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Thread: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

  1. #1
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    Default Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Hi folks,

    I'm daydreaming of a day sailer/cruising dinghy to day sail on the River Mersey in North West England, and to trailer up to the Scotland for camping trips around lakes. The Mersey is a very challenging river but when the tides are right, I plan to sail from her upper reaches, down into the estuary and back again, with a stop at anchor for lunch. On these trips, I will also be taking observations of wildlife (a hobby and once, a profession).

    When camping, I'm assuming I will cook and sleep aboard, so there needs to be good stowage space for bulky items like bags, boom tent/enclosure, galley equipment and the other human needs. Camping endurance need not be more than three days, two nights.

    I plan to sail, scull and row. No engine is planned, at this stage.

    The budget will be £2,000. Is that a pipe dream?

    I still consider myself a baby sailor because, like most yacht owners, I spent most of my time fixing and refitting and very little time sailing. So I make no claims to knowing anything.

    First question: should I focus on kit builds, as a beginner builder? I've seen some kit options that fall within my budget, and others that are plans + materials only.

    I'm currently building a garden workshop which would be a good venue for the build, but the boat would have to be able to get out down a long passage beside the house when completed. I envisage pushing it down this passage in a trolley/wheeled frame, with the boat in the trolley on its beam ends. Thus, the boat from keel to gunwale cannot be more than one metre (three feet, three and quarter inches, if you prefer!), the passage itself being slightly more than this. But there are also gates at either end. For reference, I just checked the bulkhead dimensions of SCAMP and it appears she is 670mm from the flat bottom to the gunwale (excluding the cabin/cuddy). She actually looks taller than that - I was surprised!

    This whole idea has probably come about because I've been watching Roger Barnes' videos on dinghy cruising for a couple of years, and I think I've been converted. I love the look of his Ilur. It has proper little ship vibes, from the lug rig right down to the forepeak where he stores ropes and muddy items. It looks incredibly salty! But I couldn't possibly stretch to an Ilur, either financially or physically - it would be too big and heavy to get out.

    I think I was pushed over the edge when I saw a local moor his Wharram cat in a few inches of water on the river, and it occurred to me just how many interesting places keel boats can't go!

    Boats I have looked at so far include, in no particular order:

    Goat Island Skiff
    Cheap, simple build that appears to deliver a very good boat.

    First Mate (I've been watching Fossil Fool's videos as well)
    Like the GIS, but has side decks and a better way of handling the centreboard.

    A Norwegian Pram
    I looked into this years ago, as part of my interest in traditional boats, and saw lots of merit. There was even one Norwegian designer trying to perfect a pram-based small cruising cabin yacht. A quick google reveals that Woodenboat sell a design that looks interesting, but can it carry anything?

    That sums up my concerns about these first three ideas. Can they carry the camping gear and still leave room for me? Are the First Mate and GIS safe and stable enough for a relative beginner

    Paradox (the rig)
    I absolutely do not get this boat and don't think I'm going to. But that's not what caught my eye. The thing that intrigues me about the Paradox is the roller furling lug rig. Why isn't this everywhere? Why don't we see GIS's with it? I think it's a great idea... but I know nothing. So what am I missing?

    To end this list, I will mention SCAMP, which I used as an example, earlier. I have reservations, to be honest. While I can see the many virtues, the impressive performance, the carrying capacity, the protection from the elements (she would be ideal for the camping trips, and a safe option for the day sailing on an unforgiving river), she doesn't do the one thing I think the project must: she doesn't make my heart sing. I appreciate her intellectually, but I don't think I feel it.

    However, she has qualities to aspire to.

    She also wouldn't fit down the passage without leaving the cabin off... although, I do wonder if a flush deck SCAMP could be a thing. Would that work? Has anyone done it? It would reduce overall weight, build-time and complexity, and I might prefer the headless version from an aesthetic point of view.

    These are my thoughts, so far. Please feel free to tear them apart and shower me in the resulting conffetti. I don't mind being told my ideas are bollox, dangerous or ill-founded so long as you can explain why. This is how we learn. Please also feel free to suggest any alternative designs you think might fit the brief.

    Thanks in advance for the forum's patience with the latest day dreamer to wander in!

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    I've been thoroughly pleased with my First Mate. I launched it just over two years ago and I've sailed about 400 miles in various conditions, although nothing too crazy. The side decks were a fair bit of work to make but they've helped save me from capsize on a few occasions. Definitely worth the time and headache they took.

    I've only been on one overnight trip so I can't really comment on that too much other than to say it's certainly possible and I'm going to try again once I get a better tent setup figured out. I had all my stuff in two large drybags either side of the centerboard case and there was enough room to handle the lines at the mast. I'm sure Tom can give you a much better perspective on camping.

    $2,750 USD would have been plenty for me. I spent $655 on plywood, $450 for fittings and line, and a couple hundred on epoxy and fiberglass. Maybe a couple hundred more for dimensional lumber and paint. My sail kit was $475 from Sailrite, but the lug sail is $235. Unfortunately I really don't know what prices are like in England, so stuff might be more expensive for you.

    Check out this youtube channel for a guy who's done some cruising in a GIS: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheVideoRambler/videos I've never been in one, but it's more barebones than the First Mate and looks to be a bit more... lively? I think it'll go faster but also capsize easier.

    Regarding the cabin on the Scamp, it's not just for protection from the elements. It also acts as flotation to help keep the boat from turtling if you capsize.

    If you're going to take the time and effort to build a boat, go for something that makes your heart sing! That's why I went with a sprit rig instead of the more practical lug.
    Last edited by The Jeff; 07-08-2021 at 05:12 AM. Reason: Forgot about the cost of the sail.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    if you don't mind going up a little in size a Lysander 17ft sailing cruiser would fit requirements quite well. I had one for many years sailing it in the outer Hebridies, the Forth, and the Norfolk Broads. Mostly I was sailing, launching, recovering, single handed and had no problems with that. They can be bought second hand for well under £2000, with trailer, and you could probably build a new one from the plans for less than that too (without trailer).
    They are only a foot longer than a wayfarer Dinghy and draw 18inches with the standard bilge keel.

    Making a Lysander | LOA
    Just an amateur bodging away..

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    A budget of 2K would make building a real challenge a suit of sails might easily eat half of it.,
    Buying, on the other hand, relatively easy.
    .
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Here's an Oughtred Whilly Tern with a decent trailer and little used Crusader sails (and bronze fittings) for £2500. Prob get it for 2k if you show him cash or just over. Just up from you in Stirling. It'll row well with the right oars, not be too heavy and be comfortable in harbour chop. Probably just needs some effort with the rigging, as most builders or more 'builders' than 'sailors' (but not always!). You'd be spending 3- 3.5k on materials for that (never mind spending on equipment and probably 2-3 years effort unless you've got plenty of time for building it to hand).

    https://sailingdinghies.apolloduck.c...665030/5157704

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 07-08-2021 at 05:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Pram boats have a tradition on our coasts, for inshore use, some Danish prams were used for fishing offshore. There is a Dansk designer Morten Olsen who have a plan for a 17ft ply pram. Seems to carry a load like a good pram.
    https://boatplans.dk/pictures.asp?id=12

    Lots of plans for traditional types in traditional build, not so much for plywood. Who was the designer working on a cruising pram?

    I met a man from Bootle once, it was difficult to understand him.

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Hi Jeff, thanks for your reply!

    I've been watching the Video Rambler guy. He does seem to go in for much more energetic sailing, and spends a lot of time hiked out. I'm not sure if this is typical of GIS sailors, or not. Is that the Goat's target market? Definitely like the idea of side decks. Fossil Fool's latest video actually shows a near-capsize that was partly prevented by the side decks. Plus, if one feels the need to hike, they are going to be much easier on the posterior!

    I'm also interested in the sprit, although it does seem the more expensive option, and one with a steeper learning curve. Yet it's also got a long history of being well used on riverine craft, with the Thames barge being the most famous example. Lots of sail area up high to catch breezes above surrounding obstacles, and the ability to brail up quickly (I once read someone describe this as like being able to "throttle" the sail as if it were an engine). This, in my mind, is what puts it ahead of the lug for single-handed river sailing, where obstacles and unexpected situations can arise even more quickly, and there is less thinking time because there isn't any sailing room.

