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Thread: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    This thread is getting a bit confusing, jumping from topic to topic.

    Mark, may I suggest that you start an entirely new thread where you list all your criteria for the design you are looking for, in terms of where you want to use it, how many people it will carry, and for how long you want to cruise. Try to separate what you need from what you want. Boat design is always a compromise.
    I was just thinking the same thing. The Stevenson's question has been pretty well answered for me
    Thanks
    Mark

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    For future enquirers it is worth directing them to Chad's thread on sailing his.
    Very hilarious and well written.
    http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64308

  3. #53

    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Had a friend with one sailed twice in 10 to 12 knot. Capasized twice. Also hard tom get right side up again. I suggest he build a deeper leelson with about 300 lbs of lead moulded in placed midships plus a weight swing keel dropping through keelson. Now he wont give the boat up. Pretty fast but too light to tack real well without forcing the jib over to pull the bow around.
    Feels like it wants to plane! No room exept cramped camping. Very small cockpiy but good for two.

  4. #54
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    BTW there is a lot of use of the word "keelson" in this thread where I think you mean keel, forefoot or deadwood. The keelson is inside the boat- a fore and aft member on top of the floors.

  5. #55

    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    In the spirit of correctness I apologize. But now we both have wasted bandwidth over what really doesnt make a bit of difference since the object of his request was to decide if the vacationer was a boat he might like to build not if we knew the difference between a keel and keelson
    Last edited by mikemitchell; 11-24-2008 at 07:53 PM. Reason: peace-keeping

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    In Yacht Designs William Garden said:

    "Whether they are sail or power, we must remember that our yachts are toy boats - all yachts are the glint on a lovely brief bubble of time ..."

    I daresay that 99.99% of the boats discussed on this forum are not used for transporting people, moving cargo, commercial fishing, or some other kind of work. They are all toy boats. It's stupid for someone with a big, expensive toy to sneer at a little, cheap toy because it's "just a toy".
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemitchell View Post
    .... what really doesnt make a bit of difference since the object of his request was to decide ...
    Mike, it actually does make a difference what terminology we use, whichever part of the topic area we're talking about. And this applies whether the subject matter is wooden boats, or dentistry, or highland bagpipes.

    In our case, for whatever reason (usually an historical one, the origins of which more often than not are lost in time,) different parts of a boat have their own names, and by agreement within the fraternity it's incorrect to use them incorrectly.

    If the topic area were "chainplates" or "pole masts" it would just as wrong to refer to shrouds as side-stays as if one were talking about the shrouds themselves.

    So referring to a keel as a keelson -- or vice versa -- does indeed matter to anyone who's doing anything but dabbling in a subject about which he knows little.

    (Please understand that this little rant is not intended to suggest that you are such a person, just that in the view of most people here it's better for us not to be sloppy in our use of terminology.)

    Mike-the-pedant

    Oh yes -- there is one exception to this, which is that JohnB is permitted to refer to his boathook as a broomstick.
    .

  8. #58
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Thankyou, very kind.

    ps, inthequitepossibly longest running joke ontheforum next to the 'She's a lady' earworm... how come you haven't given me back the one Kirsty posted you?

    and now ....back to our scheduled programme

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by alkorn View Post
    In Yacht Designs William Garden said:

    "Whether they are sail or power, we must remember that our yachts are toy boats - all yachts are the glint on a lovely brief bubble of time ..."

    I daresay that 99.99% of the boats discussed on this forum are not used for transporting people, moving cargo, commercial fishing, or some other kind of work. They are all toy boats. It's stupid for someone with a big, expensive toy to sneer at a little, cheap toy because it's "just a toy".
    I missed the part where somebody died and made Bill Garden God. To wit, I dare say that 99.99% of people discussing boats would not agree that a 'toy' boat and a seaworthy pleasure craft are the same even though they might affectionately referr to their boats as toys in the same way a Ferrari owner would referr to his sports car as a toy.

