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Thread: Let's build a sailboat!

  1. #1
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    Default Let's build a sailboat!

    Hello people of the wood. So I'm starting to get serious about building a small wooden sailboat, something in the 10-18' range, and under 1500 lbs for sailing bays and perhaps the near coast. Ideally I'd like to build something native to the Chesapeake Bay area or the Carolina coasts, or go crazy and something more folkboatish. Could anyone point me in the right direction? I've got access to wood I can mill, and have lots of tool skills from working in/running woodshops, and have been sailing fiberglass dinghies for years. As a professional (and certified!) project manager, I do understand the scope of what I'm getting myself into here. But... it feels like something I want to take on.

    Anyway, I welcome any suggestions and feedback!
    Last edited by dogeconomics; 06-02-2022 at 01:49 PM. Reason: wording...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Welcome aboard! That's a pretty broad description of your application which will attract a plethora of ideas, but you might narrow your use requirements just a little bit. How many people are you looking to fit? Trailer sailor or at a moorage? Sail and oar or sail and aux motor? A daysailor or will you be thinking of overnighting? Whatever you opt for, I hope you end up doing a build thread for us

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    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: Let's build a sailboat!

    Yes, go ahead, build the boat - you will never regret it (though there may be days during the build which will challenge you). There is Nothing like launching & then sailing the boat You built!!

    I know they're not American but try having a look at the designs of Francois Vivier (his Jewell might suit), Iain Oughtred and Paul Gartside. I am a big fan of these 3 designers but them I do prefer traditional designs.......................

    Enjoy the journey.

    Regards Neil

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Chesapeake and Carolina make me think of flat and v bottom skiffs.
    Are you thinking plywood or natural lumber?

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    If you haven't toured the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's, that should be your next stop. You can see all the boat types up close and personal, as it were. Having said that, I will add that a traditional bay type sharpie would probably fill the bill for you. But there are many considerations beyond that.
    -Dave

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    OP....There is a lot to consider.

    What kind of performance are you looking for?

    What type of construction do you favor?

    Where will the boat live (trailor, water, etc)?

    What kind of rig do you prefer?

    How many people will it be carrying?

    I would decide on a "Mission Profile" if you will, for your boat. For example, if your boat will be trailor sailed, single handed, and you want laidback/lower performance sailing, you would build a different boat than if you wanted something sporty that carries a crew of 3 and lives in the water on a mooring/dock.

    Good news is that in the 10-18 foot, your choices are nearly endless. I'll give you my bucket list to give you some boats to look at:

    Nutshell pram, Bolger Bobcat, Drangonfly 16/30 sailing canoe, Paper Jet 14, Goat Island Skiff, Whitholz Corvus, Welsford Houdini, Vivier Morbic series, nd pretty much any of the sailboats from Chesapeake Light Craft. There are countless other designs out there as well, and I am sure one could spend a lifetime browsing them all and admiring them, and never fully settle on one to build.

    Decide what you want to do with the boat, and go from there.

    CG

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Big difference between 10 - 18 feet. Think carefully about what you want to do with the boat and then consider designs that will do that.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    Welcome aboard! That's a pretty broad description of your application which will attract a plethora of ideas, but you might narrow your use requirements just a little bit. How many people are you looking to fit? Trailer sailor or at a moorage? Sail and oar or sail and aux motor? A daysailor or will you be thinking of overnighting? Whatever you opt for, I hope you end up doing a build thread for us
    Thank you for the encouragement! I'm still working through the idea in my head, figuring out what resources I have access to, and deciding how big I want to go. So here's where I'm at:

    1. Not plywood.
    2. Double enders are beautiful.
    3. Ideally be able to comfortably hold at least 3 humans and one dog. I'm open to an overnighter, but a beach and a tent works too.
    4. Something 'classic' looking. I mentioned VA and SC cause that's where I do most of my sailing. Recreating a piece of history, or at least taking inspiration from it, is appealing.
    5. Towable behind a Jeep.
    6. Nothing overly complex or overly big.
    7. Not likely to race her, but I do like at least some liveliness.

    So that's where my head is right now. Nothing set in stone; I'm keeping an open mind. Some of the above may have to drop off the list (aside from the dog), and that's fine. So a lot to think through before I lay into it full bore. Fortunately I may have access to some good trees I can mill. Still working that angle. Sure would save a lot, but talk about dragging the process out...

    But for right now, I gotta finish renovating my little AMF Puffer so I can actually get on the water again!

