Idea Designs

Many of our most popular articles have been those where we have done a little drawing or sketch of a design with some commentary on it. This section has a great many sketches, comments, and lines drawings.   Where you see links you can follow them to drawings and text on the particular concept. Don't hesitate to chat with us through our email button on any navigation bar about these concepts.

We'd love to finish these off but are so busy with purely custom designs that we will never get to them all without a client to take them on. Custom designs run about 5% of the cost to build and should be affordable by anyone who can afford to have a boat built.  If you see a concept here that you think is "your boat", don't hesitate to request a quote to design her.

Claymore 30 -  Ultimate liveaboard and voyaging pilot house double ender styled similarly to the Scottish so-called MFVs or "motorized fishing vessels", which are sailing types which also have pilot houses and engines added.  They'd have the option of either a Marconi sloop rig or a single sail Chinese rig.  For some years we've had a really remarkable double ended 30' vessel like this ourselves which was built in Britain.  Vessels of this Scottish type have a rugged no nonsense "professional mariner" appearance which appeals to yachtsmen and also excites the admiration of fishermen and other commercial vessel operators who can see a lot about her that makes more sense to them than the average sail or power yacht.  You can get a bit of an idea of the styling by looking at the Lochlann 46 profile a link to which is further down this page though the Claymore 30 would have an outboard rudder and a rather different bow and pilot house. We've been able to highly recommend the type to a number of couples and small families who want an ultimate voyaging yacht.  However, sadly this design is no longer available new, and being designers, and experienced liveaboards, we've been able to work out a number of improvements in both performance and styling that could be made to this type.  I would love to have a chance to do up this design, not just because anyone from a young couple to a reasonably active quite a lot older couple should find this an ultimate home afloat, but also because I could envision a small shop having a great business using permanent jigs with all the normally difficult to lay out parts CNC cut and putting together a couple of these per year to very high standards as ultimate liveaboard and voyaging cruising boats.  A business like this could build this model in small numbers forever as the demand, though perhaps modest as compared to cheap stock boats, would be steady for decades.  Boats like this never go out of style, have excellent performance under sail, and also can be used by those who no longer are young enough to feel terribly adventurous as very capable power vessels for coastal, intracoastal, and canal cruising anywhere in the world.  It wouldn't cost that much to commission a set of Concept Drawings.  Let us know if this type appeals to you.  This would be the design above all others on this page that I would most like to do up.  The Concept Drawings with an article and lines perspective would cost:  $1,434

Anglian 23 - A small plywood motorsailer

This little twin or single keel chine hull motorsailer has quite generous accommodations for two with an enclosed head forward, two berths with a table between, and a galley and chart table in the wheelhouse.  She is suitable for construction in plywood, aluminum and even steel.  She's been carried a little further than an "idea design" but not quite to the point of being a stock plan.  At present there is a very detailed set of Lines & Offsets  finished up by Michael and drawings showing expanded patterns for all the panels in the vessel which Sven did up.. The gentleman who had these done thought he could work out the construction from my scantlings notes and the rig from some drawings for a cat yawl by L. Francis Herreshoff.  Personally I'd use a single masted rig.  Of course I'm a Chinese rig fan and that would do well on her.  We'd be delighted to quote on doing up construction, accommodations, and rig drawings for this nice little partial design.

Carthage - This would be a generic set of lines for a relatively heavy short counter, clipper bowed gaff sloop or schooner type. We'll probably do sketches of versions from 18' to 48'.  Like most people who've seen them I've always loved the Friendship sloops. However I also have been frustrated by the lack of room for cruising accommodations. The Carthage would be an adaptation in which outside ballast and a little more freeboard would make a vessel which would be better for cruising.

Cat or Cat Ketch Raised Deck 30' Motorsailer - If you're a sailor but not a big fan of sailing to windward maybe you might like to look at these sketches.

DL300 Lines - These will be a set of lines done on computer and designed to be readily scalable for a very classic counter sterned yacht. Proportions will be suitable to allow plenty of sail area in a simple marconi rig. The intended construction is sheathed strip on a sprung keel in the Herreshoff fashion to encourage economical construction of a variety of sizes in series production. Displacement to length ratio will be a moderate 300.

DL100 Type - This will be for a very light type in three or four initial sizes. It will be intended to have a displacement to length ratio of around 100. There will be 30', 44' & 60' versions. So far all we have to show you are profiles of these three versions. Shortly we hope to get some lines perspectives on screen. You get a lot of accommodations for your dollar in a boat of classic appearance.

Double Paddle Canoe - Every member of my family has paddled a good many miles in a 10'6" Wee Lassie canoe. It is possible Tom and Nan's daughter Heather has paddled one more than any other person ever has. Out of all this experience we have come up with several very subtle changes that I wish to incorporate in a new design. Perhaps the lofting and construction of the first one of these can be a project for a student or apprentice of ours some summer.

