18-25 Sailboat build suggestions.

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by itsnick, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. itsnick
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    itsnick Junior Member

    18-30 Sailboat build suggestions.

    My family recently bought a home in Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys and while we have a nice fishing boat I've always had an interest in sailing. I've been reading the forums for a few days and searching online but was hoping some members can point me in the right direction or make some suggestions. Heres what im looking for

    Sleeps atleast 4

    Shallow draft - Some of the flats around the house are as low as 1.5 feet maybe even lower it would be nice to navigate some of those areas.

    Ocean worthy - I dont plan taking this boat around the world but if I could take it to the tortugas or the bahamas that would be great.

    A space for a decent Head im sure my wife which ever couples join us would appreciate it a little privacy.

    Ideally id like to keep it in the water for alot of the year.

    Thats all I can think of for now.

    So far ive looked at these
    http://www.hartley-boats.com/sailboats.htm The TS18 and 21

    Thanks !
     
  2. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It depends on what you call a berth. If you can accept two sleeping under a boom tent in the cockpit, while two are in a V berth below, then you can live with a 19' boat. If everyone needs to be in the cabin then you'll need a 24' boat.

    There are a host of shoal draft, small sailors that will fit this bill. Naturally, small, shoal draft boats with ocean going capabilities are in conflict with each other, but some near shore possibilities can be "managed" by an experienced skipper in deep water. The obvious choice that comes to mind is the Norwalk Island Sharpie 18. It's available in a few different rigs, sleeps two inside and two out side and preforms well in shoal waters. If you need everyone inside, then the NIS 23 would be the next choice. It's only available as a cat ketch, but this is a handy rig in shallow water.
     
  4. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Navigating the Florida Bay shallows and Sailing offshore are at opposite ends of the sailing spectrum. In perfect weather, you will see all kinds of craft 20 miles off shore on the reefs, but the Bahamas and Tortugas are an entirely different matter. Those are two-three days out and two-three days back from Big Pine. I'd start with a shallow draft day sailer/camp cruiser and explore the bay. That will keep you busy for a couple of years. The Park Service was planning on adding camping chickees to the bay, and there are several little keys you can camp on. One of Ruell Parker's little sharpies would really stand out from the crowd at the ramp. Catboats are another good option. So build a small 16-19'er for camp cruising. When you are ready, buy a 30'er and get some sea time in, and mooch rides on deliveries and such any chance you can. Building a cruiser for four is a huge undertaking and at present, you can buy a pair of them ready to go for less than the cost of materials needed to do a home build.

    For the Bahamas for four, I'd want 42', 22000# displacement, and a draft of between 5 and 5.5 feet.
     
  5. itsnick
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    itsnick Junior Member

    Phil thanks for the feedback can you suggest some decent camp cruiser builds that would fit your description. How much can I expect to spend building my own vs buying one thats completed ?
     
  6. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    I have sailed in Florida bay with a Bolger Black Skimmer. That is a near perfect boat for the thin waters on the gulf side of the keys. There used to be an outfit in key Largo where you could charter one of the skimmers. I think they are gone now.

    Forget building your own. Scour the keys boat yards and you will find a suitable candidate for a fraction of the the new build price. Also heed the advice from the others here. I reiterate that a boat that can operate happily in the bay is not what you need for a trip to the Bahamas and maybe not even a good candidate for a Tortugas trip. You can't have it all, sorry to say.
     
  7. sean9c
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    sean9c Senior Member

  8. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    Are you opposed to a multi hull? It may be the best solution for thin water sailing and having stability to go off shore. I'm also a bit fan of speed making some of those crossings safer. If you can routinely make a 3 day crossing in 2 days it makes it a bit safer due to the more accurate weather reports. And I think most multis are more fuel efficient at higher speeds.

    Of course a multihull build means more hulls, and probably more $ to build. There are lots of options. I'm currently build a Scarab 18. After my search for a small trailerable sailboat I could build at home that was both reasonably quick, but also comfortable enough for a relaxing cruise, I found it to meet the needs of what I wanted. I haven't finished yet, so I can't say how it performs though. Definitely too small for offshore work. Possibly a bigger version might work?
     
  9. itsnick
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    itsnick Junior Member

  10. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I own an Alacrity. Tiny inside. Sleeps three, but very tight in there. I converted mine to a daysailer.
     
  11. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    As long as you give up on the idea of going to the Bahamas on it I think either are fine. But for a new sailor a 6-8 hour trip to cross the gulf stream, is a pretty major undertaking anyway.
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Neither the Compac (assumed mis-spelling) or Alacrity are deep water boats. These are semi protected water craft designed for lakes, rivers and small bays. The Alacrity can handle coastal cruising, but that's about it. A skilled skipper could take one to the Bahamas, but your skill level suggests you need something else or some years of experience first.

    Lastly, since you want to keep this boat moored or berthed year 'round, you'll want to find something with a self bailing cockpit. The summer thunderstorms we have can easily overwhelm a bilge pump's ability to keep up, so a self draining cockpit is a must for a moored boat. This feature requires some size, so the cockpit sole is high enough and is a design element automatically required for off shore craft, so you'll kill two birds with one spit ball.
     
  13. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    What a bummer. I made a couple of phone calls. My first build was still rattling around down there somewhere. I just found out it got stolen. Would have been stolen for the motor, the hull is too, um, distinctive to put back in service. So I'm sure it got chainsawed. Never the less, here are a couple pics of her. She's about 30 years old, all Bruynzeel Ply and Honduran Mahogany with White Oak floorboards. Glorified Mac Dingy design. I've still got the sailing rig for her. I kept that when I converted her to a power skiff. Any sitings, I'd appreciate a heads up.

    1. Current rendition as motorskiff.
    2. Camp cruising in the Keys in the '90s
     

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  14. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    As far as kit suggestions, no, I don't have any. I've never built from a kit. There is a little pram-bowed pocket cruiser on the market though that is well regarded. Seaward makes beefy little boats that are okay regardless of vintage. I'm also partial to Marshall Cats. Peep Hens, Marsh Hens, and those little Yawl boats, forgot who makes them. You could do a lot worse than an old lighting, but they are rare down there. I don't know why that is. Flying Scots and Highlanders are also a scream during the Christmas trades.
    old Hobie 18's work pretty good. There's a Hobie 21 camp cruiser design as well, but I never saw one down there. Check to see what Tiki Watersports (Tavernier Key) has on stock. I used to work there.

    have you been here?
    http://pocketcruiserguide.com/20FeetOrLess.htm
     

  15. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    The San Francisco Pelican was the little pram bowed job I was thinking of.
     
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