    Did you find it very hard to get the sail to set correctly on the bad tack, or do you just put up with the yard pressing on the sail?

    Is the jib on your rig of the self-tacking variety? I've seen a few dinghies with jibs on a small traveller on the foredeck, and the helmsman mostly leaves it alone. Of course, these might have been highly tuned rigs with expert helmsmen...!

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by LarixMaximus View Post

    Lots of plans for traditional types in traditional build, not so much for plywood. Who was the designer working on a cruising pram?
    I've found it. Skaraborgcraft. There's a forum thread, here http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-beach-Havpram

    I've looked on the Selway-Fisher website, but it doesn't seem to be there. Maybe it was never finished.

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Here's an Oughtred Whilly Tern with a decent trailer and little used Crusader sails (and bronze fittings) for £2500. Prob get it for 2k if you show him cash or just over. Just up from you in Stirling. It'll row well with the right oars, not be too heavy and be comfortable in harbour chop. Probably just needs some effort with the rigging, as most builders or more 'builders' than 'sailors' (but not always!). You'd be spending 3- 3.5k on materials for that (never mind spending on equipment and probably 2-3 years effort unless you've got plenty of time for building it to hand).

    https://sailingdinghies.apolloduck.c...665030/5157704
    Thanks for looking, Edward. That's a nice boat! I'm afraid I failed to mention in the OP that I don't have the money ready, yet. I will have the money by the end of the year. But you make some good points that I will definitely consider before buying anything. Building a boat is an ambition; building or possessing a boat specific to my needs a satisfaction (a conceit, in a way); building or possessing a boat that I admire, a pleasure. If I can tick two of these boxes, I'll consider myself to have done well!

    There is more than one way to skin this cat.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Have you considered a Mirror dinghy, or is that too small for you (11 ft)?
    People have done a lot of cruising around in these boats - easily rowed and readily acquired in the UK for little $$ - I bought a 1970 Mirror (wood) with trailer 2 years ago for $25 USD, in sailing condition!
    Folks rig up boom tents and platforms to sleep on as well, and there are lots of cruising vids on youtube with Mirrors - active racing class in the UK as well.
    Not to dash your "build your own" dreams, but I think you would be hard pressed to build a GIS, a First Mate, or Scamp or anywhere near 2000 gbp....plywood / lumber prices in general have skyrocketed over the past year, and to build - get sails and a trailer for any of the above boats would set you back likely in the 3000-4000 gbp range at a min.......
    Here is my little $25 Mirror
    20190803_120839.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    I'm also interested in the sprit, although it does seem the more expensive option, and one with a steeper learning curve.
    I think my advice would be to only go with the sprit rig if you're sold on its looks and taking the time to figure it out... I've only recently started to feel halfway competent with rigging/unrigging/adjusting it. Part of my problem was I started with just the bare essentials because I wanted to get sailing and I've been upgrading it ever since.

    Yet it's also got a long history of being well used on riverine craft, with the Thames barge being the most famous example. Lots of sail area up high to catch breezes above surrounding obstacles...
    The Thames barges have a topsail which the First Mate doesn't include. The sprit sail is a pretty low aspect rig which helps keep the heeling forces lower. I've been working on designing a topsail with the help of Todd and hope to have it finished in a month or two. My area of the Chesapeake seems to get midday doldrums in the summer and I think it could be a genuinely useful sail in addition to looking good and giving me some more strings to play with.

    ...and the ability to brail up quickly (I once read someone describe this as like being able to "throttle" the sail as if it were an engine). This, in my mind, is what puts it ahead of the lug for single-handed river sailing, where obstacles and unexpected situations can arise even more quickly, and there is less thinking time because there isn't any sailing room.
    I eventually added a brail to my sail, but then later got rid of it. I have a boom and it never seemed to bundle things up nicely, plus the mile of line got tangled in everything. Maybe I would have liked it better if I went boomless. Either way you've still got a lot of windage up there and it was surprising how fast I could still get blown around with the sail brailed.

    If I want to throttle when coming into a dock or to anchor or something, I first drop the jib and then I slack the snotter so the peak sags down a couple feet. This seems to work pretty well and dropping everything into the boat isn't too much trouble.

