An 18' 2" Keel Cruising Knockabout
By William Atkin
Eighteen Shipshape Feet

A little boat is a lovely thing to play with. And I think this is especially so if you build it yourself. Every fastening, every plug, every curve, has then a special significance. And Joan is a little boat.

Joan measures 18 feet 2 inches over all length, 17 feet water line length, 5 feet 6 inches beam, and 4 feet 4 inches draft. Any thing smaller than this becomes cramped if used for cruising. Despite the limited dimensions it is possible to arrange the interior in a comfortable manner. And to have deck space, cockpit space and accommodations for a crew of two. More than two will be a crowd.

I have kept the displacement as little as possible so as to economize on ballast. There are 2,100 pounds on the keel and 500 pounds inside. Small displacement and small beam permit a modest spread of sail; there is 139 square feet in the mainsail, 66 square feet in the staysail. Total area 205 square feet. The moderate sail area simplifies the masting and rigging. All the gear is worked out in the simplest manner. And that, aboard a little ship, is the ideal manner. Joan is knockabout rigged; don't let folks call her a sloop. A sloop, to be a sloop, must carry a bow sprit.
It is difficult to arrange the cabin of a small boat. And the smaller these are the more difficult the problem. I feel that for one or two the layout shown should be handy and comfortable. There is 5 foot headroom under the cabin trunk; not bad for a little boat. Now if the stove and sink are located aft one can stand up with the companion slide open and work comfortably. If the weather is bad I should have a small stool made so as to sit comfortably before the fire. The bunks are made from canvas. Simply a 2 foot width, 6 feet long fitted along the outside edge with a length of 3/4" galvanized iron pipe. The pipe will be inside the hem. When not in use the canvas is rolled around the pipe and the whole thing dropped behind the lip on the shelf shown.
The lines show an easily driven form. The hull will be powerful, and because of the modest beam easily driven against a head sea. And here is the point of sailing that is the Waterloo of most small auxiliaries. The width through the keel at the garboards is broad and the bottom of the stem, keel, and deadwood well rounded. This makes for speed. The wide keel makes floor room inside. The freeboard is amply high to assure dryness, and the form above the water line contributes to this feature. The draft is moderate. There is good drag to the keel, and the sections forward and abaft the center of buoyancy well balanced. Joan will be one of those types of little boats that will really sail well.
I should use a single cylinder motor of not over 3 h.p.; 1 1/2 is enough for a speed of five miles an hour. There is no point in traveling too fast.
Plans for Joan are $100
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