Saturday, November 26, 2016

We are Building an Argie 15

The Argie 15 is our most popular design, with builds to date in the thousands, spread all over the world. I designed this boat 28 years ago but have only once sailed one. That was the prototype on launch day, when we did publicity photos for the Cape Argus newspaper that had commissioned the design. Sailing among the rows of moored boats at False Bay Yacht Club, I remember it as a speedy and nimble sailor that also rowed very easily.

Getting the boat to the water was an interesting experience of its own, showing us just how big this big 3-in-1 dinghy is. We didn't have a trailer to move it from the Fishoek home of the builder, journalist Dave Biggs, to the water. Our friend, single-handed sailor Kate Steward, came to our assistance with her bakkie (South African name for a pickup truck) with a fibreglass canopy. We placed the Argie 15 upside-down on the roof of the canopy. The boat was way too big to carry that way, overhanging the roof all round and obscuring much of the windscreen, with the tip of the bow not much more than a foot above the bonnet. It reminded me of a young boy scout with a brand new hat that he still has to grow into.
Argie 15 prototype on the slipway of False Bay Yacht Club.

Me at the helm and Dave Biggs as crew. The first sail of the first Argie 15, between the moorings of False Bay Yacht Club.
We have never had an Argie 15 exhibited on the Wooden Boat Show but that will soon change. We are building one now and expect to exhibit it at Mystic in June next year. The work is being done by my friend, Kevin Agee, working from one of our CNC kits. I will post progress photos over the next few months, through to launching and sailing the new boat. Here are the first few photos of Kevin's project.
Long hull panels are longer than a sheet of plywood, so two panels are glued together to make the full length. If building from a kit, they have jigsaw joints. If building from plans then scarph joints or taped butt joints are used.
Close-up of jigsaw joint after gluing. Once faired and sanded, it disappears into the finished surface.
Kevin will be showing this boat in the "I Built it Myself" section of the 2017 Wooden Boat Show at Mystic. If you have an Argie 15 or other of our boats that you have built yourself and you live on the USA East Coast, why not bring it to Mystic and show off your handiwork alongside Kevin's boat?

To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or mobile website.`