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Thread: Building small 2 man sailboat-what should I need to know?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Bedford, PA

    Building small 2 man sailboat-what should I need to know?

    I've gotten it into my head to build a small sailboat. I've been working at woodworking for a while now and I think it would be fun to build my own sailboat. What should I know and what tools should I own?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    On the river in Ohio
    I'd start by watching some online videos. Then I would check out some of the web sites that offer plans. Next I would look at some kits. Then it is decision time for style, size and materials. The videos should tell you the needed tools and you can buy or borrow them as needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Clayton , North Carolina
    and ask the same question on the forum at

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Albuquerque NM
    If I were to build a sailboat, it would be a Tremolino. They are really fast and stable and the pontoons and all the sails and rigging come off a Hobby.
    Last edited by Dennis Nagle; 02-22-2019 at 8:00 PM.
    Do or do not, there is no try.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    US Virgin Islands
    Blog Entries
    For a beginner, Chesapeake Light Craft has a number of really nice designs with kits available that save a lot of lofting. This would allow you to build a very nice boat with basic tools. Get a good book on stitch and glue boatbuilding. "Building Instant Boats" by Dynamite Payson is a respected one. "Devlin's Boatbuilding" by Sam Devlin is another good one. There are a number of others.

  6. #6
    For a first time boat build, a small boat that could later be towed behind a larger boat as a tender would be a good investment in learning the techniques of boat building. Malcolm's suggestions are good ones.

    Even for the shallow draft Tremolino a tender is a good thing, because dock space is often unavailable or outrageously expensive, there's no beach to land on, and getting ashore from an anchorage or mooring field is a necessary requirement. You don't want to strand yourselves on board for lack of a tender.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Jim Waldron

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Fairbanks AK
    Minimum, for something you can trailer with a regular car and park in your driveway, plan on it costing double your original estimate, taking about 5 times as long as you thought to launch, and it will be about 20 times more fun than you estimated to build.

  8. #8
    I know you can get plans that come with patterns for the parts of the boat or kits that eliminate the need for lofting the boat, but if you do a full lofting of the plans you will learn so much about the boat and it will give you extensive insight into the boat and the building process. Also by lofting the boat, you can sketch in and make patterns for almost every part or piece that goes into the boat.

  9. #9
    Hi Eric, I agree watch YouTube videos, look at plans and kits those mentioned above are good as is they have a good forum along with wooden boat. I thought I wanted to build a blow boat at first but you either build them with a heavy keel or dagger board which means they sit high on the trailer, you have to get the trailer lower in the water to float the boat off because of the deep keel and that limits launch ramps you can use especially in tidal areas so check out where you will launch too. Some designs have removable dagger boards talk or chat on the forums and see how well they work. From the physics it just makes sense for a blow boat with a force up on the mast a deep heavy lead keel under water would keep you upright best. I built vessel Homer in 1999 before I built Pegasus, Homer is a Ken Swan Little Gem design some put a small sail on, I used it with oars, electric trolling motor and 5hp 4 stroke gas. Here is are videos of vessel Homer in action Have fun. Leland

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