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Thread: cheapest pocket cruiser?

  1. #1
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    Default cheapest pocket cruiser?

    what is the cheapest, simplest pocket cruiser to build under 16 feet long? so far the pocket cruiser by stevensons designs looks to be the cheapest and easiest but i don't know about it's stability.

    here is the link...
    http://www.stevproj.com/PocketYachts.html
    just scroll down to the pocket cruiser.

    Thanks, blake

  2. #2
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Don't bother. You can't build a "pocket cruiser" for less than you can buy a used decent quality boat, nor would the one you build be better. You can pick up a decent Cal 20 or Santana 22 for less and end up with a much better boat. Sorry. "If you have to ask how much, you can't afford it."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    http://www.angelfire.com/ks/diyplans/kingston15.html

    Don't know if it is the cheapest option but it is an option

    I am working on another but it isn't finished

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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Now that we're back on track to pocket cruisers under 16 feet as blake asks about-

    You can get a kit for a little over 3 grand for this one:
    http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/s...OCKETSHIP.html

    Here's another nice little cruiser
    http://www.devlinboat.com/nancyschina.htm
    Last edited by SaltyD from BC; 08-18-2008 at 01:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    If you mean this one I've always liked it, keeping in mind its essentially a very wide, flat bottomed catboat with some obvious shortcomings. It's the only Stevenson's design I would ever consider.



    How about Selway Fisher's Simpicity 14? I think it would sail better and be just as roomy inside:
    SIMPLICITY 14

    This handy pocket cruiser has been designed for a client who wanted an ultra simple and cheap sailing cruiser for estuary sailing and which would get him across the Channel. The construction could not be more simple and rugged with pre-shaped hull panels and ply frames. She uses 11 sheets of 1/4’’ ply and is very quick to build. She has two berths good stowage space and is 14’x 5’6’’. The drawings now show details for a 6’ beam version as well as details of an alternative gunter sloop rig and a centreboard. See the Simplicity 20 & 24 in the Yacht page

    But no pocket cruiser is going to be 'cheap' to build.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    I like the Hartley 14 better than any other I've seen. It uses space so well and is a lot of fun to sail.

    A cabin big enough for two adults to sleep in and with arguably nicer lines than the larger Hartleys. Definitely a Popeye boat.






  7. #7
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Too much beer
    Last edited by Lewisboats; 08-19-2008 at 07:34 AM.

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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    If you want to cruise as cheaply as possible, Bob Cleek gave you good advice.

    If you want to build as cheaply as (reasonably) possible, look at Jim Michalak’s plans.
    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/jim/michalak.htm He also has a bi-monthly web magazine about boatbuilding on the “economical” side. http://www.jimsboats.com/

    Otherwise, it’s a matter of what you like and what you’re willing to spend. Bear in mind that any build is likely to exceed the estimate.

    Wayne

  9. #9
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    How many of these on its trailer with rig will fit easily into a single garage space? That little Hartley will. Talk about bang for your buck all you like, but garagability is a real nice feature if you need it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Blake, cheap is relative.

    Cheapest possible route to sailing; MacGregor (watch all the sail nuts spit on this one!) boats are as cheap as they come. You can get into Macs, US, Bayliner, O'Days, and various other 70's sloop rigged boats in that relative size for $1-3k

    If you want to build, there are many options out there. Just depends on your location, where you intend to sail, the waters and payload, and your design sensibility. Once those are defined, there are HUNDREDS of designs in that size.

    E

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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    O.K. Feeling in an ornery mood today......so......Sitting in Vietnam with no boat, sold my 27 foot modified Thunderbird.......
    Bought a junked hull from a Rhodes 19 (I've seen similar for sale around here for as little as 300 bucks with most everything)....set it in a jig and used a sabre saw to cut away the cuddy cabin, built a new cabin with ply and epoxy, comfortable interior, new rudder and rigging, hung a 2 hp evinrude on the back and eventually sailed it to Singapore and back to Thailand....total investment, about 1K bucks and with a little effort still think it's possible today if you want to go CHEEEEP.......if you insist on wood the price really goes up, as does the time involved.....do it cheap, go now, stop screwing around.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Now, you sign yourself as "Kayakn"...
    So I'm sure you know that there is NO BOAT that can take you cruising cheaper than a good sea kayak. ( A real sea boat, that is, not some plastic tub of a rec boat). Given that you take the time to learn how to handle it well in open water (rolls, rescues, rough water paddling and piloting)and how to avoid the common dangers (fog, hypothermia and motorboats), there is no other cruising craft that can approach it pound for pound or dollar for dollar.

