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Thread: Help another newbie pick a boat

  1. #1
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    Default Help another newbie pick a boat

    Hello All,

    Long time reader first time poster. I want a boat that can hold 10 people, sail across the ocean and cost $100, any suggestions? Ok back to hopefully reality.

    Before I suggest my ideas so far this is what I am hoping to accomplish with the boat. I would like to be able to hold at most 4 adults or 2 adults and a couple kids (I have many) or 2 adults and some camping gear etc. So a displacement of 800lbs or so seems like a good starting point. I have done a fair amount of camping out of a canoe so that's what I'm basing my my estimations on. I anticipate doing about 60% rowing and 40% sailing. I am very much a novice sailer but hope to become something more than embarrassing. I live about 10 minutes from a damned up reservoir (Lake Zoar in Connecticut) where I would row and about 25 minutes from Long Island Sound. Ideally I would like to be able to do some coastal cruising/camping, obviously I'm not planning on sailing in a hurricane, I just don't want to be in a death trap if it gets gusty.

    I also plan on van/suburban topping it so 16' in length, 5' beam and 180lbs hull weight. I know thats a lot of boat up there but I've hauled much more across the country in similar fashion. I will use this boat hard so I don't want to lose sleep when I land on a rocky beach, not looking to build a show piece.

    Ok so here are my two current ideas. The nova scotian dory from jeff spira. Pros: advertised relative ease of build, easily accessed materials, lower cost. The cons as far as I know: less stable unless it has some weight in it, sailing is a bit of a question mark although I have seen many pictures of them rigged up and a few videos. My concern is its salability and the inevitable capsize. I've sailed my canoe some without outriggers and a few sandbags calmed everything down. After watching a capsize video of a CLC Northeaster Dory it seems like it could be difficult to recover if the waves have picked up. Has anybody actually sailed the Nova Scotian or similar that can comment?

    The second design idea is the ever popular goat island skiff. The pros: awesome performance under sail, it can be reefed for newbies/weather, I can grow into it as a sailor. Cons: possibly not the best rower, not sure about using it on Long Island Sound.

    I'm trying to compare the seaworthiness of the two (I realize thats relative to the sailor) and the rowing ability. I don't need to row much faster than a canoe but it would be nice.

    That is a LONG rambling post, thanks for reading if you made it this far. I tried to answer the inevitable questions ahead of time. Thanks a ton

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    Welcome aboard!

    My initial reaction is, you're gonna need a bigger boat. And that means trailering. I wouldn't want to have four people on board a GIS, probably not on anything smaller than a Hvalsoe 18.

    https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/hvalsoe-18/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    There are a lot of good boats in your category and some great ones too. Ross Lillistone's Periwinkle, IMO is a great one. Another outstanding NZ designer is John Welsford, he has some great ones and good ones. Nothing wrong with good.
    There are degrees of difficulty of build, I don't know your skill and motivation. This will obviously play into your choices.
    I suggest that as you develop sailing skills a boat that is biased in that direction will be more satisfactory.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    My building skill is in boats in non existent but I'm generally handy and able to do basic carpentry etc. Ideally I would like to build one in a year but with kids running around that may not be realistic. A relatively basic build is high on the list of priorities, hence the GIS idea. 4 adults may be ambishes for a 16' boat, 2 adults and some stuff would be adequate.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    Well for my two bobs worth I would suggest you forget about putting things on the roof of cars. You will do a ligament or rotator cuff or sumfink.

    I built a Flint by Ross Lillistone. About 14 foot from memory. Only big enough for me and the cat. Could go on the roof but really it was too much trouble.

    I have a 20 foot Core Sound which is great for mum and dad and 2 kids and their gear. It is a long boat on the road but is great in the water. I really love that boat. It is a cracker but you can't put that on the top of the car.

    Have you considered a Scamp? Lot going for it. Small boat, on a trailer, no chance of hurting yourself and it is not in any way scary. It will look after you. Water ballast, one sail.

    After a life of sailing, a boat that you can take out on your own easily is the best. If it fits 2-3 more people great but don't do what I have done over the years and imagined a small light boat with low freeboard, uncomfortable seating etc will be great... don't fall for it.

    Watch some Scamp videos and have a think about it all again IMHO.

