Boat building

So we built the Summer Breeze sailboat, and now we're talking about what's next.

For the 2013 Petaluma Rivertown Revival, Dan is going to build an Opti-like sailboat on-site, using mostly hand-tools.

One of the things we've talked about is a scaled down version of a schooner or tall ship of some sort. The Catalog of Scaled Ship Replicas and Manned Model Ships has a bunch of boats that are interesting, especially the Little Leon and The Federalist, although all of those boats are simply square-rigged which means their upwind capabilities are limited.

We're thinking about a few things:

  • Useful in the Petaluma River. This means both good upwind capability (so we don't have to tack much), and probably an engine of some sort for cruising.
  • We both hate noise: Maybe an electric inboard.
  • Carry a few other people. Maybe 4-6 total. Doesn't have to be uncramped at that load, but we sould be able to take friends on a cruise.
  • Trailerable, and able to fit in the driveway on a trailer.
  • Show-stopper. The boat should get attention.
  • We love ships wheels. Even though it's hard to make that practical vs a tiller.

In the "show stopper", Charlene suggested that a paddle wheeler of some sort would be a cool way to do the electric inboard. There have been steam-sail hybrid boats, like the SS Savannah, but screw propulsion is so much more efficient (and allows the boat to heel) that I'm having trouble seeing this.

Anyway, will collect more notes here, I'm losing my "we should make it look like a 1700s schooner" vibe and thinking we need to make it awesome. So looking to modern designs, solid wing sails, The Maltese Falcon (Also here) automated square rigger, and incorporating aspects of those may be worthwhile. Especially since we'll probably have an electrical system anyway, and it'd be handy to make the boat easier to sail for just the two of us, multiple sails can be a lot to handle.


  • Need to find the American Boat Yacht Council - standards and recommended practices for small craft
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Boatbuilder's Handbook
  • Category: Boat building