Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    20

    Default Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Once again the sailing season looms and I am without a sail craft. Have a few designs in mind for a long build, have some plans, but really am interested in getting on the water before the leaves turn in October.

    Joel White's Nutshell and Shellback dinghies are equally attractive to me. Usage would be generally messin' about, launching on local lakes & ponds, and to replace our FG canoe for a bit of camping. I have a buddy equally interested so we might build in tandem and have a bit of fun racing/pacing each other. 1 and 2 up sailing, maybe more rowing. Not interested in a motor. Shooting for workboat finish to beat autumn.

    I ordered both books from our sponsor, and will order the appropriate plans as next stage.

    Can you poke some holes in the following assumptions.

    Nutshell 9'
    + Less complicated build (no pointy ends)
    + Less tender, a steadier more forgiving craft
    + OK for 2 up sailing
    + OK for 2 camping ( we pack lite)
    + About 100lbs

    Shellback
    + Don't have to answer the eternal pram question "Where did the front of your boat go?"
    + Faster, so more entertaining for more people
    - Longer boat = longer build
    + OK for 2 up sailing?
    + About 100lbs

    General
    + Fiberglassing the bottom (or anything else) is optional (books will tell). I just see a lot of people taking this precaution even though I believe designer is well respected and did not require?
    + Boat hardware readily available from WB since these are common designs.

    Thanks in advance!

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    17,747

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    I don’t think you could go wrong with either. My daughter and I built the 9’6” Nutshell when she was in High School. The build was pretty quick.
    This photo from the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival shows how fun they are to sail:

    CC3815DB-0CAB-4D16-BB7E-B38D519F819B.jpg

    And no problem with four big guys rowing in from the mooring with some gear, too. It’s a very capable boat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    2,789

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    I agree with Steven, either one would be fine boats. Rochester NY? That leaves you with roughly 5 months until autumn (maybe 6 if October stays warm) right? I'd get the kit.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,935

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    They both seem rather small to me for your stated functions. Do you have storage or transport issues that limit the size? Michalak's Piccup Pram is an easy build and very roomy for two and camping gear, and is a lively sailor if you add a larger sail than on the plans. As above other options would be kits from CLC to meet your deadlines - possibly Skerry? https://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/...inghy-kit.html
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    519

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Build something instant boat style. Michaels mayfly or some such, oz goose perhaps. Get on the water this summer. Since you are planning a second better build anyway do this one quick and enjoy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Hull, QC, Canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    I built a Shellback last winter and it's a bit cramped for two - even for daysailing. And we're pretty small people.

    I'm looking to build something a bit bigger next winter.

    It was a great build though, having Eric Dow's book really made it possible for me as a first time builder. And I do love the boat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Wow, great feedback...

    StevenBauer - your photo sums up my intended use. They seem to be having a blast.

    Anders - the Pooduck is exceptional but I think beyond my time constraint. I even worry that the shellback is a few feet more sanding. Plus it is long enough to compete actively with my plans choice for boat 2 - an Oughtred double ender, Lillistone's Phoenix III, SCAMP or one of the other Welfsford designs.

    Stromburg - yes, clock is ticking.

    Thorne - my constraint is time. I actually have the plans for the Skerry & Eastport. Having received the NutShell and Shellback books I think timewise the Eastport and maybe Skerry are edging them out. No building form Stitch and Glue. The CLC boats all use Fiberglass. The Joel White designs seem to have it optional.

    Regarding size - we camp out of a 12' canoe now, and pack stuff we don't take when backpacking. One of us is young and bendy. The other one of us is ballast. Although looking at the Nutshell (or Eastport) I was thinking of two. I love this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH9xetPnczU

    Sail & Stink I looked at the Goat Island Goose, thinking it is a quicker build. Looks like a heck of a lot of fun as well. The smaller boats - nutshell and Eastport, I find appealing because they seem just so portable. I can still trailer the "stinker" and put the sailboat up top.

    "I built a Shellback last winter and it's a bit cramped for two - even for daysailing. And we're pretty small people."
    I find this very interesting. In the photo supplied by StevenBauer and the video I linked to the Nutshell seems to have 2 up sailing. With the Shellback I see a few images of adult and kid but it almost seems it has less room. Odd - it is longer and beamier than the Nutshell.

    Re flotation - one of the commercial builders puts chambers fore and aft. CLC buts foam panels under seats. And I have seen people use fenders as under seat flotation or secured to inwales. Might rig something up like this.

    Thanks - I may have underestimated build complexity and overestimated capacity...

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    2,789

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Where's the fun in that? (Buying a boat)

    There isn't that much to either of these boats. Buy a kit and get building, a little focus (and lots of free advice from your friends on the WBF) and you'll be launching by Fathers Day.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,935

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Michalak's Piccup Pram can be built several ways, all fairly fast. Carries lots of cargo and sails like a witch with a big sail.