    Rob the know it all...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    Given what you’ve said I’d strongly recommend a kit for your build. Clint Chase has some great designs - maybe a Calendar Islands Yawl or his Deblois Street Dory.

    https://www.chase-small-craft.com/ca...slands-yawl-16

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    Thanks all. Rob its not so much that I want to car top its that there will already be a camper being towed by the vehicle. Obviously I need a boat with us (I'm sure you all understand), its just a matter of getting as much boat as possible given the restrictions of cart topping. I know its a hassle but like I mentioned before I've done it quite a bit with multiple canoes etc on an old Ford Taurus across the country. I've looked at the scamp but I'll look again, and I'll look at the other suggestion as well Steve. Thanks as always to all.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    The SCAMP looks fantastic, turns out I have looked at that one before as well. I like all the ideas but unfortunately the restrictions of a car top is rearing its ugly head. I may have to be content with a canoe and sail kit to get on the water. I'm still drawn to the Spira Nova Scotian for its overall simplicity/ If I am wrong about cartooning it then I'll still have a boat to use other days. A bigger boat would definitely get used and is on the list just not for this specific car top while pulling a camper scenario.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    As others have said, you'd have a better day out in a beamier, higher freeboard, heavier boat on a trailer.

    If you're insisting on hauling something up onto a roof rack, the CLC Northeaster Dory (it's actually quite round bottomed in mid section) is alot of 16ft boat for the 100lbs hull weight and really as much as you can get for the weight. Its necessarily sparse on features to get the weight low, but you do have plenty of waterline and a tried and tested design that's known to work well. CLC have sold alot of them.

    As you've seen it's short on built in buoyancy for a family boat, you'd have to squeeze in some bags or build in flotation but it's listed as max 800lbs payload though it's really more one/ two man boat. A narrower, lighter, low freeboard is always going to be a squeeze with 4 but you'd have some adventures with that and it won't be too much boat on your own. Good rower with seating/ balance for 4. Plenty built and it's a successful design that's kept CLC in business. There's plenty on the net and a few videos in action.

    Either plans, kit or lap vision (nicest looking). CLC can sought you out with everything if time is short.

    It'a much better sail and oar boat than your other choice the single chine Spira. There was discussion on the CLC forum on how to improve it for sail and oar raids and John explained where he's put the bags etc to help recovery while still avoiding 'killing it' with excess weight and complexity.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 10-23-2021 at 09:59 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    The CLC Northeaster has always been high on the list. Honestly I waffle between that and the Spira. It seems the CLC is a better boat overall. I tend to buy once and use forever whenever possible. With that in mind maybe I should wait until I'm willing to shell out the money for a CLC product. Thank you for the information on the bags, that would a nice option. I've lowered my expectations of sailing the high seas with 4 people in a little boat Me and few of my kids or my wife once she understands the beauty of my plans will be plenty.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    You don't have to buy the kit...from CLC there's the option of building the Northeaster upside down over molds (rather than the kit version). It would take longer - same as the rest of us - but it'd save some money...and use less goop.

    It's 2 x 9mm sheets and 5 x 6mm Occume sheets. The plans extra is called the 'strong back option for kit builders' at $59 on top of the normal $159 (good value) plans price (it gives you the full sized molds, transom and stem shape). Spend time using wood for the molds to cut cost there too instead of sheet material. That's how I'd build it. Build it on the house ladder if you don't want the cost of a box or strong back, just make sure its propped straight / level.


    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 10-23-2021 at 12:47 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    The biggest easily car-topped boat that I know of, and one that will do exactly what you are looking for, is Dave Carnells "200 dollar" version of the Bolger Featherwind.


    This is a 16 foot boat re-engineered for low cost and light weight, expressly intended to be car-topped. It will carry four adults.
    I built one once upon a time but used the very cheapest of materials so it didn't last long. It is very easy to build.

    image084.jpg

    SAM_7241S.jpg

    SAM_6378.jpg

    SAM_6390S.jpg

    Note that I do not recommend as large a rig as I had on her! The 100 sq. ft. lug was really to much.
    They work well with a Sunfish sail. Here is another opinion of the design -

    https://www.duckworksmagazine.com/01...wind/index.htm

    My Featherwind is a very high performance boat, rows like a dream, and can carry at least 4 people, 2 dogs and large cooler...along with other junk! The bare boat weighs in at 105 pounds.

    Here is a full thread I wrote about the design.
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ht=featherwind

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    IMO the whole cartop 4 adult boat is always going to be a bit dicey.

    Considering you’ll be towing a camper already how about a nesting boat like the CLC PT 11? You’re going to want something bigger but it will be a lot easier to deal with in the long run.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    I'd say, a design brief that can't realistically be fulfilled. Cartopping + 4 adults? Nope. Not in my experience. Really, if you haven't been in a small boat (sailing) much, it can be hard to understand how limited the room is when you start to add crew and passengers. Just because a design shows 4 benches or something doesn't mean you can fit that many people in, and be comfortable. Particularly when you are learning to sail, a crowded boat is a dangerous boat.

    A lateral thinking solution: ditch the camper, get a boat big enough to camp in while it's on the trailer?

    Good luck, but I honestly think you're asking for the impossible. Maybe also asking for the unnecessary--you may think you'll be sailing with people who, in reality, don't like sailing, and will never go with you happily.

