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Deciding What Boat to Build,
I Chose the CLC Skerry

I have always liked being on the water and had canoed a great deal. I had also been brought up with a small motor boat. Safety in those days pretty much consisted of avoiding busy roads and not hitting your brothers. I was permitted to operate our little 3 hp Johnson motor boat at the age of 10. (As soon as I could get it started mostly).

Deciding to build a boat was a gradual affair. I first figured out that there was a method of building called "stitch and glue". That led to various internet searches on the process. I ended up looking at Merten's d4, the Bateau website, and all kinds of cheap or free plans. Very exciting!

I have a page of links to boat plans both basic and sophisticated.

By then I was certain I wanted to build a boat. I was now deciding WHAT boat to build.

I got hold of a CD of free boat plans and seriously considered "Conga". These were plans that had been published in 50's magazines and whose copyright had expired. I was also still very interested in canoes. I have never clicked much on kayaks. I find them a bit restrictive and uncomfortable after a while. Fun for a short exciting ride but cramped.

I had crewed with a friend on her Wayfarer and considered getting one. Fabulous boats, steady, safe and quite fun to sail but difficult for one person to handle. Sweety, although supportive and tolerant (Remember I built in my living room!) is not much of an athlete and is not likely to ever be very interested in hanging out of a sailboat pulling on a jib sheet. This pointed me to a boat that could be handled by one person and occasionally 2. Although I could probably coax Sweety onto a keelboat, it is not likely that I could easily handle one safely any time soon! [NOTE] I have since then bought my Tanzer 22 keelboat, but Sweety is still not all that interested in sailing.

cardboard models of boats I made before deciding on a Skerry

I made lots of little cardboard models and this helped me get an idea of how plans translate into 3 dimentional shapes. The models helped me figure out that I really don't much like the look of prams. Don't get annoyed, I know they work well, and lots of people love them. I simply couldn't love them! I was quite interested in the sailing canoe idea.

Later after I bought my Tanzer 22 sailboat, I built a little stitch and glue apple pie pram to use as a tender, cute and zippy.

One day I stumbled and fell onto the picture of the Skerry and it was love at first sight. The Skerry was a boat that could be sailed with a simple rig, could easily be rowed, and looked fabulous. THIS was it. I had decided what boat to build. And so it began . . .

Here is a link to a more in depth article on how to decide what kind of boat to build.

email me if you have any questions or if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine