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post #1 of 19 Old 05-21-2009 Thread Starter
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The Most simple Boat

If someone could give up on any and every luxuries ("Sleeping on a mattress"; dogs can sleep on the floor, men can too!), and who would have the simplest, most basic/primitive boat on the planet, then what would that boat look like?

First let's see what the "law" obliges you to have (By the way I have no Idea what Im talking about, just starting up a conversation between a bunch of cyber sea wolves)

- Insurance ? Iv seen people use that word when they talk about boats. Do we need license plates like on a car ? Inspection?
- Lights ? Ya know those things that show you there's a boat when its dark or foggy. What is the simplest way to do this? Obviously, the farther away we stay from any form of electricity, the better!
-Anything else...

Does any of you wonder why I didn't start with the essential components of the BOAT itself ? Well, most of us live in fascist states/empires/kingdoms nowadays, so we all want to avoid concentration camps as much as possible. So now let us see about the basics of the boat.

- A hull. Very vague and a big, big subject right here. Wood? I think so. Why? I dont know how to make fiberglass. I know where wood comes from. So Now I have an unlimited amount of repair material. Shape? Well well, I would go with a full keel (Especially if its wood), maybe double-ender (Simpler). Lenght ? As small as possible, of course!
- Rigging. someone else figure that out. Just keep in mind; basic!
- Cabin. Now theres a real bugger I think. Technically, windows, or whatever you call holes in the boat with clear material to see outside/inside, well these make a problem; they are holes in the boat! But if they really are necessary, then I guess the boat would have a few, then seeing the weather is much easier. As for the interior, I imagine some kinda storage containers would be suitable. Headroom is unimportant.
- Navigation aid. A compass, A sextant or two, a clock, some charts, tide tables, stuff about stars, books, lots of books, and all that good stuff. And a nice dry watertight spot for all that good stuff. Maybe some spares.
- Water tank. Very self explanatory
- Bilge pump ... Bucket ?
- Anchor.
- Tools. All hand tools.
- Some spare gear/equipment/material/rope/chain/sails/sailcloth.
- Heat ... Wood stove ? that sounds good to me, but Im not too sure.

Of course theres a lot of room for design discussion. As for why I started this; I wanna get a couple pointers for my first boat. Doesn't mean It would be that great, just a direction Im taking. Only downside is that having such a boat (Apart from living the life of a middle-ages peasant) makes it hard to make a girlfriend. But that's a whole other debate.
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-21-2009
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No need to build a better mousetrap.

The Sunfish has been around for decades!!
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-21-2009
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For a cruising boat, it's been done. Either a Day/Mowers Seabird Yawl, or an L.F. Herreshoff Rozinante.

Both are wonderful, well thought out little cruising boats. The Rozinante positively sparkles under sail.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-21-2009
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We were happy to camping on are J24 with two couples throughout the 80s

We kind of like a REAL shower now as the solar shower on the deck does get OLD

I also do enough care and feeding on a 35' i race on to know its way more work and money than i want to spend

1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Last edited by tommays; 05-21-2009 at 10:39 AM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-21-2009
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As far as I know no one makes liquid fuel lights that meet current standards in terms of required brightness. I regret that to be the case since for many years I continued to use Kerosene lights off a 1939 wooden boat that I used to own and had restored. The best solution here might be to use a masthead tri-color with low wattage consumption LED's and a solar panel to keep them charged.

Many states do not require boats under 7 meters (roughly 23 feet) and without an engine to be registered. That may help with some of the legal issues but you need to check your particular state to see what their specific requirements would be. Oddly some states require boats on trailers to be registered regardless of length or the absense of an engine)

Boats up to 25 feet or so can be rowed in moderately flat water. (I used to row my 25 foot folkboat which did not have an engine or registration. ).

I should also note, that when Taliesin says, "I would go with a full keel (Especially if its wood)" ....that a full keel uses much more material and is actually harder to build in a wooden boat, and produces a longer garboard seam, which is the highest risk seam in the boat. Moderately long fin keels are easier to build and do not require a garboard seam.

For that matter, "maybe a double-ender (Simpler)" it only confirms that Tallesin has never tried to plank a double ender. A transom stern is far easier to build in wood, and also far sturdier and more trouble free to build properly since you are not counting on a rabbeted seam.

When I was a kid I onced cruise on a friend's 17 foot National One design. NODRA National One Design Racing Association We slept on the floor boards under a boom tent. Of course I was probably 15 or so at the time. I can't imagine my 59 year old body tollerating that for very long but it was a lot of fun back then. It didn't get more simple than that.


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post #6 of 19 Old 05-21-2009 Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the pointers. I guess my obsession with big keeled double-enders had nothing to do with simplicity. Thank you Jeff. And it should be obvious that a boat that has no emphasis on comfort should not necessarily have a comfortable motion. So a fin keel and a transom. Plastic ? Maybe plastic then, even thou wood remains attractive, just because it's wood I guess. Something else I would like that boat to do; resist capsize. I heard that a beamy light boat should be more prone to capsize than a heavy narrow one.
The small boat with boom tent sounds fun, just too cold in winter. Whats the simplest heating system out there ?

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post #7 of 19 Old 05-21-2009
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If your looking for something cool and simple, I saw this design in this months Sailing magazine.

PocketShip: 15-foot Fast-Sailing Pocket Cruiser with Sitting Headroom and 8-foot Berths!

Is small though. Looks like it would be alot of fun though.
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-21-2009
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We have had many great weekends out on our 1971 Cal25. Although it does have a head it is pretty basic. No galley, we cook on a portable propane grill and a camping stove. I have a solar lantern that we run up a halyard for an anchor light. A 5 gallon jerry can is usually enough water for a weekend.


1971 Cal25 Hull #19
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-21-2009
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Phil Bolger designed a series of small cruisers. The micro is 16' and the long micro is 19' if memory serves. Pretty basic designs. There's always stich and glue designs that use both wood and glass.

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post #10 of 19 Old 05-21-2009
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Anchor lights

I have solar yard lights that I got at Walmart. $15.00 for four of them. At sack time I take two up on deck and slip them into a bungee around the mast at arms reach high. The ones that remain below I put in a locker, as they are still on in the morning. Two is cool, but four in one room is easily enough to read by.

Hard and fast
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