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Thread: Pocket Cruisers

  1. #1
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    Default Pocket Cruisers

    I was thinking about building something bigger but once I think about my available resources, time to sail etc...... I think a small 14-16' pocket cruiser would be a better fit. I have been looking at these type of plans in S&G. What do you guys think about these sailboats?



    Bateau AD14/16

    http://www.bateau.com/studyplans/AD1....htm?prod=AD16




    Modern design but lots of room.

    Paul Fisher has a bunch of designs. Some of the ones that I like.
    http://www.selway-fisher.com/PCup16.htm

    16' SandGrouse


    Heron 14



    Tideway 14
    I really like the looks of it but for a coastal sailboat I am not sure how it would perform.




    The Goshawk is also nice.



    Devlin's Nancy China or CLC's pocketship would work.





    I know I am all over the map but there are so many nice designs it
    isn't easy picking just one.

    I am looking for a basic coastal sailboat with a small cabin to get out of the weather if need be, stay out over night every now and then (sitting headroom would be nice), keep stuff dry etc........

    Any input, experiences, I have the plans, built that boat etc............... would be most appreciated.

    Picking one plan is probably the hardest part of the process. :-)
    Last edited by High Altitude; 03-23-2009 at 11:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    What coast? Most of the above boats are too small for many coastal sailing areas....
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    God damn that Bateau AD14/16 is hard on the eyes, yuck.
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    What coast? Most of the above boats are too small for many coastal sailing areas....
    Southern California but I wouldn't mind trailering it out to Florida (I have family etc....)

    Actually: anywhere along the lower half of the country.


    What would you suggest then?
    Last edited by High Altitude; 03-23-2009 at 11:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    There is really only one that just makes my heart leap

    Ian Oughtred's Eun mara





    Last edited by Joe (SoCal); 03-23-2009 at 11:21 PM.
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    I like the new CLC pocketship too. Looks really well thought out.

    Just my $0.02 but it seems in a boat this size you give up a lot of cockpit space and increase weight, cost & complexity for probably seldom used shelter. It's your boat, though.
    Denny Wolfe
    www.wolfEboats.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    .
    I've seen a young middle-aged couple use a fourteen-foot dinghy-with-a-lid as a pocket cruiser. (I think it was a TS14.) But to me a "pocket cruiser" is a live-aboard , no matter how small, with amenities that include berths, a galley, chart table, and head. My YM 3-Tonner (LWL 17') fitted the bill, but I'm afraid I can't imagine anything much smaller doing so.

    Of the vessels pictured so far, the CLC Pocketship looks the most suitable, but I'd still consider it too cramped internally (whatever their video might purport to show.)

    Mike

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by High Altitude View Post
    (I have family etc....)
    You may already know this but if your family doesn't, rent or borrow a Chevy Suburban or something like that. Spend the weekend with your family sleeping, cooking, etc. in it with all the gear you need. That's about the amount of space you'd have on a boat the size you are considering.
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by High Altitude View Post
    Southern California but I wouldn't mind trailering it out to Florida (I have family etc....) Actually: anywhere along the lower half of the country. What would you suggest then?
    I'm not a sailor, but wonder if any of those are meaty enough for work along any shoreline except one heavily broken up with islands and having numerous protected areas. I have a hard time imagining it running from LA down to San Diego, for example. However, it would be fun inside Barkley Sound or among some of the island groups in Maine.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    I have owned and sailed a (gasp!) glass pocket cruiser, 17 foot long, for many years, and for minimal camp / cruising, it is fine. I am 6' 3", so there is barely sitting headroom, but I usually end up sleeping out in the cockpit anyway many nights on the boat....it has a swing keel, is fast and fun to sail, has 3 different jibs for different wind conditions, and even a spinnaker for light airs......

    I have cruised extensively on the open waters of the Great Lakes with this boat, and it works out fine as a "pocket cruiser"......small and simple is good!

    There are so many different and effective small boat designs out there, that would fit the bill..........it all comes down to what catches your eye, captures your imagination, and what you can afford to build........have you considered the Bolger Micro and variants?

    Or, for something really seaworty and radical, check this out;
    www.macnaughtongroup.com/farthing

    Very cool capable blue water vessel, only 15 ft long!! But probably too heavy and deep in the keel for what you describe!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    An American friend of DowntheCreeek and I cruised down the Hudson singlehanded in a Thistle; she is my age, she is an Episcopalian priest and she is sadly very far from fit and well. If she can do it, you can.
    Have I missed a thread on this cruise? I'd love to hear of the experience.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Yabut -- if you know the Southern CA coastline, you know it is basically all offshore sailing on a lee shore, with few if any protected waters.

    I really wouldn't venture out there (unaccompanied by another larger boat) in anything less than a 22' Catalina with a reliable outboard.

