A small craft is any sail boat 21 feet long or less. Some of the commonly acknowledged advantages of small craft are their ability to go under low bridges and squeeze into tight places, but are there more reasons to get a small craft, rather than a larger one? Here are five reasons why small craft are better:
Ease of use
The smaller your boat, the easier it is to use. Out on a singlehanding trip? Not to worry! Your mini vessel has you covered! Are you being pulled towards a lee shore? It’s far easier to claw off when you have a light boat, as it can still carry quite good sail.
Some of us can’t keep our boats docked at our favorite body of water. Consequently, they’re on a trailer in the driveway. Those of us who still go out on our vessels in these conditions call our little ships “trailer sailors.” These small craft are transported and placed into the water with relative ease, compared to the
40-footers dropped in by crane.
You know the feeling. It’s getting dark, you’re getting cold, and the wind is dead. The dock is in sight, sure, but it’s going to take forever to reach it. That’s when a small craft, complete with a sturdy set of oars, is just what you need. She’ll get you home in no time!
In a larger boat, hull repairs can be a pain. But along with its lower risk of grounding, a smaller boat is far easier to repair. On a trailer, all of the boat can be easily reached. And there’s no fooling around with a 10-foot-tall fin keel, either, so you won’t have to deal with awkward positions while leaning out the side of your ship.
Small craft are great for teaching your kids to sail! For the reasons above, they can be great trailering boats, vessels that don’t try their patience, and great “practice” boats. In a boat designated for practice, you allow minor scrapes and groundings. You won’t have to worry when letting your child try his hand, because you can keep in mind the ease of repairs, and that grounding won’t hurt anything too bad.
A while ago, Lil and I were interviewed on Family Adventure Podcastby Emma and her dad Erik Hemingway. They went on a three-year sailing trip around much of the world. They’re back in the U.S. now, and they’re running Family Adventure Podcast.
The Hemingways have an interesting story. They saw 25 countries starting in Greece. The youngest brother was born abroad, and the oldest sibling, Maggie, met her fiance in Israel.
I did an interview with Emma about living on a boat for three years. Since we don’t have a podcast (maybe the next big project), I interviewed Emma with email so you can read it on a blog like this one. So since you can read it, why not start!
What was the start of the adventure? How did you get to Greece? Just give me the story.
Well…….. We actually lived in Costa Rica before for a year and a half for my dad’s work. The boat trip was something my parents wanted to do since I was born, so when things started slowing down in Costa Rica for work we thought this is the prefect time…… I was 8 then and we looked at a lot of different boats online at different web sites. And we finally find one that we really liked.
So my just my dad flew to Greece to look at it. He came back and said that he liked it and thought it was perfect, so we all packed our bags and headed to Greece! Our fist time sailing with the boat was just going around the island, and it was really rough that day so we learned. It was trickier than what we were expecting, but we figured it out and got better as we went!
We started the SevenSailors blog in Greece at the beginning of our trip. I think it was in 2009. My dad just wanted to make a blog so our family could watch us, and it would be something to look back on and remember!
Did you ever end up in a big storm? What is that like?
We were in a really big storm once, in a bay in Turkey. It was pretty scary because we had to get off the boat and stay in a hotel because it was too rough! That was scary because we were just watching our boat bobbing all around, and we were worried our anchor would pull out!!
What are some of the best experiences you’ve had meeting friends while traveling?
I think I met the most friends on the boat just because I wasn’t shy. I just tried to talk to them even though we didn’t even speak the same language.
One girl I remember in particular was a German girl on a rental boat in Turkey. I said hi and asked if she wanted to play card games. She said she wanted to, and I went to her boat and played Matching and War. Then I asked her if she knew the card game “Go Fish” and she nodded and I started dealing the cards. Then she was at the door saying, “Come on.” And next thing I knew we went fishing off the dock!! So that was kind of funny!!! She didn’t quite understand I didn’t want to go fishing, I wanted to play “Go Fish!!”
Did you take bikes?
We did not take bikes. There wasn’t enough room on the boat. But in one marina we stayed at they had one of those folding bikes for sale that we bought, but it got rusty from all the moisture in the air and we had to throw it away after three months.
The boat is named Mehari; what does that mean?
We did not name the boat. It was already named, and we didn’t really care about changing it, so we just kept it. Mehari means “desert camel” in Arabic and “with pleasure” in Greek. Our table inside had a desert camel on it.
What ages are your siblings?
My siblings are…..(and I’ll just tell you their current ages)
Me (Emma) 14
What was the inspiration behind Family Adventure Podcast?
The inspiration in Family Adventure Podcast was that my dad met a lot of people who wanted to travel but didn’t think they could. So my dad started Family Adventure Podcast to inspire people that they can do it!!
I downloaded the free photo ebook from your website; who took those pictures?
Maggie my sister did. She always had a good eye for photography.
Okay! Thank you, Emma, for answering these questions for me and being on this interview. And as for you, audience, thanks for reading this and downloading the free photo ebook of pictures taken all over the world by Emma’s sister Maggie (link here). (All photo credits to Maggie)