    BUT, you're probably looking for a sailboat you can sleep aboard, right?

    Never mind...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hazard View Post
    So I'm sure you know that there is NO BOAT that can take you cruising cheaper than a good sea kayak.
    A good friend of mine built a San Francisco Pelican and then sailed it from Bellingham to Olympia. I'm not sure a good sea kayak would cost less than his Pelican.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Hmmm...
    A full kit from Pygmy or CLC will run about a thousand bucks. All first class material, cut and ready to assemble.
    If you buy plans from a good designer, and find yourself 3 sheets of 4mm okoume ply, a gallon kit of WEST epoxy, paint, and some bits of hardware, and you can probably build a good kayak for about $600, with no skimping on materials.

    So, Rick, did your friend build his Pelican for less than that?

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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    In that range the (19') Alberg Typhoon is my favorite. Around $2K


  16. #16
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hazard View Post
    So, Rick, did your friend build his Pelican for less than that?
    I wasn't trying to start a war... A thousand dollars is the right order of magnitude, but he did already own the trailer and used second-hand sails. My friend is very thrifty. No epoxy, no fiberglass, work-boat paint, etc. I know my 17-foot trekking canoe cost less than that -- about $800, but it was all pretty first class: okoume, Silver Tip resin, System 3 paint, etc.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Sorry, Rick,
    I was just making my point about kayaks.

    Truth to tell, my current favorite boat, a Nigel Dennis Explorer, set me back over $2k. And on top of that I blew about $300 on a carbon fiber paddle that feels like a magic wand. In the past 4 years I've had more fun with that boat than any other I've ever owned, and taken it places no other type of boat could go.

    It lives on a pair of sawhorses and rides on top of my car.

    And that's my point about sea kayaks.

    Granted, it doesn't sail and you can't sleep in it.

    But the fella who started this thread signed himself "Kayakn", so I thought it was worth mentioning.

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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    How many of these on its trailer with rig will fit easily into a single garage space? That little Hartley will. Talk about bang for your buck all you like, but garagability is a real nice feature if you need it.
    Ditto Bob, and what a lovely Hartley you have there. I prefer the 16 and she still all fits into the garage nicely.
    Larks

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Here's my vote, a Bolger micro. Cheap and relatively easy to build, but also very capable.


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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    I like the Hartleys, too. And most of the others mentioned. But Kayakn has also included 'simplest' in his design criteria. Not that vee bottom multichines are prohibitively complex or difficult to build, but the simplest and least expensive would still likely be flat bottom and single chined. And cat rigged, perhaps as well, since generally the more sails, masts, and hardware the higher the cost.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    thanks for all the responses. the reason i want it reasonably cheap is because i am only 15 and I dont want to spend over $3,000. i also don't want to buy a new or used boat because I want the challenge of building a boat.

    my second choice was going to be the kingston 15 sailboat because of the layout of the boat with storage lockers in the cockpit and the charting tables in the cabin.
    Woxbox, can you post a link to the plans of that bulger micro?

    The Hartley looks like the nicest of them all, where can i find the plans?

    yes, kayaks are a little cheaper. i own a sea kayak and a fishing kayak but paddling is nothing like sailing.


    Thanks,Blake

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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    The conventional wisdom is there is no cheap way to do it.
    Whatever you spend building the hull you will spend, equally, on sails, spars and rigging. I doubt you can build a bolger Micro for $1500 and you may not be able to rig one for $1500 either. The little pram I use for an avatar is 8' long and cost me about $550 for materials and a pro made sail.
    The cheapest way to go is to find one already built. Except for hulls that have some celebrity, used sailboats don't bring big money because the market at so small.
    When you get into cruising boats there are usually interior amenities that can add to the cost as well.
    Last edited by Cuyahoga Chuck; 08-18-2008 at 09:21 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Blake, the Bolger Micro calls for a 400# lead casting for the keel which might take it out of the 'simple' category.

    Hartley 14 plans here: http://www.hartley-boats.com/14b.html but if you like multichines (or lapstrake) there are a lot more similar designs available, althought the hartley plans are themselves very inexpensive.

