Small sailboats (and don't be unnerved that people call them 'racing dighies' or just dinghies) are a blast and I would guess that more than 50% of those with much bigger boats learned to sail on them. Some of us still own day sailors as well as bigger, more gear intensive sailboats.
First of all, congrats on getting your 'Ugly Duckling' Sea Snark rigged up and working for so little $'s. That is impressive. I would like to see a picture to see how you did it so please post one here or put it in your profile.
Good luck and post a picture of your 'Duckie'.
Ah geez, I'm not sure about showing them in this forum, but I guess I'll share.
This is a link to my Picassa album. It shows the whole saga.
Picasa Web Albums - Bill - Duckling
This is one of my favorite pictures. so far.
I have to admit that a factor in being able to do this so cheaply is I had a lot of the materials already on hand. No wood was purchased, and the sail was made from materials I already had. Hardware and rope ran me about $35, and the life jackets and such were on end-of-summer clearance so they ran me just a bit over $25. Incidentals probably added a few more dollars.
The biggest factor was getting the hull, in reasonable condition, for free.
But I'll tell you what. We can drive to a local reservoir and go from parking lot to sailing in 15 minutes with that Mud Hen. No shrouds, a tabernackle for the mast (I can step in by my self), boom gallows so the mast boom & gaff and sail can drop and be lashed down quickly.
I leave work and we go for a sail and have a picnic supper aboard. The simplicity of the rig gets us out there instead of watching TV baceuse there isn't time to set and tension a sloop.
Now this just pretty much sold me on the gaff rig. Nothing can point worse than my Snark so that's no problem, and I would love to be able to get underway quickly. Being able to get from the house to in the water in less than an hour is a big plus. That's one thing I love about my Duckling, I can be loaded and on my way to the lake in 15 minutes, and have it unloaded, rigged, and ready to launch in about 20. I store it in the garage, hanging from the rafters above where the car is parked, so it's really easy to just lower it down, throw on the cargo straps, and we're on our way.
Thanks for the input guys.