Small Open Dinghy Cruiser Design Questions.... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-18-2010 Thread Starter
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Small Open Dinghy Cruiser Design Questions....

Hello everyone, I was just browsing the web and checking out cruising in a small open sailboat (like a 12'-16' daysailor mostly open). I was looking at a few sites of people have built their own and I see them doing capsize tests and when they right the boat it's nearly always half full of water. I know this isn't a good thing if you were doing a short crossing in one of these because in rough weather bailing may not be to feasible.

Then a thought came to mind of some of the racing dingy's that you see with the open transom where all the water that splashes onboard simply runs out of the open transom.

I wonder why people haven't adopted this into their designs? I think it would be possible and feasible to have a small "more cruiser like" (with storage everywhere and things like that) boat with the same self bailing capabilities.

I have searched many sites looking at the different plans and things they offer for sale but I haven't ran up on a design like this yet that I can recall. Has anyone seen one of these and couple possibly point me in that direction.

I also wonder if there is a reason why this hasn't been used yet? Would it somehow not be feasible or seaworthy?

Just a curious ramble......

Small is beautiful, simple, cheap, and easy......

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post #2 of 6 Old 01-19-2010
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I can think of two reasons: The dinghy cruising I know of is done in traditional boats, dories and such. None of these have open transoms. Also dinghy cruisers should be beachable, pushing her back into the water might wet your gear, or you might take water in a following sea. Racers put up with this.
There are a couple of extensive threads on the WoodenBoat forum about small boat cruisers.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-19-2010
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This type of cruising is generally done on more comfortable, lower performance boats. In my teens I did several 2+ week trips like this and we never got close to capsizing.

Probably one of the determining factors is weight. For two people, the gear associated can often be the equivalent of having a 3rd person. This extra weight when put into the correct place can make the boat more stable. In addition, if done incorrectly it can make the boat much harder to right after a capsize. Capsizing a boat on a camping trip was never something that interested me. It is one thing to go home and take a hot shower and a different one to hand your clothes out to dry and crawl into a sleeping bag. In addition, when spending often 8 hours in the boat, having something that you could move around on and make lunch on was important. An argument could be made for a sportier boat that could get you there faster but what I enjoyed was the journey so then I just would have gone further.

I suppose that someone with the right attitude could enjoy a boat like this but I liked to take it a bit easier. This didn't mean that we didn't sail when it got rough, we always had the ability to reef.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-19-2010
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I think the Portland Pudgy is the best sailing dinghy for safety in rough crossing. 'take care and joy, aythya crew
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-19-2010
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Safety is one reason most small boat gunkholing sailors don't use an open transom sailing dinghy. It is pretty easy to end up with important stuff, food, clothing, gear, crew, washing out the transom. While this isn't as dangerous during a race, due to the close proximity of other boats, usually including a power boat for the officials, and such, a small gunkholing boat might be alone—with no-one near by to help if you fall out the transom.


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post #6 of 6 Old 01-19-2010
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This site CLICKY is a font of useful knowledge mostly from people who actually go "cruising" in dinghies.

I used it when planning a summer cruise around bits of the Hebrides.
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