    Did you find it very hard to get the sail to set correctly on the bad tack, or do you just put up with the yard pressing on the sail?

    I really haven't noticed much difference on either tack, but I'm probably not a good enough sailer to get the best out of it. Interestingly, conventional wisdom says on a lug sail the bad tack should be slower but some people have found it's actually faster! There could be something similar with a sprit rig.

    Is the jib on your rig of the self-tacking variety? I've seen a few dinghies with jibs on a small traveller on the foredeck, and the helmsman mostly leaves it alone.

    No, it's a normal jib with two sheets because it overlaps the mast a bit. I usually tie the ends together so I can control both with one hand.
    Last edited by The Jeff; 07-08-2021 at 11:00 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    John Harris' Northeaster Dory might work for you, but I don't know what the materials would run across the pond there.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    If you have not already - you may want to investigate kit prices in the UK for various boats - such as Jordan Boats, and understand what you are getting (and what you still need to supply / buy, etc)....

    https://jordanboats.co.uk/wp-content...ist-210317.pdf

    http://straydogboatworks.com/mainpages/shop.html

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...22&single=true

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    You got £700?

    Here's an Oughtred Ness Yawl on a trailer in Scotland. Asking just £750. Provided the garboard is still solid, after a rub down and simple paint with some Toplac, you'd have the bones of a great boat. Money left for a new set of sails and spars for your rig preference. They don't come cheaper than this...

    https://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/...ss-yawl/349934



    With elbow grease you can make it look like this inside your budget as you get the money.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 07-08-2021 at 12:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Jeff beat me to it, but I agree that Ross Lillistone's First Mate design (and the original lapstrake Phoenix III) might be good options to consider. I've put a lot of cruising miles on my brother's Phoenix III, including sleeping aboard very comfortably even for two (luxurious for one, by backpacking standards anyway...) It's definitely light enough for a single person to roll up a beach on a plastic fender or two if you need to. I think it probably cost my brother $1500 GPB to build, but that was ten years ago, and add in another 500 GBP or so for a intermediate-quality sail. Also, he used Baltic birch plywood, which isn't technically marine ply (at half the price), though it seems perfectly adequate for a dry-sailed trailer boat.

    A few thoughts on this comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeVictorBravo View Post
    I'm also interested in the sprit, although it does seem the more expensive option, and one with a steeper learning curve. Yet it's also got a long history of being well used on riverine craft, with the Thames barge being the most famous example. Lots of sail area up high to catch breezes above surrounding obstacles, and the ability to brail up quickly (I once read someone describe this as like being able to "throttle" the sail as if it were an engine). This, in my mind, is what puts it ahead of the lug for single-handed river sailing, where obstacles and unexpected situations can arise even more quickly, and there is less thinking time because there isn't any sailing room.
    Having used spritsails (boomless, and with a sprit boom), lugsails (balance lug w/boom, standing lug both boomless and with a sprit boom), I think you actually have that backwards. In my experience, as Jeff's comment pointed to, what makes for the ease of handling might be having a boomless sail. My boomless standing lugsail can be brailed up as easily--or perhaps even more easily--than a spritsail:

    brailed sail.jpg

    A brief video:



    But that's actually only a minor convenience for beaching or rowing in windless conditions. Why? Because even a brailed sail has far too much windage, too high up, to be good for rowing in any wind. Also, and maybe more importantly, because a lugsail is so easy to reef. Just drop the sail, tie in the reefs, and re-hoist. And you can reef as deeply as you want, whereas spritsail reefing systems tend to get complicated after the first reef, because the heel of the sprit tends to hit the deck as the reefed sail gets lower. My triple-reefed lugsail is about 36 sq ft, compared to 85 sq ft for the full sail.

    A bit more in the next post...

    Tom
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    OK, so you also mentioned obstacles and unexpected situations. Here again, I think the lugsail (balance lug or standing lug) really shines, because it can be dropped so quickly. Here's a quick clip of sailing in fairly tight close quarters with a boomless standing lug:



    Just as the video ended, I stepped forward and dropped the sail to avoid running into some rocks--then continued under oars, no problem.

    I guess, after trying out a few options, I can't see how any other rig can beat a lugsail (especially a boomless standing lug) for this kind of easy handling. Just my opinion, but a somewhat informed opinion, at least...

