Racing shows that what you know is what you know. It doesn’t matter if the boat is less than perfect. So where is it best to put in the effort to improve results. Boat setup, knowing how to adjust for different wind conditions, practicing skills until they become automatic, sailing as much as possible … and teaching others.
Achieve best Cost/Performance with Traditional Sailing Rigs – Balance, standing lugs and sprit rig sails
A guide for choosing cheaper alternative rigs. Balance Lug, Standing Lug, Sprit, Lateen and more. These rigs typically save a lot of money over conventional sailplans and set up right offer much the same performance. They respond to the same principles. Are boomless sails OK?
Wearing lifejackets and how to get kids to wear them too! Personal Flotation Devices – PFD1, PFD2, PFD3
Three times in my life I have gone sailing in small boats without a lifejacket. Two times the boat sank. One time I capsized and found that swimming and trying to get back on the boat is very difficult in FRESH water. Also a hint about how to get kids to wear their lifejackets … wear YOURS!
[Translate] Many people want to learn how to sail or have done a course in sailing and want to get their own boat. The two best options are below – this page concentrates on the second one! 1/ You can build one of my boats (I know … you were expecting me to say that!). […]
How sailing and paddling canoe shapes differ. How traditional canoe designs work really well and a lot of modern ones don’t. Building a canoe – is ply or cedar strip better? How to build a lightweight canoe – selection of materials – ply vs strip plank and timber species Books for canoebuilding.
FAQ – Building a strip canoe or kayak that can handle some impact in the surf or with rocks. Cedar Paulownia
IMPACT! How hard is your boat going to hit something. For most of us it won’t be very hard at all. So it is better to save weight. For expeditioners they may require a lot more from their boats. What are the strategies one can think about?
Dories are a part of the great American Maritime Tradition. From the book and film of Captain’s Courageous to all the folklore about fishermen surviving awful conditions at sea in a Dory. But Do they really stack up to their press? It seems that every few weeks I see a new design for a rowing dory or a sailing dory.
[Translate] Birdsmouth masts are a really neat method of making a hollow round or elliptical mast. The mast is made of staves which have a 90 degree notch cut out of the stave’s side with a router or using a table saw. For a round mast, identical staves are made up then held together with […]
If you understand the plans business as a consumer then you can make best use of the system. A good plans agent will have experience with the types of boat and a large background in helping to solve problems. They may also be able to either supply materials or head you to the best places to get them.
Building boats from older plans often adds a lot of labour and materials cost. Some old plans are great. But many are utter rubbish. Having a living designer or other people building the same boat is really useful for most builders.
[Translate] I was writing about this around 2004 when Paulownia first started becoming available from Plantations in Australia. Well before the current boom in its use for framing and hulls of dinghies, yachts and other boats. Paulownia is a very lightweight timber from China that has started to become available in quantity in Australia and […]
Never join boat decks the way you join up panels in a house. Cracks and big failures will result.
Torture boards are used for the highest grade of smoothing for visual smoothness of the whole structure. Fairing a strip planked hull. Fairing a join between adjacent plywood sheets in a hull or deck. Fairing a composite structure Fairing deck substructure. Deckframes and deck stringers ready to take plywood.
FAQ – Discussion about what materials to select for a strip planked boat in Australia – cedar, paulownia, jarrah, Hoop pine, Poplar
Ultralight strip planked boats using Paulownia, Balsa and Western Red Cedar. Superlight Eureka Canoe and Goat Island Skiff and the amazing 12lb balsa canoe
[Translate] Where restoring a traditionally built boat it is important to replace parts of the structure of a similar size to those that are being replaced or missing. Those sizes are termed “scantlings” The dominant source of this type of information for traditionally built workboats in Australia is the USL Code. It would probably be […]
Never use silicon sealant on boats. Keep it for around the home. It will mess up repairs, it will mess up painting and nine times out of ten it won’t even stop the leak. There are better alternatives.
An older wooden or plywood boat you want to repair. And oil or diesel fuel have soaked into some of the areas you want to work on. There are no easy solutions. But this one might work.
Fixing up old and antique plywood racing sailing dinghies – International Cadet, Sabre, Sharpie, Cherub, Heron, Snipe, Lightning, Windmill, Fireball, TS16
OK … I decided to keep the old racing dinghy and fix it up. How do I put my effort in the right places to get the maximum results? A grab bag of methods for joining plywood, working out sizes, making centreboards and rudders and more.