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Little Big Boat
A Junk Rigged Tralier Cruiser
by Michael Surface msurface@hotmail.com

Essential statistics

LOA    15'-0"
LWL    10'-1/2"
L Trailing    18'-9"
Beam    7'-0"
Draft Minimum    0'-9"
Maximum    3'-9"
HR Max    3'-0" (seating)
HR Max    5'-0" (standing)
Displacement    2100lb
Trailer Weight    600lb
Ballast    (water)-500lb
Sail Area    149.125 ft squared
Mast    (AWL)-16'-10"


The Little Big Boat is modeled after a sampan with an enclosed living space and a junk rig. The boat is only 15 feet long which makes it easy to build and store in a standard 20' by 20' garage. The boat is to be made of 1/4 inch plywood with exterior covered in fiberglass and interior covered in epoxy. Framing is to be cut from standard 2 X 4's or 1 by's. Overall cost could be as low as $2500.00 if finished simply.

Everything in this boat is designed for ease of use. Construction should be relatively easy using simple "instant boat" methods that require no lofting. The hull is a simple scow design using the approach of Phil Bolger in which the side and bottom follow the same line to provide smooth flow across the chines. This should give the boat good (but slow) sailing performance. Water ballast (500 lb in two 250 lb areas on the port and starboard of the boat) is used to make the boat self-righting. This boat should be safe for lake, river, or coastal cruising.

The cabin is large and roomy with large windows of lexan ala Bolger's Birdwatcher. The boat as drawn shows rather complex cabinetry, but it could be built more simply. Either approach will provide large areas of secure storage space, including hanging storage. Areas have been set aside for sleeping, food storage and preparation, water storage, and sanitation.

The outboard (4 to 6 hp) is mounted in its own area with provisions for two 5 gallon gas tanks mounted to port and starboard. This arrangement allows an outboard without interference with the rudder. The rudder can be operated from two possible positions. On the higher position it allows a good forward view. In the lower position, the helmsman is protected from the weather. A sunshade can be stretched over the cockpit and the cabin hatch to protect against rain and weather.

While some would say that a junk rig is not a simple rig, it offers some advantages over more conventional rigs. First, the sail is a straight cut which makes it simpler to make. Second, once the rigging is completed, the junk rig is an easy one to single-hand, with all lines running to the cockpit. The mast has a tabernacle that makes setting up the rig easy.



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