Stevenson Projects Weekender Sailboat Build #1: So it begins...wood arrives tomorrow...the quest to build a sailboat...

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Blog entry by Napaman posted 03-30-2010 01:30 AM 15775 reads 6 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Stevenson Projects Weekender Sailboat Build series Part 2: Got Wood? Wood arrives... »

Ok…here I go…this is the official blog to begin what I hope will be a great quest—-to build a little sail boat by Stevenson Projects called “The Weekender”. I have been planning for this for many months and today was a big day. Here is a little bit of the path I have taken to get to this point in case you ever want build a boat.

I just got back from the wood supplier and tomorrow I will have $1300 worth of wood delivered to my house. Its a bit daunting and I am a bit anxious to get it here…sort through it…mark it up for each part so that I have it all organized. This is not all the wood…but will be the biggest one time purchase…I bought more then I needed to start but since I dont have my own truck I decided to go down the materials list and order all the plywood now along with the materials to get the keel done, stringers and MANY other pieces for later—-and are too long for me to fit in our minivan…so some pieces will be kept a while…but now I can just run to the store and pick up what I need when I get to that point…

The Weekender is a 16’ Gaff Rigged Sailboat put out by the Stevensons Projects. They have an amazing website that explains everything quite well…when I first started thinking about a boat it was with a 5 year plan…and that would include the time to read books, go to a boat building school some summer…I was not in a hurry…then I found the Stevenson plans and realized that I could bump up my plans much sooner…that weekend I spent 16 hours searching through the site—-the Stevenson’s have put many builder photos and videos on their site…and many have links to builder’s personal websites/blogs with many pages of stories. I clicked on every link that weekend! Read every word…It felt like that scene in the movie “The Matrix” where “Neo” learned all the martial arts…I was absorbing information for hours on end…

I then started this forum and turned here to LJ’s…since I kept thinking there must be a catch…I must be missing something, right? I can build a boat with minimal tools with materials found at most home centers??? (that is the stevenson pitch)...Many people who have much more experience then me (sailing and building) chimed in saying that this is a good plan and a good boat. You can see us discuss this over the last several months on this forum here…where I and many people asked questions and exchanged information.

If you are thinking about getting into building a boat…the forum above could be a good starting point.

In addition…via the Stevenson Site there are links to TWO wooden boat building forums. Go to the Contacts Page and you will see a link to the BYYB yard Builders Association) and Messing About builders forum. On both sites are people who have built the Weekender…

It was on the forums then Warren aka Zignman (Zign-man) chimed in…and said—-hey napa…come check my boat out—-I live 25 minutes in Petaluma…so my wife and I went out, met warren, sat in the boat…asked questions…saw that this is for real…doable…and that the moral (and hopefully physical, lol) help will be there as I build…

Warren took me sailing about a month ago—-and it was a great experience…up to that point I had never even been in a sail boat!!!

I will let you know that I signed up for a series of summer sailing lessons which begin in May…they will take me to mid summer and then I will roll right into an intermediate course…this is all through the Vallejo Yacht Club which is regarded as a good group. I am really excited to sail on the weekends—-and build during the week during summer. ( I am a teacher). #1 again tonight, lol and hope to cut out the keel parts tomorrow…and maybe the boat bottom…I have not bought glue or fasteners yet…so if I can cut out some parts to get me started then I will be happy…I have to leave town on Thursday…other wise I would be doing more…

Between now and the end of school I hope to get all the parts cut out…and several pieces put together…

Ok…the quest begins tomorrow…


1) Vacationer Plans and DVD $110
2) Weekender Plans FREE—-stevensons offer a free downgrade in plans if you decide the Vacationer is a bit big to build.
3) Marine Grade Playwood (all sheets) $520 (should not need more)
4) First Lumber Purchase: $656 (this is a big chunk of the wood list—all the pieces 10’ more purchased and many smaller pieces except the spars)
5) Tax and delivery of first purchase $127.93

Total Cost So far: $1414 (seems huge—-but this was a big plunge—-if I had a truck I might have gone piece by piece…but now there is no turning back)...

When I handed the clerk my credit card I asked her if they had a reference for a good lawyer…and she said she knew a good minister…by the end of this…I may need both…at least my wife laughed!

Ok…this is the last time my patio will be empty…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

23 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3573 days

#1 posted 03-30-2010 01:44 AM

Man Matt, I was hoping to see this !!!
I am so going to follow along and live vicariously in your boat building adventure!
Before you know it, you’ll be sailing in your boat and thinking how cool it was to make this decision!

Good Luck & Good Building !!!

