Deciding on which boat to build is like trying to pick a car to build if you had every make and model throughout all of history to choose from, the options are daunting! 

After pouring over various designs I came to the decision that I need to pick a designer then pick the boat, that way the field would be drastically narrowed, kind of like deciding on a Ford or Mercedes then picking which model and year to build.  


After a lot of reading and research I ended up on the Atkin website and really loved their tag line "Individualized Designs for Unregimented Yachtsmen" that sure described me!  After a bit more digging and reading I came to learn that Atkin was relatively local (Connecticut) and has a very good reputation for solid and safe vessels and also importantly designed with the home builder in mind.  The home builder part is crucial.  Having never built a boat before, something straight forward, with modest shape, and decently sized scantlings would make the build easier to achieve.  

With the plan to voyage and live aboard, a boat that would be sea kindly and able to haul some gear and provisions would be very important as well.  Large enough to house a few friends but small enough to single hand was also a big consideration.  The Eric and Vixen both had great appeal and Eric was the boat that won the first GGR!  So seaworthiness of the design was well proven!   Neither of them were quite right though, then I read about Ingrid.

Atkin described her as: 

"Ingrid is a big boat. She has all the characteristics usually associated with seagoing ability. She is the kind of boat that behaves in rough water. She can be depended upon to sail herself. She is ableness personified. And equal to any situation."

That was exactly what I was looking for!  The really remote corners of the world call the loudest to me and Ingrid not only seems like a boat that could take us there and back but a boat that would enjoy doing so. She can sleep 5 but is small enough to single hand, double enders have a  great reputation offshore, the ketch rig gives lots of options for sail combinations, tiller keeps it simple, she is a very solid offshore cruising boat.  As soon as I read about her I knew she was the boat I was going to build.  


It was not until after construction began that we found out a gaff rigged version had been drawn, called Stormy Petrel, after seeing the sail plan and comparing rigs it was no contest.  For the places we want to go and the things we want to do a low slung and low tech gaff rig is ideal.

So far the plans have given us everything we need and nothing we don't.  Pat has been a great help anytime we had a question, all in all we have been very happy with the choice.

The real test will come after launch though and we are looking forward to it!!  We are sure Arabella will be up to the challenge. 


If you are interested in the Atkin designed family of boats, they can be found at the following link