I am building my first boat - a glued lapstrake Herreshoff replica, designed by John Brooks called a Somes Sound 12 1/2. Being very much new to wooden boats, I chose this design having taken a fancy to some of the larger Herreshoff day sailors and then realising that the only one which would fit in my garage was the Somes Sound 12.5.
Having no prior carpentry skills other then being an enthusiastic DIY'er, I am really enjoying having the opportunity to work with quality materials and learning how to use hand tools.....but still have lots to learn.
In order to elicit advice and solve endless conundrums, I am keeping a blog of the build- emblasail.blgspot.ie, so if any of you would like to comment or proffer advice, I would welcome your inputs.
So far, I am working according to the detailed building specifications which come with the plans, and supported by John Brooks, who is very willing to answer my amateurish questions. However, as I have not sailed small boats before, I am expecting to come to stage where I will need to make some decisions regarding rigging and sourcing components locally....which is where I am hoping to get advice from this forum.
Since I am living in Co. Meath, Ireland, I don't expect to be able to join you on your sailing trips...but I suppose I better get this boat sailing first before worrying about where.....
Add my welcome. Sorry, been a bit slow picking up on this. I think you've chosen one of the most beautiful small boats around. I saw a Herreshof (spelling?) 12 1/2 being rebuilt at the Wooden Boat Center in Seattle - it has that 'something' which some designs, in all sorts of fields (eg Jaguar E type: Comet 400 airliner: Dean's GWR (1890s) 4-2-2) have which set them apart aesthetically. I've no idea what it is. Very mysterious! Going on the pictures of your version, I personally think it loses just a bit by being bermudan rather than gaff rigged, but that again is aesthetics rather than practicability. The hull lines are just gorgeous.
I hope the build is going well. Keep us all posted.
Thanks for reading my blog - I'm glad you like the Herreshoff inspired John Brooks design - it certainly caught my eye, although initially I had been attracted to one of his larger day sailors, but realised it wouldn't fit in my garage (never mind being too advanced for a first time builder).
In fact the sail plans call for either gaff rig or marconi - and I am tending towards gaff rig, for no other reason than I have never sailed one before and also that the mast being somewhat shorter is easier handled when towing. I'd be interested to hear from members what other considerations apply, other than aesthetics, in terms of performance, pointing, reefing, solo handling etc..
Meanwhile, I have been making slow but steady progress and am now installing the final planks and building the centre board trunk. emblasail.blogspot.ie
I have always been a fan of the Herreshoff 12 1/2 but I didn't know there was a modern version in glued clinker. I have had a look at the study plans. They look very good to me and I am certainly tempted. I am torn at the moment between a pocket cruiser or a day sailer for my next build, but there are still plenty of winter nights by the fire left for idle pondering!
Incidentally, do you know how our American cousins pronounce Somes? Is it as we would say "sums" or "Soames"?
I don't profess much expertise or knowledge as this is my first build and I have never even sailed a day sailor before (I do sail a family AWP cruiser).
As to pronouncing Somes Sound, I think it is just as we say "Battle of The Somme"....
While, I have not looked at other plans, but from reading forums and builders blogs etc., the Somes Sound 12.3 plans by "comparison" are extremely detailed, with several full sized plans and detailed specifications, planing lists, etc.. Also John Brooks, the designer has written an excellent book called building Glued Lapstrake Wooden Boats and John is very responsive to queries, even from raw beginners such as me. All told, I think I landed on my feet with this choice...and even though some fear pouring lead keels etc., I found the process thoroughly enjoyable, even for a first timer.