first build reccommendations (featherwind)

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by J.D.Hogg, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. J.D.Hogg
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 49
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Richmond, Virginia

    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    I am looking for plans for an inexpensive and simple to build sailboat that is car toppable for a maximum of 4 adults.

    I am looking at Bolger's featherwind and Storer's goat island skiff. Both of these seem to fit well enough but I wonder if there are any of similar construction but more blue-water capable and without the flat bottom. I really like a lot of the traditional work-boat forms but all seem to have materials lists outside of my budget (< $800)

    All opinions are welcome
     
  2. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    If I had to choose, I'd go with the GIS every time. The design is a lot more modern, and it appears to be better balanced and proportioned. The Featherwind just seemed to have too much rocker and width. The rig on the GIS is far more refined and I would expect much higher performance from the GIS than the Featherwind.

    Certainly the Featherwind looks a little easier to build, and there is a lot more cockpit room with the leeboard, but that is at the penalty of performance and pointing ability.

    Storer is also actively supporting his builders, a sad problem with the passing of Phil Bolger for the Featherwind.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  3. J.D.Hogg
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 49
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Richmond, Virginia

    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    still looking and have been drawn to Welsford's houdini as well as many of his other designs. Can anyone tell me if it is anywhere near my budget?
     
  4. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    The Houdini looks a bit more complicated to build, and more complexity generally equals more time and more cost.

    The Houdini is not from appearances a racy performer. It would not be able to keep up with the GIS, and I'd hazard a guess even the Featherwind would be faster.

    It doesn't appear performance is all that high on your unstated priorities - you are gravitating towards more traditional "alternative" designs which seem to maintain a more traditional look with concessions to homebuilding. That's great, although it really behooves you to look at actual usage when going through the process.

    Weekend and evening sailing, especially with a crew composed of family are a challenge. Everybody wants to be comfortable and involved, but capsizes and hard work aren't appreciated. Neither is sitting still 30 yards from the launch ramp where it took a half hour to rig and get everybody aboard.

    Crew tolerance for poor performance is a real issue with trailer sailing - when you keep your boat at a club and you can sail at the drop of a hat without lots of work things are different. Generally, club sailors wait for favorable conditions and can get on the water fast - but trailer sailors have their time slots in which they go, conditions favorable or not.

    If I was building a boat for family outings sailed from the driveway, I'd opt for a boat where the "fun" level was higher and one that could be sailed in drifters and using a motor. I've been there with wife and child sitting dead calm 30 yards off the ramp with wife sarcastically saying, "Boy, this is fun" and bored child agreeing - at that point I was the only one seeing the romance of boat building. I would have given anything at that point to have a functioning outboard or trolling motor to save the day.

    I'd make sure I wasn't trying to make a boat that fit too many agendas - fun, flexible and nimble isn't a great fit with weekend camping. Remember, the "look" of the boat you admire so much isn't seen from the cockpit. Don't let the romance of the appearance be a major factor in deciding what to build.

    A successful boat is one that gets used a lot, and one that is the source of fun memories for the crew. I'd take a hard look at Jim Michalak's designs as well. Cheap, fun boats that get used are a lot better investment that beautiful, traditional designs that get admired in the driveway.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  5. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,631
    Likes: 310, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ---------------
    I like the Houdini-compared to the GIS and Featherwind it has better crew seating, more freeboard(you'll like that when it gets rough) and nice stowage compartment. The GIS seems like a more performance oriented boat that I don't think is ideal for a first build. The Houdini might be slightly more complex but you get more boat and a more forgiving design as well.
    But of all the boats in this range I like Paul Riccelli's RYD 14-it comes performance with comfort better than the others and looks to me like a fun build. Not only that but Paul is a respected and knowledgeable member of the boatdesign.net community and would give you a lot of help and guidance.


    click on image for better detail(left Houdini, right RYD 14):
     

    Attached Files:

  6. J.D.Hogg
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 49
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Richmond, Virginia

    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    Thanks for the input guys. As with all posts like these I could have been more specific.

