choosing a family cruiser

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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choosing a family cruiser

Post by woodloop » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:36 am


my wife and I are from Austria and would like to build a boat together in the next 2-3 years. We will mainly do day trips on the Danube, but longer holidays are also planned on the coast around Europe (Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, etc.).

I am a carpenter, so building a wooden boat should be feasible for us. But we are still uncertain when choosing the boat and maybe you can help us a bit. The specifications currently contain the following points:

trailerable, not more than 1.000 kg (2,200 pounds)
payload and cockpit for up to 6 people in day trips
cabin with 2 beds plus another 2 sleeping facilities (sleeping bag, etc.) in the cockpit
small pantry with cooker
outboard motor
cruising speed 15-20kn

We like the classic boats like Sea Knight, Two Plus or Vera Cruise very much, but we are not sure if they have enough payload and are also safe and comfortable on choppy waters.

Thanks a lot for your help,

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Re: choosing a family cruiser

Post by mrintense » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:00 am

Hi Christian,

First off, welcome to the forum.

I happen to be building the Vera Cruise and you are welcome to check out my build blog (see my signature below). I cannot speak for the open sea worthiness of any of these designs as I have never owned a boat before. I will leave that commendation to others with more knowledge. However, the Vera Cruise does fit most of the other requirements you mentioned.

Here are a couple of considerations however.
First, as an outboard, it will require a cutout in the back. With a motorwell, this can probably handle small following waves, but in rougher ocean water I don't know. Of course the motorwell could be made bigger at the expense of aft cabin space.

The cabin design of the Vera Cruise is really only suitable as a two person camper (more on this in a moment), however you could fit more people in the aft cabin for day trips, with one caveat. The boat as designed, only has about 5 1/2 feet of aft cabin space of which the helm station will take up some of that. If you decide on this design, I would recommend the 10% extension. I could not do this on my boat because I lacked the space to make it longer. However I modified the cabin to be shorter in length and increased the aft cabin area by approximately 18 inches in length. I've noted all these details in my build blog if you're interested. There's also plenty of photos in the blog and linked.

The cabin was designed in a different time and contains a dinette, small galley, small head, small hanging closet. It's headroom is rather low if you are tall (I am). I decided that a more open design was needed for my purposes and have gone down this road. These details are in my blog as well. But I basically decided that the boat was better used as a day cruiser with limited sleep over capability rather than any kind of live aboard.

Please don't let any of this discourage you from looking over the design for yourself, because it is a beautiful boat I am sure will get plenty of use when I launch her. But perhaps consider how you might want to rearrange the cabin layout before deciding. And as I mentioned, extending the design the full 10% will definitely give you more room to work with.

I would say that the Vera Cruise is the absolute smallest design I would consider for any kind of extended cruise of several days.

I look forward to seeing what you decide on and I would love to have another Vera Cruise builder here on the forum.
a.k.a. Clipper

Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise named "Some Other Time"

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:22 am
Location: Linz, Austria

Re: choosing a family cruiser

Post by woodloop » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:30 pm

Carl, thanks a lot for your reply.
In your thread are some quite interesting points and discussions :-)

Well, to get an impression which design will meet our requirements we made some mock-ups with our outdoor furniture. Vera Cruise is a bit too big, too long and too heavy for us, so we want to build either Sea Knight or Two Plus, but in both cases an extended hull for a longer cockpit. Two Plus looks a bit clumsy compared to Sea Knight, but I think the proportions are getting a little better with an extended version.

I´ve ordered the plan for Two Plus (without full size pattern) and after receiving the plans we´ll make some mock-ups of the main sections out of cardbord to get a decision.

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