looking for the right boat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by minno, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. minno
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    minno Junior Member

    Hi All

    I'm looking to build a light (less than 250lbs/110kg) one man sailboat that can handle rough weather and open water and am hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

    Any Ideas?

  2. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    A little more specifics will help.

    Open water means - big lake, bigger lake ( michigan, etc) , costal, across the english channel, trans atlantic.

    How long? Day sailing, 1 week, etc.


    Mono or multihull?

    Slow cruising, crusing, faster trips?

    250# seems more like day sailing , perhaps along a great lakes shoreline.
  3. rcnesneg
    Joined: Sep 2013
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    rcnesneg Senior Member

    Are you familiar with the SCAMP? It's over your weight limit at 420 lbs (of which I believe about a third is water ballast), but it seems quite seaworthy and a beautiful little craft!


  4. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    It is going to be difficult to find a rough weather sailboat that light.

    You also might consider some of designs by Matt Layden, such as paradox. There are other smaller ones that matt layden designed that might be more like you are looking for. These are small boats designed for off shore sailing all kinds of weather.

  5. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Most racing dinghies can handle strong winds and rough seas. Even children sailing Optimists


    here in Norway, and lots of dinghies racing off N Wales here (the Solo mentioned is a wood singlehander)


    it really depends on how athletic you want to be, and your sailing skill level

    Remember a 2 man 16ft Wayfarer sailed UK to Norway and UK to Iceland


    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

  6. minno
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    minno Junior Member

    Hi All :)

    Thanks for your replies

    I guess I should have put in more specifics, I'll try to answer upchurchmr's questions.

    I don't drive and need something light so I can wheel it down to the boat launch and back, I think 250lbs is about as much as I can handle if I build a little powered cart.

    I'm sailing amongst the Gulf Islands and may sail across the the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver and around to the west coast of Vancouver Island to Tofino.

    I probably won't go out for more than 3 nights at a time and will camp on the beach overnights and get fresh water from streams.

    I'd prefer a monohull as it would be much easier to rig for my cart.

    I want to go as fast as I can :cool: but I'd also like to stay fairly dry and have stowage for gear.

    Thanks for the link Petros, I'll have a look.

    The Scamp is gorgeous, I'd love to have something like that but it's a bit heavy for me.

    Hi Richard, I emailed you about the Zest, sent a few more pictures of the Duo I built.

    Thanks for the links, that Optimist video looks like a total rush.

    as to my skill level, well, I just ordered the complete idiot's guide to sailing but I sail every day so I figure I'll get better fairly quickly, one of the few perks of getting older is one has more time, of course the downside is having less energy:)

    Stay Safe

  7. plebian
    Joined: Sep 2015
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    plebian Junior Member

  8. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    If you want something quite quick but a maybe a fraction open you could do a lot worse than the K1...;) I'll personally verify it is a nice boat to sail, having had my arm twisted to try one in a 4 to 5 with no spare clothing etc etc...

  9. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I thought it might be you, but wasn't sure

    I think a 14ft Zest with Tryst outriggers (which you already have) would work for you. The cockpit floor is flat and 6ft long. All up weight is well under 100kgs and you could even move the main hull first and go back for outriggers

    But I wouldn't go past Race Rocks in one, nor indeed in any of the boat mentioned so far

    (To Sukisolo) can you easily beach a K1, and move it round on shore several hundred yards from house to water? The keel alone weighs more than a Zest hull and I think he wants to build his own.

    Even though he designed the, sort of similar, F15, I think Uffa Fox's steamroller comments still apply to dinghies!

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

  10. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Certainly the K1 is easy enough to move on it's trolley, and I'm fairly sure a small portable ie onboard stowed beast could be carried. It's just another way of aproaching the stability issue without too much performance loss. If you remove the light mast, boom and sails the hull (and board) is 5Kg below the OP's target of 110Kg. Not a home build option though, where your nice ply design excels.

    Yup - Weight, uh!, what is is good for - absolutely nothing!
    To misqoute Uffa, but definitely correct for dinghies.

    A Streaker would not be a bad option but the relatively low freeboard makes it a bit of a 'wet' ride in rough water. I knew one chap who did serious voyaging solo in a Mirror 16, which IMHO was a much nicer and lighter boat than the venerable Wayfarer. Pity the plans etc have been 'lost' as this may have been an option too.
  11. minno
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    minno Junior Member

    Hi All :)

    sorry, I should have said I wanted to build my own, it's easier to slip expenses by the chief financial officer of the bank of wife a bit at a time then all at once ;) and I really enjoyed building my Duo.

