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Thread: Family Daysailer Recommendations

  1. #1
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    Default Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone can make some recommendations regarding a trailerable, family daysailer that I can build. I'm an experienced woodworker with a good collection of machines and hand tools but my experience with boats is limited to a cedar strip canoe and skin-on-frame kayaks. I have a 20'x24' garage to build in.

    In terms of needs:
    - Accomodate a young family of 4. I have sailed previously but it has been a long time. My wife and kids (5 & 7) will be learning.
    - It needs to be trailerable, class III so GTW of 3500lbs.
    - It will be dry sailed.
    - We'll be sailing smaller inland lakes and the great lakes for the moment.
    - I'd like to be able sail her solo
    - 20' or less.

    Various other things:
    - I really love the lines of the old Scottish and American racers
    - My kids need to pee a lot. A cuddy with a tiny head would be ideal but, technically, not essential.
    - I'd like something that is quick enough and offers enough of a challenge to sail that it keeps life interesting.

    I've done some research and come up with a few popular options in the Caledonia Yawl, Flatfish sloop, and Haven 12 1/2. However, I am very open to the opinions of those more experienced than I am.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Emerald Coast, FL
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Caledonia Yawl or Navigator. Not familiar with boats in that range with cabins, but Jay has specs on a nice cedar bucket

    It might be on the small end for you, esp if you are taking camping gear and planning on bigger bodies of water, but we are very happy with our Penobscot 14 footprint. 2 adults absolutely comfortable and we have space for 2 more adults for a day sail, one on each bench and two on either side of the horseshoe seat. So 2 young kids would be fine.



    Cheers
    Kent

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Hi Randall

    Congratulations! In your inaugural post you have started a Pandora's thread. There are dozens of great options, and everyone has their favorite. You will get lots of advice.

    I'm getting close to finishing a Welsford Navigator, so I can't tell you how it sails, but I can tell you about the process. Building a boat has been a wonderful experience, but it is the slowest and most expensive way to get on the water. At the start, my boat building experience was similar to yours, and it has taken me two and a half years. I live in a region that is not as cold as you, and I still have 5 months a year that I can't work outside and I am limited to basement projects. However, I am a teacher so I have been able to work full time on the boat for three summers. I could never have done this when my kids were 5 and 7 - I just didn't have the time. Maybe others will post with different experiences, and it's possible that I work very slowly, but that is what I found. If you start building, you should be comfortable with taking a long time before the family goes out for a sail, and be prepared for your project to take up your workspace for a long time.

    Once you pick a boat, I suggest that you take a look at some of the build threads on the Forum and see how long it took people to finish.

    Good luck with your decisions.

    Kenny
    "Oh my god, Triscuits are, like, the best." L.F Herreshoff, The Compleat Cruiser

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Howdy Randall, welcome.
    Have you thought about design elements like flotation and self-recovery? The more modern designs may not be as stylish as a FlatFish (or as hard to build), but many are more family friendly.

    Check these out:
    Bay Cruiser 17/20 - UK boat, not sure about US kits.

    Core Sound 17
    Oughtred Eun Na Mara

    Also if you search this forum on "trailer sailer" you will find some inspiring threads.

    Cheers, Dan

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    I do love sailing my Eun Mara but her cockpit is perfectly sized for one or two people at a time, I've had three adults out and it gets a bit tight.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    My first thoughts were Oughted & Welsford. Oughtred Caledonia Yawl would be plenty roomy - maybe something a bit smaller for ease of handling? Welsford Navigator or Pathfinder?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Thanks for the feedback so far guys.

    In terms of ease of build, ease of trailering and setup, I think a Caledonia Yawl is the one to beat. I don't foresee any issues with handling/trailering a boat of this size. Yet I'm still drawn to the Flatfish. I've read about modifications to the full-keel fish plans that include a small cuddy (aka Marin) but without the depth from the keel, I don't think that this would work.

    Does anyone know of any build photos of the Flatfish? Unfortunately, most of the photos in the forum threads are no longer visible.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    A flatfish would be lovely to have and sail. But it would be a difficult build and difficult to dry sail. I built and sail a Somes Sound 12.5. This is similar to the Haven. Primary difference is the SS is glued lapstrake. I suspect the SS is much easier to build than is the Haven. I've day sailed with three in the boat. I think four would be about the most that could be comfortable. If at least one crew was knowledgeable about raising and lowering sails, things would be easier. There is not a lot of room to walk around in the boat with four on board. Getting from the tiller to the mast would be awkward with a passenger in the way. But I love sailing my boat. It is comfortable, sporty enough for me, and I feel very safe. It is not a boat one has to hike out on to keep from capsizing. These boats trailer well and launch easily. I can be launched in about 40 minutes.

