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  1. #1
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    Default GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Hi,

    We currently have an old 26' plastic keelboat that we use on most weekends but I am looking to build a small sailboat for when we go camping and to explore the many lakes of Quebec, Ontario, and eventually Maine. We are a family of 4 with an 11 and 6 years old daughters.

    My criteria are :

    - "Quick and easy" build. Most probably stitch and glue. Budget is around $5000 max but would like to finish is 2 summers, maybe 3, if possible. I'd like to have it in the water before my daughter graduates
    - Relatively seaworthy. I would prefer some more initial stability. I do not expect a small open boat to be as stable as my keelboat but I'd prefer not to capsize too often with my daughters aboard... I also do not feel like having to hike out all the time and would prefer to remain seated.
    - Towable with a 4cyl SUV, ideally 500 pounds or less.
    - Quick to rig, quick to reef, easy to handle. I have a real soft spot for balanced lug rigs.
    - I have 0 interest in racing of any kind and am only looking to explore lakes, relaxed cruising, easy beachability, etc. I rarely chase the last 1/2 knot unless there is no wind blowing!
    - Row-able is a nice to have but I'll most probably want to put a small 2hp outboard on there for when the wind dies.
    - Able to carry 2 adult + 2 children (eventual teenagers) for 3-4 hours outings.
    - Some curves. I just can't resign myself to the OZ Goose or other boxes even if they are great sailboats otherwise. Note that I find many prams beautiful, those with some curves on them

    So far, I have those three on my list but am more than open to learn about other designs. I'd also like to hear more about each of those as I am unsure of there capabilities.

    - Goat Island Skiff : looks pretty simple and quick to build and lug rig is a plus. It seems though like everyone is hiking out when sailing them. How tippy are they?
    - Lillistone First Mate : more work to build than the GIS because of the half decking, but probably more forgiving because of it too. Lug rig is a plus.
    - Argie 15 : seems to be about the same amount of work as first mate but the rig is less than ideal to me; would require more handling and more time to rig. A bit more beamy than First Mate so probably more initial stability but no half decking so I guess it cancels out?

    What do you all think of those boats for my needs and are there any others I should look into?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    First Mate is the stitch-and-glue version of the Phoenix III. Having a good number of miles aboard a Phoenix III, I'd say a First Mate would be very very crowded with a family of 4 aboard all at the same time. It's best as a solo boat, and also good with 2. Above that, not so much.

    The looks are not what everyone dreams of in a boat, but Jim Michalak's Family Skiff is roomy and super-comfortable. Deep cockpit, wide seats, backrests. I suspect it would take your family of 4 in good comfort. Also has a lug rig.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 07-05-2020 at 09:12 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    The Goat Island Skiff has more interior volume than the First Mate, but it is tender and fast. Loaded up, less tender. It will still be crowded with 4 people. Two was enough for me. Also, while it can take an outboard, it's not worth it.

    Have you thought of an O-Day Daysailer and spending some time reconfiguring the rig? They are really nice boats, they go quick, roomy, stable, take an outboard, you can get 4 in there much much easier. Classic boat. Not wood, but still classic. Towable. and they sail really nice too-- the kids will love it.

    Also, lots for sale, and you can go sailing that much quicker.

    The 4 people thing + realistic build time is the big sticking point here.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    A Michalak Laguna would fit the bill: simple lug rig (can sail as a 2-masted lugger, or with a single sail in a center step). Very roomy. A big boat, but one that can be built cheaply and quickly. Not bad-looking for a simple flat-bottomed skiff, either. Fast, too.

    Laguna.jpg

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    another Michalak design that might work is the MayFly 16

    OIP.MqDPwxV-kn7FZSSJL4efowHaGW.jpeg

    simple lug and good seating

    OIP.9FMhMxrtBCkNz0wKnjJX4QHaFi.jpeg

    w/ accomodations for a small OB

    OIP.33wtvq8caqS1AiqY5LF8GwHaFn.jpeg

    15 1/2' x 5 1/2' 350# empty plus a 550# crew n gear capacity

    https://www.duckworks.com/product-p/jm-mayfly16.htm

    BON CHANCE

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Yep, the Mayfly is simple, performs well, etc. There's a 12', 14', and a 16' version.

