63′ Schooner ALCA I

“We wanted to share with you how superb the Alca i performed this summer (2017), during its research cruises in the Gulf of Maine.” I was very flattered to be asked to work with the owners in designing this boat, because large wood boats like her are rarely built today and even less rarely are

71′ Wunderburg

70′ 8″ WUNDERBURG (a “kayak” yacht!) With all the emphasis I put on my designs as comfortable live-a-boards, I’m frequently asked why don’t I live aboard. I don’t; I live in the country on a couple acres. The thing is I’ve gone about all this (as usual) backwards. I had my first boat that I

39′ Cutter HERA

HERA is identical to JUNO, but blown up 15%. I originally designed her for myself, because JUNO worked out so well that I thought a larger version would really be nice. By adding the extra volume the interior really starts to get big enough where you can have some good living area. The version shown

36′ Block Island Cowhorn

The hull, originally designed in the 1600s(!) has a really lovely sheer. The original Cowhorns were between the low 20s and the high 30s foot long, and were usually rigged as two masted unstayed cat ketch. This Marconi cutter is much simpler…. Americans look to European designs like the Scanahoovian rescue boats when thinking of


OTTER/ORPHEUS The idea behind this design was to create a safe and comfortable ocean cruising and live-aboard vessel, while staying within guidelines of moderate costs and simple enough construction practices that the yacht could be built, and financed, by any amateur builder who sets his mind to it. I’m quite pleased with the way she

32′ Ruby B

This is an older design of mine that I always thought would be a fine budget cruiser for colder areas. There’s a few changes I’d make if I was building the boat for myself. The engine location is poor. There’s no room around it, and only room for the little Yamar. I think I’d use

25′ Little Big Man

7/27/09 A rather “jaunty” look, if I do say so…. This was a design for my friend Vern, a man who’s ministry may be in Wyoming but who loves the ocean. Vern heads to the sea on his vacation, and needed a boat that could be trailed behind his pickup from Wyoming to the Gulf

29′ Schooner Uncle Sam

SAM is an inexpensive, simple to build, and handsome little ship that would be a lot of fun for weekend and vacation use. You could certainly use him for cruising too, butI think in this small size a cutter rig is more practical for off-shore use. However, that’s the point. Just being “practical” is usually

30′ Grizzly Bear

30′ Cutter GRIZZLY BEAR GRIZZLY BEAR is a heavy duty little ship. He is the same length as EMILY, but the GRIZ has more beam and fuller ends which make him displace80% more. The results are a lot more comfortable boat because the motion will be quieter, the load capacity greater, and there will be

38′ High Latitudes Drifter

In summer of 1994 there was an editorial in one of the American sailing magazines that absolutely set me off. The editor went on at length about how light displacement and lightly built, dinghy hulled, asymmetric, high SA/Displ. ratio typical contemporary production sailing yachts, are without doubt the ONLY sensible cruising sailboat type. Yes, as

60′ Big Mel

New 12/2015: Big Mel is now a charter sailing boat out of Scotland. More info at steaysail.nl Melquiades (Big Mel) 60′ This is an older design, done for a Switz guy. Several were built at the Gdansk shipyard right around the time the Polish workers were organizing to kick out the commies. Maybe right after,

71′ Ellemaid

Low and lean with a “pilot schooner” rig for emergency power and roll control.This ship would be right at home rafted against a NW Halibut Schooner dock! Here she is under sail, either assisting the diesel on a cruise, or getting home if the engine quits. The description of the 81′ version goes into detail

37′ Juna Junosdautter

5/16/17 Schooner rigged JUNA in Russia 7/2014 a great review by Donal Philby sent to me by Scott McPherson, lifted from a chat site…. Jay Hoagland’s JUNA loafing along. While this is an older design she’s still one of my favorites in her size range of anything around. Strong statement, I know, but who cares.

43′ Cutter “RUARRI”

Simple and clean traditional cutter, the most basic, seaworthy, inexpensive, and I think attractive too, for that matter cruising sailboat you can have. I like interiors to be set up to be comfortable for the owners, although this one will sleep 5 if you want to.But feel free to change it if you want. That’s

53′ Schooner “BARBAROSSA”

Here’s what I call the “Modified Pilot Schooner” rig. It’s for those to chicken to use the old time version, shown below. It would be simpler to handle though, more weatherly, not as good off the wind, and easier to handle. There’s also a version with a boomed fore, gaff rigged, and a Marconi main.

57′ Schooner GETZ

This is one of my oldest, but still most favorite, design. It was designed for a guy with a sawmill in the Philippines, back in the late 1970s. As far as I know she was never built, which always seemed a shame to me. The design was done in the most traditional of fashion; I

44′ Schooner “RESOLUTE”

44′ Buccaneering ship “RESOLUTE” The sail plan is about as complicated and cumbersome as you can find on this size boat. Here’s a bit simpler rig and a pilothouse. I never did an interior for this version. Bush’s speech January 10, 2007, where, contrary to the advice of almost the entire General staff, much of

33′ Rufus

A Sailing Barge Some years ago I designed this boat, named RUFUS, for a guy who lived along the Intercostal waterway in Florida. I had alot of fun thinking it up, and I mean to own one myself some day. I’ve thought of building it way up the Columbia river, and floating down to Astoria.

47′ Schooner Gulnare

47′ 7″ Staysail Schooner GULNA’RE 7/2/05 If you look closely you’ll see a great similarity between this boat and the Diesel Duck family. In fact, I guess if you wanted a DUCK set up to emphasize sail rather power, here’s what she’d look like. This is funny because I didn’t realize it until years after

35′ Cutter JUNO

36′ cutter JUNO stepping along. I built this particular one and lived aboard 4 years, back in 1976. Thanks to Wim Netens of Belgium, who retouched this photo for me. I designed JUNO for myself on the dinette of my first JUNO, a 26 footer, while hove-to for a week somewhere between Mexico and Hawaii.

35′ Cutter BUTTON

“BUTTON” A 10.7 meter (35 foot) Cutter I like this profile a lot; it has a very, very jaunty “attitude” to it. Personally I might go for a normal deckhouse rather than the raised sheer shown here but, this version sure gives a spacious interior. There’s only about 300 full time yacht designers in the

16′ POGO

2015 Youtube video about building and sailing POGO, by Llew Hebbard, in Canada. Happy Camper of POGO POGO I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to travel a good deal outside of North America and I’ve been both amused and distressed to learn the image people in other countries have of us. The only

43′ Gandalf

These are old hand drawings and some aren’t in the best shape. This shows her as a simple cutter This is one of my very earliest designs and as far as I know, only one was built. But that one was beautifully built of steel down near San Francisco, and has comfortably made several trips

42′ OLGA

2015 photo of Fredrik Gustafsson, in Hjo, Sweden, doing a fine job of his OLGA. Like Archimedes, the plans for this boat are free in my Building Book, but, if you buy them, you’ll get all the versions drawn plus any consultation help you need. OLGA (originally Jupiter, a cutter) would be alot of fun.

30′ Cutter JACK

30′ Cutter JACK – added 4/4/10 This is a good building job but that little “chicken beak” tacked below the ‘sprit looks ridiculous! JACK is a simple  small cruising boat, just big enough to be comfortable for 2 adults.He was designed to be a boat that a person could build him (or of course her)

28′ Cutter Hagar

Dan in Port Angeles, Washington, built this fine HAGAR, launching her in 2011 I think it was. HAGAR is one of my oldest designs. She was meant to be an update of my first design, a 26 footer I launched in 1970 and cruised to Mexico andHawaii in. One thing led to the next and

54′ Seal Cutter or Ketch

This big boat was designed for a man retiring from the US Marines, who wanted a boat large enough for him and his wife and daughter to comfortably live aboard. She is one step up from OTTER and would make a great long term live-aboard cruising home. Her design is “traditional” cruising boat, based on

30′ Cutter Emily

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. You might think that 30′ doesn’t sound very small. But, EMILY is a small 30, if that makes

43′ New Cutter RUARRI

The only difference between this new version and the original is the stern. I took a lot of the “curve”out of the stern stem which doesn’t look as good on paper but gives a bit longer waterline, allows the engine to be a little further aft, and makes hanging the rudder easier. Otherwise, this design

72′ Reg’s Boat

Reg’s Big Ketch “Rainbow” I’m frequently asked about building a wood boat in some third world country where exotic hardwoods are plentiful and cheap, skilled labor is cheaper, and “the living is easy”as it’s said. I always advice against it unless you first go and really get the lay of the land, speak some of

37′ Cruising Cutter JENNY

Her cutter rig has multiple reefs, a straight leach so can’t hang up in the rigging, a large boomed staysail, and a jib mounted on a tackle off the sprit. This is the most functional cruising rig for a couple or a single hander. There’s more details about it in the Random Thoughts section of

28′ Cutter Njord

With substantial freeboard and a moderate rig, NJORD is a good choice for a single hander or friendly couple who are on a budget but want a safe and reliable cruising boat. Somebody sent me a wooden boat forum discussion of this design and I was surprised at the negative talk. Few understood the concept,

50′ Dragonfly

Here’s a sister that is the pilot house version, built by Jim Dell, down in Texas. He did a beautiful job. Following are two emails he sent me about her. Here’s the first: “Hi George, Well…she’s a boat. First sail last weekend. Took awhile to get to it because I had to replace the Perkins