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Wayne Jeffers
10-18-2000, 10:06 AM
In considering the design for my next project, I have tentatively decided on "Truant" by Edwin Monk. The plans are in the 1934 book "How To Build Wooden Boats," available from the WB Store. It is 12 feet, 6 inches overall, 5 foot beam, daggerboard, Bermudan sloop rig with 83 sq. ft. counting only the area of the jib forward of the mast (probably 90 sq. ft. counting all the jib), fully decked-over with a 2 foot by 4 foot cockpit. It looks a lot like a shortened Comet, with a daggerboard forward of the cockpit, rather than a centerboard in the cockpit. My intended use is daysailing by two adults, mostly on smallish inland lakes.

Although it should float on its side clear of the cockpit if knocked down, I would intend to install bulkheads fore and aft for floatation chambers and dry stowage (like the kayakers use.) Otherwise, I would probably build it as designed, except for substituting some modern materials and methods. I would try to build it to be as light as reasonably possible.

Has anyone had experience building and sailing this boat? Anything particularly noteworthy to report, good or bad?

Is the overall size and sail area likely to be inadequate (i.e., sluggish sailing) for two adults with a combined weight of about 340 pounds? We're both moderately athletic for folks approaching middle age (I'm 5', 10" and 51 years, Michelle's 5', 11" and . . . well, a little younger.) As you may recall, we've had only one sailing experience, which ended somewhat ignominiously. Another design we've considered is the Windmill. We're not timid.

In the book, Monk says that the designs can be lengthened or shortened as much as 10 percent without adverse affect, presumably including the balance of the sailing rig. I am disposed to lengthen the hull 10 percent, which would yield a hull 13 feet, 9 inches overall. My thought is that this longer version would sail better with a crew weight of 340 pounds. Is this correct, or would it be better to build it as-designed?

If I lengthen the hull 10 percent, can I increase the horizontal dimension of the sails the same 10 percent without getting the rig out of balance? I would hesitate to increase all sail dimensions 10 percent, as this would yield a 21 percent increase in sail area and would change the CE to some extent. I don't want to lengthen it for better buoyancy under load only to find that it has outgrown its sails.

Is a boat of either 12 feet, 6 inches, or 13 feet, 9 inches, LOA likely to be better suited to smaller lakes, compared to a boat of 15 to 16 feet?

I will appreciate your thoughts on these or any other considerations regarding this design.

Wayne