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Thread: Is there a perfect boat for me?

  1. #1
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    Default Is there a perfect boat for me?

    After several hours of research, I'm resorting to asking for help. I was considering the Bolger beach cruiser but since I can't even find a picture of the revised plan it makes more sense to go with a design with more available info. I'd like to list my needs and see if anyone can steer me close.

    I plan on sailing on protected water, mostly inland lakes, no overnights.
    Crew of 2 adults or 1 adult and two older kids.
    No longer than 15 feet.
    The boat will be on a trailer if not wet.
    Unstayed mast. Gaff or lugg rig.
    Single sail.
    Plywood stitch/glue preferred or plywood strip over forms.
    Centerboard.
    Stable and somewhat forgiving for those times I think I can sail better than I do.
    Open cockpit with tolerable seating or at least not on the hull.
    Weight is a factor. The lighter the better. Love the cats but they are too heavy for the size I need.
    Plans detailed enough for a beginner with some experience in wood/ epoxy and tools.
    Small electric motor/scull for auxiliary.
    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    There are a great many designs that fit your criteria. The "perfect" boat is the one that most readily brings a smile to your face and stirs something in your imagination. Sailing is all about having fun while staying safe. Pick out a proven design, and there are many, and then build it. Look at Selway-Fisher, Chesapeake Marine Design, Chesapeake Light Craft, Ross Lillistone, and Michael Storer for designs in stitch and glue for starters. There are many more. The search is half the fun. Good luck - John

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Perfect today, tomorrow? If only it were two feet longer....

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Check out Boat Plans at Duckworks Boat Builder's Supply. You will find a good number of suitable designs there - John

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Thanks for the ideas. I spent more time looking at different builders plans and have narrowed down to the Petrel 13 or perhaps to try and stretch the Bobcat to 14. If I buy the full size plans for the bobcat can I take them to a printshop and have them enlarge by 1.12?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    No. But one will be better than others on some days. --Wade
    Last edited by wtarzia; 10-04-2017 at 06:56 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Petrel would be my choice. I've built a small Paul Fisher design and was happy with the plans and the boat.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    A Welsford/ SCA Scamp would fit most of your requirements.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ljaybo41 View Post
    Thanks for the ideas. I spent more time looking at different builders plans and have narrowed down to the Petrel 13 or perhaps to try and stretch the Bobcat to 14. If I buy the full size plans for the bobcat can I take them to a printshop and have them enlarge by 1.12?

    I’m late to the party now that you’ve narrowed it down, but was the Hartley TS14 in the mix at all? If your limit wasn’t 15’ I’d have suggested the Hartley TS16, being a very happy and proud owner of one, but am assuming you must have a length limit for storage or something?

    This is the 14

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Did you look at the Pacific Pelican (LINK)? I think it would work well with a Junk rig.*


    Original Sailplan

    *It's been done.


    Junk Rig


    LOA (without bowsprit) = 14’ 7”
    FloorLength = 13’ 1”
    Beam = 6' 7"
    Draft (board up loaded) = 5”
    Draft (board full down) = 3’ 8”
    Weight(allup/all3/8” glassed) = 600#
    Weight(¼” decks 7 sides glassed) = 540#
    Sail Area (main) = 105sf
    Sail Area (jib) = 40sf
    Freeboard (above waterline) = 24”
    Cockpit Length = 8’ 0”
    Capacity 4 adults/motor/gas/gear = 1,000#

    The Pacific Pelican is a special creation, much loved by those who have come to appreciate the logic behind her design, not only in use but in building. We are grateful to Captain Bill Short who came along to design the original Pelican (12’) in 1959 and later the Great Pelican (16’). It’s pleasant to hear Bill say that our Pacific Pelican (14’7”), after 30 years with the 12’ and 16’ versions, finally completes a perfect family.

    The Pacific Pelican is specifically intended to meet these criteria of safety, comfort, and low cost. She is deeper, has more sorage space, and is more stable than a racing dinghy or yacht tender. Although not a racer, the Pacific Pelican is fast in a breeze of 7-9 knots. The design incorporates the lines of a Banks dory with the oriental sampan bow. If her lines were extended to the dory’s extreme ends she’d be about 22’ long. The pram bow is safe, it will not dig in and cause a broach capsize when running before 3Okt gusts in 3’-4’ seas; we know, we’ve done this on blustery San Francisco Bay!
    Last edited by sharpiefan; 10-03-2017 at 06:47 AM.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Thanks for all the input everyone. I'm still with the Petrel 13 at the top of the list. It's been a task for sure trying equal out the wants and restrictions. I think picking a tattoo was easier.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    My idea of the perfect boat changed as I got more experience with sailing. I also learned it's a moving target. At first it was just my wife and I, then we got a bunch of kids whose interests have morphed over time. We love our Argie 15 sailing dinghy, but I've come to discover that an easy-to-trailer pocket cruiser is really my dream boat. How would you describe your experience with sailing/boating/etc.
    Last edited by capefox; 10-03-2017 at 06:21 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    The perfect boat is the one you discover halfway through the build of the one you started.

    Never fails. Hehe.

