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
Well, Penguin certainly did that, I understand
that the judges panel were so split that some assistance was
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 has resulted.
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.
Her interior is both roomy
and very comfortable. There is almost standing room in the
main cabin and enough legroom to stretch out and relax.
Thanks to an enquiry from Derek Bates, Penguin now has a
third rig option in the form of a gaff yawl along with bilge
keels and a smaller cockpit (bluewater). Details are included
in all plans.
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
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 cabin.
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
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 tempting
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.
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