I have been a sea kayaker for many years and have built a small navy of them for my use. However, with sea kayaks comes camping ashore. Not that this is a bad thing but my bones were beginning to find sleeping on rocks a lot less attractive over the years. And there is no shortage of rocks along the British Columbia coastline.
I began the pleasant task of selecting a design, a process which forces you to clarify requirements. The boat would need to comfortably sleep two, be trailerable, straight forward in construction and cost is always a consideration. As the boat was to be used for costal cruising, it has to be able to handle well and keep the owner safe. A word about trailer sailing. I have owned an elderly small fiber glass boat. I found that particular design to be ridiculously heavy and terrifying to rig. Getting the mast up and secured was a death defying feat. This truly affected my view of the launching and rigging drill and how it should go. Divorces have occurred over smaller issues.
|LOOKING VERY PLEASED WITH THE SLOT TOP TENT. WORKS REALLY WELL!
In due course I selected the Scram Pram and ordered plans through Duckworks. The US Postal Service, love 'em or hate 'em, looked at the last word and sent them on. Unfortunately, Jim Michalak had written British Columbia so the plans went off on a journey to South America. Apparently the country is the last word in an address according to the postal service. Who knew! Jim sent a 2nd set of drawings which as Murphy would have it arrived the day before the wandering plans found me, covered in yellow tapes with Spanish messages on them. I should start a stamp collection.
The building commenced and went on in starts and stops through a year when we moved house, constructed a number of rental suites as well as going to work daily. I'm not quite sure how we survived that year and I don't want to repeat it. In any event the boat was completed in about a year. During the course of construction I was fortunate to find a dozen sheets of Okume marine plywood on Craigslist, a mix of 6 mm and 9 mm, which pretty much filled the lumber bill. I also found epoxy from Craigslist, overages from other builds, several anchors and rodes, a second hand outboard and a beat up trailer.
Projects within projects. I won't bore you with construction details but things went pretty much as expected. Like all builders I changed a few things and added others. I raised the cabin height by 4 inches to get additional head room at a cost in added windage. I constructed benches which fold out to form a sleeping platform roughly the size of a double bed. This works well and I've spent about 10 nights aboard.
|SLEEPING PLATFORM FROM FOLDING BENCHES
I also built a folding table which lives in the foot well. It's a little fiddly to setup but functions as it should.
|BENCHES FOLDED TABLE SET UP. NOT SEEN IN PICTURE ARE THE LONG STEMMED GLASSES AND CHILLED WHITE WINE. THIS IS ABOUT HEDONISTIC CAMPING!
Boat building projects are never really finished. Most recently I added a bridle/traveler to help shape the sail better and a tiller impeder as discussed on Low Cost Voyaging Group. I like it! Soon to come, jiffy reefing.
I am pleased with the boat. The chubby little thing handles well, carries anything you might want to bring, meets the easy launch/rig criteria and happily is a fast and able sailer.
|PRAM ON A BROAD REACH. SAIL NEEDS PEAKING BUT ROLLING ALONG ANYWAY
And you always have company when you are at the ramp. There's never a shortage of people who want to discuss your creation, most recently a French commercial fisherman/tourist. At the Port Townsend Pocket Yachters "Pocket Palooza" held this May one lady came up to me and said, " That is the most functional boat in this whole fleet!" Obviously an intelligent woman.
|THE CAPTAIN LOOKING SMUG, JUST PASSED THE WHOLE FLEET!