Another one of these threads!?
So, a few weeks ago the boat-building bug started to nest in my brain. I haven't been sailing since I was about 12 (33 now) and wanted to get back out in the water -- I live in Eastern MA and there are so many great sailing grounds, it seems a shame not to revive sailing for me and introduce my kids to it.
I generated this plan and ran it past the wife: I would spend a few weeks/weekends working with my two oldest sons (both still young at 6 and 8) and we would build a PD Racer. At their age, they really can't help much, but it would be a good way to introduce them to basic woodworking and tools. If I can keep their attention for 15-20 minutes at one go, I'd be happy and do 99.999% of the work myself.
It was difficult to get over the shape of the PDR, having admired graceful wooden boats for most of my life. I finally convinced myself the OzRacer was the way to go, and bought the plans. The plans are incredible, and made me feel much more comfortable about my lack of building experience. I went out and bought 3 sheets of 1/4" 'okay' exterior ply and 1 sheet of 1/4" Okoume marine ply (planned for the hull bottom) and started lining off. I made a paper model last night and this is what has brought me to a crisis. I cannot bring myself to build it... the OzRacer is the best looking of the PDR-types, but it's still a funky box and while I know I'd have a blast sailing and playing around in it, I want a boat-looking object. Even a very simple boat-looking object. I hate to be so prejudiced, but it is what it is no matter how well I've heard they perform.
While pondering the OzRacer over the last few weeks, I have also been spending shameful numbers of hours crawling this forum, looking at available plans, etc... I've already picked out my 2nd and 3rd boats (heh heh), thanks to the wealth of information online. If I can prove to myself that I can build this first simple boat, my wife has given me the OK to move on to a larger project over the winter. I'm aiming for a GIS -- still simple, the plans are even better than the OzRacer ones (yep, bought 'em, great quality) and it looks to perform pretty well. Following that, I want to move into something much nicer and more complex: an Oughtred Tirrik or one of the Terns. I also have the plans for the Sjogin III (who could resist!), and have been pondering that for later... if I don't build it, those plans are getting blown up and printed out to go on my wall.
Here is my crisis: I now have some sheets of plywood to use, I'm a novice woodworker and I want to build a small sail & oar boat for me and my kids to fool around with. This will be for lake, pond and river boating. We're near the ocean, but I don't think this first boat needs to be seaworthy to that extent -- we have protected ocean waters, and I might be inclined to tread into them if I felt confident enough in my building. Otherwise, we'll sail the little bugger until it falls apart in a lake.
- Handle one average-sized adult and 1-2 small children -- eventually (if it lasts) to be used by the kids as they get older
- Sail and oar, with a lean towards sail
- Good for protected lakes, ponds, rivers, maybe some protected ocean sailing
- Does not need to be car-toppable
- No motor requirement
- (3) sheets of exterior ply and (1) sheet of marine ply available for use
- 1.5gal of Aeromarine epoxy available for use
- Appropriate for a novice woodworker (I've built 20x20' decks, a 12'x8' chicken coop and a few wooden storage units... but nothing really requiring complex cuts)
I'll obviously snatch up additional plywood and epoxy as necessary, and getting additional lumber for frames and such is not an issue. I don't want to splurge for really high quality materials at this point, but I'm also not trying to be the cheapest person on the planet.
I've been looking at plans until my eyes crossed, and I drift from wanting dead-simple construction to get onto the water FAST... or something that I could spend a little more time at and get something I'd be more proud of in the long run. Obviously my materials caveats above will control some of that. Here are the designs I'm looking at, ranging from slap-together-for-fun to holy-crap-could-I-actually-do-this:
- David Beede's Summer Breeze (11' 8")
- John Bell's Blondie (8' 4")
- Selway-Fisher Northumbrian Coble (9' 4")
- Welsford Daniel's Boat (10' 6")- Oughtred Puffin (10' 2")
I know the Welsford and Oughtred ones would probably be stretching me in a few ways -- number one, the ply I have seems to be a shame to use on such beautiful designs. Can the exterior ply, even good quality, be used on plywood lapstrake? I have Iain's book on it's way to me later this week, but I'd already skimmed through it extensively... I also recognize that the nicer designs are probably going to take me more along the lines of 1-3 years of weekends, rather than getting a boat into the water for sailing this fall. I'd hate to pour 1-3 years into a boat using sub-standard materials, but I'm really not inclined to buy a few more sheets of good marine ply right now -- mostly to appease the wife. I know this is a poor argument for boat-building, but I'm willing to concede that whatever I build this first time, it may not be the bestest quality and could fall apart on sail #1.
Does anyone have some other suggestions? From the non-Summer-Breeze plans, you may get a feeling for the kind of lines I dream of... that's not a requirement, and I'd be willing to consider more flat-bottom skiff types (like the Summer Breeze). I have looked at Glen-L and Bateau, but nothing really screamed at me... but I'd be willing to try out something if it meets my requirements, even if it's not bootiful.
Man, that was a long post. Sorry for being so wordy! Thanks to everyone on this forum for creating a hugely searchable past couple of years with a serious wealth of information.