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Thread: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

  1. #1
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    Default row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    First post here, so hopefully this is the right place for it. I've been digging through past threads and picking up a lot, but didn't find anything recent on this and didn't want to bring a thread back from the dead not being familiar with how ya'll operate.

    After years of living in the desert southwest I'm looking to move up to the NW and spend more time on water that doesn't look like chocolate milk. Grew up on a lake in NJ and got a bit of sailing experience as a kid, but 90+% of my on water time the last 16 years has been on rivers/whitewater or fishing off an aluminum skiff with a bit of time out on some sailing cats. I'd like to get back to sailing and rowing and building boats seems like a fun skill to build up with a longer term eye towards more sophisticated craft.

    I'm comfortable enough with woodwork but my epoxy/fiberglass experience is minimal and that seems like the main place a build can go wrong, especially from a kit. I've done a bit of repair work on GC Dories but that's about it. A few weeks ago I picked up one of the Skerry model kits from CLC and am glad I did - S&G seems plenty approachable and in a lot of ways it seems like it'd be easier to build something full scale.

    So what I'm wondering is what smaller (~15ft max) row/sail builds might be ideal for building some competence in constructing boats and leave me with something fairly small and useful for a wide variety of use. What are the usual spots for beginners to screw up their construction? Big glass jobs are intimidating, especially as they get more involved with complex curves and protruding structures. I'm waiting on a copy of Oughtred's book now and plan on reading the West System manual, but at some point need to learn through doing. Just need to pick a project for the winter. I had originally planned on building a Doryak to huck downstream, but it seems like something less river-oriented is called for with the anticipated move.

    Some general goals for whatever I build:
    • Row/sailer with more of an emphasis on rowing. Only want 1 rowing station.
    • Usable as a fishing platform but I'm not sold on needing to stand. Not planning on fly fishing. Does the stability question directly conflict with the rowing emphasis since it'd likely have a narrower beam? Would removable ballast be a potential option to increase stability to make a more viable standing platform?
    • I've got 2 sets of 9'6 wooden oars from an old bucket boat that don't have a home - it'd be nice to use them, modified if needed.
    • Ability to carry 2 adults for day trips (350-400# capacity?)
    • Easy to recover/safe.
    • Moveable with 1 person, using a cart if needed.
    • Modest performance in chop - It doesn't need to be open water focused, but I don't want to feel limited to the calmest days.
    • I'd rather a centerboard than a daggerboard, but I'm not set either way.


    With that in mind, thoughts? I'll most likely wait until after the move to order anything so I've got plenty of time to fuss with details. Currently debating building some plywood sideboxes for my 16' cataraft as a small/somewhat useful project to learn some epoxy/glass stuff with, but if I'm spending much time on that boat I'd rather build a new frame. I love the look of double enders, but they sure seem to give up a lot for their fine points. The PT11 seems to hit a lot of my points and the nesting option would be neat since it'd fit in the back of my truck and could mesh into more ambitious future plans. The Skerry Raid also looks like a solid option, though since it's a beta build I'd be working off partial instructions. Not sure if that's much of a concern for me. Spoiled for choice with all the great designs I'm seeing. Anything that could be picked up in the PNW would be preferred to save on shipping, but I don't think the $400 or so savings will be a deciding factor.


    Cheers,
    Colin

  2. #2
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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Look for videos of people capsizing their row-sail boats. Some are downright scary. My CLC Skerry does not inspire confidence in me for it's capsize recovery characteristics. As you noted pointy sterns reduce effective length/capacity. Some dories with very fine ends have a similar effect.
    The CLC Northeaster Dory checks a lot of your boxes except for capsize recovery. Linkey; Here is a video of it barely being recovered in calm water. Note he dumps the rig. If you could make enclosed side benches it might be, IMO, a contender. Dunno if there is room though. Maybe put air tanks under the thwarts and enlarge the end tanks?
    It sounds like finding a more recoverable design in the first place is a better idea depending on your skills.
    Linkey; A sail-n-oar boat being recovered with it's rig still up just to show what is possible.
    And another; https://youtu.be/snGsprpUqMw?t=8
    Oughtred Arctic Tern; https://youtu.be/qFmI8-katUM?t=6
    Last edited by Autonomous; 07-21-2021 at 11:50 PM.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    if it's plans you want ... there are hoards of them on here of all sorts..
    Selway Fisher Home Page (selway-fisher.com)
    Just an amateur bodging away..

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills


  5. #5
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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Bevin's Skiff would do fine.

    David Beede's Summer Breeze, is about the same size, and was my first build.

