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I've had second thoughts on modifying a Lightning. Somehow, I think drastically modifying a hull beyond the designers intent could be wrong (from a conscience point of view). Sparkman & Stevens deserve better than to have one of their most proven designs chopped up. Why the change of heart? I spoke to my father this AM. He sailed Lightning number 19 :!: in the 1940s (they're at 15000 or so now). He had very fond memories, and a very strong endorsement of the Lightning. I didn't dare divulge that I may change one. Anyway... the increased complexity underway, and setting up those shrouds during a trailer launch is really a draw back to the Lightning. An already built CS20 would be nice... but economically, a non-competitive Lightning fits the pocket book. Building a CS20 is feasible as I could slip it under the financial radar in increments... but building won't be an option until 2005 at the earliest.
...partially off topic... But, I "plan" to build a Belhaven or Core... and you all seem to be Cat Ketch afficionados, so this seems to be somewhat applicable. Due to constraints (workspace and pending cross country move) it will be a few years before I can build a boat from raw lumber to launchable vessel . Problemo: Immediate sailing needs... I really like Cat Ketch rigging, but cannot find it in affordable boats in the 18-20ft range. I have discovered a Lightning Class "project" hull. With some hull work and rigging it seems salvagable. Do you think a Lightning would be amenable to conversion to cat ketch rig? These are the best links I could find... http://www.lightningclass.org/ http://www.sailmag.com/features/OlinAndLightnings/ (I never realized what a cult there was behind Lightnings)