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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-2005 08:37 AM
Marine Grade Plywood?

Well, for whatever it''s worth, I think I have selected a first design. The one I intend to build this summer is the "Breeze Baby" from the svenson''s site.

It''s likely a crappy little boat... in fact, it''s little more than a rowboat with a sail. However, it appears to be very simple, has more seating and offers a dryer ride than my sailfish and even if it doesn''t last 10 years, it might be a good way to "get my feet wet" so to speak... without it being a large project.

I figure that if I start out with a small, simple project like this one, then over the winter and next spring, perhaps I''ll have a better notion of what I''m looking at with a bigger project.
07-08-2005 03:02 PM
Marine Grade Plywood?

"Has sailing tech changed so much in the last 60 years or were these just crappy boats to begin with?"

At some level the answer is ''yes'' to both of these. Hull forms and rigs and evolved dramatically in ways that improve seaworthiness, ease of handling, motion comfort, and performance. BUT beyond that, these were really poor designs for their day.

The better D.I.Y. designs of that era came from magazines like ''Rudder'' and ''Field and Stream''. These magazines published designs ranging in quality from amazingly good to pretty bizarre. Many of the designs in these magazines came from the boards of designers of the caliber of Atkins, Crocker, John Hanna, Winslow Warner, Fredrick Geiger, Clinton Crane, Starling Burgess, and L.F.Herreshoff.

But most of the designs on the Svensen site are ''public domain'' designs that were prepared by unknown designers. The price of drawings are cheap compared to the hard costs of building a boat. It really makes sense to pick a good design even if you have to pay for it.

That said there are a bunch of good designs out there for free or nearly free it is just a matter of sorting them out.

07-08-2005 12:46 PM
Marine Grade Plywood?

Has sailing tech changed so much in the last 60 years or were these just crappy boats to begin with?

Personally, I always thought the Gypsy design was kinda cute if slow... but I''ve been extensively lectured on the evils of full-keel boats.
07-08-2005 12:26 PM
Marine Grade Plywood?

I would say that all three of these designs are very dated and would take a lot of effort to build only to produce very mediocre boats. Of the pocket cruisers on the Svensen site, the one that looks most like a decent boat that would be reasonably easy to build is the 22 foot sharpie called the Southwind (labled ''south'' in their link). This is a pretty traditional sharpie design.

07-08-2005 10:50 AM
Marine Grade Plywood?

On the svensons page, would anyone care to express opinions on the Blue Moon, Gypsy, and Star-lite designs... with a thought to possibly using the Blue Moon as a starter boat since it''s smaller and I''m guessing easier to handle for a single person.

07-07-2005 01:08 PM
Marine Grade Plywood?

OK, yeah, it''s the svensons site that I''ve been to before.

I had copied out both the starlight and the moonlight plans. Neat site!
07-07-2005 11:31 AM
Marine Grade Plywood?


Thanks for the leads on boat designs. I shall have to look through them as time permits and when I select one, I''ll likely ask for opinions on it.

If the boat I choose is small enough and the marine ply available at a price I can manage, I certainly intend to have the good sense to use it! ;-)

Thanks greatly for the help... and I''ll let you know when a design is selected so I can get some feedback on my choice.

07-07-2005 10:58 AM
Marine Grade Plywood?

Hi Scott,

Late lunch today......There are a variety of boat designs in the ''public domain''. Most of these are older designs from the 1940''s through 1960''s that were published in now defunct magazines. Some of these were reasonably good designs, but many were not very good designs even by the standard of their day and are very poor designs when viewed by today''s standards.

I think that you may be referring to Svensens free boat plans.

I find most of the boats on that site not all that great a design. One design that does appeal to me is the 22 foot sharpie, ''Southwind'', although I suspect it would not be the most idiot proof boat to sail.

Here is another site with a bunch of older plans. I thought that ''Coot'' was a pretty neat little boat.

In a similar veign, you might see if you can find a public domain set of drawings for Commodore Ralph Munroe''s ''Lifeboat Sharpie Egret''. This has always seemed to be a neat design. WoodenBoat magazine sells a nice set of proprietary drawinsg for the Egret.

In a more modern veign I thought that this was a very nice 26 footer for which very detailed free plans were available.

BTW I happened onto the Boat Builder Central site:

They have 1/4" marine grade Meranti for $27 per sheet. In other words that would add roughly $120 to the project over non-marine ext fir plywood. I really do not see how you can decide not to use marine ply when you consider the over cost and time involved in your project.

07-07-2005 07:59 AM
Marine Grade Plywood?


Actually, at this point, I''m considering going with some advice I was given awhile back and purchasing the plans for a small boat something like the 18 footer currently on Tony''s webpage.

Having the actual layout and dimensions would likely be so much easier for me than having to do some educated guessing. The results would likely be sooo much better.

Though, if I recall correctly, there are some free wooden boat plans out there... some of which I took the time to copy.

By spring, I should have things all prepared and worked out! Now I just need to track down a trailer to get my sailfish to water and I''m all set ;-)

07-07-2005 06:58 AM
Marine Grade Plywood?

Hi Scott,

Tony is an old friend of mine. We met probably 15 years ago at a small boat festival. He is really blessed with that rare combination of an artist''s eye and the ability to deal with the complex technology involved in designing and building boats. (Tony is that rare designer who has both designed and built boats with his own hands and so understands the impact of a design decision on the poor bloke that has to actually build what was drawn.)

Tony and I have enjoyed many a happy hour in lively discussion. Our ideas about yacht design come from very different directions. Sometimes our ideas are very close and at other times they represent the opposite ends of the spectrum. I was honored to be included in Tony''s book, ''Designer and Client'', as one of the clients. The chapter for better or worse reflects some of our differences in design philosophy. For many years Tony would send me his ''works in progress'' so that we could kick around ideas but we have not been doing that for some time now.

He has a number of stock plans that might suit your objects and certainly would be an excellent source to turn to for a quality design.


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