Future Cruiser 44 MKII

   
  • Vessel Specifications and Comments

    • LOD: 44'
    • LWL: 40'
    • Beam: 12' 6"
    • Draft: B/U 2'10" , B/D 7'0"
    • Displacement: 22,000 lbs
    • Ballast: 9,000 lbs
    • Sail Area: 840 sq.ft.
    • Construction:
    • General Comments: This MKII version of the Future Cruiser concept was inspired by comments from Bob Wise of the Boat Bits blog. On reflection a lower sheer line would allow larger side windows which would be nice. I very much like the twin centerboards and pilothouse settee with double berth under it, also the huge 12’ long cockpit. The balanced Lug schooner is all Bob’s suggestion, this version may be a bit short on sail area in some (light air) parts of the world.
  • About the Plans

    • Construction Method and Materials:

      MK11 44. Multi-chine plywood over a plywood “skeleton” of bulkheads and longitudinals fillet and taped together with epoxy.
    • Number and Type of Drawings:

      • Lines and Offsets
      • General Construction
      • Full Size Construction Details
      • General Arrangement
      • Sail Plan
      • Spar and Rigging Plan.
      • Full size plots for bulkheads, transom, and stem provided
       
    • Study Plan:

      Future Cruiser 44 Sailplan PDF
    • Base Price:

      $1250 CAD

Extended Comments

This MKII version of the Future Cruiser concept was inspired by comments from Bob Wise of the Boat Bits blog. On reflection a lower sheer line would allow larger side windows which would be nice. The balanced Lug schooner is all Bob’s suggestion, this version may be a bit short on sail area in some (light air) parts of the world.

I very much like the twin centerboards and pilothouse settee with double berth under it, also the huge 12’ long cockpit. I’m less happy with the smallish galley, but that’s what concept sketches are for. You put something down on paper and then work out how to fix it’s shortcomings.

Construction is multi-chine plywood over a plywood “skeleton” of bulkheads and longitudinals fillet and taped together with epoxy. She has a shallow external stub which contains the ballast. This coupled with the raised deck implies quick self-righting from high-angle knock downs. There’s space under the pilothouse for batteries and a huge fresh water tank.

For auxiliary propulsion I would arrange a twin outboard well in the cockpit. The aft gallows/mainsheet horse could be used to hoist these engines vertically. They could also be arranged to tip up when sailing. Two high-thrust 8HP motors would be a decent start, with a pair of 15-20’s providing (relatively) high-speed cruising.

For sailing vessels my own take on the Affordable Bluewater Cruisers is my line of "Future Cruisers", these are post-modern, less-is-more freedom machines:

Sizes run from 28' to 54', construction is simple, beam moderate, displacement moderate, draft minimized with lifting ballast keels, rigs unstayed, and systems basic. The smaller versions (28', 34', and 44') do not require an inboard engine. A dinghy lashed on the quarter with a 4HP outboard is perfectly adequate.

Beam and displacement are moderate so the hull is easily driven, including by oars or sweep in no wind. The lifting keel is a deep and narrow foil for excellent performance. And large working sail area that is easily reefed also for best performance under sail reducing the need for an engine. Split rig aimed at versatility, ease of reduction while maintaining balance, small jib and mizzen for control under sail and ease of setting mizzen staysail.

The cockpit is huge by modern standards as it's the place you spend the most time. Options for protection are considered, dodger and higher coamings forward. Transom door and outboard rudder/tiller simplify access and self steering. No holes in the boat's bottom. I have a idea the solid pram dinghy will sit in the cockpit (becoming the cockpit footwell) in these boats, perhaps under a solid flush cover in the larger boats.

Hull is red cedar strips sheathed with fiberglass; centerboard case is a fiberglass molding. The board is a foil built of steel or cast of iron. The deck is plywood and straight fore and aft, curved only in the athwartships direction and longitudinally framed. Bulwarks are high up forward. Spars are laminated wood or carbon, unstayed but for a headstay and running Dyneema backstays. Small headsails minimize the need for large winches.

Freshwater tanks are integral plywood and epoxy. Composting toilet eliminates the holding and pumpout system. Solar panels, windmill, and hydro generator charge batteries for LED lights and laptop.

The way to reduce cost is eliminate the expensive bits (deck gear and systems). It's not the basic structure that is expensive, that's just wood and epoxy/glass. Also eliminate the expensive marketing campaign.

I believe part of the way the average joe can build a boat and escape is to band together with like minded folks and create building co-ops. This allows group purchase of all kinds of things including food.

But the biggest hurdle is getting people to accept less. They must see that buying freedom means giving something up, the new shoes, expensive holidays on jet planes, silly cars and huge houses. Give these things up and you owe nothing to anyone......Sail where you like when you like, work occasionally instead of every day forever.....

On strips vs plywood construction - Due to grain structure wood is anisotropic, strength and stiffness properties vary with grain direction. In sailing yachts the major structural loads are longitudinal, thus an efficient structure of wood has the majority of the grain running fore & aft. Plywood offers dimensional stability at the cost of half the grain running across the boat. So at least in theory a thicker (heavier) plywood skin will be required to achieve the same longitudinal stiffness.

The deck is the same, major loads are longitudinal compression/tension. Thus the stiffest plywood deck will see you cutting the sheets into 12" wide strips and laying it in a double diagonal configuration at approximately 30 degrees off centerline......

In my world (PNW) good to excellent marine ply is imported from halfway round the world. I would rather shop local as we have good supplies of clear red cedar for strip planking. In this part of the world the solid timber will be less money (In other locations that will change). Also for bigger boats ply offers a thickness problem. I like thick and light skins with minimal framing. To achieve this requires layers of ply on top of each other, quick to build but expensive and heavy. And I worry about the bond between two layers of ply with no clamping method.

Finally it could be argued that the round bottom strip planked hull will be seen as more valuable in the marketplace. Certainly some will advocate that it's more aesthetically pleasing......a subject of endless debate.

I'd love to do a Future Cruiser in ply, anytime!

Tad Roberts