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Thread: Beginner's wooden daysailer

  1. #1
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    Default Beginner's wooden daysailer

    For the last year, I've sailed with my boss on his 30' sloop with some frequency. I've really enjoyed sailing with him, but now I want a smaller boat that I can take out on my own and really practice and learn the fundamentals of sailing. I've been thinking very seriously about purchasing a used beetle cat, but wanted to get some feedback on what small, wooden sailboats might be appropriate for me. Below are some of the things I've been considering:

    1) I want a boat that is appropriate for learning on, but would also be enjoyable to sail when I am more skilled. This is the criterium that made me think a Beetle Cat would be appropriate, as I've read so many stories of people who grew up with them and still enjoy sailing them.

    2) I'd like to use it for some modest camp-cruising with my wife and dog. I'll be sailing it on the rivers and sounds of the Georgia coast, some of which are relatively shallow. We are minimalist campers, so hardly any storage is necessary (camping gear is like 30 lbs or so and very compact). The main issue would be the ability to beach it.

    3) I'm not sure I'm interested in learning how to hike out or run the risk of capsizing with any regularity. I initially thought hard about getting a sunfish given the fact that many learn how to sail on it and still enjoy it as adults, but I think the wet ride, necessity of hiking out, and high risk of capsize probably nix it for me. I saw a youtube video of someone sailing a Beetle Cat while eating blueberries, and that appealed to me.

    4) My budget for the boat itself is $7,500.

    5) I have seriously thought about a used Catspaw dinghy (or even a new one). They are beautiful boats and I love that I would be able to row it too. I've been thinking the Beetle Cat might be more appropriate because:
    a) I'm romantically drawn to its gaff rig, and somehow (perhaps incorrectly) think that learning how to sail this gaff rig will give me endless years of pleasure while still preparing me for a more advanced boat one day,
    b) the deck on the Beetle Cat makes me think it could be slightly less wet, though I understand I'll be sitting on the floor boards, and there isn't a ton of freeboard,
    c) the openness of a Catspaw dinghy makes me a little afraid of the consequences of a capsize. I understand Beetle Cats basically just swamp and can be bailed dry if capsized. I suspect a Catspaw would not be bailable if capsized.
    d) the availability of replacement parts for a Beetle Cat. Savannah is not known for having a host of wooden boat shops ready-at-the-wait for repair and maintenance work. I would anticipate doing any repairs or maintenance in my backyard. While I have some woodworking experience, such as building strip-built canoes and SOF kayaks, I see more cursing and less sailing if I am going to be repairing and maintaining a catspaw by myself. I like tinkering with boats, and I like woodworking, I just would feel more comfortable getting a pre-bent rib from Beetle Cat, Inc. than in managing it all from scratch.

    6) Are there issues with maintaining wooden boats in places like Savannah? Are there more difficult parasites to contend with the farther south you go? Is rot more of an issue? I obviously have no idea how weather affects wooden boat maintenance. Wooden boats aren't nearly as common in the South as the Northeast -- is this because of maintenance?

    7) My preference would be to not have an outboard engine, but have a boat that is rowable / sailable. I'm not looking to cover great distances, just bop around the rivers and sounds on the Georgia coast. How do you maneuver a Beetle Cat when the sail is not up? I've seen that Beetle Cat, Inc. sells 5 ft paddles -- would it be possible to attach oarlocks to the coaming and row a beetle cat with some oars? Perhaps using a temporary backrest against the centerboard box? Or does using the single paddle suffice to move the boat from a slip to open water and back?

    Thanks for your help. I know that there are a few users on this forum who think Beetle Cats are a lot of marketing hype and not very good sailboats: could you explain to me what you don't like about Beetle Cats, and what boat I should consider instead of a Beetle Cat given my priorities? I appreciate that my thoughts about a Beetle Cat could be entirely driven by marketing and hype since I have never sailed in one before.

