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Thread: Introduction: new in New England, getting going with building and sailing.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    4

    Post Introduction: new in New England, getting going with building and sailing.

    Hey all,

    Lovely forum you have here. The dogs and I just moved from Seattle to Rhode Island and I'm excited to get going with sailing and building over here. I've got full-on wooden boat fever, which has come and gone since I was a kid. Volunteering at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle scratched the itch a bit, but it's hard to build a boat in a third floor apartment. Now I've got a house under contract with a two car detached "shipyard" so, fingers crossed, it might finally happen. Glued lapstrake has caught my eye and I think I'm going to start with Oughtred's Skerrieskiff, though Joel White's Nutshell is appealing too. No trailer needed, that one can go on top of my car. Oughtred's MacGregor and Ness Yawl are the real attractions, but since I'm very much a beginner I figured I'd start with something easy that I won't mind messing up or looking a bit ugly. I'm also keeping an eye on classes at the Wooden Boat School and down at Mystic.

    I've done some rowing (scull and sweep) and the idea of camp cruising in my own wooden boat is real appealing. I've also long since learned that if you want to use something, don't build it yourself unless you really know what you're doing. So, to get out on the water I'm going to poke some of the local yacht clubs about folks looking for crew. I'll get set up with Providence's Community Boating Center and Sail Newport. I'm not really an experienced sailor - got my ASA 101, went out a few times on an FJ, a few times on J boats, and I've crewed for friends. Had a blast helping my buddy move his Morgan 38 from Bellingham to Seattle after Christmas last year. If anyone is looking for crew in the RI/MA/CT area, or wants to take a fledgling builder under their wing, give me a holler!

    Happy Thanksgiving,

    Tom
    Last edited by lookfar; 11-25-2021 at 09:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Palo Alto, California
    Posts
    505

    Default Re: Introduction: new in New England, getting going with building and sailing.

    Good luck to you. Currently I am writing this reply from Mystic but I’m just here for the holidays. I live in the SF Bay Area and cannot provide you with any real support. However, I would suggest that you might start with a simpler hull than any of the elegant designs you listed. Building a simple flat iron skiff would provide plenty of boat building experience and is more likely to be a successful first build.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Introduction: new in New England, getting going with building and sailing.

    Hey Mike, I appreciate the suggestion. What makes the flat-iron simple, and these others more complicated?

    The Skerrieskiff is the real play at an easy boat. Oughtred designed it to be built by a bunch of kids in a two week summer school, so I figured I could probably do it. Only having two strakes seems like it would make things easy. My only reservation there is that I want to sail more than row and the Skerrieskiff is more row than sail.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Palo Alto, California
    Posts
    505

    Default Re: Introduction: new in New England, getting going with building and sailing.

    The Skeerie Skiffs are good examples of the handsome hulls Oughtred has designed. I also expect it would be a fun sailboat. However, a simple flatiron would be a much easier hull to build. If built as stitch-and-glue hull, I believe the two side panels, bottom, and transom that comprise a flatiron skiff could be cutout and assembled in a few weeks by a first-time builder. That boat would not be as elegant as Oughtred’s designs. However, that build would require you to learn a lot about boat building. You also would have something that would get you out on the water while you built your next boat. If you chose the proper design, the first project could be a nice looking boat.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    4,687

    Default Re: Introduction: new in New England, getting going with building and sailing.

    Hi Tom, welcome aboard!
    I'm not quite an easy drive from you, or I would invite you to see the fleet (9 boats 8'-39') Of course it's off season in the NE. I agree that flatiron skiffs are easy to build. I once built one in just a few days. But I think with patience and study, you can build any design. I'm sure everyone will suggest his favorite, I'll refrain. I will suggest that you try to see and try one in person before building. Good luck, keep us posted.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Introduction: new in New England, getting going with building and sailing.

    Thanks for the thoughts, John and Mike. I picked up Gardner's Building Classic Small Craft and Rossel's Building Small Boats today so I'll give them a look and see what I find.

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