Dream Yachts Part II - A series
"Go simple, go modest, go small, but go!" is known to be the motto of Lin and Larry Pardey who circumnavigated the world in two different self built boats designed by Lyle Hess.
Is this a sorry excuse for being lazy and unwilling to put in all the hard work and money to finance a big boat? No, we disagree. They, and others who have opted for a small and seaworthy yacht, have probably been out cruising while you were stuck in traffic on your way to the office all these years.
Pacific Seacraft Dana 24
Designed by Glasgow University educated W.I.B. "Bill" Crealock. Mr. Crealock described the basic aim of the design: "It's the smallest boat in which a couple could cruise offshore in safety and reasonable comfort, with an enclosed head... The hull would have to be roomy to carry a fair amount of weight in tankage and supplies. She would not be a light-displacement boat. Displacement was not considered a disadvantage since no other single factor eases motion, in my opinion." He describes the sailplan as "balanced, designed to produce good upwind performance."
The Dana 24 has somewhat of a cult following. Everywhere you look, there is a, usually a younger adventurous man with limited funds mentioning in a blog that a Dana 24 or its little sister, the 20 ft Flicka, is the dream boat. The Dana 24 was introduced in 1984 and quickly became a success. Built for offshore sailing it has been said that she can "serve as a bomb shelter". The Dana 24 is built to a specification and not a price. Not unlike some of the yachts mentioned in Part One of this series.
The most comprehensive review of the Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 comes from a young British boatbuilder who ordered a brand new one from Pacific Seacraft in 2005. The review is so well written and as only a boatbuilder can, he dives into details seldom touched upon by yachting magazines. This one included. You can enjoy the review of the Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 here.
Pacific Seacraft was founded by Henry Morschladt and Mike Howarth in 1976 and in 1977 they took over the molds for the Flicka from Nor' Star Marine.
Read more below.
An industrial Success from Sweden
Over 3400 Albin Vegas were built.
Designed by Per Brohäll, one of the pioneers of early fibreglass construction in Sweden who also wrote a number of books on small wooden boats. The Vega was built from 1966 until production ended in 1980 at Albins Yard in Kristinehamn, Sweden.
The Vega was a huge success. An affordable sailboat for the family in the golden years of fiberglass yacht production. You can't sail into a port in Scandinavia without seeing one. In spite of some weaknesses in the construction, the Vega has sailed wide and far from its roots in Sweden. Many a noteworthy passage have been sailed in Vegas. Among them voyages to Antartica and the Arctic made by Norwegian Adventurer Jarle Andhøy and his crew onboard The Berserk. In 2012, Matt Rutherford completed his solo circumnavigation of the Americas via the Arctic’s Northwest Passage and South America’s Cape Horn.
Class Associations can be found in Sweden of course, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Holland, USA and in the UK. Now, they can be found for little money in Scandinavia if you are looking for one.
Conceived the same year as the first Albin Vega was built. The Contessa 26 is a 7.77 meter yacht brought about when Jeremy Rogers, with a background in traditional wooden boatbuilding along with one of his Folkboat customers, David Sadler, created a modified version of the same boat in GRP. Based on the Folkboat, the Contessa 26 made her first appearance on the water at the end of April 1966, and within two years the demand for this very pretty little cruiser-racer was such that the boatshed had to expand to double its original size.
Several Contessas have been circumnavigating the globe and done some remarkable journeys across oceans. Among several we would recommend the blog from the journey of the Norwegian BIKA and the wonderful film "Between Home" about Nick Jaffe's journeys onboard the Constellation.
The Contessa 26 also has a passionate following and an excellent class association.
Another small yacht capable of safe long distance cruising across oceans. The first Corribee was designed by Robert Tucker in 1964. Around 10 wooden Corribees were clinker built before production moved to the fibreglass Mk 1. The early Corribees have a centreboardwhich gives them a minimum draft of 1 ft 11 in (0.58 m)
In the early 1970s, production of the Corribee moved to Newbridge Boats Ltd who built it in fibreglass. Known as the Newbridge "Corribee 21" in the brochure, she was sold as "a fin keel version of the original centreboard clinker boat". The Mk1 was also built as a twin keel boat which has a shallower draft than the fin keel version and has the advantage of staying upright if run aground or kept on a drying mooring. Compared to the later Mk 2 and Mk 3 Corribees, the Mk 1 has a few distinguishing features. The Mk 1 has a circular cover on the lazarette, the coachroof is wider than on later models and consequently has narrower side decks and more room below.
There have been a number of significant voyages completed in Corribees, including a number of circumnavigations of Great Britain and transatlantic crossings. Among them are two particularly worth mentioning. In 1995 Ellen MacArthur circumnavigated Great Britain via the Caledonian canal in her Corribee, Iduna. This journey certainly inspired her to later become one of the worlds best and most famous sailors.
Another sailor, not yet awarded a knighthood, but all the more respected in the corinthian sailing community, is Mr. Roger Taylor. He has logged 20,000 miles in six years onboard Mingming, a junk-rigged Corribee. His voyages into the Davis Strait west of Greenland, a circumnavigation of Iceland, and a voyage to the isolated Arctic island of Jan Mayen are well documented in a series of videos on YouTube. In January 2010 he was awarded the Jester Medal by the Ocean Cruising Club for "an outstanding contribution to the art of single-handed sailing". In 2011 he sailed Mingming to 80 degrees North - just 600 miles from the North Pole. However, it is in his books you really get to know him, the boat and the voyages. Highly recommended reading for any yachtsman.
The yachts presented in this part II of the series goes to show that you can go far in a small boat. For very little money, a good and healthy attitude towards cruising and some wanderlust, Scandinavia, The Nordics and beyond are within reach for everyone. Go!