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Thread: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

  1. #1
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    Default Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Anyone with first hand knowledge of these boats? Very cool looking IMO but how well does that full length keelson work? Said something on thier website about having to sit on leeward side of boat when tacking to get it to "dig in". Wouldn't that make you more prone to knock down? Any info appreciated.
    Thanks
    Mark
    http://http://www.stevproj.com/PocketYachts.html

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I guy around here built one, sailed it once, was hugely disappointed, left it on its trailer for a long time (rotting), then tried to sell it for $5K. He ended up donating it to a charity auction where it was bought by a local boat builder for $100 who put it out in the meadow behind his house for his kids... like a playhouse.

    "Best use for it," he said.

    Probably not a consensus view.
    "Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." ~ Mark Twain


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    One of my fellow boat club members bought one and fixed it up a bit. He's perfectly happy with it. He likes the looks. So do I. Feedback about the sailing prowess and stability is less favorable.


    "Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder" -- Lawrence J. Peter

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    .
    There are some real fans of these boats., and I know at least one of our Forumites has one. I think they have a sort of jaunty, salty look that appeals to some.

    The Stevenson website used to (and still might) run a forum for their boats that was pretty well-patronised.

    But the boats are essentially flat-bottomed dinghies with lids, and rely on initial stability to keep them upright. They definitely shouldn't be sailed in any but protected waters.

    Mike

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Boat Fittings View Post
    .
    ...at least one of our Forumites has one...
    Then it capsized on him. He had a devil of a time trying to get it right again and I don't think he's sailed it since.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I hope this is a serious question, as these designs have their detractors (see above and lots more) and their rabid defenders -- so it can be a hot-button topic.

    Personally I think the Weekender is a fine "character boat" if you want to build one new from plywood. Personally I'd add a centerboard as I don't care for the keel (or lack thereof) as designed.

    If you are looking for a relatively new design for a boat this size with a huge "Yarr" factor, they are worth considering. If you want to cruise more challenging waters or sail in more extreme conditions, something designed for those conditions from a current designer like Davis, Welsford, Oughtred, Storer, or Bolger may be called for.
    Last edited by Thorne; 11-21-2008 at 08:55 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_.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I bought the plans and dvds for the Weekender, I like the looks a lot. But after watching part of the dvd, I can see how small the cockpit is. Doesn't look too comfy for a guy my height (6'1"). As Thorne said, there are many who hate them and many who will defend them to the death! Looks like a fun little boat for lake camping/sailing weekends.
    Robert

    "Theirs is the curse of the Gypsy blood..."

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I've checked out thier forum and websites and of course they say they are the best things on the water thats why I asked here. Curious to see what other people had to say.
    I was curious about that keel, it seems like there there is nothing to keep it from blowing sideways while tacking. However they do have a really cool look to them.
    Mark

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    If you want a functioning sailboat, there are better designs.
    What are your wishes and limits?

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    The keelson works fine. You won't slip when tacking.

    You only have to sit on the leeward side in light winds. This induces a slight bit of heel which help he boat get a little more speed. Once the winds pick up, you sit on the windward side.

    The original plans called for a center board. It was discovered that the boat performed better without it.

    Yes, sail it in protected waters, though I have been out in a SCA twice. White knuckles both times, but we stayed upright both times.

    I am several hours from you if you want to look at one in person. Let me know via PM.

    Yes, there are other designs I pondered and maybe even should have built, but it all depends upon what you want and where yo are presently in your desires and thoughts.
    Last edited by capt jake; 11-21-2008 at 10:59 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Better to build their paper models.
    Old Sailor

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    At 54 years old, having never sailed or even been a passenger in a sailboat, I set out to build a Stevenson Triad (http://www.stevproj.com/SailDingh.html). The Triad is is a half-decked 12-foot sailing skiff with lines similar to those of Weekender, Vacationer, and Pocket Cruiser. It has a daggerboard, but depends on a board keel for much of its lateral plane. This keel is a trademark of Stevenson's designs, as the keel plus a few bulkheads basically determine the hull shape.