    The Laguna is, according to the designer, essentially a Mayfly stretched to 24' long.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 07-06-2020 at 07:08 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    In my opinion (and from the safety of my armchair!), routinely sailing with a family of four is pushing the limits on several of the designs mentioned. The Laguna is an exception, of course, and will get you sailing a lot quicker than some other designs. They appear to be a handful if they capsize. Builders have come up with varying ideas to help in that area. Seating has also varied from boat to boat. I haven't seen anyone try it (to my knowledge), but the Laguna has plenty of room for two rowing stations and room to store the oars. I think a better choice than Family Skiff for a family of four would be Michalak's Mikesboat. Builds the same way. They seem to have performed well in the Texas 200 and have plenty of capacity for four adults and a big picnic. However, if your weight limit is 500# max INCLUDING trailer, motor, and gear, you're back to the GIS, Mayfly 16 or similar. The Mayfly blurb on the site says it weighs 350#, but I have the plans and I think that was with motor. It has bench seats and a good track record in Texas. It'll get you sailing even sooner than the Laguna. If the GIS is a Ferrari, the Mayfly is a Land-Rover; suitability depends on the mission.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W. View Post
    In my opinion (and from the safety of my armchair!), routinely sailing with a family of four is pushing the limits on several of the designs mentioned. The Laguna is an exception, of course, and will get you sailing a lot quicker than some other designs. They appear to be a handful if they capsize. Builders have come up with varying ideas to help in that area. Seating has also varied from boat to boat. I haven't seen anyone try it (to my knowledge), but the Laguna has plenty of room for two rowing stations and room to store the oars. I think a better choice than Family Skiff for a family of four would be Michalak's Mikesboat. Builds the same way. They seem to have performed well in the Texas 200 and have plenty of capacity for four adults and a big picnic. However, if your weight limit is 500# max INCLUDING trailer, motor, and gear, you're back to the GIS, Mayfly 16 or similar. The Mayfly blurb on the site says it weighs 350#, but I have the plans and I think that was with motor. It has bench seats and a good track record in Texas. It'll get you sailing even sooner than the Laguna. If the GIS is a Ferrari, the Mayfly is a Land-Rover; suitability depends on the mission.
    A Laguna completed the Everglades Challenge in 2010. They did some rowing, but with a single station only if I remember right. Built without benches and side tanks, a Laguna can be made pretty light--but then, massive volumes of water to deal with in a capsize.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions! Concerning the weight limit, I know my CRV can tow 1500 pounds. I'm not sure if that includes stuff inside the car itself or if it's only the trailer weight though. Anyway, 500# was a rough maximum I was giving for being able to man handle the boat while on it's trailer; push around the lawn, and not being too close to the 1500# limit once on a trailer with all the extra stuff inside the boat.

    I haven't seen much small sailboats in person unfortunately as they are not common around Montreal. I looked at classified (Kijiji and Marketplace) and didn't find anything interesting 6 hours around. I may prefer (have a reason for the build) to buy than to build but I mostly find lasers are stuff off the sort. The Atkins one in Maine is truly beautiful and truly interesting. I'll to check the budget with the power that be and if it's possible to cross the border, I think it's still closed until July 22nd...

    As for the lug rig, I like it really because it looks very quick to rig up. If I was to let go of that requirement, what other boats would fit the other criteria that you can think of?

    One question I have though is this, what makes a 15' feet boat with a 5'-ish beam roomy enough for 4 persons and not another one? Comparing the First Mate/Phoenix III and the Family skiff for example they seem to me to be pretty much the same size by area. I also measured the cockpit on my Tanzer 26; it is around 6' long by 5' wide and it's big enough for the four of us to spend a whole day in. I assumed that we needed about the same space in a small open boat but I guess my logic is wrong somewhere?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Northdude; 07-06-2020 at 07:18 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northdude View Post
    As for the lug rig, I like it really because it looks very quick to rig up. If I was to let go of that requirement, what other boats would fit the other criteria that you can think of?