    Peace,
    Robert

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    The timeless designs of L.Francis Herreshoff are worth exploring. His book "Sensible Cruising Designs" is worth adding to your library. Even if you choose another design it is still a very good book to own for reference.
    Jay

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    The perfect boat is the one you discover halfway through the build of the one you started. Never fails. Hehe. Peace, Robert
    Best quote of the month, Rob!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    I also learned it's a moving target.
    Totally so. I've found I switch boats every 5-7 years. I'm in the downsizing phase of the addiction right now, contemplating my next obsession.

    The Scamp suggestion is on the money for your requirements. They feel like way more than 12' of boat when you're sitting in the cockpit, and offer very good stability/safety for a boat that length. The Petrel looks fine, but I don't see it offering the same seating comfort or as high a level of stability as the Scamp, which can take on water ballast.

    And of course, if you want a quick and easy build, selecting a boat for which there's a precut stich & glue kit available will make the job go much more quickly.
    -Dave

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    "Although not a racer, the Pacific Pelican is fast in a breeze of 7-9 knots. The design incorporates the lines of a Banks dory with the oriental sampan bow. If her lines were extended to the dory’s extreme ends she’d be about 22’ long. The pram bow is safe, it will not dig in and cause a broach capsize when running before 3Okt gusts in 3’-4’ seas"


    ​I know I've said it before, but it still seems bizarre to call some boats "fast" like the person who wrote that quote did. The original SF Pelican is rated significantly slower than an Opti. It's the 5th slowest-rated boat on the official US tables, out of about 350 boats. Even if the PP is dramatically faster, we are still looking at something that's probably in the slowest 5% of boats, able to beat only much smaller craft. If that's "fast" then what do we call boats that are slower than 60% of boats - "super fast"? What do we call the average boat; "superincrediblyfantastidelicousmegaamazingfas t"? What do we call a foiling Moth?

    In many ways,of course, it's not important. In other ways, if such a boat can be called "fast" then a Moth can be called "an ocean going yacht", a windsurfer can be called "a comfortable cruising yacht" and a J/36 can be called "a wooden classic", and we may as well abandon all pretence that there is anything like realism or truth or that English is a language.

    Excuse the rant, and it's not aimed at anyone who quotes the claim but at those who wrote it. By the way, one may add that there are plenty of other boats that won't nosedive and broach in such conditions if they are carrying as little sail as the Pelican.


    EDIT - Oh dear god, I followed the link and saw where it claims that it "planes to windward" while "pointing high" and has "good aerodynamics". That is not marketing talk or hyperbole - that's lying. By the same logic, a Folkboat planes to windward.

    Last edited by Chris249; 10-03-2017 at 08:15 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    "Although not a racer, the Pacific Pelican is fast in a breeze of 7-9 knots. The design incorporates the lines of a Banks dory with the oriental sampan bow. If her lines were extended to the dory’s extreme ends she’d be about 22’ long. The pram bow is safe, it will not dig in and cause a broach capsize when running before 3Okt gusts in 3’-4’ seas"


    ​I know I've said it before, but it still seems bizarre to call some boats "fast" like the person who wrote that quote did. The original SF Pelican is rated significantly slower than an Opti. It's the 5th slowest-rated boat on the official US tables, out of about 350 boats. Even if the PP is dramatically faster, we are still looking at something that's probably in the slowest 5% of boats, able to beat only much smaller craft. If that's "fast" then what do we call boats that are slower than 60% of boats - "super fast"? What do we call the average boat; "superincrediblyfantastidelicousmegaamazingfas t"? What do we call a foiling Moth?

    In many ways,of course, it's not important. In other ways, if such a boat can be called "fast" then a Moth can be called "an ocean going yacht", a windsurfer can be called "a comfortable cruising yacht" and a J/36 can be called "a wooden classic", and we may as well abandon all pretence that there is anything like realism or truth or that English is a language.

    Excuse the rant, and it's not aimed at anyone who quotes the claim but at those who wrote it. By the way, one may add that there are plenty of other boats that won't nosedive and broach in such conditions if they are carrying as little sail as the Pelican.


    EDIT - Oh dear god, I followed the link and saw where it claims that it "planes to windward" while "pointing high" and has "good aerodynamics". That is not marketing talk or hyperbole - that's lying. By the same logic, a Folkboat planes to windward.

    In fairness, I think you're looking at the rating for the 11' San Francisco Pelican rather than the Pacific Pelican. Probably, in ideal conditions (a 30-knot following breeze?), the larger boat can almost keep up with an Opti.

    Ljaybo, the catboats you have mentioned will probably do a better job, although people really do like their Pelicans, slow as they are. They are roomy, stable, and although they look like the box your real boat came in, people like sailing them.

    If the boat is going to live on a trailer, a lug rig will go up quicker than a gaff rig. You might consider a Welsford Saturday Night Special.

    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/jw/sns/index.htm

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Is there a perfect boat for me?

    Yep, I referred to the difference and I'm not in any way attacking the Pelican. As you know, it's just ridiculous to say that the Pacific Pelican planes upwind and is "fast". Even if it was faster proportionately than the original by some way, it's still not going to beat a Laser (for example) upwind, and a Laser does not come within a million miles of planing upwind.

    It's probably a fine boat, it's just silly that they have to lie about it. And if they lie about performance, how can they be trusted about anything else they say?

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