Sunday, November 9, 2008

Boat Quest, Part 12

Book of Boat Designs by Glen-L Marine DesignsIn Boat Quest, Part 2, I mentioned a catalog of boat plans that Phil LeBoutillier had shown me back in 1996. I thought it was Fifty Wooden Boats, published by WoodenBoat, but I was wrong. I found my copy of the catalog recently while going through a box of stuff in the garage. It was the Book of Boat Designs by Glen-L Marine Designs, and its front cover appears in the image above. (Click the images for full-size views.)

Dinky dinghy from Book of Boat Designs by Glen-L Marine DesignsI flipped through the catalog and quickly found the plans that Phil had ordered for building a plywood dinghy, "Dinky," for his trawler in the Bahamas. I flipped further and found my dream plans, for the "Amigo," a fiberglass or strip-planked wooden 28-foot sloop (22 feet without the bowsprit) that I thought I could build in a large garage.

Looking back on my thinking of that time, I have to ask, what was I thinking? Build a large, heavy sailboat in seriously landlocked Colorado? Even if I could complete the project, how would I get the thing to water? The plans call the Amigo "a trailerable offshore cruiser," which is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. The listed displacement is over 5000 pounds! Forgetting the trailering idea, it would probably cost more to transport the boat than it would to buy a modest fiberglass fixer-upper in a coastal area.

Amigo sloop from Book of Boat Designs by Glen-L Marine DesignsThat boat-building dream was even more fanciful than the circum-navigation one. No wonder it soon gave way to the obsession with the MacGregor 26 and the other boats that followed. But, you know, if I ever do get a boat, it's going to need a dinghy and nothing says that that dinghy needs to be an inflatable. Maybe I should put the catalog away in a safe place, just in case.

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