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  #1  
Old 06-27-2007
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Concept pocket cruiser

Just polling for thoughts on an idea that keeps recurring.

Trailerables vs marina launch/haul/store fees.

The market seems such that a lot of people want to buy new - even if the new boat is not great - just because it is new. A lot of money is spent to buy a new MacGregor 26 which is our most infamous trailerable but is reputed to be less than ideal as a sailing or power vessel... yet it sells.

The 25 - 26 foot boats that actually have a cabin with accomodations and are trailerable seem to have many compromises. In the old Chrysler 26 it was an undersized rig. With the MacGregor it is undersized rig, pointing & general sailing and performance issues both with the older and newer models. Both have good sized cabins but are less than ideal with sailing characteristics. I have a friend who had a CS22 with the swing keel/centerboard. He said it was SLOW and pointed poorly.

With all this my opinion had been that if you want to have a boat that can be trailered or trailer launched you basically have to make compromises that make for an ugly boat or poor performer. Even the C&C Mega 30 that was supposed to be all things to all people has many issues and is documented on C&C photoalbum.

Then last year I raced against an S2 7.9. Our boat is a 1979 Hinterhoeller Niagara 26 with fin keel. The S2 pointed as well, was a bit faster, had nice lines and a sturdy rig - it also handled the 20 knots and chop in coastal conditions as well as the Niagara. When I looked into this boat later I learned it had a weighted daggerboard, 1'1" draft with board up and a great highway trailer. Finally a sailboat that did not sacrifice sailing ability to be trailerable! Then I looked for and found pictures and a website dedicated to the class. Nice sailing boats but a cabin with all walls and ceilings carpeted and I found its compromise. The cabin is not as nice as the Niagara but is OK. Not likely as nice as the Mac or even the Chrysler either. Active racing class though because the boat sails well and those for sale with trailers had nice looking trailers. This was a sailboat. however no longer manufactured.

So in looking at all these models I started to wonder why must a trailer launchable boat be such a compromise so often? Many people buying 25 foot boats hate paying launch fees and winter storage. Many people love the idea of having the boat in their driveway to do Spring maintenance rather than driving to a boat yard and always forgetting some tool. Many people love to pay the price for a new boat and many people buy Macs even though others tell them they are a compromise boat that does several things but excels at none of them.

So my question is WHY NOT??? The S2 was a great starting concept. Why not make a boat that sails well, can handle the chop and coastal conditions, has a nice cabin and can be launched by two people with a 4x4 pickup or SUV? If the boat was not a big compromise I am sure that lot of people would love to have it.

Thoughts?

Mike

PS. Cottage is 300 feet from a govt wharf with a spar capable crane and a boat launch ramp. Marina where I curently keep boat is 30 km away by road and 3 hrs by water.
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2007
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Have you looked into the Seaward line of trailerables? Built by Hake Yachts, I believe in Florida, they have a lifting keel, and kick up rudder for shallow draft and trailerability. They have a 32 footer, one of which I saw on the water in the anchorage at the north end of Lake Worth. Would have liked to talked to the owners but didn't get a chance.

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  #3  
Old 06-27-2007
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Thanks John

Had never heard of them before. Looks like the right conceot for sure. Only problem to me is they opted for cruisy style - looks almost like a Bayfield. Am certain if this company applied their concept to a more race yacht it would also work well.

So then back to original question. If this can be done as it is here then why all the crappy boats? This boat looks like a well executed concept and would work very well where we sail. At moon low our channel is just 2.5 feet. Our cottage is alsoon a bautiful beach.

Nice boats

Mike
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Old 06-27-2007
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There are a lot of trailerables that don't sacrifice sailing performance for trailerability. The Corsair F24, F28, the Telstar 28, and Dragonfly 800/900 trimarans are very easy to trailer and sail quite well.

The problem with making a monohull sailboat trailerable is the deeper draft and heavier mass that is necessary to make the monohull sail well conflicts with the need for a shallow draft and lighter weight for trailering.
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2007
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In the monohull world their are boats like the Tripp 26 that are trailerable and also offer excellent performance.

Jeff
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Old 06-28-2007
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OK

I looked at the Tripp 26 and the Corsairs and the Seaward boats. The Tripp looks like a fantastic racing boat but also looks like a day sailor. The Corsairs are Trimarans and I was thinking of monohulls. The Seaward boats are close to the money but are cruising designs to look at them.

I sail in a shallow area. I cannot go out at low tide with my Hinterhoeller Niagara 26 with its 4 foot draft. I am at the mercy of marina services for hauling, launching and storage. However I like the way a fin keel monohull sails and like to have a decent interior.

Jeff - Think of the Laser 28. The only thing I can really think of that would limit a 28 foot boat might be beam when looking at somewhat trailerable. My Niagara looks similar to the Laser 28, is 8'4" beam, 4000lbs dsp, 1700 lbs ballast, 26' 8" LOA. Can e trailered but not easily trailer launched or retrieved.

The S2 7.9 in the water looks very similar to the Niagara lines. It sails in similar conditions as well, points well and has PHRF around 168 for a 26 foot racer/cruiser. The cabin is a bit cheesy and carpeted on all surfaces and it gets wet. I would be tempted to buy one of these and redo entire interior ...

The Niagara has approx 5'8" headroom, has two bulkheads, sleeps 5 and looks like a yacht inside. Has head liners, teak/holly sole, galley, enclosed head (walkthru), etc...

