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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    27

    Default Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    Hi Guys,

    I have been looking to buy a boat now for a while and I think I have decided that a smaller boat is probably going to be better for me.

    The sort of sailing I will be doing is solo North Sea crossings from NL to UK and sailing to the Faroes etc so the max time spent at sea would be around 7-10 days.

    I have been looking at boats such as the Contessa 26, Alben Vega, Frendship 28, Tornado 770, Contest 25, Sadler 26, Halycon 27 etc etc I'm looking for something that is safe but not necessarily a brick to sail. If i had a choice between a long keel or a fin and skeg i'd be inclined to take the fin and skeg as long as it was still seaworthy. I'm also looking for something that is suitable for a wind vane, i'm 6'2 so being able to lie down would be good. Headroom is a nice to have but not necessary.

    What other boats would you suggest for such trips or why would one of the above boats be a good choice over another?

    I know these threads are a dime a dozen and I have read most of them, i'm looking for a little more specific info about the type of sailing I will be doing.

    Thanks
    Mat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    We've had Halcyon27. No way would I want to be in the middle of the North Sea in that when it's rough. Low freeboard, very tender, low headroom. Most of those listed have poor headroom if you're over 5'5".For comforts sake I'd go bigger.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,345

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    There is a chap that wrote a really informative book about his 2 round uk trips single handed ( sorry forget his name) he did it in a sadler 26 and his travel times were quite reasonable. That would suggest to me that the boat was emminently suitable. From memory his book does describe the preparations he made to it such as having a bright orange storm jib etc.
    Others will know the name of the author and book
    however, my boat is a 31 ft fin keel and i would not really want to do it in anything smaller ( i have been round twice SH plus over 200 north sea crossings) i do not find the fin a problem so ignore the suggestions of bilge keels if they come up.
    i also appreciate the speed so that is another reason for the size. If i was younger and have more SH sailng years left i would go for a bigger boat. if doing the trips you suggest i would definitly go for size if £'s were not the constraint.
    I started in a 26ft long keeled boat that sailed beautifully, but anything over 24 hours was a killer. That being said i have met loads of people cruising in boats in the size range you suggest. They just did shorter hops. The more stable the platform the easier it is
    Last edited by Daydream believer; 23-08-19 at 07:25.
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    1,179

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    Frank Dye did it in a Wayfarer i seem to remember, plenty of headroom but little else

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    Not that I'm disrespecting smaller craft That wee H27 was a great boat. Solid and a joy to sail. Could go down below to make a brew and she would stay on course with no one at the tiller. Tender though when the wind got up. Most of our sailing was 'on her ear'. Got water over the stern a few times as low freeboard and all this was in the Clyde. North Sea hmmmmm.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    37,733

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    Folkboat?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    I have an Albin Vega and would also like to take it to Shetland, Faroes NW Norway etc. Someone on the Albin Vega Facebook group was up in Faroe this summer in theirs.

    I think its fine for the task as long as you can put up with less space and luxury. In terms of the Berth size, the starboard berth in the Saloon is plenty long enough for someone of 6 ft 2, but you may find the other Saloon and forepeak berths more cramped (but not intolerable).

    I'm a smidge under 6ft and only have full headroom in the companion way. This isn't generally an issue - i find the height of worktops/stove a little too low however for complete comfort. I had a 6ft 2+ pal on board this summer who get on ok. However, you can probably get boats with more internal volume for the same hull length.

    I have a Pacific light wind vane on the back of mine which works well.

    Best not to focus too much on the boat brand though and try and get the best (i.e. needs least work) boat for the money you have.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Second Coast, Ross-shire, overlooking Gruinard Bay.
    Posts
    7,308

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    Javelin30?
    IIIRC there's one for sale for about £6,000 somewhere "down south" so try a web-search.
    I s/h'd mine round Britain in 2015. Perfect for the job (I'm 5'7"). Fin keel's only problem was into Wells-next-the-sea - but it wasn't my fault (honest, Guv!)
    Sadly, I'll be parting with mine sometime in the not-too-distant future, but I'll be wanting more than £6,000.
    It's a superb boat to sail, look at and own. Goes well, not too many "modern" expensive gizmos to service and pay for and I would not hesitate to circumnavigate the UK again in her.
    edit: I have a Hebridean wind vane, which was a fantastic help in my 2015 trip, and since
    Kay Sarah Sarah
    57°51.42' N 5°29.44' W

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Dublin
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    Have a look at a Sadler 32. Good headroom and a solid sailing boat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    9,543

    Default Re: Small Boat Options for the North Sea

    Twister, Rustler 31, Contessa 32.

    The Contessa 26 is a very small boat.

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