I had initially purchased the plans for an Australian Javelin type sailing dingy when I stumbled across the Swift Solo article in the Wooden Boat Magazine. After reading the article it didn't take long to decide that this was the boat to have. Construction started in November 2003 and moved along during the winter. Although I struggled at times with keeping a consistent temperature in my garage the hull was completed in May 2004. I spent a few months rigging the spars. I received the sails in august 2004 and took the boat for its first ride shortly after that. It was a short / wet ride which ended abruptly due to a broken vang arm. Since then I have gotten progressively better both at sailing the swift and making parts that last longer. ------------
Christain sailing at the Midwinter clinic in Fort Desoto, Florida
Sweet Caroline reaching (fast) in his home waters of Virginia
Like most of us, the car had to go outside and the bikes were shuffled around more than once
The sanding and filling part--the reward is in sight
I rediscovered my passion for sailing after a twenty year gap. My previous sailing experience was with the single-handed Laser class but this time I wanted something faster and more modern in design. I initially got a double handed skiff class but hadn’t taken into account the hassles that having a crew adds to the equation. I wanted a single-handed boat with skiff performance. I browsed the web and discovered Bram Dally’s Swift Solo. The first thing that struck me was what a great looking boat this was but I was a little worried about building it from scratch – I have no boat building experience and work in a white collar job. After a few months of indecision I decided to take the plunge and buy the manual and templates from Bram.
Since then I have been busy boat building!! I have found the process to be remarkably straightforward. Bram’s manual runs to around 100 pages full of instructions and photos. It is simply a matter of methodically working through page by page. Bram and other class members are available to answer any questions that arise during construction. I have successfully made all the small components and am about to start stripping the hull – I can’t wait!!
Mark, what a great job you've done--th thing is beautiful
Mark White USA 033
It all started one night when I had a vivid dream. The dream started off somewhat out of the bounds of reality, but ended with the vision of a boat like I had seen in the movie Wind, maybe an 18 footer, but made of wood. Now I don't usually give dreams a lot credibility, I'm just not that sort of person, but it was so clear that I made a special trip to the book store just to see if there was anything like what I had seen, and to my suprize, there on the shelf was the last issue of woden boat magizine with a swift solo on the cover. I couldn't believe it. I talked it over with my wife, who believes firmly in dreams and decided to get involved.
I have a fairly good background in woodworking, and a love for sailing from growing up on the water, but had never built a boat. I use my 2 car garage as a workshop, and have everything on castors so I can move things around easily. The construction process is simple and straight foreward. Although there are times I don't know exactly what to do, I'll e-mail a question to the class, and they kindly all respond with pictures and comments. I know we will all be competitors on the water, but in the garage there's a real team spirit. Building the boat has been a real pleasure, I just can't explain the feeling of seeing a bunch of strips of wood come together into a work of art.
I feel that anyone who has the patience to sitck with the project can produce a high quality boat. Bram has done an excellent job explaining things in the construction manual, you just need a little common sence, follow directions, and be willing to take your time. I believe failure only occurs when one gives up, and that goes for anything in life.
Hi Bram and All.
It's great to have my swift solo built, rigged and ready to sail. This was my first woodworking, boat building experience. Working in small quarters is not easy. 10 x18 has got to be some kind of record. Well, she still needs a finishing touch. After all that time over 1 1/2 years I got ancy and had to see and feel how she works. So into the water she goes.
I got to hand it to Bram and everyone into the swift solo building class. Thanks for all your help. All the latest edition of parts and rigging make my swift solo state of the art for now.
My next one will be even better. Now if I can remember how I did it. Honey, Where did I put Bram's manual.