    Finally -- in spite of my brief consideration of a sunfish, I have a strong preference for a lapstrake or carvel-planked boat. This may be irrational, but it is an irrational impulse that i think I need to indulge on this boat. I've built strip-built canoes and SOF and S&G kayaks, so I'm not opposed to non-lapstrake or carvel-planked boats. I've always dreamed about owning a lapstrake or carvel-planked boat, and I think a small daysailer is a good boat to go for it to see if I am comfortable with the responsibilities of owning a boat built with those methods.

    I know it would be preferable to sail a number of small wooden sailboats prior to choosing one to purchase, but I'm afraid that my schedule simply doesn't allow me to take trips to the northeast very often, and the South simply doesn't have the resources like Mystic Seaport or the Woodenboat School. I have a window of opportunity to get up to New England for a week or two next month, and therefore figured that, if I could get my thoughts in order, I might be able to come home with a small wooden boat.

    Best,

    Stephen
    Last edited by stephen Dm; 08-06-2009 at 03:50 PM. Reason: corrected typo

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Welcome, Stephen. Did you want to be able to sleep in the boat? Or just beach it and set up a tent on shore?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Beach it and camp on shore. I'm imagining it as an alternative to taking two sea kayaks. The sailboat would have the added bonus of allowing us to take our dog.

    Best,
    Stephen

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Some very good questions, and a lot of specific info for us to get our teeth into.

    First, you are looking at two significantly different types of boats -- proper sailboats or sail & oar boats.

    Sailboats are propelled by sails, but secondary propulsion for most over 12' is gonna be a small outboard. They may carry a paddle for emergencies, or even oars for calm water, but they can't be rowed or paddled far in windy conditions.

    Sailboats are far more stable than sail & oar boats, probably a better match for two adults and a dog as crew.

    The Beetle Cat, and other boats like Welsford's Navigator are proper sailboats.




    Sail & Oar boats are really mostly pulling boats with sails added. They may or may not sail well, and will be narrower overall or at least aft to make them row better.

    Oughtred's Ness Yawl and Vivier's Elorn are good examples of Sail & Oar boats. Unless partially decked, they will often take water over the rail when sailed hard and/or in sudden gusts.





    So, you've got a choice between the two types, which may be based on your willingness to use an outboard or desire for overall stability.

    It sure sounds as if you really like the Beetle Cat -- so that may well be the best choice for you. Put a nice little 4-stroke Honda 2hp on the back and you'll have a wonderful cruising machine...
    Last edited by Thorne; 08-06-2009 at 03:59 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Stephen .. I have Dynamite Payson's plywood version of the Beetle Cat .. I do not think rowing is a realistic alternative. Nor do I think you will have enough cargo space for even minimal camping gear, a partner, a dog and a small Honda OB. However, it is very easy to rig Bettle Cat for sculling; providing a very easy and plesant way to move in calm waters. I seem to always stay out just a tad bit too long; wind dies and I'm a distance from shore. Grasp the old oar, a few flicks of the wrist and you'll be surprised how quickly you can scull back to shore / docks. And unlike rowing, you can scull for hours with little physical exertion on a boat as small as a Beetle Cat

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    You didn't say how you plan to store and launch it. If you plan to dry-sail it , storing on a trailer and launching only periodically, a natural-grown, carvel-planked boat like a Beetle cat is a bad idea, since the planks will shrink out of water and the seams open. A glued-seam plywood lapstrake hull would work better.

    You can search the listings, but finding the right wooden boat for sail at the right price is not like buying a fiberglass boat off the shelf. If you don't happen to spot just the right thing, you will miss your schedule.

    There is a Bolger Bobcat (plywood adaptation of a Beetle) in Savannah here:
    http://www.spectrumyachtsinc.com/sit...m_index_1.html
    Peter Belenky

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    @ Thorne -- that's a great point about the differences between the Catspaw and the Beetle cat. My primary focus is on enjoying the boat for daysails and learning how to sail.

