sassafras 16

This Canadian says $600 to build an S16 at the Woodenboat Show? Only $600! Really? Last boat I built was for a friend and it cost me about a grand all up for materials for a Chesapeake 18. took me forever and two weeks to build between work and move house and a little altercation between me on foot and a car. ('Nuther story, don't wanna tell it here.) Paddled it myself and it don't need a rudder, it has one as friend insisted he couldn't paddle a straight line to save his life. I think he'll be pleased with the skill he thought he had not.

Yeah I want a Sassafras 16! You bet. Question; should I buy plans to build said boat? I did for the C18, worth it for the detail.

sincerely; Theo Kee



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RE: sassafras 16

I built a Sass' 16 from the plans (out of the book, which are wrong, but repairable) and, years into the sordid affair, I continue to love it to death.

Brilliant boat: versatile, stable, fast and and safe. Don't even get me started on it's sexy, sexy curves.

But, to your question: Having quasi-lofted a million brads, and a thousand curves, on a half-dozen 8x4 sheets of pooh-knows-where-from-okume (which I don't regret, and is still going strong after many years), I'd recommend...

...the kit.

Yep, the kit. It took me months, and cost me at leat twice (in low-angled planes, sharpening stones, hand-drills, spoke-shaves and doo-hickies) the cost of the kit, to do it all by hand.

That said, the only (repeat: ONLY) reason I say that is precisely because I built it by hand the first time. "Catch", as they say, "Twenty-Two..."!

So, I guess, if you can afford to get "elbows-deep", go the plans. If you want a boat, that you built, on a budget, go the kit. Either way, you'll have an almost-illegal amount of fun... and an awesome boat.



RE: sassafras 16

Dave: Seeing as I have already aquired all the low angle planes 'n' spokeshaves 'n' sharpening (water) stones (you ghot a hand drill??? where you get that?) most (not all) of which I got before I built the 18 so I am armpit deep already. As well I found revised measurements for all 3 Sassafrases, printed them, keep them in the book. What do I get if i ask CLC for Sassafras plans, do i get...the book, again or do I get detailled plans as I did for the 18?

  Just so you know I also own a Cape Charles 18 which I built...I'd rather have the Chesapeake 18

RE: sassafras 16

Well, that changes things. Tools, and how to use/sharpen them (particularly planes) is most of the battle.

Never having got the 'official' plans, I'd guess you would be paying for detailed construction instructions/photos, and a bunch of perfectly correct lines. Spend even more and buy the kit, and you get perfectly pre-cut strakes, bulkheads and bit-n-pieces. But, if you have reliable-enough plans, and the means/patience/eye to make your curves fair, and a source of cheap, quality okume, then the numbers you have are probably all you need. Seafarin' folks have been building perfectly seaworthy boats by eye for, I dunno, at least a decade or two... (insert winkie emoticon here!).

At the end of the day, it's a basic lofting of five groups of 4x strakes, involving careful (but not obsessive) fairing of curves with the low-angle plane, a scary scarfing session with a #4 Bailey, some slightly annoying rebates witha little bull-nosed plane, and 600x stitch-holes. Voila!

 Re the hand-drill, I bought an old English "Footprint" brand  double-pinion handdrill on eBay for like $3.00, which is one of my most useful tools (much moreso than the Bosch electric thing). Linkie to new ones (which are identical but considerably more than $3bucks -  in this regard, eBay is definitely your friend):



RE: sassafras 16

Please can you help me, Do you know what the revised measurements are for the Sassafras 16 and if so where can I get them from.

RE: sassafras 16

I don't know the perfect numbers, but who truly does?

It's a boat. 

Not rocket surgery.

Trust your eyes. You'll see where the numbers are wrong. If it isn't  a smooth curve, it should be. 

If it looks like a woman, except with a shoebox in her ankle, surgically remove the shoebox, and keep the woman...

Unless, of course, you really dig shoeboxes.



RE: sassafras 16


We are trying to build the Sassafras 16, operative word being trying. Does anyone have suggestions of how to bring together the bow and stern parts of the boat to be stitched together. We have followed the book,but the bow and stern are really far apart! 

Thanking anyone in advance for any help!

RE: sassafras 16

   Call CLC and ask for advice.  They have always been very helpful to me.  I did a Sassafras 12 years ago and I recall that it did take a fair amount of jiggering and some cinch straps to pull it together, but there may be specific tricks on the 16.  On some boats you may need to use a couple of scrap wood blocks and dry wall screws to pull the bow closed, then take the screws and blocks off and epoxy the holes closed.

RE: sassafras 16

   Thank you!!


RE: sassafras 16

   first mate, i did what mummichog did, but for the parts of the planks by the bow and stern, used silicon bronze screws, and left them in, permanently, using thickened epoxy as glue as well of course.  i figured leaving the screws in would do no harm and would add to the structural strength.  Have used my sassafras 12 five years now and no problems.  best wishes on your build.

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