Introducing the "Piccolo"
a 9-foot 'Nesting Dinghy' for your yacht.

Principal dimensions:

L.O.A. 2.78 m (9' 01.5"),
Beam 1.43 m (4' 8"),
Length after taking apart: 1.45 m (4' 9")

Sail area - 3.06 m2 (33 sqft).

She has buoyancy compartments in each half, i.e. in the enclosed aft seats and the forepeak.


Material: 6mm (1/4") Marine plywood
Method: Epoxy stitch and glue (taped seam)

There had been a number of requests for a smaller dinghy than the "Sinbad", my popular, first nesting dinghy - leading to the design of the "Piccolo".
"Piccolo" is still big enough to be a useful tender, ferrying adults and children, while in its take-apart and stowed form this new design takes up even less space on deck.
"Piccolo" has the same width of beam as "Sinbad" for stability reasons.
An even simpler rig seemed called for - a triangular 'leg-o-mutton' sail, similar to a windsurfer. The boom can be either a sprit or a wishbone boom.

The mast is 3.75m (12' 3") and should find space on deck in one piece, but it can be sleeved to come apart for easier stowing.
The transom height on this dinghy accommodates a standard shaft outboard motor of 2-3.3 HP.

Hull shape: This boat is of the single chine pram type, but with the addition of a flat keel strake. This makes joining of the daggerboard case and mast step easier.

Basic building techniques as used in building the 'Swift' apply also to this boat - the methods are the same, its just smaller! It is therefore helpful to study the entire construction process of this much bigger double chine boat in-Building the 'Swift'.

However, there is already a Piccolo built in California and this link takes you to some very interesting pics of a completed boat.
Although you could build this dinghy without a construction cradle on carefully levelled chocks, I recommend building in a cradle.

Detailed building instructions are included with the plans, illustrating the various tasks in easy to follow steps.

The plans detail how to build the simple cradle cut from particle board.

Not only will a cradle benefit accuracy, it also makes building a lot easier.
The interior fit-out consists of aft buoyancy tanks, mid-bulkhead, thwart, daggerboard case and forepeak tank.
The nesting version has two mid-bulkheads butted together with thin shimming material. Separating the two halves is done with a hacksaw blade or back saw.
The sail plan near the top shows the 'leg-o-mutton' sail and free-standing mast. There are hardly any shop bought fittings required for rigging her. A daggerboard and lifting rudder are all you need to add to complete the sailing version.

You may of course choose to build the "Piccolo" as a one-piece dinghy if your foredeck space allows carrying a fullsize hard dinghy or if it is going to be used for recreational purposes.

For rowing you would fit rowlocks as indicated on the drawings. The oarsman sits on the mid thwart, in the optimum position for rowing.

If no sail is going to be set, the internal fit-out can be simplified by omitting the daggerboard case and mast step and partner.

Plan Prices
Please read my Ordering Guide
Plans for this dinghy consist of two A0 (44"x33")sheets and one A1 (33"x22") sheet and detailed building instructions.

This set of plans is suitable for lofting all your own hull panels, bulkheads and all other parts.

Plan costs:
53 (+/-US$60) - which includes 13 admin (shipping) and entitles you to the building of one boat.

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