I'm leaning toward a GIS as about the most sailboat you can reasonably put more than two people in (eliminating really simple things like the Teal) and still cartop and generally carry and manhandle around where there isn't a boat ramp (eliminating most sailboats as too heavy, such as the 250lb plastic sailing dinghy I already have). I was once thinking of just building a Featherwind/Nutmeg, but the GIS doesn't look much harder or much more weight, and I don't find a lot of evidence of the kind of knowledgeable and enthusiastic community behind it that the GIS has. I also don't see much specific discussion of the Featherwind's performance, while there doesn't seem to be any doubt whatsoever about that of the GIS. I must confess I'm not a fan of plumb bows and I like more sheer (um, sorry Michael, the generic "boat" in my head actually looks like a Friendship sloop, which has kind of the anti-GIS profile :-) ), but it appears the GIS is just unbeatable in terms of simplicity, capability, development, and support. I've been reading the many GIS threads here, and I still have a couple of questions someone will surely have answers for, since the GIS appears to be the board's favorite plywood box boat:
Are the spars short enough to stow inside the boat? The rig is generous enough that it looks dicey in pictures, and since the boat is light and ought to be launchable anywhere I might just re-purpose it to a fishing boat on occasion. In such a case I might need to do some rowing with the rig struck.
I'm slightly unhappy with the daggerboard, just because I'd like a board that can kick up if it hits something. I can live with it (I do in my plastic sailboat already), and probably won't mind it in practice, but I was curious if anyone had done a centerboard modification, and if so how inconvenient the bigger trunk is.
I'm also somewhat interested in the yawl version at least as an option for occasional amusement, so I'd like to know how it sails compared to the standard cat rig. I'm going to guess a bit less weatherly, but otherwise similar?
Also on the yawl, the downloadable plans are a bit sparse for someone who hasn't even seen the plans yet, but it looks like the mizzen setup could be added at any time after the boat is built, but if I understand it the main needs a step further forward that would probably be best added when built. Is that true?