Wayfinder Build: Part 2 – The Hull

No two St. Francis 50s are alike. Not only are they tweaked to the specifications of each owner, the builder makes their own refinements with every hull. Duncan and George spend a lot of time on the boats they build — sailing them, using them, owning them. They love their boats, but they are never satisfied. Each hull might be the best St. Francis to date, but they are driven to make the following hull even better.

The biggest change going forward with this model boat will be the fixed portholes and the amount of light down below. Here’s a look at an earlier St. Francis. Note the layout of the portholes:

Quantum Leap

Here is what hull #19, WAYFINDER, will look like:


Wayfinder copy
Hull #19 – “Wayfinder”

Starting at the aft end of the boat, you have a large fixed porthole with a bit of a slant. This porthole was also on hull #18, Guinevere.  It’s right beside the aft bunk and lets in a ton of light. Figo, the first mate, slept in this bunk during the delivery and raved about the view. It was this porthole that got me thinking about changes to the forward master cabins, which led to some of the changes discussed here.

Moving forward, you have a small opening porthole in the aft head. Forward of this are the large twin fixed portholes that make this a different boat down below. One of these is right over the drop-in freezer on the port side and over a dresser of drawers on the starboard side. No cupboard or storage was lost with this porthole. The large porthole closer to the bow required giving up a small amount of storage space, but there is more than enough in the St. Francis. What this forward-most fixed porthole means is being able to see out to the horizon from the forward berths. The sun will rise and set between your wiggling toes.

One more difference to note between the two pictures above is the saloon windows. In Wayfinder, and all the 50s going forward, the windows will appear to wrap around the entire coach roof. And note the after end of the window, where it points back toward the St. Francis logo. In the new hulls, this window has been expanded to use up every inch of the coach roof. The difference inside will be immense, as it will bring the window all the way back to the sink, so you can gaze out at the sea while doing dishes or preparing a meal.

Soon, I’ll be able to take pictures from inside the finished boat, at anchor, to show you how these changes look in practice. Check back in four or five months. :)

5 responses to “Wayfinder Build: Part 2 – The Hull”

  1. Hugh, for years I’ve loved who you are, what you do and how you do it. You inspire me.
    And so I worry.
    Portholes in a hull always made me nervous, with all those logs floating out there, along with that mostly submerged container I saw around 140W.
    I’m old. Tell me the specs are right on.

    1. The specs are fine. The portholes are well above the waterline. The boat is unsinkable. It doesn’t have a lead keel, and the floatation of the glass itself will give me a small island on which to die very slowly.

  2. So when is your “official” move in date?

  3. Taylor Anderson Avatar

    This is so cool that your blogging about your experience in building your own boat!! Keep the updates/designs coming and best of luck with the whole process! Enjoy it

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