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Product Description

Cruiser – daysailer – race trainer.

We looked hard at the seating, side decks and helm so she is really comfortable, there is space for up to six (four maximum is recommended) but she is still an ideal singlehanded cruiser. A kit of the major parts is now available.

Navigator was designed as a race trainer to serve the needs of a local club. A crew of three teenagers was intended, with its big sloop rig and shallow draft centreboard, to reward good sailing technique in a fairly open and windy club venue. There have been quite a few of these built, and I am told that they are very good boats, much enjoyed by their owners.

But, the surprise was when my friend Bob came to me wanting a long range cruising dinghy. We sat down for a browse through my drawings for some inspiration and Bob was very taken by the hull and internal layout of Navigator but wanted a rig with a different priority. We went for a standing lugsail, powerful but simple and easily handled this is a good sail for a cruiser, we then looked at a means of balancing the boat in severe wind conditions as well as trying to make the boat as easy to sail as possible.

I had used the yawl rig in other small boats and had succeeded in making the boats self steer on the wind with little more than a piece of shock cord on the tiller, in this case I organised the sail proportions to have the boat balanced with either main alone, or mizzen and jib only. This means that in a really hard chance the main halyard can be cast off and the boat still steered and handled when things are very bad.

Another consequence of the sail layout is that the mizzen can be sheeted on hard, then the boat will lay comfortably hove to head to wind while the crew take a break, very nice if a hot drink or meal is to be prepared on the go.

We looked hard at the seating, side decks and helm so she is really comfortable, there is space for up to six but she is still an ideal single handed cruiser.

Bob built his Navigator over about 4 months, the simple glued plywood lapstrake over stringers construction proving both fast and economical, the lightweight hull went together surprisingly quickly in the single car garage and it wasn't long before we were down at the waters edge christening her.

We launched her on a very windy day and had a really good time rocketing around the bay. The performance is a real surprise, very fast in most conditions, close winded and easily handled, the hull, though light is seaworthy and stable, powerful enough to drive through a big wave and she has a surprisingly comfortable motion in the open sea, something that is not easy to achieve in a light dinghy hull but a real bonus in a boat which may be at sea for a whole day on coastal passages.

There are groups racing with three clubs that I know of and we even have an informal ‘owners group’ who promote dinghy cruising and the design has been built in many variations including several with cabins and has somewhat humbled me with the enthusiasm with which she has been received, She is my favourite, one of those happy coincidences of fate, and perhaps one day I'll have one of my own.

John Welsford, designer.

Pre-Build Study Plans

These are a selection of the plans and John Welsford's construction write up. This is intended for pre-build study or to help with the decision to purchase. They will help you decide whether or not you can build the boat but do not provide sufficient information to actually do so.

Hull Part Kit

This is not a kit of all of the parts for this boat. The boat has been designed to be built with a minimum of lofting but, where there is no option, we can supply the parts ready cut to size.

This short kit contains the following pre-cut wooden parts:

It also includes:

This is for the yawl version of the boat.

The builder will have to purchase the soft wood and further sheets of ply wood. These are usually obtainable from a local timber merchant. A list of major materials is given in the plans. The wooden parts are easily cut in situ.

This part kit does not contain the plans.