Amateur Boat Building

by Jim Betts

The world's amateur boat builders will have their own race program in 2004. Unlike the usual format, the race will take place wherever there are boats, racing each other or in the case of only one boat — race against the clock. There will be a series of events; short races and longer ones with a crew of two and single-handed events. Boats will be scored on each event and also on the quality of construction.

Boats must be amateur built using either the cold-molded wood or one-offfiberglass methods. The boat is 18 ft. 9 in. (5.7m) LOA and 8 ft. (2.4m) beam. It has a retractable keel and is self-righting and self- rescuing.

The program will take place in 2004 and will be held in various parts of the world based on weather conditions.
One major factor, is that the boats must be usable as small cruising boats when not being raced. The boat must have an after life, unlike some of the upscale racers that have little value after the race program."

The International Amateur Boat Building Society publishes a bimonthly magazine, sells boat plans, conducts research on boat designs and building materials and methods and offers technical advice to amateur boat builders worldwide.

For more information, contact IABBS, PO Box 1309, Point Pleasant Beach NJ 08742-1309, USA.

MERMAID is the one-design boat for the IABBS program. The boat is sloop rigged, and is 18 ft., 9 in. long and 8 ft. beam. It has a retractable ballasted keel. The boat sleeps two, has a galley and head. Headroom in the cabin is five feet in the sitting area. Note that the after part of the cabin (where the after window is) is actually in the cockpit. This is a "ready station" where the crew can sit out of the weather and still be in the cockpit. The boat is self-righting and self-rescuing. Foredeck work is done from the hatch. There is no need to go on the foredeck and it is, in fact, prohibited. Our mermaid swims alongside and points to the next mark on the course.

Jim Betts