I grew up learning to sail a Klepper Aerius II that my folks purchased before I was born. Klepper folding boats are amazing things and it was a lot of fun to learn to paddle and sail. In college I sailed dinghies around the Tampa Bay area. I never got into racing and never learned any of the terminology aside from the very basics.
For years after that my only boating was a simple fiberglass canoe. The old skin of the Klepper had given out after 30+ years of life. We paddled around local lakes and rivers for a bit and then had kids and hung up the canoe for a while. As the kids started to get a bit older, I started thinking of sailing again and how much fun I’d had as a kid. I started looking around for a family day sailer. I picked up a 17′ 1983 Spindrift Day Sailer I in Oct 2012. It’s big enough to hold the family, but small enough that I can rig it, launch it & retrieve it myself. We’ve gone out a few times as a family, but more often solo or just with Molly
She’s starting to enjoy the sailboat, but it’s really more boat than we need most of the time. Eventually I’d like to build a Michalak Piccup Pram, but in the mean time I thought a fun father-daughter project would be a simple Puddle Duck Racer. We can knock it together from simple materials using non-toxic glues instead of epoxy resins, etc. To make it more fun we imagine building a plywood dragon head and tail for the boat and painting the whole thing green with scales. The goal is to be as cheap as we can make it, but I’m hoping to reuse the sail, mast, spars & rudder for the Piccup Pram. We’ll be able to put this boat on top of the car instead of a trailer, but it’s still big enough to bring along camping gear for a night or weekend on the lake. First step is to order the Piccup Pram plans and start working on the mast and spars in the basement while it’s still too cold to work outside.