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Thread: So I built a Dinghy in my bedroom and now I want to build another one. But which?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    London, UK

    Default So I built a Dinghy in my bedroom and now I want to build another one. But which?


    So I did it. With all the craziness going on, I just went for it, abandoned my bedroom and converted it into a boat workshop.

    As I was advised - I started with something small and easy instead of my actual dreamboat and went for a 15’ kit dinghy - a ‘Colin’s Pathfinder’ from fyneboat kits in the Lake District (UK).

    It’s plywood panels stich and glue fibreglassed outside and part inside. And this is what it looked like before the final sanding, varnishing and ‘topside’ paint.


    I might start a thread with a few impressions of the build and all my stuff ups on the way if anyone wants a laugh

    I’m still negotiating a bit regarding the rigging and sails - she was designed as a gaff/gunter sloop but getting the details for the rigging and sails from fyne boat proofs a bit frustrating at the moment, so I might have to open another thread about that here at some point to get your thoughts.

    But while I am getting ready to break down my makeshift bedroom workshop I am starting to think about the next project, since it will take a bit to sort it all out and get going.

    So here is (already) my actual ‘question’:

    My ultimate ‘dream boat’ was a Buzzards Bay 15 - which just started me on this whole craziness.

    Realising that that’s not exactly a realistic endeavour (definitely not for a first boat), so I started looking at some more feasible options and what I actually want to do with the boat when I have built her.

    Ideal would be a boat that I can take on a trailer around the UK and to Europe (Lake District, Alps - stuff like that to start with.
    Daytrips and to camping weekends. Then in a while some nice weather coastal day trips maybe.
    Launchable from a trailer and can be sailed confidently single handed.
    Space for my partner her daughter (10) and me.
    So a trailerable costal daysailer / camping cruiser.

    Looking into commercial boats, I found the Swallow Yachts Bayraider 20 and in a way that seems to tick pretty much all my boxes.
    Even self bailing and self righting with a full water ballast.
    Good size but reasonable trailer weight, and a flexible sail plan that also gives the chance to get a bit of speedy fun on a nice day.
    She’s not anywhere as elegant as a Buzzards Bay or a Haven 12 1/2 but could be uglier

    Screen Shot 2020-08-01 at 17.22.15.jpg

    Problem: I want to build a boat, not buy it.

    So I am looking for something that is somewhere in that ballpark and I found John Welsford’s designs specifically the Pathfinder, Pilgrim
    and Whaler. I do like the practicality of his designs and from their popularity and all the cruising blogs/videos I assume they are quite capable.

    Now I come from a very visual background (I’m a cinematographer), which means I am unreasonably biased towards looks over practicality and
    while all of those are beautiful boats, the stitch and glue carvel shape never quite appealed to me as much as a smooth hull.
    So I wonder if one could perhaps modify the design to strip plank (cold mold) and fiberglass the whaler or pathfinder and how that change would
    affect how they sail.
    I’m aware that this means a lot more effort and cost than a stitch and glue plywood boat.

    There’s also the William Garden Eel, which I quite like - although I suppose an open boat gives more options and feels more spacious than ending up
    With a tiny cabin and a tiny cockpit.


    But then every time I think I have made up my mind I end up coming back to the Haven 12 1/2 or Flatfish (ideal would be something in-between) or the Buzzards Bay and I wonder, maybe I should just go for one of those real classic designs, because they are so beautiful.
    And then I think again about how a heavy 100% displacement boat like that would sail today compared to those modern lightweight flat hulls and at what point that ballast becomes a pain to trailer.

    And I wonder if there’s a design out there, that goes a bit towards the flexibility of a BayRaider, that I can build myself and that has some reminiscence of those beautiful slender lines of the old small racing yachts.

    I know I’m throwing a lot of very different animals into this mix and that a lot of these old design elements like the overhangs to minimise nominal waterline length etc don’t make much practical sense any more these days but I just wanted to throw this all out there and see what all your thoughts are

    Haha ... this got much longer than intended.

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    Last edited by ArthurDent; 08-01-2020 at 02:22 PM.

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