The Cruiser 50 is an updated version of Visionary. A comfortable, easy to handle, light weight family cruiser for 2 parents and up to 4 kids to live on, 2 families to short term cruise on, sleeping for 9, dining for 10 and comfortable partying for 30. Steinar has modernized the appearance with more straight edges and fewer curves going the “wrong way”. Undoubtedly, it is still a harryproa, but much more acceptable to the main stream. The improvements are:
The windward hull has the same 2 queen size bunk layout that Visionarry has, but these are now in separate cabins, complete with their own toilet and shower.
The saloon area is larger, with a table for 8, couches to lie down on and a galley on the same level to allow the cook to see out and be part of the socializing.
The lee hull has 2 big single bunks in separate cabins, one of which could be made into a shower/toilet or used for storage.
We have added a toy box. This runs fore and aft and contains the anchors and the “stuff” that is needed to enjoy life at anchor. The toy box also provides seating for a dozen guests, with another dozen on the beams and seats at the ends of the bunks.
While the ballestron rig is still an option, the schooner rig makes shunting easier and opens up the lee hull for accommodation or storage. The rig size has increased by almost 50%, making a fast boat considerably faster, but without any more effort.
The wishbone booms are lighter than the ballestron and eliminate the need for lazy jacks and all the hook ups they cause, and keep the booms well clear of any unsuspecting heads. They also make covering the sails a much less onerous task. Drop the sail into the bag under the boom and pull on the zip.
Simple, integral, fail safe halyard locks are now standard. The halyards and sheets are lead to the winches next to the wheel so all sail handling is done from the security of the cockpit.
RUDDERS & STEERING
The rudders are 2 way sections, so they can be much closer to the hull and do not have to rotate through 369 degrees. They are liftable for balance, shallow water or storm survival and kick up in a collision.
The steering wheel is on a simple axle so it can be used inside or outside the cabin.
The dinghy ramp on Visionarry worked well, but limited the tender size. We firmly believe that a big tender is far more useful (longer range, more payload, higher speed, more stability, etc) and safer than a small one, as long as it can be easily handled. The Cruiser tender is 6.5m/22′ long and is attached to a substantial hinge on the back of the beam. The stern is raised and lowered with a block and tackle so it doubles as a sled for the outboard and provides auxiliary power for the mothership. It also makes getting in and out of the tender a much less risky proposition that boarding from the hulls.
When sailing, the tender sits flush with the deck. Access to the lee hull is via the tender foredeck or a temporary slatted deck across the middle of the tender.
When the tender is not in place, a slatted deck is rolled out to cover the gap.
If a smaller tender is required, a double bulkhead can be installed and the tender split in two, with the front section suitable for rowing, sailing or a small outboard and the aft section hooked onto the beam as auxiliary.
The tender is an excellent project to learn about intelligent infusion before starting on the big boat.
Fore and aft rudders make a single outboard a workable proposition, but for those boats which operate in tight spaces, a lightweight, liftable electric outboard could be mounted on a tube next to the helm, providing simple 360 degree thrust to push the boat in any direction.
Visionarry is strip planked timber, with all the sticky, dusty mess and wastage that this involves. The Cruisers are “intelligently infused” using foam and fibreglass.
Intelligent infusion includes as much of the build as possible in the infusion. All the work is done using dry materials in a simple mould which does not require sanding or polishing.
What does this mean? Conventional boat building builds the hull, then the decks in three stages, (inner laminate, core and outer laminate) joins them together and adds the fit out, then sands, fills and fairs it prior to painting. Intelligent infusion does as much of this as possible, then puts a vacuum bag over it and infuses it. The entire job is wet out, with the perfect amount of resin, no voids and minimal waste in one shot.
The tasks include: perfectly fitting doors, hatches and windows and all the edging and rebates that these require; landings and edge treatments for the bulkheads, shelves and furniture; male/female joins for the hull components; solids and/or variable laminates and core thicknesses where required; all surfaces ready for painting or gluing, with the option of including fancy (timber, woven carbon, melamine, etc) finishes. Post infusion, the pieces are all glued together using the slots and joins. Apart from shaping and glassing the polystyrene bow pieces, there is no sanding, grinding or cutting of cured glass, no bogging or fairing and no wet laminating.
The labour saved and waste avoided could easily exceed 50% of that required for a conventional build. The mess is minimal in comparison.