    Why not build something open and fun for trailering to the many lakes and other waterways in CA and elsewhere? Welsford's Navigator and Pathfinder boats are well-regarded, as is Storer's Goat Island Skiff.

    If you want to sail offshore either rent or buy a fiberglass boat -- but I suspect you'll find it isn't a lot of fun being in a small boat out there offshore.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    How about something like the EC22 (from the builders of the Core Sound boats)? ~700 pounds, 22 feet long, 7 feet wide, shallow V bottom, ketch rig. It has a small cabin good enough for sleeping in (sitting headroom). It is pretty fast. Big cockpit with watertight chambers. Designed for coastal sailing. The potential problem with it is that it is shoal draft, not self-righting. A fine coastal cruiser might also be the 20 foot Core Sound with the aforementioned tent. See also the fine boats at Swallow Boats. They have boats that look a little like the EC22 and Core Sound series, but offer waterballast. They also come as kits (some of them do). The double-enders they carry are also fine -- 17 and 19 footer, ketch rigs, safe design, in the 19 footer lots of room for camping under tent. --Wade

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    PS -- the Swallow Boats boats also come with good provision for outboard motors to allow for aforemtentioned Californian lee-shores. -- Wade

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    I think ACB is absolutely right. In a little bitty pocket cruiser you end up with both a little tiny cabin and a little tiny cockpit, neether of which are particularly comfortable or useful. I played around with one of these for a couple of years, (a Swallow 16) before I realized that this type of boat is too big and heavy to make for easy trailering, but too small to actually be comfortable sailing or sleeping.

    I'm now in the position to be able to afford a proper cruising sailboat I keep at a marina, but I also have a big, safe, comfortable and fast open boat that is ever so trailerable for taking on the road. An open boat is ALL cockpit--plenty of room to take your friends, and can be light enough to haul up on the beach by yourself, launch at sandy beach ramps, needs only oars or perhaps a small, economical outboard, and is a delight to sail. I just bring along camping gear if I'm going to overnight in her.

    The extra weight and windage and higher center of gravity in a pocket cruiser with a cabin means that they're never as interesting and sprightly as a sailboat as a boat without all that tophamper. You'll need to get up to around 20' before you'll have a boat big enough to have both a useful cabin and a useful cockpit for daysailing--and then it's still going to be much harder to trailer than a light boat.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    I would agree with that. I have a 20' pocket cruiser and it's just barely large enough to have both a cockpit and a cabin worthy of the name. Boats noticeable smaller than this, I think, have no business trying to shoehorn in both. Either have a basically open boat with, maybe, a cuddy, or have an essentially cockpit-less boat like Matt Layden's microcruisers.

    Kaa

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    ACB's comments about the cabin seem to make a lot of sense. One possible compromise between an open boat and one with a cabin is one with a small cabin like this William Garden Eel. The cabin top is hinged in the front so it can be flipped up and out of the way for easy access but will keep stuff dry down below when it rains. Since it has a low profile it should minimize the effects of windage and weight.



    Plus this boat like the Eun Na Mara Joe posted above is a real treat to the eye IMHO.
    Will

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    (sitting headroom would be nice),
    My criteria would be sitting headroom above the settees, self bailing cockpit, considerable ballast and if it has a centerboard it stays out of the cabin, and the longest waterline you can manage. I disagree with those who say you can't have a decent pocket cruiser in the shorter range. You can, but they will be slow. I see you don't have Grey Swan on your list at 16'



    or better yet Evening Swan:



    Evening Swan would be my choice if you have room for 17.5 feet.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    First please let me say that I have no experience with pocket cruisers but there was an article about the No Frills 15 in Small Craft Advisor. The author and builder of the boat said that what he liked about the boat was the extra high combing of this particular design. He said it offered protection from the elements that typically was not available on boats of this size and weight. From this picture, I can see what he is talking about. His crew is normally he and his daughter and from what he said, they slept comfortably in the cabin.



    From a structural standpoint, the cabin also adds to the egg shape of this boat and like an egg, I bet it's pretty strong for its weight. This boat does have a flat bottom so it's not exactly egg shaped but it's kind of headed in that direction. The flat bottom may help with the comfort level when it is anchored. Every boat is a compromise. It's just a question of finding the right set of compromises that suit you best. If you are strapped for funds, this is a very cost effective use of plywood and plans are only $40. At least they were when I bought them about a year ago.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Tit Willow fits the bill


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Definitely spend a few nights in a craft of this sort (low cabin, no head), anchored out someplace, before starting a build.

    There's probably a West Wight Potter, or the like, available for a trial.

    The notion's appealing, of course. We had a Hartley 14— rather like camping out in a noisy, tipsy wood tent with no decent place to **** (unless you like balancing over a bucket in a chop).

