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Thread: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

  1. #1
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    Question Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Iĺve just launched my first boat, a CLC Skerry with a balanced lug rig which I built from plans. It was an amazing experience and Iĺm looking forward to a Summer of sailing fun but also thinking about the next sailing boat. I guess boatbuilding is like that?

    I was a complete beginner before the Skerry and I found the detailed instruction manual from CLC to be really well done. For the next project Iĺd really like to build something in a much more traditional way than stitch and glue - ideally with no epoxy. Something maybe slightly bigger than the Skerry, obviously heavier, hopefully a little more seaworthy and yet still trailerable and rowable (is that a real word?). Lapstrake double ender?

    Iĺm hoping some of you can share your wisdom andgive me some pointers to books, resources, plans, instructions etc. or just some general advice. Also happy to hear if you think My plans are too ambitious.

    Darren Okubo
    Hokkaido, Japan
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Congratulations. There is nothing like that first sail. What is access to wood like in Japan? What species are available?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Thanks Mike, around here we have a lot of karamatsu (Japanese larch) and silver birch along with oak, mountain ash and cedar. Japan is 70% forested and ranges from long cold snowy Winters up here in Hokkaido to sub tropical in the south so we have a good selection to choose from and generally it’s really good quality. The higher grades of construction ply are also great quality with no voids so I used that for the skerry.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    What are the traditional small fishing boats in that area? That would be the place I'd start my search.

    A sabani?

    -Dave

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Welcome aboard! The thrill of launching a boat you built is unique. Building a plank on frame boat is not unrealistic for your second effort. Can you get a copy of The Dory Book by Gardner?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Congratulations on the build! I have a Skerry with the lug rig. I really appreciate the simplicity and capabilities of the balanced lug. The Skerry, I think, is okay for someone younger than myself that can be comfortable sitting on the sole for extended periods of time.

    For your next build put together a SOR, statement of requirements. It is a valuable tool that may even surprise you in the direction it takes.

    Anecdote alert: an example of a surprise an honest SOR may spring on you follows.

    Last year I realized I wanted a more comfortable and seaworthy sail-n-oar boat. Something with a balanced lug, mizzen and enclosed side benches for flotation, comfort and stowage. The mizzen just to play with and look at.
    I identified three ply and epoxy boats that fit the bill.
    John Welsford's amazing and seaworthy Long Steps. A more involved, capable and expensive build.
    Ross Lillistone's lovely Periwinkle. Lots of sail area and a third mast step to balance the boat when using the main or mizzen only. My wife's favorite of the three listed here.
    CLC's Southwester Dory. The only one of the three I'd consider building myself.

    One thing I included in the SOR was my eye health. It's possible I may be compelled to sell the boat sooner than later and wood boats are not a good financial investment. For that reason, I bought a fiberglass boat that has a waiting list of buyers.
    It gives me everything I wanted except a mizzen and wood construction.

    Sorry for the novel, just trying to impress the value of a thorough SOR.
    ​​♦ 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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Thanks Dave, I could write an essay on traditional Japanese boats but to keep it short lots of locally kept secrecy, long apprenticeships and a general lack of interest has meant Japanese wooden boatbuilding is a largely lost art. Also to be brutally honest one of the reasons is that they just weren’t that good. When fiberglass came along fishermen threw away their wooden boats without a second thought and very few examples remain. I’ve never been to Okinawa but the sabani seems to have been saved thanks to tourism.
    Last edited by okuboheavyindustries; 06-09-2022 at 05:49 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Thanks John, that is a book I have on my list. Thanks for the encouragement.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    Congratulations on the build! I have a Skerry with the lug rig. I really appreciate the simplicity and capabilities of the balanced lug. The Skerry, I think, is okay for someone younger than myself that can be comfortable sitting on the sole for extended periods of time.

    For your next build put together a SOR, statement of requirements. It is a valuable tool that may even surprise you in the direction it takes.

    ...
    Thanks, the Skerry seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun in the local lakes and rivers but I think I’d be a bit nervous taking it too far away from the beach in the Sea of Japan. I’d really love something I can explore the coast with whilst keeping it engineless and fairly simple. An SOR seems like a good place to start. Thanks for your advice.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    A very good book: Japanese Wooden Boatbuilding, details construction of several unique Japanese boats. Douglas served as an apprentice for as long as he could with as many masters that would teach him.

