Subject: [harryproa] Build trailerable as a test?
From: Mike Crawford
Date: 5/29/2008, 2:31 PM

  I feel for your predicament.

  While we're very happy with our current catamaran (though we intend to upgrade to a larger proa in the future), we recently decided to also get something small, very simple to set up, and easy to operate without a motor. 

  The cat is great, but it gets stored in a boatyard, and for us that means going on a four hour trip outside protected waters to store it or retrieve it.  That's not a problem in the summertime when we can choose when to sail, but it's a bummer when we stretch the season.  We ended up trying to motor though a snowstorme one November on our way to the yard, complete with 30 knot winds and seven foot seas.  It was miserable, especially since our outboard is hung off a bracket behind the transom, and kept popping out of the water.  We eventually turned back in between wave sets and waited a few days until the seas were below four feet.

  So we thought we'd get a small boat we could row or sail, that can be set up or taken down in ten minutes, to let us extend the season a month or two on either end of the normal sailing season.  While it's a pain to take the cat back in November, there's no reason we couldn't keep a sailing dinghy in the water until mid December, and just wait for a calm day to take it over to a boat ramp.

  We started with the Norseboat 17.5 ( ), the largest boat we felt would be easily rowed.  Then we kept on adding a foot or two in order to accommodate another person, then a porta pottie, then maybe a stove, and then, and then....  It's easy with the hundreds of build-your-own plywood boat plans available.  We ended up with a 30-footer, which is larger than our 27' catamaran, and a lot more money than we planned on for the small dinghy.   The build time obviously went way up as well.

  Now we've gotten a hold of ourselves and are back to the Norseboat, and intend to pick one up in two weeks.  It will be nice to have it as an option, especially since my wife wants to learn how to sail, but is too overwhelmed by the high performance cat.  And to tell the truth, I really want an old-fashioned daysailer that looks salty, heels to leeward, and slowly plods across the water.  In addition to a larger multihull, of course.

  But it was tough to stay focused on what we wanted to do with the boat.  That "we'll just stay small" theory is a very difficult one to implement.

  My two cents is that you've got to either be really disciplined about being trailerable and light, or abandon the plan and get something large enough for all the guests and equipment you hope to carry.  Anything else is going to be slow, expensive, and not what you want (it won't be small, fast, and cheap, nor will it provide liveaboard space).

       - Mike

Gardner Pomper wrote:


You are absolutely right, I have let my mind wander again. That is the danger, and the beauty, of the idea that you can play with layout ideas pretty much independent of the hulls, and fit the appropriate hulls to the layout later.

The reason I looking at this larger design, is that the "fat" Elementarry looks to be 700-1000 hours of work, which might be too much for my first project and it sounds like you get more "bang for your buck" (as in labor hours) as a proa scales up. With something similar to what I posted (since modified), my family could take a week's vacation in Maine, or the Florida Keys, or maybe the Bahamas. I could live on it indefinitely (once my family got fed up with it <grin>).

I am trying to get a feel for the time and expense involved in different size/function proas. I might even be interested in contracting out (maybe wherever the charter proa is being built) to have something like this built for me. Do you happen to know what the dimension restrictions are for a shippng container? I think it is a little less than 8' x 40'. Probably too small, but might make shipping from China more practical.

On the matter of you not doing drawings, I am absolutely glad that you aren't. I feel guilty with the time you are spending answering my questions. If at any point you think we should make a more formal arrangement, just contact me privately.

On the matter of steering, that seems to be another unresolved issue on the larger trailerables. I know you have at least one other person talking to you about this type design. Is the idea to just use *really* long tiller extensions. If cruising for a week or two, I am not crazy about being out in the rain steering, and popping over to the lee hull each time I shunt to flip the rudders around. Is that what is required? I have no ideas for how to make a remote steering system that would also collapse to trailer width. That sounds like it might just go off the bounds of too much complexity.

- Gardner

On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 12:37 AM, Rob Denney <> wrote:


Can do it, but this is hardly the day sailing trailer sailer, the
cabin will ned to be high at the ends so you can sit up in the bunks,
and where do you sit to sail the boat?