    The boat is not easily beached. So if going ashore that way is a goal, you'd best not consider anything with a fixed keel.

    Jeff

  9. #9
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    Dec 2015
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    If you're launching using a nice ramp, that goes into deepish water, I think a CLC's Pocketship would suit.



    With a family taking your time already, you need to get something built quick and get out there before they have other distractions: Pocketship plans come with full size patterns and the most comprehensive 280p/ 800 photos instruction book in the business...or they'll sell you a kit of parts. John C Harris is also one of the good guys.

    It has a big tabernackle with an attached boom (an essential detail for rigging speed - everything stays attached) a foresail to keep somebody occupied, a relative deep protected cockpit for children, a cuddy that sleeps two with a pull out toilet space and a good sized cockpit. Plenty of built in buoyancy in the right place. Build is relatively speedy. If nobody comes out it shouldn't be intimidating to launch or retrieve. Nobody really needs much more boat. Just 15ft LOA: it will easily store in your garage on a trailer over winter or when you're repainting it.



    http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/w...uiser-kit.html

    If you want something at the 20ft end, Clint Chase Jewell is fabulous, and kitable. Also look over Francois Vivier's Beniguet & Stirven.

    If you want strip plank, like the canoe you built, Paul Gartside has 16ft Basher which would fit.

    There's alot of choice, it comes down to priorities on build time, rigging time, looks, motion comfort, stability, buoyancy performance, weight with trailer, keel depth for launching, local wind and sea conditions, and where you want to get to with it.

    Whichever you decide, you'll be done much much quicker with a kit of parts, or at least full size patterns. Talking 1 year instead of 3.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 08-12-2017 at 12:49 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    I just finished this sailing dory from lines in John Gardners book Classic Small Craft to Build and Use.

    it is a boat that was sailed across the Atlantic ocean in 1876 and is proving to be a very fun little 20' er, there is enough room under the deck to sit on a portapoti with your head poking out of any one of the several hatches and a towel or sheet for privacy screen.

    also a tabernackle mast makes set up easier than you might imagine for a rig with this many lines to pull on, great for keeping kidos occupied.



  11. #11
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Are trailering capability and dry sailing different in your mind, as it is in mine? Dry sailing (imo) means that the boat will stay rigged and be kept ready to sail, out of the water on a rack, lifted either on a private llft or via forklift onto an outdoor marina rack for ongoing storage. Trailering is unrigging and taking the boat out of the water each time you sail and storing it at home or in a lot.
    "When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart."

    -W. B. Yeats

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    19' Ohio sharpie.

    http://traditionalsmallcraft.com/Sha...%20Sharpie.pdf



    Quick build, stable, plenty of room.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Buy a secondhand O'Day DaySailor. Yes, it is made out of the other stuff. It will cost less than $10,000, maybe half that. It is self rescuing. It will day sail two adults and two kids. It has a little cuddy, but probably too small to sleep four. It has a swing up rudder and CB and floats in nine inches of water. It will plane and go fast enough so the kids will not be bored all the time. It has a tabernacle, so erecting the mast will not be a big problem. It will take a bit of abuse and neglect. You can reacquaint yourself with sailing while building the dream boat.

    And, when the dreamboat is finished there is a good market for the DS.

  14. #14
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    Are trailering capability and dry sailing different in your mind, as it is in mine? Dry sailing (imo) means that the boat will stay rigged and be kept ready to sail, out of the water on a rack, lifted either on a private llft or via forklift onto an outdoor marina rack for ongoing storage. Trailering is unrigging and taking the boat out of the water each time you sail and storing it at home or in a lot.
    I'm not exactly sure at this point. I know that it will not sit in the water for the season around here. I have space to store the boat on a trailer at home (which obviously means stepping the mast and rigging with every launch). Alternatively, there is a local sailing club where I can rent space for a reasonable amount and dolly it (they have a tractor). I need to confirm some of this but that is what I understand currently.

    Thanks for the continued ideas guys.

