Owner reports "Saylon is very nice and is a like a rockstar to the Danube River, both sides (Romania and Serbia). Very comfortable"
Scroll down to see a great sequence of build photos for the boat above
I have resisted designing a small bridgedeck cabin catamaran until now because I was brought up sailing in the generally rough and windy English Channel and so have always designed boats that would suit those conditions. However as I travelled the world I began to realise that many areas have much more benign conditions than we do in the UK, particularly in the USA and Australia. Both places where people may live a long way from the sea and sailing on lakes is their only option.
Which is probably why the small trailable bridgedeck cabined catamarans are popular in those areas.
Saylon is my version of the concept. It will appeal to those who want to gently cruise for the weekend with a young family (or maybe with grandchildren!) in sheltered sailing waters. It is not intended as an offshore boat, nor for those who want to race. Please check out my other trailable designs if that is what you want to do.
It is a very small boat - some beachcats are longer - so at most it is really only suitable for two adults and two small children. Most small boats trim by the stern when the crew sit in the cockpit. Furthermore, with a single forward cabin the parents get no privacy.
So the major difference between Saylon and other similar boats is that there is a centre cockpit and an aft double cabin. That helps keep the weight out of the ends, it also makes sail handling easy and separates the living and sleeping areas.
I call Saylon a "motorsailer" because it will not be as fast a boat as my Acorn or Janus designs, for example. The hulls are simply too fat and too close together. The rig is small because the narrow beam means that stability is limited. That's also the main reason why I call it a "Sheltered Water" only boat (Category D under Europe's RCD).
The rig can come from a beach cat eg Hobie 16. The mast is stepped on the cockpit floor so that it is easy to raise. It would be a real struggle stepping the mast from the cabin top. Hoisting the mainsail and reefing can be done safely from the front of the cockpit. With a furling jib there is no need to go on the foredeck when underway.
The sails are small enough that no winches are required, the jib has a 2:1 purchase. The mainsail has a good downhaul and a "gnav" (an upside down kicking strap as seen on many racing dinghies) to control sail twist, yet not intrude into the cockpit. So the sails can still be set efficiently.
The steering is "monohull friendly" with a central tiller and cockpit seats as on a monohull. However extending "wings" can be used for more crew righting moment for keener crews.
Photo shows a Saylon being built in Romania. Great building frame! Then a few days later
Photo from February 2017, build started at Christmas 2016
Planking dry fitted March 2017. Note slots for daggerboard cases and cutout for "Pop bottom"
and then this from the end of March
and then just a few days later
and not long after that (Apr 19th)
and just a week later!
4mm plywood 3 sheets or 13 sheets (depending on hull planking thickness)
paint, filler etc as reqd
The hull shape is based on a combination of my very successful Strike trimarans and Skoota powercats. It is basically a flat bottomed dory hull but V'eed near the bow to reduce slamming. The topside chine increases space below without changing the beam, which obviously is limited by the trailerability requirements. The side decks allow easy boarding and walking forward when coming alongside.
Finally, construction is fast and inexpensive. It is a flat panel ply/epoxy boat that is very easy to build single-handed in a regular garage. Allow 500 building hours ready to paint.
During the last fifty years I have designed and enjoyed sailing fast boats that handled well in rough seas and windy weather. And I still do, but as I've grown older I've also come to realize there is much to be said for a leisurely, comfortable afternoon sail with friends and family. Or an overnight trip to a secluded bay to enjoy the sunset, picnic ashore and then settle in for a night on the water. I believe Saylon is the boat that will deliver just that.
LOA 6.1m 20ft LWL 5.9m 19ft4in
BOA 2.5m 8ft2in
Sail Area Mainsail 13sqm 140sqft Jib 7sqm 75sqft
Mast height 8.8m 28ft9in
Empty weight 680kgs 1500lbs
Displacement to WL 920kgs 2030lbs
Draft 285 11in (1000 3ft3in boards down)
2 single berths in hulls 1 double in aft cabin
Headroom 1.85m (6ft) moored 1.35m (4ft6in) sailing