This is my first post here and if possible I'd like to pick the brains of the more experienced builders / sailors here, and get some advice on which boat to build this summer.
I do ask for your patience as I'm quite sure there are a million old posts which ask similar questions -
However, my wife and I live off grid up in the hills of Washington state without internet access, and the only time I get on-line is once a week while I'm doing the weekly washing at a laundromat or when I visit the local library. Thus, my internet browse time is severely limited, and that's why I hope others can point out some appropriate designs.
OK, I want a small sailboat capable of carrying two adults ( total weight, 325 pounds ) as well as about 110 pounds of gear ( about what we normally pack for a week or two on the water in a canoe ).
Means of propulsion should be sail and oar, I do not ever see myself clamping on a motor.
It must row well enough so that I can make five miles to a camp site in a calm, if needs be.
This craft is for camping on the large lakes of the Inland Northwest, Priest, Pend Oreille, Coeur d'alene, Chelan, Roosevelt and Ross, as well as day use on the smaller lakes near my home, such as Loon and Deer lake. It will likely never see salt water.
I would like it to be light enough to be hauled out of the water by two people. The shores of these lakes are often nothing but boulders. To land in some places it would be necessary to jump out in waist deep water, hold the craft steady in the chop while tossing the packs ashore, then, one person on each side of the boat, work it up on the bank, hopefully without to much damage ( To us. I'm less concerned about damage to the boat! ). Of course in many places actual camps exist with beaches and even docks, so this scenario would be worst case ( we do often stealth camp when traveling by canoe, as we can land and portage a canoe to a hidden - read that as unconsecrated by the park service - campsite ).
Last year we went to Ross lake for the first time and spent a week paddling about. I was amazed at how windy and choppy that place can be. One of the few times and places I felt the need for something bigger than the 16 foot canoe we've paddled for the last 20-odd years. One problem with Ross lake though - Every boat that enters the lake from the American side must be portaged in. There is a truck that travels up and down the mile long portage trail, but the boat must be light enough to be lifted out of the water onto a floating dock, up a ramp and into the truck. I actually did help portage an aluminum fishing skiff there.
OK, now you know what we want to do with the boat. To transport it I imagine I'll have to get a trailer and a hitch put on our old jalopy, or maybe buy an old full size pickup it the boat will fit in the bed. We car-top our canoe, but I don't see being able to do that with a skiff.
The design MUST have sufficient flotation to permit it to be righted when I capsize it (note I wrote when, not if! ).
Why not simply stick to a canoe? You try paddling one in high winds for a week, I bet you'll want a sailboat too!
The design must be CHEAP. I'm self employed, (read that as do almost nothing for a living) and typically make only about 8-14K a year. We manage because we live up in the hills off grid - No rent, mortgage, power bill, cable bill, cell phone bill, trash collection bill, water bill, car payments or anything like that.
Total budget for the boat, seriously, 500 bucks or less. I'll hit the recycle center for free paint, I live in a forest so hopefully I can cut a mast and spars from cedar saplings, and maybe carve out thwarts and such. I reckon I can make many fittings and the sail myself.
We built the straw bale cottage we live in, as well as our barn and all other stuff on our homestead, so although I'm no carpenter by far, and have a great deal of trouble cutting straight lines, I usually can get the job done and feel confident that I can cobble together something out of plywood. I'd probably prefer chine logs, polyurethane glue and exterior grade plywood to epoxy and marine plywood because of the expense. I've read every book on boat building available at our library.
I have hand tools, an electric drill, sander, circular saw and electric miter saw. I can borrow a table saw.
My Sailing Experience - None at all in the past 30 years!
However, I grew up on Long Island and had a friend with a Super Snark. From the time we were 13 till we were about 19 and simply wore that boat out, we did everything possible that can be done in a Snark, and probably quite a few things that generally are not considered possible in one of those things, plus messing about with various other boats belonging to other people. Grandfather, great grandpaw and great-great grandpaw were shipwrights. I have salt water in my blood and reckon I can sail anything given a bit 'o practice. Since then I've become an expert canoeist, both flat and white water.
The wife has ZERO sailing experience, but is a capable canoeist.
I figure I'll likely build whatever it is with a centerboard or lee board, rather than a dagger board because of the rocks lurking beneath inland waters.
Heck, would a DPracer do? They seem awful small, but stable, with plenty of flotation and I guess they sail OK. Rowing might be a problem, with two adults and gear aboard.
Honestly though, I'd feel like I was sailing a garbage scow and I don't know where I'd put the gear.
Would a Bolger Gypsy do?
Push the dagger board case to one side as far as it will go, (actually make it a centerboard case) for more room inside. I imagine these things row and sail very well - But with two and gear? And in chop?
Goat Island Skiff? Certainly a great, capable boat, if perhaps a bit larger than I was thinking. But expensive. The plans alone are 100 bucks!
Jim Michalaks Ladybug? Nice, capable boat but at about 250 pounds is heavier than I'm looking for.
Conrad Natzio sandpiper? I can find almost no info on this one, but it looks economical to make and good for shallow waters.
How about something like a CLC Jimmy Skiff?
The plans are a bit expensive at 60 bucks, but it certainly looks like a simple boat.
I imagine there is are a pile of similar designs out there. Basically a flat bottom and two side panels made out of plywood. How do such craft actually sail?
Anyway, that's where I'm at. If you can point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it!