    Thanks for giving me things to think through. The more the merrier.
    Last edited by dogeconomics; 06-03-2022 at 12:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    If you haven't toured the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's, that should be your next stop. You can see all the boat types up close and personal, as it were. Having said that, I will add that a traditional bay type sharpie would probably fill the bill for you. But there are many considerations beyond that.
    I have! It was a few years ago, but I got a tour of their workshop. It was amazing. Really wanted to do one of their weekender apprenticeship programs, but the commute made that unrealistic. Definitely will go back next time I'm over the bay.
    Last edited by dogeconomics; 06-03-2022 at 12:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Chesapeake and Carolina make me think of flat and v bottom skiffs.
    Are you thinking plywood or natural lumber?
    Au naturel, baby.
    Last edited by dogeconomics; 06-03-2022 at 12:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Atkin & Co used to be the go to site for traditional plans but sadly Pat Atkin, who had been keeping the plans available, recently passed away. It is said that Mystic Seaport should eventually offer all the plans that are on the site: Atkin & Co. - Boat Plans (atkinboatplans.com)
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    To me the criteria sound like a traditional clinker built New England peapod. There are a huge number of local varieties so pick the one that fits you best. Traditional clinker building is not very complex.

    I like the hull shape of this one https://maine-maritime-museum-store....-county-peapod
    Last edited by heimlaga; 06-03-2022 at 01:54 PM.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by heimlaga View Post
    To me the criteria sound like a traditional clinker built New England peapod. There are a huge number of local varieties so pick the one that fits you best. Traditional clinker building is not very complex.

    I like the hull shape of this one https://maine-maritime-museum-store....-county-peapod
    Oh yes this is beautiful. Looks like the rigging is super variable, which is great. I'd like to broaden my rig horizons as well!
    Last edited by dogeconomics; 06-03-2022 at 02:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    I was thinking peapod as well. Tim took this one on more than a few adventures. It is one of those designs that has a lot of variations depending on where along the scale of rowing to sailing an individual boat landed.


    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?110680-Yeadon-and-Big-Food


    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    I was thinking peapod as well. Tim took this one on more than a few adventures. It is one of those designs that has a lot of variations depending on where along the scale of rowing to sailing an individual boat landed.
    Seems like pretty much what I'm looking for. Time to go do some research! I'd like to find a full set of plans cause this will be my first build.
    Last edited by dogeconomics; 06-03-2022 at 06:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Where in Delaware? I think the Lewes Historical Society has a small boatbuilding group.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    John Gardner's "Building Classic Small Craft" has 2 or 3 peapods (and a wealth of knowledge) with offsets and lines drawings.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    A sharpie would be much more appropriate and can be found in Gardner's book too!

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Herreshoff Coquina.



    Detailed plans are available from Doug Hylan for traditional construction and a large portfolio of construction pictures. She'd be worth alot when you're done with it too. Double anything else.

    Video of a boatbuilding teaching project where under instructor Aaron Turner's tutelage, they built one...

    https://nbatle.myportfolio.com/coquina-sailboat
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 06-04-2022 at 12:39 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Just to round out the field, how about a 'transom double ender'?



    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Herreshoff Coquina.

    Detailed plans are available from Doug Hylan for traditional construction and a large portfolio of construction pictures. She'd be worth alot when you're done with it too. Double anything else.

    Video of a boatbuilding teaching project where under instructor Aaron Turner's tutelage, they built one...

    https://nbatle.myportfolio.com/coquina-sailboat
    Love that turn-of-the-(last) century vertical bow. One of my big concerns is that I much prefer to learn from the experts rather than reinvent the wheel myself. This forum (and others) are great for advice and getting over hangups, but pinging the internet for help/research at every step really bogs things down. I rebuilt my '03 Jeep TJ during Covid and have no desire to *ever* do that again. Wood > rusty metal. What an expensive slog. Really wanted to do some boatbuilding apprentice work, but time and location doesn't permit it. Right now, working from home is great cause I can pop out to the boat shed between my meetings. A video series detailing the steps and techniques would be magical. This will be a one-man project, with the occasional assist from interested friends.

    Currently exploring my wood-sourcing options. Prices are so high right now, but there might be an opportunity to mill some wood through my community group. I'm hopeful that's a realistic option. If I do this, I want to use the right kinds of wood. I'd rather use my money to buy the tools and materials. Fortunately the aforementioned community group may be able to help with some of that too.

