I've mentioned in a couple of threads that I've been planning a sail and oar experiment with my Whisp. This boat is 30 years old. It was well-built by my late father-in-law, under the paint is hardwood marine ply upsized from Steve Redmond's specs to a 9mm bottom and 6mm on the sides. He named her Margalo after Stuart Little's little bird friend. Despite the heavier ply, the hull as pictured here only weighs somewhere around 75 pounds. It's a fun day boat, rows easily and sails fairly well. But as you can see, there's no positive flotation and, being very low-sided, it doesn't need to heel far before the water starts pouring in over the side.
So below is the to-do list to make a boat that is more handy to sail, safer, and can be camp-cruised aboard by one.
Add generous buoyancy tanks fore and aft. (Second photo shows framing for this)
Add decking over bow and down sides, about 6" wide, with low coaming (second photo shows glue-up for what will become the mast partner and deck shape/support.)
Add small mizzen
Replace single leeboard with an off-center daggerboard
Replace fixed rudder with a kick-up design
Rig center thwart so it's easily removable for sleeping. (Side decks will take care of structural issues.)
Upgrade all rigging for ease of use and more durability.
Comments always welcome, of course. I'm making these changes on my best calculations and hunches as to what will get what I'm looking for. A lot of the thinking was shaped by several discussions here concerning buoyancy and capsize issues -- thanks to all the considered advice on that topic. But I emphasize this is an experiment in progress. I've never had a boat that I didn't continually make changes on, and this will be no different. It's mostly seat of the pants, although I have done some rough calculations. For example if the side decks are 6" wide, I'm certain the hull will not downflood if she goes over without me in it. (Assuming the spars check the roll at 100 degrees or so). And even with me on board, it will be close and probably entirely dependent on exactly where my weight is centered. Now, a capsize with me and 100 pounds or more of stores, and I'm pretty sure she'll flood. But I'm reducing the internal volume as much as I reasonably can and still leave room to roll out the bivy sack. She'll roll back up very easily (the beam is just 42"). And being so low sided, should be easy to climb back in and bail out. That last part will be the most telling part of this experiment.
So I squeezed her into the basement workshop for the balance of the winter.
Progress to date: