Sail Boat Plans


The text content of our publications are not photo-facsimiled; all of our products are newly typeset for excellent readability. All of our illustrations are digitally enhanced for clarity and printing brightness. The books in both our Libraries have a highly useful red-ribbon bookmark bound in. (Once you have read a book with a bookmark, you won't want to do without one again!.) All text blocks, including those for Booklets, are printed on 70 lb. cream-coloured paper for reduced print-through and higher opacity. If the book is from the nineteenth or early twentieth century, its appearance is as close to the original as possible. All of our publications have a consistent design so that they will represent a collectible library.

Sort By:  
Cresent--A 15.5 Ft. Centerboard Sailboat (Pub. No. 5827)

by C. T. Allen

LOA 15.5 FT., BEAM 67 IN., WEIGHT 450 LBS., SAIL AREA 135 SQ. FT.

Crescent is the ideal sailboat for day sailing on a small lake, river, or protected waters of a bay. Of course, day sailing doesn’t mean you can’t go for a moonlight cruise. It merely means that the little ship is not equipped with a cabin, galley and bunks for overnight cruising. Running lights should, of course, be installed for after-dark use. The centerboard design reduces Crescent’s draft, so shallow water is not a problem. Its broad beam of over 51/2 ft. makes it an ideal family boat because there is room for a cockpit large enough to accommodate four adults or two adults and three kids, and side decks big enough to stretch out for sunbathing. It’s fast, maneuverable, balanced enough to be sailed by one person. If you feel like racing, two people are needed aboard. Fore and aft flotation chambers will keep the boat and occupants afloat even if the cockpit is swamped with water. All of the lumber needed to build Crescent can be ordered from your local lumber yards.

23 pages, 10 plate(s)

Zephyr (Pub. No. 5828)

by William D. Jackson.


Speedy 14-ft. International Dinghy Class Sailer

Zephyr is a racing sailboat fulfilling rrequirements for the 14-ft International Dinghy Class. Lightweight, strong, compact hull, maximum waterline length for competition or thrilling sailing speeds of over 15 mph. Will outsail boats twice her length and will keep going in rough waters. Zephyr is a refinement of a type of boat developed by the English for use in the rough open waters of the English Channel. Not only is it fast under sail, but it can stand up under punishment. And it’s light enough to be easily loaded atop an auto or light trailer. Construction is with a convex bottom with developed surfaces; adapted to plywood covering. The pre-fab method of construction used on Zephyr lends itself to mass production.

12 pages, 5 plate(s)

Snowbird--A 12-Foot Catboat (Pub. No. 5840)

by Edson I. Schock

Naval architect Edson I. Schock here brings up to modern standards of construction and rig the famed Olympic Monotype class which his father, Edson B. Schock, designed from the original California Snowbirds. This new Snowbird uses plywood, has a modern rig, will be faster and handier than either of her forerunners as befits a Schock masterpiece.

LOA 12 FT., BEAM 4 FT. 11 IN.

This little cat is a modern version of the well-known Olympic Monotype class. This type of boat was selected by the Olympic Committee as a typical American small boat, and many of the original boats have been built both here and abroad. In redesigning her, I’ve modified the original lines of the boat only enough to make plywood planking possible, and the rig has been made a little more modern in style. The boats built from this design should be lighter than the original boats were, and should sail a little faster. Aside from putting on the bottom planks, the construction should be done easily by the amateur boatbuilder. The bottom planks have no twist in them, but the bend at the bow is fairly sharp, and they will have to be put on carefully. This is not an easy job, but it is well within the ability of any careful woodworker. If you plan to make your own sails, "Sailmaking Simplified" by Gray will tell you all about it in the simplest terms. But most builders, by the time they get the boat completed are willing to let a professional make the sail. This boat will make a fine racing class for any club, and an excellent boat in which to learn to sail.

*Available in reprint in The Shellback's Library from The Press at Toad Hall.

16 pages, 4 plate(s)

Goshawk--A Racing Dinghy or Tender (Pub. No. 5849)

Designed by Charles G. MacGregor

LOA 11 ft. 6 in., Beam 4 ft. 6 in., Draft, c.b., 3 ft. 1 in., Sail Area 72 sq. ft.

This boat is within the dimensions of the class B Dinghies, but is not eligible to race in this class because of the plank thickness and hull weight, and for this reason we doubt if she will perform quite as well on the wind. But for group class racing they will provide excellent sport. For those who are going to build Goshawk the following hints will be helpful. No doubt there are other ways and methods which will be preferred or suggested by your own previous experience. Do not change the design or construction. It is based on considerable experience. If you don't like either, don't build this boat, but have one especially designed to suit your own ideas. It will be noticed on examination of the plans that the bottom is a combination of vee and arc form. In thin plywood of large panel sizes it is possible to obtain a slight compound curve, and when this is done to the bottom plank in this case, it prevents panting between supporting members, and helps to eliminate the wavy or rippling effect which sometimes develops on the planking. The amount of curve is 1/2 inch in 2 feet. Make a mould to this curve and use it on all frames. On all watertight seams and contact surfaces we recommend the use of waterproof glue and screw-fastenings. It is absolutely necessary to make proper contact between the surfaces being bonded, and the fastenings must be spaced close enough along the edges to provide the pressure necessary to squeeze out the air pockets and channels in the glue which become water channels when the boat is launched and the seams are submerged. The transom is raked slightly so that a small outboard engine can be installed easily. The stem is wide at the head tapering down to a point at the forefoot. This has three points in its favor: (a) Provides more width forward around the mast; (b) Easier to plank because the plywood does not have to be twisted so much as it would have to be with a straight stem, and (c) it permits the addition of more flare forward to ensure dryness and buoyancy when pitching into a headsea.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

How to Build Sabot (Pub. No. 5850)

Designed by Charles G. MacGregor

New Sail Plan by W. F. Crosby

LOA 9 ft 11 in., Beam 4 ft., Sail Area 36 sq ft.

The pram dinghy has been very popular in Europe for a great many years and in all probability the type originated in Scandinavia. The pram is rapidly becoming popular in this country. Experienced yachtsmen have been quick to see and appreciate its many good qualities and are willing to overlook its odd appearance. As a yacht tender, it is ideal, because of the unexcelled carrying capacity, short length, and light weight--an important item if the dink has to be carried on deck or on top of the deckhouse; and most important of all, it tows exceptionally well. With the advent of resin-bonded plywood, we are able to overcome weight objections and have gained other worth while advantages. A center-board has been installed in place of the original leeboards, the sliding gunter has been changed to marconi rig and a rudder and tiller instead of the steering oar. The vee bottom is slightly more difficult to build than the flat bottom, but it is superior to the latter especially for sailing and towing; therefore, its adoption is recommended. The hard or sharp chine is simple in construction, but the flat chine is better, improving the looks and making rowing and towing in a heavy sea safer.

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

How to Build a Class E Racing Ice Yacht (Pub. No. 5852)

by T. E. Mead

LOA 18 ft., span 13 ft., MAST HEIGHT 19 ft., SAIL AREA 75 sq. ft., WEIGHT 250 lbs.

The two side planks of this class E ice yacht are of 9/16" x 11y2" x 18' clear airplane spruce. Don't make substitutions on these vital members in order to save a few cents or a few days' delay. The runner plank is also of the highest grade of airplane spruce and, as it is subjected to violent strains, should be of the very finest quality. Select the best two sides of the side planks to be on the outside and then nail them together at the corners with these two good sides together. Mark out the outline of the side planks and frame stations on one side accurately according to the drawings. Use a stiff batten to lay out the curve on the top edges. Be sure that the nails holding the two planks together are in the waste portion and not in the planks themselves. Save the waste portion because you can make some of the deck stringers and miscellaneous small parts out of these pieces. The nose block should be laminated of several pieces rather than cut out of a solid piece because this reduces danger of checking. In all joints of every kind, use "aircraft joint" casein glue. This glue is a white powder and should not be confused with the chocolate colored powder sold in most hardware stores. Its strength and water-resisting properties are far superior to the ordinary household type of casein glue.

19 pages, 3 plate(s)

Flying Dutchman (Pub. No. 5857)

by Rogers Winter

LOA 2 ft., BEAM 4 ft., WEIGHT 170 lbs. approx.

Here’s a flat-bottomed, shallow-draft boat for sailors who want to get on tile water with a fast rig, but feel that other types are beyond their limited finances or ability

During the last half of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, in both the United States and Canada, flat-bottomed sailing craft in great variety were used wherever there was shoal water or a necessity for low-cost boats. Despite their simple form, these sailing scows very often showed quite remarkable weatherliness and speed, due to the fundamental elements of great speed in their hull design, and there are numerous recorded instances when scow-type craft showed their sterns to fast commercial sailing vessels and yachts. The use of leeboards was adapted from Dutch craft which, despite their flat bottoms, shallow drafts and wide beams, are famous for their sailing ability. "Flying Dutchman", therefore, has a long and distinguished ancestry. It is a boat for sailors who want to get on the water with a fast rig, but feel that other types are beyond their finances or ability to construct.

For a cruisiner version of this type of design please see Pub No. 5047--How to Build a 22-foot Flying Dutchman.

7 pages, 4 plate(s)

Build a South Bay Scooter (Pub. No. 5861)

by Charles R. Meyer

LOA 13 ft to 16 ft., BEAM 4 ft to 6 ft.

Originally designed by the Coast Guard as an amphibian, these rudderless ice boats are now sleek racing machines for winter sailing thrills.

Faster than the wind and trickier handling than any sailing craft afloat, the South Bay scooter was originally an amphibian. Designed and developed by the United States Coast Guard to hurdle patches of broken ice and to supply units of the Lifesaving Service on Fire Island when those personnel were virtually marooned by floating ice, the scooter was refined and eventually evolved into the sleek racing machine found on Long Island today. Featuring rudderless steering and a flat, shell-type hull, today’s scooter is a highly individualistic vehicle. There are no rigid class restrictions to date—scootermen merely differentiate between big and little boats, depending on the canvas carried overhead. SPORTS AFIELD Boatbuilding’s set of plans, drawn by Jesse and Dave Fishman, may be followed exactly, but are usually used as a general template by experienced boatmen and builders. The scooter's performance is determined by the canvas and the sharpness and placement of the lengthwise runners—the hull is more of a platform used to carry passengers and support the structural components. Designed for competition rather than broken-ice navigation, this hull operates well over the ice, but will not give much performance if dunked in a pothole. She will do 40 to 60 mph over the ice under good wind conditions with the proper handling. Your scooter can be from 13’ to 16’ long, with a beam of 4’ to 6’ conventionally.

6 pages, 4 plate(s)

18-Foot Knockabout, An (Pub. No. 5862)

by Edson I. Schock

LOA 18 ft 1 1/2 in., BEAM 6'  21/2 in., DRAFT  10 in., DISPLACEMENT 1450 lbs.

She will make a pretty picture anywhere, with wind in her sails and the sun low on the horizon. Safe, roomy, easy to sail, she is an ideal family boat.

This is a family boat. She will be safe, seaworthy, roomy and easy to sail. She will also be fast, but nut as fast as the racing machines that are advertised as “day sailers” and are really designed with speed alone in mind. Anyone with some experience in boatbuilding should have no difficulty in building her.

20 pages, 4 plate(s)

24-Ft. Auxiliary Sloop, A (Pub. No. 5865)

by Edson I. Schock

Seaworthy in rough water and comfortable enough for a small family, this well-planned craft is easy to build.

20 pages, 7 plate(s)

Duo-Duet (Pub. No. 5867)

by David D. Beach

This twin-hulled, dual-engined beauty was designed to cruise a pair of couples in comfort. Two topside styles to choose from.

12 pages, 5 plate(s)

Build a DN Ice Boat (Pub. No. 5870)

by Charles R. Meyer

Build this speedy winter craft and extend your boating to an all-year sport.

7 pages, 6 plate(s)

Picaroon (Pub. No. 5876)