Eventide - This Canal Cruiser is styled after the British narrowboats and European powered barges with the exception that we have allowed her to be wider than the true narrowboats and have the option of having wheelhouses like the European barges. We discuss the possibilities of the true narrow boats which are only 6'10" wide (2.083m) elsewhere on this page.  However there are only a small number of miles of canals in the whole world where you need to really restrict yourself to this beam and a height that prevents you from having a wheel house.  Once you free yourself from the constraints of the narrow boat canals you find that you can visit an unbelievable number of protected waterways all over the world.  The entire eastern half of the United States can be circumnavigated by Eventide.  You would go up the Erie Canal across through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi.  If you want to you could take years exploring the tributaries which flow into the Mississippi and penetrate through much of the eastern and western halves of the country.  You can get to an amazing number of the states in America's heartland if you travel all these pastoral waterways.  When you do finally descend the rest of the way down to New Orleans, you can travel along the Gulf Coast waterways until you eventually reach Florida.  Although there is no reason not to go around the southern tip of Florida and up through the Keys, you might choose to right across Florida through the Okeechobee Canal and then up through the protected waters of Florida's East Coast.  Before leaving Florida I would suggest traveling up the St. John River.  This beautiful serene river can be explored an amazing distance through the Florida heartland.  Continuing on up the East Coast you are in a wonderful protected system of canals and rivers behind the coastline.  In this area there are an incredible number of rivers and large creeks off to the side of the waterway.  In many cases a little exploration up them will bring you to a small town under the live oaks which may not have seen a yacht for a dozen years.  You could spend a life time exploring just the East Coast.  However if we assume that you do make this trip and want another adventure you could ship Eventide to Europe where you can cruise through every country in Europe except Spain and Italy, even including Switzerland.  There is no better way to see Europe.  The countryside would be our favorite but imagine running up into Paris and tying up right in the middle of the city where you can go everywhere, see everything, and still be at home every night.  There are plenty of other larger river, canal, and lake systems in the world.  Enough for many lifetimes of exploration.  This is a great lifestyle for those who prefer to have their adventures be calm ones.  The draft on these vessels is about 2' (.61m).  Although it wouldn't be tough to adapt her to different widths we have shown Eventide with 8' beam (2.44m) in the hull.  Many people would instantly think of wider beam but I'm not sure that makes much sense in these boats.  Even the true 6'10" beam (2.083m) narrowboats have a lot more room than you'd think because the sides are vertical.  By the time you get to 8' beam it is beginning to be hard to see why you'd really want more.  In a very real sense these vessels are built by the foot.  We have shown standard bow and stern sections and then a series of 6'6" and 3'3" modules. You can have as many of these modules as you want between bow and stern up to a 65' limit.  You could even build a short version and cut her in two later and add more in the middle as your funds allow.  Another advantage is that you could have a complete hull, deck and cabin unit welded up in steel for a very low price.  Then sand blast, epoxy coat, and paint her yourself to save a very great deal of money.  Finally interiors can be built by any reasonably good cabinet maker who understands the need for fidrails and lift before pull drawers.  Thus many people will be able to afford to have quite a vessel built with a completely open interior and just finish it off with cabins as they can afford to.  Interior arrangements can be incredibly versatile.  The Wheelhouse module above likely contains a galley, chart table and steering station.  It can be aft as shown, which is the most traditional, or it could be in the middle of the vessel, or forward.  Since the section is constant in shape you can have it where you want it.  We have also shown a nice main cabin with a couple of berths with side boards over the end, book shelves out board and a table in between.  We have also shown a 3'6" module with a w.c. on one side and a sitzbath or shower on the other.  The final module is a nice spacious double stateroom with a double berth, a desk, hanging lockers etc.  Perhaps you'd like to add a library, or a work shop.  Perhaps a green house would be nice.  Perhaps you'd like a sort of cargo module with various fun small boats in it like double paddle canoes and sailing dinghies for little exploratory expeditions.  The possibilities are endless.  We have had a great many people ask about this type of vessel and look forward to the opportunity to design one.

Flying Fisherman - Just an idea in mind right now. This would be an ultra light wave piercing sportfisherman. It would be much lighter than the current sportfishing vessels. It could hit much higher speeds in a seaway and would cost a tremendous amount less to operate. It's time to get sportfishermen out of the short, high, heavy, over powered, dead end they have gradually worked themselves into. 

Shiva -  A long narrow ocean capable cruising power yacht on the wave piercing model somewhat like the latest navy studies for stealth destroyers.  Hence the name.  Very long on predatory styling and high speed at low fuel consumption.

Freya - This is a tiny weekending keel catboat for two. She is only 12' long and would be an ideal cruising boat for a couple of young responsible children.

