|Draft (cb up)|
"PocketShip" is a small cruising sailboat of refined model, meant to sail well on all points, provide dry camping accommodations for two adults, and tow behind a four-cylinder car. Examples are now sailing on four continents; as of this writing more than 50 are sailing or under construction around the world.
Designer John C. Harris has designed, built, owned, and cruised aboard a variety of smallcraft. His first camp-cruiser as a teenager was an 11'6" rowing boat with a tent, in which he explored the upper Chesapeake, sleeping aboard. Twenty years later, he wanted a fast-sailing pocket cruiser with a dry and commodious interior. It had to be quick and easy to build or the project would never get finished, so stitch-and-glue plywood construction was a given from the start. The cockpit was laid out for daysailing comfort and is large enough for sleeping on warm nights.
Interior arrangements are ample, we think bigger and more comfortable than anything else this size, without compromising Pocketship's looks and performance. Two adults may sleep below or wait out a rain shower, and a portable head stows beneath the cockpit, sliding forward into the cuddy for use. The enclosed area of the cabin is identical to an average four-man tent, but drier, more private, and more secure.
Geoff Kerr of Two Daughters Boatworks built the first hull. He started in mid-January 2008 and clocked about 525 hours before delivering a finished hull and spars, ready for hardware. PocketShip was rigged at CLC and launched on May 10th, 2008. The typical amateur builder might require about 30 weekends and occasional evenings to see this one through.
Plans comprise 11 pages of architectural drawings, and full-sized patterns for nearly every part in the boat. Plans and manual are in both metric and standard measurements. The manual is 280 pages, spiral-bound, and lavished with nearly 800 images and drawings showing construction step-by-step. Kits include the pre-cut plywood parts, epoxy, and fiberglass for the hull. Since solid timber (floorboards, stringers, rails, spars) is available everywhere inexpensively, it will be sourced and milled by the builders. Due to the shipping challenges, lead ballast is not included in the kit. Sails and hardware are available in several deeply discounted packages.
2008 sailing trials in varied waters from Maine to Maryland included crews of 1 to 4 adults and wind conditions of 0-20 knots. PocketShip is stiff and fast and tacks through 90 degrees. The helm is light and the boat will spin nearly in its own length in both light and heavy air and with a variety of sail combinations. We are thrilled with performance and handling - all expectations have been exceeded.
Many ask about auxiliary power for PocketShip. While the boat's sailing qualities are sufficient to undertake long expeditions in challenging waters without power, many sailing examples have small outboards mounted on a stern bracket for negotiating marinas, channels, or flat calms. We've seen up to five horsepower, but two horsepower is ample even for rough conditions. The excellent Honda four-stroke 2hp is light enough not to diminish sailing qualities. Aftermarket outboard brackets are plug-and-play without modification to the transom. John Harris built this simple outboard bracket for PocketShip #1 and it has worked admirably.
[AD14] A mini cruiser for coastal cruising and occasional short offshore passages
[AD16] A mini cruiser for coastal cruising and occasional short offshore passages
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