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jbarros 10-15-2009 11:24 AM

CLC Skerry/Dorry
Hi everyone,

I'm just about to start building a kayak from a clc kit, but while I've been looking around on their site, I've been day dreaming about these little boats. In my head, self draining has always been part of being sea worthy, but these appear to be based on designs that people used in rougher water than I ever will, for ages. I was wondering what your thoughts on them as day sailers in "open" ocean (Southern California channel islands area) are?

I love the classic lines and the lapstrake (ish) construction only adds to their beauty. I also think it's hip that they're small enough to get towed behind my little scion. They're certainly not going to be as fast as more modern boats, but they might very well be the prettiest ladies at the ball.

Right now I'm just armchair sailing, but perhaps in a season or two... I don't know.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

for those not familiar, links below:

Skerry: 15-foot Double-Ender - Fast Rowing and Sailing Dinghy

Light-weight Rowing and Sailing Dory That You Can Build

Thanks :)

-- James

deniseO30 10-15-2009 12:53 PM

James you have found one of the best designers of "stitch and glue, tortured plywood boats and kayaks. My son and I built a couple of the old by now design "cape charles" models. one was 17ft (sold it) and the other is 18ft, which is starting to get in real bad shape now since I don't use it anymore. it's too big for me.
you won't have any real difficulty in building CLC boats. Kits are great. We built from the plans only back when we built ours.
good luck!

jbarros 10-15-2009 01:30 PM

Yeah, the more I learn about Harris, the more I like everything he's done. My first kit is going to be a Schade design (S&G Night Heron Kayak) but I think my next will be a Harris designed boat. I love the lines his boats have. I'm just not sure how much I trust open boats in open ocean.

-- James

JohnRPollard 10-16-2009 05:18 PM


Sorry, I missed this the other day.

I like that Skerry a lot. Good looking boat, nice sailplan, relatively easy to build (by accounts). Fun to sail, easily trailered/launched (even car-topped).

But I'm note sure I'd recommend the standard version for open ocean sailing such as you contemplate. While it is fairly stable, it is intended more as a coastal/bay/lake/river boat. There are some potential issues with capsize recovery that should be addressed, too (the top of the standard daggerboard trunk is low enough that it can make bailing out the swamped Skerry nearly impossible -- but there are remedies).

You might want to read David Bixby's account of a swamping he had in his Skerry, Bonnie Dune. David is an experienced Skerry sailor and has spent a fair bit of time (before and since the incident) addressing capsize recovery issues: The Wreck of the Bonnie Dune

You may also wish to visit Steven Roberts' great Skerry forum at . Loads of experienced Skerry builders and sailors there.

All things considered, I think I would be more confident in our Passagemaker Dinghy in open waters. It is actually a "larger" boat than the Skerry (payload-wise), and is tremendously stable.

jbarros 10-20-2009 03:16 PM

Wow, what a story. I really like the aesthetic of the Dories and Skerries, but the more I think of it, the more I realize you're right. It's a great boat for its intended purposes, but perhaps not the boat for trips where in less time than it takes to get in, conditions can become very nasty.

Thank you :)

-- James

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