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Do magazines (and forums) focus too much on larger boats...

Apr 8, 2010
1,600
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 28400 Portland OR
I was remiss in not mentioning that we do indeed subscribe to Small Boat Journal. I used to subscribe to PS, but after over a decade it seemed like they were recycling too many articles. (Or I got a little bummed out by their sanctimonious attitude and high cost per page. Or, it's just me...)
:)
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,273
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
It seems like the small boat market is HUGE, to me but, as has been discussed in another thread, most of that is buying used. The mariner class is very active. I live near lake Winnipesaukee and lake Champlain and Lake George. Most of the sailboats, if not all, are under 35'. I've just not seen as many sailboats overall in the marinas I pass by. I noted on a recent trip to Miami that I saw NO masts anywhere driving across the causeway and along the ICW in that area.
-Will (Dragonfly)
I can tell you where they are - they are in the back yards of their owners, because when we are done sailing, we pack them up and trailer them home. That is kind of the point of a small boat - no slip fees.

Something I'm surprised I've never seen for small boats is for someone to design a universal mast raising system. Everyone talks about how to do it, but no one has ever designed a generic kit.
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
Jul 13, 2010
1,070
Precision 23 Perry Hall,Baltimore County
I think about any where you mention mast raising you will find multiple examples of block,tackles,gin poles. I think a " generic kit " may be reinventing a wheel we already have many of. ( Respectfully speaking here).
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,857
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Something I'm surprised I've never seen for small boats is for someone to design a universal mast raising system. Everyone talks about how to do it, but no one has ever designed a generic kit.
I'm on it. Try it out on Dragonfly then see what people think. My idea is to make it integral to the boat. No assemble/disassemble and not trailer dependant.
- Will (Dragonfly)
 

Kermit

.
Jul 31, 2010
5,501
AquaCat 12.5 17342 Wateree Lake, SC
Some smaller boat topics I've been considering:

Outboards. I've always used supplemental filtration (Raycor or something smaller) and believe it has helped. In the pre-ethanol days I know it did since I would occasionally drain water. Now all I am sure of is that it prevents the engine filter from clogging. However, part of the mechanism is that larger filters pass the fuel much more slowly per unit area, allowing the filter to remove water particles that would be pushed through or clog the media of a smaller filters. Do others run extra filters?

Solar. I've installed complex systems, integrated with a 120V system and shore power, but they are a poor match for most smaller boats. What with LED lighting and no propane solenoid, our power demands are quite low. I installed a 50W semi-flexible panel, a $25 PWM controller, and a fuse, and it works the trick for peanuts.

Anchoring. I'm tired of hearing about all-chain. I understand the reasons very well and I've used all-chain for a decade. But it's a terrible fit for the smaller boats I've owned. I actually went to no-chain with a chafe leader for my big cat's kedge/secondary and loved it. I wonder if we really need chain at all (I suspect a little is a good thing), but if so, how little? I would also love to see more anchors, other than Danforth/Fortress, that would fit into shallow anchor lockers.

Safety. How do the serious accidents vary from larger boats? MOB is more common. Is there some better jackline & tether system? (PS is running an article on custom and DIY tethers next month.) I know that I have always departed from the standard 3'/6' system for something that fit the boat. I'm adding jacklines to my current boat, but they will probably run only about 30% of the boat's length; that's what I need to stay on-board.

