Suppose you love to sail. Suppose, further, that you would like to do some cruising (travelling by sailboat) but can't afford the cost of an offshore-capable yacht
. Or suppose you're reluctant to become dependent upon
the many complicated systems
that a modern cruising sailboat relies on. Or suppose the whole luxury RV aesthetic
of modern cruising sailboats turns you off.
What then? Well, maybe you should think smaller
Assuming you aren't interested in going the sponsored record attempt route
), spending two years refurbishing a fixer-upper
, or funding your voyage
. . .
. . .you might start thinking about smaller boats. You could build your own 750 lb, 21' minimalist catamaran
and sail it around the world in leisurely fashion
. Why not race it across the Atlantic
, too? (Of course, not every sailing minimalist
likes catamarans or eschews sponsorship funds.)
But maybe 21 feet still seems too big and complicated. And who has time to sail around the entire globe, anyway? Well, perhaps you're interested in "microcruising" - that is, shorter voyages in ocean-going, sub-20' sailboats. While there are some examples
of seaworthy production boats
in this size range, there are other folks pushing the limits a bit further. For example, this couple
regularly cruises from Florida to the Bahamas
in their 15' Matt Layden
. (Sharpies were popular workboats in the past; the late, great, unconventional boat designer Phil Bolger
is credited with popularizing the style for recreational sailing more recently.)
Perhaps 15' is still too big? Well, you could try something closer to 12' or 13'
, as Layden and Swedish sailor Sven Yrvind
have. (Of course, in a boat this size, you'll need to have the most compact gear available
None of this is new, really. Boats similar to this outrigger sailing canoe design
have been used by the peoples of the Pacific in the open ocean since the time of legend
But all of this might be really dangerous, so if you find yourself inspired, be sure to consider how seaworthy your diminutive vessel really is
before venturing out.