Sail trainer and yacht tender, 8'4 x 4'3"
Blondie was my entry into the 2001 Duckworks Design Competition. She did not win, but it was still a fun project. For those who are interested in the boat, here are the plans in Adobe Acrobat Format:
January 2005 update:
There are a now a number of Blondies under construction around the world, including a couple in Australia and also Vermont. These photos are of the second completed Blondie that I know about, built by Peter Simmons in Minnesota.
The builder made one minor change that I wholeheartedly endorse.
He moved the daggerboard case off to the side, clearing the best part of the
boat for people and stuff. My old Windsprint had a similar arrangement that I
thought was wonderful. Most people have an aversion to asymmetry. Only until
people sail a boat so equipped they realize it doesn't really make a difference.
Peter also fabbed a nifty removable rowing thwart.
Here's what he had to say about her:
"Here are a few pics of the Blondie I built
this past summer. I don't have any shots of her
sailing, but I am very impressed with her sailing
qualities. She tends to stay almost straight up and
down, even in stiff - 12-18 mph - winds, and would be
even faster with something superior to my first ever
sailmaking effort. I offset the dagger board case as
we discussed, and this created a lot more interior
volume. I made a removable rowing thwart which has a
tab that fits into the dagger board case and rests on
a narrow sill on the opposite side. All very
satisfactory. Great design! No surprises in the
build, but a boat of surprising ability in the water!"
The prototype Blondie was built and sailed by John Burgh in Indiana.
He sent this report:
hi john the squeeze and I managed to get Blondie out today for her maiden voyage. It was 45 degrees here, and winds WNW at 10mph. Wind-chill...I don't even want to know, Errol said it was freakin' cold out there! I don't know where to start because she was everything you predicted and a lot more. I took her out by myself first, just to make sure everything was OK and to give the squeeze a chance to get a couple of flyby photos. Blondie is very stable in the water, not to mention dry...got a few gusts in the 15-20 mph range...and by yourself (well I did have Errol with me) she really gets up and boogies, doesn't heel much either, really surprised me there. After about 20 minutes of windward tacking back and forth across the river the squeeze was starting to look like the 9yr old left out of a pizza party, so I went and picked her up, because it was her turn to drive. The boat does fantastic with 2 grownups in her at about 320lbs total, (Errol doesn't weigh anything). After about an hour and a half on the water Errol started whining that he had to "go", I told him he should've gone before we got in the boat, so I let go of the sheet and the rudder to see what would happen and Blondie politely pointed head into the wind and just stayed there. So, Errol told the Squeeze, stay on the windward side of the boat, because Errol needs to visit the lee side of the boat. It's a good thing there's never a fish cop around when you don't really need one, because Errol would've got busted for hanging it over the lee side of the boat. But it was light work so everything went fine, don't know if I'd try this maneuver with heavy work or not. So this should give you some idea of how stable Blondie is in the water with 2 people in it... So my guess is, you've got a real world beater on your hands here just as soon as the word gets out on what a fantastic boat Blondie really is. (you'll be the guy with the "this plan has been downloaded 5 jillion times next to the button". And all those guys like us that have a D4 or want a D4 should really be thinking Ruebenesque blondes. Because Blondie has more room, more capacity, takes less materials to build not to mention extremely easy to build. Errol and his squeeze-aka John and April Rose Burgh
If you build one, I'd love to hear about it.