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B O A T   T I P S 

Boating gear, equipment, and innovations for small sailboats

 Free --- for fun:  Build your own

toy paper boat

 Great on-the-water kid's activity on a nice calm day. 

At twenty feet length overall, Persistence is not a very large boat, but she has had some very big adventures (See Bold Sea StoriesWake of the Green Storm, Broken Seas in Books). The author feels a well-built, well-equipped and well-sailed small boat can do some competent cruising, even on open waters and heavy seas.
Persistence is equipped with solar panels (forward) that have provided enough electricity for months of cruising. A sea hood (under author's right elbow) protects the sliding hatch cover from heavy seas in storms and also provides a base for the hatchway dodger (see Das Boot). All sail control lines lead aft to the cockpit for singlehanded sailing.
Note the cockpit dodger (dark green, atop cabin), with side flaps unsnapped, for a warm day. More details on the author's custom-built (by himself) in Das Boot (click on above tile). 
Note mid-cockpit sheeting, which allows the author to tweak the mainsail as needed with Harken windward sheeting. From the portside seating (the author is right handed), he can control both jib sheet lines (the starboard sheet runs around the winch and to a cleat in front of the author). The jib roller furler's line, the mainsail's halyard and downhaul are on the portside cabin top for easy reach. The centerboard's pennant (not shown) also runs to a cleat in front of the author. To reef the main, the boat has a slab reefing controlled by a line (aft), individual reefing ties, and, a hook on the forward of the boom, which the author can reach by moving forward and standing atop the centerboard trunk inside the cabin, reachable through the open companionway hatch.
Aft section shot shows handy layout of author's boat, with 5 hp Nissan two-cycle and tiller easily within reach. What looks like a holder for the boom (beside author) is actually for the mast when trailering, and, is a handy way to brace yourself while under sail. The knotmeter and depthsounder (cabin, to starboard) are protected under a flap of cloth which is closed when the instruments are not in use. Note that the author uses both the tiller and the engine when maneuvering in close quarters. He unlocks the engine and swivels it in unison with the rudder for outstanding boat handling coming into dock (here) or in extreme windy conditions in harbor. 
Looking for a handy place to mount that hard-to-read GPS unit? I've located mine beside the traveler. It's handy, readable, out of the way, and demountable. Note the custom-designed tiller (the author fitted it to his grip) and the seat back to portside aft.
A full cover designed by the author fits atop the small sailboat. It includes a handy boom tent covering the cockpit, a transparent opening for the front hatch, open portlights (smoked dark acrylic), and a plastic cover lets light in through a deck prism. The cover is secure and has withstood many Lake Superior storms while at anchor or tied up at a pier and is a pleasant below-decks experience. 

Free Plans: 


Kids can make a paper boat in just a few minutes in the cockpit or the cabin of your boat. The tiny sailboats handle well (provided you sail them downwind) and they race! On a calm day, put them alongside your boat, in a bathtub or a puddle, and watch them go. To enlarge the pix, just click on them. You can build a small fleet and race them! 

2/ It's easy enough to do. Click on the illustrations to enlarge them. Just keep folding and follow the instructions. See how the sail emerges. More fun.

3/ Now get your racer ready for the water. Be certain to give your boat's bottom a bend to create a slightly sharpened bow (the pointy end.) You can add cockpit coamings. You can draw in a little sailor, too, if you'd like along with a wheel to steer the boat. Don't hold back on the colorings. This boat was designed for kids to make in the back seat of a car during a trip to the marina or in the cockpit or cabin of a boat and to sail later.

These step-by-step illustrations on how to make a paper sailboat are from The Kid's Travel Fun Book: Draw. Make Stuff Play games. Have fun for hours. (Revised and Updated Second Edition) The text and illustrations are copyrighted by Marlin Bree and Loris Bree.