Building Log of an Old Shoe

Page 1 - Old Shoe Home Page

by Dennis Lancaster

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On This Page:
The Project - The Building of Old Shoe
The Plans
Boat Building Links

On Other Pages on This Site:
Bulkheads - Keel and Ballast - Winter Projects - Mast Fabrication - Putting The Hull Together - Deck & Interior Assembly - Rigging the Old Shoe - Sailing My Old Shoe - Boat Building Links

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The focal point of this page is the construction of an Old Shoe from plans purchased at Common Sense Designs.

The purpose of this web page is to provide information on Lancaster Boat Works, and to provide a portal for access to on-line information on the Old Shoe and other boats designed by Phil Bolger. Links are also provided to other boat building web pages.

This page has no affiliation with any manufacturer of sailboats other than Lancaster Boat Works.

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The Project - The Building of Old Shoe

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After selling my Columbia 8.7 cruising sailboat, I began the search for a boat that I could easily build and that would fulfill my desire to continue sailing in something that I could easily handle by myself and trailer to where ever I felt like sailing. I was directed to Phil Bolger's designs and while visiting the web site:

I found a link for a smaller version of the famous Bolger Micro, called "Old Shoe". Subsequent research led me to one builder who was able to share his experiences with the "Shoe". That report was very positive. The "Shoe" is easy to handle and somewhat easy to build. I decided that this was the boat that I wanted to build. I am also in love with Phil Bolger's Micro. I am considering that as my "next" build… so many boats, so little time.

I am located up in the upper left corner of the US in a small town called Bellingham, Washington. Weather will affect the build since I have no way to adequately heat my garage. I am hoping that a significant portion of the epoxy work can be accomplished before winter sets in. I'm trying not to rush this project. Rather, I wish to make this project a fun task and a learning experience.

Actual work began July 30, 2006.

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The Plans - Plans for the Old Shoe

I purchased my Old Shoe plans at Common Sense Designs. A line drawing of the Old Shoe is reproduced here courtesy of Chuck Merrell of Elrow La Roe's Micro Newsletter:, who granted permission to republish this drawing here. shoedrw1.gif - 11809 Bytes

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Tools Available to Use:

Initial Tool List

The build will take place in a two-car garage, in Bellingham, Washington. The plan is to utilize one side of garage until the hull is formed. Eventually the entire garage space will be required.

I created a nice layout and worktable from ¾" x 4' x 8' interior plywood. It is pretty much sacrificial, so am not worried about it. It sits on top of two sawhorses and makes nice stable work surface. All power tools can be moved at will.

Beginning with all bulkheads, I will cut out all parts and pieces and group them in "kits" for assembly after penetrating epoxy has been applied. Then they will be assembled. My first task was to cut Bulkhead no. #1. This is the forward transom bulkhead.

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In 2008, I revised my tool list to include the following new tools. My list of new tools includes the following:


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All materials must be calculated from the plans and instruction manual. I think it's a very good idea for any builder to go through this process independently, since determining material requirements provides good insight into what will be going into the materials for the building of Old Shoe. Instead of a list, I have chosen to give contact information for the suppliers that I used, in hopes that this will be helpful to some in sourcing.

Wood Products: Edensaw Woods LTD.
211 Seton Road
Port Townsend, WA 98268
Toll-Free: (800) 745-3336 Email:

Fasteners: Hamilton Marine
Searsport & Portland, ME

Fiberglass/Epoxy: Fiberglass Coatings Inc.
4301 A 34th St. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33714

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Boat Building Links

Old Shoe and Related Sites

Bill's Oldshoe Report by Bill Nicolay
A great site for anyone interested in building an Old Shoe. Bill Nicolay's photo of the Bolger Oldshoe "FAR OUT" was modified to serve as the background on this page.
Phil Bolger's Wonderful Micro
Square Boats - Oldshoe, Bolger's armchair comfort in a 12' ballasted keel boat!
Another great Old Shoe page
Bolger Boats on The Web
A link list worth the effort
Square Boats
The Magnificent Seven!Eight!Nine! Whatever! - Phil Bolger's Advanced Sharpies
photos and links to some big ol' Bolger boats
DuckWorks Magazine
Herkimer & Perkins: Building Backyard Boats in Buffalo, NY

Other Boat Building and Related Sites

The Boat Building Ring
CBLSCA, Official Site
Fiberglass Publications References
Scantlings Rule for Various Forms of Fiberglass Construction
Boat Building Community - resources
By-The-Sea -- Boating Bookstore: Books About Boat Building
Dudley Dix Yacht Design - Boat Plans & Yacht Design Services
White Polytarp Sails - PolySails
High Performance/Low Cost Sails for Small Sailboats
Raka Boat Building Products
Marine supplies for sailing, boating and all nautical interests from the Cyber-Marine Catalog !!!
The Float Plan Home Page
Floatplan Nautical Books
Westlawn Yacht Design Course

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Bill Nicolay's wonderful photo of the Bolger Oldshoe "FAR OUT" under sail was modified to serve as the background on this page, with his permission.

This page was created by Solo Publications for

This web page, the "Building Log of an Old Shoe," and all of it's subordinate pages on construction of the Old Shoe are Copyright © Dennis Lancaster 2009. All rights reserved. No page of the "Building Log of an Old Shoe" or section of a page of this log and no graphic or photographic image or section of a graphic or photographic image from this log, may be copied, printed, distributed or used for any commercial, business or other purpose, including the purpose of distribution electronically or in any other form without the express written permission of the copyright holder.
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May 31, 2007