After months of looking, reading, and poking around I've come to the conclusion that if I want a boat that ticks all my marks I am going to have to build it myself.

  • Able to sleep 2.5 people in relative comfort.
  • easily trailerable by either of our SUV's (max tow capacity of 3500 for my Montero).
  • Able to be beached.
  • Can hold a small outboard.
  • A relatively simple build that my son, wife, father, mother, and I can enjoy together.
  • Good performance in the Salish Sea.
  • More than one mast!

One of the biggest factors in finalizing the list was all the pictures, videos, and recounts of the inaugural Salish 100. My wife and I agreed that this is an event we want to participate in.

There are plenty of little pocket cruisers for sale around that we could buy and enter the event, but that leaves out the important part of building something with 3 generations of family. We moved to the PNW to be near the sea and mountains. What better heirloom than a beautiful boat made from trees that grow on the slopes of the Cascades and sails the Salish?

There is also the fact that my father is set to retire for the 3rd time. He needs a "hobby" to keep him occupied so he doesn't get bored and go back to work. I've planted the seed and watered it. Now I'm just waiting for him to come up with the idea himself.

As for our woodworking skills, well... What skills? I have turned several boxes of sticks in to flying contraptions controlled from the ground. But those all fit on a small work bench and had very few complex curves that werent created by shrinking covering over frames. My fiberglass experience consisted of a few wing joints. My father has built a couple very elaborate decks purely from ideas in his head. My wife and mother know how to sand. My 4 year plays with wooden Brio railroad tracks.

My shortlist of boats consisted of the Glen-L Minuet, Welsford Navigator, and Welsford Sweet Pea. Wanting a yawl rig disqualified the Minuet. I ultimately decided on the Sweet Pea for two reasons; 1. The hull will be slightly simpler due to having only 2 chines per side and 2. It was designed to have a cabin from the outset.

So now I sit staring at the study plans every night waiting for my father to come to me with his idea. Then we will purchase plans from John and get to building. I hope to be able to share the experience with you all.