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Plans from Duck Trap

Yacht Tender

Please note that information on plans pages will be scant while we are trying to get our site back up and in operation. Should you have questions in the meantime, please email us. Thanks for understanding.

The lines for Sunshine were based on a yacht tender built in the Stonington, Maine environs in about 1915. She had been a family tender for decades, but had seen better days when her owned brought her to our shop for repair. Since repairing her wouldn't have been cost effective, her owner asked us to build a new one. He was adamant that she was the best yacht tender he had ever known so asked that we be as faithful to the original as possible. The boat to the left was the first one we built. That was some time ago. The little blonde girl in the photo is now an Assistant District Attorney.

The boat at the right, in the midst of an island wedding, has a story to tell as well. At 10'-6" overall like the original, we built her for a suburban lawyer in Connecticut. The day she was delivered there was a party in progress so he asked that she be leaned up against his garden shed.

Several years later a caller inquired about the boat as her original owner was looking to sell her. 'Problem was she had never been stored properly and in fact was still leaning against the shed, the result being that her starboard side was pushed in several inches amidships.

Because she was cedar over oak we were able to return her to original condition. That required splitting away the distorted ribs so that her planking could slowly return to normal. Once it did we bent in new ribs, refinished her and the result is what is what you see there ferrying the bride to her wedding.


Sunshine has been an extremely popular design. As a tender she will ride the back side of the second stern wave without running down on the towing craft or yawing all over the place even in a following sea. As a standalone she is a lively little sailboat. More than one owner has related how their Sunshine sees as much sailing time as their larger boats, because when they anchor for the night they can go off exploring the shore in their little companion. Some like the 10'6" version and others prefer the 12'0" size. It's difficult to fault either one.

We've long since lost track of how many of these tenders have been built, by us here at Ducktrap, by others across this country, and others in Europe and as far away as Tasmania.They truly have worldwide appeal. When we taught boatbuilding in our shop–long before the WoodenBoat School existed–those with no prior experience seemed truly astonished how uncomplicated these are to build. The plans are drawn with the needs of beginners in mind and consist of lines and offsets, construction plan, and sail plan for her lug rig.

                                              The plans for the Sunshine are US$75

Today we offer a book dedicated to building Sunshine that follows her layout and construction all the way through the process.Building Sunshine is US$25

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