A Dinghy built in aluminum for long distance cruisers

We designed this small dinghy with the dimensions that allow it to fit on the fore deck of the Kiribati 36MK2 design, with the intention of providing not only a tender for a blue water passage boat but also a dependable survival boat.

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Within our quest for simplicity we think that the tender to an offshore voyager has to offer the same possibilities of self-sufficiency as the mother boat, and for that the ability to be rowed efficiently and the possibility of sail propulsion are indispensable, and in order to act as a life boat, unsinkability has to be incorporated in the design.

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Being designed at first to be the tender for Green Nomad, we named the design Little Nomad.

At 2.30m LOA with a maximum beam of 1.25m, Little Nomad will make a good tender for many boats, not only the Kiribati 36, and the aluminium construction will ensure a long life in service. The hull weight is 48 kg, and although not a featherweight boat, it is comparable to an average RIB of similar dimensions.

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Along the years we have been in enough situations where the breakage of an outboard motor could result in very uncomfortable if not outright dangerous and life threatening situations such as going from shore to boat or between boats at night in the Caribbean, where the next land to windward could be Panama or another Central American nation. So the desire to have an alternative or main propulsion system more dependable motivated us to design the Little Nomad. We could have used the Caravela 1.7 or Caravela 2.5 designs from B&G Yacht Design, only that we wanted the larger version but the maximum space available was 2.30m.Kiribati36-2

Next comes the incertitude of rolled and packed life rafts, from which enough accounts of failure have been heard. We are not advocating the neglect of the regular life raft, but to have a back-up plan is a good idea. Many times sailors are in situations where life raft revision facilities are unavailable or unreliable, and a tender that can act as life boat should be a welcome addition.

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The internal space is big enough for the usual shores a tender has to perform, such as carrying water and fuel in jugs, provisions and even for small exploring expeditions. There are two accessible water tight compartments in the bow and aft seats and a sealed one under the floor.

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For rowing a movable seat can be locked in place over the two side dagger board slots. These slots are conveniently out of the way and when sailing the whole cockpit can be free. We will carry a canvas tent that can be rigged over the boom to protect  from exposure when used in life boat mode. A more sophisticated cover could be added to the abandon kit.

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For mechanically powered propulsion we intend to use an electric outboard, such as the Travel 503 or Travel 1003 from Torqeedo. With the addition of a solar panel this could mean an unlimited range for the boat even in calm situations.

The design offers a complete CNC kit for automatic cutting of all aluminum parts, and this should appeal for a small scale series production or even for a warm up project, prior to tackling a more complex and demanding build.

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The Little Nomad design will be available soon from B&G Yact Design`s website.


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