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

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    If it can’t be don’t realistically that’s ok, I’m looking for the closest solution. Most of life requires various levels of compromise and this is no different. I have to be be able to car top the boat, that’s a non negotiable item. Like I’ve said before I am comfortable based on experience with multiple canoes and lots of other loads with a hull up to 200lbs. I have a system that works wonderfully to load big stuff on little cars and safely drive. This would be a big thing on a big car (suburban).

    I understand 4 people is asking a lot, probably too much. As you point out WI- Tom my family may not enjoy sailing as much as I do. I just want something to get out on the water with whoever wants to join me. I’ve spent enough times in canoes etc that while I COULD fit 4 people in mine I wouldn’t want to do that and take it a lot of the places I’ve gone with 2.

    I’ll look into the feather wind design, the thread looked very interesting. I’ve realized that while I will enjoy the journey of building a boat with 4 kids, job, etc the journey has to be a relatively brief and cheap one if I’m ever going to complete a build.

    Also love the idea of a boat I can sleep the whole family, nice thinking outside of the box! If my wife was onboard with such a big boat I wouldn’t be pulling a camper with a boat on top of my vehicle

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    What about an Oz Goose?



  17. #17
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    I've sailed a featherwind. Put four people in it, you'll find in very little time you have four unhappy people. Plus, they will think sailing sucks.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    Lillistone's Flint is a very good light (50kg hull) boat. It's going to be 'skinny' and really 1-2 man, but that's well worth looking at for a cartopper if you think you can get it up there. Comprehensive plans, easy to build. As good as it can be without making things heavier or more complicated. It's been motor tested with 4. Good sail and oar.















    https://duckworks.com/flint/
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 10-26-2021 at 06:37 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    The Flint looks very good. I will strongly consider that. I had looked at the Oz Goose and may build one in the future as they look like a lot of fun, but I would like more of an all around boat that could be rowed and potentially motored as well. I get the impression the Oz Goose is really a pure sailing vessel (and a good one at that).

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    Nick00: "The Flint looks very good. I will strongly consider that. I had looked at the Oz Goose and may build one in the future as they look like a lot of fun, but I would like more of an all around boat that could be rowed and potentially motored as well. I get the impression the Oz Goose is really a pure sailing vessel (and a good one at that)."

    I agree that the Oz Goose would be a poor rowboat in anything but smooth water (I built a similar one years ago). But their huge stability lets the crew move around without fear of upsetting the boat, so fine for kids.

    Like Edward Pearson, I am an admirer of Flint, and of anything else designed by Ross Lillistone. I have the Flint plans and hope to build it some day. However, Flint's designed displacement is 455 lbs. Of course any boat can be loaded down past its DWL but 455 is far from your suggested 800 lbs.

    I'm currently building a 9.5 ft version of Lillistone's Alby and it will float 517 lbs before immersing the transom. I expect it to row well for its length (because of Vee'd ends) and sail well, but it's too small for your needs. Ross has done 12 ft and 14 ft versions of Alby which may work for you.

    Jack Loudon





  21. #21
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    You bring up a good point Jack, DWL of 455lbs is far short of my goal. I have realized my goal was probably not achievable, if I'm not sailing a car topper with 4 adults then I don't need 800lbs of payload. The car top is really my most limiting factor. The amount of time I spend thinking about the best boat is borderline obsessive, I feel like I'm marrying a boat with this decision. Like most people my time is limited so I want to make sure I pull the trigger on the "right" boat. After a rough calculation I was pleasantly surprised at the cost of building a Flint compared to the Spira Nova Scoation. It seems like Epoxy turns into one of the biggest expenses, has that been your guys experience as well?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick 00 View Post
    You bring up a good point Jack, DWL of 455lbs is far short of my goal. I have realized my goal was probably not achievable, if I'm not sailing a car topper with 4 adults then I don't need 800lbs of payload. The car top is really my most limiting factor. The amount of time I spend thinking about the best boat is borderline obsessive, I feel like I'm marrying a boat with this decision. Like most people my time is limited so I want to make sure I pull the trigger on the "right" boat. After a rough calculation I was pleasantly surprised at the cost of building a Flint compared to the Spira Nova Scoation. It seems like Epoxy turns into one of the biggest expenses, has that been your guys experience as well?
    Epoxy is expensive if you're going to epoxy/fiberglass the whole boat but many people recommend against this and just do all the joints with epoxy/glass. So maybe $200 or so for epoxy? Good 6mm okoume ply is $90 per sheet here in Seattle, meranti a bit less; so $500? Sails will be $3-500 unless homemade. Plus lumber for spars etc, blocks, pintles, spin-off deck plates, paint, and so on. So I would think *at least* $1000 in materials for row/sail and probably more like $2000 paying retail for a quality job. This of course depends somewhat on boat size and also scrounged vs purchased materials. I did build one boat with $17 Home Depot 5mm 'underlayment' ply and it's held up well so far, stored inside when not in use. But I would go with quality materials because building a boat is a big investment in time and you want to be proud of your boat and you want it to last. Also most designers frown upon, and may prohibit, the use of inferior materials, as they don't want their name associated with a crappy boat. You'll need a few tools (saber saw, drill, power sanders, table saw) and lots of clamps. I can't think of a better way to spend one's spare time in the off-season.

