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Thread: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

  1. #1
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    Default Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    I could really use the collective wisdom of this forum in sourcing the best set of plans for me. I'm hoping to find a dinghy that sleeps two to explore the San Francisco Bay. Also better if it's straightforward enough for a first time builder, so I've been looking at glued plywood designs. So far I've seriously considered the Vivier Ilur, Welsford Navigator, and Lillistone Phoenix III.

    I'm hoping to have reasonable rowing ability, so I think I've ruled out the Navigator. I'd rather not go as far as ordering a CNC cut kit, so I think that rules out the Ilur.

    If I where to summarize my requirements/preferences:
    -Easy(ish) build
    -sleeps two
    -enough stability for the SF Bay
    -rows well enough to avoid carrying an outboard

    Any suggestions on these designs, or possible others would be very appreciated. I'm here to learn!

    Edit: I don't know what I was thinking. The phoenix III doesn't seem like it would sleep two at all.
    Last edited by Anthony Z; 08-29-2018 at 10:03 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Plans for the Ilur should be available directly from Vivier. I'd also look at Clint's Calendar Islands Yawl, which was designed with sleeping aboard, acceptable rowing manners, and ease of construction in mind.

    BUT (especially as a first timer) unless it's cost-prohibitive, I'd *highly* recommend a pre-cut CNC ply kit. Much less dust, greater accuracy, and you'll be sailing 20-30% sooner. I (gladly) work 6-7 days a week in a wood shop, and can't conceive of why anyone would want to spend any more time cutting and fairing plywood than was absolutely necessary.

  3. #3
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    Default

    From the looks of it, that boat would fit the bill as well. Thank you. I'll give the CNC kit another look

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Z View Post
    Edit: I don't know what I was thinking. The phoenix III doesn't seem like it would sleep two at all.
    I've slept two aboard a Phoenix III without any problems--two tall adults at 6' 2" and 6' 3". It's about the same level of comfort as a two-person backpacking tent.

    It is luxurious (by backpacker standards) for a solo sailor, but two can do it without much fuss. How often will you sleep two? All the time? Then maybe it's not a good choice? Occasionally? I think that's realistic. I did the Everglades Challenge in that boat and slept two aboard (when we slept).

    It's a very capable design, but small-ish. I think it's a perfect solo cruising boat, and a very good two-person cruising boat.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Z View Post
    From the looks of it, that boat would fit the bill as well. Thank you. I'll give the CNC kit another look
    I reviewed the prototype Calendar Islands Yawl for WoodenBoat's annual Small Boats issue a few years back. It is a much higher volume boat than the Phoenix III, beamier, so probably roomier to sleep aboard. The freeboard is also noticeably higher, which could be an asset in tough conditions. Of course, the extra beam and freeboard means that the Phoenix III has better rowing performance.

    Choices, choices! Both great boats.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Designed for the purpose by Paul Fisher, and used to be sold in the UK, in limited numbers.





    http://www.selway-fisher.com/Highlanders.htm

    The Kingfisher14, and Stornoway 14 and 16, may aslso suit. I have plans for the 16 and it is quite a usefull size for the purpose.

    http://www.selway-fisher.com/GPDinghyover13.htm

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    In light air or oar you'll be especially glad of the narrow waterline beam of Phoenix. Between 15-30 knots or gusty conditions you'll be glad of the extra beam and freeboard of Ilur or Navigator, driven hard pressed to hull speed you'll most enjoy Navigators planing aft sections.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    As a Bay Area sailor and rower for many years, can you be more specific about where you'll go to sleep two aboard? What sort of sailing you'll be doing? Will both of you be rowing?? Winter or summer? Just SF Bay or the Delta, too? Do you need to build, or would buying an existing boat be OK? What's your level of experience with boat-camping in these waters?

    We've got an old WB Forum joke about new builders: "I want a sailboat design that can sleep 4, carry six, circumnavigate, costs less than $200....and be cartopped" <-- don't we all!!! ;-)

    Personally I can't imagine a design that could be rowed by two people in anything but a dead calm, carry enough gear and have the room for both to sleep, and be "stable enough for SF Bay". The stability, sleeping space and gear room requirements are in direct conflict with the rowing / no outboard requirements. And I REALLY can't picture where you'd anchor, beach or moor the boat to sleep in SF Bay, not to mention handle the sanitary issues...

    The Sacramento / SF TSCA is having their annual beach & boat camping event on September 27-30 at Marshall Beach on Tomales Bay. I highly recommend parking at the Marshall Beach Rd trailhead and hiking down to see the boats and meet us, as you'll get a unique chance to see a great selection of the Sail & Oar™ boats currently in use in the area. A few people will sleep on board, most camp on the beach, and all will be happy to show you their boats. Boatbuilder Ed Foster will probably be there, and I'll guess that 4-5 of the most lovely boats at the event will be ones he built.

