Adding a cabin to a 18ft sailboat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Maui, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Maui
    Joined: Oct 2019
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    Location: Indiana

    Maui Junior Member

    I'm new to sailing. I've recently purchased an 18 ft sailboat and was wanting to maybe add a cabin later on down the road. My question is would raising the mast above the previous mounting location cause any problems with functionality?
     

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  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    How big a cabin do you intend to add?
    I wouldn't add anything more than just a simple little cuddy type cabin at the most.
    Perhaps something similar to the cuddy on this little Com-Pac.
    2017 Com-Pac Sunday Cat Sail New and Used Boats for Sale - https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/2017/com-pac-sunday-cat-3548623/

    If you do build a cuddy, the easiest way would be to keep the existing mast step, and have a hole in the roof of the cuddy for the mast to go through. Although you will then need a mast boot or watertight gaiter to stop rainwater and spray coming down the mast into the cuddy. This is an occupational hazard of all keel stepped masts.

    Alternatively, maybe just appreciate her for what she is, and look into buying a boat that already has a cuddy - maybe something like this Cape Dory which is for sale in your region?
    1971 Cape Dory Typhoon Weekender Sail New and Used Boats for Sale https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1971/cape-dory-typhoon-weekender-3124105/

    Or this Seaward 17?
    1991 Seaward 17 Sail New and Used Boats for Sale - www.yachtworld.co.uk https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1991/seaward-17-3554375/
     
  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Best thing to do is build a softtop. Light, quick, no need to change things.
     
  4. Maui
    Joined: Oct 2019
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    Location: Indiana

    Maui Junior Member

    My idea was to create something like the precision 18. I didn't know if I could raise the mast on top of the cabin with a compression pole in the cabin under the mast for strength.
     

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  5. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Simple way is to put a post under the cuddy and hacksaw the mast to size. That way you don't have to buy new stays. An alternative occasionally seen on boats this size is to slot the top of the cuddy. This lets you use the existing mast step, and it is a lot easier to raise the mast. Once the mast is up, you put a coverboard over the slot. I have a couple of designs that do this purely for the ease of stepping the mast.

    One example is here - open the first attachment. Full-length keel https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/full-length-keel.27476/page-2#post-275930

    edit, cross posted with your last one.
     
  6. Maui
    Joined: Oct 2019
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    Location: Indiana

    Maui Junior Member

    I'm not opposed to buying new stays. As of right now I've only got $150 in the sailboat trailer and motor. As long as she will be safe with the mast being raised a few feet. My secondary goal is getting a little more head room under the boom.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  7. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    For getting more room under the boom, mount a piece of track on the mast. The first reef is up, sail topped out and boom at the top of the track. If the mast has a bolt rope slot, that works fine. There are boom ends available with slot slides and roller reefing swivels. Fixed booms really annoy me on boats this size.
     
  8. rnlock
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    Location: Massachusetts

    rnlock Junior Member

    Suggest getting some sailing experience before you do anything laborious or expensive. Then you'll probably have a better idea of what you want. Maybe you could buy or male a dodger and/or a boom tent meanwhile.

    It seems like many fiberglass boats with cabins are pretty inexpensive these days, so it might be better,to,switch at that time.

    I'd be skeptical about the cabin on the Precision. It probably would seem much smaller if you were in it than it does in the photo. Ever compare real estate ad photos with the real house? I seem to remember driving right past such a house even though I'd seen the photo first.
     
  9. rnlock
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    Location: Massachusetts

    rnlock Junior Member

    bajansailor;
    Even in the USA, where cars are king, South Carolina to Indiana is considered a long trip. Especially when hauling a boat with a heavy keel. Definitely not the same region. I suppose if one had lots of time and some money, it might be fun to sail and motor from South Carolina north to the St. Lawrence River and then take canals to Lake Michigan..... Next spring, maybe.
     
  10. Maui
    Joined: Oct 2019
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    Location: Indiana

    Maui Junior Member

    The wife talked me out of it. I'm going to just revamp to storage space in the bow. ( Only because I have to replace the bow eye). And add a topping lift and boom tent. Everything is in fairly good condition considering what I paid for it.
     
  11. Maui
    Joined: Oct 2019
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    Location: Indiana

    Maui Junior Member

    And I was previously going off what I was told turned out she's a Neptune 14. Regardless the kids and I are going crazy waiting for next spring. This will be our first time on a sailboat. (We've been on boats just not a sailboat.)
     

  12. rnlock
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    Location: Massachusetts

    rnlock Junior Member

    Suggest you pick a fairly calm day, or sail with someone else who knows how a couple of times. If not, wait for warm water with few boats on it and don't take the family at first! It's not terribly dangerous, but it could be embarrassing. Also, one person freaking out on a boat is more than enough. I had one lesson that was a few minutes long and after that taught myself on calm days with warm water. It was easy. Then again, I was an obsessive kid and had read quite a bit about sailing. It might be a good idea to check out how boats are rigged. I have seen someone leave the bolt rope out of the groove in the mast.
     
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