    48246250821_b952ac6152_o.jpg


    SAM_6254.JPG

    Free plans here - https://www.simplicityboats.com/

    I still use it allot. I car-top this boat. Do you want to use a trailer or car-top? That's a pretty big decision right there that will influence the design. This boat is designed in the "Instant Boat" tradition, very easy to build and no epoxy needed. Just simple nail and glue, with external chine logs. It's got a leeboard, not a centerboard though. I can't think of any centerboard boats that will go on the top of a car.

    A bigger "Instant Boat" that I built (yet still car-topped) was the "200 dollar" version of the Bolger Featherwind.

    This is a pretty big 16 foot skiff, but quite light and simple. It rows well solo, yet will daysail four adults!

    image084.jpg

    It's very easy to build. It's made from only four sheets of 1/4 inch plywood. Cut out the sides, make the frames and transom -

    SAM_6378.jpg

    Bend the sides around the frames and suddenly it looks like a boat!

    SAM_6390S.jpg
    Last edited by Etdbob; 07-22-2021 at 08:32 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Flip it over and put the bottom on -

    SAM_6408S.jpg

    It cost me less that 300 dollars to build. Again, no epoxy needed. Titebond III glue is great for something like this, and it is as strong as epoxy. I did fiberglass the bottom, but I used inexpensive Bondo polyester resin from Home Depot, which is fine for a simple and inexpensive boat like this.

    These are the simplest of skiff to build and can be quite handy.

    You can look at the simple designs here -

    https://www.instantboats.com/

    And Jim Michalak is also known for easily built craft. He has a great many designs for sail and oar.

    https://duckworks.com/jim-michalak/
    Last edited by Etdbob; 07-22-2021 at 08:36 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    You mentioned you like double enders -

    I can think of two "Instant Boat" double enders right away, and they are very easy to build because there is no transom to make.

    The first it the Bolger Teal, a cute little 12 foot double ender which is made from only two sheets of plywood!
    It's a perfect little sail and oar craft for one. It can take two now and again, but would likely be a little overloaded.



    Making a Teal with plenty of good photos-
    https://www.duckworksmagazine.com/00...teal/index.htm


    The next is the 16 foot Bolger Windsprint, which is made from four sheets of plywood.





    Plans for these two are on the Instant Boat site I posted a link to above

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    You asked how beginners often screw up -

    You can read my Windsprint thread in the Bilge to see what I did right, and what I did wrong on that boat, which was my second build.
    I made few mistakes. One of which meant that it was sadly a very short lived boat!

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Apologies if my original post was unclear: To some degree (not knowing what might be 'reasonable') I'm pretty happy getting in over my head here. I'd actually like a design with fairly extensive epoxy and fiberglass work, but hopefully without too many bits I'm likely to bang my head against with my inexperience. In trail construction terms I'm looking for something like a climbing turn with a junk wall rather than a drystone switchback. The instant boats may well be a project along the way but it's not where I'm trying to look at the moment.

    With regards to trailer vs. cartop, I'm somewhat agnostic though I'd be curious about the upper limits of car topping. Guessing at some point you're getting into rigging shenanigans with 200# as a reasonable upper limit for going on and off the top of a truck shell. What about back of a pickup with the tailgate down? Is 2/3 in, 1/3 out a decent rule of thumb allowing for some differences in where the COG and rocker land? Transom would help with that as well I suppose. I've had plenty of 10 and 12' Jon boats back there with no issue.

    Thanks for the thread suggestion, Etdbob. Will add it to the growing number of tabs and bookmarks.

    This thread in particular has been very helpful. Many of the links and images are broken but the back and forth over particular characteristics is eye opening.

    Iain's book arrived this afternoon and we've got a wonderful monsoon season for the first time in years so it'll be a pleasant evening read.
    Last edited by offbelayknife; 07-22-2021 at 09:46 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    As an experienced ca-topper, I'd limit the weight of such a craft to 125 pounds, no more!

    Length is less of a problem. Longer boats can be easier to car top than short boats.

    I dunno about pickup carry.

    Whatever you do, it is important to be able to load up and launch a boat yourself. Having to corral family or friends to use a boat will mean it spends much of it's life in the yard.

    You mention Extensive Epoxy Work...So you are looking at "stitch and glue", also called "Tape Seamed" multi chine projects?

    Or are you thinking of tackling a "glued plywood lapstrake" project?

    I believe tape seamed multi chine to be the easier of the two types, but noting beats the beauty of a nice lapstrake boat.

    Lets see...

    For the back of the pick up, you might consider Jim Michalaks Piccup Pram.



    Piccup Pram was the first boat of my design to get built, back in 1990, I think. I still have the prototype and use it regularly. I designed it to be the best sail/row boat I could put in the back of my short bed pick up truck. But I found it to be a good cartopper, too. It has capacity and abilities I had previously thought impossible in a 90 pound cartopper. The photo above shows the original 55 square foot sail on Pensacola bay a long time ago. Piccup is a taped seam multichine hull which can take a fair amount of rough water.Piccup continues to be one of my most popular designs and I get nice photos from builders.
    https://duckworks.com/piccup-pram-plans/

    Jim has a great many similar designs.


