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Thread: JW Penguin Designs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default JW Penguin Designs

    Hello all,

    Thought I would drop a message and say hello. I have been looking at various designs over the years in hops to someday build a sailboat. I got the bug after spending a week in the Puget Sound on a 32' Islander... I still live in the PNW, however by the time I actually start any build, I'll be in the back in New England. Through all of the designs I've looked at I have come to fall in love with John Welsfords' Penguin design. Ultimately, I'm looking for a solid design for a weekend coastal cruiser and occasional 1-2 week sails up the New England coast line, mostly Maine with my wife and daughter (now 2). I have no boat building experience, some wood working experience and although no relation to boat building, the patience and experience in building a car from the frame up... which is what ultimately gave me the motivation to look at tackling a boat project.

    From what I can tell there have not been many Penguin's built, very little in the way of build blogs etc.

    Looking for suggestions, advice, etc. I have picked up John's backyard builder boat. I am not sure how involved John's project plans are, however purchasing plans was one of my next steps, but thought I would get some advice before spending money on plans....

    I dont plan to start this project for about year, (still need to move to the NE) but want to start to gain as much knowledge as I can ahead of time.


    Cheers,
    JD
    Last edited by snyderjd; 10-30-2017 at 08:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    41,964

    Default Re: JW Penguin Designs

    I don't know your new waters, so perhaps someone else can speak to that side of things. What I can tell you is that Penguin owners tend to be pretty happy with them, and that it's a good design for your intended use. I've been aboard a couple of 'em now, and one of the most impressive things is how roomy they are below, making for a great weekend & cruising boat. The beaminess helps that, but doesn't seem to inflict as much of a speed penalty as I'd have expected. But John's boats have a reputation for being a bit faster than the beaminess might suggest (see numerous accounts from SCAMP owners for more).
    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)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Poulsbo, WA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: JW Penguin Designs

    JD, I am one of those satisfied Penguin builder/owners. So far most of my sailing has been on N. Idaho lakes. A relocation to Puget Sound area has slowed my sailing for the past two years, but that will change next year. I am not a highly skilled woodworker or sailor. Most of my learning comes from doing. You will find John's plans to be complete for what to do, but not necessarily how to do it. Some things like bending wood, spiling, fiberglassing, painting, electrical, pouring a lead keel, and a few other details you will need to get from other sources, for which there are many readily available. You will find that boat building consists of many achievable small projects completed one at a time. Not a big deal when you look at it that way. There is lots of help available on this and on John's forum, plus from John himself. When you do find other Penguin builders, or other of JW designs, they are usually happy to provide advice as requested, myself included. I really enjoyed doing the research on where best to buy materials and how best to fit them. I was also blown away by the contacts one makes all around the globe when investigating what others are doing to help you along. It took me 3 1/2 years of evenings and weekends to complete my Penguin. The trick is to not let it become your mistress, OK, it will, and to include your entire family. (Don't short change the help your daughter can provide or the love with which she will do it.) This is a great family boat, stable, roomy, comfortable, and easy to single hand - not to mention a lot of fun.
    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: JW Penguin Designs

    Peter
    what are some of the hurdles you faced that you found most challenging? Most importantly, what size shop did you build in and or should I say what do you think the minimum space needed?

    ive been watching a multiparty series on offcenterharbor.com on building a Caledonia yawl... I have found it to be very visually instructional on techniques I might need to apply to the penguin build.
    Last edited by snyderjd; 11-04-2017 at 05:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Poulsbo, WA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: JW Penguin Designs

    JD My shop was 24' x 40'. With my set up I had about 30" of clearance on one side of the boat and about 12' on the other. I used a 16' work table on the open side. I used the full length of the shop because I had it, but I wanted at least 30'. A narrower space might work if one had the layout space somewhere available, but good space on both sides is a big help. One of the most challenging parts of the build for me was bending the garboard plank at the bow. There is a compound curve there which I solved with steaming the plywood. The other most challenging part for me was the curve at the front of the cabin as designed. Others have taken a different approach that worked well. Check out the approached to each of these locations by Keith Smith. He appears to have a better idea. Also look at the approach to turning the boat. This allows two people to handle this process. If you have not done so scroll deep into the photos on the jwbuilders forum on jwboatdesigns. There are lots of photos showing solutions to a variety of steps that are common to many of JW designs. There are Penguin photos also. The photos seem to be ordered by date of posting. Mine are in 2011 and '10.

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