    One question I have though is this, what makes a 15' feet boat with a 5'-ish beam roomy enough for 4 persons and not another one? Comparing the First Mate/Phoenix III and the Family skiff for example they seem to me to be pretty much the same size by area. I also measured the cockpit on my Tanzer 26; it is around 6' long by 5' wide and it's big enough for the four of us to spend a whole day in. I assumed that we needed about the same space in a small open boat but I guess my logic is wrong somewhere?
    Another factor besides pure size is cockpit layout. The Family Skill has continuous bench seating, with 7' of bench on each side. Because it's a beamy boat at 5' 5" wide, you can easily fit 2 people per bench, as you can really tell from this photo:

    FS.jpg

    The Phoenix III has (optional) side seats in the cockpit, but they are much shorter--it would not at all be comfortable to have 2 per side. But the Phoenix III is narrower as well (4' 8" I think, but that's to the outside of the very wide outer gunwale), so even one person per side on a bench isn't really workable.

    DSCF8287.jpg

    I'd also say you're right about a lug rig with an unstayed mast being very quick to rig. I would say that, given your need to fit a family of 4 aboard, you'd be best served with a boomless standing lugsail so no one has to worry about hitting their head.

    Small boats really are small--it's not easy to find one that will fit 4 aboard comfortably!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Have you looked at Graham Byrnes designs, his Core Sound 17 or Bay Skiff would suit.
    https://bandbyachtdesigns.com/core-sound-17-plans

    Nick

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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    +1...

    Quote Originally Posted by NickW View Post
    Have you looked at Graham Byrnes designs, his Core Sound 17 or Bay Skiff would suit.
    https://bandbyachtdesigns.com/core-sound-17-plans

    Nick

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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    This one is for sale for not much more than your building budget. You could be adventuring this summer.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...light=Valgerda

    I haven’t seen this particular Valgerda but the one I have seen was very impressive.

  14. #14

    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    It's usually not a question of room, but of weight and balance. It's not simple, because it is affected by things like hull shape, conditions, if the boat is being sailed or rowed, weight of the people involved, and how they are distributed around the hull. The amount of hull in the water determines the weight that a boat can carry and the other choices a designer makes will determine whether the boat can carry that and sail, row or motor well.

    An example: A Swampscott dory is a fairly fine-ended boat that slips through the water well and can handle fairly rough conditions for its size. The designer of the Southwester Dory (18' 10" by 5' 2"), says that the basic rowing version's max payload is 800#. That sounds great for four people. The sailing version, however, drops to 632#. Add in the optional motorwell, and now it's 567#. That has to include gear, anchor and motor. The Southwester appears to be a great boat for two or three people and can occasionally take four (I've seen video of it sailing with two men and two women in calm conditions), but I wouldn't consider it a boat for routinely taking four adults sailing in, and your daughters will grow up to adult size in a few years! A different type of hull with the exact same length and beam as the Southwester might have capacities far higher (say, a flat-bottomed skiff), or lower (a Whitehall, perhaps). It's because of the volume of hull displacing water, followed by how the whole hull reacts to the interplay of water, air, sail rig, crew positions and weight and a bunch of other factors.

    One clue is to find out where the designer put the Design Water Line and what the displacement is at that line. That's the "sweet spot" for when the boat will sail best, regardless of how many it can carry in a pinch. Don't forget to consider the conditions of where you might be sailing.

    NickW mentioned Graham Byrnes and the Core Sound 17. I have the plans for the Core Sound 20 and think that would fit well. Welsford's Pathfinder is another (I have no personal knowledge, but both the plans and the boat seem to have a good reputation).

    Some of the designs above will build a lot faster than others.

    Or, as mentioned above, get a used DaySailor (there are thousands out there). Tons of knowledge from the owners available and keen racers will move up to newer, fast boats and sell their old ones. There are other big class-dinghies that make good family sailors as well. When I lived in the UK, in the 90's, a good choice for a family boat that could really carry a family was a Drascombe Lugger or Longboat. There are some in North America, but they don't come on the market very often.