    I've now been sailing and rowing Brigit for three summers now, and she has been my training ground for sailing. I can't speak definitively on her abliites, since she is still the only boat I have ever sailed. But by comparison with the various plastic boats on the lake near me, she doesn't do too badly. (She's fitted with a polytarp balanced lug of larger area than the lateen Stevenson specified, with the mast stepped further forward to keep the same center of effort.) She doesn't point as quite high as the plastic bermudian sloops on the lake, but under some reaching and running conditions she can pass longer boats.

    She's pleasant to sail in 5 knots of wind, exciting in 10 knots (reefed about here), and scary in 15 knots. She pounds badly and looses way quickly in a chop and can easily get stuck in stays if you tack close to the lake shore where the wind is reduced and the chop is still present. With the balanced lug she can really move downwind, but steering gets unstable as the stern starts to lift.

    At low angles of heel she's very stiff, but (as I have learned the hard way) her righting moment goes negative very quickly if you heel too much in a good breeze. I've learned to never cleat off the sheet. When a Triad capsizes you just drop the sail, climb on the dagger board, right the boat, and bail out. In a similar situation with one of the larger Stevenson boats you'd have a big problem.

    The Stevenson boats are all pretty, and I get a lot of compliments on Brigit.

    The Stevenson boats are easy to build, and most of the materials can be bought at the local lumberyard and hardware. They are a good way to get started in boatbuilding with limited skills and resources. I built the Triad thinking that once I had that experience I would build a Pocket Cruiser, but instead I'm building Laurie McGowan's Nahlah (http://mcgowanmarinedesign.com/cruiserssail.htm), a boat of more sophisticated design and construction.

    Not everyone is up to tackling a sophisticated design as a first boat building project, and building a Stevenson glue-and-screw boat will probably teach you more about boatbulidng than you would learn by building a stitch-and-glue design. I wouldn't be surprised if Stevenson boats have a higher completion rate than those of most other designers. My Brigit has her limitations, but she lured me into what looks like a long-term obsession. Read the posts on the Stevenson Projects forum (http://byyb.org/). These people love boating and boatbuilding, and aren't too worried about what the folks down at the yacht club will think.
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I adopted one of these boats a few years ago.
    A friend of mine built it over one winter, scared himself....and traded me for an old motorcycle.
    I sailed it for part of a summer in it's stock configuration. Over a couple of years I altered the boat until it actually became a functioning sailboat. Once I had it sorted I had a lot of fun with it. (I sold it a couple of years ago)

    As someone said.....this design and these boats are defended to the death. I could never sort that one out. I have no clue what they have based this strong following on.....my guess would be the whole Warner Brothers cartoon pirate ship vibe I expect.

    Mine would not tack without a paddle. That deep 'forefoot'....which is really just an outer strong back / former that is never removed......seemed to prevent the boat from coming smartly around. Once I removed that, it tacked nicely. Plus beaching the boat became easier / safer and it went on and off the trailer easier.

    These boats might have some magic aspect to them that mine didn't, but I don't see too many sailboats that don't have some form of lateral resistance. The defenders swear their boats are on rails to wind. I could feel and actually see the leeway on mine. I added a case and dagger board. I made the case a bit long which allowed some adjustment fore/aft. This made for a slightly adjustable CLR ....which worked out wonderfully. With a new rudder, some 180# of lead bread, and a new light weight Spruce mast the boat became a sailboat. (the stock mast is *HUGE)

    The thing is, these boats attract first time sailors and first time builders. The building process is quite unconventional and designed to be put together by folks with almost no experience with working wood.
    So you then have a combination of super pride in accomplishment (first or near first woodworking project completed) and their first sailing experiences.

    I am 52 and have been a professional woodworker for over 30 years. (I now teach Joinery apprentices) A few of those years were spent repairing and building boats at the coast. I have sailed since I was 20. When this little boat came to me it was brand new and shiny, I was 8 hours from the coast and boatless....and had a guy who offered my this boat for a bike I could not sell. I figured...."how bad could it be".....anything that didn't work or that could go wrong I would fix. And I did.

    I recommend looking at other designs that are more serious. For all the work one puts into a small boat I would want a solid and well respected design. I suggest looking into anything by John Welsford and the other designers Thorne mentioned.

    You asked.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    My first boat was a Stevenson Pocket Cruiser which I subsequently heavily modified until I got it to the top performance I could get out of a beamy flat-bottomed hull. The Stevenson designed boats are actually quite good for their target market of first time boat builders and sailors who are looking to build something salty looking. They go together easily and quickly and have "cruising boat" performance. The shoal keel is a compromise as are shoal keels on production boats giving simplicity and a clear cabin at the expense of leeward drift.

    The Vacationer is quite fast off the wind with its flat hull and big gaff rig but is slow tacking into the wind due to leeway. My Pocket Cruiser with its centerboard (modification) would fall far behind downwind but pull far ahead sailing upwind. Several builders have contemplated adding back the centerboard for this reason. The Weekender is a nice little one-person lake cruiser (two if they were real close). All these boats are very quick and easy to launch except for the crowds they tend to draw. The 14' Pocket Cruiser was more stable to move around it with its beam and flat bottom than my production 26' boat and makes a very comfortable smooth-water one to two person cruiser. However, she didn't handle rough water with sporadic or no wind very well.

    My follow-up boat was a 12' V bottomed catboat (C12 by Bateau.com) and I was amazed at how much better the beamy V bottom handled rough water. So much more fun to sail in when the wind pipes up! If you like the looks of the Weekender, consider building a Chincoteague skiff and add a low cabin to it. It has a V bottom and is beamier that the Weekender making it more stable on the water. It has the bowsprit and rig that makes the Weekender look so salty and, with a cabin, will look very similar on the water. It also is more complex a build for first-time boat builders than the weekender but still more doable than many plans out there. http://www.selway-fisher.com/OtherDB.htm#CHIN


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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Different opinions, different people. I have no problems with tacking, unlike Tim does.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I get riled every time I hear this 'ease of construction for first time builders' argument. Not just for Stevenson designs but for all of them what makes such a claim. It is a moot argument. Chined plywood boats are all easy to build. I urge you not to let your decision be influenced by this non-argument.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I wouldn't be surprised if Stevenson boats have a higher completion rate than those of most other designers
    I doubt that. The Stevenson web site says they've sold more than 300,00 sets of plans. Most designs for homebuilt craft sell less than 1,000 sets. (Steve Redmond's Whisp, a light rowing skiff, has sold 5000.) For example, John Welsford has sold 500 sets of plans for Navigator. I'm quite sure that the completion rate for Navigator is much higher than for Weekender ... for the Weekender to do better, you'd need 600 Weekenders on the water for every Navigator.

    The other point I'll add is that you see Weekenders for sale fairly often on eBay -- more often than any other homebuilt design -- and there seem to be few if any bidders.
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 11-22-2008 at 11:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    These Stevenson designs are most favored by first-time, amateur builders with no other sailing experience.

    What does that tell ya?

    On the other hand, I like them because they make my own homebuilt Oughtred design seem even even sleeker, faster, prettier, more weatherly and higher performing than she already is.

    Seriously, there are much more sophisticated uses available for the same size stack of marine plywood if you have any aspirations at all to a more seaworthy and capable boat. As someone above put it, those Stevenson designs are essentially a cartoon of a friendship sloop tacked onto a crude flat-bottomed skiff with no self-righting capability. Of course there are people who have put their hearts into buiilding one who will defend them to the death. . . . .but then again I am sure you also know friends who are convinced that their children are beautiful, talented and well-behaved--all objective evidence to the contrary.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    . . . .but then again I am sure you also know friends who are convinced that their children are beautiful, talented and well-behaved--all objective evidence to the contrary.




    Steven

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    The Weekender was probably the first cabin design I ever considered building, mostly for inland cruising. As my garage happened to be built around a Mini Cooper back in the '60s I quickly turned my attention to the Pocket Cruiser instead. I ended up ordering the Glen-L Minuet instead, though. It seemed a lot more seaworthy. Unfortunately I was never able to start building partly due to lack of local marine plywood suppliers and due to lack of time.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    IMO anyone who thinks those things look "salty" needs their eyesight examined. They look "freshy". Suitable for a small, shallow freshwater pond where you can wade ashore.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I built one .

    I also added ballast to it as it was far to tender underfoot as one maneuvered around the boat.

    No not necessarily needed for sailing when underway.

    I also find the cockpit excessively small.

    Ialso feel there might be better first designs out there, but it is not the worst design. And nowheres as bad as some on this forum would claim.

    Yes you can miss takcs, but no easier than on other prodiuction boats, For example I didn't find myself in irons any more withthe Weekender than I do in a West Wight Potter 19.

    Yep, you do get leeward slippage, about 7-10 degrees, but you can indeed make respectable windward progress. Your just not going to set any records.

    And I am not averse to taking it out in Casco Bay Maine neither.

    I wouldn't build one agin, but I don't regret having built one.



    It's not the be all end all, and it's not the biggest dog in the water.

    And you get no shortage of admiring looks when launching and sailing.

    As Thorne points out, a reasonable Character boat.

    The strengths I would point to are ease of construction with step by step plans and a few forums of builder sailors to hold your hand.

    Efficient use of sheet stock, and designerd for very quick set up and teardown for sailing withthe tabernaclle mast with sails bent on while stored.

    And I kinda like the looks myself.

    Wish it was better designed though with better ergonomics for crew, and better performance

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Actually looking at the pictures, that Pocket Cruiser would make an excellent motor launch for going up rivers and sleeping on board. I'd build it with windscreen and put in a wheel and some seats. I actually wanted something like this as I grew up on a river. And a slightly larger version with a V-bottom would be ideal for motoring around the archipelago.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    The Weekender was probably the first cabin design I ever considered building, mostly for inland cruising. As my garage happened to be built around a Mini Cooper back in the '60s I quickly turned my attention to the Pocket Cruiser instead. I ended up ordering the Glen-L Minuet instead, though. It seemed a lot more seaworthy. Unfortunately I was never able to start building partly due to lack of local marine plywood suppliers and due to lack of time.
    A very similar story except I actually built the Minuet. Very glad I did although I wish now I'd gone for the Tango. Then I wouldn't be spending so much time wishing I had the resources to build another boat.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    A very similar story except I actually built the Minuet. Very glad I did although I wish now I'd gone for the Tango. Then I wouldn't be spending so much time wishing I had the resources to build another boat.
    Yup, the resources. Now it is time, resources and motivation....

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    The Stevenson boats make very pretty toys, though. The Vacationer could perhaps become a pretty decent archipelago cruiser if made into a V-bottom and fitted with a heavy steel centreboard. That would of course take away much of the simplicity that make the Stevenson boats so great.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    ...the simplicity that make the Stevenson boats so great.
    Aaargh. I give up.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Thanks for all the input. Right now I'm just in research mode. My long term sailboat building goal would be a stable, roomy ,trailer sailer/pocket cruiser up to about 22-24 ft. or so. Something safe for cruising around on the lower Columbia River then eventually Puget Sound and the inside passage up to Alaska. Not looking to circumnavigate or anything as adventurous as that, but I would like to visit some west coast destinations I've never been and would like to arrive safely and in relative comfort.
    Kinda looks like the Stevenson boats would not be ideal for my needs.
    Thanks again for all the input, any suggestions for better designs are appreciated. (I've looked at the ones suggested thus far and the Selway/Fisher site had some neat looking day boats but the pocket cruiser designs just didn't really do it for me.)
    Also need something fairly simple to build, as my woodworking skills do leave much to be desired.
    Mark
    Oh yeah, would prefer some thing that is also beachable.
    Last edited by Driver Mark; 11-23-2008 at 10:36 AM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Driver Mark,

    My personal favorite is the 22 ft. Amigo by Glen-L. I'm sure others here will chime in with theirs too. Also, I hear the Sundowner is a good boat.
    Robert

    "Theirs is the curse of the Gypsy blood..."

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    If you want to one day build a 22/24 footer then I wouldn't advise building a 16er now. Too much work. The frequent advice in that senario is 'build the dinghy first'. Build an 8 footer in the same building method as the big boat will be. Ie, if you decide to build a Welsford Penguin for the cruiser then first build a pint sized plywood lapstrake design to tow behind it:

    Welsford Sherpa:



    Welsford Penguin


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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Yes, the Glen-L Amigo is what I would go for as well, you'll appreciate all that space downbelow. You may also consider the bateau.com Vagabond 23, which may be slightly easier to build than the Amigo. It looks pretty seaworthy too, with its tumblehome flush deck. It's something I'd take around the Frisian islands.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Aaargh. I give up.
    Looking at my plans for the Minuet I would definitely say Stevenson boats are much easier to build, not having frames, a proper steel centreboard, and all these other "proper boat" things. A toy boat will almost always be easier to build than a "proper" boat.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    Yes, the Glen-L Amigo is what I would go for as well. You may also consider the bateau.com Vagabond 23, which may be slightly easier to build than the Amigo. It looks pretty seaworthy too, with its tumblehome flush deck. It's something I'd take around the Frisian islands.


    Looking at my plans for the Minuet I would definitely say Stevenson boats are much easier to build, not having frames, a proper steel centreboard, and all these other "proper boat" things. A toy boat will almost always be easier to build than a "proper" boat.
    Like I just said, I give up. If folks want to build a 'toy' instead of a boat because they've taken a lot of bad advice about going 'simple and easy' that's their business. And when they end up with a useless toy even though a proper vessel was well within their ability they can recall that I told them so.
    Last edited by JimD; 11-23-2008 at 11:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    If your building skills leave much to be desired, I would tend to invest the money up front in a set of plans from designers such as Fisher, Welsford, or Outred, who tend to spell things out a bit more than do some of the older designers who presumed that you have a basic knowledge of boat building. Also, I know in the case of these designers through either personal experience or repute that they are very approachable regarding questions or modifications that you might be entertaining regarding their designs. You may pay a little more up front but you'll probably save it back in time and materials the first week of the build.
    Champagne for my true friends; and true pain for my sham friends! ~Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Already built a 15'6' day sailer. and a 8' dinghy. For right now I'm good with that. Right now I gues I'm in research (dreaming) mode. Trying to get ideas and opinions about designs and plans that would best suit me for a future build. Asked about the S.F. Pelicans on another thread and bought the "plans" from D.N. Goodchild wich look like they're reprints from old magazine articles (not to terribly detailed but you probably could build one with the info contained) The Super Pelican would probably be O.K. but i'm thinking of something a little bigger (big enough for 2 to do some camping/cruising in without getting too cramped).

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Like I just said, I give up. If folks want to build a 'toy' instead of a boat because they've taken a lot of bad advice about going 'simple and easy' that's their business. And when they end up with a useless toy they can recall that I told them so.
    While I agree with you to an extent, you are spouting awfully opinionated thoughts here. Jim, do you own one? I didn't think so..... I use mine several times every year. While I now wish that I had a larger boat, I still use mine and intend upon using it. I would not call it useless, nor a toy. Not everybody's cup of tea, yes.

    As for other designs, I really lean toward B&B's Princess Sharpie.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I'm not sure how the plans are for these but I'd seriously consider one of Bruce Kirby's Norwalk Island Sharpies. Here's the 23. A relatively simple straighforward design that sails very well.



    http://www.nisboats.com/mainpages/nis23.html
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by Driver Mark View Post
    Already built a 15'6' day sailer. and a 8' dinghy. For right now I'm good with that. Right now I gues I'm in research (dreaming) mode. Trying to get ideas and opinions about designs and plans that would best suit me for a future build. Asked about the S.F. Pelicans on another thread and bought the "plans" from D.N. Goodchild wich look like they're reprints from old magazine articles (not to terribly detailed but you probably could build one with the info contained) The Super Pelican would probably be O.K. but i'm thinking of something a little bigger (big enough for 2 to do some camping/cruising in without getting too cramped).
    How about Sam Devlin's scow? 20 feet, lotsa room, straight forward plywood construction. Sounds like it might be just the thing if you're after something like a Pelican only larger http://www.devlinboat.com/lichen.htm ;


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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    How about Sam Devlin's scow? 20 feet, lotsa room, straight forward plywood construction. Sounds like it might be just the thing if you're after something like a Pelican only larger http://www.devlinboat.com/lichen.htm ;

    Very roomy and it is moored in Olympia, if you wanted to look at it in person.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Also consider François Vivier's beautiful sailboats:



    This is the 19' Béniguet, but he also has some really nice Brittany crabbers in the works as well.
    Last edited by BarnacleGrim; 11-23-2008 at 11:52 AM.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by capt jake View Post
    While I agree with you to an extent, you are spouting awfully opinionated thoughts here. Jim, do you own one? I didn't think so..... I use mine several times every year. While I now wish that I had a larger boat, I still use mine and intend upon using it. I would not call it useless, nor a toy. Not everybody's cup of tea, yes.

    As for other designs, I really lean toward B&B's Princess Sharpie.
    Capt jake, no offence intended. It was a previous poster who first introduced the term 'toy'. Why not go pick on him? I meant it as a generic comment for all the times builders who doubt their abilities end up with one wooden crate or another because they let themselves get talked into believing its all they can do. Really, you would have to be all thumbs and no brains to have much difficulty with most glued plywood boats and few people are really that inept. If they are they shouldn't be building a boat at all. They should be buying one. Can I give up now, please?

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Yes, I must confess, it was I who first referred to the Stevenson yachts as 'toys'. I really did not mean for anyone to take it personally, it's really a matter of context. For protected waters and wide rivers the Weekender/Vacationer/Pocket Cruiser are indeed good boats.

    For archipelagoes, larger lakes and estuaries, the Stevenson boats will absolutely fall short compared to V-bottomed boats with ballast. Especially in areas where the weather may change with little warning. I certainly did not mean that the Stevenson yachts were toys in the sense of what your kids would play with in a pool.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Something to consider - if you're looking for a true camp-cruising solution, you might consider giving up the cabin. Truth is that in most small boats, the cuddy is extremely cramped, and IMO, hardly worth the trouble. In real life, when it rains, you often have to choose between keeping your stuff dry, or keeping yourself dry. The stuff usually wins and you end up in the cockpit in your waterproofs anyway.

    The open boat will be lighter, will sail better, and will look very fine indeed - "salty" enough for anyone. And as JimD says, you've built a real boat, not a cartoon.

    If I was considering that sort of build, I'd take a long hard look at Forumite Don Kurylko's beach cruiser designs (and others). I like his Alaska and Myst designs a lot. A first timer can even buy full size lofted patterns for all the key pieces.

    Alaska

    Myst

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Mark, you didn't tell us whether you would sail alone or with others.

    If you want a minimal boat to sail alone, it should not at all be a problem to fit both yourself and your stuff in very small cabin. I know this is strictly a wooden boat forum, but the lone wolf in me is feeling a strong attraction towards the 16' Dix Piepowder. It will keep you and your belongings nice and dry for months on end, and it has some real offshore capability too.

    If you are more of an outdoorsman and you want to bring the friends and family, outofthenorm definitely has the right idea. A completely open and unobstructed boat will be so much easier to move around in for loading, unloading, beaching, etc. Then you can sleep in a tent instead. The natives here have some pretty neat tents similar to the native American ones, where you can keep warm with a fire or a small stove, while the smoke escapes from a hole in the top.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    How about Sam Devlin's scow? 20 feet, lotsa room, straight forward plywood construction. Sounds like it might be just the thing if you're after something like a Pelican only larger http://www.devlinboat.com/lichen.htm ;

    It's not so much that I'm after something like the Pelican it's that I really liked what people said about their stability and abilty to handle some rough weather. But as one response said"they are very very not fast" not looking for a super fast boat but do like to get somewhere. However being a sailor who is very very not experienced (yet) something very stable and not fast is probably better for me.

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    the Selway/Fisher site had some neat looking day boats but the pocket cruiser designs just didn't really do it for me
    How about some of the smaller cruising designs? Simplicity 20 is a good size and well ballasted. Change the cabin or rig a bit if you like. Or the 24:

    SIMPLICITY 24'

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    This thread is getting a bit confusing, jumping from topic to topic.

    Mark, may I suggest that you start an entirely new thread where you list all your criteria for the design you are looking for, in terms of where you want to use it, how many people it will carry, and for how long you want to cruise. Try to separate what you need from what you want. Boat design is always a compromise.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by Driver Mark View Post
    ..being a sailor who is very very not experienced (yet) something very stable and not fast is probably better for me.
    I too would take safe over fast any day. I post here a lot but that just proves I'm a forum addict, not a great sailer.

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    Smile Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    Mark, you didn't tell us whether you would sail alone or with others.

    If you want a minimal boat to sail alone, it should not at all be a problem to fit both yourself and your stuff in very small cabin. I know this is strictly a wooden boat forum, but the lone wolf in me is feeling a strong attraction towards the 16' Dix Piepowder. It will keep you and your belongings nice and dry for months on end, and it has some real offshore capability too.

    If you are more of an outdoorsman and you want to bring the friends and family, outofthenorm definitely has the right idea. A completely open and unobstructed boat will be so much easier to move around in for loading, unloading, beaching, etc. Then you can sleep in a tent instead. The natives here have some pretty neat tents similar to the native American ones, where you can keep warm with a fire or a small stove, while the smoke escapes from a hole in the top.
    Need room for at least 2 adults (me and the missus) would really prefer a cabin of some sort to hide from the weather with a comfy bed (I got a gimpy back and I can be a wimp sometimes ) Not really expecting to be out for months on end (unless something goes reeeeeeeally wrong) I was planning on toting a tent along for some shoreline camping if we found some nice spots to do so.
    Mark

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I to don't like the term "toy" applied to a boat many folks have built, made beautiful, and enjoyed but I do agree the thoughts behind the term are true. I also want to point out that this isn't the only unnecessary and hurtful turn of phrase applied (or even the most hurtful).

    Sorting through the good facts presented here and eliminating negativity I think the concensus is 1) Stevenson boats are calm water sailors suitable for lakes and rivers, 2) if you have the skills to build a Stevenson boat then you have the skills to build a boat better suited for a wider range of water and conditions. I totally agree with these statements but want to bring up one other.

    There is a difference in the amount of time it takes to build a stevenson boat vs. some of the other more capable boats suggested here. I don't think anyone will disagree with the Amigo or Penguin taking more time to build than the Vacationer. Time is a factor to consider because there are a lot of unfinished capable boats where the builder ran out of time, lost space to build, or just got discouraged with the amount of time. Having built a boat already, it is easier to take the time to build a more capable boat knowing the outcome can be good. Completing and enjoying the Pocket Cruiser gave me the confidence to move onto more capable designs and I, for one, thank the Stevenson's for their "toy" boat.

    Another point I think we all agree on is you need to select a boat based upon your planned use including the location you plan to use it. For instance, I prefer and will do most all of my sailing (95%) in protected waters. Knowing this, I have decided to not spend the time to build a boat that will serve that 5% of the time I might be on open water. If my percentages change, I get the excuse to build another boat.

    This concept also applies to the features the boat should have. When I lived up North in Ohio I wanted and benefited from a cabin on the boat which provided a dry and warm place for both my stuff, my kids, and me. Also, a daggerboard was perfectly acceptable. However, when I moved down south I discovered a cabin was not a good thing to have because it is hot. Too hot to sit in during the day and retained too much heat to comfortably sleep in at night. A cloth cabin that you erect at night works much better for sleeping in. Additionally, while less efficient, a centerboard is a must in Florida for worry-free sailing in shallow waters.

    So, I guess the first question before suggesting a boat is what is your intended usage and where?

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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Like catboats? Roomy, stable, inside ballast, shoal draft...
    Last edited by JimD; 11-23-2008 at 12:52 PM.

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