Big Adventures in Small Boats
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 11:24AM - Comments: (4)
April 26, 2011
I've always admired adventurers in small boats. If I were to trace my sea addiction it would likely be to Kon-Tiki, a book that fell into my hands as a boy. So I was happy this month to get the chance to spend some time aboard Kevin Jeffrey's Norseboat 21.5, the sort of craft that inspires small boat adventures. In fact, two Royal Marines were so taken by Jeffrey's Norseboat 17.5, that they sailed one through the Northwest Passage.
I don't know if it's that my own tastes have gravitated toward smaller boats, or if the interest in small boats is actually surging. I couldn't help but notice that many of the new boats being launched seem to cater to the sort of adventures that captivated sailors years ago. These are people who travel light, travel small, and aren't too picky about their comfort. I find the the latest twist to this passion, the small-boat human powered "races" like the Everglades Challenge, particularly appealing.
Our article last month on the bargain-priced Venture 21 generated a number of nostalgic e-mails, as well as requests to include more small boats. In fact, if there is one question that threatens each month to de-rail an issue of Practical Sailor, it is requests from readers to recommend small pocket cruisers. I could spend hours— no days—dreaming and scheming on that topic.
Just thumbing through our archive boat tests, the search under trailer sailer turns up a few interesting boats like the Rob Roy 23, but few of these boats are as easily trailerable as the Norseboat 21.5. The field expands greatly when you start looking for something that a big dually pickup can haul, like the Seaward 26RK, the Balboa 26, and even the Dana 24. Though short on details, Steve Henkel's book makes fun dreaming. One boat that I keep stumbling upon that falls in this category is the McGinnes-Eldridge-designed Eastward Ho 24, which looks like a pretty stout boat.
And if you're looking for these bigger pocket cruisers, this response to a reader query, rolled off a number of suggested boats.
You might recall that a few years back, PS offered their own take on the trailerable pocket cruiser, although it was a pretty darn big boat.
If you got some thoughts to share on the ideal pocket cruiser, trailerable or not, or one we should test, I'd like to hear them. Comment here or drop me an e-mail.