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeVictorBravo View Post
    I've found it. Skaraborgcraft. There's a forum thread, here http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-beach-Havpram

    I've looked on the Selway-Fisher website, but it doesn't seem to be there. Maybe it was never finished.

    Quite a thread! Some confusion though, he is not Norwegian and the original pram design was from Denmark. It seems Mr Fisher has named the design himself Nor 20, a development of lines and not full building plans. Not sure how much of a boat like this your money would buy.

    Skaraborg is a county between the lakes in Vastra Gotaland.

    That boat on a trailer for 750 is bargain boating.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Hi Tom, thanks for your advice! I guess I was thinking too much about Chasse Marées and Thames Barges, watching them ghost along with brailed up sails and thinking how simple and easy that looked... at least from the shore!

    I am quite happy with the idea of a boomless sail, for many reasons, not least avoiding getting knocked on the head! I have few enough brain cells to spare without feeding the fish with them. I'm also not fussed about racing. I'd also feel a lot more comfortable taking non-sailing passengers on board without a boom over them, and they might well feel better about it, too.

    So, basically, sold! I accept the welcome and informative correction.

    On a tangential note, what boat is that you're sailing? Looks like a pretty good candidate

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    You got £700?

    Here's an Oughtred Ness Yawl on a trailer in Scotland. Asking just £750. Provided the garboard is still solid, after a rub down and simple paint with some Toplac, you'd have the bones of a great boat. Money left for a new set of sails and spars for your rig preference. They don't come cheaper than this...

    https://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/...ss-yawl/349934



    With elbow grease you can make it look like this inside your budget as you get the money.
    Edward, you're killing me! I literally can't until at least October. That looks the business, trailer too. You clearly have a knack for finding the deals!

    My only slight reservation over Iain Oughtred's designs is that I would prefer at least a narrow transom to increase storage and buoyancy, and retain the option for a trolling outboard without having to tack on a big clumsy support frame.

    But other than that... these boats you're finding are cherry. Please stop! I can't do anything about it, for now.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by WBViking View Post
    Have you considered a Mirror dinghy, or is that too small for you (11 ft)?
    People have done a lot of cruising around in these boats - easily rowed and readily acquired in the UK for little $$ - I bought a 1970 Mirror (wood) with trailer 2 years ago for $25 USD, in sailing condition!
    Folks rig up boom tents and platforms to sleep on as well, and there are lots of cruising vids on youtube with Mirrors - active racing class in the UK as well.
    Not to dash your "build your own" dreams, but I think you would be hard pressed to build a GIS, a First Mate, or Scamp or anywhere near 2000 gbp....plywood / lumber prices in general have skyrocketed over the past year, and to build - get sails and a trailer for any of the above boats would set you back likely in the 3000-4000 gbp range at a min.......
    Here is my little $25 Mirror
    It definitely remains on the table as a budget option, especially for 25 quid, if you know a guy who's selling at that price again!

    I wasn't really after a jib, though. Is the extra string much of a handful on a small boat? Also, once all the gear is in for a camping cruise (or even a long day sail with lunch and some observations) I'm wondering how much space I'll have for me. Need to stretch out the knees, now and then!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeVictorBravo View Post
    On a tangential note, what boat is that you're sailing? Looks like a pretty good candidate
    That's Don Kurylko's Alaska design, which he drew for long-range engineless cruising on the Inside Passage. I love it--but it's significantly heavier than the First Mate or Phoenix III (18' long vs. 15'), with about the same amount of usable interior space. I don't even try to roll this up a beach, although I suppose it could be done. A little more oriented toward rowing, but sails well enough for me, especially off the wind, with a 17'+ waterline and a 4' 8" beam.

    You can read my comparisons between the Phoenix III and the Alaska ON THIS THREAD, in post #20 and #31.

    As far as boomless rigs and lugsails, be aware there are other informed sailors who would disagree with me on all that. It does all come down to your priorities. I think of a boomless standing lugsail as the perfect rig for those who want a boat that disallows type A behavior--I'm no racer, that's for sure!

    But that Ness Yawl at 750 GBP? That might be verging on stupid to pass up...

