Friday, 31 August 2012

Small Trailer Sailors

Our Dream Boat: Baycruiser 23
So having sold the Wanderer dinghy the hunt is on for a new boat, which must meet the following criteria:

* an all up trailing weight of less than 500kg (maximum my car can tow unbraked) 

* a boat with a simple rig that is quick to rig

* a cabin with room for 2 people to sleep and good stowage

* a boat that is seaworthy and looks good!

* 18 foot or under so it could be parked on a driveway

* the ability to dry out in tidal waters

When we were at the boat show we saw a beautiful boat called a BayCruiser 23 it looked fantastic - a blend of traditional styling with modern construction. However what was more impressive was its all up weight of just 750kg owing to its water ballast system. Myself and Laura decided that this was our dream boat but with prices starting at £30,000, we wouldn't be making a purchase anytime soon!

Months and months went by and I couldn't find any boats that met my requirements, the main problem was due to the weight. Finding a boat that is under 500kg including a trailer is difficult, especially when you consider this 500kg trailer allowance must include anything you put in the boat (outboard motor, ect). 

However, recently I found an article in PBO (issue 413 May 2001) called "Choosing a trailer-sailer" which was reviewing boats 13ft - 17ft, perfect! It discussed the pros & cons of 10 different boats of which 4 were small enough to be towed behind my car. I particularly liked the Voyager 14, which PBO reviewed in the Sep 2012 issue. However I will look to buy any of the following boats:


West Wight Potter
Length 4.34m
Beam 1.6m
Displacement 350kg

PROS: lots of them about, good space, lifting centreboard
CONS: too boxy, flimsy looking rig







Shipmate Senior
Length  4.95m
Beam 1.91m
Weight 440kg

PROS: lots of space
CONS: very few to choose from, borderline too heavy










Redstart

Length 4.42m
Beam 1.55m
Weight 317kg

Pros: good performance, looks good
Cons: fin keel





Voyager 14
Length 4.06m
Beam 1.55m
Weight 340kg

PROS: bilge keels, fits in a single garage, simple rig
CONS: limited headroom, not many to choose from
  

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