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Pocket Cruisers And Tabloid Yachts

In the beginning....



14' Cruiser Happy
"My cruising began on a tabloid yacht, a 21' gaff sloop that my parents bought the summer before I arrived. My parents took me sailing before I could walk, and I have, from time to time, reminded them that my subsequent life with boats and living aboard always seemed perfectly normal to me....

I spent my first twenty years cruising Lake Ontario on this boat, developing a great fondness for the lifestyle to be found on such a boat.

I was fortunate to be able to continue my education and learn more to pursue a career in yacht design by apprenticing with John Atkin in the early 1960s. John's father, Billy Atkin, had started designing in 1906 and John was ably carrying on the tradition by designing a variety of sizes and types of interesting cruising boats. I particularly liked the small ones, for they were the ones I could personally aspire to, and relate to, in those times.



14' Tug-Cruiser Grivit
Small cruising yachts have always been the most popular boats. They're big enough to be comfortable staying overnight aboard, and small enough to be affordable and easily handled.

Over the last four decades in the yacht design business, I've designed quite a number of small cruising yachts, both sail and power. We hope you will enjoy both our website and the pleasure of cruising one of these boats."
- by Jay Benford





What are Pocket Cruisers & Tabloid Yachts?

The simplest definition is that they are small power and sail cruising yachts, respectively. Thus, a pocket cruiser is a small cruising powerboat and a tabloid yacht is a small cruising sailboat.



14' Tug-Cruiser Grivit
While these definitions are not in as common usage as they were a couple generations ago, they are such nice ones that I want to do what I can to perpetuate their usage.


Patterns & Kits:

Full sized patterns are available for both the 14' Tug and 17' Fantail. These are for the full loft floor, whereas most of our larger boat design patterns are only for the body plan or frame shapes.


Building Questions:



17' Fantail Steam Launch Myf
We are usually quite generous with our time in answering quick questions, this is part of our consulting work that was included in the stock plan price. However, if your questions are long and/or involved, or you are interested in a design variation on one of these or another of our boats, you should be prepared to pay a consulting fee for our assistance in helping you get the boat done in a manner that will please both of us.

The complete designs for the boats in this section are available either individually, or in a reduced scale version in our book Pocket Cruisers & Tabloid Yachts, Volume 1.


POCKET CRUISERS & TABLOID YACHTS, VOLUME 1

Read what WoodenBoat magazine has to say about the book:



20' Tug Yacht
"Ask any high-school mechanical-drawing student. Drafting - even basic drafting - competes with filling out IRS forms as a consumer of time. And drawing boats - even simple boats - hardly ranks as basic drafting. Consider, if you will, that the designer must represent shapely, three-dimensional hulls on flat, two-dimensional vellum or Mylar. The hull lines must be fair (both "smooth" fair, and fair in the sense that their crossings will produce a real surface - not just a pretty picture). Beyond this, the design should be hydrostatically and hydrodynamically correct, and technical details have to be addressed. Microchips and cathode-ray tubes notwithstanding, there's nothing particularly quick about this whole business.

"Perhaps drawings for simple skiffs can be tossed off in a couple of hours (few of us will admit how much time we really spend in search of the perfect sheer). Perhaps the great overall expense of large yachts allows room for substantial design fees. But what about pocket cruisers? How can a designer provide sufficient detail at acceptable prices for complex plans that have sales potentials somewhat less than, say, the population of metropolitan New York? Jay R. Benford has tackled this problem by writing (and publishing) a paperback book.

"Pocket Cruisers & Tabloid Yachts contains complete plans for six (ten if you count the variants) small cruising boats from the boards of the Benford Design Group. Full lines drawings, arrangements, construction details, offsets - everything. The 96 pages describe 17' and 25' fantail steam yachts, 14' and 20' working tugboats, a 20' supply boat, 14' and 20' power cruisers, a 14' long-distance sailing cruiser, and a 20' fantail stern catboat. All the plans exhibit the professional presentation and well-conceived accommodations typical of the author's work.



20' Supply Boat Baten
"Reducing technical drawings for publication is no easy task, or so our art director tells me - lines can get muddy, and detail can be lost.... The lines here are crisp and clean. Where possible, the drawings have been reproduced to a consistent scale. In any case, a linear measuring stick has been printed on each drawing for readers' convenience and quick study....

"Benford prefaces each plan with a sometimes humorous essay that sketches the design's history and includes some measure of his technical thoughts. The first chapter gives an entertaining and moving account of Howard Wayne Smith's successes and failures with the 14' offshore cruiser Happy. After sailing some 10,000 miles from Miami, Florida, towards Australia, the singlehander lost his boat to a reef off Noumea, New Caledonia. I've never understood the thinking behind challenging oceans in the shortest boat imaginable, but Benford hints at the spirit required. As may be, he uses few words; drawings form the heart of this book."
14' Cruiser Happy
14' Cruiser Happy
14' Tug Yacht
14' Tug Yacht
17' Fantail Launch
17' Fantail Launch
20' Catboat
20' Catboat
20' Tug Yacht
20' Tug Yacht
20' supply Boat
20' supply Boat
25' Fantail Yacht
25' Fantail Yacht


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