Lochlann 46 - A flush decked canoe sterned cutter with a strong Northern European heritage. A very classic type. You cannot assign this boat to an era. She is timeless in concept and proportion.

Lynx 40 - This vessel is a 40' passengers for hire carrying sailing catamaran.

Hero 33 - An emphasis on roomy living for coastal cruising in an inexpensive freighter styled vessel.

Freighter Yachts - Some sketches and comments on some liveaboard motorcraft with freighter like appearance.

Shining Moon - As a long time advocates of Chinese rigs we have always wanted to do a true Chinese styled vessel. We've read "Sailing Back in Time" about Allen and Sharie Farrell's last voyage on their junk China Cloud. This revived memories of reading Missee Lee by Arthur Ransom in which there was a small junk named Shining Moon. We pictured a roughly 36' two or three sail junk of ocean going type.  Awhile back a gentleman retiring from public service commissioned a single sail version of this concept for his retirement, having lived aboard a Chinese vessel in Hong Kong years before.  Unfortunately before the design was completed he was called back to work.  However recently another couple have taken up the design project and at this writing we are finishing up this rather beautiful design. These vessels can have plenty of stability and with the relatively high stern are easy to heave to. At sea if  there's a storm or you get tired they are very easy to snug down and heave to for a nice rest. Even in some pretty rough weather it can be almost like being at anchor in harbor. These are beautiful vessels and make wonderful homes. I think 36' is big enough for my design office and my wife's art studio, but then we have so many dream boats and really will probably restrict ourselves to 30'.  Design largely complete.

Ha'Penny - We used to have a version of our Coin Collection that was 18' on deck. I never felt she was a good intermediate step between Farthing and Shilling. Recently it occurred to me that a 10% scale down of the Shilling would produce a really nice design. This new design would be 19'10" length on deck, 7'2" beam, 3'7" draft, and 5'7-1/2" headroom under the deck. Probably a six footer or even taller could stand in the closed hatch. However, we would probably standardize on a small pilothouse similar to one we developed for Shilling as that would give plenty of headroom.  She won't be all that big but there will be a modest galley, room for a head or fitted bucket, and two comfortable settees with fold down Concordia berths above them. In the years my wife and I had little time for living aboard and traveling due to taking care of a beloved older relative I would have liked to have built one. My wife and I could have used her for sailing out so my wife could paint at the various coastal islands, while I did some writing. However this would be a fully capable small voyager. I think she could even carry a very small rigid dinghy. I really hope we can get this design done sometime soon.  Design in progress.

Sovereign 33:  Two very popular designs and highly successful liveaboard voyaging yachts of ours are the Sovereign 30 and the Crown Jewel 36.  However we’ve noticed that many times someone will go with Crown Jewel 36 when they feel that they need a little more room than there is in the Sovereign 30.  Many who really don’t need any more room than Sovereign 30 nevertheless are tempted by a few additional feet.  Recently we completed a pilothouse version of Sovereign 30, which turned out to be a terrific success.  If we take a vessel of this concept and go with a 25’ waterline we get a boat just halfway between the 22’ waterline Sovereign 30 and the 28’ waterline Crown Jewel 36.  We feel this will fill a gap in the Coin Collection very nicely.  If you have looked at the Sovereign 30 and the Crown Jewel 36, but feel you’d like something part way in between, we’d be happy to quote on doing a design like this.

Steel & Aluminum Versions of the “Coin Collection”:  Often people inquire about a steel or aluminum version of  Penny 25, Sovereign 30, or Crown Jewel 36, which are ultimate voyaging yachts in our Coin Collection.  Recently we have started thinking about a Sovereign 33, intermediate between these two sizes.  At the same time we were talking to a young man who was taking a welding course and had at least some thought of eventually having a shop to build boats in metal.  It occurred to us that we could do very simple chine hull versions of these vessels to be built in steel or aluminum.  They would probably be single chine developed surface vessels.  With our understanding of developed surfaces in CAD we can do very shapely looking hulls that nevertheless can have the plate shapes rolled to the right curves with only simple cylindrical rollers like you’ll find in any metal working shop.  This sort of hull is often quite hard to perceive as a metal boat at first glance.  At the bow the bottom plating would probably fair into the topside plating quite smoothly and the transom will have some shape.  Most of the chine that is prominent enough to notice will be underwater when the vessel is upright.  All this should give a great live aboard cruising and voyaging vessel for those who want to have a steel or aluminum ship.  These hulls go together rapidly these days.  While a bare hull is not all that big a percentage of the completed vessel, it is a big psychological boost to see the completed hull and deck sitting there.  Of course these days a tremendous money saver is that you can send the CAD files out and have every piece of metal in the boat cut automatically by CNC machine so that all your builder has to do is weld her together. We are not one of those designers who will tell you that steel and aluminum hulls are magically immune to damage or that they can be built for amazingly low prices.  Nor will we suggest that they don’t need any work to maintain properly.  We also don’t tell you that we have magic ways to leave out the normal longitudinal and transverse framing you need to give a good strong boat.  If you’ve done your homework you’ll be more comfortable with us than with many current “promoters” and we will be happy to quote on a good solid design job for any size of this type. There is an aluminum version of the "Penny 25" called the "Silver Penny 25" being built now.


