|Newly launched Argie 15 prototype, Dudley at helm.|
Over the years that followed, many builders added side seats to make it more comfortable to sail than was possible with the thwart-type seating of the original design. Eventually I added information to the drawings for building with full-length side seats, which added another two sheets of plywood. These also increase safety for sailing in rougher water by reducing splash water entering the cockpit and adding flotation. For camp-cruising, the seats add watertight stowage compartments for clothing and food.
The Argie 15 has proven to be a very versatile boat, well beyond the scope of the original design. It was intended as a large open boat for family fun but has proven capable of so much more.
|This photo of Nick Fairley's boat shows the capacity of the Argie 15 pretty well.|
The Argie 15 has classic styling, with a springy sheer and good freeboard. That makes it a dry boat in lumpy water and well-suited to fishing in moderate coastal conditions. This was the plan of Pete Frielinnghaus when he fitted a centre console and 30hp outboard to his Argie 15. He reports that it can do more than 20 knots. Pretty good for a 3:1 family dinghy.
|Pete Frielinghaus in his Argie 15 centre console fishing boat.|
The Argie 15 would be a great boat for raid-type adventure sailing events. It has the load capacity to carry the crew plus stores, camping gear etc. It is fast enough to get there ahead of most of the competition. It is light enough to be portaged over short distances or trailed on a dolly for longer overland legs.
I have been promising myself for years that I will build an Argie 15 for myself. Somehow there has always been some other project or adventure in the way, so it hasn't happened. This would be a good boat to take to the Wooden Boat Show at Mystic Seaport. I must pull finger and build one to take to the show in the next year or two.
Construction is the most basic of basic boatbuilding methods, stitch-&-glue plywood. It uses 6mm plywood that is jointed mostly with fibreglass tape and resin. This method sometimes produces rather boxy shapes but the Argie 15 manages to be quite elegant. It can be built from plans only, with components drawn full-size from dimensioned diagrams on the drawings. An optional extra is to order full-size patterns that save the measuring work by supplying printed patterns of the components, for the builder to transfer onto the plywood.
Pre-cut kits of all plywood components are also available from suppliers in a few countries. Our USA kits are cut and shipped by Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis but must be ordered from us direct. For suppliers in other countries go to our kits page.
There are many sailing videos on-line of the Argie 15. A new one by Justin Philips of Nick Fairley's new Argie 15 sailing in about 12 knots of breeze, shows how responsive and quick it is, tacking on a tickey and accelerating very quickly out of turns. http://youtu.be/gNFx8FHGiww
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