    So now you say no stitch and glue -- any other methods that won't work? Or can you tell us what methods you will consider? Tape and glue OK, or must it be glued lapstrake?
    Last edited by Thorne; 04-23-2019 at 12:14 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Waterbury, Connecticut
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Always go for the bigger boat. I once had a 12 foot dory-skiff heavier than the Shellback but about the same kind of hull. It was the boat I learned on -- and quickly I realized I should have had a bigger boat built. But I did sometimes have adult passengers. With one passenger it went well when the passenger was reasonably salty or at least not in terror of water and heeling. I have had two adventurous friends aboard -- water savvy -- in a brisk wind, and we had a blast, but that is perhaps not recommended. --Wade

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Salt Spring Island, BC
    Posts
    6,089

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    I suppose that if more boat is needed the Nutshell could be stretched enough to add tanks fore and aft. It would still look good and it would perform better. The lofting would be really easy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Really great feedback.

    "I usually like it better if we sail in close company"

    When I think about the Eastport, or even the 7' Nutshell, I do think two up (after paying appropriate licensing fees). This, in my head, conflicts with time constraint. Building a 15' boat may be faster than two 7 footers? But that video of the two Nutshell Prams horsing about really pulls at my heart strings. Similar video of CLC NE Dories, GIS's, etc. Great fun.

    The Buy option. I can certainly go that route. Have done it before. Have never lost much buying/selling on Craigslist. The photo StevenBauer shows seems to show two people inside (not on top of) a boat that is 100lbs or so. Rare on the market. I will keep my eyes open for Zumas, Holder 12's and AMF Puffers. But the Nutshell looks like a lot of fun.

    "So now you say no stitch and glue"
    Sorry, that line came out/was typed wrong. Meant to say "no form (building form) with Stitch & Glue". Although my post is titled with two designs I am more than open to learning about more and am not tied to one construction type appropriate for a beginner. I have been focusing on Stitch & Glue and Glued Lap for this initial "wet by fall, looking forward to next boat build build".

    I like stitch and glue and it might be the best way to satisfy the timeline for a quick initial build. CLC's boats - which are beautiful - seem to have layers of fiberglass inside and out. I believe any type of modern boat building involves a wee bit of sanding. I believe sanding can be somewhat reduced by going with a shorter design, opting for a workboat finish (although layers of paint still need standing it may not be 6-7 coats like some varnish builds?) and possibly by avoiding fiberglass. Some designers seem to say wood coated with paint is fine. Others like wood encapsulated with epoxy. And some fiberglass exterior. CLC fiberglasses interior and exterior (with epoxy coated wood). While I do not have a strong aversion to sanding Joel White's designs seem to be paint on wood. Many people opt for some fiberglass on the outside but they usually state that with something about hard use.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Waterbury, Connecticut
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    I suppose that if more boat is needed the Nutshell could be stretched enough to add tanks fore and aft. It would still look good and it would perform better. The lofting would be really easy.
    --- Maybe, but that is messing with a designed planned by a nautical architect. If you know enough to know how to redesign the rocker curve, maybe. -- W

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Hull, QC, Canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    jsashley - Just to clarify, I do sail the shellback together with my partner, but it's just a bit cramped for her when I'm at the helm. Definitely 1000x more fun than no boat.

    We're on a river, so there's lots of tacking, which is part of the problem. Hard to duck and shuffle around all the time. For this summer I built her a kayak, so she can paddle while I sail.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    Back to the two boats theme
    If sailing solo does th 7' Nutshell do as well as the 9'? I am thinking no - waterline I think adds to it?

    I do sail the shellback together with my partner
    Thanks. That is important info. The beam is similar and shellback is longer so you'd think it is more accommodating. But the bottom panel on nutshell seems much wider.

    Have never heard of someone choosing a boat based on the amount of sanding involved
    Not adverse to sanding. Counting the steps involved in the build. More steps, more time me thinks. Adding fiberglass I think adds the initial wet out and than a few(?) coats of epoxy to fill the weave. Ok with this for later builds, but time constraints have me looking at number of steps.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Hull, QC, Canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    I used Dynel cloth on the bottom and over the joint between the bottom panel and garboard planks (for abrasion resistance).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Shellback vs Nutshell for gunkholing

    epoxy on any exposed end grain

    This is exactly what the designer recommends.



    cloth on the bottom and over the joint

    So designer does not mention this, but many builders do.


    I am starting to think the Shellback is the boat I want when looking at it (I find its lines more attractive), and the Nutshell is the boat I want when looking out from in it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •