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

  1. #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
    Champagne for my true friends; and true pain for my sham friends! ~Oscar Wilde

  2. #37
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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 ;


  3. #38
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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.

  4. #39
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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"

  5. #40
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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?

  6. #41
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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"

  7. #42
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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

  8. #43
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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.

  10. #45
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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'

  11. #46
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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"

  12. #47
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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.

  13. #48
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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

  14. #49
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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?

  15. #50
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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.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    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.
    I was just thinking the same thing. The Stevenson's question has been pretty well answered for me
    Thanks
    Mark

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

    For future enquirers it is worth directing them to Chad's thread on sailing his.
    Very hilarious and well written.
    http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64308

  18. #53

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

    Had a friend with one sailed twice in 10 to 12 knot. Capasized twice. Also hard tom get right side up again. I suggest he build a deeper leelson with about 300 lbs of lead moulded in placed midships plus a weight swing keel dropping through keelson. Now he wont give the boat up. Pretty fast but too light to tack real well without forcing the jib over to pull the bow around.
    Feels like it wants to plane! No room exept cramped camping. Very small cockpiy but good for two.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    BTW there is a lot of use of the word "keelson" in this thread where I think you mean keel, forefoot or deadwood. The keelson is inside the boat- a fore and aft member on top of the floors.

  20. #55

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

    In the spirit of correctness I apologize. But now we both have wasted bandwidth over what really doesnt make a bit of difference since the object of his request was to decide if the vacationer was a boat he might like to build not if we knew the difference between a keel and keelson
    Last edited by mikemitchell; 11-24-2008 at 07:53 PM. Reason: peace-keeping

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    In Yacht Designs William Garden said:

    "Whether they are sail or power, we must remember that our yachts are toy boats - all yachts are the glint on a lovely brief bubble of time ..."

    I daresay that 99.99% of the boats discussed on this forum are not used for transporting people, moving cargo, commercial fishing, or some other kind of work. They are all toy boats. It's stupid for someone with a big, expensive toy to sneer at a little, cheap toy because it's "just a toy".
    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.)

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemitchell View Post
    .... what really doesnt make a bit of difference since the object of his request was to decide ...
    Mike, it actually does make a difference what terminology we use, whichever part of the topic area we're talking about. And this applies whether the subject matter is wooden boats, or dentistry, or highland bagpipes.

    In our case, for whatever reason (usually an historical one, the origins of which more often than not are lost in time,) different parts of a boat have their own names, and by agreement within the fraternity it's incorrect to use them incorrectly.

    If the topic area were "chainplates" or "pole masts" it would just as wrong to refer to shrouds as side-stays as if one were talking about the shrouds themselves.

    So referring to a keel as a keelson -- or vice versa -- does indeed matter to anyone who's doing anything but dabbling in a subject about which he knows little.

    (Please understand that this little rant is not intended to suggest that you are such a person, just that in the view of most people here it's better for us not to be sloppy in our use of terminology.)

    Mike-the-pedant

    Oh yes -- there is one exception to this, which is that JohnB is permitted to refer to his boathook as a broomstick.
    .

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Thankyou, very kind.

    ps, inthequitepossibly longest running joke ontheforum next to the 'She's a lady' earworm... how come you haven't given me back the one Kirsty posted you?

    and now ....back to our scheduled programme

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by alkorn View Post
    In Yacht Designs William Garden said:

    "Whether they are sail or power, we must remember that our yachts are toy boats - all yachts are the glint on a lovely brief bubble of time ..."

    I daresay that 99.99% of the boats discussed on this forum are not used for transporting people, moving cargo, commercial fishing, or some other kind of work. They are all toy boats. It's stupid for someone with a big, expensive toy to sneer at a little, cheap toy because it's "just a toy".
    I missed the part where somebody died and made Bill Garden God. To wit, I dare say that 99.99% of people discussing boats would not agree that a 'toy' boat and a seaworthy pleasure craft are the same even though they might affectionately referr to their boats as toys in the same way a Ferrari owner would referr to his sports car as a toy.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I completely agree with what WoodenBoatFittings said, and what JimD said too. I can't understand what JohnB said - so I disagree with that on general principles

    - Norm

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by outofthenorm View Post
    I completely agree with what WoodenBoatFittings said, and what JimD said too. I can't understand what JohnB said - so I disagree with that on general principles

    - Norm
    I've talked it over with all my personalities and we've agreed to agree with your agreement. I'm kinda new around here, but already, I've realized that whatever JohnB says is wrong, whatever the topic. Just kidding, John, just too hard to pass upB

  27. #62

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

    Actually I do know the difference but my brain picked up on the term someone else used. But again my point is not lanquage but answering the original question that being does anyone have any thoughts on the Vacationer. Nuff said?
    After reading your profile I understand your concern about lanquage. Authenticity you have to remember Americans have little tradition to worry about quite unlike the Brits and Aussies.

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by alkorn View Post
    I daresay that 99.99% of the boats discussed on this forum are not used for transporting people, moving cargo, commercial fishing, or some other kind of work. They are all toy boats. It's stupid for someone with a big, expensive toy to sneer at a little, cheap toy because it's "just a toy".
    I'm sorry, but this comment is off the mark. Most people here do not have "big, expensive" boats. And they're not "sneering" at the Weekender because it's "little" and "cheap."

    Yes, all boats are toys, but some are more seaworthy than others. You yourself said the Weekender was "scary" in 15 knots of wind. 15 knots? In many coastal areas, it's common to have wind gusts higher than that, even on days when the average wind speed is less. (I know from experience that it's true on the Chesapeake and the Maine coast near Brooklin.)

    If you asked a designer like Jim Michalak, he'd tell you that the Weekender is not a good choice with regard to safety. Because the boat is flat-bottomed, unballasted, and light, it's easier to capsize than most boats. The cabin and deck make things worse because they raise the center of gravity. On the other hand, the boat is too big and heavy for one person -- or even several -- to right after a capsize.

    The forumite who capsized his Weekender was lucky that he was near shore and that help arrived quickly. Had he been farther out, he might have spent hours clinging to his overturned boat before someone came along.

    To put this in perspective, I wouldn't attempt to sail the 8 miles (or more) across the Chesapeake Bay in a Weekender in any weather unless you put a gun to my head. But I'd willingly make the trip in all (or nearly all) of the other boats mentioned on this thread and the companion thread.

    When you add all that to the fact that the Weekender's sailing performance is "fair" at best, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Yes, it's easy to build and cheap, but anyone with enough skills and cash to build a Weekender can build a better, more capable boat. It might cost a little more and take a little more time, but the results would be worth it.
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 11-25-2008 at 09:59 PM.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    ... how come you haven't given me back the one Kirsty posted you?
    I did! I did! I posted it back the way Kirsty posted it to me, by water. But because nobody bothered to collect it I picked it up as it came round again and now, as mentioned elsewhere, I have it safe and sound with my collection of other broken-down garden tools, waiting for you to come and pick it up.

    So don't you try that Kiwi Bluster on me, boyo....

    Mike-the-REAL-boathook-maker
    Last edited by Wooden Boat Fittings; 11-25-2008 at 10:53 PM.

  30. #65
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    my brain picked up on the term someone else used.
    Exactly. It seemed to be getting contagious. I wasn't aiming at you, in particular, either, though I guess it seemed like that.

    stupid for someone with a big, expensive toy to sneer at a little, cheap toy because it's "just a toy".
    Ok, I'm guilty of having a bigger toy, but I also have a smaller one than the Stevenson, designed by Iain Oughtred. His designs have a visible heritage from well tested types which he presents, maybe improved, for modern construction methods. Knowledgeable people here are calling the Stevenson designs 'a pastiche' and 'a cartoon'. I think they're right, and Steve Paskey is right about safety. I know professional boat builders who build Oughtreds, but I bet if you rolled up to a pro with a set of weekender plans he would decline to build it.

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Let me clarify:

    I did not build a Weekender, but a smaller Stevenson boat, the 12-foot Triad. Based on my experience with the Triad I decided that I should look elsewhere for the design of my next, larger boatbuilding project.

    But, I think Stevenson's designs have value for first-time projects because they are quick, easy, pretty, and functional if not stellar performers. They are the kind of boatbuilding project that lures someone into building a wooden boat instead of buying a plastic one.

    Ray Frechette said "I wouldn't build one again, but I don't regret having built one." Others have echoed this thought, and I agree.
    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.)

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    Thank you Gentlemen,
    Any questions I had about these boats have been answered.
    But I still think they LOOK neat.
    The Clipper ship look to the bow and the gaff sloop rig do give it a "salty" look as someone said earlier. But apparently their performance leaves something to be desired.
    Thanks for the opinions and suggestions.
    Mark

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

    From the FAQ:

    I don't see anything about ballast in the Pocket Yachts.

    None of our boats has any ballast added to them, and they are not self-righting (but they are much more stable than many assume). We prefer to keep the weight down and the performance up. These are small boats with low rigs. They are not intended for open ocean crossings (although we have had a Weekender in whistling winds and 12'-15' seas off Hanalei Bay). Proper attention to the mainsheet and gusts will keep you out of trouble most of the time. We haven't ever felt the need for ballast, but many people ask about it. We haven't tried it, so we can't comment too much. We can say this: several of the same people who were asking about adding ballast have written back (after building our boats without ballast) and have been convinced they made the right choice.
    They do seem a bit overly confident in their design. There is a big gap between ocean crossings and protected waters, I certainly hope the builders won't venture too far out into this gap.

    You would think that increasing the displacement would actually improve the overall performance, giving a smoother ride in a chop, in addition to making it less likely to capsize. Personally I think it's much more about cost and complexity. Any metal keel would be complicated for the novice to fabricate, and lead, for maintaining the shoal draft is expensive. Perhaps the easiest would be to pour a keel from ferrocement? After all, any heavy keel would be a change for the better.
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

  34. #69
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    Default Re: Concensus on Stevenson's Projects Vacationer and/or Weekender

    I have a Weekender, which I enjoy sailing. I did not build mine, it's one of the original designs with a centerboard, which I rarely use. It sails fine without it. I've had it out in winds greater than 15mph with the main reefed and it handles okay, although it does really pound in a chop. I'm only 5' 7" and less than a couple hundred pounds so the cockpit is fine for me. I've had two other adults in it with me.

    I've sailed on a few lakes here in Maine, out in Penobscot Bay, and my dad has sailed in in Long Island Sound, off of Wrightsville Beach in NC and we've been in it together off of Boothbay Harbor in Maine. On a nice day it'll handle the ocean okay. I wouldn't want to get caught offshore in a storm though.

    For it's designed purpose, it works well, and like most boats, if you take care of them they can last a pretty good while. Mine will be 25 years old this coming April.

    Joe, FPoP

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    From the FAQ:




    You would think that increasing the displacement would actually improve the overall performance, giving a smoother ride in a chop, in addition to making it less likely to capsize. Personally I think it's much more about cost and complexity. Any metal keel would be complicated for the novice to fabricate, and lead, for maintaining the shoal draft is expensive. Perhaps the easiest would be to pour a keel from ferrocement? After all, any heavy keel would be a change for the better.

    I had wondered if a taller/deeper keel would help. Maybe a hollow wood keel filled with lead? I don't know how much weight the little boats can handle though. Sometimes I still feel tempted to build one just for the heck of it.
    Robert

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

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