You're welcome, Pete.
FWIW, I made the mast taller than the plan indicated. I forget just how much, maybe 4 feet. And the bowsprit was lengthened to six feet overall. This kept the proportions of the fore triangle the same as on the plan. Lengthening the mast allowed me to get the boom up a bit higher so it didn't go boom on my brain bucket quite so often. It also allowed for a better lead on the peak halyard. It also allowed for more space between the shrouds and the gaff jaws. Some builders reported the gaff jaws got hung up in the shrouds. I used soft eyes at the top of the shrouds which worked nicely and didn't require a bunch of additional eyebolts at the top. I originally had the jib hanked on the forestay but I found it put the jib too far forward. When I had the tanbark colored sails made, I had a luff wire installed and put the jib on a little roller furler with the halyard attached to the mast at the height shown in the plan. I didn't like the self tending jib so I set it up with conventional jib sheets.
Here's a shot I took of the Weekender without the cabin.
Other than leaving off the cabin, running seats all the way to the mast and replacing the wheel with a tiller, it is pretty much by the plans.
I've always liked this Paul Gartside design. Probably a bit more boat than the O'Day, but a pretty straight forward strip build.
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Peter, I'm in a similar situation as yourself looking for a sailboat design of around 20'. Like you, I find the O'Day boat is indeed attractive. A neighbor owned one - it performed well in most all aspects. A used glass boat can often be had for less than the material costs for a new wood boat. Alas, not much passion in that. To my eye, John (in the previous post) hit the nail on the head recommending Gartside. In particular, I like #170. http://store.gartsideboats.com/colle...oard-sloop-170. This design is big for it's overall length with a load waterline of over 19' and a bunch of form stability in the hull with a beam of 7'8". It has a simple and easy to reef rig with a simple to raise mast on a tabernacle. It has 600 lbs. of lead ballast. It has fairly flat rear sections which will aid launching from a trailer. I also think it will be a great performer. Two other designers I find particularly noteworthy are Iain Oughtred and Francois Vivier. I built Oughtred's 16' Fulmar in 2003 - it's a very fast and exciting boat. Look at Oughtred's Kotik and Wee Seal. Vivier plans and patterns are expensive up front, but everything is described and facilitated for a rapid build. Look at the Beniguet and Jewell. Jewell comes in CNC kit form. Jewell shares some hull similarities to many Welsford designs with their flat bottoms.
Go for it, Pete
Many years ago, in 1959 to be exact, I built a plywood sailboat from plans in Mechanix Illustrated magazine. My first big woodworking project. It was a 14 foot international 14 class boat made of white oak and redwood with marine grade plywood covering. I still have the plans out in the workshop. At that time there were no power screwdrivers made and I borrowed a Yankee screwdriver which saved the day as I had 1400 brass screws to drive. Funny thing is I just sold the boat a month ago...been sitting in my barn for the last 23 years. My family and I had many happy times on the lake with this boat. Good luck with your project.
You should absolutely go for it. I have been building boats for many years and find nothing more satisfying than launching a new boat. I would suggest that you take inventory of the skills necessary to accomplish the build and make sure you are comfortable with them. I think the best way to do this is to do a small project. There is a lot less pressure making your way through a smaller project which uses many of the skills necessary for the bigger project. I believe at the beginning of this thread you mentioned a Gardner Dory. He has a number of boats which would prove to be a great learning experience for a larger project. When you are done making mistakes on the smaller project (and you will), you will go into the larger project feeling much better your chances.
There is nothing particularly difficult about building a small boat, for the most part it is just new skills which must be learned. Better to learn on a $1,000 project than a $30,000 project. Like Nike says, "just do it"