A Simple Boat
Design by David Routh Shorty@ShortyPen.com
Length Overall - 14'
Length Waterline - 13'
Length Trailering - Cartop OR trailer at 18' overall
Beam - 4'
Draught - 3"
Interior Headroom - 24' under deck, 60" under cockpit tent
Displacement - 175lbs
Trailering Weight - 375 lbs (175lbs + 200lb trailer)
Sail Area(s) - 73 sqft
Mast height AWL - 12'
Cruise in skinny water without the need for an engine, overnight
1-2 (or 1 and 1/2 in my case) in a simple little sailboat with minimum cost &
construction time. The lines are borrowed from the Bolger June Bug, Michalak AF3 and the
San Juan 21. Cabin space is produced by cutting the bottom out of a cheap Walmart 6' x 4'
tent and snapping it over top of the cockpit. Without a companion way seperating the
cockpit from the cabin, you have more space to stretch out.
MEETING MINIMAL DESIGN CONTEST GUIDELINES:
1. Is for cruising safely in coastal areas normally displaying
settled conditions. This implies some attention to both shoal ability and seaworthiness.
A foam filled airbox at the bow and stern provides positive floatation, while the
kick up leeboard will allow exploration of very skinny water.
2. Must use sail as its primary motive power. Four sided
3. Must be legally trailerable behind a family car. Design to your
local laws or max beam 2.5m, up to you. Launch and retrieval should be easy for two
people. It is just light enough to car-top with a special lifting apparatus.
175lbs is about the maximum I think is car-toppable without major engineering.
At 14' without a motor, you don't have to register here in Texas. Possibly take the
money saved from not registering and buy a cheapy $200 general purpose trailer at the
local Home Depot to haul this cruiser to the water. You wouldn't have to dunk the trailer,
just slide the boat off back and into the water.
4. Must be capable of acting as a basic home to 2 adults for up to
a week. Cabins, cuddies, boom tents, beaching and shore camping, or combinations of these
are all acceptable. Sleeps 2, but would have to be cozy enough with the other person
to sleep though. I don't think I would sleep in there with my sailing buddy Tim, but he
could easily construct his own boat and bring it along. Backpackers, canoe-ers, and
kayak-ers all seem to be able to go off for weeks at a time, surely one would be able to
cruise in this little boat for the same time span.
5. Must be home buildable with normal DIY hand/ power tools
.materials & construction methods are open. 5 sheets of 1/4 plywood (with
lots of odd shaped pieces left over), make the sides, nail the stern & stem.
Squeeze a 4' wide wedge in the middle, attach bulkheads, bottom & decks.
6. Must cost under $US10k or equivalent, including trailer which,
along with items providing motive power, may be second hand. All other
material/fittings to be new. All joints held together with drywall screws and
copious use of titebond II glue & paper towels to catch the dripping mess. Instead of
using epoxy, coat entire surface with "Thompsons Water Sealer", then paint with
exterior high gloss latex enamel house paint. Then paint on a layer of unbleached muslin
fabric. Materials could be under $100 if careful, but easily acquired for under $150. It
won't last forever, but it is so cheap that in 5 years you could build another hull for
less than the price of the epoxy you didn't use on the first. A testament to the
durability of a latex paint finish is Tim Webber's June bug --heading into it's 4th
-- 4' width is enough to stretch your legs out fully while sitting
cross wise and leaning your back against the side.
-- A 24" cabin height doesn't seem like much, but it is ample
space when you add a $20 Walmart tent over the cockpit. Mostly the cabin area is for
storing gear and food. The forward bulkhead has a slotted rib to allow you to secure gear
with bungee cords.
-- As bow pitches up and down over swells & chop you can
still see forward because of the downward angle of the deck.
-- A 12' mast and supporting sprits for a 4 sided sail fit inside
the hull for transportation.
-- Dang this is a tiny boat!! Though bigger than Hugo Vihlen's 5'
4" boat "Fathers Day" that crossed the atlantic in 1993.
-- The deadrise make this boat less stable in chop, but is simple