On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 1:34 AM, Gardner Pomper <> wrote:
> Pursuing the idea of making the ww hull a bit longer, I have uploaded
> another sketch to the file "trailerable Pomper". I am deliberately trying to
> leave as much of the interior of the hull unfinished as I can, and
> (naturally), I need to have standard size bunks. The pop top can have roll
> down clears for foul weather. The bunks are covered with clear lexan, which
> can be flipped up to enclose the cockpit when the weather is bad, or you
> want to use them. You enter the bunks from the flip down walkway, or over
> the back of the lazarrette.
> I don't know that I added much weight, so hopefully we can preserve the 10:1
> ratio on the ww hull.
> - Gardner
> On Wed, May 28, 2008 at 1:19 AM, Rob Denney <> wrote:
>> G'day,
>> Preliminary numbers
>> ww hull 5m/15' long, waterline 450mm/18", draft 220mm/8.5",
>> displacement 640 lbs, prismatic .77. (Use this to allow for the hull
>> shape when you multiply the cross sectional area in the middle of the
>> boat by the length). I would probably go a little longer to cope
>> with your other requirements.
>> lw hull, as long as you can build, trail, afford and handle. The
>> longer it is, the higher the top speed and the drier and more
>> comfortable the motion.
>> The single sail works well on boats with light windward hulls, as the
>> rudder is aft, which makes it balanced. With 600 kgs on a shortish ww
>> hull, the ballestron may be a better bet, although once you know how
>> to shunt, it won't be a problem. With a lot of people on board, and
>> not much boom clearance the ballestron needs to be watched while
>> shunting.
>> There will be trampolines, which will be on side pieces with a hinge
>> in the middle so it can be folded when the boat telescopes. A
>> walkway can do the same.
>> Sail is loose footed (attached only to the outboard end of the boom).
>> On Elementarry, the boom is attached to the mast. It has a sock luff,
>> so this is not a problem. Yours would have slides, so the boom needs
>> to rotate relative to the mast, but not move vertically. Not a big
>> deal. Your boom will indeed be too long to attach permanently. It
>> will be strapped to the bearing on the mast, again, not a big deal.
>> The hours on the charter boat are for the shell. This one could take
>> anywhere from 500-1,000+ hours depending on all the usual stuff, but
>> mostly on the standard of finish required. There are some alignment
>> details to make it telescope smoothly, which could add some time.
>> They are all done before the beams are closed up permanently, so are
>> not difficult, just might take a while.
>> Materials cost? Same as the other trailer sailor, give or take a bit.
>> It is cheaper to import the materials from here. Let me or Raps
>> know if you want to share the shipping costs.
>> Could be a single bunk, or the galley and stowage. The double is
>> 6'x5', the single is 5x3. Yours will have the cockpit in this area.
>> The toilet at one end of the hull and the galley at the other end.
>> Access will be through deck hatches.
>> Re infusion. Derek's workshops are fantastic, Henny at
>> has a lot of info and a cd, as does Steve in
>> Houston, but I don't have his web address. By far the best way to
>> learn about it is:
>> Get a vacuum pump from ebay, (old milking pumps, fridge compressors,
>> air con evacuators all work) and a sheet of window glass about 30"
>> square. Buy some clear builders plastic, some window sealant, glass,
>> foam, peel ply and resin, some shade cloth and some 10mm plastic
>> conduit. Drill the smallest holes you can every 4" in the foam and a
>> 1/4" hole every 4" in the middle 18" of 2 pieces of 4' lengths of
>> conduit, cut the cloth and peel ply and lay it on the glass with a 2"
>> border all the way round. Put the shade cloth on the glass and wrap
>> it around the perforated section of the lengths of conduit such that
>> one piece is on one side of the job, the other is on the opposite
>> side. Cut a piece of plastic the same size as the glass and seal it
>> to the glass and around the conduit. Block one end of one piece of
>> conduit and hook the other end up to the vac pump. Block both ends
>> of the other piece. Check for leaks (listening) is the best way.
>> When it is leak free, unseal the ends of the non vacuum conduit and
>> put them in buckets of resin. Prepare to be amazed. When the
>> infusion is complete (look under the glass aswell as on top), seal off
>> the resin conduit and leave it to cure. You now know more about
>> infusion than 95% of the world's boatbuilders. Study and weigh the
>> sample, and let me know what it looks like and what went wrong and I
>> will start lesson 2.
>> Elementarry as a tender? Could do, but without seats, it is not very
>> comfortable. It is also a bit fragile for hauling up beaches and over
>> rocks. The Torqueedo would work, but rowing wouldn't. No sweat on
>> the payload, but it would all be on the trampoline. You would be
>> better off with a conventional dinghy. Loading El on the cabin top
>> for blasting around when you get there has more merit, but the mother
>> ship really should be bigger for this.
>> Let me know what the next step is, or if I have forgotten to reply to
>> anything.
>> regards,
>> Rob
>> On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 11:57 PM, Gardner Pomper <>
>> wrote:
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > Ok, I can tell by the responses that it won't be a small boat :( I was
>> > hoping for something smaller than the design that is taking shape. Since