    For the SoCal coast, which is short on sheltered waters, I'd likely go with a fun daysailer, or take the leap to a genuine cruiser with a stand-up cabin and head.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Check out the great pelican, cheap to build, easy to handle, and they have cruised to Hawaii with a 2 person crew.....
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Is this the Great Pelican you are referring to?

    http://www.dngoodchild.com/5469.htm
    Will

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Or, like this one built by Ol' Coot, Lou Broschetti (photo by John Kohnen)






    Same one - in the San Juans (photo by Case Turner)




    I've been abooard her. Amazingly roomy below.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Does it have to be ramp-launched? If not I'd strongly consider John Welsford's Swaggie or Fafnir. Then you wouldn't be so limited in terms of protected waters.

    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    You may already know this but if your family doesn't, rent or borrow a Chevy Suburban or something like that. Spend the weekend with your family sleeping, cooking, etc. in it with all the gear you need. That's about the amount of space you'd have on a boat the size you are considering.
    When I said I have family I ment in the sense that I would go visit and then sail while I was visiting them. The boat only needs to be big enough for 2 people.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    It looks like we are thinking the same.

    Your right, the sailing is going to be slow but that is what you have to give up. I definitely would want a small 2hp outboard for just in case situations.

    Greyswan is a little more complicated to build compared to most of his other pure S&G designs. It is a nice design though.

    I also like the Goshawk. It is very similar to the Pelican.

    The Heron 14 is on the smaller side but for one or two people it would work. Self Bailing cockpit, sitting room above the settee etc... The Heron 14 is pretty much a lighter duty Tideway 14.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    My criteria would be sitting headroom above the settees, self bailing cockpit, considerable ballast and if it has a centerboard it stays out of the cabin, and the longest waterline you can manage. I disagree with those who say you can't have a decent pocket cruiser in the shorter range. You can, but they will be slow. I see you don't have Grey Swan on your list at 16'



    or better yet Evening Swan:



    Evening Swan would be my choice if you have room for 17.5 feet.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by AstoriaDave View Post
    I'm not a sailor, but wonder if any of those are meaty enough for work along any shoreline except one heavily broken up with islands and having numerous protected areas. I have a hard time imagining it running from LA down to San Diego, for example. However, it would be fun inside Barkley Sound or among some of the island groups in Maine.
    The more I research the Socal coast it does appear that for this type of sailboat there are much better places to go.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Fantastic design but it is a huge boat. Displacement is around 3500-4000lbs.




    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    Does it have to be ramp-launched? If not I'd strongly consider John Welsford's Swaggie or Fafnir. Then you wouldn't be so limited in terms of protected waters.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    OK, I have cruised extensively in a boat of this type, and I here and now disagree with the naysayers. They work great.

    1: Safety -- most of these designs are self rescuing and many are self-righting. Try that in an open boat.

    2: Comfort -- You have a dry cabin and dry gear, always. Also, a dry bed.

    3: Comfort -- Lots of room to take along a big cooler, extra clothing, etc.

    4: Performance -- They are not necessarily slugs, and the good ones will keep going when the open boats are running for shelter (if they can find it.) In light air, they'll keep up with bigger, heavier boats. I'd recommend a 4 or 5 hp outboard. A 2 will push it, a bigger one will push it quietly.

    5: Small is good -- compared to bigger boats, you can get to far-away places to sail very easily. Most boats in this class can be towed by a small pickup or SUV with a V6 engine.

    6: Private head. (Ask the wife/girlfriend how important that is.)

    7: You can always get out of the weather, even under way.

    Other advice -- Look for a cockpit that is long enough to sleep in -- it can be tented over for hot weather or you can always use the cabin for cooking, storage and warm spot for a nap.

    One other point -- mock up the interior of any boat with cardboard or cheap ply before deciding to make sure you understand just how much room there is inside. It varies more than you'd guess.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Another favorite of mine is the Devlin Winter Wren

    http://www.devlinboat.com/winterwren.htm

    Apparently he designed this for rougher waters such as the Puget Sound. The only down side is that the keel version is more difficult to trailer or launch. But it should be ok with a suitably deep boat ramp and a trailer extender.
    Will

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    OK, I have cruised extensively in a boat of this type, and I here and now disagree with the naysayers. They work great.


    One other point -- mock up the interior of any boat with cardboard or cheap ply before deciding to make sure you understand just how much room there is inside. It varies more than you'd guess.
    Great post. I really like your suggestion of mocking up the interior. I was planning on building a model but will also mock up the interior.

    Thanks

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Pocket Cruisers

    A good design. Here is one built by Bernie Harberts after crossing the gulf stream to the Bahamas. It is also available in a shallow draft version with a dagger board.



    Quote Originally Posted by willmarsh3 View Post
    Another favorite of mine is the Devlin Winter Wren

    http://www.devlinboat.com/winterwren.htm

    Apparently he designed this for rougher waters such as the Puget Sound. The only down side is that the keel version is more difficult to trailer or launch. But it should be ok with a suitably deep boat ramp and a trailer extender.

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