    I think solo camping in the Chesapeake is the most likely use, sometimes being a day or two from the trailer. I have my doubts about the GIS's abilities in rough seas due to the steep bow, flat bottom and lack of deck. I have no interest in racing (yet). So, priorities: Safety, dryness, room, cost, weight, looks.
     
  7. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Given your now more clear usage, I think you are looking for something like the Chesapeake Light Craft's Pocketship if trying to fit the target perfectly - taking your $800 ceiling off the table. It was designed specifically to meet the task of camp cruising the Chesapeake area. I'd also consider B&B's Core Sound series.

    I think the little 12-14' boats under consideration are too small, too slow and unsafe for the intended venue. You can't judge a book by it's cover, and trying to evaluate seaworthiness from appearance is equally problematic. Sharpie type boats (like the GIS) can be very capable of sailing in rough conditions - they tend to pound if sailed flat, so the technique is to let them heel a little and use the chine as a V-bottom. Dreadnought bows are not a problem as they actually put more volume up front than a angled or clipper bow. They also keep the waterline length up - and more than anything else waterline length matters when sailing at displacement speeds. Short equals slow and longer equals faster all things being equal.

    I think your budget is a little unrealistic to meet your intended use, unless you are very sensible about conditions and pick a faster design that can get you off the water quickly in the event the conditions deteriorate. I can't think of a 13' boat, decked or not I'd want to be in crossing a 5-10 mile gap in the Chesapeake (with wife aboard) knowing how fast the weather can go south. Speed is your friend as there is a lot more exposure and time required to cross 5 miles at 2-3 knots versus the same crossing at 8 knots. In one boat you are 45 minutes to an hour from safety at the middle point - in the other you are only 15 minutes from the beach. That's huge when you've got kids in the boat.

    Given the extremely low budget and the venue I'd seriously consider Jim Michalak's designs (he's a Bolger protege and more current) or Bolger's larger designs. B&B's boats although quite suitable for the venue and usage are a little too expensive. Woodenboat had a good article on the Texas 200 and the boats used a couple months ago - one of Michalak's Laguna designs was featured and it hits your budget and usage target pretty well.

    Take a hard look at the designs used in the Everglades Challenge and the Texas 200 - these RAID-like sailing rallies are describing boats perfect for your intended usage and venue. Fast, light, camp-able and cheap. Real crew safety is found on the beach, and getting there fast is important.

    Placing "looks" at the end of your priorities was a good thing. Safety and ability to do the job is the real criteria by which we should say something is good looking. The Northern Pikes (80's Canadian rockers from the Prairies) had a song called "She ain't pretty, she just looks that way" - that describes my feelings about boats that look salty at the dock, but put your life at risk on the water.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  8. Magnus44

    Magnus44 Previous Member

    The seaworthy character designs by John Welsford would make for a fine addition to anyone's boating experience. They are more difficult to build than a simpler stitch and glue design. A close friend has built the Pathfinder and I found it to be more involved than the other boats mentioned here.

    Car toppable needs require an easily hoisted boat. This would point you in the direction of a simpler boat that is lighter in construction. It is very easy to exceed 100 pounds for materials when talking about a boat that can carry 4 people under sail. As a first build project, perhaps you may need to drop a few of the requirements, such as the 4 person load, in order to expand the possible list.

    I would not look to build a complex, larger boat the first time.
     
  9. J.D.Hogg
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 49
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Richmond, Virginia

    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    car toppable is nice but not necessary.
     
  10. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,631
    Likes: 310, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I think Sabor isn't the best fit for J. D's needs, but Murphy would be

    [​IMG]

    (more here) http://www.woodenboat.com/boatplansandkits/Murphy---RYD-162-487.html

    Murphy is available as a gaff cat or Bermudian sprit boom sloop as shown. She can be reefed conventionally or sailed as a cat with the forward mast location option. This is a wholesome boat, designed for use in deep, unprotected water. She's not going to have any quirky movements or handling habits. She's drier then most in her class, has built in flotation chambers, lots of storage, rotating mast (sloop) seating for many and good preformance potential. Plans include a built in outboard well option, if you need additional propulsion. Construction is taped seam, so the hull is light, water tight and easy to build.
     