    A final thought: if it's the reality that the boat will end up mostly being sailed by just you, or you and your wife, or you and whoever and only occasionally by all four, then many of the smaller boats mentioned above will do just fine. I've seen pics of the lightest one (Goat Island Skiff), being sailed by two couples. Only you can answer that
    one!

    Hope this helps the thought processes! Let us know what you decide.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Thanks Brian W., that is an awesome explanation of how to properly compare boats! I kept thinking "why didn't I think of that". I'll make this exercise for the boats I'm interested in.

    Welsford Navigator/Pathfinder have been at the top of my dream list of boats for a while. Navigator was actually the boat I had in mind for a long time, but after discussing with my significant other, she made me realize that it would most realistically take 2-3 times the time to complete compared to much simpler ones. That's when I started looking into the GIS... I'll have no problem spending 5 years building a Navigator in the future, but right now it is too long as like David G. mentioned, kids do indeed grow up so fast.

    Speaking of kids, my 2 objectives with this build are to 1) have my 11 years old daughter participate (and the 6yo to an extent). She finds it difficult to persevere and keep going at projects which do not bring instant gratification. Building a small boat over ~2 summers that we can then all enjoy together would be a great learning experience. She'd learn how to give herself little objectives, one at a time, to attain a bigger goal. And she really loves sailing and already "skips" our bigger boat (I handle the sails). My 2nd objective is, as mentioned in my original post, to build family memories with them. We already sail often but we also like to go camping and I have very found memories of exploring and canoeing up rivers and little islands with my father when I was that age and those memories are priceless today. So as you can see, building is just as much a part of the plan as the actual sailing part; they just need to balance each other out for the next ~5-6 years.

    I looked at the Michalak Family Skiff and it somehow reminds me of a leprechaun shoe, there is something off with it. And again, I know it has nothing to do with how they may sail but I can't resign myself to build something I do not enjoy looking at. The Mayfly 16 on the other hand is quite nice and looks pretty easy to build too, I'll read more about it but so far I think it is a strong contender.

    As for the Core Sound 17, it is also a nice boat and would fit most of my requirements I think, if maybe a bit longer to build than others? I somehow thought it was a lapstrake boat but now realize it is really S&G. I read a bit more about the cat ketch rig and there is a lot to love indeed. Lower center of effort, no jib to handle, un-stayed rig... I'll have to study this one closer as well.

    Thanks again, this forum is awesome for bouncing ideas!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northdude View Post
    I read a bit more about the cat ketch rig and there is a lot to love indeed. Lower center of effort, no jib to handle, un-stayed rig... I'll have to study this one closer as well.
    <br>
    <br>
    I've got nothing against cat ketch rigs and I'm currently planning one, but IMHO articles like the one on the Core Sound site often denigrate other rigs unfairly in order to make the author's favourite rig sound better. For example, an unstayed rig is not necessarily better when it comes to automatically de-powering through mast bend than a stayed rig; there are complex trade-offs that go each way. And the claim that "<font color="#2F2F2B"><span style="font-family: &amp;quot">the recreational sailboats which have been built since (the cat ketch faded), are influenced not by the need for efficiency and speed, but by an artificial rating rule" is just complete and utter bull****. For example, it's just either utter ignorance or dishonest to claim that the Star, Hobie 16, Folkboat and 18 Foot Skiff rigs are not influenced by efficiency and speed but by a rating rule.&nbsp; Similarly, the US International Canoes had rules that required the use of cat ketch rigs and they changed those rules because sloops were faster. I'm NOT saying that speed is important, merely using these examples to show that the article is at least partly completely and utterly wrong.<br>
    <br>
    </span></font>That's not to deny the attraction of ck rigs and others, merely to point out that there's a lot of dishonest disinformation about rigs out there. And to be honest, when people write rubbish like that about rigs it's reasonable to doubt the other claims they make.
    Last edited by Chris249; 07-06-2020 at 10:01 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    I agree with Tom. Even if a boat has the ability to carry four, having room to move about for needed maneuvers can take some thoughtful choreography, and clear communication. Here, Francois Vivier’s Ilur with four aboard:
    D52FFD64-69A3-4860-BB0F-7146CECC990F.jpg

    C7E26366-1F8A-46BE-AE95-9DCE6B7340C7.jpg
    And I also agree that the standing lug is hard to beat for simplicity, and performs very well when correctly deployed.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Haven't been aboard the other two, but can speak to the Goat Island Skiff. Harbor Woodworks built the first one in the Americas back maybe 16 years ago, and it is now our family sailboat.