    Its a very good read if you dont have it. Edge nailing chined construction with soft bent nails is a vernacular technique unique to Japan as far as I know. The best most accurate details to construct a Ro, in any book.






    The boats were cleverly built, and very carefully constructed. The boats are long and thin, the beam being set by gaps between fishing poles, but it allows very thick planks to be used which can be edge nailed together with soft steel nails, unlike any Western practice. They work on the floor, hence they use pull saws and carefully kerf the joints to flush. The tools to make the bent hole etc are unique to Japan.

    The secrecy and hierarchy of Japanese boatbuilders seems to have unfortunately mean't alot of information and techniques die with them, but Douglas seems to have teased alot of it out over many years. The Japanese masters, many already retired seemed to know they were the last of the line. It's worth the money and gives insight into Japanese society, custom and tooling.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 06-10-2022 at 05:07 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Hello Darren,

    I'm pleased to see your post and will be interested in seeing what you decide to build.

    I noticed that you're from Hokkaido.
    I've learned about Hokkaido while watching the "Wild Hokkaido" pieces on NHK while working on my little boat project.
    Looks like a very interesting place.....lots of snow!

    Regards,
    Alan

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Quote Originally Posted by okuboheavyindustries View Post
    I could write an essay on traditional Japanese boats... lots of locally kept secrecy... they just weren’t that good.
    One has to wonder if the proprietary and tradition bound nature of the boat building culture kept the builders from learning from each other and evolving better boats.
    Just a random thought.
    ​​♦ 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

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Quote Originally Posted by okuboheavyindustries View Post
    Iĺve just launched my first boat, a CLC Skerry with a balanced lug rig which I built from plans. It was an amazing experience and Iĺm looking forward to a Summer of sailing fun but also thinking about the next sailing boat. I guess boatbuilding is like that?
    Congrats on launching your first boat.

    I was a complete beginner before the Skerry and I found the detailed instruction manual from CLC to be really well done. For the next project Iĺd really like to build something in a much more traditional way than stitch and glue - ideally with no epoxy. Something maybe slightly bigger than the Skerry, obviously heavier, hopefully a little more seaworthy and yet still trailerable and rowable (is that a real word?). Lapstrake double ender?
    Here's a boat that's not in the vein of what you want to build but interesting none the less for a sailing boat:

    Nacra17 - New Record (Full Video) (Foiling)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Wanting a lapstrake double ender means you should look at Oughtred's boats.
    Don't be too fast to rule out epoxy.
    I at first thought the same, but now I am so glad I did glued lap on my most
    recent build.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Thanks Edward, I don’t have a copy of Douglas’s book but it’s on the list! I’m really happy that he’s saving some of the knowledge and skills that otherwise would have been lost. Having said that I wouldn’t want to actually try and make any of these boats myself.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan71 View Post
    Hello Darren,

    I'm pleased to see your post and will be interested in seeing what you decide to build.

    I noticed that you're from Hokkaido.
    I've learned about Hokkaido while watching the "Wild Hokkaido" pieces on NHK while working on my little boat project.
    Looks like a very interesting place.....lots of snow!

    Regards,
    Alan
    Thanks Alan,
    Hokkaido is a wonderful place to live. I’m very lucky. The winters are pretty tough though. Where I am we get an average of 15 meters of snow each year.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    One has to wonder if the proprietary and tradition bound nature of the boat building culture kept the builders from learning from each other and evolving better boats.
    Just a random thought.
    I think that’s exactly what happened. One of the reasons this forum and magazine are such a wonderful resource.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Just launched my first boat and now thinking about the nextů

    Quote Originally Posted by timo4352 View Post
    Wanting a lapstrake double ender means you should look at Oughtred's boats.
    Don't be too fast to rule out epoxy.
    I at first thought the same, but now I am so glad I did glued lap on my most
    recent build.
    I almost built the Elfyn instead of the Skerry - beautiful looking boat. For the next one I really want to go a more traditional route though. I loved working with wood and hated epoxy! I know it makes a lighter, stronger, easier to maintain boat but I’m okay with heavier, leakier, breakier!

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