    @ Jim -- That's good to know about sculling. To be frank, I am not specifically looking for a boat that I can row, but rather I would like to not have to monkey with an outboard, and so was thinking of some other way of getting from A to B without an outboard when the wind died. My buddy has a small skiff with an old outboard, and his boat seems to do nothing but raise his blood pressure instead of lowering it.

    @ Peter -- you're right about the timing. That is a big issue for me, and one of the reasons my focus has been on big one-design classes or the Catspaw, which is relatively easy to find a couple in my price range at any given time in good shape. I'm not at a point in my career where I am the master of my own schedule (indeed, unfortunately I am not the master of my own weekends either), so I don't anticipate being able to really do what would be the ideal sailboat search -- biding my time and moving on the right boat when I find it.

    As far as launching the boat -- I plan on putting it in a slip, so carvel or lapstrake should be ok.

    I've seen ads for a couple of fiberglass 12' catboats in Brunswick. Tempting, and perhaps I should think harder about options like that, but at the same time I think, gosh, maybe it's finally time to get a traditionally built wooden boat.

    I guess one thing in the back of my mind when I posted my initial post was the following: I have seen Haven 12 1/2's for sale for $12,000 - $20,000, which seem like really reasonable prices to me. What is there that exists in that price range between used Beetle Cats and used Haven's? I didn't really have a good answer to that question on my own, and so I was wondering what are the options that I am not thinking of? Are used Beetles the best wooden sailboat I can get for my price range that are appropriate for my particular priorities?

    Thanks for all of your suggestions and advice,
    Stephen

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Stephen,

    I grew up sailing Beetle cats and also lived and sailed in Savannah for twenty years. I'm guessing you are thinking of camping out at Williamson, Wassaw, Ossabaw or other barrier islands. It's a wonderful experience. The sunsets and sunrises are spectacular and swimming delightful. There may be leash laws for dogs now. I know they were being considered about five years ago.

    We five (three kids) used an outboard for visiting those islands and would take bicycles for us all to ride on the hard sand beaches. One thing to be especially aware of in small boats there in the creeks, rivers and sounds is the strong current, tidal flow, tide heights and long flats that become exposed.

    I wouldn't recommend the Beetle for Savannah. I owned one, but not there. They do not row and the distances are too great for sculling. Were you to beach it for the night you may find it high and dry in the morning and they are too heavy to horse around and drag back into the water.

    Carrying an outboard motor is certainly an option but rowing along the creeks (particularly) is special because of the wildlife you'll see: eagles, osprey, porpoises, otters, wild hogs, herons, alligators (!), etc. You'll learn to use the back eddies to stay out of the worst of the currents. Watch out for the screaming jetskis, however, because they will cut corners and be on top of you before they know it. A mast will help them see you if they are paying attention. A boat that you and your wife could row together would be best and a sprit rig might be easiest to use because you'll find you want to plan your trips according to the tidal flow, aiming to move with the current as much as possible given the distances down there. A sprit rig will sail well down wind, be easy to strike and set when you wish and the mast can stay upright and out of the way when rowing.

    I'd recommend a boat at least in the 16'-18' range for sufficient speed for two, and room for a dog and camping gear. A few inflated fenders could serve for hull rollers on those times you need to roll the boat back to the water. It would also be large enough to carry a small outboard like a Honda 2 if you needed to move along faster.

    As far as maintenance is concerned, e-mail Doug Hylan at www.dhylanboats.com. He is a Maine-based, WB Magazine affiliated yacht designer and boat owner who lives part of the year on the creeks south of Savannah.

    If it were me, I'd make bids on the 18 and 20' Whitehalls listed in Woodenboat For Sale Online (ads #734 and 737). They are priced above your limit but you never know.... The problem would be getting a boat from New England to Georgia of course, and then keeping it out of the hot degrading sun when you are not using it. The high humidity is not a problem for the boats there as long as you keep them clean and ventilated.

