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 copy of a "Small Boat Journal" article provides background information for the design, and there is even a reduced set of plans so that you can follow along in case you aren't ready to order the full set of construction plans right away.
About the photos...
The photo above is of Lapwing on launching day. She's 10'-6" overall, and as you can see, sprit rigged. Her primary function is as a tender for a Dark Harbor 21 and she frequents the waters of Penobscot Bay (Maine), eastward to the waters around Mt. Desert Island and beyond.
The photo to the right is the first Sunshine built after the lines were taken off the original boat. She's a rowing model, but since then, nearly all of them 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 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 go off gunkholing in their tenders.
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.