Building LUNA blog about building an EMILY in Texas added 7/2014
EMILY is sort of a large "pocket cruiser."
The idea was to create a simple and seaworthy boat that was as
small as was possible to carry two people, provisions, and personal
things on a long cruise. Shes a tough little ship. A few
years ago when that raceboat COYOTE was flipped in a storm drowning
her owner Mike Plant, a little EMILY was out in the same storm.
She got knocked down which scared the crap out of her mid 60 year
old owner, but came through just fine.
You might think that 30' doesn't sound very small. But, EMILY is a small 30, if that makes sense. Her length is stretched out to cover a narrow beam and she has fine ends. This makes her hull very easy to wrap material around, and allows her to slip through the water very easily. The result is a boat that will be easier and cheaper to build than many boats 5 to 8 foot shorter, but will sail better because she's longer, and will be more comfortable because the interior is stretched out. This of course means she doesn't have the volume you'd expect in most 30 footers which is why I suggest her for a young person or couple. I remember I was happy as hell back in my 20s in a boat smaller than this. But if you're middle aged or have had cruising boats before, look at JUNA. She's the identical boat but blown up to 37' which makes her far more comfortable. Just a bigger project.....
Her interior is set up for two people, and there is no room for overnight guests. Let them sleep on deck! In return you'll have a boat that's comfortable for you, with lots of storage, a usable galley, and a comfortable double bunk.
EMILY's short deckhouse robs interior room, but that room is just over the bunk where you don't need standing room anyway, and in return it gives you enough deck to carry a real skiff. Few boats even 10 foot longer can do that, and the ability to carry a real skiff is essential when cruising. Inflatable boats are no good. They don't row well, they're expensive, awkward to store and inflate again, fragile, and they get stolen anyway. However, nowhere is the interior carved in stone, so go ahead and change her around if you want to. In fact, one change that wouldnt hurt her at all is to raise the freeboard about 6. That would add considerably to the room inside, would make her a bit stiffer, and wouldnt hurt the appearance.
The sailplan is a simple cutter, quite inexpensive to build, very strong, and easily single handed. Her working sails have multiple reefs so she should always be able to fly enough sail to match the conditions. Her working sail area is small, but a large genoa can be carried for light weather use.
The engine is rather in the way, but that can't be helped. It's essential to have an installation that gives full access to the coupling and the engine itself. In my opinion it's better to have no engine than one you can't maintain.
EMILY can be wood or plywood. I think she's to light for steel since you'd need to use 1/8" plate which is hard to work. However, if you want to work out the specs yourself she can be built of steel. I don't offer plans for steel, but if you want I can send you JUNA's steel plan so you can see the assembly idea. Plywood makes more sense in this size range. I admit I'm out of touch and always surprised about prices. But, I think that IF you follow the ideas in my Building Book, construction costs could be very reasonable.
Here's another fine EMILY. Henrik Gemzoe, in Sweden, over a 12 year period after he retired from work, built her and launched in June 2002. He wrote how he walked the forest and choose the trees for the keel, frames, and floors. He got fir for the planking from far the north of Sweden; 64 degrees lat., where trees grow very slowly and the wood is wonderful. He bought raw logs and had them milled to 1".
If you've never visited Scandinavia and if you love wood boats, you really should make the trip. The harbors up there are incredibly exciting from a wood boat point of view, as this photo below hints at. In fact, the sailor's district of Copenhagen (Denmark), called Christania (probably spelled differently) only allows wooden boats in the city canals! EMILY will be right at home in that sensible and friendly part of the world!