Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pocket Cruisers

It seems lately that I am shopping for a boat. Not just any boat. One that will travel light, but with confidence. Beautiful, but not conceited and above all nimble and fast. Not just shopping, either. Looking at study plans, scrutinizing the underwater profile, sail placement, ballast, scantlings, keels, rudders. All the things that go into designing a thoroughbred. Paul Gartside's Ida, featured a few posts back is such a craft.

The latest study plans to come across my desk are from Nigel Irens. The pocket cruiser Romilly was conceived for estuary and coastal sailing.

Romilly is an open boat with a small cuddy forward. The cockpit is roomy, which as any mariner can attest is essential to coastal cruising. Room to work with minimal visual obstructions makes this an appealing design
With her high ballast ratio she will carry her way through stays and is sure to be stable sailing in gusty conditions.
And best of all, the strip plank version of Nigel Irens Romilly was developed following many inquiries from those wishing to build the boat themselves.

The hull is constructed from Western Red Cedar over eight plywood bulkheads and frames. The transom and stem are also set up before planking. The planking uses a conventional beveled edge section with edge fastenings between frames. The planked hull is 'glassed to seal and protect the wood. The result is a beautiful and durable hull shape with the appeal of a winner.
The keel is a lead casting, and is bolted on externally in the traditional manner. It has a slot in the center for the centerboard. The centerboard is a plywood and glass sheathed steel fabrication. With the ballast centrally located, the Rommily would tack easily.
The rudder is made up from layers of plywood, and protected by 'glass sheathing.
Romilly’s lug yawl rig is one of the main features of the design, and its light weight helps the boat perform well with her shallow draught and minimal displacement.
The plans call for a carbon fiber mast, but it seems a hollow wood mast would work just fine (and I could build it myself. Even more fun!)


LOA 22’ 0”
LWL 19’6”
Beam 6’11”
BWL 5’ 0”
Draft (board up) 1’ 8”
Draft (board down) 5’ 1”
Displacement 2640 lbs.
Total Sail Area 242 sq. ft.

I love the graceful, efficient hull shape and the unobtrusive cuddy cabin. The sail rig is a departure from my usual emphasis on performance but my; doesn't it look fine?
More about this exquisite boat can be found at:
Burnett Yacht Design
While there, check out the other beautiful sailing designs from this innovative naval architect.


Unknown said...

Nice pocket cruiser! Is the cuddy for storage or sleeping?

doryman said...

Yo, Greg,
It's good to have you aboard!
I think this design could accommodate a sleeping berth, but as it stands it's a pretty small space, maybe for a child. There is an ample cockpit, which as an avid single handler I find valuable, so a compromise could be made. I value a dry place to sleep, too. I find as I grow older, my old emphasis on performance is giving way to comfort, a trend I have scoffed at for years. Yet to give in, I like hot, fast, and sparse. A cockpit tent ain't exactly in it, tho.

Unknown said...


I own a Romilly called "Riant". I'm 6'2" and have slept in the cuddy/cabin very comfortably. There's room for 2 adults but not much else. There is also a cockpit tent which massively extends the sleeping space.

I have a web site here dedicated to Romilly and Roxane her larger sister. Romilly Sailboat

doryman said...

Thanks for your comments and especially for the link to your site. The Romilly is high on my list of desirable boats and I think there is a good chance I might build one. I might extend the cuddy a foot, though I am smaller than you. I recently spent a week on a Chebacco and the sleeping space was eaten up by our gear, so stowage space was what was missing. I love the way the Romilly sits in the water and her sail plan is just plain beautiful.