I'm thinking of building a Windmill in my basement in NYC. People rave about them and it seems like a pretty straightforward build; this would be my first build (I'll have the help of an experienced wood boat builder). I'm interested in possibly adapting it a bit so the hull would be a little lighter (I'm not worried about building to class specs). I live in New York City and I sail out of Sebago Canoe Club in Jamaica Bay where we launch from a floating dock so the lighter the better. I'm wondering if a Windmill could be built more like a modern ply/epoxy skiff such as the Javelin or the Cherub to maximize weight savings and possibly increase strength.
I read this very thorough Javelin build plan by Luis Pinto and also this great build page on the Cherub by Jim Champ. It seems that you could take the basic forms of the Windmill and build it more like these boats. In his excellent Windmill build article Tom Lathrop recommends 9mm ply for the hull bottom and 6mm for the sides. The Javelin builders seem to be getting away with 3mm ply covered with 4oz S glass with 4mm ply over the false floor. Both the Cherub and the Javelin incorporate a false floor and I'm considering doing the same on mine.
To take things a step further (or a step too far some would say) I'm wondering if I can rig this hull a bit more like a skiff with a single trap and a spinnaker pole. The reason I just don't build a modern skiff is I'm hoping for a hull that could be a bit more versatile. I'd like to be able to do short cruises for beach camping (with a cruising rig) and take my wife out once in awhile in a boat that she can sit down in. The more modern skiffs seem a bit trickier to build and less suited to other uses.
So in summary I want to keep to the basic plan of the Windmill, build it a bit lighter using S glass and thinner ply and rig it a bit more like a modern skiff but also have the option to rig it for cruising. I'd like it to be fast but it will be classless (or in a class of it's own depending upon how you look at it) so it's not about being faster than anyone else. I'd like to be able to do other things than try to go fast but I understand it's a narrow hull designed for racing so it will never be a big wide heavy day cruiser.
Do you think any of this is worth doing? Will I see reasonable weight savings and comparable strength? Am I adding too much and compromising a time tested design? I know one of the selling points of the Windmill is cost savings in materials and rigging. Am I defeating the purpose by adding all this stuff? Will I end up with a lighter faster more versatile boat or a compromise that sucks money and time (and just basically sucks)? Any and all opinions and suggestions are welcomed. Thanks!