    It IS about as simple to build as you can find... and still end up with a real boat at the end. And not just that, but a better-looking boat than I expected from the drawings and few fotos available at the time.

    It's also a very versatile boat. We've used ours as: club racer; expedition boat; rowboat; motor/fishing boat; swim platform; messabout/riparian poking about boat; and more.

    If you like going fast and sailing hard, the GIS is there for you. If you want MY normal mode of 'don't make me set my beer down' sailing... that's easy enough to do, too. How you manage the sheet/downhaul, or if you toss in a reef. Rows well. No Whitehall, but I've got long distances. And medium distances with her loaded down with two boys and load of island camping gear. Motoring is fine but slow with a tiny outboard. Any attempt to apply power only results in a nose-up attitude, less visibility forward, and no increase in speed. 2 hp is fine. We started with a 6hp, cause it was handy, and boy was THAT overkill.

    Regarding stability, the dory-hulled GIS is tiddly with only one aboard. I solved that by using a pair of cheap sandbags alongside the daggerboard case when sailing solo the first summer we sailed her. Add even a second body, and the stability jumps up. More bodies only adds to the effect.

    As far as body-capacity, we've transported mobs, by oar or outboard in calm conditions. I think 9 was our record. But sailing is a whole different kettle of pirates, of course. Our typical is one or two... or three. We've done 4 a few times, but it's tight. And your kids WILL keep growing. Keep in mind, though, that our family's story is not atypical. By the time my two boys got big enough so that it was had to fit us all in for a sail... they were more interested in other things. Or in sailing alone... or just the two of them for boat-camping adventures. So the size limitation was self-correcting. And the larger the group, as they get older, the harder to coordinate schedules for an outing.

    If you want roomy - and are willing to make it a bit longer project - you could also look at the Welsford line: Houdini or Navigator. More hours... but you CAN jumpstart the process with a kit.

    Good luck!
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "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)

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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    A boat a little bigger than the Goat Island Skiff yet even easier and cheaper to build would be the "200 dollar" version of the Bolger Featherwind.

    It's as easy to build as it gets, you can knock it out in a couple of weekends. I did!
    Perhaps a little small for "a family of four", but it is a big skiff and does sail two adults and two smaller people with ease.

    You can build this right now, sail it and then figure out what to build next, if anything -

    Cutting out the sides -

    SAM_6354.JPG

    All the parts laid out -

    SAM_6378.JPG

    starting to look like a boat -

    SAM_6390.JPG

    In the water! I used a big home-made lug sail, but the lanteen rig from a Sunfish is the intended sail.

    SAM_7241.JPG

  20. #20
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    The Featherwind has plenty of room, yet is light enough to car-top. I never had a trailer for her.
    That's another way this boat can get you out on the water fast!

    Plans are currently available from

    Thomas Vetromile
    499 Camp Bay Rd.
    Sagle, ID. 83860

    30 dollars last time I checked.

    You don’t get just plans. You get full size frame layouts, along with instructions and photos for; A ripping guide for your circular saw, oars, cleats, thole pins, splicing rope, a polytarp Sunfish lanteen sail clone, detailed car-topping directions, advice on epoxy, flotation and construction alternatives, copies of glowing emails from previous customers, a list of recommended reading, chapter 15 from Bolgers book Small Boats, and finally a glossary of boating terms! Not bad for 30 dollars. Clearly, this is intended to be the only resource needed to build a boat for the first time.



