I have almost finished building a 15 foot boat I designed myself (see http://176inches.blogspot.com
), and I would agree with most everything people have said.
- Single-chine stich-and-glue is the easiest to build, and has the advantage of being slightly more stable (the angled profile displaces more water as it heels), but I personaly like a more rounded hull, so I built a glued lapstake boat. Strip building would make a beautiful hull, and so would a narrow lapstrake such as the B&B Lapwing or Francois Vivier's designs (http://www.vivierboats.com
). I opted for wider strakes as a compromise between beauty and ease of building. John Welsford (http://www.jwboatdesigns.co.nz/
) has several wide strake designs (they are of the hard chine type, made with stringers).
- A pivoting centreboard is more versatile and will compensate for changes in wind speed, point of sailing, etc.
- A cat ketch rig is harder to prepare for launch but easier to sail, and sprit booms also have many andvantages (self-vanging, less danger of being hit), so B&B designs are a good starting point.
- The amount of freeboard, side decks, ability to row, ease of sailing and many other things are decisions one has to make, depending on the conditions you expect to subject the boat.
Good luck and keep us informed as you make your decisions.