    Another plug for Selway-Fisher - many of these designs have hollow 'box keels' that can be filled with cement or scrap metal for ballast which is an easy and cheap way to ballast a sailboat: http://www.selway-fisher.com/PCup16.htm
    Last edited by JimD; 08-18-2008 at 09:31 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    To quote a website:

    The best way to contact Phil Bolger and Friends, Inc. is by fax at (978) 282-1349, or by mail at P.O. Box 1209, Gloucester, MA 01930 USA. They respond quickly to faxes and have a reputation for being very helpful. They do not use a telephone, and do not use email.
    If you search the forum, you'll find threads from people who have built the micro. What sets it apart is that it has a permanent ballasted keel, making for remarkable seaworthiness for its size. This keel also protects the rudder very well. The square sections also maximize room inside for it's length.

    Here's the profile.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    I'll throw in another vote for the Hartley 16. For all sorts of reasons. Relatively easy to build. They sail well. Very roomy for their size. Seaworthy. Light enough to tow with a small car. Really quick to rig and launch-like 15 minutes. I actually started to build one as a school project when I was 14. I never finished it. Turned out to be too big a project (time and money), and the usual distractions of adolesence (girls and cars) got in the way. I subsequently bought 2 at different times. Buying second hand ended up being cheaper than building new, and there's plenty of opportunity to restore, refinish and upgrade. I also ended up building a lapstrake ply dinghy a few years later-which I did finish. Good luck, whatever you decide on.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Give some serious thought about how you want to use this boat. Given your cost restrictions and that you aren't going to to go to sea in a 15-foot boat, have you thought about camp-cruising instead? If you give up the cabin, you'll save a bunch of money and have just as much fun "cruising" in nice weather.

    A good friend of mine cruised from Bellingham to Olympia Washington in a San Francisco Pelican. You should be able to hit your $3,000 budget, even with sails and a trailer. There is a "Great Pelican" with a cabin, but that budget gets tight with a bigger boat. The Pelican:



    Great Pelican:


    Two cat-ketches that you could probably afford to build that are perfect for camp-crusing and aren't hard to build:

    Jacques Mertens' CK-17 (http://www.bateau.com/proddetail.php?prod=CK17):



    Core Sound 17 (http://www.bandbyachtdesigns.com/cs17.htm):



    Or, if you find some money, Mertens also has two small cabin cruisers, but they are fairly complex for small boats. The Adelie comes in a 16- and 14-foot design. I know a bunch of the 16-footers have been built, but I've never seen a picture of the 14. (http://www.bateau.com/studyplans/AD1....htm?prod=AD14)



    Looking at plans and trying to choose may be the most enjoyable part of the process. Have fun!

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    Default Re: cheapest?

    "Cheapest" strikes me as the wrong focus.

    What do you want from the boat? Solo barebones camp-cruiser? Minimalist rig for a self-sufficient couple?

    Sheltered waters? Coasts open to the sea? You need to make some decisions and refine your query to get the full benefit of this forum (vast experience and amusing bull****).

    Cheapest to build? To buy? To maintain?

    Give us something to work with.

    Chip

  28. #28
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by kayakn View Post
    .... the reason i want it reasonably cheap is because i am only 15 and I dont want to spend over $3,000. i also don't want to buy a new or used boat because I want the challenge of building a boat.
    You might think about getting your feet a little wetter before tackling any of these 400-hour+ projects alone.

    Why not collect books and plans for these small cruisers while you build yourself something smaller to use now? There are lumberyard skiffs and various prams you can get done at small cost and a realistic time investment that'll get you started doing measurements and using tools. Plenty of these prams can sail, too. There may be a mentor around to help, too. We could build a helluva sailing pram together in 80 hours, but consider how many nights and weekends even the pram will take.

    But hang in there, as we start them young, too. But with boats like the skiff on the right. All the hours it takes to build one of these will be made up in the time you save on your dream boat. Because of the experience gained. Plus you'll have something to use while working on the larger project.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Bob and others, how easy is it to step and unstep the mast on the Hartleys?

  30. #30
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Gray View Post
    Bob and others, how easy is it to step and unstep the mast on the Hartleys?


    Not difficult on the trailer. Teenage boys can do it easy enuf alone, but my 5'2" wife probably couldn't. The kids get good at it quick after they misrig it and have to repeat the job a few times. A few sticks jammed beneath rail and pavement would eliminate the trailer's spring action for heavier sorts stepping the mast.