  10. #60
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I completely agree with what WoodenBoatFittings said, and what JimD said too. I can't understand what JohnB said - so I disagree with that on general principles

    - Norm

  11. #61
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by outofthenorm View Post
    I completely agree with what WoodenBoatFittings said, and what JimD said too. I can't understand what JohnB said - so I disagree with that on general principles

    - Norm
    I've talked it over with all my personalities and we've agreed to agree with your agreement. I'm kinda new around here, but already, I've realized that whatever JohnB says is wrong, whatever the topic. Just kidding, John, just too hard to pass upB

  12. #62

    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Actually I do know the difference but my brain picked up on the term someone else used. But again my point is not lanquage but answering the original question that being does anyone have any thoughts on the Vacationer. Nuff said?
    After reading your profile I understand your concern about lanquage. Authenticity you have to remember Americans have little tradition to worry about quite unlike the Brits and Aussies.

  13. #63
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by alkorn View Post
    I daresay that 99.99% of the boats discussed on this forum are not used for transporting people, moving cargo, commercial fishing, or some other kind of work. They are all toy boats. It's stupid for someone with a big, expensive toy to sneer at a little, cheap toy because it's "just a toy".
    I'm sorry, but this comment is off the mark. Most people here do not have "big, expensive" boats. And they're not "sneering" at the Weekender because it's "little" and "cheap."

    Yes, all boats are toys, but some are more seaworthy than others. You yourself said the Weekender was "scary" in 15 knots of wind. 15 knots? In many coastal areas, it's common to have wind gusts higher than that, even on days when the average wind speed is less. (I know from experience that it's true on the Chesapeake and the Maine coast near Brooklin.)

    If you asked a designer like Jim Michalak, he'd tell you that the Weekender is not a good choice with regard to safety. Because the boat is flat-bottomed, unballasted, and light, it's easier to capsize than most boats. The cabin and deck make things worse because they raise the center of gravity. On the other hand, the boat is too big and heavy for one person -- or even several -- to right after a capsize.

    The forumite who capsized his Weekender was lucky that he was near shore and that help arrived quickly. Had he been farther out, he might have spent hours clinging to his overturned boat before someone came along.

    To put this in perspective, I wouldn't attempt to sail the 8 miles (or more) across the Chesapeake Bay in a Weekender in any weather unless you put a gun to my head. But I'd willingly make the trip in all (or nearly all) of the other boats mentioned on this thread and the companion thread.

    When you add all that to the fact that the Weekender's sailing performance is "fair" at best, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Yes, it's easy to build and cheap, but anyone with enough skills and cash to build a Weekender can build a better, more capable boat. It might cost a little more and take a little more time, but the results would be worth it.
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 11-25-2008 at 09:59 PM.

  14. #64
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    ... how come you haven't given me back the one Kirsty posted you?
    I did! I did! I posted it back the way Kirsty posted it to me, by water. But because nobody bothered to collect it I picked it up as it came round again and now, as mentioned elsewhere, I have it safe and sound with my collection of other broken-down garden tools, waiting for you to come and pick it up.

    So don't you try that Kiwi Bluster on me, boyo....

    Mike-the-REAL-boathook-maker
    Last edited by Wooden Boat Fittings; 11-25-2008 at 10:53 PM.

  15. #65
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    my brain picked up on the term someone else used.
    Exactly. It seemed to be getting contagious. I wasn't aiming at you, in particular, either, though I guess it seemed like that.

    stupid for someone with a big, expensive toy to sneer at a little, cheap toy because it's "just a toy".
    Ok, I'm guilty of having a bigger toy, but I also have a smaller one than the Stevenson, designed by Iain Oughtred. His designs have a visible heritage from well tested types which he presents, maybe improved, for modern construction methods. Knowledgeable people here are calling the Stevenson designs 'a pastiche' and 'a cartoon'. I think they're right, and Steve Paskey is right about safety. I know professional boat builders who build Oughtreds, but I bet if you rolled up to a pro with a set of weekender plans he would decline to build it.