by Sam Rabl

Picaroon is that same little boat that Brice Johnson built for me in Cambridge over thirty years ago, the same boat in which Hank Hemingway had his great adventure in the Gulf of Mexico, sailing from Mobile to Neuvitas in Cuba. The same tabloid cruiser of which Westy Farmer wrote: “A delight to the eyes of every sailorman,” and to which the late Charles Hall attached the title of the “Perennial Picaroon”. She is the same little ship that was destined to become world-famous and to have been built on every continent of this globe. Modern methods of construction have afforded some improvement in her construction but have detracted not a whit from her seaworthy lines. Plywood has produced a better hull, there is no reason why she cannot still be built with main frames of 11/8” x 3¼”, and intermediates of 11/8” x 2¼” on 12” centers. The chine, sheer and bottom stringers would be 11/8” x 2¾” and the planking of 1” dressed material which will measure 13/16”. For this reason the lines are drawn to the outside of the planking. All pieces of the backbone are detailed so that no lay down is necessary. The keel, stem and all parts are assembled and set right-side-up on a keel horse. The frames are erected and braced and the stringers run in. By this time the reader has become familiar with the methods used in constructing other boats in this book so a detailed step-by-step instruction would be senseless. The frames are a combination of oak and plywood and form bulkheads and partial bulkheads as they are assembled in the boat. Properly fabricated, it is possible to assemble them in such a manner as to eliminate over 75 % of the interior work. Even the motor beds are detailed for pre-fabrication so that they may be assembled along with the frames. If you have a little knowledge of lofting it is also possible to pick up from the body plan the shape of such flat surfaces as the berth tops and cockpit flooring and fit these items before the planking is applied. Make extensive use of Elmer’s Glue and patent nails in all the assemblies. The motor fitted is a Universal Blue Jacket Twin. This motor develops 12 H.P. at full speed and is thoroughly reliable. While it has more power than is needed it will not be overstrained to maintain cruising speed. It also has electric starting which is a must in most single-handed work. Electric starting gives the added advantage of power for lighting and an automatic bilge pump. The cabin arrangement is primitive. The head is an ordinary galvanized pail with a homemade Johnnie seat to cover it and make its use more comfortable. The galley is self-contained and built around a G.I. Coleman stove and which may be stowed anywhere that loading conditions may permit. Inflatable beach mattresses will work well on the berths, and for clothes stowage there is nothing better than the traditional sea bag which still exists in our atomic Navy much in the same form that it did on Old Ironsides. The sailing rig is much the same as I used with complete success on my last little auxiliary, the Meg. The loose-footed sail permits brailing against the mast without lowering, keeps clean in this way, and removes the temptation to soil it with hands slimy from fish or bait if it were stowed on the boom. One thing that I would personally carry would be a combination sail with slides on one edge and jib snaps on the other, and which would serve the double purpose of either storm jib or storm trysail as occasion would demand. Both the mast and boom are hollow spars built up from lumber and plywood and should present no difficulties. The outside ballast may be a weldment or a casting, either of which will cost about the same unless you have a friend who is familiar with acetylene cutting and arc welding. The original Pic carried all of her ballast inside and this boat will do the same if you wish to eliminate the weighted keel. Still another alternative is to cast the keel in concrete, filling in as much lead or iron scrap as the aggregate will permit. In this case it will be well to cap the entire keel bottom with two pieces of 1” x 3” flat iron bar and weld the lower ends of the keel bolts to this as well as tack-welding the two bars together. This iron alone will weigh about 40 pounds per running foot and will be down where it will do the most good. A good coating of Rustoleum paint on all of the iron work will eliminate a lot of corrosion.

10 pages, 9 plate(s)

Little Rogue (Pub. No. 5882)

by Weston Farmer

LOA 22 ft. 11 in., Beam 8 ft. 2 in., draught 3 ft. 9 in., displacement about 21/2 tons, sail area 285 sq. ft.

A tabloid auxiliary, just over 19 feet on her water line, this little sloop will really sail. She is large enough to carry your pals, too, so you can share your fun.

The lure of sail is irresistible. No man who has skippered his own windjammer into the promise of a sparkling sunny morning will ever again settle for less. The sun dancing on the water, the hum of breeze in taut rigging, the powerful, quiet urge of the wind—experience all this and you’ll know why sailing is called the sport of kings. To get around the dreadful responsibility of owning a king’s ransom, yet to make possible getting down to the sea in sail, I have designed Little Rogue. She’s a tabloid auxiliary, and then, again, she isa’t—she’s just large enough to avoid the wallowing tendencies exhibited by most tabloids, but not too large nor too complicated for one man to build, to afford, and to handle. She is knockabout rigged. That is to say she is basically a sloop, but the stem, profile is extended to accommodate the jib, and there is no bowsprit. If you’re a facts and figures hound, her ballast will run to between 1,500 and 1,600 lbs. in an iron keel, with enough inboard trimming ballast battened down in lead pigs over the keel at midship to bring her down to her load line. How much will depend upon the gear carried, and somewhat on the building job. No two boats of identical design ever weighed the same: Wood varies, fastenings vary. It would be safe to say 200 to 300 lbs. would turn the trick. She is as normal as beans and bread as to layout and rig and all. Her main gambit is in her size, and relative sail area. She is smaller than the big boats that will sail, she, has more sail-carrying power than the little ones that won’t. I know that this is so, because I designed her to a certain feel I wanted myself, in a modern boat of today’s marconi rig. Also, I am acquainted with the classics of “Tabloidia Americana” and know their designers. Sam Rabl and his Picaroon, my old side-kick Jack Hanna and some of his tabloids, Billy Atkin and his Perigee, Phil Rhodes and Westwind, Dr. T. Harrison Butler and Paida—-all famous designers, all famous boats. I have known both the men and the boats first hand. I am familiar with their philosophies.
Because all the craft mentioned were designed nearly a generation ago, I felt I could come up with this contribution to the field and that it would be a definite addition to the choices available, especially the outboard motor.

