The Life of Boats


By John C. Harris
February 2015

2015 is shaping up to be a major year for new projects at CLC.  With rumors of most of these designs already circulating on the internet, I thought I'd gather everything in one place for a quick update.

Alas, if you write me asking when completed plans or kit packages for these new designs will be ready to ship, I will respond:  "I do not know."  The newest generation of CLC instruction manuals are remarkable for their detail, but require a tremendous amount of work to create.  Nine times out of ten when I promise a ship date, I find that the manual takes longer than expected, or I'm giving priority to the update of existing manuals.  To paraphrase the sign in the restaurant, "Thanks for your patience! It takes time to prepare good boat kits and plans." I'll update this page as more information on availability and price are known.

The Outrigger Junior
Prototype Status:  Sailing
Kit Status:  Tested and ready
Plans Status:  Complete
Instruction Manual Status:  A work in progress
Pricing:  Kits will start around $2500, Plans TBD

The 15-foot Outrigger Junior has been sailing for just over a year.  We've built four prototypes and have been happy to find only a few minor things that required refinement.  Updates of note include a quick-assembly scheme for crossbeams and trampoline, cutting the setup time on the beach by as much as 75%.  While straightforward to build for someone with average wood-butchery skills, the parts-count is moderately high so the manual is an impressively thick volume.  We're taking our time to get it right.  The boat's page with lots of photos is here.  Design discussion is here.

Outrigger Junior by CLC
Outrigger Junior by CLC

Whitby Pilot Gig
Prototype Status:  Under construction
Kit Status:  First kit has been cut
Plans Status:  No scratch-builder plans have been drawn yet
Instruction Manual Status:  Not yet under way
Pricing:  Kits will start around $3500, Plans TBD

This is a fun and interesting custom design commissioned by the Whitby Fishermans Amateur Rowing Club.  Whitby is in North Yorkshire on England's east coast, and the club plans to race the six-oared boat against traditional Cornish pilot gigs.  The design of these fast rowing boats dates well back into the 19th century.  No one has ever tried a stitch-and-glue Cornish pilot gig, and at 32 feet long it's certainly among the largest quick-assembly stitch-and-glue projects out there.  Jay Hockenberry and myself sorted it out, using the lines of a historic Cornish Gig as a starting point and adapting CLC's LapStitch system for quick and strong construction.  Very little in the way of a mold is needed, just a few female cradles during the hull assembly operation.  The hope is to match the performance (and looks) of the traditionally-built originals but reduce construction time and difficulty by a huge margin.  We're looking for more "BETA" builders, so if you like the idea, shoot me a note.  

Our UK agents Fyne Boat Kits cut the kit and are managing the project. 

CLC Cornish Gig Kit


CLC Cornish Gig Kit


Southwester Dory 
Prototype Status:  95% complete
Kit Status:  The prototype went together beautifully
Plans Status:  A work in progress 
Instruction Manual Status:  A work in progress 
Pricing:  Kits will start around $2400, Plans TBD

This project has been stewing for several years, and we finally pushed it over the hump by hiring our longtime collaborator Geoff Kerr at Two Daughters Boatworks to build the prototype.  It's a larger sister to the Northeaster Dory, with a considerably more elaborate interior.  Sailing versions have a yawl rig and a pivoting centerboard.  A well for an outboard up to 5hp turns it into an elegant motor launch for non-sailors.  The motor well may also be fitted to sailing options as an auxiliary.  

This will make a really capable family daysailer, camp cruiser, or motor launch.  (The new generation of electric outboards would be an especially good fit.)  While only 19 inches longer than the Northeaster Dory, the Southwester is close to double the volume! So it shouldn't be viewed merely as an incremental variation of the Northeaster Dory.  It'll have a lot more capability but it'll take quite a lot more time---and money---to build.

CLC Southwester Dory

CLC Southwester Dory

CLC Southwester Dory
CLC Southwester Dory

CLC Southwester Motor Dory and Sailing Dory




Nesting Expedition Dinghy
Prototype Status:  Two are under construction
Kit Status:  Tested and ready
Plans Status:  In progress
Instruction Manual Status:  Not yet under way
Pricing:  Kit and plans TBD

A personal project of mine, this is a unique little boat that will appeal to people who like camping and small boats but don't have a big shop or storage space.  Read the full write-up on this design here, and study high-res drawings here.  Given a smaller audience, this might be one where we experiment with downloadable plans and an online, wiki-style manual.  

Nesting Expedition Dinghy Beach Cruiser


Nesting Expedition Dinghy Beach Cruiser


NanoShip
Prototype Status:  We plan to build the first one this summer
Kit Status:  In development
Plans Status:  In development
Instruction Manual Status:  Awaits a prototype
Pricing:  Kit and plans TBD

This 12'11" water-ballasted yawl is a nascent project that's been in development for about six months as of this writing.  Normally we wouldn't publish this much detail so early in the process.  However, it's the subject of a boatbuilding class at the WoodenBoat School this summer, so some schematic drawings are already loose in the wilderness of the internet.  The early drawings excited a great deal of comment on the bulletin boards. These up-to-date, detailed drawings shown here are probably very close to the final version, but don't hold me to that.  The design brief is for a comfortable, fun, easy-to-sail boat for camp-cruising or daysailing that's straightforward to build stitch-and-glue style.  Functionally it's PocketShip's smaller sister.  An outboard mounts in a stern well, one of a number of big-boat features incorporated into a design that will fit in a small shop and can be towed behind a small car.  The design is based loosely on the beach luggers of the UK and Brittany.  Like all of these new designs, a prototype, extensive sailing trials, and a detailed instruction manual will precede kit and plans availability.  I know I'm really looking forward to this one and judging from the feedback so far, there may be lots of interest.  Click the images to enlarge. You can actually build one of these at the WoodenBoat School, August 7 -13, 2016.

NanoShip - Chesapeake Light Craft's Camp-Cruising Dinghy for amateur builders
NanoShip - Chesapeake Light Craft's Camp-Cruising Dinghy for amateur builders
NanoShip - Chesapeake Light Craft's Camp-Cruising Dinghy for amateur builders

NanoShip Cruising Dinghy by Chesapeake Light Craft


NanoShip Micro Cruiser by Chesapeake Light Craft

Optional cat rig:
NanoShip Camp-Cruiser by CLC
 


 



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