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Thread: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Default Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Hey everybody, been reading on this site for a while and have found a good bit of info, finally decided to make a post.

    Im looking to build a boat for cruising and exploring. Iíve been checking out various plans for months and finally decided I donít know enough about boat design to pick one. I did decide on a few things the boat will need.
    1. Displacement hull 18-19 ft no bigger
    2. Cabin
    3. Good amount of fuel storage
    4. Powered by a small outboard
    5. Cheap and simple as possible
    6. Seaworthy enough (self bailing deck and well sealed cabin at least)
    7. Stitch and glue or ply on frame
    The biggest trip Id like to take would be spending a week or so exploring the Channel Islands off of Southern California.

    The Hartley Fisherman 18 and Boat Building Central Harbor Master 19 both seem like good picks. Luxuries and comfort are low on the list.

    Tell me what you salty sea dogs think. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Nov 2019
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    I guess I could summarize my question like this. What do you think would be the cheapest, most bare bones, efficient cabin cruiser under 20ft. That can make a couple hour 30 mile offshore passage and carry a weeks provisions for two and fuel for say 250-300 miles

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    I have no experience building, owning or cruising one, but I have always thought that a St. Pierre dory would be my choice for a small, slow cruiser. There are many different plans available for the type in different lengths but I really like this one:

    https://instantboats.com/product/st-pierre-23-0/

    https://instantboats.com/product/st-pierre-26-0/

    A handsome boat. Drawn by Jay Benford so it has a reputable designer behind it. I have no idea how difficult it would be to build, but it's a flat-bottomed dory so how hard could it be? This one is inboard and a little larger than you are looking for but I think it's a decent direction to explore.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    ... looks like there is a 19’ version and an option for an outboard in a well instead of inboard power. Might be just the thing? 19’ might be a bit on the small side for a “cabin cruiser”. More “camp cruiser with a cuddy” perhaps.

    https://instantboats.com/product/st-pierre-19-0/

    Tad Roberts also has some very nice small displacement designs:

    https://tadroberts.ca/services/small.../displacement/

    His “Power Pogy” seems to fit your requirements well:

    https://tadroberts.ca/services/small...nt/powerpogy6m
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Hi,

    You ask for displacement speed design suggestions in one post and then in the next post state the need to cover 30 miles in two hours. Let me say that a displacement craft of 18 feet will take five hours to cover 30 miles. (at least).

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    To help you calculate the speed you can expect from your 19' displacement hull, multiply the square root of the waterline length by 1.34. A 19' hull would have a waterline length of, say 17', so after the math, the speed works out as about 5.5 kn, or 6.4 mph. But you're not going to get that speed in a heavily loaded boat with a small outboard, so you better figure on maybe 4mph with ideal weather conditions and no current. You're looking at 7.5 hours or more for a 30-mile crossing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Which sets up your first choice. Displacement (slow)... or planing (fast).
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "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)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Ah, I missed the "30 nm in 2 hours" requirement. Yeah, that's not going to happen in any displacement boat. This would be my choice for a planing option:

    https://bartenderboats.com/product/20-5-bartender/

    although something like a Toleman Skiff would likely be cheaper and faster to build. Dave Wright, one of the forum members here, built a 19' Toleman skiff with a small cuddy cabin that I really liked.



    (Photo by Dave Wright I believe)
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Second the suggestion to look at Tad Robert's designs. Here's his Power Pogy at 19'6". It fits the bill, but isn't the simplest build out there. A basic dory would be an easier build, but wouldn't prove as satisfying in use.




    Sam Devlin sells kits for some of his boats, including the Dipper 19. This would speed up construction and make building a slightly more complex design easier than putting together a simpler one from scratch.



    But either way, these are not 15 knot boats, although Devlin does note that if you go for power over efficiency in engine selection, you can drive the Dipper to 12 knots. My choice would be to stick to an efficient setup and enjoy a leisurely ride out to the islands in a boat that's seaworthy enough to take a bit of weather. Trying to go fast in lumpy water is extremely uncomfortable, even if the boat will do it.
    -Dave

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Richard Woods Designs has a couple offerings that are low powered and will do in the 9-14kn range

    here is a link to his 18footer

    http://sailingcatamarans.com/index.p.../489-skoota-18

    BON CHANCE

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  12. #12
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    Nov 2019
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Thanks for the input guys. I guess I should have done the math on the time the crossing would take before posting. But regardless the trip out to the islands can be done in a daylight run. More concerned with being safe a good distance offshore. The reason I’m looking to build a displacement hull is because I have a couple small outboards sitting around and this build needs to be as cheap as possible.

    I really like the Devlin plans and was strongly considering building the Litl Coot motor sailer. It’s just more time consuming and expensive of a project than I want to tackle right now. Also like the dipper 17 a lot.

    I was also looking into building a Toleman skiff a while back even bought the book. That would be a fun boat! But unfortunately also currently out of my budget.

