Thinking about Boats

Found this in my draft’s and thought I would post it as it shows my thinking about cruising. Fast forward two years and I have bought my Gull. I thought and planned a lot around designing and building but the cost and time commitment didn’t add up

The Gull

My mind is constantly musing the ideal boat as my experiments with Iki Wa’a demonstrate.

The virtues of Iki Wa’a are many fold and aligned with his original brief

  • Quick and easy to get from storage, onto the car, take a trip and all packed away in no time. Better organisation of the stuff I need is always a challenge.
  • Short length gets him into interesting places and adventures, top end of the Hamble, streams like St Patrick’s etc.
  • Light so car-topping easy. He has gained a few pounds with the hatch and buoyancy but still good.
  • Still to do it but with careful packing an overnight trip very feasible.
  • The rig adds some down wind fun without adding complexity.
  • Surprisingly stable, even sailing secondary stability is good. My only swim has been getting out up a tall ladder.

But he does have his downsides

  • Speed, relatively short paddling wise he is never going to keep up with bigger touring canoes and kayaks
  • Sailing limited to down wind / cross wind so again not really up to sailing in company

The two downsides limit trips in company, with more capable craft but loosing the benefits of the list of positives would be hard to imagine.

So time, budget etc what are the alternatives

Sea Kayak – more speed, could have a small pop up rig but less nimble longer etc

Open sailing canoe, add leeboard, fore and aft rig, nice with some degree of complexity.

Tacking outrigger, better sailing performance but starting to get more complex and paddling compromised

Full outrigger canoe, adding more complexity again and depending on size a trailer starts to become easier

Cruising dinghy, keeping it on the trailer simplifies the whole packing thing but starts to limit where and when to go.

That last point is the real sticky point, access to the water. When I moved down here I liked the concept of dinghy cruising. From my limited research and experience of launching on the South Coast I have yet to find a launching spot that would work on all states of tide and be able to easily park with a trailer. I think I will look into all the dinghy cruising association reports and systematically take Iki Wa’a on a trip at each.

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