Best Design for Minimalist Trailerable Coastal Cruising

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Chris Ostlind, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    I'm opening this thread because I would like to hear what everyone thinks about what goes into the ideal minimalist coastal cruising boat. I'm looking at everything... hull forms, rigs, equipment, weight, creature comforts.. the whole enchilada. For discussion's sake, let's keep the comments confined to designs under 24' LOA. Bigger than that, I tend to feel the designs are leaving the environment of minimalism as most people regard it.

    Keep in mind that this boat will need to operate in a wide variety of water conditions and depths, in periods of wind and no wind, in potentially strong tidal environments and with shorelines made of wildly different materials.

    I'm looking to discuss designs suitable for one and/or two person adventure cruises with no reserves on the locations for the cruise.

    Have at it guys and gals. I really would like to hear all your thoughts and encourage spirited discussion regarding the potential of this type of boat. Feel free to share your past experiences that have shaped your opinions and please keep an open mind about the positions of others if they differ from your own.

    There's a lot of really superior knowledge on this Forum and I'd like to have that power brought to to the fore in this discussion. It doesn't matter if you are a practicing designer or a part time boater with a passion. Let's hear your opinions.

    Chris Ostlind
    Lunada Design
  2. Dan S
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Dan S Junior Member

    For two people coastal traveling, I would say the designer should stick to the KISS principle.

    • Sloop rig
    • Lifting fin with bulb (let you get in close to the beach)
    • Small berth
    • Well balanced, so that you don’t have to constantly be attending the helm.
    • Cold molded hull.
    When I get home, I will post a photo of a yacht that looks real similar to what I’m talking about.
  3. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

  4. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    Define Planing trimaran. Specific, concise description, if you don't mind. Is there an example sailing to support the defintion?
  5. jarhead
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    jarhead Junior Member

    a woods 'janus' is just right for this discussion. you can modify it to suit individual preferences perhaps, but it is brilliant solution to the stated specifications.
  6. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Planing trimaran

    My answer to the question above regarding defining planing trimarans has been moved to it's own topic under "Multihulls" so as to avoid any possibility of changing the topic of this thread which is very interesting.
  7. skyl4rk
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    skyl4rk Junior Member

    The yawl rig allows for masts fore and aft, leaving a center area open for accommodations.
  8. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    My bid would be Rozinante but she exceeds your length specs by three and change feet. If you haven't read it (and I am sure you probably have)... The Compleat Cruiser by L. Francis Herreshoff is an interesting and informative read into the enjoyment of cruising. It covers quite a bit about what makes up a good cruising boat along with numerous tips, tricks and techniques to make the most out of cruising. Perhaps using the boat as a starting point you could update its specs while incorporating the best of its virtues.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    and the site where these come from:
    1 person likes this.
  9. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    By this I mean trimming her down a tad, say to 24 ft (about 10%) but maybe only going 5-7% on beam and depth, to keep things habitable. Boosting the crown on the cabin would regain an inch or two on the headroom, as would elevating the cabin sides (I don't think it would detract from the appearance too much)

  10. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    It seems to me that we're talking about camping, when the matter is stripped to its essence, and we already have a lot of off-the-rack categories in camping that adapt easily to beach cruising.

    Kayaks and canoes hover somewhere on the line between backpacking and horse packing, in terms of convenience and luxury. You can carry quite a bit more in a canoe than you can carry on your back, but the weight is limited. If you go up to an open monohull, like the Core Sound boats, you fall into the category of tent-camping by car. If you go up another notch in size, luxury, and complexity, so that you have some sort of interior accomodations, it's analogous to camping in a small trailer or pickup camper.

    Luxury is good, but so are some of the other options that are less luxurious. One of the major motivators for backpacking is to reach places that you can't reach in a car or other motorized transport, and canoes and kayaks are a bit like that. Making the boat light enough to portage opens up many cruising grounds not accessible to boats that can only be moved with a trailer.

    The range that interests me most is intermediate between canoes and kayaks and larger boats with accomodations, because while these in-between boats are not as portable as canoes and kayaks, they are much more seaworthy, and open up offshore islands and other destinations not easily reached by the little boats. Where I live, the coast is fairly steep-to, with only the occasional pass out into the Gulf via sometimes dangerous inlets, so a small boat has to have some degree of seaworthiness if you want to go out and catch a few mackerel. People go kayaking out there, but I'm chicken.

    The little cat I'm building is a multihull version of the open unballasted monohull cruising dinghies. Big enough to handle some bad conditions, decked over at the bows and sterns for lots of flotation, and with enough payload for two to camp in relative luxury. It draws about 10 inches, board up, fully loaded. It would be light enough to drag over a bar into a river system usually inaccessible to bigger boats.

    The camping analogy that I like for the little cat is the horse packing expedition. Compared to backpacking, horse packing is pretty luxurious-- you can take a big tent, you can take a Dutch oven, you can sleep on a cot instead of the ground.

    The little cat can take you to many of the places you could go in a kayak, but you can take a much greater weight of luxuries than you could in a kayak.

    The great advantage of a small lightweight multihull, aside from speed and exhilarating sailing, is that it can be trailed without complicated mechanisms for extending beam. That makes it more practical in an important way than a larger cat or tri that has to be fiddled with at the ramp for an hour or two before you can sail away. In fact, this necessary complexity in larger multihulls designed for beach camping is the main reason many find them inferior to a monohull cruising dinghy.

    At 16 feet LOA, and 8.5 feet overall beam, my design is really a little less than optimal beam for its length. But it should be adequate, as long as I don't get carried away with sail area. The idea is to have a boat that can be used for a weekend getaway on short notice, since that's the logical way to approach weather when you're beach camping. Back when I owned a big boat and we had to plan our vacations well in advance, sometimes we spent a week anchored in high winds. It was still fun, but...
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  11. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    Any chance of seeing any sketches of your idea,Ray? I kind of like the idea.....
  12. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    I'll see what I can put up over the next few days.
  13. SAE140

    SAE140 Guest

    Is the 24ft LOA upper limit "on the trailer", or "in the water" ?
    I've got one design in mind which would have a 7ft detachable bow section which would be stored on the cockpit area whilst on the trailer.

    Although I was originally thinking of 33ft LOA (in the water), I reckon this could be scaled down to 31ft easily enough in order to meet a 24ft trailer limit.

    5ft beam, draft of 4 to 5 feet (keel down), 6 inches or so with keel up.

  14. Sean Herron
    Joined: May 2004
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    Sean Herron Senior Member



    One of Matt Laydens many little successful boats...

    I am considering building one - against all the scoffers at my place of work...

    See below...

    See - as a start point...



    Attached Files:

    longliner45 likes this.

  15. rayaldridge
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    I think that Layden's designs are remarkable. I bought a set of plans for Paradox, even though I'm a multihull guy, just to admire and learn from the many ingenious ideas in the design.


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