Dreaming of Another Scamp

As I sit in my den, looking out toward the South on a cold Idaho blustery February afternoon, my thoughts are with a boat called Scamp.  I thought you already built and sold a Scamp, my mind says.  Well, yes that’s true…but we’re just being honest and yes, my thoughts are with yet another Scamp.  Why another one…I did that once.  Well, I guess because I want another one and long to go sailing again.  But, wasn’t it sort of a pain in the butt?  Yes.  Wasn’t it frustrating to show up at the lake and have too much or too little wind?  Yes.  Wasn’t it frustrating to sort out all the lines and unwrap the lazy jacks from my neck?  Yes.  So, why do it?  Because there is just something about sailing that I can’t seem to shake.  It’s more poetry that perfection, more rhythm that efficiency, more authentic than artificial.  It’s like stepping back in time 2000 years.  A boat you build from your own hand, sail with the wind and howl at the moon.  Who doesn’t want to do that?  I do.  Life is too planned, too stiff, too certain, too predictable.  Let’s have some adventure!  Let’s build another boat.

Why not Long Steps?  It would be easier to row, easier to self steer and it looks really cool.  Long Steps is undoubtably a really neat boat, but I feel it’s too long and too complicated for me.  I have a small lake 1/2 mile from my house where I plan to do most of my sea trials.  It’s only 1 mile around the lake, hence very small.  Yet, at this small little insignificant lake, I could learn a lot about sailing and a Scamp would fit perfectly on this small lake.  Rigging time would be less than a Long Steps and frankly, I just don’t want to allocate the time to build and take the room to store Long Steps.  Remember, I now have a Skiff America 20 residing in my garage.

Yes, I really want the simplest, easiest, most seaworthy competent little sailboat known to man.  All these requests point directly at a Scamp.  It’ll be complicated enough, trust me.

I’ve already indicated on this blog what I would do differently next time.  No sense in reiterating that again here.  Let’s just keep it a dreamy feeling at this point.  Nothing concrete or etched in stone, just a desire to build another neat little sailboat.

My wife asked me to wait for 1-2 years before building another boat, but I learned there’s wiggle room.  What does that mean…wiggle room?  Well, she also said, last weekend, after a great dinner and date, that I could spend my allowance on anything I wanted.  Allowances are non negotiable, unrestricted funds.  So, if by chance, I wanted to build a mast out of Sitka Spruce, the funds are there and waiting.  Wow…that’s sort of exciting.  To build another mast.  And, this time out of Sitka Spruce.

The real question now is, would I rather build another Scamp or get a small teardrop trailer to pull on jeep rides through the mountains?  Remember, I live in Idaho.   Both items won’t fit in my garage.  So, it’ll come down to one or the other.

If I commit to attend annual Scamp rallies and see new sights with a Scamp, the Scamp would probably win out.  A boat can take you to amazing places and as my motto says,
“Never Stop Exploring”

Why not build one with me?  I’ll blog about each and every step.  You build one at your house, I’ll build one at mine.  Then some day we’ll sail together.  Randy, are you in?  

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Long Steps Anyone?

Those of you on the fence regarding building a Scamp may want to wait, watch and learn about Long Steps.  The boat is a definite contender for those wanting a small capable sailboat like Scamp.  My current position regarding another build is just that…wait, watch and learn.  In the end, I’ll probably build either a Scamp or Long Steps but this is not something I want to rush.  It takes a long time to build a boat and I want my next build to be a long term keeper.  Whereas I’ve already built a Scamp, I’m actually quite enamored with the possibilities of Long Steps.

Here are a few potential disadvantages:  

  1. Weight.  I’ve been told it should come in about the same weight as Scamp, but we’ll need to wait and see.  If it gets much heavier, it may be too heavy to heave up onto a beach or harder to self rescue.
  2. Too complicated.  Trimming mast and mizzen would be new to me and might be overkill for general cruising.
  3. Storage.  At 18, 1/2′ this is not a small boat!  It won’t fit inconspicuously in your garage.  It will take significant room to build and to store.
  4. Build time.  This boat will take significantly longer to build than Scamp and require more patience, money, time and persistence.  I’m a little bit scared about this.  Just being honest.

Here are a few potential advantages:

  1. No need for break-down oars.  It appears full size oars would fit just fine inside the cockpit.  Easier to store, quicker to deploy and mechanically simpler.
  2. Lower center of gravity and lower center of effort by splitting and lowering the sail plane.
  3. Easier to heave to, by sheeting in the mizen.
  4. Easier to balance, by using main and mizzen.
  5. Larger veranda.  Easier to crawl inside to get warm.  This feature could be very important to a cold sailor.
  6. Lazarette already designed into the boat.  More storage and less water holding capacity.   Love this!
  7. More seating positions than Scamp (see John’s notes regarding a bean bag chair).
  8. Footwell already designed into the boat.
  9. Improved rowing characteristics by extending the water line.
  10. Improved rowing ergonomics by lowering the sides of the boat.
  11. Increased stability by increasing the waterline and water ballast capacity.
  12. Appears to have wider seats for improved comfort.
  13. The mast, boom and yards might just fit inside the cockpit/veranda area which would alleviate the need for boom gallows and mast crutch supports when transporting.

When you weigh it all out, there’s a lot to admire about this newly designed boat.  I plan to watch the prototype build and continue considering this as my next build.  Aren’t boats cool?