Friday, May 08, 2009

A new dinghy in order to go mangrove sailing

Well due to a family medical emergency I will be based in El Salvador in Central America for the next few months. I very much doubt that Roach will get launched this year but in an attempt to get some sailing in, I have decided to take the rather challenging step of building a dinghy whilst I am out there. At least I can get afloat.

There are two areas I would like to explore. The bay of Jiquilisco, which is a massive river system with mangroved banks and islands. The only marina in Salvador is based there. Then there is the Golfo de Fonseca, which is a lovely bay toward the South of the island where the Rio Lempa has an estuary. There are several islands in the bay, and I might add, where Honduras, El Salvador and Niquaragua have claims. Lastly there is also the Ilopango crater lake which I would like to sail on.

Anyway, the dinghy will be simple as it needs to be built quickly. The plans I eventually chose are the P7/8 in the pciture above gives an idea.

The advantage of the this dinghy is that it is car toppable on my own, can be made from single sheets of 8x4 ply (with no butt joints), has a simple unstayed lug rig and is small enough to encapsulate in epoxy completely to make up for poorer quality plywood. It also means that with the plans I can make another one back in the UK as tender and sell the one I am making as tender in ES too.

So for the next few months, you will hopefully see some progress on the challenges and rewards of making a dinghy in developing country. If you’re lucky there might be a few adventure to recount too!


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