  16. #66
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Let me clarify:

    I did not build a Weekender, but a smaller Stevenson boat, the 12-foot Triad. Based on my experience with the Triad I decided that I should look elsewhere for the design of my next, larger boatbuilding project.

    But, I think Stevenson's designs have value for first-time projects because they are quick, easy, pretty, and functional if not stellar performers. They are the kind of boatbuilding project that lures someone into building a wooden boat instead of buying a plastic one.

    Ray Frechette said "I wouldn't build one again, but I don't regret having built one." Others have echoed this thought, and I agree.
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

  17. #67
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Thank you Gentlemen,
    Any questions I had about these boats have been answered.
    But I still think they LOOK neat.
    The Clipper ship look to the bow and the gaff sloop rig do give it a "salty" look as someone said earlier. But apparently their performance leaves something to be desired.
    Thanks for the opinions and suggestions.
    Mark

  18. #68
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    From the FAQ:

    I don't see anything about ballast in the Pocket Yachts.

    None of our boats has any ballast added to them, and they are not self-righting (but they are much more stable than many assume). We prefer to keep the weight down and the performance up. These are small boats with low rigs. They are not intended for open ocean crossings (although we have had a Weekender in whistling winds and 12'-15' seas off Hanalei Bay). Proper attention to the mainsheet and gusts will keep you out of trouble most of the time. We haven't ever felt the need for ballast, but many people ask about it. We haven't tried it, so we can't comment too much. We can say this: several of the same people who were asking about adding ballast have written back (after building our boats without ballast) and have been convinced they made the right choice.
    They do seem a bit overly confident in their design. There is a big gap between ocean crossings and protected waters, I certainly hope the builders won't venture too far out into this gap.

    You would think that increasing the displacement would actually improve the overall performance, giving a smoother ride in a chop, in addition to making it less likely to capsize. Personally I think it's much more about cost and complexity. Any metal keel would be complicated for the novice to fabricate, and lead, for maintaining the shoal draft is expensive. Perhaps the easiest would be to pour a keel from ferrocement? After all, any heavy keel would be a change for the better.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

  19. #69
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I have a Weekender, which I enjoy sailing. I did not build mine, it's one of the original designs with a centerboard, which I rarely use. It sails fine without it. I've had it out in winds greater than 15mph with the main reefed and it handles okay, although it does really pound in a chop. I'm only 5' 7" and less than a couple hundred pounds so the cockpit is fine for me. I've had two other adults in it with me.

    I've sailed on a few lakes here in Maine, out in Penobscot Bay, and my dad has sailed in in Long Island Sound, off of Wrightsville Beach in NC and we've been in it together off of Boothbay Harbor in Maine. On a nice day it'll handle the ocean okay. I wouldn't want to get caught offshore in a storm though.

    For it's designed purpose, it works well, and like most boats, if you take care of them they can last a pretty good while. Mine will be 25 years old this coming April.

    Joe, FPoP

  20. #70
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    From the FAQ:




    You would think that increasing the displacement would actually improve the overall performance, giving a smoother ride in a chop, in addition to making it less likely to capsize. Personally I think it's much more about cost and complexity. Any metal keel would be complicated for the novice to fabricate, and lead, for maintaining the shoal draft is expensive. Perhaps the easiest would be to pour a keel from ferrocement? After all, any heavy keel would be a change for the better.

    I had wondered if a taller/deeper keel would help. Maybe a hollow wood keel filled with lead? I don't know how much weight the little boats can handle though. Sometimes I still feel tempted to build one just for the heck of it.
    Robert

    "Theirs is the curse of the Gypsy blood..."

  21. #71
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I sailed with Joe D. on his Weekender, and it was a fun little boat. We got beat up a bit. It was really blowing. Fumbled with the reefing, at least I did. Small lake, but it was really blowing! Did I mention it was really blowing? It must have been gusting thirty. The boat did fine. Everything you'd want a little boat to do. It's a good thing it was fairly well mannered in the breach, because we weren't. To be clearer about that, Joe and I got along fine, it was the little boat in the breach.

