Sweet Pea

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Product Description

Sports cruising on a budget.

Sweet Pea was designed to produce a racer for a club based on a very large estuary. With a mostly mature membership and close to 200 miles of fairly sheltered tidal coastline to play with, there was a need for some simple cruising accommodation as well as enough performance to be a fun class racer.

Using plywood bulkheads and stringers with a 6 mm plywood skin over, building her is about as simple a job as one could get in a boat of this size. Simplicity saves costs as well, so there would be few boats with the combination of low budget, speed and cruising capacity that this one has.

Light in weight so that the tow vehicle can be quite small, needing only ankle deep water with the plate up so she can be slid into the water pretty much anywhere, Sweet Pea has a self-draining cockpit big enough for six, even allowing for the outboard motor in its well at the after end of the starboard side seat. There is enough space to seat four below, she can sleep two in better comfort than some and has permanent mountings for a stove, storage for the portaloo and enough gear for a weekend!

Sweet Pea is a hot performer, she has a very high power to weight ratio, a fine entry and a clean run. There is enough lateral plane in the big steel centreboard to minimise leeway on the wind, and there is enough weight in that board to steady her a little. With her kite up out there on the fixed prod there is enough speed there to keep even the most avid racer happy.

Sweet Pea is intended for harbour and estuary sailing with short coastal hops on reliable weather forecasts an option. She will self right from a 90degree knockdown but the design is not intended for the sort of waters with wave actions big enough to roll the hull completely. She has no built in buoyancy other than keeping water out of the boat and a self-draining cockpit, but if you want to build it in there is plenty of space under the cockpit, under the quarter berths and under the anchor well. You will need around 300 litres of foam to provide enough lift for the boat and two people. You can get this much in and still have reasonable storage.

She'll plane on a reach or run, even the alternative yawl rig (16.72 m²) derived from the cruising Navigator has the power to really move the little craft and it will take a pretty serious dinghy to keep up whether racing or exploring the coast and inlets.

As a cruiser, this sort of boat is a camper rather than a five star hotel, but there is enough space for a couple of friendly people to enjoy a few days away.

With the cruising yawl rig, she'll be simple to rig with short spars, easy to handle, easily reefed in a blow and very capable.

The builder should budget on about £1,800 for the hull materials and 250 hours to build it.

For a relatively small investment in time and money for buying the materials the builder gets a capable little cruiser, the social contact of club activity and a huge amount of satisfaction.

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.

Epoxy Kit

The kit includes:

Note that this kit does not contain any of the wooden parts.