Keeping the companionway dry. A full dodger is too much for many boats. Without a dodger, how do you keep the rain out and ventilate when sleeping? I've rigged a mini-dodger of sorts, but I'm curious how others solve this endemic problem.
I like these ideas. A lot. Especially on anchoring and keeping the companionway dry. Oh, and simple solar. I have shore power and a charger but would rather have simple solar that’s not likely to fry my batteries. I use roughly 10 feet of chain and what seems like 10 miles of rode for my anchor. We looked at a gorgeous H326 that we would love to have. The only thing we really didn’t like was the dodger. We felt like we were sailing inside the whole time. So a removable dodger would have been better for us. Let us know when, where and how to find your articles.
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I can tell you where they are - they are in the back yards of their owners, because when we are done sailing, we pack them up and trailer them home. That is kind of the point of a small boat - no slip fees....
Actually, by smaller boats I meant boats that would generally stay in the water. Though I dearly love dinghies and learned to sail with a beach cat, the reason mags don't cater to them is they don't spend enough money on "stuff." Sure, I modified my cat, because that is what you did on the 70s, when hiking racks and chutes were new. But most don't and in general, they aren't buying heads, nav instruments and the like. So I get that.

My F-24, and the Stiletto 27 I owned 15 years ago, are both trailerable, but I really don't chose to. Setting up either is physical and impractical for the day, and my slip fee is only $125/month (yup, and it's 22 feet wide).

My focus is boats ~ 20-28 feet long that are capable of some amount of cruising, depending on the owners tastes. Many of these owners thrive on little tweaks that make cruising or racing more practical. In part they are DIY because the owner may be younger and tight on funds, although that is not my story or every smaller boat owner's story. In part it is because newer boats in this range are becoming scarce. And these boats are large enough to tolerate some level of complexity.

And I would think by catering more to these sailors, they might hold onto them if they move up to something larger.
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
...Something I'm surprised I've never seen for small boats is for someone to design a universal mast raising system. Everyone talks about how to do it, but no one has ever designed a generic kit.
I've used a gin pole on the beach cat (made it easy for one person) and on the Stiletto and F-24 (they come with the boat). They are a reasonable DIY project, and what follows explains.

Back in the mid 80s there were several companies offering standard kits for beach cats. They were similar enough that one size did sort of fit all. The most popular was E-Z Step by C Bass Products. I built something a little different that was attached to the trailer, but I have used these and they work fine. I think they are long gone, but the design can be copied.

All that is needed is a pole about the length of the foretriangle, a mast clamp of some sort (some fit over a finger use a pin in the mast), and an assortment of lines and clips that fit your boat. Ideally, when the mast is up the forestay is held in a position where it is easy to pin. If the mast can hing forward, the boom and mainsheet can work well.

https://static.hobiecat.com/item_attachments/3151z52.pdf
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I like these ideas. A lot. Especially on anchoring and keeping the companionway dry. Oh, and simple solar. I have shore power and a charger but would rather have simple solar that’s not likely to fry my batteries. I use roughly 10 feet of chain and what seems like 10 miles of rode for my anchor. We looked at a gorgeous H326 that we would love to have. The only thing we really didn’t like was the dodger. We felt like we were sailing inside the whole time. So a removable dodger would have been better for us. Let us know when, where and how to find your articles.
Some will be in Good Old Boat. It has the better format for DIY projects. Some in Practical Sailor. Topics that include numerical test results, like anchoring, fit better there. We'll see. In fact, I should have a book on anchoring coming out this winter; lots of instrumented testing. But now that I think about it, the slant is towards boats >35 feet.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,857
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Thinwater,
Have you looked into any of the associations for some of the more popular small sailboats? I am a member of the mariner class association. They are very active. They hold regatas, an annual nationals race and the mariner is still in production. Stuart Marine out of Rockland Maine can give you some sales figures and probably a good idea of their demographics. Besides MacGregor and Catalina, you might also checkout the Compac community. I understand they are one of the most active small sailboat communities. My experience from the mariner site is that the average owner/member's age is around 55. These are not young people who can't afford anything more. However, most of them seem to be do-it-yourselfers. Apparently there's no typically age bracket for that. I have always been a do-it-yourselfer.
By the way, it's only $15 per year to become a member of the mariner association plus you get your BoatUS membership at half price. So, its actually free.
- Will (Dragonfly)
 
Nov 22, 2011
957
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
For a shower, I use a 1 gallon garden sprayer with a longer than normal hose and a nozzle with an appropriate spray pattern for showering. I can add a tea kettle or two of hot water mixed with cold for a nice shower, which I take up on deck in swim trunks. It works really well.
 
