Monday, November 17, 2014


Because she's such a fine looking boat, obviously.  Here's a few pictures of what I'm trying to put together:

Barrett Faneuf's YUKO.

Robert Ditterich's ANNIE.
Joel's ELLIE.

I really like the nearly plumb bow, sweeping shear, and that impressive yawl rig.  But lest anyone think I'm only concerned with looks, NAVIGATOR also seems to be the right boat for me. I spent almost a year looking over designs before I finally settled on this one.  She's the right size: small enough to trailer and sail single handed, but big enough to carry a few friends and stand up to the semi-open waters of Lake Ponchartrain  (New Orleans' northern boundry).  I have no desire for a row boat, so the beamy design suits my needs.  And the flat bottom and retractable centerboard/rudder make her ideal for beaching and possibly a little camping.  Yep, NAVIGATOR is the right boat for me, at least on paper.  Hopefully, my execution does Welsford's design justice.


Greetings from New Orleans, Louisiana!
I'm Ben, and this blog is dedicated to my attempted construction of a sailboat. Specifically, NAVIGATOR---a 15-foot yawl designed by New Zealand's John Welsford.

So, some questions you may be wondering:
Have I ever built a sailboat before? No, I have not.
Do I own a sailboat? No, I do not.
Do I know how to sail?  Kind of.
Have I spent any significant amount of time aboard a sailboat? Eh, depends on what you mean by "significant."
Longer than a day.  In that case, no, I have not.
Do I have any business building a sailboat?  Probably not.

Fortunately, I do have a decent background in woodworking (thanks, Dad):

See, there I am building a ridiculous throne contraption.  Clearly, I'm ready to tackle a wooden boat.

I'm also not going into this completely unassisted....Several considerate souls took the time to document their builds online, providing me with a wealth of knowledge about this particular build. Thus, I stand on the shoulders of those that have built before me.  In that vein, I hope this site will be a meaningful addition to the existing library of photo albums and blogs dedicated to NAVIGATOR constructions, though I imagine its greatest benefit will be showing what not to do. At the very least, this forum will provide a place for my friends and family to follow, and perhaps mock, my progress.

Alright, enough chit chat.  Let's get to work.