About Summer Boat Design

Although the bermudan rig is undoubtedly the standard, as seen all around the world. However, getting the best out of the bermudan rig requires considerable lengths of string that make up the complex arrangement of control lines that require constant adjustment. Nor is that the end of the matter, for there is also the matter of the control of bend in the spars which requires some time to set up before your boat even touches the water.


Maybe this technical wizardry and its attendant tweaking is not your bag and what you really want to do is to just go dinghy sailing, be it for the thrills or just pure gentle pleasure, without the excessive time of rigging and setting up your boat. If that is the case, then take a look at Summer Boat Design, where you will find open boats for sail and oar and, if you insist, the use of the occasional outboard motor. We concentrate on open, sail and oar boats with traditional rigs, primarily the powerful, efficient simplicity of the lug rig which will get you onto the water with the minimum of fuss and bother.


We may have the boat to provide you with just the kind of sailing that you are looking for.



The Designer

I have had a lifetime of involvement with boats of many types, shapes and sizes, learning to sail at the age of six years old and spending my childhood summers exploring the creeks of North Norfolk, to the numerous vessels I have come into contact with during the course of my working life from racing dinghies, professional seaman to boat builder.


Over the past 25 years I have specialised in traditional wooden boat building, which has, from time to time, involved design and production of small traditional dinghies alongside rig design and the repair and restoration of vessels ranging from classic yachts through smacks, bawleys, and other traditionally rigged sailing vessels, to motor yachts and a German WW2 schnellboot (E-boat).


Although I have been involved with many different boats and ships, modern, classic and historic, sail and power, my heart has always been with traditional sail. In returning to my sailing roots of small sail and oar boats, I have started going through the archive of my boat designs and ideas that have accumulated over the years. Many of the boats in my collection of designs were originally drawn using ‘old school’ paper and pencil which I am now re-working into digital form. Being digitised, many of the components can be CNC cut, which makes construction much easier and quicker.


Within this collection of traditionally rigged wooden boats, I hope you may find something of interest.


John Owles

Enjoy