Clarsach 18.gif (12422 bytes) Clarsach 18 - I've always liked the canoe yawl concept very much. Nevertheless I've noticed that some of the great works of art in canoe yawls don't get built all that often because we regard them as extremely expensive weekenders these days. This rough sketch shows a very small yawl with plenty of accommodations for weekending for two. Yet she's still small enough so that anybody can scare up the money to build her. In three dimensions the sheer is very sweet and smooth. She'd be a real classic that would get you a lot of compliments. Let me know if you're interested.  At present we have a partial design called the Clarsach 20, which will be a wonderful little canoe yawl for weekending and cruising.  She is being designed with twin keels for real gunkholing and easy trailering.  We are extremely pleased with her, but she needs a patron to fund the completion of her design.
Clarsach 20 - This little twin keel canoe yawl is very true to the original conception of the cruising canoe yawls developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Unfortunately some of the great works of art in canoe yawls grew to be quite expensive in relation to the cruising accommodations which they contained.  This is our attempt to design a small canoe yawl which can be built either one off or from a kit for a more modest amount of money and still will contain true cruising accommodations with two generous berths with a dining table between, a good sized galley which can have either an alcohol stove for weekending, or perhaps a Shipmate solid fuel cooking range which will also heat the interior for long term, extended season use.  Forward there is a large storage cabin which also forms an enclosed head.  This may have anything from a fitted bucket to an Airhead composting toilet.  All the way forward there are two chain lockers so that two anchors can be chocked off on deck at all times ready to go.  In keeping with the type there is no engine and a generous rig so that you can sail effectively if there is enough wind to feel it even slightly on your cheek.  With her shoal permanent draft she can always find a place to anchor, often in harbors that are otherwise desperately crowded.  While a number of silly theories have been advanced about the superiority of twin keels, we can say this much for sure.  By winging the ballast out to both sides the roll while sailing down wind or in harbor from passing power boats damps down extremely fast.  Though in very light winds working to windward may be best done by having the crew sit well out to leeward to deepen the draft, the opposite of this is that in a good breeze she will just eat her way to windward.  Single keels get less effective as a boat heels, but twin keels get more effective.  All in all, though we have a single keel boat ourselves at present, we loved the little twin keeler that we had for several years and found her a marvelous performer.  One final factor which we find very compelling in a small cruising boat is that there is no penalty in anchoring in water so shallow that you may be aground for part of the night.  Also when you want to paint the bottom or just give her a scrub you can just put her on a sheltered beach shortly before or after high tide with an anchor out astern and a bow line to a tree.  You can continue to live on the upright boat as she sits on the beach and can sand and paint the bottom very efficiently.  One of the really great things is that this boat is ideal for any couple for the weekending and vacation cruising that are all that so many can manage, but she is also perfectly fine for a couple to live aboard and travel someplace like the East Coast of the United States with its bays, sounds, rivers, and intracoastal canals.  We also have acquaintances who took a larger twin keeler up the West Coast from Puget Sound to Alaska and back one year and declared that they would never need anything larger than her 26' for living aboard.  Though not really an ocean crosser you could skip across from Florida to the Bahamas and cruise there.  It would be quite easy to ship this little vessel to Europe.  There you could circumnavigate Britain, visit the fjords of Norway, and cruise the Baltic.  You could also fit a tiny outboard to a temporary bracket and do the canals of Europe.  You can travel through almost all the countries of Europe except Spain and Italy entirely by canal.  You can even go up into Switzerland.  This is a partial design which needs a patron to sponsor finishing her up.

Indonesian Pinisi - We recently did some preliminary lines, a rough profile, and an accommodations sketch for a 40 meter (131') passenger carrying vessel to be built in Indonesia. This project didn't pan out because we could not commit to the time schedule that the client had in mind. You can't design a vessel this size in a very short period. These are fascinating vessels. They have a strong sheer, a stern somewhat like a pinky schooner, a gaff ketch rig with brailing sails with many interesting and unusual features. They are built of teak and ironwood by a special extended tribe on Indonesian seafarers call the Bugi. Apparently they can build huge vessels for a price that seems ridiculously low by United States standards. When I get a minute I'll put in a perspective of the lines and the rough profile and accommodations here for you to look at.

