Belgian Wooden Snipe

Wannes Nyckees explains why and how is building a wooden Snipe. To him the Snipe seemed a cool boat to build.

Read the story and check out the pictures for the building process.

“During the final two years of school each student has to do a project. The choice of subject is totally free, some opted for a theoretical project, I chose to do a practical one. I wanted to make something usefulthat I could enjoy for many years, that’s why I chose to build a boat. I’m not a keen sailor and had no idea which boat I would choose. My father told me that the Snipe is a good boat for a novice boat builder.

Wannes Nyckees explains why and how is building a wooden Snipe. To him the Snipe seemed a cool boat to build.

Read the story and check out the pictures for the building process.

“During the final two years of school each student has to do a project. The choice of subject is totally free, some opted for a theoretical project, I chose to do a practical one. I wanted to make something usefulthat I could enjoy for many years, that’s why I chose to build a boat. I’m not a keen sailor and had no idea which boat I would choose. My father told me that the Snipe is a good boat for a novice boat builder.

In the autumn of 2010 I ordered plans from a company called Clark Craft in New York. All the measurements were in feet and inches so I had to convert everything to the metric system. With the plans came a manual from Harold L. Gilreath dating from 1960. In this manual he explains how he made his own Snipe with basic tools. Without my father, who is a cabinetmaker and has the proper tools, I never would have started this project. He gave me many tips on woodworking.

The plans came and I began immediately. First I made a frame on which I mounted the inner structure of the hull. Then I mounted the plates of plywood ( 9mm mahogany Bruynzeel, 15 years guarantee). The Snipe is one of the first dinghies specially designed for plate material. When the wooden structure of the hull was finished I put on a glassfibre reinforcement with epoxy. This makes the hull stiff and strong. On the hull are 6 layers of epoxy and 5 coats of varnish. After turning the hull, I made a hole for the daggerboard.

At this moment I am working on the deck, which is almost finished. Afterwards I have to put on all the fittings and the rigging. As I’m not a keen sailor, I think this is going to be the hardest part of all. From the beginning it was clear to me that it had to be a modern rigged Snipe, with the same trim possibilities as a racing Snipe. In fact I want to be a keen sailor and want to sail races with this boat. Besides a camp in optimist and some laser sailing, I don’t have a lot of sailing experience, but this will change soon when I have my own Snipe!

During Easter the school project has to be finished and this is when I plan her maiden voyage!”

Wannes Nyckees

We all are looking forward to see his boat sailing in the near future!

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