At long last, after 17 months of boatbuilding I've finally completed my Joel White Pooduck Skiff! I launched her Saturday afternoon during a Small Craft Advisory and occasional showers, and christened her Annabel Lee.
The conditions didn't make for very good photography but the sailing was great. It took a while to get all the lines figured out, but once I did (and remembered to put the centerboard down) she sailed very easily. The mast can be raked forward so she can be sailed under the mainsail alone, or raked back when the jib is added. She has a really cute little jib.
I found it incredible that with such a complicated craft everything just seemed to work. You know how it is with a new kayak -- after the first time out you'll want to change the seat, adjust the footbraces, change the rigging, etc. With this boat I couldn't think of anything I needed or wanted to change. I think it is a testament to the skill Joel White put into his designs, even into the plans for a little plywood boat.
A few final building notes:
I added 1/4 inch bungees under the seats to hold gear, drybags, fenders, or extra floatation. They are attached using nylon webbing and silicon bronze screws and washers according to the Chesapeake Light Craft method. They are completely hidden under the seats and should hold everything securely in the event of a capsize.
The rope is 1/4 inch low-stretch polyester three strand from New England Ropes. Three strand rope is essential because you need to make a few eye splices. It is amazingly soft and easy on the hands, which is also very important if you like to sail without gloves. It is absorbent and feels just like cotton.
I'm really glad I used bronze cleats. You can't have enough of those. I added two cleats that were not in the plans for the outhaul and the downhaul, which makes them easier to adjust while underway.
For more pictures check out my photo album.