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3339 days

#2 posted 03-30-2010 01:57 AM

the best sailing is done ,
when you untie from the dock .

now you are into it ,

congratulations !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View woodnut's profile


393 posts in 4050 days

#3 posted 03-30-2010 02:13 AM

Looking forward to seeing the progress as you build your vessel. It has to be an exciting time for you.

-- F.Little

View MattD's profile


150 posts in 3942 days

#4 posted 03-30-2010 02:14 AM

Whoo hoo! Great start on the blog Matt! You’ve already done a lot of hard work to get to where you are. It’s going to get a lot more fun and interesting. Have a great time with your build.

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3933 days

#5 posted 03-30-2010 02:17 AM

Hi! I will be watching this blog. Since I was young I have dreamt of sailing on a boat I have built myself. It is still a dream. This should give me a lot of inspiration and hopefully see it come to fruition.

I have spent 44 of my 50 years living in a fishing town north of Manila. My father finished college by working as a fisherman by day. Their boats were sail and oar powered. I loved the memories of his stories. I too experienced how it was to be a fisherman. But I had it easy. It was on a motorized boat. And it was not meant to pay for my college tuition. It mas meant to teach me the value of hard work…

Sailing is one of my father’s fine experiences that I am envious of. He is gone now. I hope to see the day that I will be able to say “Dad I did good!” on a boat I built.


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3671 days

#6 posted 03-30-2010 02:32 AM

This is going to be great blog.

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3650 days

#7 posted 03-30-2010 02:34 AM

Have fun with this. Sounds more challenging than the last sail boat I put together. (2 grumman canoes, tamarac spars and some sheets. Hey it worked.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4398 days

#8 posted 03-30-2010 02:40 AM

Matt this will be fun to follow. I wife keeps asking me why I don’t build a boat. They have boat building workshops at St Michaels Maritime Museum. They meet on Sat and Sunday and you can show up when you want and help build the boat for the museum. You are the laborer and they keep the boat.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View zignman's profile


27 posts in 3104 days

#9 posted 03-30-2010 02:58 AM

Nice job Matt, it’s going to be like a fine peice of cheese. something you can sink your teeth into! Soon you will be sailing and dreaming of that time you spent building your own boat. Thinking that was the best quality time you could ever imagine. Next to your children it will be your best art to date.

-- life is a journey not a destination

View jasony's profile


47 posts in 3076 days

#10 posted 03-30-2010 05:18 AM

this’ll be fun to watch!

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3494 days

#11 posted 03-30-2010 05:22 AM

Wow, you are truly into it now!
Congrats and I will be following this along all the way to the dock !

Can’t wait to see ” Captain Matt” in action !

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#12 posted 03-30-2010 05:26 AM

AARRHH- I’ll send you my sword and eye patch!!!

This is going to be a great blog to watch!!!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3805 days

#13 posted 03-30-2010 05:38 AM

Matt, Good to see you pulled the trigger on this! I cannot wait to follow this blog. This is going to exciting.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4075 days

#14 posted 03-30-2010 06:13 AM

Thanks everyone…tonight after writing the blog I went out and cleared out a storage space for all the wood coming tomorrow…and put all my tools away from my bench…and moved some things around…so when the delivery comes I just need to move a few things and waaahhh laaahhh…

I wont blog nightly…lol…but since I am on spring break I hope to get some things done each day and will try to update all of you…then I will slow down…

MattD—-you are the one that got me started on all this…not really…but the timing of me having an interest in boats your blog was coming up a lot…and it sent me to the library for MANY books…this is way different then your build…but some day I may build a “classic”...

DaveR—-I have been meaning to call you…I will look for your numbers and if I cant find them I will PM you…I need glue! The Weekender plans came with some update sheets that you and Warren may be interested in…and I am interested in hearing both of your thoughts…

Rico…great story…my grandfather was a Dory Fisherman in ALASKA…he salmon fished out of a place called Kenai…my mom would go out with him in freezing water—-she never learned how to swim because the water was too cold…and you would die before you could swim…I have NO name yet…but my first thought ( i know nothing of boat naming) is to name it after my grandmother “Elsa” who was Nick’s wife…she was a great woman…they were good people…hard workers…

Warren—-time for lunch? On me…and a visit to West Marine…

Karson…the boat building museum sounds great…maybe I will inspire you…I actually looked at a SF BAY boatbuilding school that offered Saturday workshops where you could build a boat with them and see if you liked it…

ok…tomorrow is a big day…look for a post later in the day/evening…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3113 days

#15 posted 03-30-2010 11:53 AM

this is going to be a very interresting blog and build to follow


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