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Willy Wold

Thoughts on boat build using West Wight Potter or similar as a standard

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I'm considering building a sailboat with a small cabin. Columbia River, inland lakes, maybe Puget Sound, the lower part of the Salish Sea, if we ever get around to moving up that direction. I used to ply those waters in a tug, so I am familar to the area, though I was the engineer and spent more time down below nursing the antique engine along.

Boat should be User friendly, no real odd handling quirks. Not interested in winning races, but do not want to be a slug either. Trailerable, one person can rig, launch, and sail-away in less than 25 minutes. A place to get out of the weather to rest, etc, camp overnight, short or extended weekend cruises; but not overly cramped.

I've always been rather fond of a West Wight Potter, the 15.

However I have also been rather fond of a New England Catboat design; where the mast is way forward and hinges down, (similar only to appearence to a Stevenson Pocket Cruiser), but definately more refined. Auxillary power by small outboard, one that has battery charging capability, either hanging on a bracket or attached right to the boat or in a well, either offset or centered, with offset rudder? Center or offset retractable keel or leeboards?

Must be at least 15+ foot, however, I have to stay under 18 feet, for build space and future storing on a trailer in garage.

In initial quick search there are a whole lot of plans that would at first fit the equation, but I'd like to be able to pick apart pros and cons of each and narrow them down to a couple without spending the rest of my life deciding. A simple build, not overly complicated. I have built a few boats thruout my life but it has been a while.

Thanks,

WW

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I'd go with the catboat.There are a lot of 18' catboats out there. They tend to have a wider beam compared to others at thier length and that will make the cabin bigger. A single stay and a single sail will shorten your rigging time.

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Cats are cute, but a real bear to handle in a blow or even just gusty conditions, though admittedly do have more internal volume then comparable size craft. I'll take a sloop over a cat any time. In this size range there are thousands to choose from, including a few of my own. Take a look at Devlin's Nancy's China.

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HI,

Funny you should mention Devlin. I currently own a modified Mud Peep, a friend built the boat without the sailing stuff, painted the boat cammo, put a sleeping bag mat in the bottom and used as a lay down duck boat.. I was pondering adding the centerboard and mast, but I at least added a thwart to raise me up a bit to row around local lakes for exercize, and drown a few worms. I put in the back of the pickup and take to the lake, however at the end of the day, the boat is about 10 pounds too heavy to put back in the pickup, so I have his 5X10 plans to build a lighter boat for that; just waiting for a 1/4" sheet of 5x10 ply. I was going to build his Polliwog, but wife wants to come out once in a while also.

I looked at his NC earlier, but was holding off to see what else was out there a foot and a half or so larger and I like the "looks" of a more vertical bow, over a curved type. But how that works in the equation of performance is past my expertese where I'd forgo looks for more practicality. Looking around before committing to the purchase of plans, since I probably have over a $grand in unused boat plans; study plans I find do not give me enough info to make an informed decision.

I notice Sam even has a couple used NC's on consignment at his shop. At the cost and time required to build a boat, and not getting any younger, my wife has been trying to encourage me to just go buy something ready to go and get on the water, but still, just a little bigger would be better. But there is just something of taking a pile of material and breathing life into a boat..

Don't know if it's me but seems like a boat under 16 foot goes up and down each wave instead of cutting thru some of them..

WW

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Just a couple of ideas. 25 mins to launch and rig for a trip is a bit ambitious for a cat boat if it has the rig to be safe for us oldies .As it has a relativity large single sail you need to be able to reef fast .This means lazy jacks to hold up the boom and single line reefing for each reef to keep you in the cockpit and in control.The wide shallow beam of a cat boat allows it to side slip in a big gust but you have to be careful when running to keep the boom aft of the mast at all times or the boat will steer you .Gaff rig gives a short mast and with a tabernacle could be trailed ready rigged

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This means lazy jacks to hold up the boom.............

Lazy jacks are not intended to hold up a boom, they are supposed to catch or corral the sail when lowering it. A topping lift holds the boom up.

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