Sailboat Size Question for family of 7

Dinghies, day sailers, world cruisers. Many small sailboats make ideal rowboats or low-speed power boats.

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Sailboat Size Question for family of 7

Post by coakeson »

I have a wife and 5 young kids ages 3-10, and it would be fun to do some sailing with them. Even though I like building things, I'm not sure if I'm fully committed to building a boat yet. It might need to be pretty big to support my whole family - and young children make it interesting!

Anybody find it is actually fun or more of a drag to sail with young children?

Thoughts on size? Would the Glen-L 15' be big enough for the 7 of us or would I need to go bigger? ... ducts/443/

I'm unsure on displacement requirements under sail, and it doesn't really say much here except 2-5 passengers: . I'd say right now, we all weigh about 600 pounds together.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

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Re: Sailboat Size Question for family of 7

Post by hoodman »

Consider that your children are likely to be several years older when you actually set sail. I spent 4 years on a 17 foot runabout. I would have gone faster had I not moved and had a baby during that time but it is still a significant time investment. If your family is supportive of the process you'll be successful and the kinds may even be able to join in the fun of building.

As far as the design choice I would consider space and comfort first. I don't think the weight of the passengers is going to be a significant factor in a boat in that size range. But where is everyone going to sit and will they have to move around every time you tack?

Building a Geronimo......!

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Re: Sailboat Size Question for family of 7

Post by dbischa »

I built a Glen L 13 and my partner and I have 4 kids between us. Her two kids (9 and 12) are very small for their age, as is my eldest (14) with my youngest (11) the only one of normal size. My partner and I are both slim. We all fit into the boat quite well. The 13 doesn't feature seating in the plans but I added some of my own design. We manage to fit sitting on both sides of the hull and the boat is really stable. There's room enough for me to swap sides as we tack or gybe and the rest just lean forward or back to help keep her balanced.
We don't go out for long with all 6 of us though, but that's mostly cause the kids don't get along very well.

It took me just under 3 years to build it and considering that I'm a teacher and had significant holiday time to work on it, as well as having my 2 boys only half the time, I could imagine it taking longer. However, I did spend almost a year trying to get the finish of the hull right - before giving up and being happy with "good enough" and progressing on with the build. So build time could have been a lot shorter.

I didn't build the 13 with the intention of taking 2 adults and 4 children out. I was only really planning on having 2 adults and 2 children maximum but one day we decided to give it a go with all of us.

Looking at the Glen-L 15, it probably would suit you, at the least it would be future proofed for your family for a fair time, but when your kids are teenagers they will most likely not all fit in. On the flip side, the chances that all 5 of your future teenagers will all want to continue sailing with you (all at once) will be low. You never know, you might just enjoy sailing without them when they think they're too cool to go sailing with their parents! :D

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