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Old 29-09-2010, 18:56   #1
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One Step at a Time

Just getting geared up to get into the sailing game. I've been wanting to do it for 20-30 years, but despite taking sailing lessons, etc., things never worked out, between job changes, moves, family. However, now my kids are getting old enough, I'm getting the itch. I'd like to eventually get a big boat, but since I'm inland now, my immediate solution will probably be something I can throw on a trailer and drop in a lake. This would probably keep me busy for the next 6-10 years until I get closer to retirement... there's a good chance I'd be able to move near the ocean at that point, allowing me to move up

My immediate thought is to build a plywood & fiberglass day sailor myself, since I've helped with such projects before. I'm currently looking at various plans, but I'm not in a rush, since I figure I won't get started on this project before 2012. Starting this winter, I will spend a few months building a sailing dinghy for practice. Afterward, I can save the dinghy for other uses... eventually even using it for my eventual big boat.
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Old 29-09-2010, 19:38   #2
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Hi TiredParent and welcome to CF. Sounds like you are not committed to get busy right now and it also sounds like you would like to build. No problem with either idea.

But I'm a go sailing now kinda guy. You should consider hitting craigslist and buying a ~15 foot dinghy you can go sailing on now. $500-$1,000 should get you something to have lots of fun with.
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Old 01-10-2010, 16:51   #3
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Old 01-10-2010, 18:37   #4
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But I'm a go sailing now kinda guy. You should consider hitting craigslist and buying a ~15 foot dinghy you can go sailing on now. $500-$1,000 should get you something to have lots of fun with.

I guess +1 on this part. Go out and start doing it, and start quickly!
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Old 02-10-2010, 00:07   #5
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Welcome. Building can be fun and fulfilling, but it doesn't have to keep you from sailing. Getting time on the water now should be hugely valuable and there are many ways to get out there.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:28   #6
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Thanks for the welcome folks. I seriously doubt that I want to rush out and buy a small sailboat RIGHT NOW (its getting cold to be out on the water!). Besides, if my plan works out, I can finish building my sailing dinghy before it warms up again (there's a long story in that, but has little to do with the actual sailing).

If the point of the dinghy was just to have something to punt around in practicing the sailing skills, I'd agree, it would be better to buy a used boat. However, my intent (near term) is the medium sized day sailor, and I really look forward to building that, and I need the construction practice more than I need the sailing practice.

I would LOVE to jump right up to the big boat (I'm thinking of something in the 45' range), but I'm currently 100 miles from the closest ocean, and there's no way that I could afford to buy/build a boat that large, and at the same time moor it. I figure its another 10 years before I can justify moving out there (it's a work thing), so I'll settle for a boat I can throw on a trailer in the mean time (Lot of good lakes around here... closest is about 15 miles).
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:46   #7
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May I step in and make a suggestion...
Look at the Wharram range of Coastal Trek Tiki's... they range from 14 to 26ft.
The smaller are car topable and light enough for one person to handle... the 21 is light enough for two people to de-trailer... and set up is about an hour.... once your familiar with it.
The build technique is 'stitch and glue' and fairly hard to screw up.
They sail well and are remarkably stable... its also the only type of cat I've sailed where backing the jib on a tack is not essential....

This is the 17ft verion
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:56   #8
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One thing to think about: the folks selling their boats are going to be much more willing to cut a deal in autumn, when they're just about to have to put the boat up for the winter, than in the spring when everyone's gearing up for the season.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:14   #9
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May I step in and make a suggestion...
The build technique is 'stitch and glue' and fairly hard to screw up.


I considered doing my first build in Stitch and Glue, but decided against it. The entire point of the first build was to gain practical experience working with plywood and fiberglass.

The Coastal Trek line does look like it could be a fun build, but I'm not thinking in terms of a Cat. I did some studying on Tri's back in the SeaRunner days (my dad almost build a 25' SeaRunner, but he wanted to make some modifications that Jim Brown didn't approve, so we ended up building a 16' runabout). More recent thinking has me favoring a monohull... I'm getting old enough that I just don't have the need for speed anymore.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:27   #10
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More recent thinking has me favoring a monohull... I'm getting old enough that I just don't have the need for speed anymore.
Lol... at 62 and 6ft 2".... the extra space/legroom and lack a hard boom to smack me across the head as I shuffle to the other side is my need...
As for speed... they're as fast or slow as you want them to be...
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Old 02-10-2010, 17:12   #11
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the folks selling their boats are going to be much more willing to cut a deal in autumn
That's so... and in fact I glanced at what was available for sale. Unfortunately, the boss says NO money for boats until after the first of the year... and even then I'm probably stuck doing it a little at a time. You don't argue with the boss, or she make you regret it.

That's an advantage of building... Out of pocket is only about $100 at a time for materials, at least right up until time to buy the hardware and sails. I'll get it done, and spend the summer playing.
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Old 02-10-2010, 22:41   #12
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It's always possible to pursue multiple paths -- building, crewing, trailersailing, chartering, etc. Variety is good.
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Old 03-10-2010, 00:04   #13
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I considered doing my first build in Stitch and Glue, but decided against it. The entire point of the first build was to gain practical experience working with plywood and fiberglass.
Am I missing something? My understanding of stitch and glue is that you stitch plywood together, unfold it into the shape you want then glass over it.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:33   #14
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Am I missing something? My understanding of stitch and glue is that you stitch plywood together, unfold it into the shape you want then glass over it.
Thats what it is... cut, stitch, open, insert bulkheads, fillet and glass...
So when I got that response I figured.... yup he Needs experience in woodwork...
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:53   #15
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Stitch & Glue vs. Frame & Skin

The difference, as I understand it, is that in stitch & glue, the chines (and a lot of framing) are dispensed with in favor of fiberglass tape, with builkheads added to the shell. Works fine for some boats, but not so well on others. The practice dinghy I was planning on building was the one put out by Glen-L (Eight Ball an 8&#39; sailing dinghy for plywood construction), which also comes in stitch and glue model (Eight Ball-SG an 8&#39; sailing dinghy for stitch and glue plywood construction) is a case in point.

My point was that I wanted to practice putting plywood over a framework, which the S&G version doesn't do. Not because I couldn't do it either way, but because I intend to build a larger boat that requires the more difficult method.
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