    My two cents anyway.

    Edited to add: As you may have seen, boats like Lightnings are used there. They are 19 feet long and swift enough to sail against the currents... when there is wind. They are beachable but too heavy to move back to the water if caught high and dry. A Haven would be even more of a problem. In any case both would need outboard motors because they are not rowable for any meaningful distance. I knew two couples in Savannah who had cat boats, one a Marshall Sandpiper, larger and with more sail than a Beetle, and another one even larger. They found their boats frustrating to sail in the rivers and sounds and barely used them after a while.

    The 1996 Olympic sailing events were held off the mouth of the Wilmington River and the local sailors hoped it would jumpstart a big interest in sailing and racing. It did not work out as they hoped and you'd be hard pressed to find any signs that the competition ever took place there. The race courses were five to ten miles from the docks and one to two miles off the barrier islands in order to get away from the river and sound currents (except for the windsurfer classes iirc).
    Last edited by rbgarr; 08-06-2009 at 05:35 PM.
    "Be curious, not judgmental." - (Misattributed to Walt Whitman as recalled by) Ted Lasso

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    I'm inclined to agree with all of the advice above. I do like the notion of avoiding the motor. But in that case, you want a boat that rows reasonably well, not one that can just be moved around a bit. I'd be looking most carefully at the Ness Yawl, myself. A good balance between capacity and stability on the one side, but not too heavy to manage under oar and getting on and off the beach.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Dory, anyone?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Stephen,

    You've done a far better job than average delineating your needs. Congrats. I'm still a bit up in the air, though. It sounds like you're looking for an existing boat to buy... or, are you looking for a design that you will build?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    You might want to think about a Core Sound 17, kit available for about $1,700, specs here:
    http://www.bandbyachtdesigns.com/cs17.htm
    And a nice write-up here on one that is or was for sale - I don't see a price, though:
    http://fivenineclimber.com/boats_sai...oresound17.htm
    Lots of pics on both sites....
    Sometimes you've gotta leave the kibble out where the slow dogs can get some....
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Yes, a bigger boat than a Beetle Cat. CMD's Catbird 16 is another quick build and beachable flat bottom sailer with eye catching lines http://www.cmdboats.com/catbird16.ht...6995ab88f5e1db:



  14. #14
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Devlin's Nancy's China http://devlinboat.com/nancychinadc.htm :


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Also check out John Welsford's Walkabout. A little easier build than a Ness Yawl and Walkabout has a great space for the dog right in the middle of the boat and a nifty tent plan also included in the plans. Either boat is a great choice for a little camp cruising.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Does it really have to be wood? An Oday Daysailor seems like it would fit your requirements (other than rowing), except that they are widely available at much less than your price range. They have the added advantage of being a one design class with racing fleets and lots of info and spare parts easily obtainable.
    Here are some for sale: http://www.daysailer.org/forum/viewf...798758cb5228db

    Good luck!
    Dave

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Here's my favorite day sailer!
    Im a little biased as I also designed the boat.
    The discussion started as how a streached Beetle cat would be a very capable boat and the design grew and changed from there.
    Strip planked and very buildable for around $7,000
    Dan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNu6c...eature=channel


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Duke View Post
    You might want to think about a Core Sound 17, kit available for about $1,700, specs here:
    http://www.bandbyachtdesigns.com/cs17.htm
    And a nice write-up here on one that is or was for sale - I don't see a price, though:
    http://fivenineclimber.com/boats_sai...oresound17.htm
    Lots of pics on both sites....

    B&B also has some other designs that may be appealing to you. They have a lapstrake 16 footer (the Lapwing) and a 15 footer that is not lapstrake, but I think it would fit the rest of your requirements perfectly - the Bay River Skiff 15'. Read this: http://www.smallboatforum.com/PDFfil...uisingBaja.pdf

    And incidentally, here's one for sale for $2,400.00 - http://www.towndock.net/cgi-bin/clas....cgi?cat=Boats (scroll down)

    I'm building the 17' Bay River Skiff currently.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    That Bay River Skiff looks like a great deal, if in good condition. You couldn't build it for that, I suspect.

