I like exploring new lakes. I built an OzRacer by Michael Storer and liked its performance and handling. With it I made one overnight trip and that convinced me, that the OzRacer is quite capable for trips like that. During last winter I started to sketch a cruiser version of the OzRacer. I chose that boat because it is light and has good performance. My design uses Michael Storer´s Oz Racers sails, spars and foils - and she can fly!
This summer I made a three day trip with the boat and I found it to be a fun design. I was sleeping inside the cabin and sailing every day like a real sailor! The off center hatch could looks odd, but it´s handy when moving inside the cabin. You can slide your legs under cockpit seats while you are standing on the cabin floor. The boat is meant to be sailed with the hatch shut. If she is capsized, you should have enough time to turn the boat upright again before cabin fills with water, but Oz Racers aren´t too easy to capsize!
It proved itself as a such a good working concept that I ended up making plans for it. I have made bigger boats, but small boats have the advantage of being faster to build and maintain in sailing condition. The more timeyou spend building the boat, the more you worry about it when sailing. If the boat is quickly buillt, you can use it harder and build another with less time compared with building one bigger boat.
The plans for Ocean Explorer contain around 95 pages of drawings, photos and text including a plan for the homemade lugsail – the plan is available as a PDF download which you can print on your home computer.
From Michael Storer
Perttu has built a few of my boats. First an OzRacer, then my Quick Canoe which he has the best video of to date – going backwards at times, down a Finnish River.
Then he came up with the awesome Ocean Explorer concept using all the running gear from his OzRacer but a different hull.
It was such a great concept I started pushing him hard to document the hull and the building method. At the time I didn't know his day job was as a timber engineer. He has done a great job of the plans. The detail drawings are a wonder.
I ended up pulling out all the spar, rudder and centreboard information and the sailmaking guide from the OzRacer to complete the Ocean Explorer. In fact, like Perttu, you could have the two hulls and then use the other bits on the one you wanted to sail in that day. The same bits also work on the almost 12ft Goose.
My methods tend to focus on making very nice and precise centreboards and rudders, good light spars and well matched sails. This is where a lot of boat performance can be found. Some say “I am only cruising” - but if the boat goes 10 or 20% better upwind it adds a lot of safety and a lot of options for cruising. It probably adds a total of a day to the build, but the benefit is very large.
Be clear, it is not really ocean capable, but for many lakes and rivers it is a great little boat that won't cost a lot, won't feel too precious and probably inspire a great deal of argument along some waterfronts.