Dream Home Tour: Sheldon Kerr's DIY Teardrop Trailer

“If a [wo]man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most. A small sailing craft is not only beautiful, it is seductive and full of strange promise and the hint of trouble.” E.B. White


My father Tom Sawyered me into a childhood of epoxy, sand paper, primer and varnish. As the proprietor of Two Daughters Boatworks, he employed my sister and I as his loyal deck hands and shop assistants. Throughout our childhoods, we rigged sailboats, painted motor cruisers, built kayaks, filleted rowboats and scrubbed canoes. We’d spend weeks of the summer sailing the Maine Island Trail or kayaking up to lobstermen, crisp five dollar bills fluttering from our outstretched little hands. Dad surreptitiously developed both my capacities for mind-numbing physical labor and my lust for an open sea. But I never caught the woodworking—nor the boating—bug. Multi-week Indian Creek climbing trips and Alaska parking-lot ski bivis crept in and took over the space reserved for island hopping and spar-building. Thus, the teardrop trailer, my own little ship.

On my 30th birthday, Dad presented me with a gift certificate for the camping trailer of my dreams, provided I come back home to his shop and spend a month building the vessel with him. Concurrently, an old family friend was designing a teardrop trailer for us landlocked sailor-types to build ourselves in our own garages. Chesapeake Light Craft, a company that designs and manufactures boatbuilding kits for mortals to craft their own own kayaks, row boats and mini-sailboats, wanted someone to do the beta build of their latest design. So in October, I voyaged across the country to my Green Mountain home and set to work building my road yacht.

Five weeks later, I was a new home owner! ​Let me introduce my new campground chalet, ski-resort-bivi​ ​and Silverton guest house​​.You must, must build one. It's like a treehouse on wheels. CLC has incorporated our feedback and is cutting kits with step-by-step handbooks for climbers, skiers, fishermen and women, concert-goers and backyard campers. I can only imagine the trouble this craft of mine will find for me. Thanks, Captain Dad!