    Lots to think through.

    Fixed my profile, since I plan to be on this site a lot in the coming... months? years? decades?
    Last edited by dogeconomics; 06-05-2022 at 08:28 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    You mentioned the beauty of double enders. Let me suggest small double ended boats are a double-edged sword. One edge is the aesthetic, the other is how they make a small boat effectively smaller.
    I have one and the designer rightly specified a Norwegian (push-pull) tiller to prevent the fine stern from being overloaded. My new boat with a heart shaped transom has more useful room than the additional two feet would imply.
    Last edited by Autonomous; 06-07-2022 at 02:24 PM.
    ​​♦ 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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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    The Core Sound design would do well for the OP. Both from a build and performance standpoint. They’re plywood, but that’s life.
    Last edited by Yeadon; 06-05-2022 at 11:32 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Just to round out the field, how about a 'transom double ender'?



    All drawings needed for a Göteborgseka is available for free on the website og Göteborgs Segelsällskap which originally ordered the design on behalf of it's less wealthy members. A good design within it's limitations. Though way less seaworthy than a decent peapod and not very practical for rowing longer distances.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/a8kzg4oop...3YDLbvRDa?dl=0

    By the way that vertical sten with very little flare that was popular in America and England just over a century ago produced´s a boat with very little reserve buoyancy. It cuts through the waves instead of riding over tham. An easily driven boat in good weather but outright dangerous on an open boat in bad weather.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by dogeconomics View Post
    Love that turn-of-the-(last) century vertical bow. One of my big concerns is that I much prefer to learn from the experts rather than reinvent the wheel myself. This forum (and others) are great for advice and getting over hangups, but pinging the internet for help/research at every step really bogs things down.
    There are numerous good books about building small boats and that explain the techniques. Get one or two of them, they will give you the information in an organized way and provide a good foundation for online research about particulars.

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    You really should sit down and, as the future owner, write yourself an "owner's requirements" document, to guide yourself when in your roles as builder.

    As a project manager you should appreciate how difficult it is to deliver a project to a successful conclusion if the owner is not clear on what they want and require.

    The document/list should include mandatory requirements and nice-to-haves. It would be good to include requirements on how and when the project should be delivered, too. Do you have a completion deadline in mind? Is the goal to learn a bunch about boatbuilding in the process or do you just want to get to the finished product and get on the water?

    Just the writing of it should help clarify and refine your search. It will likely change over time as you look at actual designs, but that's OK.
    Alex

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    - Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    ANYONE can build a boat. It takes thought, heart, soul, skill and workmanship to build a good one. Being a project manager is 10 percent of this attempt. some folks spend their entire lives building one boat and others find it easy as making daily sandwiches but with an addiction to the build not in the use.

    What is your boating experience? What did you like most about it? What did you not like about it? Building a new boat is a PITA and requires things you did not think about like real space it will take and the mess that follows, a vehicle to get supplies, to tow with, getting it registered, and the like beside the effort you could be doing otherwise to improve yourself and your personal relationships. I would never suggest a boat build to anyone who does not know what they are really going to do with the boat. We all boat dream but what we do with those dreams is important. I would rather suggest rebuilding or restoring one that has appeal and has been slightly neglected. the neglect will tell you a lot about the practicality and usefulness it had before you got to her. Do that and then come back with answer already in hand.

    For what it is worth some of the coolest, lightest and handiest boats are made out of plywood.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 06-08-2022 at 06:39 PM.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    If you want to carry 3 people and a dog something bigger than a peapod would be better, Perhaps a no man's land boat. https://www.offcenterharbor.com/drea...ans-land-boat/

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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Let me suggest you put a SOR, statement of requirements, together. Be honest, set priorities and include your needed comfort levels.
    I got a small sailboat 10 years ago that had marginal comfort at the time. Now, 10 years later, it gets little use as you have to sit on the sole which all too quickly violates my comfort requirements.
    ​​♦ 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

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Let's build a sailboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    Let me suggest you put a SOR, statement of requirements, together. Be honest, set priorities and include your needed comfort levels.
    I got a small sailboat 10 years ago that had marginal comfort at the time. Now, 10 years later, it gets little use as you have to sit on the sole which all too quickly violates my comfort requirements.
    Consider putting that boat on craigstlist this afternoon. Which, come to speak of it, that lovely boat in post 15 just sits unused in my driveway these days ... Haverchuck is just too awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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