    But here's a question. Whenever anyone asks about a small lively boat for daysailing and beach camping, the recommendations are always for monohulls. Why aren't multihulls ever mentioned? They do have some advantages.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    In this case the requester asked for boats that could be rowed.
    "Be curious, not judgmental." - (Misattributed to Walt Whitman as recalled by) Ted Lasso

  23. #23

    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    In this case the requester asked for boats that could be rowed.
    Excellent point.

    Would a multi move well with a sweep? It's got skinny hulls, usually the kind best suited to human-powered craft.

    Because of the Polynesian culture from which multis are most directly descended, we seem to think small ones can only be paddled, but I wonder if this is actually true.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Stephen,

    As you see boats that have decent room are usually too big to row comfortably, with the exception of maybe a Ness Yawl type. If your objection to the outboard is the hassle, how about an electric trolling motor? You have to watch the battery charge level but you get quiet hassle free propulsion. A decent motor with PWM control and a deep cycle battery from W-Mart is about half the cost of a new little gas outboard.
    Denny Wolfe

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Why not a Blue Jay? They were originally built of plywood. The are a simple V bottom day sailor, 14 ft loa, with a conventional jib and mainsail rig. They are quite roomy for a 14 footer and sail well. They were designed by Sparkman and Stevens as a junior Lightening. There is racing class activity and a resale market. Probably a lot of second hand sails around for starters.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    The original wish was for a boat that could be sailed, rowed and beach cruised with a mate and dog. I think the Beetle cat and any other such little boat, like the venerable Blue Jay is just too small for doing the cruising bit at all well.

    The story linked above: http://www.smallboatforum.com/PDFfil...uisingBaja.pdf
    should be read by anyone contemplating such adventures. I built the boat "Loon" in the story in 1994 and did a bit of beach cruising with my wife in it before selling to the authors. They have done more extensive beach cruising in more remote areas than most anyone will be thinking of so their comments should be taken seriously. For their uses, I think the Core Sound 17 would be even more appropriate than the BRS15 although no one can argue with their success. Most of the necessary cruising gear for short time excursions can be stored in watertight compartments in either of these boats. They can both be rowed well although the CS17 is getting near the top end (beam) for ease of rowing by one person. For most use, I would opt for rowing and for longer cruises where sail might not be reliable for extended distances, I'd opt for the little Honda 2hp 4stroke.

    If even more use under power is required, the BRS 17 would be my choice because it can accept greater power and go faster with it. A lot of these boats have been built, used and refined, so there is a substantial track record.

    It would be best for any boat that is a beach cruiser to have lots of watertight storage and self rescue ability in a hard chance, not in calm water. Double enders like the Ness Yawl and Calledonia Yawl don't have these features as well as getting very cranky, especially down wind, when the wind blows hard. Lovers of double enders will likely take exception to this but it is the result of my experience with both pointy sterned and transom sterned craft. I will choose a well designed transomed stern boat over a double ender any day.
    Tom L

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    I want to thank everyone for their input and advice -- it has been extremely helpful.

    First, I should have mentioned in my previous post that I am not currently living in Savannah (I am moving there in 4 weeks) -- all of my sailing experience has been on Mobile Bay. While I have lived in Savannah in the past and done a lot of kayaking there, I haven't sailed there before, nor have I talked with any locals about what the particularities of the rivers and sounds there require of a sailboat.

    I've come to several conclusions based on everyone's advice:

    1) I need to wait to purchase a boat until I've had some time to talk with sailors in Savannah to understand what unique qualities a boat without an engine would need to have to be enjoyable. I hadn't considered the fact that a Beetle Cat's limited hull speed might pose real problems given the speed of some of the currents & tides on the coastal rivers. That's pretty important, so I need more local information. Not realizing that I ought to do this seems kind of like a big oversight on my part now -- so thank you all for helping me understand this.