Twin Keel Cruising & Liveaboard Vessels - We're designing more twin keel vessels for taking the ground when convenient due to tidal range or for working on the bottom. The idea being to keep the draft moderate, and still have the right stability characteristics to go offshore when desired in safety.   Unfortunately in the past many designers have not given sufficient attention to optimum keel design and have therefore tended to have more wetted surface than desirable.  Fortunately careful design can overcome this by using a ballast bulb of NACA 0025 section on a keel of NACA 0015 section.  By shortening the keels significantly this eliminates the wetted surface penalty and minimizes drag while giving highly stall resistant keels. Also although there are a lot of learned articles about truly shoal draft cruising offshore they are mostly by  people who really haven't spent much time offshore and don't understand the theoretical limitations imposed by physics. Nevertheless a twin keel boat of moderate displacement can combine slightly shoaler draft than you can usually obtain in an offshore vessel with the much greater roll resistance and roll dampening available with twin keels through their improved roll moment of inertia and entraining of large volumes of water in rolling.  This obviously improves comfort at sea but also has the advantage of improved dynamic stability.  We have found that it is quite possible to get good performance in a moderate draft vessel that will still be good and safe offshore.  The only disadvantage a really well designed twin keel vessel has is that in real ghosting conditions she will tend to be less efficient to windward.  Conversely a well designed twin keeler performs incredibly well to windward once the wind picks up as she actually gains in draft and keel efficiency as she heels.  We'd like to see a 24' version, a 26' version a 32' version, and maybe a 36' version.  Years ago a friend of ours, acting on my advice, bought a little 23' twin keel cruising boat as a first step into cruising that he could tie up in back of his condominium in the Bahamas.  He liked her so much that he soon sold the condominium and moved aboard the boat permanently. For many years we heard from him occasionally. His home base was in the Abacos the last time I heard.  For our own use Nannette and I had a 22' British twin keeler, built to Lloyds standards, for some years.  Although we did suddenly get a wonderful deal on a 30' double ended pilot house cutter, we enjoyed the twin keeler so much that we considered fitting her with a compact office and, had expected to make at least one good long trip in her before going to a larger vessel with both office and art studio space.  Watch for the 32' version we have just designed.

Far Seeker - This would be a series of voyaging full power vessels with very simple sailing rigs for when sailing is convenient or the engine has failed. I would envision this as a vessel with a beam twice the draft and a load waterline seven times the draft.   This would go well with a spoon bow and canoe stern. The whole vessel would be kept rather low partly to facilitate use in the European canals if desired. The rig being a two sail standing lug normally used only when the wind is fair and the captain and crew are so inclined. Her engine and tankage would be sufficient for crossing oceans comfortably under power alone and she would have flopper stoppers rigged to cut the roll to a very minor amount.  Such a vessel would normally require very little effort to voyage with and could actually seek out the low wind areas of the oceans as calm weather is not a negative to this type. I would envision a series of boats ranging from 25' to 50' on essentially similar lines.  My favorite size would be either 34' or 42' as they would be able to also do the canals of Europe.

Troller Yacht - We get a lot of interest in these West Coast types which were used in trolling for salmon.  These are a great stylistic base for an ocean crossing or liveaboard power yacht.  Our version would have a moderately short bow and an elliptical stern with high bulwarks and flush deck.  The wheelhouse would be large.  She would be rigged for paravanes for roll dampening rigged from a frame over the wheelhouse which would also hold the radar and antennas.  There would be a foremast with a cargo boom for bringing aboard a little fleet of boats.  Personally I would have two 10'6" double paddle canoes and a couple of nesting sailing prams.   Styling would be very rugged as would construction.  We'd use a heavy slow turning diesel as a main engine and carry a large standing lug sail which could be set from the cargo mast for getting you home in emergencies.

Bumble -  This 28' yawl is a very special kind of scow with a heavily rockered bottom and wall sides.  She has a raised deck amidships, standing headroom, and has enormous room for her size.  She would be a great coastal or intracoastal cruiser wherever there would be reasonable shelter available if you needed it.  This type does not have any centerboards, leeboards, or keels.  It relies on the wall sides to give sufficient lateral plane.  For use in very light winds where she won't heel a leeboard can be carried if you don't want to power.  Super easy to build and very roomy she would make a nice home afloat for those who don't want to go offshore.  This design has been carried as far as quite a set of CAD files and renderings and is ready to generate working drawings.  The interior is only a sketch but has a master stateroom forward with a double berth and an office.  There is a head with a sitz-bath.  The main cabin has two berths with sideboards over the ends and bookshelves outboard.  The galley and chart table area are both large.  If we just went on with this design from where we stopped you would save quite a bit over the custom design price.  Bumble isn't the right boat for everyone but if you like very simple vessels with very low labor costs to build and you are a dedicated sheltered water cruiser she'd be pretty great.

