Sail Boats

Under sails

The design of every boat starts from its primary purpose. Sail or power, or the motor-sailer hybrids that try to combine the good sides of both worlds while remaining forever short in either, they all have their reasons expressed in their design. It would be very short-sighted and absolutely wrong to say that the sail boats are better than power boats, or vice versa.

Yet still, in my personal opinion, sail boats are the ultimate craft, the most beautiful boats, the true sea-queens in the category of non-commercial personal pleasure boats. I admit, it must be a very personal view. But I do believe it is a view shared by many of you, if you currently own your dream sailing boat or not. When you love the sea, there are not many feelings that can come even close to that exhilarating blend of action, power, harmony and emotions when you are behind the helm of a capable sailing boat out there on a sunny day, standing upright on a tilted deck, with the sails bulging and pulling ahead in just the right sea breeze, a bit of sea spray in your nostrils, across your face and all of you, cutting through the waves with a pleasant splash against the bow as it meets them, no engine noise, the only fragrance in the air coming from the mix of salt and the iodine, no foul exhaust smells, your eyes taking it in all, the open horizons, the big white sails full of wind as stretched out wings of an albatross, telltales stretched out horizontally confirming your sails are set perfectly, and the gurgling water passing by at speed. You feel your boat immediately reacting to every move of your hand on the helm. You and your boat are one, and fully blended in the nature around you. You are not leaving the surface, and yet you feel like flying, streaming through the water and the air at the same time, catching up with the birds, masters of the wind. There is just no other feeling like it.

And then, because of its ballast and the inherent self-righting capability, for a given size a monohull sailing boat is typically far more seaworthy as compared to power boats. Plus, if you wish so and your sailing boat is sea-worthy for the open ocean, that ability to go any direction, anywhere, beyond the far horizons, without that continuous dependence on fuel or the next petrol station. You will find winds everywhere you go. The ultimate independence. How much is that worth to you? Only you know the answer to that. In my view, it is priceless.

World-Travelling Sailing Cruiser

As this is a page about sail boats, I hope those true power boat enthusiasts will never read this far, as I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. You know, I own for a number of years a beautiful 6.2m LOA power boat described here in the DIY boatbuilding section. It is very fine trailer boat that turns heads around wherever it goes, and we enjoy using it. My son and I are very proud for building it. Whenever I see a well designed power boat, I certainly have a good look. I love boats. Yet, no power boat ever touches me on the inside. With sail boats, it is a totally different category. To me, a good sailing boat is one of the most beautiful things in the world. Well, dreams are free, you just have to know how to dream...

Now, I am not into racing at all. I did not grow up in that kind of circumstances, did never really get acquainted with boat racing. But I love sailing cruisers. I have done some moderate sailing, mostly among the islands of my home sunny Adriatic, some in the English Channel (a radically different experience for me at the time), and just a few short day-trips on smaller rent boats in the sheltered bays around Sydney, Australia, where I live now. Have not been aboard of a sailing ship for a while, and I terribly miss that. Thing is, I currently do not own a sailing boat, and I strongly intend to change that as soon as the time and money permit :-)

Sailing boat Caribbean 40 design

Some incredible 23 years back, while absolutely in no circumstances to build a boat as I was about to move half way around the world, I bought the building plans for a steel Van de Stadt fast sailing cruiser Caribbean 40. Then, we moved to Australia, many years passed, the children grew up. I was working horrendous hours as a computer professional, there was a mortgage to pay, never enough neither time nor money to undertake a serious boatbuilding project. The dreams had to wait. But, then the urge got too strong, my son and I started and built a 6.2m LOA power mini-cruiser in aluminum. That was a great experience. We also learned great lessons about the values of aluminum as a boatbuilding material. And, as I was really in a bad need of more physical activities, I built the ultimate exercise craft, a 17' very special kayak in wood-strip/epoxy. And that was yet another great experience. But my sailing cruiser is still there, in the land of my dreams.

I do like building boats. It is a very satisfying experience by itself, with many long term rewards. I will build my sailing, world-travelling cruiser in the range of 50-60' in aluminum. I do like aluminum for boatbuilding. It is the very best boatbuilding material (we will discuss boatbuilding materials in the DIY boatbuilding section and in our forums). And, with some very basic care, it is almost maintenance free. Our experiences with Platypus confirms that. We did not even paint it, as to us bare aluminum is beautiful as it is, and one does not need to worry about scratching the paint. After years of use, exposed to all the weather, with practically zero maintenance, it is still as new. If it was built in steel, it would have resembled a rust-bucket by now (unless we painted it again and again and again). Well, as an alternative to aluminum, I might choose to build in wood-strip/epoxy, warm, beautiful, light and very strong material with some undeniable advantages. We'll see...

Together we know more. Together we can do more, and do it better.
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ver. Beta
Last upd: 19-Aug-10 F150806