Fast Eddy 35

Aluminium Lapstrake Adventure Cruiser

Fast Eddy aluminium adventure cruiser rig
Fast Eddy sail plan. Masts fold down to lie on deck.

Trailable adventure cruiser

~ Classically-styled gaff schooner

~ Row, motor or sail

~ Easily-driven long & slim hull

~ Open cockpit for camp-cruising

~ Bow cabin with galley, heads & V-berths

~ Adventure cruises in tough waters

~ Youth camps

~ Corporate team building programs

~ Wildlife photo tours

~ Plans for pro or experienced amateurs

~ Flickr Album



Credit Card

Boat Sites


This one is very special and I enjoyed the challenges of the unique features needed by the type of service that it had to fill. Commissioned by Seaforth Expiditions in British Columbia, Canada, they offer cruises for adventuring, corporate team-building, wildlife photography and anything else that you may want to do in the coastal wilds of a gorgeous but otherwise inaccessible area.

Tom McPherson is Founder and Director of Seaforth Expiditions. The boat and design are named after his grandfather, who was nicknamed "Fast Eddy" when he played rugby in his youth.

It started with the Cape Henry 21, which is stretched out to 35ft, with a slight increase in beam and depth to take it to moulded beam of 2.5m (8'3"). The result is a very slim hull with extremely fine bow entry half-angle of 8 degrees, making it easily-driven on flat water or in waves.

I would have liked to have drawn this boat for building in plywood for the weight benefits but it was destined for use far from rescue services and in waters that are littered with uncharted rocks and reefs, as well as large logs that have escaped from the logging industry and float almost submerged as a hazard for boats. When they float vertically with only a few inches of one end above the water they are called deadheads, almost invisible to boat operators but waiting to punch a hole right at waterline. Aluminium will bounce off with little damage when lesser materials will succumb.

Fast Eddy aluminium adventure cruiser 3D
Long and slim, easily-driven by oar-power and light breezes

Although built from aluminium, we kept the lapstrake shape of her plywood sisters, not wanting to lose the aesthetic appeal of the lapstrake form. This needed careful collaboration with the builder (John Dearden in Gibsons, BC) and detailing to minimize welding to cause heat distortion on the flat panels. That was successful, with "Fast Eddy" showing little distortion.

Deck and cockpit are also aluminium, with most of the space under the cockpit foam-filled for flotation. Burried in that foam and using it as insulation are food storage boxes between the seats, fabricated to fit the spaces. The seats are also storage boxes, in this case for personal crew equipment. There are four of these seats each side, serving as rowing positions. Removable infill panels close the gaps between the seats to form full-length sleeping platforms. Under the stern seating is stowage for fenders etc and outboard motor. This area is for helming and sheet handling of the mainsail, with halliards handled at the mast. Headsails and foremain control lines are handled at the aft end of the cabin roof. The swingkeel lifting line goes to a winch on the pedestal under the mainmast.

The cockpit sole slopes toward centreline and aft, for fast drainage in case the cockpit takes a boarding wave in rough waters. The centreline has a gutter with grate over it, draining into the swingkeel casing and the outboard motor well.

Fast Eddy aluminium adventure cruiser general arrangement
General arrangement.

The rig is essentially the Cape Henry 21 rig stepped in front, with the boom replaced by a wishbone boom that eliminates the need for a vang, sheeting to the cockpit sole. The mainmast is a duplicate, without headsails. Both masts are stepped in tabernacles, with masts and sails interchangeable. The tabernacle pivots are rotated 2 degrees so that the masts fold down to miss each other. The foremast folds down aft and the mainmast folds down forward, keeping both masts on board for trailing and quick to set up again when back on the water. Each tabernacle incorporates a cradle to support the top of the other mast. Masts and bowsprit are detailed for carbon, although alloy spars were fitted by the owner for economy.

Forward of the cockpit is a short cabin with dodger that give some protection to the front of the cockpit. Inside that cabin are an enclosed heads, galley with sink, cooker, food prep counters, cabin heater, seat and V-berths.

Fast Eddy aluminium adventure cruiser
Turn-over day. Beautifully executed shape by John Dearden and his helpers.

Fast Eddy aluminium adventure cruiser
Primed, ready for paint. Mast tubes are in their folded positions, in their tabernacles.

Fast Eddy aluminium adventure cruiser
Launch day.

This is a fairly complex boat and not recommended for amateur builders unless they have experience welding aluminium. It is more suited to professional builders with prior aluminium experience.

This design was drawn to be a robust cruiser that can survive considerable abuse, not as a stripped-out racer. Nevertheless, her owner and friends entered the 2019 edition of the R2AK. This 750 mile endurance race is from Port Townsend WA to Ketchikan AK, through narrow tidal channels between islands, with only human or sail power permitted. Finishing 14th of the 46 entries in 9 days 9 hours and 40 minutes, after rowing approx 450 of the 750 miles in mostly windless or headwind conditions, average speed was 3.3mph with top speed of 13 knots.

Stability Graphs


LOD 10.76m (35' 3")

LWL 10.20m (33' 6")

Beam moulded 2.50m (8' 3")

Draft 0.45/1.33m (1' 6"/4' 4")

Displ to DWL 2500kg (5510lb)

Displ light 2357kg (5195lb)

Ballast 776kg (1710lb)

Waterplane area 13.06sq.m (141sq.ft)

Immersion rate 134kg/cm (750lb/inch)

Wetted surface 20.2sq.m (217sq.ft)

Sail area (main + foremain + genoa) 53.4sq.m (575sq.ft)

SA/WS 2.64

This design is dimensioned with both metric and imperial measurements.


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This page was updated 21 December 2021

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