Large Schooner Rigged Steel Cargo Scow -  This could be built quite inexpensively near here in steel.  I would imagine this scow schooner would be about 48' on deck.  She'd have plenty of room for a family to live aboard and still have a huge cargo hold so that you could have a route, say on the Maine coast carrying cargo out to the local islands.  She would probably pay her way reasonably well just hauling stove wood to the outer islands in Maine in late summer and early fall.  Or the cargo hold could be converted to a shop or office to suit your way of earning your living.

British Narrowboat - These canal cruisers would be sized to cruise the between 2,000 and 3,000 miles of the British canal system.  However this brings up the interesting point that you could use these boats in a great many protected waterways.   Most of the eastern half of the United States could be circumnavigated by a narrowboat.  Say you started from New York. You could go up the Erie Canal across through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi. Then you'd go along the Gulf Coast and up the East Coast.  In all these areas there are thousands of miles of detours up rivers into the heartland of America. You could then ship the boat to Britain. Once you had done all the British canals you could do the canals in Ireland and then go over to Europe.  You can go all through most of the nations of Europe, even including Switzerland, by canal.  There are many other huge river and canal systems in the world but just those named could take a whole lifetime to explore and enjoy properly. This could be a truly wonderful life for those who like their adventures to be fairly benign. The critical dimensions of the true British narrowboat are a beam of no more than 6'10" (2.083 meters).  Draft must be no more than 2' 0" (.61m). The "air draft" or height above the water must be no more than 5'9" (1.753m).  The beam looks small until you realize that all of it can be used for accommodations as the sections on these vessels can be very square.  The length is the intriguing thing.   You basically buy these boats by the foot.  You have a bow and stern section and then just make the part in between as long as you want.  We were told that the upper limit was about the 70' of the shortest of the British narrowboat canal locks.  However a correspondent from Britain has told us that there is a lock in the wider canals at Salterhebble that is around 56', which might make 50' a better limit.   This brings up the intriguing possibility that one might build a relatively short boat if you had very little money and then simply cut it in half and add to it whenever you needed more space. Another advantage is that the interiors can be built by any reasonably good cabinet maker who knows about fidrails and lift before pull drawers.  Thus many people will be able to have a very long boat built with a completely open interior and just finish off the interior with cabins as they can afford to.  Interior arrangements are so versatile that we will probably simply show "sample" cabins and let clients pick and choose which ones they want to string together and in what sequence.  We have had a number of people ask for these vessels so we look forward to the opportunity to design one.  We already have some nice sketches, which I hope to refine and put on here shortly.

Voyager Series -  Our Coin Collection vessels, which are Chinese rigged ultimate offshore liveaboards, have been very popular.  However, we sometimes find people who are sure that they want a marconi (Bermudan) sloop or cutter rig for whatever reason.   Unfortunately I can't just design them a new rig for the particular size Coin Collection vessel that they would want because these vessels, aside from Crown Jewel, would require bowsprits and boomkins to get enough area on a fully stayed marconi rig, which is what these people want.  Therefore it makes sense to do a boat with a higher length to beam ratio. Many years ago we designed a vessel called the Voyager 30, which at that time was our ultimate voyaging yacht.  This is still a wonderful boat which I would love to own, but this new Voyager Series will borrow more from our experience with the Coin Collection boats. These boats will all be flush decked with only hatches, deck boxes, and a small pilot house above the deck.  We will aim for five vessels eventually in the series. The Voyager 20 will be a minimal voyaging yacht for one or two people. The Voyager 28 will be an ultimate liveaboard voyaging yacht for two people or a minimal one for three.  The Voyager 33 will be a liveaboard voyaging yacht for four people.  The Voyager 38 will be a liveaboard voyaging yacht for larger family or a couple carrying methods of earning a living that require more space than a couple of office desks.  Finally there will be a Voyager 46, which I would envision as a world ranging charter yacht, a school ship, a light cargo carrier for remote areas or some other use that will require a large vessel.

