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Thread: Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

  1. #1
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    Default Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

    She's built on a hard chined dory hull, but they call it a sharpie. 21 x 7' 6" x 8" board up.



    Is it too big to sail single handed? It's specified to be rigged as gaff headed sloop. Would a different rig be more amenable? As drawn it seems the mast steps on the coach roof, but photo searches also show the mast step in front of the cabin.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

    Single handing means different things. Can just about anybody handle her on their own? Not likely. Could a moderately skilled sailor? Probably. She's not that big. Keep her main under about 400 sq feet and she's probably ok to take out on your own. There are many other factors to consider but a sail that is too large to handle on your own means you will have trouble sailing the boat on your own. Bear in mind, Vendee Globe boats, Open 60s etc. have single sails in the thousands of square feet and will often have 3000 sq ft up at any given time so it's not impossible. Just not desirable to have large sails. Many smaller sails are easier to handle than a few larger ones. That's why you saw tops'ls and t'gallants split in the 1850s and 1860s into upper and lower topsl's and t'gallants. How the rig is laid out plays a factor. Do lines lead to the cockpit or do you have to go up forward to work many of them? This boat as a CB so is the line to operate it led back or dio you have to go below to operate it? This boat is a 21 foot boat with three small sails. I'd say anyone who is comfortable sailing at all should be able to handle her on their own. That being said, self assessment of your own skills is required. I myself wouldn't hesitate to take twice that amount of boat out on my own. But I've sailed quite a bit.
    Last edited by Sailor; 03-28-2017 at 07:27 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

    Sailor is correct.
    21' is a modest boat, that one has a modest rig. I think that one prudent person can enjoy single-handing her.
    I have built two Glen-L boats, a hard chine kayak and an 11' sailing dinghy. Both were fairly straightforward builds. Glen-L has decades of experience producing plans and instructions for amateur builders.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

    Keep in mind that Glen-L plans are pretty basic. And tilted toward ease of build, even if that sacrifices. Perhaps I'm missing out on something - but I'd not make one of their sailboat plans my first thought. Vintage runabouts, or hydroplanes... yes. For sailboats, I suspect there are boats out there that you would find as easy to build, for about the same time & $$, that would serve you better in the long run.

    If you haven't already looked - both Wooden Boat Magazine & Duckworks Magazine offer quite a few choices --

    http://www.woodenboat.com/boat-plans...ssrnd=5712.016

    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/r/plansindex.htm
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Keep in mind that Glen-L plans are pretty basic. And tilted toward ease of build, even if that sacrifices. Perhaps I'm missing out on something - but I'd not make one of their sailboat plans my first thought. Vintage runabouts, or hydroplanes... yes. For sailboats, I suspect there are boats out there that you would find as easy to build, for about the same time & $$, that would serve you better in the long run.

    If you haven't already looked - both Wooden Boat Magazine & Duckworks Magazine offer quite a few choices --

    http://www.woodenboat.com/boat-plans...ssrnd=5712.016

    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/r/plansindex.htm
    Actually, yes I have looked at both of these, and many others, many many times. Other possibilities (such as Reuel Parker's Terrapin, or Stambaugh's Mist, or Oughtred's Euna Mara, or Garden's Eel) seem to check some boxes, and miss others. Boxes to check: shoal draft, pocket cruiser, classic traditional look, doesn't take a fortune or an eternity to build, on the big side of trailerable behind a small car, cost of plans, etc.

    With my current build I've found that the essentials of a design are the hull shape and sailing rig. But all the other finishing details seem rather maleable. So if Glen-L designs are on the simple side, that's fine because I can fill in details myself.

    This design is simple in that it is a basic dory hull. Some people object to hard chines. But Centennial seems a solid traditional design, and well proven. Another dory hull with success is Annie Hill's Badger, a Jay Benford dory hull. So it seems that these simple hull shapes have proven success, and the image above shows a rather good looking traditional approach.

    I've heard people disparage Glen-L designs, but it seems it often comes as a blanket stereotype of judgement, rather than specific objections to a specific design. Likewise on the "Bolger consensus" thread, lots of complaints about boxy shapes without acknowledging his other designs.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

    I've built a couple Glen-L boats, too. One for power, one for sail, both small and vee bottomed. Good plans, good boats. I'd guess Fancy Free would be on par with other boats of its type. But there are those who would say to build any of them is a mistake. That the flat bottomed sharpie/dory hull form will be disappointing no matter how well its designed. People are lured to build them because of the apparent simplicity. So it may depend on whether or not you'd be happy with a flat bottom single chine hull.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

    Here's something to ponder:
    Since everyone acknowledges that single-chine, flat-bottom shapes are the quickest, simplest, and cheapest ways to build boats, why don't we see more of them? Why don't we mostly see this type? Why go to all the extra time, expense, and effort to build something more complicated? Why aren't sharpies/dories the default hull shape rather than a niche?

    My own take is that it's because they're ugly and don't work as well. But I'm biased, of course, having built way too many of them.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Glen-L Fancy Free-- your thoughts?

    Glen L has been around for a long time. There are a lot of his boats sailing around. They perform pretty much as expected. I cannot say I like much of his work, but that is my thing. From my point of view I'd say you should define as exactly as you can what your needs are. What sort of water you will sail in and what sort of weather you will sail in. Are you cruising for a weekend or two or is overnighting going to be a big part of your recreation, or are you going to be almost exclusively day sailing/beach sailing. Is this a family boat? Will the boat live a lot of time on a trailer, in which case ease of rigging will be an important factor.
    I'd suggest the simple hull shape of a flatty is only a little less work than a nearly as simple V Bottom shape, which will often be slightly better in service in most ways. Some V bottom boats look darn good....actually some flatties look good as well. In any case building a boat that size is enough of a journey that I doubt you would even notice the difference in building time or complexity, particularly with more modern designs where you can get full size patterns.
    If the Fancy Free ticks off most of your boxes and the alternatives don't. This boat is from a well recognized designer with a long history of designing home built boats for this market. I think its probably a good choice....for you.

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