Fancy Free

$15.00 - $1,018.00
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For a PDF study plan, click HERE

If you're looking for a simple and inexpensive cruising sailboat with traditional character, our FANCY FREE should fill the bill. The sharpie-dory hull with flat-bottom, hard-chine form is ideal for the amateur. All frames have straight contours using standard materials, and standard 4' x 8' sheets are used for the planking. Our various accessory kits include all the hard-to-find items required to equip your very own in "sail-away" condition.

The FANCY FREE is an ideal boat for the couple who wants to do weekend or vacation sailing along coastal waters where shoal draft is critical. Hull draft with board-up is just 8", yet the ballast gives reassuring stiffness in a breeze. The light displacement and large sail area makes this boat a surprising performer, even for the racing skipper. While not intended for long distance open ocean use, FANCY FREE, when heeled, forms a "vee" at the water for an exceptionally dry ride.

Accommodations on FANCY FREE are of a "camping" type for two. There's full headroom above the berths, plus the comfort of a settee with a hinged drop-leaf on the centerboard trunk. The galley area is adjacent to the hatch for standing headroom and the portable head slides out from under the bridge deck for use. A portable ice chest is also located under the bridge deck, accessible from either the cockpit or from inside the cabin. Storage spaces are located below the cockpit sides either side, and below the aft deck.

Because this boat is lightweight, FANCY FREE is ideal for trailering and pulling up on the beach for the night. There's no need to pay for expensive mooring, slippage, or storage fees. For powering, there's a built-in outboard motor well. The cockpit is roomy; the cockpit well is compact and self-draining for safety. The gaff sloop rig is simple to handle and requires no expensive winches or special "go-fast" fittings. Wood spars are detailed on the plans, however, we do recommend our Aluminum Spar Kit, especially if trailering the boat and for ease of maintenance. With all these advantages, we doubt that you'll find a more enjoyable boat to build, own, or sail.

COMPLETE PLANS include FULL SIZE PATTERNS for the centerboard and centerboard trunk assembly, rudder, stem, and breasthook, plus half-section patterns for each of the frames and transom, instructions, bill of materials, and fastening schedule.


"So far, I’ve sailed her for a couple long daysails, and one 3-day island hopping extravaganza with my son. She’s been a delight to sail, and comfortable to sleep aboard at anchor. The cockpit, though constrained by the motorwell, fits 3-4 just fine, and the foredeck and cabin roof offer plenty of comfortable seating. The motorwell is a delight: it stays dry, the cockpit drains into it, and the motor is centered, in easy reach, and covered with a simple wooden hatch." Robin Elwood from an article in Small Craft Advisor magazine 2022.

"I built the Fancy Free sail boat some 20 years ago and it was a very fun project. I am happy your business is still helping those who enjoy boat building. What impressed me the most about building one of your designs was how well the specifications/engineering became evident in the finished product. For example, I painted the waterline on the hull (black hull, white water line, red bottom) per the specifications, and on the day of the launch the craft drafted exactly to the white water line. That little detail made me look like a genius. I hope you will continue to make others feel as smart is I did on that wonderful day some 20 years ago. PS I'm near retirement and if I can, I will build another Glen-L (a no-brainer for smart people). Thanks! " Rich Schofield, Centerville, MD

Length overall (on deck):
Length overall (including bowsprit):
Waterline length:
Freeboard forward:
Freeboard aft:
Draft (board up):
Draft (board down):
Height (board up to cabin top):
2500 lbs.
Ballast weight:
620 lbs.
Cabin headroom:
Cockpit well:
3'-3" x 2' fwd, 18" aft
Sleeping accommodations:
Sail area:

           Main - 130 sq. ft.
           Foretriangle - 100 sq. ft.
Hull type:
Flat bottom hard chine dory, developed for 3/8" sheet plywood.
Sail type:
Gaff rigged sloop.
Outboard motor to 4 hp, 15" nominal shaft length, mounted in a well.
Designed for use with Glen-L Series 3800 boat trailer plans.