Low Cost Voyaging Sailboat Designs

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by skyl4rk, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. skyl4rk
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Lake Michigan

    skyl4rk Junior Member

    What are some good low building cost sailboat designs that would be adequate for crossing the Atlantic?
  2. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    If you want to cross the Atlantic, in a safe way, you'd better eliminate the term "low cost design" from your SOR.
    There is a way to get a cheap and good boat and is to entrust its design and construction to good honest professionals. None of them will commit to making a "low cost" boat, below their costs. The other "trick" to make a "low cost" boat is to remove elements and equipment or lower the quality of the materials. I do not recommend it either.
  3. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    In part it depends on whether you go east-west or west-east. The former is usually easier via the trade winds

    Cheapest these days is to buy a used boat. Anything over 25ft can make the crossing, anything over 35 and you'll be comfortable doing so

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs


    tane and dsigned like this.
  4. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The Mini Transat boats are 21 feet and routinely cross the Atlantic.
  6. skyl4rk
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    skyl4rk Junior Member

    Roger Taylor's concept seems to be a good one for cold weather:

    positive flotation
    small insulated cabin
    rig and steering managed from inside the cockpit

    Are there any plans for boats that could be used with these construction and rigging methods?
  7. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    RHP Senior Member

    I have the same yacht as Roger Taylors Ming Ming an Achilles 24, built in 1974. I would sail her across an ocean no problem once she would have been properly fitted out. Wouldn't be too comfortable however that's not the boats fault.....
    A II likes this.
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Boats suitable for ocean crossings are much more dependant on the skipper, than the actual boat design. Size is the obvious limitation, for a few reasons, the first being able to carry enough of what you need, like water, food and enough speed to get you there in the allotted time. You can cross in a 20' Flica, but you'll be packed to the gills to carry enough the 3 weeks of food and water to make a 3,000 passage. That's a long time to spend aboard with barely enough room to lie down, though plenty have done it, most find this a bit cramped.

    At 25', boats have enough elbow room, storage, stores volume and motion, to make the trip much more tolerable. 30' - 35' seems a very common cruiser size, being small enough to still easily handle solo, pay for slip fees, while still offering comfort, stores room, etc.

    As far as a low cost design, well there's no such thing. Building new wouldn't be the economical route to swim. Buying a well used 26' - 29' something or other, fitting her out as you want her, then casting off would be the most economical way, to get it done. I know of several boats you can have for a song. A Cal 40 is available near here, on a mooring, sailed occasionally, needs some work, but is currently a functioning sailboat for less than $10k. She's not ready for an Atlantic crossing, but some sails, winches, rigging, general repairs, etc. and she would be.
    A II likes this.
  9. Sailor Alan
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Excellent advice above, PAR and Richard at least are experienced offshore sailors.

    Mini Transats ‘RACE’ across the Atlantic, and I for one abandon comfort in the interests of speed. There is a correlation between vessel weight and comfort, though not necessarily speed. At the bottom end, West Wright Potters at 15’ have routinely made long trips, and Flika 20’ and Dana 24’ have made very long trips. Check out the Jester Challenge http://www.pbo.co.uk/news/jester-challenge-preparing-solo-adventure-18718 for smaller boats, some even “trailer sailers’ setting out across the Atlantic.

    Low cost is a mater of attitude, though you need to start with a sound hull and deck. Keep your hatches closed at sea, and I would probably use an electronic self steering, solar based, and less likely to damage at sea?

  10. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Here's an example of the less is more attitude from Cruising World oct. 1992 page 13, see the article on the white background about Tom Colvin's last built and owned boat, the 37' cargo schooner Antelope...

    ( the article was earlier posted on the thread: Thomas Colvin's designs ---> post #18 )
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
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