    Tom
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    www.tompamperin.com

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeVictorBravo View Post
    It definitely remains on the table as a budget option, especially for 25 quid, if you know a guy who's selling at that price again!

    I wasn't really after a jib, though. Is the extra string much of a handful on a small boat? Also, once all the gear is in for a camping cruise (or even a long day sail with lunch and some observations) I'm wondering how much space I'll have for me. Need to stretch out the knees, now and then!
    I have seen Mirrors on Facebook "people who love Mirror dinghy's" page (in the UK) being given away, that need some minor sanding / painting / varnishing etc....pretty common to see them going for nothing....
    As far as cruising with a Mirror, a lot of people do and have done so - obviously there is less space aboard an 11 ft ply dinghy than something like that lovely Ness yawl pictured above - man, that is a real steal! But for a night or 2 - a boat this size can hold your gear.....a couple of dry bags on either side of the daggerboard trunk, and you are good to go - look up "mirror dinghy cruising" vids on youtube - lots of them
    Part of the appeal also of the Mirror, is it has 2 mast steps, so you can sail with main only if you like - handling the small jib sheet is not a big deal though....also comes with oar locks and is easily rowed....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3nn3wHx9D8

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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    With your build site, storage and side alley issue, have you considered a 3 part boat?



    https://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/...on-dinghy.html

    If you need to man handle the boat down an alley, maybe a boat that can be car topped or moved with a small box trailer or in a van might be worth a thought?

    I have seen the plans for Scamp, what makes the boat work well is all the little details, it is a more involved build than something like Nesting Expedition Dinghy by some margin and cost.

    The abundance of dinghy classes in the UK mean building almost anything is going to be way more expensive than something you could pick up second hand. Though building your own boat is always a worthwhile endevour.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Chesapeake Bay
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    284

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    I wasn't really after a jib, though. Is the extra string much of a handful on a small boat? Also, once all the gear is in for a camping cruise (or even a long day sail with lunch and some observations) I'm wondering how much space I'll have for me. Need to stretch out the knees, now and then!

    I've found a jib really handy so I can heave to. If the wind is too much, or I want to reef, or eat lunch, or just take a break, heaving to really works. Backing it to help the bow through a tack can be useful as well. Sometimes it can get flapping and make a terrible racket until you sheet it in, but the pros outweigh the cons for me. It can be awkward storing it when the tack is still attached up at the bow, but I'm considering making a small roller furler that should help that issue.

    On the First Mate you'll mostly be confined to between the main thwart and sternsheets. Sitting too far aft hurts your performance, so I recommend removable side benches and sitting up near the main thwart. It's pretty comfortable to sit on a cushion on the sole and lean back against the side decks too, although your butt will get wet if there's much water swishing around. In calm conditions I stand up and steady myself on the boom if it's nearby.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
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    808

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    [QUOTE=WBViking;6482745]Have you considered a Mirror dinghy, or is that too small for you (11 ft)?
    People have done a lot of cruising around in these boats - easily rowed and readily acquired in the UK for little $$ - I bought a 1970 Mirror (wood) with trailer 2 years ago for $25 USD, in sailing condition!
    ...... QUOTE]
    @MikeVictorBravo : I appreciate your reservations and if you want to build your own, you have more scope for customising to suit your wishes. On the other hand, the sort of cruising you consider can be done in a Mirror and these are available in all conditions - as unbuilt kits to near-wrecks and even in frozen snot if you're not choosy. I have done some coastal and inland multi-day messabouts as well as two camp-cruising trips in mine*. There are quiter a number of Mirorrists in the UK Dinghy Cruising Association.
    As to the Goat Island Skiff, Enrico Franconi has posted some YouTube videos of his cruises in Italy and the French Riviera in his GIS (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeg...iPXRDdJzul7LJw ).
    @WBViking : I haven't got #24672 on the Roll Call yet. Are you aware of the Mirror Dinghy Discussion Forum? We have a sprinkling of US Mirrorists there.

    I'm eagerly awaiting the developments of your project and news on what boat was chosen in the end.

