Welcome to this blog in which I will try my best to record the process, trials and tribulations of an accountant with virtually no woodworking experience building a boat design by Jim Michalak called Ladybug. By the time I am done I hope that my experiences will help others who are thinking of building the same boat or a boat of a different design.
First, why build a boat and why a sailboat?
The choice of a sailboat was actually quite easy….I really don’t like internal combustion engines. I have done a lot of ocean kayaking and just enjoy the experience of being on the water without the noise and fumes of an engine. Now that I have two young sons, ages 8 & 10, I wanted a boat that we could all be in at the same time, a boat that we can use for fishing, beach cruising/camping and just messing about in.
I started looking for a design about a year ago. I surfed the net and read Wooden Boat Magazine looking for something suitable. I saw an ad for Warren Jordan’s Footloose in Wooden Boat magazine. The design really appealed to me and I bought a set of plans and Warren’s book on building wooden boats. Then, as time wore on, two things led me away from his design…the sprit sail and the lack of information on how to include adequate flotation in the boat.
More searching and I came across Michael Storer’s Goat Island Skiff design. Lug rig which Michael convinced me was superior to the sprit sail, flotation provided for in the plans. I was convinced I was going to build this boat and bought the plans for it.
Sometime after that, I bought Jim Michalak’s book, “Boatbuilding for Beginners (and Beyond), and later spied the Ladybug plans on the Duckworks website. The photos of Chuck Leinweber’s Ladybug sold me…lots of flotation, lug rig, perhaps more seaworthy than a regular flatbottom skiff, lots of storage for camping, the possibility of building it with a sleeping platform in the cockpit.. it was just about perfect for what I wanted and the process is about to begin.
I have started to explore sources for the materials that I need, I have posted messages on the Yahoo! Group dwforum and received a lot of excellent advice from many boatbuilders that frequent the forum.
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