    It's not what I would build if I were looking for such a day boat. One of the Core Sound designs if I were looking in ply and didn't give a twig about tradition.
    Last edited by ishmael; 11-27-2008 at 08:39 AM.
    So many questions, so little time.

  22. #72
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I can see that the Weekender and Pocket Cruiser are good boats for those who want to trailer it to rivers and small lakes for camping in good weather, and don't have a big enough car to tow heavier boats. Which of course would become an issue should one add a ballast keel.

    Had I still lived by the riverside I would be very tempted to build one.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

  23. #73

    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Thank you for that (following) most insightful and informative review based on your excellent background! I can wholeheartedly recommend for more realistic sailing (no pun intended, really!) especially where you might want to tack to weather, or sail in windy weather, the San Francisco Pelican. Also the Great Pelican, though I have never sailed the GP. Both designed by Capt. William Short.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Diebert View Post
    I adopted one of these boats a few years ago.
    A friend of mine built it over one winter, scared himself....and traded me for an old motorcycle.
    I sailed it for part of a summer in it's stock configuration. Over a couple of years I altered the boat until it actually became a functioning sailboat. Once I had it sorted I had a lot of fun with it. (I sold it a couple of years ago)

    As someone said.....this design and these boats are defended to the death. I could never sort that one out. I have no clue what they have based this strong following on.....my guess would be the whole Warner Brothers cartoon pirate ship vibe I expect.

    Mine would not tack without a paddle. That deep 'forefoot'....which is really just an outer strong back / former that is never removed......seemed to prevent the boat from coming smartly around. Once I removed that, it tacked nicely. Plus beaching the boat became easier / safer and it went on and off the trailer easier.

    These boats might have some magic aspect to them that mine didn't, but I don't see too many sailboats that don't have some form of lateral resistance. The defenders swear their boats are on rails to wind. I could feel and actually see the leeway on mine. I added a case and dagger board. I made the case a bit long which allowed some adjustment fore/aft. This made for a slightly adjustable CLR ....which worked out wonderfully. With a new rudder, some 180# of lead bread, and a new light weight Spruce mast the boat became a sailboat. (the stock mast is *HUGE)

    The thing is, these boats attract first time sailors and first time builders. The building process is quite unconventional and designed to be put together by folks with almost no experience with working wood.
    So you then have a combination of super pride in accomplishment (first or near first woodworking project completed) and their first sailing experiences.

    I am 52 and have been a professional woodworker for over 30 years. (I now teach Joinery apprentices) A few of those years were spent repairing and building boats at the coast. I have sailed since I was 20. When this little boat came to me it was brand new and shiny, I was 8 hours from the coast and boatless....and had a guy who offered my this boat for a bike I could not sell. I figured...."how bad could it be".....anything that didn't work or that could go wrong I would fix. And I did.

    I recommend looking at other designs that are more serious. For all the work one puts into a small boat I would want a solid and well respected design. I suggest looking into anything by John Welsford and the other designers Thorne mentioned.

    You asked.

  24. #74
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Blimey! Someone just had to dig up this old Weekender thread. But I'm sure you will be forgiven as you are new to the forum. Welcome, peterbmetcalf

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Blimey again, my first build was a weekender. Yes it was pretty and yes it was very easy to build(cheap too) BUT it scared the ever lovin s#@t out of my wife and I, It ended up at the local dump, because I felt guilty about selling it to someone else. I thought about donating it to a Mini golf facility. The dump was the best option. My only regret is that I did not cut out huge pieces out of the hull before I dropped it off.

  26. #76
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by jimkeen View Post
    Blimey again, my first build was a weekender. Yes it was pretty and yes it was very easy to build(cheap too) BUT it scared the ever lovin s#@t out of my wife and I, It ended up at the local dump, because I felt guilty about selling it to someone else. I thought about donating it to a Mini golf facility. The dump was the best option. My only regret is that I did not cut out huge pieces out of the hull before I dropped it off.
    Wonder if the Stevenson's website would like to use this quote for their testimonials section?

