A backbone and a strongback

With the molds and transom constructed, I next built the backbone and centerboard trunk. The wood used here is White oak and Mahogany. I could certainly use softwood to build a lighter craft, but the rugged hardwood specified by the class rules will give the boat added durability and stability.

Built to last

“When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, ‘See! This our father did for us.’ ” -John Ruskin

Photo by: Wietske van Soest

old boats


With lofting finished, I now had full sized templates prepared for every part of the boat. This enables accuracy not possible otherwise. A fully developed lofting also provides a preview of the boat and it’s construction details, which helps me avoid unpleasant surprises. The first thing to build was the molds.


Ingredients for success

Finding top quality materials has been a rewarding challenge. I was able to source this sustainably harvested white oak log, and have it sawn into flitches for top quality planking. The folks at Newport Nautical Timbers specialize in wood for boats. Time taken to find exactly the right material for each piece of the boat is one of the things that separate a craftsman made vessel from a production one.


After I had drawn “the lines” of the hull, I drew the physical pieces of the boat. These “developments” allow me to make full size templates for each part, and insure that every part conforms to the strict “one design” rules of this classic class.



After receiving the plans from Watersportverbond of The Netherlands (written in Dutch and measured in metric) I undertook the tedious process of converting all the metric numbers back to the original imperial measurement (measurements changed from things like: 508 mm to the more manageable 20 inches). With this done, I started to “lay down the lines”.