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Old 20-03-2016, 16:58   #16
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

Sounds familiar. I am looking for a sailboat between 22ish and 26 feet, with a very small budget. Many of the boats I see are from the 60s and 70s. Most of them have developed one big problem like needing all new sails, a blown inboard, deck needs recording, etc., and that problem costs more than the boat is worth to solve. So no one does it, and boat gets even more neglected, until it is really not worth redoing.

No other inexpensive small boats behind them in the pipeline, so their survival depends on angels who don't care about resale value.

Building is a very cool way to address the problem. I wish you all the luck and can't wait to see your finished boat!
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Old 21-03-2016, 00:05   #17
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

John and Susan and Titty and Roger and Peggy and Nancy... all those intrepid explorers and lake sailors would applaud you, do I!

Our dingy camping/cruising days are over, but I remember them with joy. I hope that your project is not only successful, but fills you with satisfaction as you see the lines of your new craft emerge from a pile of ply.

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II, lying Port Cygnet once again.
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Old 21-03-2016, 03:30   #18
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

Nice write up of your problem. BTW, I see you are just across the river. I am in Louisville. I have never had the pleasure of sailing a small cat boat. I may have to give it a go. If you need a hand sometime just ask.
__________________ Boats don't like being neglected, but then neither do significant others!
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Old 21-03-2016, 03:47   #19
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

The exploits of Frank Dye will interest you. His book "Ocean Crossing Wayfarer" comes up on Amazon occasionally.

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Old 21-03-2016, 06:55   #20
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

Poorly documented.

WaterTribe | Expedition-Style Adventure Racing In Small Boats

Probably a nice place to pick up some ideas that work and tell them from the ones that sink ;-)

Small boats are cream.

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Old 21-03-2016, 07:10   #21
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This place is somewhere you may find some good stuff.. its a serious pastime for many in the UK..
Dinghy Cruising Association : GroupSpaces

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Old 21-03-2016, 08:41   #22
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

I built a 12 ft sailing/rowing/motoring boat in my living room. It has been quite the learning experience for me. I thought there were two kinds of glue, epoxy and the kind you could eat. Now I know better. It took me three months from start to finish and almost as long to get the registration paperwork from the state. After I added up all the costs of materials I could have had my choice of any of a dozen trailer sailors up to 26 footers. I'll play with this toy for a few more years and then I'll get something bigger. "dywutu" on youtube if you want to see step by step construction.
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Old 21-03-2016, 08:49   #23
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

I designed and built my own 12' plywood dinghy using, mostly, a book of plans by John Gardner and a book by Howard Chapelle. Her name is " Mint Berry Crunch" and she is the nesting tender for our Cape George 36 " Mana". She performs far beyond my, or anyone elses, expectations, and fits in a little spot on the cabin before the mast. We went with a large dinghy to be able to comfortably spend whole days aboard and have room for our stuff and our dogs. Even though we live and cruise aboard a larger fiberglass boat the only magazines I try to get, and usually keep, are Small Craft Advisory, all small craft cruising, and Wooden Boat. I framed it up and sheathed it in plywood in my friend's garden and took it to the marina we were in where I glassed the bottom and seams and painted her. Since leaving to cruise, at various docks and on beaches I have added storage and built in flotation, and Lexan bottom windows and a sailing rig based on a 12' sculling oar/mast. I have designed an awning now, but haven't had time to build it. Because I designed and built it I feel freer to experiment and add on. When finished my friends say she will be the Swiss Army knife of dinghies.
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Old 21-03-2016, 09:03   #24
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

A good source of information is a magazine called Small Craft Advisor. They have lots of information on small boats and articles on camp cruising. Check out their website.
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Old 21-03-2016, 09:20   #25
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

Neat info in the comments! I know about the DCA, but some some reason have never joined. Perhaps I should. their website has some really good info!

As to cost: I've got just under $550 in ply wood--It would have been about $350-$375, except the only kind of marine grade ply available locally is 1/2" and 1" fir--too heavy and not the best for hulls. (We have a local commercial yard here--builds barges and towboats, and built PBs, DEs and some auxiliaries in WWII--steel construction!) I've also got about $300 in adhesives, glass tape, etc.

dimensional lumber on an "as needed" basis, with fir and spruce being easily available in good grades locally.

I had haunted the 'net looking for small sailboats that I could use and afford, and it just wasn't working. I couldn't see myself driving a couple of day to look at one! And, the local boats were either "out of price" or in horrible condition, almost all of them needed new sails, running and standing rigging.

Of the ones that were in price and condition, the designs weren't what I was comfortable with. (I've seen a photo of a Laser with a modified backpacking tent on thanks...)

If I lived on one of the coasts, or around the great lakes (outside of Indiana) it would be much easier--both in finding a boat, and materials.

Well, I'm a Hoosier, and for better or worse, here I am!

BTW--I read Small Craft Advisor!
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Old 21-03-2016, 09:32   #26
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

Get Hereshoff's, Sensible Cruising Designs. Leeboards for sleeping room. Some of the yacht plans also include plans for the dinghy which will fit the proposed yacht. And just a wonderful Thoreau-ish read.
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Old 21-03-2016, 09:50   #27
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

John Welsford's "Houdini." I dream...
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Old 21-03-2016, 10:14   #28
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
When I was young I always wanted a Sanfransico Pelican, It seems that it might fit the bill. I thoink that was the name. Swallows and Amazons, great bOks
Is the S.F. Pelican the same design as the 16' Great Pelican? That was the first and funnest boat I ever sailed.
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Old 21-03-2016, 14:33   #29
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

Glad to see toward the end of the thread that someone mentioned the Sea Pearls. They come in both mono and trimaran configurations, and at about 900 #, can be horsed onto or off the beach pretty readily. Hull is essentially an old Herreshof design, and they can float in about 10" of water. I see them periodically advertised at between 5 & 15 K, depending on age, condition, and mono - tri configuration.
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Old 21-03-2016, 17:29   #30
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Re: The Sorry State of (Very) Small Craft

Have a look at B & B Yacth Designs

B&B Yacht Designs |

They are in South Carolina (I think). I made their 8' Tender but they have a good range of sailboats.
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