Design suggestions for a turncoat sailor

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Eric Odle, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. tspeer
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    tspeer Senior Member

    I'd add so you can take it home to work on it. I get very little done on my boat during the week, simply because it's an hour's drive each way to where it is moored.

    Getting work done on the boat at a boatyard is a major logistical operation. I need crew to go through the locks to Lake Union. A car needs to be pre-positioned for when we get there, and the car left at the home marina has to be picked up. So two round trips, with ferries, are required. If it was trailerable, I could pull it out of the water near the marina, drive it over to the boatyard, drop it off, and go home. Easy.

    And trailerability opens up a lot of possibilities for cruising, especially in the Pacific Nortwhest, which was the intended cruising ground. The F-boat sailors have a saying, "15 kt by sea, 55 kt by land."

    If a Seattle sailor wants to go cruising the inside passage, it takes a day's sail to get to Port Townsend and in another day they they will be in the San Juans or clearing customs at Sidney, BC. to start their real cruise. Then they have to spend two days coming back. With a trailerable boat, they can be in the San Juans that afternoon, or take a ferry over to Vancouver Is. to start their cruise there. They will save 2 - 4 days minimum, depending on how far north they want to cruise. If you only have a week off from work, that makes a tremendous difference as to what you can do.
  2. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Don't get me wrong Tom... I'm a strong advocate for trailerable boats and I agree with all you've said. I just wanted to make the point to Eric that it's important to define the reasons why you want your boat to be trailerable. That in turn will define what sort of trailer boat it has to be... and indeed whether it really needs to be trailerable at all....
  3. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    The pressure to move up in size gets to almost all of us when looking at possible new boats. When reading a book of designs, it's usual to keep jumping to the bigger and fancier ones as we go along. Some years ago we sold our cruising keelboat and moved inland near a large lake. We bought a small 22 footer that we thought we could get along with until getting back near the coast. That was a turning point and we have never looked back. The advantages of a trailerable boat made it certain that we would never own a boat confined to a marina slip again.

    Will's breakdown on trailerboats, trailerable boats and transportable boats is a good one. The first can be hauled by a family vehicle, the second needs more robust power of a special vehicle and the latter requires hiring the job out to professionals. Some will have different resources and different interpretation of where the breaks are between these classes. For me, Gerr's Northwest Cruiser fits in the latter category at 15,000 pounds. Few people will ever own a vehicle that can move that one across the yard, much less cross-country.

    There is no one answer but both Will and Tom Speer offer the valid considerations that need to be looked at seriously before making a decision.
  4. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    About MJM boat the "0" defect must make the lawyer salivating. :D

    You have to be quite out of reality to make a statement like that in the US.

    A more prudent copyrighting approach will have not make the boat a bad boat, perhaps even more appealing.

    Behind the glossy stupidity, it looks like a very nice boat and I like the Zurn design in general. He is very talented.

    1 person likes this.
  5. Eric Odle
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    Eric Odle Tugboat Mariner

    Thanks folks, yes I have been evaluating the various levels of trailerability to figure out where things break even cost wise and how much of this I'm willing to trade off for accomodations mostly. I've never owned a boat on a trailer however, and a lot of the impetus comes from my last haulout experience. It was quite a job time and expense wise to solve all the various bottom issues, not to mention the $750 price tag just for the bottom paint. So cost is definitely a factor, and reducing maintenance expenses would be desireable.

    Also, boats sitting in the water should not be neglected. I'm unable to check on my boat while I'm working on the tugs for 8 weeks at a stretch. In the wintertime this causes me some concern. So many points of failure can sink a boat that's getting knocked around... You do your best to check them all before heading off, but can you really ever be 100% certain something won't go wrong? Friends and family can keep an eye on things, but it's not you who knows the boat best. If there's a problem when the boat is in the water, I would like to be there to do something about it.

    But it seems I have some leeway because I'm not just putting in for the weekend, I'll put in for 6 or 7 weeks at a stretch, generally 2-3 times per year. I could hire out the towing at that rate and still come out ahead.