    * My reports on https://mirrordiscussforum.org/documents.html , Cruise and Messabout videos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9bV...9MEaQ5TTLypIjP

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    [QUOTE=62816inBerlin;6483002][QUOTE=WBViking;6482745]Have you considered a Mirror dinghy, or is that too small for you (11 ft)?
    People have done a lot of cruising around in these boats - easily rowed and readily acquired in the UK for little $$ - I bought a 1970 Mirror (wood) with trailer 2 years ago for $25 USD, in sailing condition QUOTE

    @WBViking : I haven't got #24672 on the Roll Call yet. Are you aware of the Mirror Dinghy Discussion Forum? We have a sprinkling of US Mirrorists there.

    Yes, I am aware - I sent an email to Gernot (you?) back in 2019 with my info, I assume you did not receive it
    Can you please add my Mirror 24672 (told it was built in 1970 when I bought it) to the roll call?
    I live in NE Ohio / Akron area (US)
    Thanks! (Jerry Welch)

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
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    1,578

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeVictorBravo View Post
    I love the look of his Ilur. It has proper little ship vibes, from the lug rig right down to the forepeak where he stores ropes and muddy items. It looks incredibly salty! But I couldn't possibly stretch to an Ilur, either financially or physically - it would be too big and heavy to get out.
    A boat you should look at is the Salmo 15-S.

    Length, beam, depth is very similar to an Ilur, but it's built 'simpler' stitch and glue. Cheaper build with many of it's virtues: it's a simple, good cruising dinghy. Same unstayed boodles standing lugsail. Plans are cheaper too and while kitable, you can build it from plans to save cost. You'll have to rig thwart level seating, but it's been done. People have cruised these around Europe. Transom if you needed an outboard bracket.

    Building in FSC Birch ply will halve the ply cost. It's good quality part from lower durability. Provided you look after the boat it'll last, you'd be well advised to keep it's bilge 'dry'/ decent cover/ epoxy the bilges/ seal the edges etc that's all.





    The boat uses ply pieces for internal fit out. Single mast, single sail.



    See this thread:

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...90306-Salmo-15

    They look a pretty 'dry' boat in waves.


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,578

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Another sail and oar to look at would be the Nigel Irens/ Ed Burnett Western Skiff.

    Sadly Ed has past away, but after a donation to a sailing charitable trust you can download plans from Practical Boat Owner's website (and have them printed out) and either build from them (they are full size patterns for all parts) or purchase a kit from Jordan for £1000. If you cut out the panels it'd be less than half that. You'd need a mast, sail and trailer or trolley but you'd manage to do it for 2k.

    There was a series of articles in PBO on building one a bit back. Being sail and oar, and quite round bilge it'll be more 'tippy' than a wide flat/ fat dinghy but that's what gives you the oar performance and speed in light air so you don't need an outboard.







    It's simple to build and was designed as such for 'beginners', initially as kit only. Mainly uses a jigsaw. There's some jigging like an Ilur's construction. Should be light in Occume. I had the plans printed out full size but haven't built it yet. A company down in the West Country printed the plans out: you send the files to via email, think it was maybe £35 for that.

    No finer names in naval architecture than Nigel Irens and Ed Burnett. If you're very new to sailing (or sail in high winds) you might prefer a 'stiffer' boat to start with though.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 07-09-2021 at 11:17 AM.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    262

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    I live in Central Scotland and agree with the others on here. If you want to build, build but it'll be far cheaper and you'll be on the water a lot quicker if you buy. I'm on my third build (an 18' motorboat) after a Caledonia Yawl and a Selway Fisher Highlander 11. This motorboat will be used on the West Coast of Scotland when it's finished.

    Paul Fisher has some nice designs that would be straightforward to build for a first timer. He's UK based. I haven't had any issues with his plans whatsover- easy to follow.

    A cuddy would be a good idea- somewhere dry to keep your gear is probably a good idea.

    Might be worth getting some rough prices for materials so you have an idea of what you're getting into. I've used Timbmet for plywood and a local sawmill for the other timber for my current build. Robbins in Bristol is another well known supplier. I've saved a fair amount of the mills workshop time (and therefore money) by having them supply me with sawn timber. I can plane it down myself. You could always use exterior wbp plywood if you weren't overly concerned about a long lifespan of the boat. Lack of supply and huge demand is causing prices of timber in the UK to be pretty high just now.

