When I was doing National Service in 1956 I built a PBK 15 canvas canoe; she was a decked kayak designed by Percy Blandord. This genius was a man of many talents, not least, writing books on a variety of subjects including: sailing, boating, boat building, woodworking, and blacksmithing - 123 titles in all! He claims he has sold 147,000 boat plans, more than any other designer in the world.
Perhaps his most well-known boat design is that of the bilge keel trailer sailer, the Lysander. He designed her in 1963 for construction by amateur boat builders who could build them with minimal resources. They were made from plywood panels laid on laths that were supported by frames. The 17’ foot boat had a shallow draught of only 2’ 3”. Some builders stretched their boats to 19’, and a few modified the coachroof by raising it to provide more headroom. The original sloop had a gunter mainsail and a jib, which meant that her spars could be contained within the length of the boat for safe trailing. Over time, builders experimented with different rigs, including gaff, and junk. Some boats were modified to become cutters by the addition of a bowsprit for deploying a ‘proper’ jib.
Plans for building a Lysander can be obtained from the Lysander Owners Association. (See link below)
L.O.A 17’ 0”
Draught 2’ 3”
Weight approx 800 lbs
Mainsail 90 sq ft Jib 33 sq ft
Lysander Owners Association
Sailboat Data Info Page for the Lysander
Lysander Ullswater Meet – YouTube Videos
Good Photos of a 19’ version with a lifting cabin top
Percy Blandford Appreciation Society
Article at Twin-Keeler
An Illustrated History of Small Boats by Percy Blandford
Percy Blandford Books