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Traditional Polytarp Sail

OK, so blogging the build didn't work so well, but I have built the boat, and it does float.

Anyway, much talk on this and other forums about polytarp vs. traditional sails.

So here I have a few photos of the finished sail, at some point I will dig out the photos of building it too, if anyone is interested.

I built my sail using polytarp, double sided tape, and gaffer tape - no sewing. I built it by cutting the polytarp into bolts the way other sail materials are usually supplied, and then broadseeming it in the traditional manner.

The First Cut Is The Deepest

OK, so the titles are getting cheesey, got to keep it interesting though.

Below is the (highly accurate) panel layout for the first step in building my Summer Breeze. The only real difference between this and the original is the butt straps. Because my metric ply sheets are 40mm shorter than proper ones I didn't want to loose length in the boat, so where David cuts two 3 inch butt straps off the end of the panel, I cut none and gained over 4 inches in the length of the sides.

I also got the skeg and two triangles (marked here as butt blocks) for the frame out of this panel.

Step 1 of my build then was to mark up and cut out this panel, ready for glueing. There is also some complex maths on my original build log for determining the length of the chine logs and rubrails as these would be longer than the original.

I had originally planned to do stitch and glue, but wasnt confident about getting a good fillet and was wary of the sheer amount of epoxy it might consume. I didn't want external chine logs as this would make the interior space (and thus displacement) of the hull less, so I opted for internal chine logs.

Everything Changes

What to Change?

Well, personal choice, I wanted a centreboard instead of the leeboard. Beeing a total newb the centreboard seem more 'boaty' if there is such a word. Switching to a centreboard meant it no longer had to be at the widest beam of the boat, and I needed to push it forward to allow room for the crew, this in turn pushed the mast forward, which was OK, I had been looking at catboats and loved the look, plans for a gaf rig were fermenting in my brain.

Got the impression I don't know what I am doing yet?

Next Decision - What To Build

Next decision, what to build. I was looking for something simple, quick, and cheap and so scoured the internet for plans I could download and build. The DP racer and several other similar '2 sheet' boats kept turning up in my searches, but I wanted something that I though looked more like a boat. At this point I had not considered buying plans, or realised just how much of an art there was in both design and building of a boat. I found the plans for the Harley 8, but that was a little too small. Eventually I found the web site, and David Beede's "Summer Breeze" - it was just what I was looking for, almost.

David beede's Summer Breeze

And so it begins.... I was about 9~10 years old I read a book my brother had picked up somewhere - Swallows & Amazons, by Arthur Ransome. I thought, wouldn't it be greate to have a boat. Forty years later, whilst clearing out her garage, mum found the very same book and gave it to me. I read it from cover to cover, turned back to the start, and read it again.

When I first read it as a child we lived in rural Victoria, 200 miles from the sea (they didn't have kilometers back in those days). Now I live on the Queensland coast - absolutely no reason not have a boat any more. Whilst looking for a copy of Boat Trader in the newsagents I happened accross a copy of AABB [Australian Amateur Boat Builder] - and here I am....

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