Building a sailboat (kit)

I thought I’d mention here that I’ve started building a Passagemaker take apart dinghy kit from Chesapeake Light Craft. Not at makerspace though…in my garage. I hope to have it completed by spring of 2020.
I’d be interested in talking with anyone else who has built a boat using epoxy/fiberglass over plywood… or would be happy to let anyone interested take a a look at my progress.

Here’s a link to the kit page.






While I have no experience with building boats, I belong to a sailing club that has a lot of members with lot of knowledge in that area.

You’re welcome to come out and see what we have to offer. Next meeting is 8 Jan 6:30 for Social time and the meeting starts at 7:00:

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My path as a Maker started when my grandfather rooked me into helping build a sailboat kit. Best memories ever working on it and then sailing on Lake Grapevine.


Making a cedar strip canoe (which uses a similar approach) is on my bucket list, and while I have no hands-on epoxy + fiberglass experience I would be more than will to help you when you get to that stage so that I could gain said experience. I’ve read two books on the subject and watched several how-to videos so I am familiar (in concept) with the rough cutting, wetting out, and application/smoothing, etc. processes. if “many hands makes light work“ and our schedules align, reach out to me via PM.

Some more photos at about 60 hours of epoxying and sanding parts.
Finally started stitching it together a couple days ago.


Couple more pics… I’ve fiberglassed the inside and outside bottom sections.



No Keel?

(Stupid ten Character limit)

Without a keel, wouldn’t it be a canoe? If you put a sail on it without a keel, it’ll just roll over in the water.

probably has a removable keel like a Sunfish/Laser.

Must be a Strap-on


Actually, it will be less likely to tip over. Small boats usually don’t have weighted keels. You use weight placement (of where the crew sits) to generate the moment to offset the sail. Without the keel/centerboard/daggerboard, you need less moment, since you simply slide downwind instead of working against some form of foil.

Unless you’re only sailing downwind you need a keel or dagger board of some kind to prevent leeward slipping.

I never said it wasn’t needed. I said in a typical small boat, it isn’t what is keeping you upright against the sail load. In fact I pointed out you wouldn’t go upwind without one.

Looking at the design and no apparent provision for a center-board or dagger board, it may use lee boars like a sabot does (it also has the same general hull form, i.e blunt prow/bow.

Not sure of the sail plan, Catboat, lanteen, sloop, gaff, etc. since it isn’t clear to at me where the mast will be stepped. But, that forward doubling plate, which is similar to the one on the transom used to add strength for the rudder gudgeons (or a motor) but may have a fitting that supports the mast.

Beyond all of that, joinery looks great and glass work superlative. Is it is a true lapstake (I don’t see clinched fasteners typical). Beautiful boat. I assume it’ll have oar locks and will row quite well with that uplift rake of bow. Very nice.

The staples/wire ties are there, but you have to look close to see them:

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It will have a skeg to keep it pointed straight while rowing… and a daggerboard to use when sailing. The slot hasn’t been cut yet.

It is lapstrake, (maybe not true lapstrake) built out of plywood… stitch and glue. Those are copper wires used to hold it together until I epoxied between the boards and then removed the wire.


I finally finished the boat. Took a lot longer than it should have because I forgot I was building a boat and tried to build a piece of fine furniture.

Have had it on the water a few times and it sails great!


Absolutely gorgeous!

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That’s incredible! Congratulations!