    And I'm a believer that boats should be just big enough to be comfortable and no bigger. Which means I'll probably start looking at boats on the smaller side and negotiate my way up until my wife feels its doable. This is a woman who lived in a tent for months at a time while tree planting, so maybe there's some hope of going smaller. Mr. Speer's suggestion of the F-27 trimaran is intriguing and we'll be looking closer into that option.

    David Gerr came back with information on his DR Northwest Cruiser, and to his knowledge none have been built. If there's so little demand for the design, would I ever be able to sell such a boat? Something to think about there...
  6. timothy22
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    timothy22 Junior Member

    there are production box keel boats being built. This is a French Boreal 44. Years ago, one could buy box keel sailboats in the 23-26 foot range. In the smaller boats the cabin sole was in the box, increasing headroom.

    Attached Files:

  7. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    You're a lucky man. One of my wife's more infamous quotes is, "why on earth would anyone sleep in a tent, when they can drive to town and stay in a motel instead?!?":(
  8. Eric Odle
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    Eric Odle Tugboat Mariner

    Nice aluminum! I recall seeing a box keel design years ago, not knowing what it was called, and thinking it would be nice for beaching in some third world country or another. It was a steel vessel in the yard in Bellingham.

    Any recollection of what those earlier box keel boats were called? I wouldn't mind keeping an eye out for them, and box keel doesn't bring up quite the right hits.
  9. wardd
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    wardd Senior Member

    my ex thought a motel with bw tv was roughing it
  10. timothy22
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    timothy22 Junior Member

  11. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    The George Buehler 45' Pilgrim is his best design.

    That boat can be diesel or outboard. With diesel the draft is 3'-0" with outboard it seems to be about 12". With the 12" draft you can beach it.

    It is a big design but George claims it can be built for $15,000.00. Very simple construction, most beginning boat builders would have the skill to construct it.

    With the money you save $50,000.00 available minus $15,000.00 for building boat, with $35,000.00 left to spare you should be able to take care of other concerns.

    The boat has never been built, I think of George as a turncoat and other than his idlewood design none of his diesel ducks a really efficient operating or building. On the other hand, Pilgrim is overlooked, but it seems capable, efficient, seaworthy, and able to take on two couples by converting table area into double.

    George says only one couple. Maybe you would be able to extend deckhouse 2' for everyone to sit inside during bad weather.
  12. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Looked at the CMD designed "Redwing 26", neat little boat with very strong similarities to the Buehler "Pilgrim 45". If as you say "use for a couple, 7-8 weeks" the Redwing would be to small.
  13. Eric Odle
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Eric Odle Tugboat Mariner

    Actually I've been examining the CMD "Trailer Cruiser 32", which in many respects is comparable to Gerr's NW Cruiser but with some different layout options. The link is here:

    The site doesn't give a great deal of information, but I purchased the study plan (very easy to do!) and took a look, and sure enough it has an aft stateroom as well as a few other features I could definitely use. The box keel on the CMD design appears more pronounced.

    One question to the designers here, is it a typical service to provide CAD/CNC information to a CNC aluminum shop to cut out the aluminum hull pieces? CMD has this on their site and it seems quite brilliant to me, but then maybe this is standard practice. It certainly makes sense and I will likely request this information whether it is standard practice or not.
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    One thing to keep in mind about "trailer boats", PERMITS!

    IF the boat , and trailer are under 8ft 6 inches wide , there are no permits required in the USA.

    Although the trailer might require brakes, depending on trailer weight.

    Over 8ft 6in depends on each state, some are really generous as to what you can drag behind with no permit , some 10ft.

    So if you are on a USA tour the 8ft6 will be far easier to live with.

    Just to get it in the back yard? Check your individual state.

    Only other HARD limit is 65 ft from front of two vehicle to rear of tow.


  15. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    And don't forget the hight: no more than 13' 6" without a permit
    Break if the whole trailer boat is more than 3000 lbs.

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