    SAM_7072.jpg

    One happy builder of the Featherwind wrote -

    My Featherwind is a very high performance boat, rows like a dream, and can carry at least 4 people, 2 dogs and large cooler...along with other junk! The bare boat weighs in at 105 pounds.
    https://www.duckworksmagazine.com/01...wind/index.htm

    The Featherwind is a very simple boat, with no seats. One day sailer that I've read about and would love to build someday is the "Dobler 16"

    Thomas Firth Jones wrote very favorably about this design, and said it had room for "seven people to sit, and move around in."
    It would be a much more comfortable boat with its built in seating. Jones also wrote that she rowed surprisingly well for such a big boat.
    Sail rigs can be as simple as a Sunfish lanteen rig, or the big sprit sail Jones preferred.

    https://www.jonesboatstuckahoe.com/dobler16.html

    While we're on the subject of boats designed by Joe Dobler, his Presto 16 has also caught my eye.



    Plans are only 20 dollars from duckworks!

    https://www.duckworks.com/product-p/joe-presto16-id.htm

  21. #21
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Seil 18 by Francois Vivier may fit the bill. First Mate is too small for your needs. It is really tight with three.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Another boat that you might consider (as I was considering exactly those on your list, with a pretty similar design criteria), is the Campion Apple 16. I havenít finished building it yet (I have a build thread ongoing on this forum), so canít speak personally to itís abilities, but others have spoken highly of it (what tipped me over from the GIS was more curves and better stability ó the Apple can be happily ballasted, whereas the GIS looks mighty tippy in most videos Iíve seen of it! Fine for dinghy sailors, but less ideal for family outings!).

    Itís more complicated than the GIS but not enormously (certainly much less than a Navigator, for example) ó though the plans are certainly much more DIY (lots of options, rather than a single one), but the designer is incredibly responsive over email, so in the cases where I wasnít sure about something, I just ask him.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Hi,

    I wanted to thank everyone who chimed in! We have finally settled on the Michalak Mayfly 16. It looks really straightforward as far as building goes and I think it ticks all the other boxes too. We ordered the plan and Michalak book from duckworks. I was again slowly drifting to more complicated and time-consuming builds (that Apple 16 is sure a nice boat) and as usual, my wife was there to get me back to earth The plan is thus to move forward with the Mayfly 16 and. if we enjoy the boatbuilding process, I'll then have the OK to start working on a more complicated and long build.

    We also plan to build a model of the boat first. I was thinking an inch to the foot as a scale, does that make sense? I haven't seen any Michalak plans yet so I am not sure what they look like but I assume, looking at the kind of boats he design, that they will be easy enough to follow.

    One last question I have, and I may be jumping the gun here, but if a design asks for 1/4" and 1/2" plywood, is it ok to go with 6 and 12 mm? The proper Meranti and Okoume plywood I can find around Montreal is all available in mm only. I guess the best person to answer that question would be the designer but I assume many of you had to make the same call already.

    Thanks!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northdude View Post
    Hi,

    I wanted to thank everyone who chimed in! We have finally settled on the Michalak Mayfly 16. It looks really straightforward as far as building goes and I think it ticks all the other boxes too. We ordered the plan and Michalak book from duckworks. I was again slowly drifting to more complicated and time-consuming builds (that Apple 16 is sure a nice boat) and as usual, my wife was there to get me back to earth The plan is thus to move forward with the Mayfly 16 and. if we enjoy the boatbuilding process, I'll then have the OK to start working on a more complicated and long build.

    We also plan to build a model of the boat first. I was thinking an inch to the foot as a scale, does that make sense? I haven't seen any Michalak plans yet so I am not sure what they look like but I assume, looking at the kind of boats he design, that they will be easy enough to follow.

    One last question I have, and I may be jumping the gun here, but if a design asks for 1/4" and 1/2" plywood, is it ok to go with 6 and 12 mm? The proper Meranti and Okoume plywood I can find around Montreal is all available in mm only. I guess the best person to answer that question would be the designer but I assume many of you had to make the same call already.

    Thanks!
    Sounds like a sensible plan! When Iíve make models for practice (ie, rough ones!), I have followed the scale of the plans, as then measuring stuff doesnít involve any scaling if you have full size plans.

    The metric and imperial ply is often sold interchangeably, so I would think itís totally fine to substitute. ie when I buy 1/4Ē I get 6mm European stuff.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Congrats--the Mayfly series may be one of the best bang-for-the-buck simple builds out there. A number of Mayfly 14s show up in the Texas 200 and do quite well.

