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Old 01-09-2016, 08:54   #1
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Help choosing a sailing dink to build

Well, after this summer's mini-cruise, watching all the folks enjoying the hell out of the anchorages in their sailing dinks, I've decided to build one this winter. I did a long miserable deck rebuild on the mother ship last winter and now I want something more interesting to putz with this winter.

Now I need to pick one. I've been leaning toward strip planked, or maybe even a simpler, chined, plywood one built on a frame.

If I want to get it up on deck, I suppose I should keep it light, perhaps an 8 foot max. Or nesting.

But on the other hand, we only sail Narragansett bay, Cape, and Islands, so usually I just tow my dink with the motor removed. (On that note, maybe it would be nice if this could handle my 5HP outboard when the rudder is removed, etc.)

I'd like the whole sail rig to stow inside the dink.

I'd like it to be fun and not too awkward to sail - for me I think this means seating along the gunwale rather than just the athwartship benches that I'm seeing on all the 8 foot dinks.

Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!!!
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:38   #2
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Re: Help choosing a sailing dink to build

You may have some trouble finding something with proper seating in that size range, especially in a nesting dink. Though it'd be possible to rig up some detachable fore & aft soft seating. Like say, some mini longitudinal hammocks? They'd probably take a bit of experimenting to get right, but would keep your backside off of the wet hull planking.

There's no shortage of designs, but some of the popular ones are;
Danny Greene's Chameleon
Dave Gerr's Nester
Russell Brown/Paul Bieker's PT11 & PT Spear
Paul Butler also has a whole bunch of designs

Otherwise try the WEST System sites. Both the primary site, & their quarterly Periodical via the sister site. As well as the Wooden Boat Forums, & of course, online searches.

Given a small amount of study it becomes pretty easy to discern how a design will perform via each method of propulsion, as well as when it's heavily loaded. So it's worth gaining a discerning eye prior to investing a couple of hundred hours in a build.
For my money, I'd do something like the PT11 or a modified Dory design. Especially as they're both fairly light boats, & are easily propelled via any means.

Russell Brown has outsailed a LOT of boats in the PT11, of all sizes & configurations, including a number of multihulls. And they've got such choice lines.
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:51   #3
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Re: Help choosing a sailing dink to build

Take a look at Chesapeake Light Craft, clcboats.com. Several designs, kits or plans. Nice people. I have built both stitch and glue and the 17' cedar strip Petrel. Rewarding both in building and using.
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:56   #4
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Re: Help choosing a sailing dink to build

Any plans for Dorys, weighing under 135lbs, in the 12'-18' range? I'd Luv something which could be modified to turn it into a nesting variant. But I can do that kind of tuning to a design DIY style.

BTW, There's a thread of interest on Danny Greene's Chameleon here Danny green chameleon nesting dinghy
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