Colin Archer Series -  We were privileged, when we had our yard, to be instrumental in saving the most famous of the Colin Archer sailing rescue craft or "Redningskoites", the 1895 built Oscar Tybring.   We fixed her up just enough to make is possible to get her back to Norway, so that she could be completely restored under the direction of the Colin Archer museum.  In the process we got to know her intimately.  Among other things we were given a film which showed scenes of her sailing at extraordinary speeds to windward in winter storm conditions.  We also acquired a print of her lines, done by Colin Archer's own hand.   Occasionally one hears people who are not familiar with these boats made extraordinarily uninformed statements about them.  Let there be no mistake, these vessels were designed for extreme seaworthiness.  They were sailing rescue craft which worked only in the winter and had to beat to windward towing other vessels in full winter storm conditions.  Periodically people have decided to "improve" the lines.  Frankly these lines are so close to perfect that I think it is pretty stupid to modify them.  I would like to bring out a series of "tribute" designs based upon the Oscar Tybring's lines, properly attributed to Mr. Archer, of course.  If we wouldn't change the lines, what would we change?  I like to think that we would change exactly what Mr. Archer would if he were alive today.   In that sense we want to act as his draftsmen. First, outside ballast was a pretty new idea in those days.  Mr. Archer used a small amount. Over a century later we would put all the ballast outside.  We would go with modern wood and epoxy construction, specifically sheathed strip.  This would save weight and allow for the carrying of massive amounts of voyaging supplies.  Finally we would use a rig with more sail area.  Obviously, as vessels that sailed only in the winter, the originals were under rigged for living aboard and world voyaging.   I would envision several sizes, probably 20', 25', 32' and 38' cutters for various size families and a 47' ketch version the same size as the original vessel.  I think if a small shop set up to build these five sizes in series, but probably one at a time, a small crew could be kept busy building them steadily forever.  There will always be a modest but steady demand for boats of this wonderful type. Since writing this we have designed  the 60' version pictured above.  We are referring to this series of designs as the Sagittarius Collection.  Sagittarius being the constellation commonly known as "The Archer".  You can't go wrong with one of these extraordinarily seaworthy craft. 

Silver Gull 24 - There's a good big gap between our Silver Gull 19 and our Silver Gull 28.   A 24 foot version would be a strong step up from the "back packer" style cruising of the 19 foot version, since it would have about twice the interior space.  At the same time it would be about 57% of the cost of the 28 foot version.  In the discussion group you will find a thread called "silver gull 24?" by a gentleman who would love to find someone to share the cost ($3,318) of having a custom 24' version done up.  If anybody is interested join in there or email us.  What we've discussed is designing a boat with a length on deck of 24', a length on the waterline of 16'8", a beam of 8' and a draft, with twin keels, of 3'3".   Her displacement would be around 3,508 lbs.  As envisioned so far she would have a flat area aft of the pilot house but no sunken cockpit.  We think this may mean that it would be just possible to get a couple of quarter berths under the stern deck with just enough of the heads sticking into the wheelhouse to give you some "control station" seating.  With a double berth as far forward as practical, this might give enough room between the aft berths and the forward berths for a modest galley.   All in all not a bad boat for a young family.  Since designing the Silver Gull 19 & 28, a client has had us design a windvane steerer which can be scaled to match any of the Silver Gulls, including this 24, so you could really have some pretty adventurous fun with her if you chose.  Could be a darn nice project.  I know a lot of people are having fun with building  the Silver Gull 19 and somebody told me they met a Silver Gull 28 in the Aleutians.  A 24 would be a lot of boat for the time invested.

Magic 33 - Quite frequently we get inquiries from people who have an interest in the designs of Commodore Ralph Munroe. Among the more well known of these are the Egret modified sharpie, the Presto, the Wabun and the Utilis.   The idea of extreme shoal draft centerboard boats on the general proportions advocated by Mr. Munroe is a fascinating and compelling one.  A great many people who have no desire to go offshore could have delightful coastal and intracoastal cruising for a lifetime in vessels like these.  There are two cautions we should make however.   First, Mr. Munroe was not a professional designer.  He was a talented amateur intensely excited about his boats.  As such he did not appear to work much from science but much more from "feel" and trial and error.  Over time his boats were gradually evolving toward the type of hulls that would be used today.  But it is important to understand that he did not really get there and within the general proportions of the type we can produce much more powerful hulls with no less a range of stability and more roll dampening ability.   Second, he did not understand that the steadier motion of the type in a seaway due to a lower metacentric height than many of the boats which he would have been comparing with did not mean more ultimate seaworthiness.  Contrary to popular belief you cannot tell from "feel" if a boat has good offshore stability characteristics.  Despite the extravagant claims of enthusiasts these boats should never be taken offshore.  People have written glowing reports of boats of this type that survived at sea.  But as my brother says, "You don't hear from the ones that didn't survive, and most people out in bad weather in their gratitude at survival are likely to praise the boat, whether she deserves it or not."  If you are a great fan of Mr. Munroe's, and are offended by this I urge you to take a scientific rather than romantic or religious view, read C.A. Marchaj's "Seaworthiness - The Forgotten Factor", and continue to love this type for its very real virtues as a coastal cruiser.  I have always been content with the inshore limitations of our own deep little ocean voyaging yacht, but we do actually have a second boat that we use specifically for shoal draft cruising and there is no doubt that if I were to decide to confine myself to coastal and intracoastal sailing in an area of the world like the East Coast of the United States, I would be hard pressed to find a better type than this Magic ultra shoal vessel.    Her length would be 33' over the rails and about 26' on the waterline.  Beam would be 9'4".   Draft with the board up would be only 2'2", which is 1" for every foot of waterline length.  Draft with the board down would be 4'6".  The length of the centerboard would be 8'8".  Displacement would be around 12,300 lbs.   This would give a displacement to length ratio of 312 and a scantlings numeral of 5.8.  We'd use a prismatic coefficient of about .56.  I would think that wetted surface might be in the neighborhood of 150 square feet and her sail area would be around 400 square feet.  She would have her ballast outside in a lead shoe and a midsection no wider on deck than Mr. Munroe's vessels.  However, we'd use a somewhat stiffer section for more drive under sail and we'd work more deadrise into the sections with fairly straight section curves down near the lead shoe to dampen the roll more quickly.   We'd use a little more freeboard than Munroe's earlier vessels.  With care in the proportions, sheer development, cabin proportions and paint she can look quite graceful and still have at least minimal standing headroom.  Two other innovations which we have made are, first,  to use end plates on the top and bottom of the very shoal rudder these boats must use.  This helps increase the effective lift and helps prevent ventilation from the surface.  This adds a small amount of drag but the extra sureness in control is well worth it.  Second, for additional control we would probably use a canoe stern.  Many people would go the other way and use a broad flat transom in hopes of encouraging surfing downwind.  However if you encourage surfing you would, in this type, be encouraging some very dangerous control problems.  So we'd tend to go the other way creating a stern that, as you drive her down wind, tends to draw water up on either side of the canoe stern holding it in place and encouraging good control.   All in all you could have wonderful times in a little vessel like this.  We'd be happy to quote on designing her.