>> > that looks to be not true, let me fall back to that one, and drop the
>> > weight
>> > requirements and the 6 passenger (we will only invite people on a nice
>> > day
>> > for a few hours. They can sit on the trampolines (there can be
>> > trampolines,
>> > right?) Then we can design for crew weight of 600lbs, and seating for
>> > 3-4.
>> >
>> > I notice that you are not using the ballestron right. I am flouting my
>> > ingorance here, but how can you go upwind with a mast centered for and
>> > aft
>> > and no headsail?
>> >
>> > I was also thinking of a 3-4' flat panel, hinged at the floor, to give
>> > some
>> > sort of walkway outside the cockpit. Fold it down once the beam is
>> > expanded.
>> >
>> > Is the sail loose footed? The charter proa talks about the boom and mast
>> > being one piece, but it would seem to make it too wide for trailering.
>> >
>> > Since you have basics worked out on that trailer sailor, do you have an
>> > estimate of work hours for an "average" finish? I know you have
>> > mentioned
>> > 1400 for the charter proa hull (by professionals, I am sure).
>> >
>> > There looks to be a single bunk "forward" also. Is that true, or is that
>> > the
>> > galley? What are the bunk dimensions?
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM, Rob Denney <>
>> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >> G'day,
>> >>
>> >> On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 11:00 PM, gardnerpomper
>> >> <>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> > Hi,
>> >> >
>> >> > Some sort of liveaboard harryproa seems like my next cruising boat. I
>> >> > am interested in both sampling the experience, and finding out if I
>> >> > have the fortitude to build one. I have seen messages about a
>> >> > trailerable design and I have some questions specific to using it to
>> >> > "try out" the home build/proa idea.
>> >> >
>> >> > Requirements:
>> >> > 1) trailerable as other specs (8'6" trailer width,
>> >> easy
>> >> ><1000lbs with trailer (negotiable))
>> >> Difficult, negotiations can start when i have done some drawings.
>> >> > 2) build method as similar to proposed charter boat as possible,
>> >> > since
>> >> > that is identified as simplest for larger boats
>> >> > fast and easy on/off the trailer. this would be a daysailer, driving
>> >> > 2
>> >> > hours to the water, set it up, sail for a few hours, break it down,
>> >> > trailer it 2 hours home.
>> >> Easy
>> >> > 3) I am heavy (300lbs), so the crew weight (3 of us) would be about
>> >> > 550lbs. We would like to be able to invite another 2 adults and a
>> >> > child and still sail it well, so total crew weight could be 900 lbs.
>> >> Difficult, I will see what the minimum size is to do this. How much
>> >> extra for food and safety gear?
>> >> > 4) Enclosed head
>> >> easy
>> >> > 5) sail without getting wet
>> >> easy
>> >> > 6) camping propane stove
>> >> > 7) comfy seats and table to eat at
>> >> Can this be outside, under a removable bimini with roll down sides?
>> >> Otherwise, it is a bit ticky for 6 people.
>> >> > 8) standing headroom (fold down bimini ok)
>> >> easy
>> >> > 9) rain protected
>> >> easy
>> >> > 10) will never be INTENTIONALLY sailed in > 20 kts
>> >> Yeah, right!
>> >> > 11) ballestron rig
>> >> easy
>> >> >
>> >> > I won't be racing, but I will want performance comparable to what we
>> >> > have heard from Rare Bird and the charter proa design (i.e. windspeed
>> >> > up to 15 knots). I *don't* want to fly a hull!! (I'm timid)
>> >> Timid is good, but it will be a sizableboat to do this with 6 people on
>> >> board.
>> >> >
>> >> > Questions:
>> >> > 1) What would plan cost be?
>> >> TBA when i see what is involved. Probably $Aus3,000, as it is going
>> >> to be a one off. You get 10% off any future plans sold to the
>> >> design until the next one is sailing. After that it is as per the
>> >> Goodwill Fee on Part of the plans
>> >> price wil be deducted from the big boat fee.
>> >> 2) would plans include info on resin infusion and building a table,
>> >> > etc, etc? Or at least point me to such info?
>> >> yes. As much information as you need on anything in the plans.
>> >> > 2) Estimated build time (novice.. experienced with epoxy/fiberglass,
>> >> > even some with carbon mat as reinforement, but never built a boat).
>> >> > If
>> >> > you prefer, you can supply "average estimated build" and I will put
>> >> > in
>> >> > my own "idiot factor" multiplier
>> >> TBA, but mostly it will depend on the level of finish inside and
>> >> outside that you require.
>> >> > 3) Would it be close to the "trailer sailer" layout jpg I see posted
>> >> > in the forums?
>> >> Not if you want a cockpit for 6, which will replace the bunks
>> >> >What are hull lengths?
>> >> Long! What is the longest you can build, trailer and handle on the
>> >> ramp?
>> >> > 4) When could I start? I have a building available this summer/fall,
>> >> > but it is not heated
>> >> Tomorrow, building the table. You won't get all the plans
>> >> immediately, but i will keep ahead of your progress. Pay for half the
>> >> plans up front, the rest before the last drawings arrive.
>> >> > 5) material cost? availablity?
>> >> Not a huge amount, probably less than the resale value of the boat.
>> >> Can get it from your local supplier, apart from the carbon for the
>> >> mast, boom, rudders and beams which I will supply from Texas.
>> >> >
>> >> > BTW, I live in Pennsylvania (US).
>> >> No problem ;-)
>> >>
>> >> > Thanks,
>> >> > - Gardner
>> >>
>> >> My pleasure,
>> >>
>> >> Rob
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >
>> >

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