Building Sunshine describes the layout, building, and finishing of Walter Simmons' popular 10'-6" yacht tender, one of the finest little lapstrake boats we've ever known. Since Sunshine is a traditionally constructed boat, this book can also lead you through the building of just about any round-bottomed lapstrake, the skills used being the same for one and all. Particular emphasis is placed on setting up the backbone and fitting the lapstrake planks, with drawings and thorough explanations. And for anyone the least bit hesitant about their planking abilities, there is even a detailed discussion of the methods used by professionals to match plank heights (something we've never read before, anywhere). Spiling, scarphing, and fastening are covered, of course, as is the inboard joinerwork. A reprint of a Small Boat Journal article provides background information for the design, and excerpts from the plans are included throughout to help you follow her cosnstruction from lofting on through making the spars and oars.
These tenders become like part of the family, and so it was that on the wedding day the youngest daughter of one Maine family was delivered to her ceremony on the beach by her brother in Sunshine...
Nearly all of our tenders have been rigged to sail with a sprit rig and a daggerboard. Even rigged to sail they make superb tenders because the entire rig stows right in the boat. Those that are used specifically as tenders find that they receive as much use as the boats they tend, because after the primary boat is anchored for the night the owners use them to explore the shallows nearby. In Maine that's called gunkholing.
Most Sunshine's, though, are used as solo boats–and they are surprisingly capable. One couple built themselves a strip-built version and on their vacation sailed her from the Mississippi Delta to the Yucatan Peninsula and back! Now that's nerve–and testament to one heck of a little boat. Few make such extensive journeys, but they have become so favored by their owners that they are guarded jealously. One owner's children even requested that their boat be written into his Last Will and Testament so she wouldn't pass out of the family. (That's the very boat shown in the photo above.)
Building Sunshine features 85 information-packed pages with 42 drawings, and it is comb bound like all of our shop manuals.