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Old 07-17-2007
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Newbie questions about sailing

Sorry if the answers to some of these questions have been answered before, I tried to research but alas I canít spend hours reading the forums (as much as I wish I could!).

I am completely new to sailing and I recently acquired an 18í catamaran that is beyond repair. After doing a little research and talking to people I am in planning to strip the mast and other salvageable parts and build myself a sailboat. This is the boat I am currently looking at building:

GLEN-L 19

So my questions start here. What are 18-19í sailboats capable of? The wife and I would mostly be taking it around the bay (Chesapeake) for now but are they capable of going up and down the east coast of the US? Can you even take these little ones out to sea much or should they mostly stick to shore?

Also on weekend or week long trips aboard how do dogís handle being underway? Is it comparable to people that some take to it like ducks on water while others donít want anything to do with it? We have a golden retriever and wish to take him with us on our boating trips.
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Old 07-17-2007
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Dogs, like people, react differently and are even capable of becoming seasick.

If you have no sailing experience, you may not want to take to the waters of the Chesapeake on your own home built boat. Don't take it the wrong way, but that happened around here last summer and ended in tragedy with the couple drowning on their first outing.

I would suggest taking some sailing lessons and volunteering as crew on other people's race boats. You can also buy an older boat, like a Pearson Ensign, a Pearson Ariel, a Rhodes Meridian, a Southcoast 23, or myriad other solid and seaworthy boats for under $5000.

You need to know what you like and what does and does not work before you can build your own boat, in my opinion. Boats like those mentioned above usually provide plenty of opportunity for modification, while still maintaining both their seaworthiness and sail-ability.
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Old 07-17-2007
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CacheHunter-

There are some very capable 18-19' sailboats. Webb Chiles made it most of the way around the world in an 18' open Drascombe Luggeróbut that's a bit of an extreme example. The Flicka, which is 20' LOD, has crossed oceans fairly frequently.

However, the Glen-L 19 you're looking to build is probably not seaworthy enough to go up the coast safely IMHO. It would probably be fine for sailing around the Chesapeake though.

Also, NOLA's point about home-built boats is very valid, and the cost of the materials and time it would take you to build the boat is probably comparable to what a smaller trailerable sailboat would cost youóready to go out of the box, so to speak. While some of the boats he has named would probably not be as useful, being not suitable for trailering and generally requiring a marina slip, like the Ariel, there are a lot of decent performance, fairly seaworthy trailerable designs out there to pick from.

Whether a smaller boat can go out on the ocean has a lot to do with the design of the boat more than the length of the boat. There are 30' boats that I would be very hesitant to take anywhere off of a protected bay or large lake...and there are 20' designs that I would take out on the ocean.

As for dogs... that is really dog specific. Some dogs don't get seasick, others don't ever get used to the motion of the boat and are sick the whole time aboard. A golden retriever is probably a better choice than say a rotweiller... but may be a bit large for a 19' boat IMHO.

If you took the rig off of an 18' catamaran, it might make more sense to build a multihull to put the rig back onto.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-17-2007 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 07-17-2007
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It's all about displacement (within common designs) when you ask what a boat can do. Length plays a key role in how fast it can do it.
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Old 07-17-2007
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Quote:
While some of the boats he has named would probably not be as useful, being not suitable for trailering and generally requiring a marina slip, like the Ariel, there are a lot of decent performance, fairly seaworthy trailerable designs out there to pick from.
I somehow missed the trailerability requirement. I think my bias for those old designs was showing through. They really are great boats.

As sailingdog points out, though, there are many small trailerables in the same range.

I also hope I didn't come across as too negative. If you really want to build your own boat, go for it. Just do it for the right reasons: cost is not the right reason - as both the material cost and time required is considerable.

Just get out on the water - as long as you do it safely - and have a great time. Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-17-2007
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I am just guessing on the trailerability requirement, based on the design he chose, the GlenL-19 and the 18' catamaran that he had originally. Both are shallow draft and trailerable.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 07-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CacheHunter
Sorry if the answers to some of these questions have been answered before, I tried to research but alas I canít spend hours reading the forums (as much as I wish I could!).

I am completely new to sailing and I recently acquired an 18í catamaran that is beyond repair. After doing a little research and talking to people I am in planning to strip the mast and other salvageable parts and build myself a sailboat. This is the boat I am currently looking at building:

GLEN-L 19

So my questions start here. What are 18-19í sailboats capable of? The wife and I would mostly be taking it around the bay (Chesapeake) for now but are they capable of going up and down the east coast of the US? Can you even take these little ones out to sea much or should they mostly stick to shore?

Also on weekend or week long trips aboard how do dogís handle being underway? Is it comparable to people that some take to it like ducks on water while others donít want anything to do with it? We have a golden retriever and wish to take him with us on our boating trips.
It's pretty hard to make any boat "beyond repair" builing another is quite a task for the inexperienced. Send pics and info on what's wrong with the original cat and who knows, maybe it's salvageable...
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Old 07-17-2007
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18 ft sailboats have gone around the world (or if they haven't they should have), Maybe, that's how S America go populated, guys from the pacific islands got swept eastward and became Mexicans. If you buy it and strip it, then you have to dispose of the hulk. Look at your local EPA requirements before you take the leak, no, I mean leap!
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Old 07-18-2007
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If you are building the boat because you like the boatbuilding process then go for it. As far as 19 foot boats go - the specs seem to indicate that it will be fairly seaworthy. The ballast is maybe a little bit light but the boat has hard chines so that should provide some stability in lieu of the ballast.

If you "overbuilt" the boat - i.e.: reinforced it signifcantly, then it would prbably be okay for coastal cruising, but there are much better boats out there for that purpose.

Be aware that the cost of building it will be more than buying a used boat of similar size. Because it is a very dated design, and becuase it will be a homebuilt craft, you are not likely to be able to get much for it if/when you sell it.

You might want to consider these kits as well ...

Cape Henry 21 boat plans
Didi Mini radius chine plywood Mini-Transat boat plans
Didi 26 radius chine plywood boat plans

Boat plan details, Vagabond Plus 20 (VG20), Sailboats less than 25'
Boat plan details, Vagabond 23 (VG23), Sailboats less than 25'
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Old 07-18-2007
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I think the Didi Mini Cruise would make more sense.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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