hundred bucks.

I think you have to appreciate designs like 'Gypsy' for what they are, namely, simple easy-to-build boats that make a big sacrifice of esthetics for the sake of low cost and simplicity of construction. These kinds of designs are 'confidence builders' because they enable you to get your feet wet without drowning in details or having to learn skills and techniques that ordinarily take lots of practice.

I didn't like the interior 'frame/bulkheads' either, but I was far too timid to make any significant changes, on my own. Today, if I were building that design, I might substitute narrower frames in place of the bulkheads, for a neater and more open look... but I'm a lot braver now, than I was back in 1988.

As for my 'Gypsy': I sailed her a bunch of times during the summer after I built her. I found the boat to be rather dull in light air, but with a decent breeze, she was fun to flog to windward on the local lake. Late in the season, my laminated mast failed; my inexperience with glue joints was the cause. I just didn't have a high motivation to fix her, after that.... so the boat sat in my backyard and rotted for a few years, until I took a circular saw to it, cut it up, and threw it out with the trash. I'm not in the least bit sorry I built it; it was a great 'first experience'.

Four boats later, I'm working on yet another one...


Bruce Taylor
03-18-2004, 10:02 AM
In "tack and tape" construction, as you've seen, the moulds are incorporated into the hull itself. It's an ingenious and thrifty style of construction, and has the added advantage of allowing you to sail around with a building jig embedded in your boat ;) .

Bolger usually finds useful work for these members, so be very careful about cutting them down, or removing them altogether. In Gypsy, they are quite light...made of the same 1/4" plywood as the rest of the boat. Two of them are supporting those side benches and the rowing thwart, and one of them is stiffening the daggerboard assembly. The forward bulkhead is stiffening the gunwales ahead of the mast.

It would certainly be possible to redesign the interior of the boat. It would probably entail installing a few old-fangled frames and thwarts to replace those 1/4" bulkheads. However, it should be done thoughtfully, and would likely slow down construction. Since your goal is to get out on the water while it's still liquid, I'd suggest building the boat as Bolger drew it.

Jess Potter
03-19-2004, 01:48 AM
OK Now on thinking about this even more. I've decided to just stick with putting all my time and effort into the "Blackfly". Especially if the "Gypsy" is going to end up as firewood. but thanks with the help. Jess :D

Bruce Taylor
03-19-2004, 10:49 AM
No harm in thinking.

One more thing to think about: it worries me a bit that you're vacillating between two designs that are so different. Blackfly is a very light, and lightly constructed, boat -- more like a sailing canoe, in some ways, than a tough little knockabout like Gypsy. She isn't a particularly good "training boat," in my opinion.

I gather from your first post that you're just learning to sail. Gypsy strikes me as a good boat to learn on. She's sheathed in glass, so you can bump docks and rocks with impunity. Those benches and bulkheads give you lots of space to stuff flotation (you will capsize at some point). The 59 ft^2 rig is not too unwieldy.

FWIW, I find her lines quite attractive. Adjusting the cluttered interior might not be too hard. Here's one with a few small modifications:


The owner claims to have built the hull in five days (an exaggeration, I'm sure). More pics of the same boat, here:


And some other Gypsy testimonials from Payson's site:


Whatever you decide, good luck.

[ 03-19-2004, 10:53 AM: Message edited by: Bruce Taylor ]

Frank E. Price
03-19-2004, 05:23 PM
I had a rowing Gypsy for a short time, and to anyone wanting to build one for rowing I'd say, put a small skeg on it, like the Gloucester Gull, maybe a little smaller. My Gypsy liked going sidewise way too much for me, but man did it fly!