    2) It is not a good idea to rush things to fit my approaching window of opportunity to take a boat-buying trip. I'll have to find a way to make the time to go get the right boat when I come across it. I had thought that a quick decision might be possible if I were getting a common boat such as a Beetle or a Catspaw, but there are a lot of other good options out there that make focusing too much on these boats unnecessary. They might ultimately be right for me, but no need to have blinders on at this point.

    3) My many different requirements make me think I'm asking too much of the boat: wooden, ability to camp cruise, rowing, and sailing appropriate for a beginner yet enjoyable later. The idea of a whitehall type boat with sails is very appealing to me, and is one I will explore more once I'm in Savannah. Or, I could just continue kayak and canoe camping and thus not need any camp-cruising ability from the sailboat. We'll see, I'll have to give it further thought.

    Thank you all again for the helpful suggestions and for sharing your thoughts.

    Oh, and to answer one of the questions posed -- my plan is to purchase a boat, not to build it. I do expect, however, to do the maintenance on it myself (or as much of it as I can manage / figure out).

    For now, I think I'll research many of the designs you all have suggested and wait until I get a better grip on the local conditions in Savannah.

    Best,
    Stephen

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Wise man, and good luck!
    "Be curious, not judgmental." - (Misattributed to Walt Whitman as recalled by) Ted Lasso

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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Stephen, I'm concerned about you. You sound far, far too rational about this.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    "My many different requirements make me think I'm asking too much of the boat: wooden, ability to camp cruise, rowing, and sailing appropriate for a beginner yet enjoyable later. The idea of a whitehall type boat with sails is very appealing to me, and is one I will explore more once I'm in Savannah. Or, I could just continue kayak and canoe camping and thus not need any camp-cruising ability from the sailboat."



    wooden...check
    camp cruise...check
    rowing...double check
    sailing...triple check
    buildable by greenhorn...check
    trailerable...check
    re-boardable...check
    purty...check
    ...etcetera, etcetera....

    You could definitely build one for $7500 using the best materials around...it might cost you a whole lot more to have one built. What's the roadblock to building?



    "ALASKA" - 18-foot beach cruiser for oar and sail (and motor for some of us)
    Designer: Don Kurylko, Nelson, BC

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    3

    Smile Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Amazing the amount of useful input available! I can relate to your reluctance regarding an outboard, so in by own case I have made a box-style mount for a small outboard, which detaches when the outboard is not in use on my Core Sound 20'. The box-mount slides into two vertical varnished Oregon rails on the transom when the outboard is needed. When not in use the mount can be slid out and stored with the outboard in an aft locker. All that remains on the transom are two pleasing and unobtrusive Oregon rails, but the outboard is still there if we need it. (Try not to drop it overboard when transferring to the mount at sea!)

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    6,974

    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    You could do a lot worse than this Sharpie, in which the crew appear to having a wonderful day.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W0yyHKlMI3k

    Dave

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Fiddletown, on Vineyard Lane
    Posts
    3,780

    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    This is an old post. Did he build one of those?
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    VA Beach, VA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Beginner's wooden daysailer

    Anyone ever use a SUP paddle with a Beetle Cat? They're very stable when standing aboard...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Budde View Post
    Stephen .. I have Dynamite Payson's plywood version of the Beetle Cat .. I do not think rowing is a realistic alternative. Nor do I think you will have enough cargo space for even minimal camping gear, a partner, a dog and a small Honda OB. However, it is very easy to rig Bettle Cat for sculling; providing a very easy and plesant way to move in calm waters. I seem to always stay out just a tad bit too long; wind dies and I'm a distance from shore. Grasp the old oar, a few flicks of the wrist and you'll be surprised how quickly you can scull back to shore / docks. And unlike rowing, you can scull for hours with little physical exertion on a boat as small as a Beetle Cat

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