After my last cruise north, I decided I needed something smaller and easier to handle. While I still enjoy a good sail, it isn’t the all encompassing thing it used to be. My boating destinations haven’t got any closer, and if anything I want to explore further now.
So after going thru my requirements, what you see is the result.
There will be the usual internet detractors but the response so far shows there is an interest in a light, easily built, inexpensive and very simple power boat for long distance exploring and cruising.
OFD, a 40’ Powered pod cat I did in 2009 is a raging success and to this day I regret selling it.
I have friends building smaller 7.5 mts long x 2.5 to 3.5mts wide power cats that will be quite capable boats and satisfy their criteria neatly, but simply don’t have the offshore footprint that this boat has.
We have had various conversations re trailerable versus non trailerable. I point out that while the idea of trailering a light 7.5mt power cat seems easy and acceptable, experience has told me that you won’t do it very often or very far.
I agree with the old adage that it’s the journey not the destination that gives the greatest pleasure. I would much rather travel in a comfortable and affordable boat. Than stressful highways, with the grief and expense that comes from driving and maintaining a decent tow vehicle and trailer that, by the way!, is going to cost a minimum of $30k and easily up to $60k. The only benefit of a 2.5mt wide power cat is taking it home to avoid marina and mooring fees, and that is a genuine consideration.
Cruising along, watching the coast, the birds, the whales (I would dearly love to see a blue whale before I slide off this little blue orb we call home), fish and shipping, is what I enjoy. It’s what relaxes, amazes and occasionally pleasantly confounds me.
I want a simple boat with a big, safe, comfortable footprint with an easy motion that I can travel down to Tasmania and South Australia to explore all that wonderful coastline. ‘Geez Loiuse’ I May have to spend a winter down there!
My good friend Jim, who lives on the Murray river near Waikerie has just confirmed that the Goolwa lock is 6mts wide which means a few weeks on the Murray River is more than possible. Heading north again would take some time, what with all the rivers and estuary’s that need to be explored.
The boat is to be powered by a pair of 20hp to 30hp 4 stroke outboards. The numbers say it will cruise on one motor at 6 kts using around 0.6 lpm for economical cruising, and with 2 motors, cruising at 10kts should return around 0.7/8 lpm.
Now I know 10kts doesn’t seem very fast to tinny owners but to displacement boat owners and sailors, cruising all day at a consistent 10kts at 0.6/7lpm would be a revelation. Especially if you consider there are no engine rooms, with the complexity, noise and expense that is within. Just out of interest, I advise people to climb down into their engine rooms and just add up the amount of money, weight, complexity in there. Yeesh. It just isn’t necessary!
I’m very much looking forward to this next little boat.
9mt Pod Power Catamaran
L.O.A.: 9.0 mts
BEAM: 4.5 mts
DISP: 2,800 kgs (max. gross)
(unpainted shell) 900hrs
(simple fit out - finished) 1800hrs
To be kept as simple as possible.
Power: 2 x 20 / 30 hp 4stroke outboards
Fuel: 200lts for 400 mile range @ 6kts
Wheel or Tiller steering.
Pod has 1 x king bed and 1 x single bed, or 3 single beds.
Toilet and shower in Port hull.
Galley and dinette.
Build for under $60k plus labour.