But why can't we have a boat that has a decent cabin, sails well, does not look compromised and is on a roll on roll off trailer? The Mac tries to be a yacht on the inside, does the roll on, roll off but has poor sailing characteristics. The Tripp 26 is obviously a racing boat that is meant to travel by road to regattas, etc... but has no cabin, teh Corsairs are trimarans and likely very nice

So why not a monohull Racer/Cruiser that is appealing to the eye, has great sailing performance, etc...? I know this is what the C&C Mega 30 was targetted for and have read a great article on that boat - but I am not a fan of its looks. Why do so many people that want a weekender or a boat that can be stayed on for a week at a time buy MAcGregors? Is there not anything else in that category? Is the MAc that much cheaper than the Seaward?

just thinking here ....
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Old 06-28-2007
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If you could just scale down this one a little bit... the new Far Harbor 39... fits in an 8 foot wide shipping container. You take the rig off, the keel off, etc. and shove it in a shipping container. Now take that same concept except shorten it to 30 feet, make it a lifting keel and put a really cool mast raising rig on it... But keep the fit and finish, the design and the performance. You might need an F350 to haul it, but that's what you get for having a high quality trailerable.

CONTAINER YACHTS


My guess, however, is the market is too small for someone to pay a lot for a really nice trailerable.
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Old 06-28-2007
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This is a problem that I began thinking about in the 1960's. In some ways it is one of the the holy grails of yacht design and as performance design has continued to advance, it has become an even more distant target. Certainly advances like better materials and structural systems coupled with design features like daggerboards with bulbs have allowed trailerable boats to have a shot at 'normal' levels of performance realative to contemporary fixed keel boats (i.e. boats like the Melges 24 offer as good performance as any fixed keel model). But the hard part is giving these boats adequate accomodations and structural integrity while maintaining performance, ease of launching and retrieval, and a trailerable weight and width.

To be frank, building such a boat would be expensive. It would require high tech construction to keep weight down, careful detailing to make use of the limited space that was available since performance boats generally lack the interior volume of a similar length cruising boat, and frankly would appeal to a narrow market since it would be expensive and cramped and most buyers in this range a looking for the most space for the dollar. Most boats of this type are mediocre designs, built poorly and marketed to a starter sailer crowd who don't know better. (Boats like the Mac's and Seawards being poster children for this phenomina.)

There have been notable examples of production attempts and flops at meeting the worthwhile objective of being performance, trailerable cruisable boat, boats like the Hobie 33, C&C's Mega 30 and the Captiva 24 come to mind. Build quality issues aside, these were pretty good boats for what they were intended, but failed to provide the accommodations of similar length cruising boat or the performance of a similar length performance boat.

I have looked at designing and building something like this for my own use on quite a few occasions. My idea was a fast single-hander that I could trailer on vacations and explore shallower venues than I can explore with Synergy's 6'-4" draft. It is an extremely difficult design problem, especially if the boat is expected to be sailed with its keel partially retracted.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 06-28-2007
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New Yacht on the market

Watch for the new 28' Kiwi. Hull #1 was just commissioned, and is being shipped from San Diego to Colorado this month. It has an assymetric retractable bow-sprit, stand up shower, round cornered "offshore style" bulkheads, and was designed by the same architects who designed the kiwi 28 carbon sportboat (phrf 86), so I'm guessing it's fast. I can't figure out how to add a jpeg here so pics. are going to have to wait?
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Old 06-28-2007
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Jeff

Yeah - but my mind has often been called narrow so I guess I could fit into that category.

I really started racing because I bought a boat that had a decent interior. The teak floor and door sold me and I have a wife (the floor) and daughters (door to head - privacy). It looked yachty - esp when compared to the Paceship P23 (basically a Tanzer 22) we previously had. So I heard the boat sailed all right but liked the interior and the boat looked pretty solid. Then I sailed it and we started racing basically because we bought this boat and not something that was cruisier - LUCK. A friend bought a boat with nice interior - Aloha 26 but it had roller furling, Huge prop on saildrive, no sail adjustments, etc.. and guess what - he never got into racing at all ....

So now we are spending nights on a cottage on a beautiful beach. There is a sheltered govt wharf with suitable spar crane and ramp boat launch less than 1/2 km from this cottage. My friends launch their powerboats for the day - then anchor them just off the beach and bring them home at night on the trailer.

Meanwhile I drive 25 minutes to our marina witha car loaded with tools (hopefully I remember them all) and spend the day away from family, cottage, etc... (have friends at marina and cottage so that is still good) to work on boat for the day every fall and spring. When boat is launched and I am on vacation the idea of wading out to my sailboat is intriguing. The beach is shallow so currently the two or three times have done this is a long swim or a dingy ride (but it is nice to sit on the deck and see your own boat at anchor).

Narrow market yes - but the more I think about this the more I wonder why I have to pay for haulout, launch, winter storage and then drive to do pre and post season work. While neither the Laser 28 nor my Niagara are state of the art they are fun to sail - the S2 7.9 looks to be like that too - the Hobie 33 I never knew had a retractable keel and I like the look of that as a racing vessel ....

yes I am narrow minded in this category. Yes I know would be expensive - a used s2 7.9 typially sells for more than a similar size fixed keel. Would be many obstacles to overcome and likely no matter how good the concept and design seemed it would flop somehow. But these boats are designed to be shallower while entering channels, etc.. and at anchor not necessarily while sailing. That S2 still inerests me but I think if I bought one I would have to do a lot of work to make the interior something I like. Seems chopped up.

It is an interesting concept and an interesting design exercise as Jeff has mentioned. For all of us there is some time when it would be nice. If it sails decently then PHRF should compensate for some performance issues so long as it still sailed reasonably well and so long as the loss of performance over a fixed keel didn't make you want to shoot yourself.

fun fun fun ....
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