Freedom's Song - This 90' passenger carrying schooner is another partial design waiting to be finished up to suit your needs.  Remember that this profile is intended to take advantage of the optical illusions of a three dimensional vessel.  Therefore in this drawing the forward sheer looks too strong.  It will flatten into a gentle curve when seen in 3d.  Very few passenger carrying schooners are designed right from the beginning for their trade. For some reason people copy old shallow freight carrying schooners or fishing schooners of the past right down to the traditional construction.  Few people seem to understand that the original working schooners were expected to be worn out and to be abandoned around their 20th year.  Copying traditional construction slavishly, without regard to designing for longer life often results in vessels needing complete rebuilding about the time they are paid for.  This often makes the business nowhere near as lucrative as it could be, as the money keeps going back into the vessels.  Neither freight carrying nor fishing schooners are very suited for the most profitable, cost effective, carrying of passengers. For one thing the passenger's joy in the experience is partly a function of the sailing performance of the vessel and a vessel designed from scratch for passenger carrying can inevitably be a much better sailer than a vessel originally intended to carry building stone or fish. Freedom's Song has several other differences from the average passenger carrying schooner that are worth mentioning. Many of these vessel are very limited in the their money making potential in that they are coastal vessels unsuited to being taken offshore, either while carrying passengers, or to get to a lucrative winter market. Further many were either originally working vessels converted by sticking racks of bunks in the hold and only slowly and inefficiently converted to double staterooms, or they were copies of these vessels. Freedom's Song is specially designed to have very substantial initial stability and roll resistance for passenger comfort, yet she also has a deep keel with plenty of ballast low down for ultimate stability offshore. The interior has really nice liveaboard accommodations for the captain and his family plus the cook and rest of the crew. However instead of putting the passengers in little cabins which share heads with several other cabins, Freedom's Song puts most of the passengers in cabins with en suite heads. For those couples bringing along an older child there are also a number of alcove berths available outboard of the settees in the main saloon, but the emphasis is on each couple having their own private head. This is pretty rare. We have a complete set of lines and offsets, a fiberglass construction drawing insisted upon by the first outfit that built to this design, a sheathed strip construction drawing that would be much more cost effective to build to than the fiberglass one, plus some work done on the rig and interior. The client who originally commissioned this design had us do up construction drawings for longitudinally framed fiberglass construction. While this vessel will be perfectly nice as a fiberglass vessel, we would caution that this is not the most cost effective way to build a vessel this size. We would suggest discussing alternatives with us. Unfortunately the original client once he had the lines and construction drawings in hand felt he did not need the rest of the design work, felt that he did not need to loft the vessel, and went ahead and liberally changed a number of things in the appearance and construction of the vessel. The lines of the hull seem fairly close but have suffered heavily from lack of proper lofting. This forced us to bow out of the original project as she really isn't our design any more and will no longer be the great money maker she could have been. Nevertheless we are very proud of the work done on this design so far, and we would be delighted to quote on finishing up the design to be a very profitable, long lived, and romantic passenger carrying vessel. She could, of course also be a compelling luxury yacht if one has around four or five million to put into a vessel of generally traditional appearance.

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