Best accommodations in a semi-seaworthy 14' to 16' boat?

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Zaldron, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Zaldron
    Joined: Jan 2019
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Washington State

    Zaldron New Member

    My dream is to have a trailerable powerboat that doesn't take up every last inch of my garage that I and a friend could use to do a little summer cruising in the San Juan Islands in Washington State without worrying too much about the weather. I know the San Juans can be extremely calm in the summer but I still wouldn't want to be dumb and take a boat if it wasn't capable of handling a bit of unexpected rough weather.

    I looked at the C Dory 16' Cruiser. I'm a tall guy at 6'2" and the 6' v-berth is simply too short for me. Accommodations are also very spartan and I've read most people who seriously cruise these boats add a camper back and other stuff to their boat, which is of course added expense. Even the larger model boats only have 6'4" berths. I don't see any way to modify the design as the steering column/instrument panel is in the way of lengthening the berth.

    I looked at the 14'6" Bolger Micro Trawler, and while I really like it and think it's probably secretly a chick magnet I don't know if Bolger's weird ski-bottom planing hull is suitable for the San Juans. It does have 6'6" berths, a small galley, and a curtain that can divide the rear compartment from the forward compartment so you can use the porta-potty in privacy. Huge selling points for such a small boat. Tow an inflatable 2 seat kayak behind you and it sounds like an amazing time, and sure to turn heads.

    I looked at the Glen-L Sweet 16' tugboat. The hull shape looks very seaworthy, a really nice proper displacement hull, but the interior is pretty bare bones and the berth is only 6'2".

    I looked at the Glen-L Tug Along 16' flat bottomed tugboat. The berth extends to 6'3" which is still probably too short, and it's completely flat bottomed so I imagine it's even less seaworthy than the Bolger Micro Trawler. It is adorable though.

    I looked at Dianne's Rose, a 17' cruising houseboat/shantyboat designed and built by Roy Schreyer in Canada who uses it with great success on Georgian Bay, which I believe is less protected than the San Juan Islands and is supposed to get pretty choppy. He's taken it out in 3' to 4' waves without issue, and there are videos on his YouTube of him plowing through some pretty nasty chop and the boat seems to take it fine. However Dianne's Rose is a partially flat bottomed boat with angled sides and a sort of garvey looking bow. Not sure how to describe it. It's definitely more rough water capable than a flat bottomed john boat, but by how much I'm not sure. It does have high freeboard which is a plus. Accommodations are superb with an enclosed head, a small galley, and two settees that convert to two 6'6" berths, or a full size queen bed. Not too shabby.

    I looked at the Bolger Bantam 16'/20', an efficient power tri-hull with a collapsible deckhouse and removable bow section that turns the 20' boat into a 16' boat for trailering. Very cool, and the one person that's actually built one seems to love it. Bolger supposedly designed it to handle some chop, but how much I don't know. Has a tiny galley, an exposed porta-potty, and two full length berths/benches.

    I was wondering if someone could point me at other boat designs that might fit my dream and/or discuss the suitability of these designs for cruising the San Juans?

    Thank you.
     
  2. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 429
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    A 16foot boat will always be a 16 foot boat, one end is usually pointed and cramped, the other end exposed and wet.
    If it’s amenities you seek, think bigger, or plan on sleeping ashore.
     
  3. Zaldron
    Joined: Jan 2019
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Washington State

    Zaldron New Member

    Yes it does seem like an impossible quest... I have found some additional prospects however.

    The Fisher Whooping Swan 16' has two 6'6" berths and a covered helm station. Also seems like a pretty seaworthy design. It does look sort of like a lifeboat though...

    [​IMG]

    The Tracy Obrien Kaleigh 18 power sharpie is a design that seems to be getting a lot of love. It's a foot or two longer than I was looking for but it's a lightweight boat at 525lbs and only 6'6" beam. Furthermore a bunch of them have already been built. It was designed to have a higher level of seaworthiness than most boats this size so that's a plus. I believe the cabin is 7'6" long, which is plenty for two good full length berths and then some, but the design calls for the port side berth to be only 6' to allow for stowage of a porta potty. My idea would be to stretch the cabin just a little bit to have two 6'6" berths + 18 inches of length for porta potty and a tiny galley space. Would involve stretching the cabin 6 to 12 inches.

    [​IMG]

    Great articles about the Kaleigh 18 at Duckworks. Seems like a really capable little boat.

    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/10/projects/kayleigh/index3.htm
     
  4. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    A 6' berth is 6' 2" if you lay across it diagonally.
     

  5. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 429
    Likes: 28, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    I was young once, and went through the same syndrome, putting up with massive discomfort in order to be a true salt!
    Spent many nights being tossed about, wet, cramped, eating soggy food and being bug-bitten before it occurred to me that all of that could be easily avoided with a somewhat larger boat, for a negligible amount of cash.
    Garage extensions are easy!
     
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