older folkboat- how seaworthy would this be?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Godwinned, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Godwinned
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Godwinned Junior Member

    hi everyone. I love this old boat but know nothing about these. I just wondered if this boat would be able to cross an ocean? I have heard they are very seaworthy vessels. I like the boat very much and wish to buy it but want a boat capable of ocean crossings , the owners states:

    28' wooden sailboat, red cedar hull, 36' sitka mast, 6' beam, 4' draught, fully rigged and operational - includes 2 sets sails, paddles, lifejackets, mooring ropes etc., and fir timber cradle for storage and transport. Cabin interior is unfinished. Sails beautifully.

    anyone with knowledge on this type of boat please advise....


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  2. RHough
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    RHough Retro Dude

    That is not a Folkboat.

    Note the differences in keel and cabin.
  3. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Agreed - it isn't a Folkboat

    Problems with these older designs are lack of room below and on deck. And they tend to be very wet at sea. Neither are seaworthiness considerations, more a comfort thing. Often manouvering under power is "challenging"

    What will affect seaworthiness though is whether it has a self draining cockpit or not. Many older wood boats (including early Folkboats) did not and that would make it dangerous to take offshore

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

  4. ThomD
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    ThomD Senior Member

    My thought based on a life with boats is that unless you are unusually perseverant, or have already crossed many an ocean, your desire to own a boat that might someday be put to that use, should not trump your desire to buy a boat you truly believe is your perfect boat at the moment.

    That boat seems terribly narrow, it is basically a canoe, in fact a canoe is much more form stable. I tried briefly to find the specs for Jester, the 25' transat special. It certainly looks stockier. If you wanted to put your boat on the same path, it might be possible with a completely enclosed capsule like the Jester. Then you need some kind of rig that can be extremely easily handled from inside, since there isn't really a deck left you can get out on. If that rig were a secondary junk rig, not a lot more powerful than Jester, you might be able to truck along without too much motion, and with greatly improved survival capability.
  5. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    I am not an expert on classic boats, but that looks to me like a boat designed for some kind of class racing, hence the tiny cabin and limited deck space, and long narrow hull with the low freeboard.

    they are at best used for weekend trips in coastal or inland waters, or entering vintage wood boat regattas. looks like a fun boat to sail, enjoy it for what it is.

    not sure it would be comfortable for longer trips unless solo, with careful planning and modern weather information you can use it for some long crossings, though most would not. Many have done far crazier things. back in the seventies there were a couple of "hippies" that built a 16 ft open dingy sailor (no cabin), filled it with canned goods and sail it to Hawaii from southern California, but I would not advise it (not particularly safe, and certainly not comfortable).

    If you intend to take it off shore, make sure you have it surveyed by a competent NA or marine engineer. You can also see if it might be worth adding some reinforcement to the hull and stronger rigging if necessary, to strengthen it for deep water sailing. It would be worth it if you are determined to sail beyond coastal waters. Though personally I would want something with a little more room if I was going to spend many weeks off shore, and I do likely smaller "pocket" cruisers (under 30 ft), it is just that design does not look particularly comfortable to spend much time below decks waiting out poor weather.

    good luck.
  6. Martin B.
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Martin B. Junior Member

    From the hull shape, the OP's craft appears to be of the "Square Metre" type. The "Squares" were developed in Scandanavia to perform on their fiords and generally were long, low wooded craft with narrow beam, very long overhangs and light displacement. Rigs had tall narrow mains and enormous overlapping genoas , the most extreme ones comming back aft of the mainsail leech !

    At 28' the OP's craft may be based on the smallest of the squares viz the rare 15 square metre - only a very few were ever built.

    There was a well known 30 square metre Tre-Sang which competed successfully in ocean races in UK in the 1940's including Fastnet races. She was about 42' long. 7' beam on a 27' waterline.

    I owned and raced a 22 square metre which was 37' long x less than 7' beam on about 25' waterline and thought that if Tre-Sang could do a Fastnet then a 22 square could race offshore in the Indian Ocean off Fremantle. I loved racing her on the Swan River but a couple of scary experiences off Fremantle pumping huge amounts of water out of the cockpit after she sailed straight thru wave after wave was enough to convince me to restrict sailing this beautiful craft on enclosed waters only.


    If you stick to enclosed waters then the OP's craft should be just fine but I suggest you stay away from open oceans in such slender, low wooded, long overhang beautiful craft !
    For more info on square metre type yachts see the Australian Square metre Association's website asqma.com or just Google 'square metre yachts' for some real eye candy.

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  7. bpw
    Joined: May 2012
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    bpw Senior Member

    That boat is a bit similar to a Knarr, and I sure wouldn't take one of those offshore without a real good reason. You would probably make it (people cross oceans in all kinds of crazy stuff) if you had some good weather luck, but things could go wrong real fast. Lots of better choices out there. That boat looks to be designed as a lake/coastal day-sailor.

    Folk boats and similar boats (contessas, meri-holms) have a very good reputation as sea boats, but they are still a very old design. Boats have progressed in the last 60 years quite a bit.
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