    Now that there 19ft St. Pierre Dory is interesting. I’ve looked into a couple dory designs. Even purchased plans for a Grand Banks dory a while back. I’ve never seen the plans posted here until now. I like that boat a lot. Does anybody know what construction methods are used? All I read was plywood construction. Might even opt for keeping it an open boat. How would you folks feel about taking a boat like this offshore? I assume it is probably the easiest to build out of the lot posted??? Thanks again

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Open Boat open water = open to a couple tons of water filling it up without 80 or 90% flotation you're going to be in trouble, even ocean-going kayaks have decks on them
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    I agree with the above, suggestion of Tad Roberts Pogy. I think it looks good, and fits what you want.

    One option in the possibly simpler direction below. But building is never that easy, best to build what is best for you.

    2 sheets of 1/2 and 8 of 3/8" ply, do the math for the quality you want to buy. Michalak doesn't seem to mind construction grade plywood. The Dorado looks like it might do what you want, and appears to be fast, not displacement I guess, and if you like the looks.


    https://www.duckworks.com/product-p/jm-dorado.htm

    dorlns.gif
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    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    I once cruised the Channel Islands in an 18 ft. flat bottom Grand Banks dory that had a centerboard and was rigged for sail as well as converted to sleep two and had a Primus alcohol stove for cooking. It was also equiped with a canvas dodger for protection in inclement weather. We had no engine but the boat sculled and rowed well and my wife and I were not trying to fit our cruise into any time schedule. I learned a lot about dories on that trip! First of all, a banks dory is only stable when it is loaded with heavy gear or fish. The flamed sides do not offer much hull form for stability and the boat was tender and a dog under sail, refusing to go to weather with much progress no matter what speed the wind was blowing. Although the boat was nostalgic it was also a dog as it was designed as a stack dory to be carried by a Grand Banks schooner out to the Banks fishing grounds where a load of fish was caught and the boat then hoisted on the mother ship for the broad reach home.
    My advise to you my friend is to first skip the engine for it will smell bad and is noisy to live with! For the sake of a bit of peace, get a boat that can be rowed and sculled as well as one that will sail well! Without an engine you will smell the sea and hear a variety of interesting things that are lost in the smoke, noise and stink of an engine!

    Do some investigating and try more than one design before making a decision as to what shape hull you want to cruise in. In fact you might want to take a look at the L.Francis Herreshoff 18' design for the ketch rigged double ender "Carpenter" that can be found in the book Sensible Crusing Designs by Herreshoff. The boat is a cross between a dory and a whale boat and has been rigged up as a cruiser by many happy adventurers. The "Carpenter" sails and rows well and the rig can be set to keep the boat in balance under a variety of wind conditions. Do yourself a favor and check it out! With the "Carpenter" you can even row into the Painted Cave at Santa Cruise Island!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 12-29-2019 at 08:19 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    I wonder why you're limited to 18 or 19 feet? For that trip I'd prefer a full length, (27') Saint Pierre with a 20 HP in a well and big floatation compartments below decks at each end and a cabin for sleeping.

    It's such a basic build compared to even the easiest of the others suggested here that the additional length would not be a problem. You can frame one with 2X4s and plank it with 1/2" MDO very easily.

    27' St. Pierres are made for the sort of conditions you will sooner or later encounter. Study up on them, you'll have to agree.

    Here are some pics.

    https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&t...=1577667304080

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    There was a guy going to some islands offshore from California,in a Pacific type dory......but he had over 100hp. No reason you could not use a smaller engine, they do have more stabilty comfort than a smaller dory of the same size, and any boat the size you are talking off, will be at risk in any bad weather offshore, unless fully decked and self righting. I would want some built in bouyancy or flotation strapped in. A pacific power dory is about as simple as it gets, might be the best bang-for-buck if you are on a tight budget. My 2 cents.....
    Ian. AKA RusBot

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    A sure sign of the Apocalypse.

    I agree with Skaraborgcraft.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Aesthetically I'd rather have the St. Pierre, but the Pacific Power Dory would certainly have more room for the length. Is any reason that one couldn't run at displacement speeds using a low power motor since the OP already has the motor they want to use, and then add more power as budget allows?

    Jeff Spira has a suitable plan. I'd hesitate to put much of a cabin on it without approval from the designer but there is at least one that was built with a full-height cabin and pilothouse.

    https://spirainternational.com/hp_albi.php

    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    I'll vouch for the seaworthiness of the St. Pierre hull form. I did a 900 mile trip from Seattle to Sitka in a Cape Ann dory, a smaller version of the St. Pierre. But it was painfully slow with a 10HP Honda in a well. Don't underestimate the importance of having either a boat fast enough to outrun the weather, or a boat seaworthy enough to survive when the SHTF.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Plans for cruiser under 20 ft

    Here's a cruiser from Weston Farmer. The design commentary is interesting .https://www.duckworks.com/product-p/wf-sundance.htm

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