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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Providence, Rhode Island, USA
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    7

    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
    507

    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.

    F1F578BE-71A3-4A08-841A-8414B0CE6176.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Providence, Rhode Island, USA
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    7

    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
    507

    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    4,689

    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
    7

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
    Posts
    7,133

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

    Welcome! I'm just over the boarder in eastern CT. (about 35 minutes away). I don't build from scratch, but do a lot of rebuilding. New Jersey built traditional cedar on oak lapstrake is sort of my thing. I have five of them here now along with a bunch of other stuff. Glad to have you stop by if you ever want to see how traditional lapstrake boats are put together.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Providence, Rhode Island, USA
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    7

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

    nedL (Ned?) - I would love that. Glued ply lap seems like a great technique while I learn more boatbuilding and general carpentry skills, but it would be great to try trad lapstrake someday. I'm happy to lend a hand too if you've got work fit for a greenhorn. I'll send you a PM.

    I've been poking around plans, I think I'm actually going to build David Beede's Summer Breeze. Super simple, it'll give me a chance to flush out my setup and give me a little more carpentry experience. It's a flatiron, I think, though maybe simpler than John intended when he originally suggested the type! Nonetheless, fits what I want and from reading the accounts of other people it's a surprisingly capable little boat.

    Tom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,124

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

    Careful with those cheap simple "temporary" boats you build as a time-filler before taking on the "real" boat--they can end up being a lot less temporary than intended!

    Here's mine about halfway through a 20-day sailing trip in Lake Huron's North Channel:

    DSCF0903.jpg

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Palo Alto, California
    Posts
    507

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lookfar View Post
    nedL (Ned?) - I would love that. Glued ply lap seems like a great technique while I learn more boatbuilding and general carpentry skills, but it would be great to try trad lapstrake someday. I'm happy to lend a hand too if you've got work fit for a greenhorn. I'll send you a PM.

    I've been poking around plans, I think I'm actually going to build David Beede's Summer Breeze. Super simple, it'll give me a chance to flush out my setup and give me a little more carpentry experience. It's a flatiron, I think, though maybe simpler than John intended when he originally suggested the type! Nonetheless, fits what I want and from reading the accounts of other people it's a surprisingly capable little boat.

    Tom
    To me, Beede's Summer Breeze looks like a perfect first boat.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,124

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

    There are also very simple boats that might be better suited to camp cruising, especially sleeping aboard, and flotation. Plans for the boat in post #9 (though with a lateen rig not suitable for cruising) are available HERE for $45. I switched that out for a 68 sq ft balance lugsail from Jim Michalak's Mixer design.

    Many of Jim Michalak's designs would also suit, particularly the Mayfly series (12', 14' and 16' versions), plans $35 for the 14' version.

    If your interests run toward camp cruising, a boat with decks and flotation might suit better than Summer Breeze. It wouldn't be much harder to build, either. I built mine in less than a month of weekend work.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Providence, Rhode Island, USA
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    7

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

    Thanks for your thoughts Tom! I saw your thread on your adventure with the Jagular - quite inspirational. I keep hearing Jim Michalak's name so given your advice I decided to order his book from Duckworks. I was already considering turning that breasthook on Summer Breeze into a deck (foredeck?) and sealing it off with a bulkhead of some sort. Alternatively, dry bags and some foam along the hull. Not sure yet. The Goat Island Skiff seems to be another popular one in this category, though it might be too big for one-man camp cruising. I may also have to pick up another Payson book; I've got Go Build Your Own Boat already. Another note - my brother is moving to northern WI this upcoming summer. I'll keep a weathered eye out for Jagular or your Alaska when I go visit!

    -Tom

    (things are always better when the Tom density increases)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    23,665

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

    I own and built a Summerbreeze. Great little boat. But I use it for a quick row or sail in protected tidal creek across the street. Go set a crab trap; the kids go mess with it for a bit, etc. It is small and while it rows, it does not row great. I would not want to row it for more than maybe 30 minues. That frame amdiships makes lying down in the boat uncomfortable, so I would think you would want to plan to sleep ashore were you to camp cruise.

    Good luck!

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Providence, Rhode Island, USA
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    Default

    Hmm. That's not encouraging, but then again it's a first boat. At this stage it's more important to start and finish than to find the perfect design, methinks. Thanks Kevin.

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