Alastair Law tells us about the construction and sailing of his ‘Paradox 14 foot (4.25m) cruising boat designed by Matt Layden in the US. As Alastair explains, this is quite a remarkable little boat, these are some of the features:
- Seaworthy and self righting for coastal cruising
- Reasonably easy to road trail – water ballast reduces trailing weight although it is still a heavy boat for its length.
- Excellent weather protection for a solo sailor – the boat can be sailed entirely from ‘down below’ in adverse weather.
- A flat reinforced bottom panel allows it to dry out almost anywhere.
- Auxiliary propulsion is by a single sculling oar (a yuloh) – this works very well.
- The boat has no conventional keel yet it sails to windward a lot better than most people would think possible. (Alastair explained a theory about this)
Above is a picture of Alastair’s boat ‘Little Jim’ sailing in Salcome harbour. Alastair sails this boat extensively on the south coast of the UK, often with the Solent or West Country fleets of the Dinghy Cruising Association.