18' Cruising Sloop Plans PDF

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18' 1"/ 5.5 m
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For printed plans, click HERE

ideal for camp cruising and family recreation

This is a simple compact little boat ideal for camp cruising and family recreation. The moderate V-bottom hull draws 9" with the board up, allowing access to miles of shallows where deeper boats can't go. Out in open water the centerboard reaches down almost 4' and a sail area of 160 square feet powers the slippery hull, and with the centerboard raised and the pivoting rudder it lays stable on the flat or in shallows without problems. It makes for an affordable and lightweight family cruiser that can easily be trailered and launched at remote sites for access to the best exploring and cruising.

The hard chine sheet ply hull is about as simple to build as is possible for a boat with this capability, and can be reinforced with epoxy, fiberglass cloth and tape as required. It's a great first boat and makes an ideal family project for the amateur builder--and still fits in the garage. The wood mast is a nice option and easily built using epoxy, but can be replaced by an aluminum section mast if necessary.

With an LOA of 18'-1 inch and a beam of 6'-10 inches it can be rigged as a fast day-sailer or fitted out for cruising and to provide overnight accommodation. Boats this size have made notable passages and can be equipped for open water cruising for the minimalist adventurer.

This nicely drawn and very detailed set of Frank Davis plans includes four large format sheets of prints including lines, mast and spar details, sails, hardware, reference material, etc.

Comments From Builders

April 2000... just a quick note to let you know I finished the 18 footer and we've made a number of overnight trips along the island waterway here. This winter we're trailering it south to Florida and I'm going to do some exploring instead of shoveling snow. I also bought a new trailer so I can load the boat with all our gear instead of stuffing the car and we use the boat like a camp trailer which works well. Fred Berliner. Maine

Saturday, February 7, 2001 11:42 AM to: ... reminds me so much of my old Wayfarer dinghy. Are you familiar with Frank and Margaret Dye and their ocean voyages in the 16 foot Wayfarer? This boat is similar in many ways but slightly bigger and the extra 2 feet of room is really handy, it seems like a much larger boat, and it could be adapted for open water voyaging----I eventually have in mind a small low profile cabin and a little self-bailing cockpit. Its fast empty and loaded down for cruising it has great stability, and this hard chine version was easier to build. I used the 3/8 inch ply for the hull and mahogany ply for the deck and I did sheathe the exterior like we discussed. Out last trip my son and I sailed it down to Dana Point with overnight stops and my wife picked us up and we trailered it back home. The scariest part of the trip was coming back home on the LA freeways. Chris. Oxnard CA.

... my sloop was almost complete before the divorce, but I couldn't take it with me when I moved out of state so I sold it to my best friend who helped me work on it. Now I'm starting all over and I'll build an even better version, and this time I will install those watertight compartments we discussed. Stan.

Paul... thanks for all the advice over the past year. I choose to sheathe the exterior with glass cloth and then I also taped the chine with that nice 10 ounce glass tape, in fact I applied a six inch wide strip first then another 3 inch wide strip over the top'so I could stagger the selvage edge like we discussed. It made a bulletproof chine and keel joint and I think it helps when we're laying on the ground. With the big tides here in Alaska that happens, and we sleep on board a lot more these days which is easier than lugging everything to a campsite ashore. Evan. Homer Alaska

... I got the canvas guy in Olympia to build me a great boom-tent and all snapped together it gets pretty cozy in there. With all the rain around here some weekends are better than others but when it's nice it's really nice! When I can afford a trailer I'll be taking longer trips. Robin. Olympia WA

Hello Paul... I finally caught up with the boat guy from Lund and he helped a lot with Desolation Sound info and I'll be ready this summer. I'm building a bulletproof bottom for laying on all those oyster shell beaches, with glass cloth and lots of glass tape so I don't need to worry too much, and the tanbark sails will look nice with my new wood mast. And I will check out those little islands you mentioned for camping - its going to be a great trip for us. D. Sterling. Bakersfield CA.

December 2008... enclosed is a check for the 18' Cruising Sloop building plans. Thank you for your time answering my questions. I'm hoping to eventually build 2 of these for our yacht club members and we have lots of quality plywood here for a good price, but I will probably just buy an aluminum mast and boom. Arturo. Altonia-PR, Brazil


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Additional Information

Designer Name:
frank davis
Sail area (Imperial / Metric):
160 sq feet / 11.86 sq. m
Rig Type:
Keel Type:
Length (range):
16' - 23'11" / 4.88m - 7.29m
18' 1"/ 5.5 m
Length at Waterline:
15'/ 4.5 m
6' 10"/ 2.07 m
Hull Weight:
200 - 999 lbs / 90.72 - 453.14kg
Estimated Hull Weight:
400 lbs/ 181 kg
6" - 11" / 15.24 - 30.27cm
Unloaded Draft:
9"/ .22 m---board down 3' 10"/ 1.16 m
Weight Capacity:
600 lbs/ 272 kg
Primary Material:
Marine Plywood
Method of Construction:
Skin on Frame
Hull Type:
Hull Shape:
V bottom
Power Source:
Horsepower Rating:
5 hp
Built-in Floatation:
Unit of Measure:
Instruction Manual:
Technical Info w/ Limited Guidance
Lofting Required:
Recommended Experience Level:
Designer's Thoughts on Experience Level:
lofting required
Boat Type:
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