A four berth trailer
yacht with character and comfort
I have only rarely been tempted to enter
the design competitions run by magazines, of the two occasions
I have gone to the trouble of producing the very detailed
drawings that are required by the judges I have had a win
and an honourable mention so am pretty much convinced that
I should give up while I am ahead.
designed to fill a competition brief for a family oriented
cruising trailer yacht of about 6 / 6.5m long, a boat that
would be easily constructed by home boatbuilders from materials
that would be readily obtainable and need only simple tools.
I chose to present a boat with a traditional character and
a real focus on comfort, a boat that would stand out from
the many hard chine boxes that would make up the bulk of
the competition entry.
Well, Penguin certainly did that, I understand
that the judges panel were so split that some assistance
was called for.
fitted the letter of the brief really well but did not fit
the perceptions of two judges so in the end I got a special
mention” . Penguin is based on both the construction
method and the hull shape of her predecessors Rogue and
Navigator and I have been very pleased with the boat that
As a keen trailer yacht owner I had cruised
much of New Zealand at 90 kmph my boat following along behind
as we drove, boat already packed with stores and supplies,
off to another distant lake or harbour.
Working from the bow aft, she has an anchor
well for stowing wet and muddy ground tackle, a good sized
foredeck and hatches large enough to provide both access
and an airy feeling on hot days.
is a big tabernacle so the mast can be easily raised or
lowered, the gaff rig by the way has proven to be noticeably
faster on all points of sail except "hard on the wind",
and the rig is very strong so the boat will stand heavy
weather when making coastal passages. I have drawn a self
draining cockpit with space to sprawl out and relax, the
motor is partly housed to avoid having to balance perilously
over the transom in order to operate it and there are enough
lockers for all of the odd bits that accumulate around the
helm position. Her lead shoe underneath gives this boat
a high ballast ratio and she will self right from a well
past 90°, with the ballast fixed to the bottom of the boat
the centreboard is not hard to lift, and the boats shoal
draft ability will open up sheltered and picturesque anchorages
that are not accessible to most deeper vessels.
Inside there has been a lot of consideration
given to cruising amenities. Mind you there were a few differences
of opinion here, my interior layout advisor ( I'm married
to her) told me that a separate "loo" was a must,
I'd have put a portapotty under the forward end of the cockpit
and pulled it out when needed but have dutifully fitted
a dedicated heads compartment complete with bookrack for
the out of date magazines at the forward end of the main
sized beds are not common in boats this small, but that's
what you'll find up forward, with enough headroom to sit
comfortably up in bed reading, access and ventilation out
through the forward hatch and a huge amount of storage underneath
the bed flat, in the main cabin there are two big quarter
berths aft, good leg space and enough room to move about
without banging heads.
I am pleased with the handiness of the
galley, it has good space to prepare meals while not being
in the way of others moving about the boat and again there
is plenty of locker space.
Cruising in a small and comfortable boat
like this can be a real pleasure, without the work and expense
of a larger boat on a mooring or in a marina one can have
the comfort and character of a true cruiser with the very
long weekend range that a trailer boat can offer. Its a
Leeboards instead of a centerboard? Why not, heres Penguins new option.
A while ago I had a customer ask for a leeboard conversion for Penguin. Now, Penguin is pretty roomy inside anyway, the centerboard and its casing is hidden away under the drop leaf table and there is enough space to walk around the after end of the 'case from one side to the other, but on reflection I figured that it was not such a bad idea. Taking the centercase out makes the main cabin very big for a boat only 21ft 6in long, really roomy, you could darn near hold a square dance in there!
So there is a new sheet added to the Penguin plans, its easier to build than the centerboard version, will suit very shallow waters even better than the original, the boat has more space inside and a possible source of leaks has been eliminated.
That means that Penguin now has three rig options, centerboard, bilge keel and leeboard options and there is a stretch version sailing very successfully as well.
The design now has lots of choices. You can mix and match to suit.
LOA - 6.4M - 21'
BEAM - 2.44M - 8'
Draft (board up) - .33M - 13"
Draft (board down) - 1.02M - 41-1/2"
Weight - 970kg dry
Ballast - 450kg
Berths - 4
Headroom - 1.450m
Gaff Rig - 21.8sqm
Bermuda - 20.7sqm