    But be cautious! I had the same "build a cheap simple boat to use while working on a longer build." My "temporary" boat was so much fun I ended up taking almost 7 years to build the real one.

    I agree the metric ply will be fine.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  26. #26
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    I like to make models too - I have used 1-1/2 inch to the foot and 1 inch to the foot scales. You'll need a cheap architect scale rule of course!

    Jims plans are crude, but they are easy to read. I'm building his JB Jr. now, and have found one error on the plans and many rot traps designed into the boat. His drawings are not up to the standard of professional designers, but his boats usually do what they are intended to do quite well.
    The Mayfly 16 should work very well for you!

    This is me and some of my models on display at a local library.

    Top row is a Bolger Cynthia J, A Bolger EEK! and a Michalak AF2, a boat I seriously considered building. Looking over the model in my hands convinced me to build something else.

    SAM_8299.jpg

    That's the AF2 plans hanging in the background.



    SAM_8303.jpg

    On the bottom in front is Jims Piragua, a boat I sure wish I had plans for back in high school in the 70's!

    SAM_8304.jpg

  27. #27
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Wi-Tom: That could well be what happens in my case also! But to me, the joy is in the journey so I'm totally fine if the 2nd one takes a while to be build.

    As for the plywood, I'll most probably need to order from Noah Marine in Ontario as there isn't much choice around Montreal. Noah stocks both Meranti and Okoume. My first instinct was to go with Meranti as it is more rot resistant than Okoume, even though the whole boat will be epoxy-encapsulated and fibreglass covered at least on the bottom anyway...

    Etdbob: Your models are very nice and I don't know that mine will turn out half as good looking. Your Cynthia I is a real beauty! What kind of material do you use to build those? And it's fine if the plans are not totally perfect, the boat looks pretty simple to build from what I could see from looking at build pictures on the web. Making the model is also in large part to make errors there first!

  28. #28
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Thanks North Dude!

    Most of my models started out as a cedar tree growing below my garden. I needed more light on the garden and a door for a log cabin, so the cedar came down.
    I slabbed planks with a chainsaw for the door and tossed some scraps on my wood rack. When I started building models ( which is a fantastic winter hobby for a feller like me that lives in the snowy northwoods and is snowbound all winter without TV or internet ) I took "Dynamite" paysons advice and simply ran that cedar through my table saw for stock for the models, slicing it as thin as I could without loosing any fingers.

    Actually, the Bolger Eeek! was made from a chunk of 2x4 saved from the remodel of the old governors mansion on Spokane's south hill. So that wood is over 100 years old.

    Isn't the Cynthia J a pretty boat? I really must build that one someday. I made the model by squinting at Bolgers book "The Folding Schooner".
    It would be nice to have real plans for it!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    I’ve made models using card stock that has the right scale thickness, though it’s much more flexible. Then I’ve used artists glue if I’m being careful and packing tape if I’m being rough. I’ve used balsa if I want solid wood, from craft sheets, sometimes cut with an exacto and scarfed. All of this allows for really fast construction, which is the reason why I’ve built them: not as show pieces, but to understand the process before building, in a setting where ripping the thing apart and reassembling is easy!

    [edit]
    Here's an example (this is the Apple 16). I just did the planking and two of the bulkheads (you can't see the forward one, as it's recessed for the bow tank), as I mostly wanted to see how the boat looked in comparison to models I had made of other boats I was considering. But it was also helpful in understanding how the planks fit together, etc:



    [/edit]
    Last edited by dbp1; 07-12-2020 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Add image

  30. #30
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Hello Northdude,

    sorry, Iam late to your thread, otherwise I would like if you build my new design, covered in my thread http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...e-Home-Builder.

    As this design is meant to be a singlehander cruising dinghy or a two crew daysailer, a bigger version for two is already in the pipeline. This would sit 4 comfortably because the cockpit can be eused all the way to the bow.

    In every way this will be a better sailing boat with better balance and comfort, and a better safety due to the self draining double bottom.

    Anyway, for modeling my preference is 1mm birch plywood ( sometimes called flight/airplane plywood), alternativly saw some high quality pine or spruce leftovers to 1,5 to 2 mm veneers with your circular saw.

