From the above discussion, it appears that the multi-hull crowd has taken over the thread, and the focus has migrated away from micro-budget cruising.
The justification for the above is deck space and ventilation. SVrodem has shown, as has my 60 years of experience, that ventilation is not accidental, it is the result of considerable thought and a modicum of elbow
Nothing beats the Maurice-Griffiths double coaming hatch for moving air through the boat. Pegasus has 3 of them. They have stayed open the past week as a stationary trough has sat over St. Thomas, doing what they do best, move air through the boat with no water
Next best are dorades. On Pegasus we have 10, thats right ten of them! 8 are 6" cowls and 2 are 5" cowls. Yes, you need at least a 5" cowl to move sufficient air through the boat, and each and every compartment should have two vents. For cold weather
each vent should have a blind (made of plexiglass) which can be pushed over the opening to close it, and they should be screened, which you can do by sewing screen
material over an embroidery hoop cut down to fit.
Next best are ports. To work in any weather
, the spigots must be at least 2" deep and 3" is better. Best are ports in vertical house sides, such as are found on the 28Ft Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter
. These should be screened.
To keep the boat cool you need insulation
in the deck. This has been mentioned above, and I cannot stress the importance of this enough.
To keep the boat comfortable, you need insulation
in the hull. Otherwise in fall and spring cruising, you will have soggy bunks from the condensation
making its way down the hull and into your bunk cushions
. Needless to say, your lockers will be wet too.
The multi-hull crowd is bitching about monohulls in general, when in fact they are making valid points about the cruiser-racer type of monohull
They are asserting that monohulls don't have deck space on which to lounge, when in fact properly designed and managed monohulls do.
They assert that monohulls can't cruise
shallow water, when in fact, monohulls were expressly designed for such waters, long before multihulls were popular, and they gloss over the fact that their favorite multi hulls can't go to windward because they lack lateral plane, because they don't have boards.
For the man on a micro budget, take a look at the photo
of Dovekie. She is about 22 ft. has lee boards, can float in 18" of water, and is available at a micro price
. When she pales, there is a ready market for her. At the end of the season you can trailer her home
. There are dozens of similar designs one can build, if one's budget requires.
The fact is..... those who must and are cruising on micro-budgets are doing so on mono-hulls, and those who pioneered micro-budget cruising did to on mono-hulls.
Also of critical importance to the micro-budget guy getting started, is a boat he can take home at the end of the cruise
or season. The savings in storage
costs are phenomenal, as I well know. My previous boat was a Tartan 27, designed by Sparkman and Stephens. with a beam of 8'2", she was narrow enough to trailer across the US from Annapolis
to Michigan City WITHOUT A PERMIT
, on a rented straight truck! There are many designs in this size (25-29 ft LOA
) which are trailerable and can be towed home behind the family
SUV or Pickup Truck. If you are just getting started, start with one of these, or Chameleon, or a Lightning
or a Rhodes 19. Get Experience. Join a Yacht Club
Cruising is a contact sport, you cannot learn it while sitting at a computer!
It is also a fact that you cannot achieve the speeds professed by the multi crowd unless you drive the ship, which means carrying all the sail she'll hold.
Also a fact of cruising are squalls at night.
On her first voyage to Chicago, about 15 miles off the Breakwater, Pegasus encountered a frontal boundary and a white squall. I was back at sea after 4.5 years building, so was slow to recognize the danger
. I noticed though when the squall hit with 50 knots, because we were rail down under full working rig. Dowsing the yankee was a scene out of Horatio Hornblower, for it was raining UP at me in the bowsprit
, which is normally 7 ft above the water. Once dowsed, she righted to her normal heel and we pressed on... for about 30 mins when the wind
died all together.
This is the same sort of squall which sank the 48ft multi just south of Martinique
last year. The difference between my experience and their experience was 11 tons of ballast in the keel
. In consequence I lived to gain experience and voyage around the world, while they found a watery grave.
Regardless of type, a cruising yacht on a micro-budget must provide a safe, comfortable haven for her crew. This means dry bunks, well ventilated cabin
, everything in its place, u shaped galley
, a place to eat and to navigate.
If you need shallow draft
, look at a sharpie.
Regardless remember that you must do without an engine
to keep on your budget and your boat must be able to tack upwind through tight channels into anchorages
, whether in the Chesapeake, off Provo, in the Bahamas
or elsewhere. This is something the multis don't do very well, and the wharrams don't do at all.
If you must build something, build something like the Bristol Channel Pilot cutter
or LapWing, or buy a Cape George 36 hull. Be sure it has a toe rail at least 6" high. Put the chain locker as far aft as possible. Install a bow roller at least 4" in diameter, be sure the chain goes through a pawl and there is a bolt or something else to close the top of the chute so the chain cannot jump out, no matter what.
Below are photos of micro-budget cruisers who visited St. Thomas recently.