  12. J.D.Hogg
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 49
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Richmond, Virginia

    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    These are good recommendations but.....

    Having done more thorough examination of the cost of building I realize that most if not all the boats I like are way outside my budget.

    Anyone willing to venture a ballpark price to put a GIS in the water in U.S. dollars?
     
  13. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Depends on materials chosen and ability to accept the compromises made.

    Lumber store materials (ply, stringers, wood for birdsmouth mast etc.) should cost around $400. Epoxy, glass, shop supplies and tape around $150-200. Polytarp sail - 25. Time? A fair bit.

    Proper Okume waterproof marine ply? $600. Sail? $400. Plus lots for a high end effort. Etc. etc.

    Basically, you get to choose the quality and the price. Hunting for bargains makes a huge difference.

    Purists will say that the big investment is time, and caution using the best marine plywood and materials you can get. The logic is that if you are investing your sweat into the project, you might as well end up with a quality product. Cheapies amongst the ranks will say my low $600 estimate is way too high.

    My low estimate is based on building something with as good quality as possible with low end materials. Wetting out the plywood with epoxy on both sides. Using good quality fairing compound and doing a good job. Using decent paint.

    Also depends on where you are and how much competition there is on materials. I've had my eye on a bunch of top quality Okume plywood sitting on the rack at my local lumber store for more than a year - I'm willing to bet I can buy the stack for a fraction of what it is worth because money standing still is worthless to retailers.

    My opinion only, but I'm willing to bet you could build an eight to ten year GIS for $600 - $800 bucks. It would need maintenance and repainting every two to three years. I built a nice boat for my 12 year old last year using this logic.

    The boat I built three years ago was top quality everything and it cost around $4000 all told - but I hunted for bargains everywhere and used parts I had around as well (Carbon tubes, carbon twill, Cedar etc.).

    Reading the Laguna low-cost (read as disposable) boat built on site for the Texas 200 gives and idea about the extreme low end of the scale - and the boat built was one of the fastest in the event. Upping the effort and time on that build would have created a two to five year boat at little more cost. (Switching construction adhesive for epoxy etc.)

    --
    CutOnce
     
  14. GTO
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 143
    Likes: 9, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 101
    Location: Alabama

    GTO Senior Member

    I built a Payson/Bolger 16' Windsprint in 2006 and it is still going strong.

    Construction materials were pine 2x4s, spruce 1x4s, 1/4" and 1/2" AC exterior ply, PL premium glue, a couple dozen deck screws, 7 oz glass and polyester resin on the outside, oil based primer and farm implement paint.

    Except for chips of paint off the bow area from ramming the dock, scrapes from being blown onto the ramp during T-storms (glad to be on land), oar scrapes, and some paint cracks on the bottom from hull flex (due to breaking my mast driving under a heavy cable at the launch area) - it's still looking pretty good.

    If stored out of the water and protected from sun and rain, I believe the cheaper builds can last quite a while.
     

    Attached Files:


  15. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    She looks great. Dynamite Payson has done a great job of making Bolger building a little more accessible to us humans. I really like exploring this low cost home build space as I think it is the key to the future of the sport.

    Given the general state of the economy, $45 to 50 thousand dollar carbon / Kevlar racing dinghies like the Beiker 6 and Killing 3 I-14s are just not feasible for people like me. Most people forget that the Mirror dinghy opened the floodgates to getting the proletariat on the water in England - and it was a cheap homebuild in response to a contest in the Daily Mirror newspaper.

    My personal interest is in getting as much modern performance design as possible for a low cost homebuild. Nothing excites me more than the thought of embarrassing owners of $10,000 dinghies with a $1,000 homebuild.

    --
    CutOnce
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.