    You could probably find a set of secondhand sails for sensible money. A new set, even for a small boat, would cost a fair proportion of your budget.

    Ben

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Aquitaine
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    1,810

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    [QUOTE=biglad;6485417

    You could probably find a set of secondhand sails for sensible money. A new set, even for a small boat, would cost a fair proportion of your budget.

    Ben[/QUOTE]
    I bought two sails of the net for my current build. One is perfect (&free), but the main (£50) needs a big recut. Not a prob as I made the set for my 15ft from scratch. BUT, nice dutch guy on here has a ready to go set in condition for not much money? So will go with that.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Loon Lake, Washington
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Hey MikeVictorBravo,

    Sounds like a used boat would be a good way to go, but if you want to build your own (and that can be a big part of the fun) there are some easily built boats that can get you out on the water pretty fast and inexpensively.

    I once traveled from Olympia to Port Townsend, which is about 100 nautical miles, the full length of Puget Sound, in this -

    48246250821_b952ac6152_o.jpg

    My wife and I even squeezed in there for a three day island-hopping trip on Priest lake, Idaho.

    SAM_6254.JPG

    That's a simple, 11-1/2 foot, flat bottomed skiff I made from three sheets of plywood for $ 235.00
    The design is David Beedes Summer Breeze.

    The Goat Island Skiff you mentioned above outclasses this boat every which way and would probably work out well.
    Flat bottomed skiffs are the fastest, least expensive and easiest to build. Indeed, the smallest and cheapest boat that might work out for you is the Bolger Teal, a 12 foot double ender easily made from only two sheets of plywood.

    Jim Michalak wrote that he slept in his while camping many times. He reinforced the gunwales and removed the central frame for clear sleeping space inside. I imagine the Teal also rows well, which might be useful. That's about as small and simple as you can get!








    A bigger double ender that is also very easy to build is the Bolger Windsprint.
    This boat takes four sheets of plywood to make and might take all of two weekends to assemble.
    I think this design is over-canvased and I'd limit it to 75 sq.ft. of sail.

    I've often thought that this design would make a nice little cruiser with a little modification. Say, deck the ends for dry storage and flotation, use 1/2 inch ply for the bottom instead of 1/4 inch for a little more weight and strength down there. It has eight feet of clear open space inside!
    To row, you sit on a storage box/seat, as I'm doing in the top photo.






    Plans for these can be found here - https://www.instantboats.com/#welcome

    Another simple design is the "200 dollar" version of the Bolger Featherwind.
    I built one of these when I wanted a bigger boat for longer cruises. I have a thread about this design down in the Bilge.


    SAM_7241.JPG

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Loon Lake, Washington
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    274

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    And I must point pout all the wonderful, easily made designs by Jim Michalak.
    He has more of them than you can shake a stick at.

    Some are perfect little pocket cruisers like the I.B.M.
    This is a 13-1/2 foot, multi-chine boat with an eight foot cabin.
    She needs ten sheets of plywood, a sheet of plexiglass and plenty of epoxy to build, so this is a much bigger boat than the simple skiffs I posted above, but it's nice to have a cabin when it rains all night!



    His simple Mayfly 14 is quite popular -



    There are too many to mention so I'll let you browse among them -

    https://duckworks.com/jim-michalak/

    Some are simple flat bottomed boats which are very easy to put together, and some are multi-chine stitch and glue boats which will take you longer and cost more.

    Anyway, l hope you get out on the water soon!

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    PNW
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    596

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Will a wayfarer work?
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  34. #34
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    Jul 2013
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    Aquitaine
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    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    Will a wayfarer work?
    Usual comment about Wayfarers is that they are quite heavy to heave about launching and retrieving.

    Here is one: https://intheboatshed.net/2010/05/18...now-available/ That has been cruised a bit.
    A2
    Last edited by Andrew2; 07-14-2021 at 01:16 AM.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
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    Sveirge (Sweden)
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    429

    Default Re: Which dinghy daysailer/cruiser for the Mersey and beyond?



    Despite looking really odd, that would work well in our cold climate.

    I think that it would not fit on edge down the side alley?

    Maybe a pop-top style roof or sprayhood with extension?

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