Dare I Err?

When will it stop? The symptoms are consistent and persistent, indicating a severe case of “next boat” psychosis: a beautiful design catches the eye, offers a possible solution for some niche of boating I’d like to do or perfect. From there an infatuation develops quickly. Much studying and “rationalizing” time is spent. Once past those tests, I jump wholeheartedly … until, the next one comes along. How I’ve finished the boats I have built surprises me. Thank God there are far fewer lovely designs compared to the loads of uglies never to steal my time.

I was set on the Gartsides’ Lugger, had cut staves for the spars and shaped the boomkin. All was fine until I found he had posted a new design, the Ditch Witch, interesting in concept, but too small. However, it led me to taking another look at his Spartan II, a trailer capable cutter whose dimensions approximate those of the Lugger. Why me?!

To add fuel to the fire, Boat Design Quarterly reviewed the original Spartan. I ordered that issue, read and re-read the feature. Curiosity took hold. I then purchased study plans for Spartan II to which Mr. Gartside graciously added the lines plan allowing me to build another half hull matching the scale of the  Lugger for close comparison. A nice enough 2×6 pine board was found for the model’s lifts which were cut, glued, carved, and sanded fair. Details and rig were added.



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Here are some final model pics.





This design is a beauty too. For a whole host of reasons, I’m torn between these 2 boats. As luck would have it the staves already cut for the Lugger can be used for the Spartan. I suspect the cutter is another 25% time investment to build. That wineglass Lugger transom is nice. The cutter has a group of sails that would be fun to play with and I bet she’ll plane. The simple Lugger is one I know and love. Her cockpit is more generous and no compression post in the cabin.

Geez! See what I mean?



10 thoughts on “Dare I Err?

  1. Kevin MacDonald

    There’s no reason to limit your choices or not build them all—-after all you can never have too many boats.

    1. KMan, Didn’t expect an objection on your end. Tried to sail in Mathews yesterday. Winds were perfect for that river. Huck and I had the boat in the water and were about to shove off and the afternoon doldrums rolled it. No wind. Nada. Decided to hauled and go home. Ready to try again. Let me know-

  2. EyeInHand

    Your models are beautiful. I’ll say it again: You have your retirement income all set. just make and sell those.

  3. Gregor

    Hi, today, on a hot summer afternoon i found your blog or more thinking about Spartan. Did you started? I have build 3-layer siberian larch hull, mast, rudder… the project is now on pause, cuz i am building house, but next year…nice model though, regards, Gregor, Slovenia

    1. Gregor,
      Thanks for reaching out. I’m just back from a week cruising the Sooty Tern and have begun thinking about the Lugger again. It will be cooler here in a month and I’d like to begin in earnest. Spar staves and boomkin are as far as I’ve taken it.
      Can you share any of your build thus far? I’m considering the cold mold method.

      1. Gregor Guna

        Well, i am currently on vacation in Croatia, hot, 35°C. I was also thinking about cold moulding, but i havent found proper material and tools. I add some photos of building hull.

        Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    1. Hello Fred,
      I think the cuddy is part of what is holding me back. After the week in Maine, I decided the extra cockpit space would be missed for crew and dog. Also, getting to the mast seems problematic. I’ve talked with Gartside about a variant, no cuddy and perhaps slimmer, but in the 19′ range (6M). He seems interested. Of the 3 you mention, I think the Lugger would be fastest.

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