    Iy you chose a scale of 6:1 you can equip your model with RC and let it sail.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    The plans for the Mayfly 16 as well as Michalak book are in the mail and were apparently released by the Canadian custom yesterday. Can't wait to get them!

    luckystrike118, Your design looks interesting but I honestly prefer to go with a proven design for our first build. I saw the model you made in your thread

    For the modelling, we decided to go with cardboard as dbp1 has shown earlier in the thread. It seems to also be the approach taken by Michalak him self. My goal with the model is to go over the plan and all the steps involved at least once, a practice run really, before setting everything up and starting cutting real wood. I used to build RC aircrafts some 20 years ago and aircraft plywood is indeed nice stuff to use. It'll be high on my list if I ever feel like building a real, proper, model in the future though.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Coroplast works ok if the scale is not too small. I built a 1.5in to 1ft model of Picara, for ballast testing and righting. I think the Mayfly should work well for you, i really liked the videos of Laguna that i have seen, but as a single-hander, more boat than i would require.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Laguna is sure more than I'd require, or even want. That said, I got to sail one (2-handed) for a full day on the Texas 200 and it would easy to handle as a single-hander. I sailed for long stretches without touching the tiller, just working the mizzen.

    But that's a big-volume boat. If you capsized, single-handed recovery would (I think) be impossible. Also, really long to store and trailer.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  34. #34
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    .

    But that's a big-volume boat. If you capsized, single-handed recovery would (I think) be impossible. Also, really long to store and trailer.

    Tom
    That being the flip side. The smaller Family skiff worked out excellent for my needs at the time, with no concern about recovery or bouyancy, which was a big deal for me on a cold lake. I have pondered one mostly decked over with a well rounded cabin and a much smaller cockpit, maybe even something like that super fast Core Sound, but it moves away from its original concept. Im enjoying the sailing canoe, but i miss the ability to "anchor out" and cook.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: GIS, First Mate, Argie 15, others?

    I finally received the Mayfly 16 plans as well as Michalak book and have been going over them the last 2 evenings. So far it all looks pretty simple and the build looks as straightforward as it can be. There is no table of offsets but all measures are on the plans and clear enough. We'll get the materials to built the model this weekend and get going in the next few days, taking notes and pictures along the way to help with the real build later on. I also need to find a portable garage able to sustain a Montreal winter!

    While perusing the plans and specs yesterday, I started a spreadsheet to list all the lumber and other stuff needed; a BOM/shopping list. I still need to decide if I go cheap, all with "home depot", ACX ply and construction lumber, or if I go 100% Meranti marine ply, full epoxy encapsulation, etc, etc. I read a couple times that one should either go as cheap as possible all the way or as nice and perfect as possible all the way, but nothing in-between. I can totally get the reasoning behind that. As stated previously my main concern is to complete the boat as quickly as reasonably possible and I can already see how going cheap vs going perfect could have a big impact on the timeline of the project. For example, I have a home depot equivalent 5 minutes from home while I would need to order the Meranti from Noah in Ontario.

    One question I have a hard time figuring out is how much epoxy I'll need to buy. I understand that it's hard to give a specific quantity in the plans, as it depends on if ones wants to do a full encapsulation or only glass the chines and bottom, but is there a rough back of the envelope calculation you guys know to help me have a rough idea? If I want to go cheap and only glass the chines and bottom vs if I want to go all the way and do a full encapsulation for example? If epoxy was cheap I'd just go and buy a 5 gallons of West System but at almost $600 CAD, I'd rather not waste half of it

    On another note, my 11 and 6 yo daughters are getting exited with the project and I asked them to do "some research" and come up with some colour schemes we could go with. So far, the whole family really likes tanbark sails... I also have almost 4 gallons or top quality exterior house paint remaining from when we repainted the house last year. Tanbark and dark cream/beige would go well together I think...

    Anyway, thanks for partaking in my musing!

    P.S.: At which point should I migrate from the Design/Plans sub-forum to the Building/Repair one? Does starting on the model count as building?
    Last edited by Northdude; 08-01-2020 at 11:31 AM.

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