Please crush my sailboat dreams with tales of limitations

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Sevenam, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Sevenam
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

    Sevenam New Member

    Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and newly interested in sailboating.

    The boat I want to build would be light, sleep 2 people, and be operable by a single person. I do not have a long period of time to build it, but I could invest up to 300 hours or so. The initial trip would be from Pittsburgh, PA to Florida, on the Ohio River and later the Mississippi. If it is feasible to make a camper boat with my limitations, that would be great, if not, I can sleep under a tarp or camp on land. (I really want something with a cabin though:p )

    From my 3 whole hours of research, I am leaning towards a trimaran design, possibly even a trimaran hydrofoil.

    In general, I am looking for advice of what to build, what to build with, costs, possible pitfalls, design, and limitations.

    My brain's a big empty pit and I want you to shovel in some sailing stuff.

  2. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Finland/Norway

    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    With your time limits better chances with a dory...
  3. tabman
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Mount Pleasant, SC

    tabman Junior Member

    I would suggest looking at some of Phil Bolger's designs. A quick web search will very likely get your imagination going.
  4. tazmann
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: California

    tazmann Senior Member

    300 hours is not much time for building scratch to finished. smaller stich and glue or cflex along those lines maybee
  5. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    Hi sevenam,

    Finding a design to meet the performance and capability requirements you have set out should not be difficult. Bolger is one of a number of very good small-craft designers who have tackled this problem in many ways.

    Given your constraints, I would leave the trimaran idea on land. It sounds like you want to get out and cruise for weeks, not get out and blast around the bay like a hooligan for an hour. I think you'll find that few, if any, trimarans have the cruising ability you desire in a package small and simple enough to fit your (expressly stated) timeframe and your (implicit) desire for simplicity and low cost. Especially not foilers.

    On the monohull front, though, I think you'll find a good variety of 17' to 20' boats that can carry a decent stock of food, water and gear as well as a comfortable bunk. Lightness may sound desirable (especially if you're trailering), but for longer cruises there is something to be said for moderate displacement instead of ultra-light.
  6. Sevenam
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

    Sevenam New Member

    Thank you all for your comments.

    To clarify a few things:

    I want to be living out of this boat for a couple months. I'm killing some time before I ship for the Air Force in the spring.

    Weight may or may not be an issue. I plan on paying someone to get it to the river, and after that I don't see it coming out of the water for a long time.
    I figured weight would greatly affect speed, and I want something pretty fast.

    This Bolger design, the Black Skimmer, is the closest thing I've seen to what I think I want.
  7. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Finland/Norway

    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Living in a boat... forget the "lightweight". You fill the boat with your belongings in a moment and it's not even close to light never ever again... Better to see something with generous displacement..
    The Bolger cost estimate is a joke.. just proper paints costs more.. add a zero in the end and you still dealing with a low budget boat..
  8. bobg3723
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: Crystal, MN - USA

    bobg3723 Senior Member

    You might want to check out Bolger's Birdwatcher or comparable Michalack Jewelbox.

    Michalack's AF2 is a 20 footer Cuddy Sharpie, which takes 14 sheets of plywood to construct. It's more of a cruiser than a daysailer. Just enough cabin room to sit upright. It's unballasted, and might not be as easy to recover from a capsize if you haven't enough weight to put on the leeboard to right yourself.

    Most of his designs are 20' and under in length and most utilize leeboards. He has a book called 'Boatbuilding for Beginners and Beyond' that's found a home in my collection.

  9. bobg3723
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: Crystal, MN - USA

    bobg3723 Senior Member

    The Michalack Caprice seems to me like a comparable design.
  10. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Sailing on a river sucks. Tacking back and forth all day adds a bunch of mileage, meanwhile you're crosswise to all the river traffic, boats, barges etc., farting around with locks, wingdams, flotsam, too busy to enjoy the view.

    You need some sort of motorboat. Boats themselves can be free, it's the motor that counts. Check around marinas. You say you don't plan on taking it out of the water for a long time, that is why there are a lot of abandoned boats at marinas. It costs a lot to keep a boat in the water and before long the bill is more than the boat is worth.

    From Pennsylvania to Florida is mostly downriver, fuel won't be too much. For just a few months, you don't need a big boat at all. A small cabin or cover is good, but you can camp a lot and stay a night in a motel once in a while.

    You don't have time to build a boat. If you want to spend a few months on it before Spring, you ought to be packing the boat soon to avoid Winter.
  11. Seafarer24
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Tampa Bay

    Seafarer24 Sunset Chaser

    Even better would be to fly to FL, buy a boat there, and cruise the Keys with your time.

    Richard Woods has a dory-hulled catamaran design that might fit with what you're looking at. I'm not sure if you can build it within your time-table though...
  12. Omeron
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Istanbul

    Omeron Senior Member

    I hate to do this, but probably you are the only person on this planet that i can reccomend looking into a McGregor!! A very fast sailboat for protected waters indeed!
  13. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: usa

    BHOFM Senior Member

    Or an older Catalina 22!
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'd suggest some serious counseling, possibly involving some electro shock therapy . . .

    Considering your dream, you're probably two boats away (at least) from the actual one you need for the adventure.

    Forget about the foil boats and any other cool looking fancy thing for now. You need experience first. You don't give a 16 year old a Mercedes as their first car. You give them a well spanked 72 Chevy 4 door, so the dents will blend in with the others and finding replacement fenders is relatively easy and cheap.

    A river cruise, such as yours suggests a powerboat, but a motorsailor, with a healthy and hefty engine could get it done too.

    Running down the Ohio and Mississippi, isn't for the faint hearted. This is a major highway, filled with locks and commercial traffic, many of which have very limited maneuverability in which to avoid someone, who has no brained themselves into a situation.

    You need to learn the rules of the road and the safe operation of a pleasure craft. This will cause pain, both to you and your boat, so get a well used beater, fix it up a little and get out on the water and enjoy.

    My recommendation is a flat bottomed sharpie type hull. They're easy to propel with an outboard (or inboard), they can sail if you want (though the design has to accommodate in this regard), this style of boat is easy to build, modest in materials and build cost and will let you cut your teeth on a project, while the electro shock and sadistic therapy takes effect.

    If you haven't learned you lesson after this then a larger, more worthy craft may be in the offing, but in the mean time, I'll pray the probes in your ears treatments, pay off and you can get back to a normal life.

    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Running down the Ohio and Mississippi, isn't for the faint hearted.

    The Ohio is fine the Miss SUCKS!!!

    The towns play "beggar thy neighbor" so if the nearby town has a 60 ft levee they build a 65 footer.No scenery, all the way down.

    Almost no scenery , no marinas , just anchoring in a busy thouroughfare with no protection from 24/7 BIG barge traffic.

    Contemplate using the Ten Tom , far far more scenic and 1000% less hazardous.

    Any old motorboat should do just fine , sailing in a river or canal doesn't work well.

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