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A Daydream built in 22 hours in South Africa!         

Rob Smith of Seattle Washington, built this Daydream with his two nephews who live in South Africa. Photos and captions are from Rob. His notes on the build follow the pictures. 

Every thing was cut by hand. We did have drills, an electric plane that I brought from the US, and a jigsaw.

We could not get 16’ lumber, so I had to use a 12 and 4 foot piece for the chine – it would have been easier with a single piece – or if we had the time to scarf a piece. We did what we could under the time constraints we had.
In order to get the chine angle correct, I clamped a straight edge to my plane. The other end rode the chine on the opposite side of the boat, and the angle came out perfectly.
As you can see, our construction methods were simple and straightforward
Two proud looking boys!  (Michael and Daniel)
Building the skeg.
It looks like a boat!
I added a watertight chamber so that the boat could never sink. My brother is a quadriplegic – so I did not want the boat to sink if he ever was in the boat with his sons.
We took the pattern out once the boat was stable. Here are getting ready to put in seats.
The aft seat in place.
Measuring and laying out the front seat.
Lets paint this and test it in the swimming pool before we got to bed!!
Touche’. It floats with 7 on board.
Deciding where to position the front mast.
The rudder – a little overkill. It did work well though!
More details.
It is starting to look good (and you can see the sharpie in it)
In the water. We sailed for about an hour until a storm drove us to shore. Most of the time we sailed with 7 of us on board.

The building of “Sharp-Sharp”

“Sharp-sharp” is an expression used locally in South Africa by youngsters. When I explained to my nephews that the design of the boat we were building was based on the American Sharpie, they decided on the name.

I had two days to build the boat before I was scheduled to return to Seattle – my home. I was originally going to build “the Laughing Gull” featured in the August issue of Woodenboat – but I was not sure that I could finish the boat in two days. I then decided to build the sharpie called “day-dream“ that was found on the site “simplicityboats.com”.

I made the sides out of 4 mil 3-ply pine plywood, and the base out of 6 mil plywood. I had to cut everything with a dull handsaw, as I only had the tools that were available to my nephews.   

We nailed the boat together using galvanized nails, and painted it with quick drying automotive paint. While I love wooden boats, I am practical and decided that seeing that the boat would live most of the year out of the water, it would almost always be in dry storage. We did not therefore need to put the time or money into making it a perfect boat. We chose therefore not to use fiberglass or expensive paints or epoxy.

Simplicityboats.com did not have sufficient details for the sailing rig, daggerboard or rudder. I designed the sailing rig and location of the daggerboard after reviewing Reuel Parker’s Sharpie book, and just made up the rudder on the fly. The rudder really needs to be changed, although it worked fine. It was a little overkill and needs to be shorter so that the craft can beached easier.

I had a great time with my nephews. We built the boat in 22 hours, and when we sailed it we put 7 people aboard. It sailed fast and handled well. Unfortunately our camera ran out of battery power just as we were launching. I am returning to South Africa in February, and will get a picture of Sharp-Sharp under sail.

Rob Smith


Seattle, Washington, USA

Daydream build instructions here

Simplicity Boats Home Page