    But not without padding the sensitive parts in case they lose control. Broken sail tracks are no biggies. That coaming is something else.



    Accurately marking the balance points helps a whole lot, too. These pics were taken for the boat's operating manual. Another good idea if it's to be used by youngsters.

    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 08-19-2008 at 12:15 AM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Hey Bob, is there a significance to the hand grip decal on the mast?

  32. #32
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Chesapeake Light Craft's Pocketship was looking mighty salty at the dock at this year's WoodenBoat Show at Mystic.
    Having it as a kit does help you anticipate the cost better and also speeds the build along.



    But if it's cheap your looking for, check out John Pruitt's No Frills 15.
    Plans are only 40 bucks and available from the designer:

    John L. Pruitt
    1346 Sycamore St.
    Stockbridge, GA 30281-4502


  33. #33
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewisboats View Post
    Too much beer

    wrong, I saw what was up there and it looked pretty interesting, like a lynx or the no frills posted, and not a hint of it on your site. How about a little more?
    In fact, if you can saw a penciled line, apply glue, drive nails, and bring a modest measure of patience to the task, you can build and launch a smart and able craft in as few as 40 work hours. You need not be driven by lack of tools, materials, skills, or time to abandon in frustration a project you conceived in a spirit of pleasurable anticipation.

    -Dynamite Payson

  34. #34
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    I gotta admit...I had too many beers and couldn't resist sticking the pics up. Unfortunately the design is still in the spiral...CoB and GC don't want to play together nicely and I haven't begun work on the keels or refined the rig more than the "this is what I want" point. I also would like to build at least one version but don't have time or room right now. I have actually been working towards these over the past couple-three years but whenever I have done a Ta-Da! It hasn't gotten too good a review...so back to the drawing board (if no one wants it ...what's the point right?). I really like these and am down to tweeking by the fraction of an inch here and there. I have spent more time on the 14' Saphire and the 17' Emerald than the others but there are still many details to work out.

    BTW...the "no Frills" is a Kingston 15 and plans are a bit more at $95 or so.
    Last edited by Lewisboats; 08-21-2008 at 10:08 AM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    John Pruitt is the original designer of No Frills (Kingston 15) and at $40 the plans are a steal. John told me in a letter that its more of a hobby for him than a business. Plans are sent post paid for $40 by writing to:

    John L. Pruitt
    1346 Sycamore St.
    Stockbridge, GA 3028-4502

  36. #36
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Ya mean I paid an extra $55 from here for nuttin'!...PLUS Shipping?

    http://www.angelfire.com/ks/diyplans/kingston15.html

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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    L.Francis Herreshoff once spoke of his concept of the Ideal Pocket Cruiser, which was his double paddle canoe. He stated that the solitude of camping on the beach ,with the overturned boat as a sleeping shelter, was a very pleasant experience. This brings to mind that there are many inexpensive Kayaks and Kayak kits available.
    Jay

  38. #38
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    I've spent many a night along a riverbank tented up next to an overturned tin jonboat cooking marshamllows with my kid. It's fun, but not ideal.

    Ideal would be something like:

    Late afternoon snorkeling along under the boat where the water is blue-tinted clear and warm, wife is sunbathing on the trampoline foredeck with a book laying over her face, and the kid is playing beach soccer with a group of other kids she just met 100 yards over yonder. She's got the dink and a walkie-talkie. There's a portable grill set up in the cockpit cooking something tasty, and drinks are chilling in the cooler with some fresh ice we bought at lunchtime.

    I know the kid is going to be contrary when we start doing her math problems after supper, but maybe we'll make ice cream with the leftover ice and a couple plastic baggies and she'll be sated. Then we might watch a movie on the laptop after dark. Probably the second Harry Potter film for the 50th time...

    There's soft sleeping bags waiting for all of us below, but we'll probably just lay on top of them tonight, as it's warm and breezy. We'll leave the hatches open, with screens in to block the bugs, and let the waves rock us to sleep while we make plans for tomorrow.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    i have decided to look for a used sailboat with cabin or build a dinghy to set up a boom tent on.

    what kind of a dinghy betweed 12 and 16 feet would be sufficient for sleeping on and built with the stitch and glue method?

