Long Steps Anyone?

Those of you on the fence regarding building a Scamp may want to wait, watch and learn about Long Steps.  The boat is a definite contender for those wanting a small capable sailboat like Scamp.  My current position regarding another build is just that…wait, watch and learn.  In the end, I’ll probably build either a Scamp or Long Steps but this is not something I want to rush.  It takes a long time to build a boat and I want my next build to be a long term keeper.  Whereas I’ve already built a Scamp, I’m actually quite enamored with the possibilities of Long Steps.

Here are a few potential disadvantages:  

  1. Weight.  I’ve been told it should come in about the same weight as Scamp, but we’ll need to wait and see.  If it gets much heavier, it may be too heavy to heave up onto a beach or harder to self rescue.
  2. Too complicated.  Trimming mast and mizzen would be new to me and might be overkill for general cruising.
  3. Storage.  At 18, 1/2′ this is not a small boat!  It won’t fit inconspicuously in your garage.  It will take significant room to build and to store.
  4. Build time.  This boat will take significantly longer to build than Scamp and require more patience, money, time and persistence.  I’m a little bit scared about this.  Just being honest.

Here are a few potential advantages:

  1. No need for break-down oars.  It appears full size oars would fit just fine inside the cockpit.  Easier to store, quicker to deploy and mechanically simpler.
  2. Lower center of gravity and lower center of effort by splitting and lowering the sail plane.
  3. Easier to heave to, by sheeting in the mizen.
  4. Easier to balance, by using main and mizzen.
  5. Larger veranda.  Easier to crawl inside to get warm.  This feature could be very important to a cold sailor.
  6. Lazarette already designed into the boat.  More storage and less water holding capacity.   Love this!
  7. More seating positions than Scamp (see John’s notes regarding a bean bag chair).
  8. Footwell already designed into the boat.
  9. Improved rowing characteristics by extending the water line.
  10. Improved rowing ergonomics by lowering the sides of the boat.
  11. Increased stability by increasing the waterline and water ballast capacity.
  12. Appears to have wider seats for improved comfort.
  13. The mast, boom and yards might just fit inside the cockpit/veranda area which would alleviate the need for boom gallows and mast crutch supports when transporting.

When you weigh it all out, there’s a lot to admire about this newly designed boat.  I plan to watch the prototype build and continue considering this as my next build.  Aren’t boats cool?  

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