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Thread: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    I take what you are saying Edward.
    When I was trolling under sail with HS , sometimes I had the motor running too.
    It made for more efficient trolling , and made my sailing look good , but I hated the fact that I had a diesel running.
    A nice little diesel twin , but still a diesel running , under my feet.
    With Heather , I'd like to sail , but just keep the prop turning over.
    I think the electric would be perfect for that.
    Apparently they can be set up with a big slow turning prop direct drive , which I think for trolling and motorsailing would be ideal.
    And finally , I'd like to set the cabin of Heather up with solar panels.
    She would get an overnight recharge on the mooring , but the panels should be able to make a significant contribution too.
    And yes , steam is nice.
    I've seen steam driven paddle steamers on the Murray , and steam driven rollers and tractors , fascinating !.
    But a "Heather" motorsailing with electric power tickles my fancy.
    Whether it be with outboard , or inboard , I'm not sure yet.
    Regards Rob J.
    Edited to add , I was saddened when I found out the bloke who built Strath Steam engines had retired , they were terrific little steam engines.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    i'm down with double enders
    Maybe keep your eyes peeled for an old Sea Pearl, with or without outriggers. I'd snap one up if I ever came across one on the market. Almost a double ender.

    Last edited by JimD; 09-14-2017 at 10:24 AM.
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  3. #73
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Portland View Post
    Pardon my ignorance Paul , but what is an EEL ?.
    Regards Rob J.
    EEL is a Garden design, I believe. Pickpocket in the pic.
    http://www.woodenboatstore.com/produ...aysailer_plans I've seen them built as an open daysailer or with varying amounts of cuddy. There was one for sale on CL a while back with a raised flush deck that was rather "Stonehorse" like and providing a very roomy interior. They sail like a dream.

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    seaworthiness is not a major factor
    these are small lakes with a maximum fetch of about a mile, maybe two
    typically they have a wind driven chop of two or three inches on them
    confused pontoon boat wakes might be a factor on summer holiday weekends - mostly the times that i would avoid the lake
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Are you looking to buy or build? Do you care if it's wood? And if wood, will you be moored and thus able to go carvel or would you trailer a lot and thus better go cold molded or strip if not glass?

    I am personally a sailor, not a builder. And I'm very promiscuous in many of life's pleasures and relationships, including boats, so I can't imagine a part of the nation that does not have some great used boats that would suit. So in general, I'm all for cruising all advertising and information and then grab one. And go sailing. Nothing wrong with running through several different boats and types taking them different places. No one boat does everything, after all. Main thing is to get sailing.

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Here is one of the small boats that really is shoal, really can be trailered if built cold molded or strip rather than the designed carvel, and most importantly, really can sail well.

    You'll note two mast steps. Rig as a sloop or catboat with the same mainsail. The sloop is faster, of course, in winds where you can carry full sail. But the cat rig has conveniences, especially when it blows up or when one wants really lazy sailing. Nice to have the choice.

    The side decks look narrow and uncomfortable but the coaming is low and actually it's quite comfortable. Still, if I had knee issues I'd thing of wider wash decks and no coaming with a V splash board from just ahead of the mast swept back (if the cuddy is eliminated) or just little splash boards from the back of the cuddy to the gunnel on each side.

    Ian-
    Which of Dunbar's designs is this? It looks less beamy than the Junior Cat/Minx Cat that I can find reference to. Though I take it plans are not available. Cheers, Dan
    Last edited by snaildrake; 09-14-2017 at 08:28 PM.

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Since I am of an age where balance and mobility are a bit of a challenge for me, I tend to prefer a boat that is kindly to those who are challenged with the curse of those inconveniences. For this reason, I would point you towards designs that were done by L. Francis Herreshoff. His boats are simple to rig and sail as well as comfortable to move about in. I can highly recommend parusing through his classic treatise on small boats, "Sensible Cruising Designs".
    Jay

  8. #78
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    EEL is a Garden design, I believe. Pickpocket in the pic.
    http://www.woodenboatstore.com/produ...aysailer_plans I've seen them built as an open daysailer or with varying amounts of cuddy. There was one for sale on CL a while back with a raised flush deck that was rather "Stonehorse" like and providing a very roomy interior. They sail like a dream.
    .

    Thanks Hugh.
    She does look very very nice !.
    Regards Rob J.

