I had wanted to build a boat for a very long time, and I had clear ideas about what sort of boat it would be.
It had to be a sailing boat equipped with a traditional gaff rig, capable of being towed on a trailer so I could keep it at home and take it to the coast for trips. It would have a small cabin or cuddy for shelter and occasional overnight accommodation. It had to be big enough for two to cruise for a weekend, or to take four people out for a day sail. It also had to be small enough and light enough for me to handle on my own when launching and sailing.
This all meant that it had to be a centre boarder and what is known as a trailer sailer, or a day boat.
And it had to be very pretty!
I also wanted to build it of marine plywood using the 'stitch and glue' method, preferably from a kit of pre cut parts.
I had built a boat from plans before, from scratch, using a table of offsets to loft out the planks to build a lapstrake (clinker) rowing dinghy, so I already knew how to do it the hard way. This time round I wanted to make use of modern techniques to build quickly and efficiently.
Lastly, and critically, it had to be small enough to be built in my garage. This meant that the hull could be no more than fifteen or sixteen feet in length on deck.
There are a lot of very attractive designs out there, but the hull length restriction pretty much narrowed it down to PocketShip.
PocketShip was designed in 2008 by John Harris of Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) in the USA specifically for home builders like me.
Length on deck is 14' 10", and length overall with bowsprit is 18' 6". Its draft is 1' 4" with the board up and 3' 4" with it down.
Its displacement is 800 pounds and it carries 270 pounds of ballast.
With 148 square feet of sail it should be stiff and fast. A lot have been and are being built all around the world, and it gets rave reviews. So PocketShip it is!