Join Date: Jun 2009
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Re: Looking For Very Tiny Pocket Cruiser - help?
I may be biased, but if finances are tight, a Venture 17 will set you back about $1/lb. of displacement. Listed at 800 lbs. I love mine. You backpack? A V17 has enough cabin to give you storage and living area on a rainy day. Maybe even with a friend (a close friend, at least) I usually sail single hand and the biggest problem I have is finding someone to hold the bow line while I "jerk" the trailer to launch the boat on these silly short/shallow ramps around here.
They were a good-selling boat in the late 60's and early 70's so there is a lot of them out there. The original trailers seem to hold up well too. Mine has fullsize wheels and car tires, not toy-sized trailer wheels - maybe that helps?
Back to the boat - simple rigging, no winches needed. I led all lines to the cockpit and I added a jib downhaul and a topping lift. Spinnakers are doable, but I don't have one.
I've been out in 20+ kt. Winds and 6+ plus waves (not breakers) and was having fun and staying dry. I know that doesn't sound impressive to someone on a 34 footer, but it's kind of like going 75 mph in a go-kart is a lot wilder than 75 in a Camry.
The Ventures were made by MacGregor and have that "cheap production boat" reputation. Yeah, they aren't Hinkleys. But I've bounced off enough docks and run into my own trailer enough to appreciate the design. Home Depot is my primary chandlery, but if you want to take it to a higher level all those dinghy racing (Lightning, Flying Scot) bits are sized to fit a boat like this. A 2 HP egg beater scoots it around nicely and it'll plane under sail.
Cast iron swing keel is maintenance free and allows you to run right up on a sandy beach. Then shove off, and use the bow eye and pulpit to climb onboard without getting wet above your knees!
I have mine loaded down for world travel or post-apocalypse survival (I read too many "Blue Water" books and provision accordingly) and I get near hull speed easily in mild breezes.
I see more Venture 21s than 17s. Apparently there's also a 19. They are all within 300 lbs. of each other.
Keep the expenses low and the good times high.
PA Freshwater / Chesapeake