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Am I the only one who thinks the way the boat is set up matters as much as the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    I think a lot of little boats can be made comfortable. I did so with my little catboat, Meerkat, by putting the thwart at the center of buoyancy. I sail it with one leg on the seat, the other behind it, and I've got the sheet coming from the stern, so when I tack, I put both legs down, scoot my butt across while turning my back to the bow, and put the other leg up on the seat. You could probably do this with Reuel Parker's 14' flatiron skiff, which would give you more room.

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    The 14 foot Beetle Cat looks interesting... 80% larger
    I saw one listed somewhere recently?

    http://beetlecat.com/beetle-14/


    There are a couple of "other" 14' catboats here
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 09-14-2017 at 06:38 PM.

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    "Am I the only one who thinks the way the boat is set up matters as much as the boat?"

    Nope. Most of us agree. For example, boats like the Beetle Cat, Buzzards Bay Boys' Boat, and even the Have 12-1/2 are boats that are meant to live on a mooring and are sparred and rigged accordingly. In a similar size and not mentioned yet on this thread, the Herreshoff Eagle can live happily on a mooring but can be set up for easy stepping and thus are suitable trailer yachts.

    And that's why the question of trailer or mooring matters so much.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    "Am I the only one who thinks the way the boat is set up matters as much as the boat?"

    Nope. Most of us agree. For example, boats like the Beetle Cat, Buzzards Bay Boys' Boat, and even the Have 12-1/2 are boats that are meant to live on a mooring and are sparred and rigged accordingly. In a similar size and not mentioned yet on this thread, the Herreshoff Eagle can live happily on a mooring but can be set up for easy stepping and thus are suitable trailer yachts.

    And that's why the question of trailer or mooring matters so much.
    None of this actually relates to my question. Of course it matters whether a boat can be trailered, but this is unrelated to setting it up so that once you're on the water, it's easy to sail. And if you know what makes it easy to sail, it opens up types that would otherwise not be considered. Meerkat is easy to sail, not because of the inherent properties of the design, but because I set it up so that it can be sailed from the thwart. Paul's bigger than me, so he'd need a bigger boat, but he doesn't need a 20 footer. Take a boat small enough that his weight can overpower the sail in most conditions, set it up so that all he has to do is slide his butt across the thwart, and he's good. I suggested Parker's 14' skiff, but there are many more that could be set up like that.

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Aha johnw, now I see what you're driving at. I've been sailing for so long and spent so much time rigging boats for myself and for others to make it easy, or at least as easy as can be with performance demands, that I take that as an 'of course', But it's not at all.

    Over the last thirty or forty years I've been involved more with boats of a few tons rather than a few hundred pounds but the problems can be similar, especially if one mostly sails alone but also wants the boat to be fun with a crew (guests) aboard. Sheet leads matter. In a pure racing boat or other boat that will always be crewed, you lay the sheets out to keep active people from bumping into each other. You don't want the helm distracted by a pile of mainsheet spaghetti. You don't want the jib tender colliding with the running backstay handler during a tack. But for many boats, you may want easy single handing as well. Sometimes this means having alternate leads, sometimes just a more clever layout.

    And sheets are not the only thing. Halyards and reefing lines matter as well.

    Sometimes weird little things. My Chamberlain Gunning Dory Leeward wanted me to be able to shift my weight not just laterally but also very much fore and aft, due to the very small rudder. So I needed to handle the helm anywhere from the sternsheets to amidships. An athwartship tiller with a long push/pull wand would have worked but also would interfere with rowing, especially when I wanted the rudder fixed. So I made a rope steering around the perimeter of the boat driving a pulley wheel atop the rudder post and a couple of cam cleats on each side to freeze it as needed. Very handy.

    On a bigger boat, the problem is tackled somewhat differently. On Marmalade (7 ton 25 ' catboat) the reefing lines go to the port side of the cabin top, halyards to starboard. A couple of becket lines to secure the wheel and we're good. On the other hand, I expect that Meg will be more easily handled, even single handed, with the reef lines and halyards on the masts. The jib and main sheets are about 6' from the helm while the running backs, leeboard tackles, and mizzen sheet are all handy to the helm. It's going to be fun to see how that works out in practice. I may well need to have a provision to bring the main sheets (double ended) back on a temporary singlehanding basis.

    With a small boat, a fair lead and reasonably straight pull are all you need for line handling. On larger boats, you need space to plant yourself for a proper ergonometric pull and you also need room to coil and organize the lines after every use.

    And in all cases, you want to rig with sensitivity to the physical abilities of the main crew. there is no one answer.

  14. #84
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Thanks, Ian. Paul's question is about small boats, and I've mentioned a couple things that helped on Meerkat. Anyone else want to chime in about how to make a small sailboat easy to sail?

