I've decided to set myself the rather ambitious goal of getting out on the sea with a proa of my own design this year. Due to other obligations I can't start construction before the 1st of May, and if I want to be able to get any sailing in at all with the new boat this sailing season, then I'd have to get the boat in the water for final fitting out by very early September. That's 3 months, in which I can build almost full time, to try and get the boat done.
The thing that becomes immediately obvious looking at the time plan, is that my design is going to have to be optimized for low construction time. No more endless speculation and pondering over armchair performance gains. While you may lose a few percent in performance by say opting for a flat bottom instead of a semicircular one, not getting out on the water, means no performance at all. The mantra here is keep it simple, keep it easy to build, stick to the essentials only, and not to worry about making it perfect, I can always build a better one next year, or do incremental upgrading. The goals are similar to what they were before, so much of this will be familiar to those who know my Firstborne posts on proafile.
The design brief is:
- Coastal cruiser for the Baltic and North Sea (including the intertidal Wadden Sea)
- Optimized for single-handed sailing
- Daysailable with 2 people
- Suitable for sailing in cold weather (below 10°C) to extend the sailing season
- Seaworthy enough to sail in force 5-6 in the intended waters
- Re-rightable single-handed without outside assistance
- Construction time of no more than 500 hours
- Cost, ready to sail of no more than 4500€ -- incl. EPIRB & VHF, excl. trailer, and excl. setting up workshop (already done)
- Suitable as a testbed for future boats
- Suitable for singlehanding at night
- Active radar reflector
- Camper cruiser for two
- Man-powered propulsion (prop, paddle, oars, or something)