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Stasha. the World's lightest nesting dinghy
7'2" (220cm) Long - 44" (110cm) Wide - 16" (40cm) High
4' (120cm) Long - 44" (110cm) Wide - 17" (43cm) High
Basic boat from 10 kilos (22lbs)
Two adults or 150 kilos (330lbs)
Max outboard size
2.5 sq metres (25 sq feet)
What makes the Stasha special?
Stasha is the World's lightest nesting dinghy. It's also lovely to look at. Launching a Stasha should only take a moment but by the time you have answered all the questions from amazed spectators it may be getting dark.
Not only can it be stowed on the smallest of foredecks, or put in the back of the average estate car but it can also take an outboard motor up to 3.3 hp. If you want you can also add a mast and go sailing. The Stasha sails surprisingly well and is a lot of fun.
The Stasha was designed to be easy to build so that anyone can make one regardless of their woodworking experience. All you need are a few basic tools such as a jigsaw and a plane and the confidence to have a go. No specialist tools are needed and even the ribs are formed with just a heat gun.
The plans are illustrated throughout and guide you through the whole process step by step. The materials needed to build a Stasha are very few and they are inexpensive so even if you make a mistake it won't be a costly one. Building a Stasha is good fun and you don't even need much space. Because the Stasha is in effect two boats, no one section is longer than 4 feet (1.2m). This makes building a Stasha much easier than most boats.
All the materials you'll need are readily available and not costly. The comprehensive plans include a lot of extra information about the materials and where to get them.
The special Dacron skin is shrunk into a nice wrinkle free and tight covering simply by using a domestic iron. Dacron isn't waterproof so you'll need to coat it with something and the many options are well covered in the plans.
The Stasha is a tough little boat but it does need some care during use. The Dacron can be damaged by sharp objects so don't drag it along the ground. Anyway it's so light that it can be picked up and carried instead. If you do make a hole in it gaffer/duct tape will repair it. If in time the Dacron gets worn out it can be quickly replaced for about £30.
The basic boat weighs about 10 kilos (22lbs) but that will increase depending on the options you choose to fit. For example, reinforcing the boat to take an outboard will add approximately 500 grams (1 lb). The sailing option adds about 6 kilos (13lbs) not including the modified Optimist rig.
The Stasha can be assembled on the land or in the water. The trick is to launch both parts and climb into the larger front section which is easily stable and buoyant enough and pull the rear section towards you. The two halves slot together with ease, there are just two small bolts to fit and you're done!
When you're finished with the boat, split it and put the rear section in to the front section. This reduces the Stasha from 7 feet long to just 4. Being able to carry the boat in two parts makes it even easier to move about.
If you want an easy to build little dinghy that does it all for not very much then maybe the Stasha is for you.
Stasha Sails Too
The Stasha can easily be converted to a great little sailing boat if you wish. Full instructions are included for free in the plans.
You'll need an Optimist mast and sail which will need to be cut down a little (full instructions are given or you can buy a kit and make your own sail). You'll also need a few bits of plywood and an Optimist rudder.
Adding the necessary pieces to the Stasha will add about 6 kilos to the weight of the boat but since all these pieces are removable and can be fitted to the boat in the water, it does not affect portability in any way.
Q: How long will it take to build my Stasha?
Much will depend on your skills and workspace but expect about 50 hours to build. Because the Stasha has two sections, you will in effect be building two boats! What takes the most time is the varnishing or painting, the actual boat is pretty quick to build.
Q: How much will the Stasha cost to build?
Approximately £200, but this figure can go either way depending on the quality of the materials you choose to build your dinghy with and whether you can cut your own wood or need to pay someone to cut it for you.
Q: Is there a Stasha kit?
Sorry no, Stasha is only available in plan form. But don't let this stop you! All you need is a jigsaw and a plane and a few other basic tools and you can soon build one. It's great fun. Shrinking on the skin is very satisfying indeed.
Q: Isn't the skin easily damaged?
The Dacron skin is surprisingly tough and can easily cope with being trod on, dog claws will do it no harm but sharp objects can cut the cloth. Gaffer/duct tape makes a quick and effective repair. Obviously the Stasha needs a little care during use. Dragging it up the beach won't do it any favours at all but since it is so light you can simply carry it and avoid damage that way.
The Dacron is inexpensive and can be entirely replaced in just a couple of hours if necessary. The Dacron is not waterproof so must be coated. Many different choices are discussed in the plans.
Because the Stasha is in effect two boats there is always a massive reserve of buoyancy to help keep the boat from sinking should one side be punctured.
Q: What is the Stasha's carrying capacity?
Two adults or approximately 150 kilos
Q: How long does it take to assemble?
With practice The Stasha can be assembled, ready for launching in about one minute. It can easily be assembled on dry land or in the water
Q: Is there a sailing version?
Yes! Full instructions on how to retro fit a sailing kit are included for free in the plans.
Q: What is the biggest outboard I can fit?
The Stasha will take up to a 3.3hp engine.
Q: How well does it row?
The Stasha rows very nicely and is extremely comfortable.
Q: How much does the Stasha weigh?
The Stasha weighs from about 10 kilos. Adding options like outboards and rudders will add to this. 10 Kilos is the weight of the basic boat only Q: I don't have any experience, can I still build a Stasha nesting Dinghy?
You do not need to have any experience building boats, you only need very basic woodworking skills, and a few tools such as a jigsaw and a plane.
Q: Where can I get the materials, they look quite exotic? Q: What are the Stasha's Assembled Dimensions?
It's true that you probably won't find what you need locally but you will be able to order from a number of businesses all around the world. The materials may be exotic but they are surprisingly inexpensive to buy and light to ship.
The metric plans have about 100 pages and photos and even bonus sections full of useful information. The plans come as a PDF file and are about 6 mb in size. The Plans can be downloaded immediately from this site via PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account, and you can pay with your credit card. Upon completion of your payment you will be given an option to either save or open the plans. Save the plans to your hard drive. You will receive an email confirmation.
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Stasha sailing in a breeze
Stasha under oars
The Stasha slips along with ease.
Rowing is very easy as the boat is so light and manoeuvrable.
Sailing in light airs
Even in the lightest winds the Stasha nips along.
Her smooth underwater shape allows her to keep her way as she tacks.
See how little she disturbs the water as she passes.
A Relaxing Moment
See the water rush past the hull as you sail along
thanks to the translucent finish of the Dacron skin.
Assembling in the water
This is the technique for assembling the Stasha in the water. Launch both sections.
Climb into the more buoyant front, pull the rear towards you and slot in the two lower bolts, shift your weight forward a little to keep the section in place and then just add the two top bolts and do up with the wingnuts.
This film is at double speed so it takes about 30 seconds in real time to join the two halves.
Here the Stasha is fitted with a 3.3hp outboard motor.
Although the Stasha was not specifically designed to take an engine it doesn't seem to mind and if nothing else proves the strength of the structure.