Florida Bay Coasters

"Houses are but badly built boats so firmly aground that you cannot think of moving them.... The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final anchorage." Arthur Ransome
Racundra's First Cruise, 1923

These designs were originally done for the Florida Bay Coaster Company and licensed to them. With their company closed, we are now offering these plans to others who want to have them built.

The 50' Florida Bay was the first Coaster built and remains my personal favorite. I've generated a whole series of ideas on how to do a much improved version which retains all the charm and character of this practical and salty small ship.

The 65' Key Largo was built next, as a bigger version of the 50' Florida Bay, with more generous spaces throughout. She's currently in service as a charter boat, and available to anyone interested in trying out living on one of these great little ships. We've got lots of ideas for other 65-footer layouts drawn up.

The 45' Sails is the first of the 45' series built. They were done to provide maximized liveaboard space for people who did not need or want to carry a vehicle aboard. We've done a whole series of variation drawings on this size and their study plans are shown in our book, Small Ships.

The 50' Seaclusion is the first of the revised 50' series, done as an expanded version of the successful 45's, with an extra guest cabin or study just forward of the galley.

The 55' North Star is like the 50' Seaclusion series, with extra length at both ends and substantial additions to the accommodations. She shows the extraordinary amount of living space that can be built into these ships.

Study plans for these Freighter Yachts, and many variations on them, are shown in greater detail in our 360 page book, Small Ships, Fifth Edition. It has photos and more detailed information about them and scores of our other power boat designs. For more information about ordering it, see www.tillerbooks.com.

"...let me say that I have spent hours perusing Small Ships...to my utter delight. Here is Benford at his best with an infinite variety of arrangements and layouts on several series of working craft hulls including his Florida Bay Coaster 40, 50, and 65 footers....
"...The varieties are endless, and if one of these doesn't start you dreaming of retiring to a life of floating luxury with your beloved, you're reading the wrong magazine....
"...original, fun, and thought provoking which is what makes this book worth owning, not just reading. It's a book which will be referred to again and again." Ted Jones, Coastal Cruising magazine
Here's the new 55' Coaster progress photos (click on "Boats" and then on photo of Coaster)
For information on the First Florida Bay Coaster Owners Rendezvous.
Visit the Florida Bay Coaster website.
What about her stability? Click here (PDF).


October 1, 2005: The 35' Coaster WaterLilly was given the People's Choice award at the Solomons TrawlerFest, as voted by the event attendees, to be best in show.
May 24, 2008: The 55' Coaster Teddi Bear was given the People's Choice award at the Anacortes TrawlerFest, as voted by the event attendees, to be best in show.

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