RUBY SLIPPER – 23′ 3″ Fast, Stable Daysailer

Update:  Full plans and study plans are now available for RUBY SLIPPER, with some rig refinements and other minor improvements from the initial drafts.

Click here for the finished RUBY SLIPPER details, plans, and ordering information.

Ruby Slipper is a fast daysailer designed for glued lapstrake construction. She would be a good project for an ambitious home builder – someone who has enjoyed building a simpler boat and is ready to step up to a bigger project. Her shallow draft makes her suitable for trailering, and at 2500 pounds, she could be hauled home behind a reasonably-sized car. An ingenious skipper could even scheme up a gin pole to step the mast himself!

Glued lapstrake construction is well-proven as a wonderful method for building small boats. They go together quickly, require less maintenance than traditional wooden boats, and are immune to drying out when stored on a trailer. Although a little more mentally challenging than the stitch & glue method, it swaps a few simple woodworking skills for lots of mind-numbing sanding, and is ultimately quicker and less expensive. And to my eye, the resulting boats are better looking in the bargain!

Like other plywood building methods, glued lapstrake construction lends itself to “kitification” – most of the boat’s parts, as well as the setup jig, can be designed for machine cutting. This gives a big boost to the schedule for any builder, and removes a good deal of head-scratching in the shop. As a builder myself, I always have the folks in the shop in mind as I sit behind the computer.

RUBY’S hull is shallow and light, with a long waterline. Generous beam allows for a cockpit that can accommodate a crowd in comfort. A hefty chunk of lead in a NACA foil keel keeps her standing up to her generous sail plan, and will help carry her through fluky spells. Her particulars indicate rewarding sailing performance.


  • LOA 23’ 3”
  • LWL 21’ 4”
  • BEAM 7’ 2”
  • DRAFT 2’ 3” board up, 4’ board down
  • DISP 2500 lb.
  • SAIL AREA 242 sq. ft.
  • SA/DISP 21
  • SA/WS 2.2

Performance aside, RUBY SLIPPER would be a good fit for wobbly old salts like yours truly, who just want to go out for a sail on a lovely Maine summer afternoon. Said mariner might be a tad cantankerous and likes to sail without the complication of a crew. He needs a boat that is easy to board from the dinghy, and rarely asks him to leave the cockpit. Getting underway should be simple, and if the breeze doesn’t look as promising as expected, there should be room for a comfortable nap. He wants a boat that can go to weather in a smart fashion, fast enough to provide a thrill and stable enough so that a gimbaled drink holder is rarely wanted.

Doug Hylan

Brooklin, Maine December 2021