    I guess I don't really need a boat that can handle very heavy weather, at least not for any longer than it takes to make it to the beach, thing is, I'm going to be alone 99% of the time so I'd like to have a hefty safety margin in case I do get myself in trouble.

    the K1 looks really nice but as Richard pointed out it'd be a bit tough to handle on the beach, I haul out at a boat launch so no problem there, but if I had to take refuge on a shingle beach the boat would get pretty beat up by the time I got it on the trolley while a light flat bottomed boat would just get a few scratches from being dragged over the shingle, I suppose a beach cat would be the thing to have in that situation.
    I'd still like to have one, but then if I had every boat I'd like to have I'd have to have a marina to keep them in :)

    The hobie cat would be great for diving and crabbing and I do a fair amount of both, I have 3 wetsuits so I suppose getting wet isn't a big deal, on the other hand peeing while wearing a wetsuit is :)
    There's a Hobie dealer in town so I'll go have a look, I suppose a couple of big plastic coolers would work for stowage and I could place them fore and aft to keep an even keel, it'd be pretty easy to build a little coroplast tow along for long trips that wouldn't interfere with the rudders.

    I'll have a look for Cat plans as well, the Pixie looks fun and doable.

    Thanks for all your input

  12. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    RHP Senior Member

    One way to get round the wight problem would be to get a welder to build a simple towing frame to the back of a bicycle so you could hitch up a launching trolley and avoid the carry weight. There're some great and safe dinghies out there and finding a better transport solution would open them up to you. Good luck.
  13. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    If you plan on beaching your boat, even 250# is too much. You need to be able to drag it up above the high tide surf in a storm. Even with a tackle, you don't want to drag a 250# hull. Fortunately, 1 person can beach-camp cruise comfortably in a boat with a bare hull half that heavy. But you may need to take 400# of gear out of it at night to drag it, but no big deal. All that junk makes a good beach anchor. This little Pram-bowed 14'er took a Snipe rig and was built by Mac Dinghy in the 50's. It weighed about 125# stock, but a bit more after a centerboard and kickup rudder were fitted. So look at the several Mirror Dink knock-off designs from that era. They were easy, light, and seaworthy.

    <edit added> One other point. The sea conditions in deep water rarely matter much to a beach cruiser. The reason is that all of the real problems are within 50' of the shore. I could sail the Mac in 30 knots, but beaching it in 20 knots was pretty sporting (and once I split the hull when I surfed in to a small island and ran over a cypress stump with a big load in the boat. That was an interesting predicament). And launching off the beach and passing the surf line with just one of you is nearly impossible much over 15 knots.

    Attached Files:

  14. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    There are some ancient designs that fit you SOR -kayaks of greenland and the aleutian islands, and outrigger canoes of pacific islanders.

    Lots of good suggestions here already but given your location I see three major considerations we have not addressed, rain, cold water, and light or no wind. From what I read these are common in your location and you will be hard pressed to find 3 days without one or all of them. For rain and cold I suggest you consider a boat that covers at least half your body sailing and all your body comfortably when you are not. For light to no wind I suggest a very easily propelled hull and good human powered thrust.

    If you haven't seen them you should check out Matt L.s designs -you can not help being impressed by the trips these little boats have put under their keels.


    and there is a paradox builders forum on yahoo with lots of Scandinavian builders. One guy put a teak deck on his ...

    Scott designed a sail/row/bike-trailer craft for your location.


    I have some similar but much prettier designs bookmarked if you are interested (they are not as roomy or easy to build).

    A great place to look for designs is


    Almost every good design has been tried ~300+/year for over a decade and you can see how they failed. My suggestion for you would be something like Meade Gougeon's sailing canoe with a dodger/tent canvas. He literally wrote the book on small boat building and he finished pretty high in a recent race -he must 80 something. I have a good 2 sheet 19ft canoe design if you need it.

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  15. minno
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    minno Junior Member

    Hi All:)

    I really appreciate all the input and resources :)

    the main problem weight wise is dragging the boat up the boat launch, about 100 yards of ~ 10% grade at low tide with a fair amount of flotsam to drag the cart over, after that it's not bad.
    I was planning on a little 3 wheel cart (wood so it floats) powered by a variable speed cordless drill. I'd like to be able to bring it along in the boat, might even be able to combine it with a bicycle, fortunately my dad's a retired welder so that part would be cheap and easy.

    I was a bit surprised at how little wind there is here, on any given day I can see at least one and usually several sailboats from my window and just assumed there'd be ample wind. fortunately I really enjoy rowing :) And I've found that oars make good spars for my sprit sail which also gets them out of my way when sailing.

    Thanks again for all your help and links to resources.

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