  15. #85
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Assuming that we're looking at unballasted centerboard boats in the 15' to 20' range, probably leaning towards the latter, the halyards will most likely come to turning blocks on the deck on either side of the mast and back to the front of the cockpit. In most such boats, a person of Paul's size getting within reach of those, maybe seated straddling the centerboard trunk, will put the bow down enough that the boat will naturally weathercock. So setting and striking sail becomes very easy, even leaving the helm. In a boat that small, getting the main sheet away from the helm, incase you have a guest who wants a string to pull on, is harder than keeping it in reach and it's nothing to provide a second set of jib sheet cleats further aft for single handing. Almost all conventional boats in this size range have rigs very easily handled alone.

    I find that despite my brilliance and vast experience, it never hurts to figure that the designer or the last owner had at least half a brain and before I change things I try to satisfy myself as to why it's the way I found it. Amazing how many of my bright ideas are bobbing in the wakes of boats happy that I didn't mess too much.

  16. #86

    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Amazing how many of my bright ideas are bobbing in the wakes of boats happy that I didn't mess too much.
    What a great quote!

  17. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Morgan View Post
    What a great quote!
    True and nicely put but a lesson by brain seams completely unable to learn. I often see the slight shack of the head when people see my latest 'improvement' but they are too polite to comment. When I sold my international canoe the new owner removed my eccentricities with an on looking top sailor praising him as every improvement was undone.


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  18. #88
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    And that's why the question of trailer or mooring matters so much.
    I think in the op I posted that it needed to be trailerable but would mostly live tied to the dock - carvel is probably out, but lapstrake (glued or traditional) would be fine. Ply, strip, and molded would all be great as long as it still felt like a woodenboat - sometimes fiberglass and epoxy encapsulated boats edge too far away from feeling like woodenboats. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  19. #89
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    For ideas take a look at the handicapped sailing boats. Glass and built to one design race. But set up with hand controls and fixed seating facing forward.

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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Marblehead, IOM or footy?
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  21. #91
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    We're getting closer. Two more questions:

    How important is sailing quality? As in, I take it not a hot classic racer like a Thistle, but then still a really good sailer or can you be happy with an OK sailer?

    Build or buy?

  22. #92
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Two more questions:

    Assuming not too hot, like a Thistle, do you want a really good sailing boat or is OK good enough?

    Build or buy?

    If you can find one, a pre 1965 Rhodes 18 centerboard will be wood. And all the hulls I've seen were somewhere between tired and about dead. But they could be a superb candidate for splining the seams and perhaps cold molding on two thin layers of wood, dual diagonal. This is about half way from building if the initial hull does not need too much, like new stem, many new frames, major planking. Great boat.


  23. #93
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    About that Thistle. You can pick up a tired one pretty cheaply. Suppose the rig were replaced with a short traditional arrangement? The Coquina rig, for example. The boat would still sail quite well but it would also stay on its feet. And the hot-molded ones look quite spiffy.
    Last edited by Woxbox; 09-15-2017 at 11:57 AM.
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  24. #94
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    I mentioned the Thistle because many consider it a hot and somewhat hard to sail boat. Actually, I find that Thistle perfectly manageable by one person or two good sailing children, assuming you make practical slab reefing. The boom roller is for the birds. And the older wooden Thistles are hot molded. Very cool.

  25. #95
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    The discussion up to here seems to be concentrated on unballasted boats. But I don't understand why and that criteria would eliminate a lot of safety and comfort. So I would propose the boat that I built and sail... a Somes Sound 12.5. One could substitute the Haven but from what I've read, the build is more complex. I chose this design precisely because I believed it to meet all the OP's concerns. While I don't have knee problems, I don't move all that quickly anymore. Furthermore, I wanted to have a boat that would not easily capsize.

    The SS is easily trailerable and can ramp launch. I made a five foot trailer tongue extension to get her deep enough to float free. I can rig the boat in about an hour by myself. If I had a loose footed main, the job of rigging would be simplified. My boat lives on a mooring during the sailing season which simplifies everything for me. Paul mentioned that his boat will have dock access.

    Emily Ruth is all that I wished for in a sail boat. She's not fast but she's responsive enough to be fun. In calm conditions I put my feet up on the opposite seat while leaning back on the coaming. This is very comfortable. I nearly fell asleep at the helm one warm day this summer in about five knots of breeze. Changing sides after a tack is easy with plenty of room under the boom and nothing to trip over at the helm position. The jib is self tending which adds even more ease. The only factor that may rule the boat out for Paul is access to the hanked on jib is by kneeling on the foredeck. An innovative rigger could probably work out a solution to this.