    I have considered picking up a cheap fibreglass boat... if I'm unable to build this coming winter, that is certainly something I'll consider in the spring.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    I just finished this sailing dory from lines in John Gardners book Classic Small Craft to Build and Use.

    it is a boat that was sailed across the Atlantic ocean in 1876 and is proving to be a very fun little 20' er, there is enough room under the deck to sit on a portapoti with your head poking out of any one of the several hatches and a towel or sheet for privacy screen.

    also a tabernackle mast makes set up easier than you might imagine for a rig with this many lines to pull on, great for keeping kidos occupied.


    Danial your little ship looks fine...Congratulations!!!!

  16. #16
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    Default

    I'll second the cLC pocketship recommendation


    Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    I rather like the Pocketship too, it seems to hit a number of the marks put forth by the OP.

    Something to consider (that I admittedly had not) when looking for the right trailered boat is the actual access to water. My island has one dilapidated city-owned dock with very limited parking for car/trailer combinations and an exposed concrete ramp with no dock and 6 parking spots. Both fill up fast on nice days and weekends.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  18. #18
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    I just finished this sailing dory from lines in John Gardners book Classic Small Craft to Build and Use.

    it is a boat that was sailed across the Atlantic ocean in 1876 and is proving to be a very fun little 20' er, there is enough room under the deck to sit on a portapoti with your head poking out of any one of the several hatches and a towel or sheet for privacy screen.

    also a tabernackle mast makes set up easier than you might imagine for a rig with this many lines to pull on, great for keeping kidos occupied.

    Off topic. But I have to say. Seen this picture posted before(cool boat) and every time on first glance I think the banner reflection by the bow is a snake. Gets my attention, every friggin time. Anyone else see it or is it just me?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    I very much agree with ahp [#13] about the suitability of a nice used O'Day while you build. Have some fun.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Bolger's Chebacco!
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    I agree with the idea of getting an inexpensive glass daysailer. Cost will likely be less than anything you can build and the kids are growing fast. What I don't know is what is available in your area of Canada in the used one design area. And you do have long Canadian winters which need a heated shop, sizable for building something big enough for the family.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall S View Post
    Thanks for the feedback so far guys.

    In terms of ease of build, ease of trailering and setup, I think a Caledonia Yawl is the one to beat. I don't foresee any issues with handling/trailering a boat of this size. Yet I'm still drawn to the Flatfish. I've read about modifications to the full-keel fish plans that include a small cuddy (aka Marin) but without the depth from the keel, I don't think that this would work.

    Does anyone know of any build photos of the Flatfish? Unfortunately, most of the photos in the forum threads are no longer visible.
    As an ex Welsford Pathfinder builder, I'd say anything lapstrake is at the more complex end of the spectrum to build, with anything Oughtred probably the most complex. Not necessarily difficult, but his boats have more strakes, more lofting, more forms to set up, than pretty much anything else here.

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

  23. #23
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    Jan 2009
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    135

    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Ditto on the O'Day Daysailer while you build... I've been dragging one around since college and always fills the gaps when I am without a main boat or in the middle of a build. Both my kids grew up sailing it on local lakes, and it's a fun boat that will really get up and go in a breeze. In New Hampshire you can find them in good working order for $1-2k USD with parts readily available; I'd be surprised if you couldn't find one of the many thousands that were built for a similar price where you are in CA.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    I like especially the Chebacco for a daysailor, but have a look at the Strike 18 from Richard Woods, a trimaran. Nice big cockpit, and you recycle a catamaran that is out of fashion into a very cool boat. Costs will be a fraction of the other boats. Frank van Zoest

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    The Daysailor is an Uffa Fox design, and hard to beat, but small.
    For a family boat I would look at catboats, in particular the Herreschoff "America" 18 footer. A good performer, trailerable, a neat outboard installation, and cheap, it will comfortably fit your entire family.
    Or any of the Marshall versions of Catboat, not as cheap... (Catboats are way underrated in my opinion)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    Good point about the smaller production catboats. Marshall makes an incredible line. But no so common in the great fresh water seas.

  27. #27
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Family Daysailer Recommendations

    I'd second the kit suggestion for whatever you decide, unless it's not what you want out of building, or, like me, it's too costly at the outset. I think the Caledonia might be perfect, with the added advantage of Geoff Kerr's 40 part video series "how to build a CY" on OffCenterHarbor.com

    That series was helpful to me when building my Whilly Boat. Somewhere on here is a CY named Sparrow that it's builder sails and camp-cruises with his young family. The pictures of them might just make your decision for you! here- http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...a+yawl+sparrow

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

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