    The Bolger Gypsy is a classic "tape seam" boat, I'm sure hundreds have been built.
    It's a very good row and/or sail design. In fact, the original was built by "Dynamite" Payson, and the customer rowed it 100 miles home.





    It's still a popular boat. If built light it can be car-topped (many folk get carried away with this design and add decks fore and aft, and even side decks. Here is a guy on youtube showing how he car-tops his Gypsy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIy3toNmUJQ

    Plans are here, for 45 dollars.

    https://www.instantboats.com/product...power-designs/

  11. #11
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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    There are a couple of sharpies in the old Bob Baker catalog that might suit. https://www.by-the-sea.com/bakerboat...ansCatalog.pdf

    I built a Westport Skiff from plans in Bakerís catalog ages ago. Very straightforward. You could use ply planking and keep the rest of the traditional structure with some study. Plans are at Mystic if you canít find them elsewhere.

    Hylanís Chesapeake Crab Skiff is another nice, straightforward design. https://www.dhylanboats.com/design/p...b_skiff_plans/

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    I was thinking I would go with tape seam/stitch and glue for the first one. Using a CNC parts kit or cutting things accurately is easy enough, but the setup process of taped seams looks a lot more forgiving as you get everything to play nicely.

    The weight is a major consideration and where my local wooden boat knowledge is entirely in the wrong direction. 125# seems like a reasonable target, thanks for that. I like the looks of the Gypsy quite a bit, will have to spend some more time with the design.

    As a side project I'm working on drafting a mini pram for a cradle or shelf. Maybe I'll play with some different materials/thicknesses there to see if I can get a better sense of how heavy different designs might be.

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    I think the CLC NE Dory would satisfy your needs, with the caveat that good flotation is added to greatly reduce the amount of water that's shipped in a capsize. That video is instructive in two ways -- first, that you can recover with no significant flotation in the boat, and secondly that if the boat can be bailed out in 3 minutes heavily flooded as it was, with a better setup the job could be much quicker and doable in rough water.

    You emphasized the desire to have a boat that rows well -- this pretty much requires a narrow waterline beam. Other types would suit, such as boats derived from the Whitehall pulling boats, but most would be much more complicated to build than a dory.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Do you think 1/8" or better still 1/16" paneling with a 1/4" or 1/4" frame built out for flotation would be strong enough? My ignorance says you could do it pretty light if it's not for whitewater/hard use.

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    For a model, maybe.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    For floatation chambers/hatches, and not the hull?

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Oh, nevermind. Sorry.
    Still, 1/16 would easily be penetrated by an errant oar, spar, foot etc. IMO,
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Colin,
    I feel like building a Swampscott Dory would be a lovely project. If you haven't seen my boats, you should look, at Chase-Small-Craft.com
    My opinion is that if you want to learn boatbuilding skills find a design that is not purely stitch and glue.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Clinton B Chase; 07-25-2021 at 06:50 AM.
    Clinton B. Chase
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    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    I"d say 6mm ply for internal lockers/flotation tanks. It adds very little weight and stiffens the hull.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Spent a bit of time today playing with my earlier idea of a dory, but reducing the length to fit both sides on one sheet and avoid needing to scarf the joints. Need to play around with the dimensions a bit more and make a more thorough model, but I think I'll be stopping by the reclaimed building materials store looking for 1 1/4" sheet and 1 1/2" sheet of... whatever. That plus some old decking I have from a bucket boat and various bits of scrap should be plenty to make a boat shaped object. Too easy to dawdle on future projects rather than get something going.

    Pretty sure I'll build a little suspension rig to hang it from to get the curves right. That plus an adjustable temporary transom (2 sets of boards with dowels to adjust distance by 1/2" or so?) should let me wing it and avoid some of the pesky measurements and maths that aren't my current focus. Doing it all using a compass without properly measuring anything could be fun.

    9kQG1LR.jpg

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    Default Re: row/sail kit designs/plans for developing building skills

    Quote Originally Posted by offbelayknife View Post
    .... avoid needing to scarf the joints. ....

    ..... avoid some of the pesky measurements and maths that aren't my current focus. Doing it all using a compass without properly measuring anything could be fun.

    9kQG1LR.jpg
    Scarfing is not all that difficult, especially with epoxy adhesives. However, if you don't scarf, you can use butt blocks to join plywood panels. A longer boat will be faster than a short boat of equal beam, and most likely prettier.

    Direct measurement with a compass and straightedge is perfectly proper. It's often more accurate than reading a rule or tape measure.

    Good luck with your project!
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

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