    I sail solo most of the time, but here I am sailing in cohort with my friend and neighbor in his Harpoon:

    Jeff and Hank IMG_6865[1].jpg

    I'm the one in the rear. Hank can literally sail circles around me in light air. However, when the wind breezes up to 10 knots, I still sail comfortably and he stays onshore. Notice how I sit down inside the Somes Sound. Many small sailboats have nothing to lean back against.

    Jeff

  26. #96
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Paladin said - If it floats, flys or ... - rent it - much wisdom.

    You could do a lot worse than spend a week - or two - in Norfolk on the Broads - where you can sample the variety.

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  27. #97
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    One thing to think about, the smaller the sail area, the easier it is for the sailor's weight to dominate the boat. A properly set-up small boat can be less tricky that a larger, more stable boat with more sails and multiple sheets.

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    In S. California the Balboa YC has a fleet of adaptive sailing dinghies, the Twichell 12. The helmsman sits on the centerline facing forward in a chair that has a comfortable back rest. The jib is self tacking and the boat is steered with a joystick. The boat is very popular for those who do not wish to swallow the anchor!
    http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=4431
    Jay

  29. #99
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    One thing to think about, the smaller the sail area, the easier it is for the sailor's weight to dominate the boat. A properly set-up small boat can be less tricky that a larger, more stable boat with more sails and multiple sheets.
    True enough, but I think the most comfortable, easy-going boat is the one where the skipper is in a comfortable position and never needs to move. He might have a big boat with a big crew, or he might have a small boat that really takes care of itself and all line handling is done from an easy chair.

    -Dave

  30. #100
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    One thing to think about, the smaller the sail area, the easier it is for the sailor's weight to dominate the boat. A properly set-up small boat can be less tricky that a larger, more stable boat with more sails and multiple sheets.
    True enough, but I think the most comfortable, easy-going boat is the one where the skipper is in a comfortable position and never needs to move. He might have a big boat with a big crew, or he might have a small boat that really takes care of itself and all line handling is done from an easy chair.

    Last edited by Woxbox; 09-15-2017 at 11:19 PM. Reason: duplicate
    -Dave

  31. #101
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    This may be my ideal boat. I think you'd love her too. Let's pick up 2 in France and sail down from Nantes, Paris or another great river town which finally leads to crossing the channel.

    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 09-15-2017 at 11:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    This may be my ideal boat. I think you'd love her too. Let's pick up 2 in France and sail down from Nantes, Paris or another great river town which finally leads to crossing the channel.

    That is a lovely thing, what is it?

  33. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    True enough, but I think the most comfortable, easy-going boat is the one where the skipper is in a comfortable position and never needs to move. He might have a big boat with a big crew, or he might have a small boat that really takes care of itself and all line handling is done from an easy chair.



    You don't have to go three hulls to stay in one position
    2.4m

    Or Minuet


    I would love to work this concept up into something a little less race oriented and more traditional/classic boat style. One day


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  34. #104
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    Actually the Minuet could be the ultimate in some ways, since launching and rigging are so easy.

    On JohnW's question about how to make a small boat easy to sail, I'd say efficient foils, lots of mast bend, good blocks, and good lines. In conditions when many traditional rig sailors would have had to flap around reefing, even a Laser can be sailed without hiking and with the mainsheet cleated if you have enough vang and downhaul on and are sailing the groove accurately. It's similar to the way fractional rig short-overlap yachts go fast from 1 to 25+ knots of true wind speed without changing sails or reefing, but by using mast bend, cunningham and sail twist. My carbon laminate jibs cover that range with no visible stretch and can be depowered by just easing the inhaul, when my dacron "cruising" sails are bagging out and requiring reefing and messing about with jib lead positions.

  35. #105
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    Default Re: Small sailboat that can be comfortably sailed

    This has been a really good thread. I thought I'd put a couple of pics of the most popular sailboat on my lake. Please note I have little (no) interest in class racing, but these guys do race a couple nights a week plus on weekends. Interlake One Design, the fleet is split half wood and half glass. Most are kept on trailers adjacent to the lake and rigged and ready to go. A few are kept on lifts. This pic shows the lake in its most typical conditions on a busy weekend. On a weekday its likely there will only be one pontoon, one bassboat, one sailboat, and a few kayakers on the lake on any non racing evening.

    Not much interested in hiking like these guys are but thought to show the most popular classboat around here.

    Last edited by Paul Pless; 09-16-2017 at 07:41 AM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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