Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Which sailboat to build...



There is no shortage of information about building your own sailboat on the Internet. Trust me, in the last 2 months I think I have seen more than I could have imagined. I knew a reasonable size for a first time builder would be between 14 and 20 feet. But which boat to select? First it was going to be a Stevenson Weekender, then a Bolger Micro, or maybe a Vagabond 18. I ordered Study plans for 3 Fisher-Selway plans, the Goshawk, Galway, and Ptarmigan 17.  I looked at the Hartley 16 and 18 and the Belhaven 19 and some others I have forgotten. But I kept coming back to the brand new CLC Pocketship design.  The final decision was made, as usual, on a lot of compromises. Designs over 17 feet would not be practical to fit in a single car garage during the construction phase. Some designs were for boats that were simply too heavy to work on unless I could manage to get 12-15 people to turn over a 700 kg hull. Some designs had a flat bottom which would be great for a day at the lake shown in the bottom picture but not so great for days like in the first photo.  On Lake Winnipeg ( the world's 11th largest lake) there are more choppy days than calm days so we needed a boat that would cut through the chop rather than bounce on top.  

The CLC Pocketship was small enough ( 14' 11") to work on easily in the garage, yet with a V-hull, ballasted keel and a weight of 800 lbs should be very seaworthy. It has a cockpit almost 7 feet long for our primary purpose of daysailing ( larger than some 19' and 20' plans I looked at) and a very sleepable but simple cabin. 

 PocketShip plans include a 116-foot long roll of full-sized patterns for all plywood parts in the hull (and many other parts besides), 11 pages of traditional scaled architectural drawings, dimensioned diagrams for sails and spars, and a spiral-bound instruction manual with each building step photographed and/or diagrammed---more than 450 photos.

These very complete plans means there is no "lofting"  for this first time boatbuilder.

Next: Ordering the plans and building materials

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