    Thanks,Blake

  40. #40
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Some weeks ago I sketched out a larger redesigned "Pelican" for my son....the hull is finished and sitting in the yard on the trailer, but he hasn't ordered the new sails yet. My two granddaughters use it for "overnight camping" with a couple of girlfriends and apparently love it, plenty of room, an icebox and led lights that stay on all night when dad hooks up a small battery to it.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
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  41. #41
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by kayakn View Post
    i have decided to look for a used sailboat with cabin or build a dinghy to set up a boom tent on.

    what kind of a dinghy betweed 12 and 16 feet would be sufficient for sleeping on and built with the stitch and glue method?
    They are both 17 feet, but the Core Sound 17 and Cat Ketch 17 up above in the thread are designed for exactly that purpose -- camp cruising with the crew sleeping on board. Both designers will sell you plans, or a complete pre-cut parts kit. Shorter boats with a centerboard are going to be a challenge, as you'll either have to rig a bunk over the top of the board case, or try to squeeze in on either side.

    I'd go look through Welsford's catalog, too. They won't be as fast as either of the ketches to build, but he designs for camp cruisers.

    Good luck!

  42. #42
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by kayakn View Post
    i have decided to look for a used sailboat with cabin or build a dinghy to set up a boom tent on.

    what kind of a dinghy betweed 12 and 16 feet would be sufficient for sleeping on and built with the stitch and glue method?

    Good.

    But why stitch and glue? Are there only plywood trees growing where you live? Both plywood and wire limit the shapes you can build.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    There are many seriously shapely plywood designs in the size you're looking at so pick one you like such as:



    Arranging the interior for both comfortable sleeping and efficient sailing could keep you doodling for a while.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    There are many seriously shapely plywood designs....
    True, but I think he mentions stitch-and-glue ply because he thinks it's significantly faster and easier than solid wood. Tossing high-end plywood lapstrake into that pot may not be a good fit.

    But my point is similar, Kay. You should assess what resources you have locally and build accordingly. Often solid wood is cheaper. There are plenty of traditional designs either in solid or ply well within the capability fo a first-timer and you shouldn't limit the discusion based on preconceived notions that may or may not be accurate.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Back when I was looking for a similar purposed boat I found this design rather interesting: http://www.boat-links.com/Atkinco/Sail/Alone.html

    Of course, I was swept away by a lovely swedish design..

  46. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Duncan, Vancouver Island
    Posts
    23,212

    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by kayakn View Post
    what kind of a dinghy betweed 12 and 16 feet would be sufficient for sleeping on and built with the stitch and glue method?

    Thanks,Blake
    There's got to be quite a list of simple sailing skiffs. One that's been getting a lot of press around here lately is the Goat Island Skiff. Simple flat bottom, strong clean lines. A really sharp boat...



    http://homepage.mac.com/peterhyndman/GIS/aabb.html

  47. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    that is a nice simple boat, i will think about it. i am looking for something like the wayfarer dinghy. I can't find the plans for it. does anyone know where the plans are?
    Last edited by kayakn; 08-22-2008 at 07:49 PM.

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Athens, OH & Hillsboro, WV
    Posts
    3,130

    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Check with the Wayfarer class association. http://www.uswayfarer.org/

    You might also want to look at the Windmill. http://windmillclass.org/

    Wayne

  49. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    One that I'd like to build if my water weren't so shallow;http://www.georgebuehler.com/pogo.html

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Waterbury, Connecticut
    Posts
    1,541

    Default Re: cheapest pocket cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    L.Francis Herreshoff once spoke of his concept of the Ideal Pocket Cruiser, which was his double paddle canoe. He stated that the solitude of camping on the beach ,with the overturned boat as a sleeping shelter, was a very pleasant experience. This brings to mind that there are many inexpensive Kayaks and Kayak kits available.
    Jay
    --- You folks live in camp-friendly places. In New England, the coast seems mostly state park (can't camp), city (enough said), or owned by rich folks (their private security forces interrogate and send you packing). That doesn't change much until you hit the higher half of Maine. Please let me know if I am mistaken ;-) In some areas you need to sleep aboard. But that being so, there seems no reason why the boat cannot be fairly simple. Make it sea-safe with water-tight compartments. Allow only enough cockpit room to stretch out in. Sleep under a boom tent, a low-profile bimini-style fold up, or some more sophisticated tent fit to the boat. Light, low-windage when sailing, and reasonably cheap? A sharpie or dory (with the aformentioned water-tight compartments) might offer fastest build and reasonable performance if you don't mind stretching the boat out to 17 feet or so. -- Wade

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