I’ve had a weakness for sharpies for quite a few years now – their relative simplicity and ease of building, workboat heritage and low-to-the-waterline elegance make up an appealing package.
So I’d like to show you this link to some free plans for a real small sharpie that could give someone a great deal of pleasure without being overly challenging to anyone who has previously built a few small boats.
Of course, sharpies like this have disadvantages that one should be aware of: at this size they’re not truly rough water boats and so should probably not be used on the open sea, and they need to be sailed with some caution because they’re usually not self-righting as a modern yacht would be. Nevertheless, I can think of lots of places around our coast, rivers and lakes where a boat like this would be more than adequate, and you can be sure that she’d turn heads wherever she went around the British Isles.
This is one of a number of old magazine plans originally put up by David Grey of Polysails, which sells kits for sails made from poly tarpaulin. I’m serious about this by the way – I regularly use polytarp for prototype sails, and well-made polytarp sails can last for several years. I gather also there are many fishing fleets in the third world that use nothing else.