    Jack Loudon

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    The figure of at least $1000 is about what I came up with, but like any project on the house etc I assume this will cost more than anticipated. I do have a O'day Gannet I got for free that on stealing hardware and possibly a centerboard from. I had hoped to restore it but have since realized the reason it was free, way more work than its worth. I may as well build a boat from scratch that does the rowing/sailing I want. I have the sails as well but I believe they would be too big, I'll look into it and see what all I can donate before it goes to the dump.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    If cartopping is non negotiable, you may want to think about loading systems. How high are your racks to start? Are they at the aft end of a vehicle like they can be on a truck. Almost all boats that you are considering are going to be better inverted, but then you need to figure out how to do this. And then moved on land, which means wheels; there are many small strap on dollies that you can buy or build.

    The scenario: boat upside down on the roof rack, it get slid off aft. One end on the ground, boat gets rolled onto a dolly. Easier if you can keep it upright but then there are structural and tie down issues.

    I used to load my 138lb solo onto my old Saab where it lived upright. The boat was on a real dolly, I lifted one end onto the roof rack which was all the way back on old gutter cars. Then picked up the other and slid it on. The dolly was inverted on the boat, but could have been broken down for storing in the car. My ice boat has wheels bolted on where the runner plank lives . Bow hooks on to the aft rack on the truck, moved over to a built in roller and every thing slides on nicely.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    I'm planning on the boat being inverted, I've moved my canoe around upright on the minivan so I could throw paddles etc in it, gas milage was sucked down to a comical level and it didn't ride as nice. What I do now is use 2x3's bolted to the factory roof rack. The 2x3's extend off the side of the van about 1', onto the 2x3's I attach 2 2x2's that angle from the roof rack down to the ground off the side of the van, it makes roughly about a 45 degree angle. I then set my canoe parallel to the van, flip it over against the 2x2's and push it up on top from there. On the ground I just pick it up and carry it around, its a 17 foot heavy aluminum barge, not great to carry solo but doable for short distances.

    As far as the new boat (likely the Flint, at least thats what I think today) I was planning on something similar. The 2x2's that the boat slide on would probably upgrade to 2x4's and be lengthened to get a shallower angle. I would either put small blocks so I could step the boat up one end at a time if necessary but hopefully with a shallow angle I can just slide it up there, to be determined. If I had a boat in the 150-200lb range I had a pulley system though up but I would like to avoid complications as much as possible. If the Egyptians could build pyramids with ramps they should be sufficient for a small boat as well.

    Once a boat is complete I'll determine the need for wheels of some kind. If I can avoid them I will just so it's one less thing to have and bring around but well see.

    When I'm not pulling a camper I plan to trailer whatever boat I have as it is far and away much easier with anything other than a kayak or something smaller.

    I'm paranoid about losing a boat off the van so I make liberal use of ratchet straps. I always assume failure and make sure the boat is connected directly to the frame in addition to the rack. I'm not too keen on having it flying off and kill somebody behind me. I've made it from Connecticut to California and back that way and many shorter trips in-between with no issues. The biggest problem was blowing a tire in the middle of the night during an ice storm in western Nebraska. Everything was so icy and windy the boat tried hard to slide off the car while I had it unstrapped to rotate it out of the way getting into my trunk for a spare. I don't plan on repeating that particular adventure.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Help another newbie pick a boat

    Glad that you have thought out getting the boat up. Your system is similar to that developed by Sam and Susan Manning for loading a very heavy large wood canvas canoe onto their truck rack. Canoe has wheels strapped to it ( in this case the bottom of an old baby buggy carriage. ) It's brougt along side the 2x4's which may be oak as they have holes drilled in them to take wooden belaying pins. Boat is rolled over on to the 2x..Pins put in to hold it in place, then one end at time slid up the incline putting pins in place to hold it. If rope was needed parbuckles on each end did it. Your racks will need to be high enough so that the rails don't hit the cab when you do this on a pickup; on a van not as big an issue.

    Your challenge is rolling the boat. I can roll a rowboat 4'beam over using a purpose cut prop. I roll it up to almost vertical and have the prop handy to hold it, then go to the other side and reach over, pull and lower it down. I need padding at the low, pivot point on the rail.

    One thing that I've seen people do for wheels on a boat with a tiller is build a set of wheels that lock into the rudder gudgeons.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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