    That said, if you want an inexpensive yet stable sailboat designed for SF Bay, the SF Pelican will fill the bill nicely and carry enough gear for two. Can't be rowed and requires a small outboard, but meets your requirements otherwise.

    For rowing and sailing, one of the most highly regarded Sail & Oar™ boats is Iain Oughtred's Ness Yawl, as is Vivier's Ilur -- both winners of multiple European RAID races. If you'll be rowing and camping solo, then Welsford's Walkabout is wonderful, and one of the Forumites here rows his all over the Bay and even out the Gate occasionally.
    Last edited by Thorne; 08-30-2018 at 09:24 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Surely with the correct sockets and rowlocks, you could probably row a SF Pelican standing up and facing forward, like many a fisherman in bigger craft? Not that you are going to get anywhere fast in one under oars......

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Chesapeake Light Craft (kit) Southwester Dory? (Or is it the Northwester? I mean, the bigger of the two). -- Wade

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Z View Post
    I could really use the collective wisdom of this forum in sourcing the best set of plans for me. I'm hoping to find a dinghy that sleeps two to explore the San Francisco Bay. Also better if it's straightforward enough for a first time builder, so I've been looking at glued plywood designs. So far I've seriously considered the Vivier Ilur, Welsford Navigator, and Lillistone Phoenix III.

    I'm hoping to have reasonable rowing ability, so I think I've ruled out the Navigator. I'd rather not go as far as ordering a CNC cut kit, so I think that rules out the Ilur.

    If I where to summarize my requirements/preferences:
    -Easy(ish) build
    -sleeps two
    -enough stability for the SF Bay
    -rows well enough to avoid carrying an outboard

    Any suggestions on these designs, or possible others would be very appreciated. I'm here to learn!

    Edit: I don't know what I was thinking. The phoenix III doesn't seem like it would sleep two at all.
    You could probably muddle through all your criteria with a Scamp. I'd be game to unleash a Scamp on SF Bay. That would be a lot of fun. I'm less sure about sleeping two on a Scamp, but maybe you could do it with a platform down the center aisle. It's not like you'll be living on it for weeks on end, right?

    There's nothing wrong with doing a CNC kit. It's still going to take a ton of work to build, refine, optimize, regardless of whether you build from a kit or from scratch.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Spring, Summer and Fall rowing in the SF Bay Area and Delta is often more than just pushing a boat around on flat water with no wind - that would be most of our Winter season. Summer in particular produces the famous afternoon westerlies, blowing 30+ knots of cold foggy air from offshore into SF Bay and then out into the Delta along the rivers. We also have significant tidal action well over 60 miles into the Delta.

    So, rowing a Scamp or SF Pelican around a harbor, fine. Rowing across the Bay or around the Delta, not so good...

    As we say here in the Forum, "Don't ask me how I know this". I've certainly been towed back to the harbor / boat ramp a number of times attempting to sail or row around the Bay, one time rescued while heading stern-first for Hawaii in my '57 Blue Jay with a big dog, short oars and not a clue... ;-)
    Last edited by Thorne; 08-30-2018 at 10:07 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Looking for something to sail south of the gate and in the delta. Sleeps one comfortably or two on occasion. Hoping to build for the experience of it.
    I've been eyeing the John Welsford walkabout as a more rowable alternative to the navigator. The Piii sounds like it would work well, but additional freeboard might be smart in the bay if I sail around the Oakland Berkeley area
    Last edited by Anthony Z; 08-31-2018 at 11:13 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Z View Post
    Looking for something to sail south of the gate and in the delta. Sleeps one comfortably or two on occasion. Hoping to build for the experience of it.
    I've been eyeing the John Welsford walkabout as a more rowable alternative to the navigator. The Piii sounds like it would work well, but additional freeboard might be smart in the bay if I sail around the Oakland Berkeley area
    It'd be interesting to sail a Phoenix III on San Francisco Bay--not familiar with the area other than its reputation as windy to very windy. But the Phoenix III is an extremely capable boat, and I've never felt like I wanted more freeboard.

    Walkabout is very similar in size and (I suspect) rowing ability, but I think sleeping two would be problematic.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    It'd be interesting to sail a Phoenix III on San Francisco Bay--not familiar with the area other than its reputation as windy to very windy. But the Phoenix III is an extremely capable boat, and I've never felt like I wanted more freeboard.

    Walkabout is very similar in size and (I suspect) rowing ability, but I think sleeping two would be problematic.

    Tom
    If a walkabout where to sleep two, I've seen people use sleeping platform between the bench seats.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Oh, that ROG can be had in a CNC kit also. Plans can be bought online at Duckworks.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Cruising Dinghy, first time builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Z View Post
    If a walkabout where to sleep two, I've seen people use sleeping platform between the bench seats.
    I've heard about that but haven't seen it. It would not be my first choice for a boat that needed to sleep two--no surprise, as it was designed specifically for solo cruising. It would be perfect for that.

    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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