Design Contest #6 - Entry 8 click here to read or make an observation about this  article
By Jamie Hargrave - Orleans, Ontario

Dawn Treader

Drawings - Statistics - Description - Budget - Bio


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LOA 18ft
Beam (max) 5ft 4in
Beam (wl) 3ft 4in (although I would revise this to be about 3ft 10in in future versions)
Draught 4ft (board down)/ 6in (board up)
Displacement 500 lbs light/ 725 – 800 lbs cruising trim
Sail Area:  
- Main 96 sq ft.
- Mizzen 26 sq ft.
- Total 122 sq ft.


Dawn Treader (a last minute name, I had to call her something!) is a 18ft long lug rigged ketch. Before you criticise the waterline beam, I realise that it is somewhat narrow. However I did not have time to revise the lines before the deadline, so please keep in mind that I would widen the waterline by about six inches. This would also allow more room for the berth below.

Now for the description. In reading the brief I realised that there would be a couple of crucial things if I were designing this boat for myself. The first one was that having grown up on Vancouver Island I understand the amount of rainfall that can fall on the west coast. Therefore a good dry all weather bunk was a requirement. Hence the cabin. The second thing that I would want would be some semblance of performance under sail (a stink pot… I mean power boat was dismissed immediately!). As drawn the boat is probably a little bit light on sail area, but the deep narrow foils are crucial for this performance. To meet the shoal draft requirement both the centreboard and the rudder kick-up giving the boat a draft of 6 inches.

To give a good description of the boat it is probably easiest to begin at the bow and work aft describing the various features of Dawn Treader. All the way forward is a sunken bow well for anchor handling, and storage. There would be chocks fitted to the deck to hold down the anchor for storage while underway. Access to the fore deck is across the cabin top, it would probably be prudent to put toe rails and hand holds on this for safely negotiating it. Below decks is a berth to port (or starboard if you so desire, it could be easily flipped). On the opposite side of the berth there should be shelves fitted to handle the necessary storage, as well as storage forward of the berth for a porta pottie.

The cockpit is short, only 5 feet long, however for lounging the seats continue on under the aft deck leaving room for one to stick their feet so as to be able to have a lie down in the cockpit. The seats are sealed, although the temptation is to turn them into storage I believe that as the cockpit is not self-draining, for safety’s sake their primary function should be to provide buoyancy, and to not be compromised by anything else.

As I said before, the rig is a lug ketch, or is it a lug yawl with the mizzen mast that far aft? This rig was chosen for its low tech = low cost factor. The mainsail should have two sets of reef points in it, and the mizzen one. For the time when the wind doesn’t blow there are a couple of options. A cheap flea market outboard of 2-4 hp could be mounted on the transom, or a well could be constructed for it opposite to the mizzen mast. However in the interest of simplicity an low cost I have chosen to plan the boat around a pair of 9-10 foot sweeps. These could be stored in the cabin on chocks on the side to get them out of the way while sailing.

With a design displacement of about 725 lbs this is a light weight boat, however an additional 200 lbs will only drive it down about 2 inchs on its marks, which it should handle fine. Although Dawn Treader looks fairly traditionally ordinary, I believe that it meets the requirements of the brief in a rather elegant manner. This is a boat that would gather complements, and make you smile as you look back at it.


Construction (all funds in Canadian dollars unless noted, exchange rate of about $.85 US to $1 CDN at present)

Plywood (Home Depot prices)
---Fir G1S ¼” - hull sides, cabin sides, CB case
8 sheets @ 28.70 (inc. tax) = $229.60
---Fir G1S 3/8” – bottom, bulkheads,
cockpit seats, foils, cabin top, interior
8 sheets @ 32.14 (inc. tak) = $257.12
Lumber (Home Depot prices)
---Clear pine – Transom, stringers, cleats, stem, knees,
CB case, hatch, mast partners, mast steps, spars, skeg
Total needed – 100 board feet @ $3.50 per board foot = $350.00
Raka 9 gal kit - inc. duty and taxes included = $600
Xynol cloth for covering hull and cockpit - 17 yards = $152
Sailmaking Material – from Duckworks – 3.5 oz dacron and misc. =$250
Rigging, Oarlocks, Pintles and Gudgons,
From Duckworks approx $ 280
Running rigging line
300 feet yacht braid @ $.56 taxes inc = $168
Anchor and fenders
West Marine = $120
Porta Pottie
Buckets with lids and sawdust! = $10
Misc missed items
Total CDN funds
= $2125 USD
$2500 USD

Budget Notes

I hope this needs no explanation, I think I’ve covered everything here, if not there is quite a lot that can be shaved off, for example using polytarp for sails instead of dacron. Not covering the hull in Xynol, but rather using 4 oz fiberglass cloth. The basic idea was to create something that would last beyond the two week cruise, and I believe that the materials reflected in this budget will stand up to that.


I am a 29 year old who is a minister in a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Ottawa, Canada. I grew up however on Vancouver Island, where I had the privilege of learning to sail on my parents Tanzer 7.5 in Desolation sound. I have always been interested in boat design, and have done a number of designs to the preliminary state. I have also built a couple of skiffs as boat building projects that were done as part of our Churches youth ministry.

Jamie Hargrave
Orleans, ON