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I wonder if they're the same as the one I bought. The fact you say yours are Italian makes me think they probably are. I'm glad I only bought one, because despite claiming that it could carry a 400kg load, I wouldn't trust it to carry a quarter of that weight over a clean carpet without bursting or getting a puncture. Very lightweight kit, but quite a fun toy in a swimming pool.I've just remembered I have 4 or 5 tough inflatable/deflatable Italian rollers somewhere which made launching and hauling-up a whole lot easier. I'm sure that idea would be helpful on other boats....
You have just described the Leisure 17, the little boat that I now sail. Big enough to sleep 2, and it's a good boat to sail. One has crossed the Atlantic even.My first coastal cruiser was a 15 foot grp double ended that I decked and had a sitting headroom cabin,seemed spacious until another person was in it.Being boatless now I think that if I had another boat it would be a 17 foot cabin sailer with outside ballast and bilge keeels to be upright on the hard,obviously not so manageable as a dinghy,But it could be left with all your stuff safe whilst you returned home and afford shelter in the British summers
If I go over, then I likely would need help... so the build in the shed...has a ballast keel . Will come back from mast in the water without bailing. Cabin for two. Draws 18" so knee deep. And no plate case in the cabin.
I believe you gentlemen have it - the informed approach to cruising minimalism. The Bolger sounds terrific, DW....if I had another boat it would be a 17 foot cabin sailer with outside ballast and bilge keels to be upright on the hard...could be left with all your stuff safe whilst you returned home, and afford shelter in the British summers.
Hi DanGlad you approve, Voidberg. And I like the Mr Bond association, thank you. A beautiful doctor at the General made that same slip of the tongue. It was tempting to pretend to her that I was Really Him, preparing for a role that required darker hair. With a touch of grey.
I was thinking again about the big dinghies which are as costly as similarly proportioned yachts, yet require much more physical input and forbearance with discomfort.
The absence of ballast issue is worse than the absence of a cabin. Roger Barnes seems to be as bright, positive and energetic as any man of his years has a right to be. He has sailed and rowed his heavy, traditional lugger on many ambitious and arduous journeys, and his honest descriptions of them are always very readable and watchable...
...but the fact that after a long time without encountering much difficulty or danger, he finally capsized at sea and discovered himself in serious need of outside help to recover the boat, proved (to me, who was always wary) the limits on coastal cruising in a boat that doesn't self-right.
I've spent days and odd nights this last year on a small cruiser with an iron keel. The deep sense of peace that comes from knowing she cannot roll over and lie on her side, turning the scene you had been enjoying into a hideous, perilous mess, is priceless. This one's not mine.
Of course, a ballasted cruiser brings anti-fouling toil and mooring costs that the dinghy cruiser may laugh at, but the ballast-keel owner has the last laugh, because compared with the dinghy, it's relaxing, self-indulgent, with no great effort and no reason to fear, or sweat, or spend comfortless hours working hard just to keep the mast out of the water.
I think Charles Stock's cruiser Shoal Waters presents the step up from the arduous heavy dinghy zone into the effortless tiny cabin category. Most dinghy cruisers appreciate the traditional scene, and relish the flexibility of having only a few inches of draft. Shoal Waters achieved charming, restful stability and solidity in a tiny package, where even the biggest dinghy relies on her crew to stop her rolling over. Wouldn't most dinghy-cruisers prefer to escape that?
Perhaps dinghy cruising is for the young. It will certainly exhaust anyone who's out of shape.
To warrant the effort, you need to be gleefully enthusiastic about the simple business of owning, launching and sailing an open boat. That's true in all dinghy sailing, but I've found some of the joy of owning the Osprey is tidying her away and getting home to the sofa.
If you cruise a dinghy in a determined way, you need to be smiling as you fall asleep on the hard deck, and still smiling when you wake in the cold night, busting for a piddle but unable to extricate yourself from the jam of bedding wedged under the thwart. Dinghy cruising is hard, and cruising in a yacht, isn't.