As I discussed in my "Agony of Decisions" post, there are a few designs I keep coming back to. And then there are the ones that I really like, but can’t reasonably build right now. On the domestic front, this won’t be a long-term liveaboard. It might be a "stay aboard" (month or two… something like that). Maybe even 6 months if we could ever work it, but life will be based around a house for the foreseeable future. That makes things a bit different. In the "Design Catalog" there are quite a few designs/designers that I like and am attracted to. Several of them (Buehler, Kasten) are geared mostly around much more "offshore" type boats. Great craft, and I wish, but probably not happening now.
So, my list from before is becoming my list again/still:
- Mark V Designs V39 (or his V28 if he gets the plans done)
- Dutch barge
- Self designed
- Mundoo III
- Origami (Rover36)
I love the looks of a Dutch Barge, and think it would be a great design for coastal/river cruising in the U.S. A smaller, trailerable one would be about right.
Electric is becoming more and more feasible (batteries are better, controllers are better, motors are better/cheaper). As I downsize and simplify the design, this becomes more practical.
The flip side of these larger, displacement speed boats is the world of the "Pocket Cruiser" that I have been exploring a bit. They have several things going for them:
- Faster/easier to build (?)
- Well capable of the rivers and coastal stuff I’m going to be doing
- Accommodations are barely adequate
- Speed is there – that would help with the shorter time period trips (cover a bit more ground)
- Fuel economy can be ok, depending on design
- Trailerable (another ability to cover ground at highway speeds)
So, a lot of this comes down to a planing boat or displacement. The planing world isn’t going to be electric, the displacement could be. Of course, nothing says that this boat has to be the last boat 🙂
I have GOT to quit trying for The Perfect Boatand get out there (at least out in the shop and building, which I enjoy also :-).
Then comes material… I think steel is "right" for a boat… but I know wood (kind of, anyhow) and have most of the tools that I would need, at least the basics. Plus the neighbors would tolerate some woodwork going on. To do steel I would have to find a place or use my parents’ farm (which would work… there is even 220V power and a welder) but is too far away for practical building… I know that life would intrude too often and I would never get it done. It will probably have to be wood for now.