View Full Version : grey seal builders

12-31-2011, 04:02 PM
ive spent the last few months looking through the forum for sailboat designs of 20-24' loa that are trailerable for a once a year getaway of a month or so. i started with the grey seal in mind and now after scouring the collective wisdoms of one and all have arrived back where i started. the glen-l amigo grabbed my attention as well but i wish to build lapstrake ply, a system i'm both familiar with and keen on aestetically, and didnt know if its feasible to adapt the amigo to this style. has anybody done so? i'd also like to stretch the grey seal to 24' or so and understand that a couple have been done that way. whats more i'd like to here the opinion of adding to the headroom perhaps with a combination of freeboard and a stepped cabin trunk ala the later incarnations of the vertue. i'm aware that the vertue has double the displacement and presumably can handle those changes more in stride but is this idea going to appreciably change the stability dynamics of the seal?

cheers mark

p.s. this is my first post so be gentle

p.p.s.s. happy new year

01-01-2012, 07:31 PM
Hi Mark, I have just started building a Grey Seal ( in Australia) and I know of one other build in the States here,


We are both building the centerboard version.

I am pretty sure that Iain has drawn a larger version of around 24' (I cant remeember what its called).which I think is in his new catalogue. Check first before purchasing which ver you get. It may be available from WB store.

I have been out on a Grey Seal and it has pretty comfortable sitting headroom and you can get around stooped over ok.
Adding freeboard and a larger cabin adds to the windage, so I'd be looking for a larger boat to begin with perhaps.
If you want I can dig out Iains contact details ( Phone and post only) for you, just let me know.


James McMullen
01-01-2012, 07:43 PM
Adding headroom is a no-win game in boats as small as this. You can't possibly add enough for full standing headroom in this boat, and anyways you're going to spend your daylight hours abovedecks in the cockpit. Nobody rides around inside a 24' sailboat by choice unless they're taking a nap in one of the bunks. Room enough to sit and room enough to sleep is more than ample and will not compromise stability and foredeck access and everything else. If you think you require actual standing headroom inside you really need to go up closer to 35' or so.

01-01-2012, 08:16 PM
Mark , I haven't built a Grey Seal , but I own and have sailed one for about 3 years.
If you have not seen the thread , here it is. http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?99846-Huon-Seal-Portland-Vic.&highlight=Huon+Seal .
I believe I have it about as good as I can get it.
If I was to buy this type of boat again , I'd have the same again.
She does surprisingly well "outside" under sail , and is no slouch motoring either.
If you go for a longer Grey Seal , I feel it will possibly make a quite easily manageable boat/trailer combination in to one that could be difficult.
After all of the time and money I've put in to getting HS just right , I am trying to sell her.
Not the fault of the boat , except to say that she is the right boat , at the wrong time (in my life).
Anyway , labour through my site , you might pick up something.
My points would be -
1 Give a lot of thought to your auxilery engine , and the space it will occupy.
2 The Grey Seal lives happily on a trailer , but make sure you can get easy access to the hull , its a pain in the butt crawling through and under a trailer , trying to prepare , then antifoul , the hull.
If you want standing room etc forget the seals , and go for a bigger boat . That is what I am doing .
What I "lose on the swings , I'll pick up on the roundabout".
I love my Seal , but she came to me too late.
I'll take a roomy gaff rigged motor sailer.
Regards Rob J.