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I have only rarely been tempted to enter the design competitions run by magazines, of the two occasions I have gone to the trouble of producing the very detailed drawings that are required by the judges I have had a win and an honourable mention so am pretty much convinced that I should give up while I am ahead.
Penguin designed to fill a competition brief for a family oriented cruising trailer yacht of about 6 / 6.5m long, a boat that would be easily constructed by home boatbuilders from materials that would be readily obtainable and need only simple tools. I chose to present a boat with a traditional character and a real focus on comfort, a boat that would stand out from the many hard chine boxes that would make up the bulk of the competition entry.
Well, Penguin certainly did that, I understand that the judges panel were so split that some assistance was called for.
Penguin fitted the letter of the brief really well but did not fit the perceptions of two judges so in the end I got a "special mention" . Penguin is based on both the construction method and the hull shape of her predecessors Rogue and Navigator and I have been very pleased with the boat that has resulted.
As a keen trailer yacht owner I had cruised much of New Zealand at 90 kmph my boat following along behind as we drove, boat already packed with stores and supplies, off to another distant lake or harbour.
Working from the bow aft, she has an anchor well for stowing wet and muddy ground tackle, a good sized foredeck and hatches large enough to provide both access and an airy feeling on hot days.
Her interior is both roomy and very comfortable. There is almost standing room in the main cabin and enough legroom to stretch out and relax. Thanks to an enquiry from Derek Bates, Penguin now has a third rig option in the form of a gaff yawl along with bilge keels and a smaller cockpit (bluewater). Details are included in all plans.
There is a big tabernacle so the mast can be easily raised or lowered, the gaff rig by the way has proven to be noticeably faster on all points of sail except "hard on the wind", and the rig is very strong so the boat will stand heavy weather when making coastal passages. I have drawn a self draining cockpit with space to sprawl out and relax, the motor is partly housed to avoid having to balance perilously over the transom in order to operate it and there are enough lockers for all of the odd bits that accumulate around the helm position. Her lead shoe underneath gives this boat a high ballast ratio and she will self right from a well past 90°, with the ballast fixed to the bottom of the boat the centreboard is not hard to lift, and the boats shoal draft ability will open up sheltered and picturesque anchorages that are not accessible to most deeper vessels.
Inside there has been a lot of consideration given to cruising amenities. Mind you there were a few differences of opinion here, my interior layout advisor ( I'm married to her) told me that a separate "loo" was a must, I'd have put a portapotty under the forward end of the cockpit and pulled it out when needed but have dutifully fitted a dedicated heads compartment complete with bookrack for the out of date magazines at the forward end of the main cabin.
Queen sized beds are not common in boats this small, but that's what you'll find up forward, with enough headroom to sit comfortably up in bed reading, access and ventilation out through the forward hatch and a huge amount of storage underneath the bed flat, in the main cabin there are two big quarter berths aft, good leg space and enough room to move about without banging heads.
I am pleased with the handiness of the galley, it has good space to prepare meals while not being in the way of others moving about the boat and again there is plenty of locker space.
Cruising in a small and comfortable boat like this can be a real pleasure, without the work and expense of a larger boat on a mooring or in a marina one can have the comfort and character of a true cruiser with the very long weekend range that a trailer boat can offer. Its a tempting package.
Leeboards instead of a centerboard? Why not, heres Penguins new option.
A while ago I had a customer ask for a leeboard conversion for Penguin. Now, Penguin is pretty roomy inside anyway, the centerboard and its casing is hidden away under the drop leaf table and there is enough space to walk around the after end of the 'case from one side to the other, but on reflection I figured that it was not such a bad idea. Taking the centercase out makes the main cabin very big for a boat only 21ft 6in long, really roomy, you could darn near hold a square dance in there!
So there is a new sheet added to the Penguin plans, its easier to build than the centerboard version, will suit very shallow waters even better than the original, the boat has more space inside and a possible source of leaks has been eliminated.
That means that Penguin now has three rig options, centerboard, bilge keel and leeboard options and there is a stretch version sailing very successfully as well.
The design now has lots of choices. You can mix and match to suit.
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