Project boat.

The place where ideas for the project boat get dumped.

For the outside reader i should explain that i think about boats a fair amount of time and some of that time is spent thinking about the potential project boat : most likely the one that will never get built but some of the time its about the one that just might happen.

Right now i am thinking about the boat ‘beyond WABI”’, it might well be WABI.4 but i think of it as Dirty Wet Dog 1, in its own way the logical progression from the liberty which , although i like and enjoy could be a better boat. By that i mean principally that it would be a boat of similar size and capability but with more space inside and better sailing performance.  If we refer to the Liberty as one part of the thinking , the poacher 6.5 cat ketch as another and my former Frances 26 as another then most of the ideas lay within that triangle : shallow water capability like the Poacher and the liberty, stronger sailing performance like the IOR hulled Poacher but with much more comfortable and useable interior space like the Frances 26 but without the long keel and awkward to dry out hull shape.

The real inspiration comes from this boat, the poacher 6.5.



I keep looking at the hull shape on this which is so much like the IOR quarter and half-ton yachts that i first raced on, i note how much more rocker it has than the Liberty , i suspect that this was intended to be a mini-tonner and then the designer decided that what the world didn’t need was yet another mini-ton race boat but a small radical cruising boat. I almost bought one and i think i would have had a lot of fun with it, more easily trailable and storebale at home than the liberty although i also think i would have struggled with the poky interior.    What i am thinking is that maybe i could take a slightly larger IOR boat and do something similar with it : this one comes to mind.


That if you don’t recognise it is the Westerly GK24 , westerly’s attempt at a production quarter tonner, even better would be the GK29 but lets be honest and admit that the ’29’would be out of my price range to buy let alone convert….but the GK24 is a ‘maybe’.

Ok then why ? that boat : well its an IOR shape and very beamy for its length, even with the flush deck there is lots of space in there, it looks as though i would be able to tuck a quarter berth each side at the back, have a double to stb and a useable galley to port and a proper forepeak just like the Frances 26.  Ok so it doesn’t have huge headroom but hey ! its only 24 feet and neither does the Liberty.

lets consider the details :

Keel. It would be neat to have a full-on lifting keel in either CB form or maybe a vertical lifting keel with a bulb…that would be powerful or maybe just build it with a ballasted centerboard and interior ballast. The width would i think allow a centreboard with space either side.

Rig. I first thought about this as a cat-ketch or cat schooner just like the poacher with good low rigs, one would be up in the forepeak and the aft one would go through the bridgedeck area….maybe though it would be better to have a conventional crusiing mast but in a tabernacle for an easy drop.

Intrigeuingly there is one of these on the market right now at a very decent price : the trailer alone would be worth the deal to convert for WABI” and the hull to start the project .10427833