Sandpiper in Mulroy Bay, Ireland - easy access to wild places

Sandpiper - beached for a run ashore

Sandpiper - first stages of construction: side panels bent around the midships frame

Sandpiper - shows the clean interior produced by this style of easy building

Sandpiper - performs well with her sprit rig

Sandpiper - was built in the four days of BOAT 99, and finished off at home, photograph courtesy of Martin Waide

Specially designed to be built by beginners over the four days of the BOATS 99 boat show, although Sandpiper reduces boatbuilding to its simplest elements she is a good-looking rowing and sailing skiff – her bilge keels give her a spacious and unobstructed interior.

Choice of rigs: spritsail sloop, as seen here, or standing lug.

Dimensions: 4.2m x 1.4m (13′ 9″ x 4′ 8″)
Hull weight: 60kg (132lbs)
Sail area (sloop): 6.5 sq m (70 sq ft)
Plans: £40 post free ( £42 outside Europe)

Sandpiper illustrates the principles of “handsome is as handsome does”, since the main considerations in her design were speed and ease of construction – but the outcome was a capable and attractive little boat. Her hull is formed simply by bending parallel-sided panels around prefabricated frames, and adding strength and stiffness with solid chines and gunwales. She is built from four sheets of 1/4″ (6mm) ply, with solid timber as required for framing and longitudinals.

Instead of the usual centre- or dagger-board, Sandpiper has twin long bilge keels which give her windward performance in very shallow water, as well as an unusual amount of space within the boat. Her light weight means she can very easily be trailed to the waters of your choice, and for the single-hander she makes a simple weekend cruiser if fitted with a tent cover. Two adults can comfortably spend the day aboard exploring out-of-the-way places generally accessible only to wildfowlers in long thigh boots.

Particularly full and detailed building instructions are accompanied and illustrated by copies of the article on Sandpiper from “Practical Woodworking”, the magazine sponsoring the event at Boats 99 where the first examples after the prototype were built.

“… an enjoyable and relaxing boat to sail … a great boat to learn about boatbuilding and sailing …”
Water Craft, September/October 1999

“… a handy little craft for use on sheltered waters for sailing, fishing, or just pottering …”
Practical Woodworking, Vol 34 no 4