  27. #77
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    As much as my Id would like to get into the Stevenson fray, I probably won't. Life is short.
    Has anyone asked (I've not read all this thread) if Mark has taken any sailing lessons? It seems to me that building a boat ought to come after learning to sail. Mark may find he loathes sailing. It does take a bit of getting used to. My dear wife is unsettled at best by rail down balls-to-the-wall sailing. It however strikes me as fun on occasion. If he wants sidewalk-solid stability, sailing may not be so fun.

  28. #78
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Robb View Post
    ...
    Has anyone asked... if Mark has taken any sailing lessons?
    Mr Mark hasn't posted on this thread since 2008. Perhaps he's taken up golf instead.

  29. #79
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Wonder if the Stevenson's website would like to use this quote for their testimonials section?
    LOL. I was once roundly excoriated for dissing the Weekender on a Stevenson-centric forum. I've sailed in company with 4 or 5 different boats Stevenson designs including a couple weekenders, a vacationtioner, and a skipjack. Not a one of them sailed worth a damn.

  30. #80
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Well isn't this ad timely? For sale, Stevenson Weekender. Only sailed once! http://www.usedvictoria.com/classifi...lboat_16856304

  31. #81
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Hmmm. . . .this is an old thread. And re-reading what I wrote about 'em 4 years ago, it's obvious that I completely missed the beat. I was way too harsh on these poor boats. Where else are you going to find a boat that combines such a cramped cockpit with such a tiny cabin, and which pairs sub-mediocre windward performance with absolutely negligible secondary stability and seaworthiness? The Stevenson Weekender is such an amazing blend of traits. Plus, you can build it yourself at home out of job-site salvaged CDX, bondo and chopped-strand mat, just like one I saw under construction in Portland, and it won't make a damned bit of difference to the value of the finished product. Now you've got to agree, that's a pretty remarkable feat!
    If this post did not meet all of your needs, please consult this thread for more options.

  32. #82
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bell View Post
    I was once roundly excoriated for dissing the Weekender on a Stevenson-centric forum.
    Me too. Most of them (not all) are pretty-much amateurs as we've seen, and I thought maybe I could contribute something useful to the different discussions they might be having. But there was one bloke there (definitely an amateur) who seemed to think he was Mr Stevenson Boats and did his level best to put everyone else in their Proper Places, below his own personal salt-cellar.

    So after a while I left them to it.

    The better ones have found their way to better forums (like this,) and the duds are no doubt still being beaten over the head there by Mr Boats and his salt-cellar.

    Mike
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Hmmm. . . .this is an old thread. And re-reading what I wrote about 'em 4 years ago, it's obvious that I completely missed the beat. I was way too harsh on these poor boats. Where else are you going to find a boat that combines such a cramped cockpit with such a tiny cabin, and which pairs sub-mediocre windward performance with absolutely negligible secondary stability and seaworthiness? The Stevenson Weekender is such an amazing blend of traits. Plus, you can build it yourself at home out of job-site salvaged CDX, bondo and chopped-strand mat, just like one I saw under construction in Portland, and it won't make a damned bit of difference to the value of the finished product. Now you've got to agree, that's a pretty remarkable feat!
    Very good points

  34. #84
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Just found this online. It's not me selling it.

    For sale about 1 hour north of S.F.:



    Stevenson Triad, $595. Includes trailer, electric motor, sail, rig, oars...

    As a pretty powerboat for lake fishing I think that's quite a deal. I was so surprised by the looks of the boat and the price that I spent time trying to figure out what it was and if it was any good (not that I need another boat!)

    I think we can enjoy any wooden boat, within its limitations. And any wooden boat out on the water makes me smile.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/boa/4481912851.html
    “What is more pleasant than a friendly little yacht, a long stretch of smooth water, a gentle breeze, the stars?”
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