Home - Project Just Right
Chapter 1 - My goals and Requirements
Chapter 2 - Choosing the Boat to Build
Chapter 3 - Preliminaries, What I Did Before Starting
Chapter 4 - Setting up Frames and Building the Hull
Chapter 5 - Interior
Chapter 6 - Deck and Exterior
Chapter 7 - Topside Details
Chapter 8 - Keel, Centerboard, and Rudder
Chapter 9 - Mast, Rigging, Sails, Outboard & Anchors
Chapter 10 - The Electrical System
Chapter 11 - The Trailer and Trailering
Chapter 12 - Sea Trials and Cruising Pictures
Chapter 13 - Future Projects ... When is a Boat Finished?
Chapter 14 - Useful Information... Sources and Links
Chapter 15 - Questions and Answers
Chapter 16 - Other Vagabond Builders and Aficionados
Chapter 17 - A Few Good Ideas
Chapter 18 - Chapter 18 - Specifications and Equipment

The purpose of this site is to share my experiences and research involved in building and cruising the Vagabond Plus trailerable sailboat. I hope that what I learned will help other builders.

line drawing        at sea

Vagabond Plus
LOA: 19'8"
Beam: 7'7"
Draft:1'6" to 3'3"
Displacement: 2350 lbs.
Sail area: 170 sq. ft. (Main and fore triangle)
Trailer weight: about 2070 lbs.
Designer: Jacques Mertens

About the Web Site

In my experience, there are boat builders and there are sailors. The boat builders delight in building the boat and plan to learn to sail later. The sailors are too busy sailing to build a boat. I tried to strike a balance by spending two years planning and building a unique trailerable sailboat and then cruising Just Right for over twelve years.

In 1997 when I first started planning to build a sailboat, I had built several boats and had a pretty good idea what I wanted in the trailerable boat. Chapter 1 defines my requirements to guide selection of a design. My search and selection of a design is covered in Chapter 2. Once the design was selected, preparations including search for materials is described in Chapter 3. Chapters 4-10 describe the step by step construction including lots of pictures. Chapter 11 covers the evolutionary process of purchasing and modifying the trailer. The calendar time from Chapter 4-11 took almost two years. Chapter 12 covers the sea trials and outfitting as well as highlights of the many cruises we took in the boat. Over the time we sailed Just Right, we made many additions which made cruising safer and more comfortable. Chapter 13 describes those projects. At the time I started Just Right, finding materials was more of a problem than today. Chapter 14 gives some clues and useful information about the sources and parts I found. I started this web site when I initiated the project and added chapters and pictures as construction followed. Over the years, I answered lots of questions from builders and on related topics. Chapter 15 includes some of the ones I considered still relevant. As interested builders found my web site and became familiar with Jacques Mertens designs, a number of Vagabonds were started and many completed. As well as lots of questions, I received pictures and progress reports from other builders around the world. Chapter 16 is a collection of pictures of other Vagabonds. Chapter 17 is a catchall of ideas I thought you might find helpful. Chapter 18 includes additional specifications and an extensive list of all the equipment on Just Right.

I've learned a lot since starting this web site so I've gone back and updated some of the parts with later information. New advances in resins have made construction more efficient. Many more composite plywood-fiberglass-epoxy boats are under construction or completed and many more skilled builders are out there. This site is now one of many out there.

Plans for the Vagabond Plus, also known as the Vagabond 20, as well as plans for 18 foot, 23 foot and 26 foot versions are available from Jacques Mertens at http://www.bateau.com. Besides a plans catalog, you will find helpful forums, tutorials and attractively priced supplies.

You can contact me by email justright20@att.net I always try to answer questions.

Just Right anchored at Isabella Cove in Desolation Sound, Canada

Just Right anchored at Isabella Cove in Desolation Sound, Canada

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