Last edited:
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
...My experience from the mariner site is that the average owner/member's age is around 55. These are not young people who can't afford anything more. However, most of them seem to be do-it-yourselfers. Apparently there's no typically age bracket for that. I have always been a do-it-yourselfer....
Very true. But perhaps it is an advertiser perception that Mariner DIYs arn't going to buy a big, shiny new boat. I bet they are right about that!
 
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Oct 19, 2017
6,857
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
But perhaps it is an advertiser perception that Mariner DIYs arn't going to buy a big, shiny new boat. I bet they are right about that!
I said as much in another thread but, not as succinctly. The business world tends to be conservative. They go with what had worked for them in the past and often put more effort into preserving and exploiting any existing market than risking a waste of time and resources in developing new markets. There are a lot of notable exceptions, of course. However, it surprises me to see how many industries fight hard to suppess new tends that threaten there business models when they are perfectly positioned to exploit and excel in the new paradigm.
Ask Stuart Marine how many new Boat's they sell. I'm sure someone ous paying attention.
- Will (Dragonfly)
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,273
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
When I mentioned mast raising, I was just thinking that it is mentioned often, there are a lot of DIY solutions, some more complicated than others. I've seen several setups that are much more complicated and time consuming than they need to be. My mast raising system takes all of 10 minutes to setup. I'm just thinking a well designed kit could be something that once initially adjusted for the boat, could make mast raising simple and quick.
 
Mar 1, 2012
2,177
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
For a shower, I use a 1 gallon garden sprayer with a longer than normal hose and a nozzle with an appropriate spray pattern for showering. I can add a tea kettle or two of hot water mixed with cold for a nice shower, which I take up on deck in swim trunks. It works really well.
I use a sprayer that used to be sold by Duckworks. They still sell a variation. It lives in the cockpit in a bracket made to hold it



pump mounted.jpg
 
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Likes: Gene Neill
Oct 30, 2017
166
Catalina c 27 Lake Pueblo
As a someone new to sailing, we went with a catalina 27, because anything larger for Colorado kinda seemed overkill.
Also as someone new, I am buying and reading all magazines I can get my hand on.

I agree that 'smaller' boats are glossed over. The wife and I eventually want to go to a upper 30's to lower 40' foot boat (and I tend to OVER research)... my impression is that unless it's a cat your chance of seeing an actual article on anything less than 45' is pretty slim

Also as a newby, I'd love any article dealing with items for 'smaller' boats. Any of the topics raised so far. I'd also throw in options for electronics (depth sounder/sonar) not completely basic but also not top of the line, toilet options on smaller boats... as mentioned in a recent thread on here
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
Something I'm surprised I've never seen for small boats is for someone to design a universal mast raising system. Everyone talks about how to do it, but no one has ever designed a generic kit.
Two problems, economy of scale and lack of consistency. I'd say it's a pretty good guess that mine won't fit your boat, and why would I want to make a bunch of mine, when the only boat it would fit is the C270? The design is probably the same but the dimensions are not.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
Any marine electronics knowledge base should be built on what the stuff does not do, as adverse to what the marketing department wants you to drool over. Ray has been steadily dumbing down the stuff for years. Just little things here and there, and sometimes stuff is still in the docs that isn't in the software. Maybe if you never had it, you might not miss it.
Little things like the Tuesday update to Lighthouse, but neglecting to mention that unless you have a MFD, you have to send the instruments in someplace to get updated.
Small, minor and somewhat irresponsible planning.
 
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Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I agree that 'smaller' boats are glossed over. The wife and I eventually want to go to a upper 30's to lower 40' foot boat (and I tend to OVER research)... my impression is that unless it's a cat your chance of seeing an actual article on anything less than 45' is pretty slim....
Try PS. They have more than 50 reviews of boats in that range.