10 pages, 5 plate(s)

Keel Knockabout (Pub. No. 5884)

by Edson I. Schock

This plywood sailboat is designed for easy building by novice builders, with no sacrifice in appearance

LOA 5 ft. 5 in., Beam 5 ft. 5 in., Draught 3 ft. 3 in., Displacement 1,250 lbs. Sail area 130 sq. ft.

This boat was designed for amateur building. The plywood planking has been kept as close to a developable surface as was practical, and the departure from such a surface is so small that the planking will not need to be forced or steamed into place. She will be lively to sail and should present an attractive appearance. She will probably look bigger than she is. Her best sailing should be in deep protected waters. Shallow ponds would not be good, as she would spend too much time aground, and she is too small to go out where it is very rough. She has a nice cockpit for afternoon sailing, as there is no centerboard box to get in the way. The little cuddy cabin makes a good place to keep things out of the rain or spray.

21 pages, 2 plate(s)

Pup (Pub. No. 7789)

by William F. Crosby

A small, neat, plywood catboat that can serve triple duty as a rowboat, outboard tender or as a fine sailer.

The plan for the little boat presented herewith makes use of plywood throughout except for the keel, chine pieces and clamps. The sides may each be made in one piece and the bottom may be composed of two pieces, one for each side. The skin of the boat is also reinforced by five sawed plywood frames and intermediate frames and stringers that leave but little of the surface unsupported.

4 page(s)

Moth Class Racing Skimmer (Pub. No. 7792)

Designed by William F. Crosby

This simple little skimmer is about as easy a boat to build as anyone could ask for. There is all straight work in her—with no steambending, or any severe twists to the planking or any other parts. The Moth boats are not one-design boats and the majority of them are rounded, or partly rounded, bottom construction. But no hull form is specified in the rules and this easy-to-build modified vee-bottom that you see here is acceptable and far easier to construct than any other.

3 page(s)

Meteor Class Knockabout (Pub. No. 7793)

Designed by Charles D. Mower

This is a fast sailer originally designed as a one-design class for a well-known eastern yacht club and a good many were built. It is a vee-bottomed boat suitable for two or three when racing and the same number when just knocking around. The boat is quite stiff and fast and handles nicely. It is a little wet when slogging to windward in a chop but any small boat is, more or less

2 page(s)

Swampscott Racing Dory (Pub. No. 7794)

Designed by Charles D. Mower

The sailing dory, properly designed, makes as fine a boat as anyone could wish. The so-called “Swampscott” style—that is, with rounded sides—makes the better and more stable boat as the common Banks fishing dory has little stability under sail unless heavily loaded. Here we have plans of one of the famous Massachusetts racing dories that were so popular a number of years ago and are still sailed in some sections. They are not as stylish as they once were but they make very fast boats and are lively to sail. This particular boat is fairly narrow and is quite easy to drive but she is not suitable for a family of six who wish to go out for a quiet drift around on a Saturday afternoon.

3 page(s)

Yawl Spray, The (Lines Only) (Pub. No. 7795)

by C. Andrade, Jr.

“I did not know the center of effort in her sails, except as it hit me in practice at sea, nor did I care a rope yarn about it. Mathematical calculations however are all right in a good boat, and Spray could have stood them. She was easily balanced and easily kept in trim.” With these words Captain Joshua Slocum dismisses the technique of Spray’s design. Considering the unparalleled performances of this little boat, it is remarkable that no one has attempted an analysis of her lines and sail plan.

2 page(s)

Per Page      201 - 220 of 229
More books