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Design 55
15' Half-Deck Yawl

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Plans on Paper:
LOA 4.600 m 15.09 ft
LWL 4.172 m 13.69 ft
Beam 1.670 m 5.48 ft
Draught, board up 0.272 m 0.89 ft
Draught, board down 1.250 m 4.10 ft
Main area 7.863 sq m 82.70 sq ft
Mizzen area 1.451sq m 15.62 sq ft
Jib area 2.220 sq m 23.90 sq ft
Staysail area 1.800 sq m 19.38 sq ft
Weight exc. outboard 300 kg 661 lbs
Outboard 2.25-3 kw 3-4 hp
Capacity 6 persons 600 kg 1,325 lbs
Design 055 is a modern full-bodied design, providing an exceptionally robust, sea-kindly performance. With a modern high-peaked gaff on the main and standing lug on the mizzen, she is a delight to sail.

When it blows up, drop the mizzen and jib and sail under main and staysail, for a very snug heavy-weather rig – the main also reefs down. Or experiment with mizzen and staysail, or mizzen and jib. And several builders have preferred to have a single roller-furling headsail instead of the cutter-headed rig. The vessel can also be cutter rigged (no mizzen) – this requires the main boom and gaff to be lengthened a little, and the main sheet attachment to be moved aft on the boom..

Carrying up to six people, she makes a perfect family boat for day-sailing or longer expeditions, perhaps camping or exploring creeks and estuaries. The boat is easily trailed and very quick to launch and set up ready to go.

The boat is built using the most modern of materials – WEST™ system boat-building epoxies. Construction is on six laminated frames and a laminated backbone. The hull skin can be plywood/epoxy lapstrake or cold moulded wood-epoxy, both systems giving high structural strength and rigidity, with reasonably light weight. Both methods are included in the Plans and Instructions.

The deck skin is 6mm plywood on a light structure of longitudinals, running through the frames, all under the WEST™ system. The boat can be clear finished (varnished) like the “Windrush” shown below, or she can be painted. In either case you will have a long-lasting low-maintenance structure, so you'll spend you time having fun with the boat rather than maintaining it.

055 Windrush 055 Le Rat d'Eau Here are two great examples of Design 055:

"Windrush", lapstrake planked and yawl rigged, is shown here (left) on the coast in the West Country, where she is part of a sailing school, Fal Wooden Boat Hire, who offer a variety of sailing based activities.

"Le Rat d'Eau", cold-moulded and cutter rigged, is shown here (right) competing in the 2007 festival of traditional boats – La Semaine du Golfe – in the Gulf of Morbihan, Brittany, France. View more photos of this boat in build and sailing.

And here are some photos of two of these boats currently under the early stages of construction. You will see that the builders have taken slightly different approaches to making the frames and other laminated components:

  • Set One – classic laminated frames
  • Set Two – ply sandwich construction frames and stem

The original design was for a sailboat only without outboard – oars were the order of the day if the wind fell right away. Subsequent builders have requested arrangements for an outboard and plans are available for either a transom bracket or an inside-hull outboard-well, requiring some modifications to the aft deck and rig. An outboard on a transom bracket is just visible on the picture of “Windrush”, while "Le Rat d'Eau" has an outboard well, designed at the time by the builder.

If you want a 15-footer for more extensive cruising, why not also take a look at our Design No. 77.

The detailed and accurate plans together with true step-by-step building instructions carry builders, professional and non-professional alike, through the building process simply and easily. And for larger boats particularly, they allow a managed build to be carried out very successfully. Plans are fully dimensioned; no scaling or lofting is required. The plans and instructions are practical, clear and detailed, containing everything required to build and complete the vessel. Where CNC cutting files are included, or available, they can be sent directly to a CNC facility as required. Professional technical support throughout the build, is available by email, via the forum or by regular mail. More plan info

Click here to look at the free study plans, sample instructions and specification for this design, plus a full list of the plans and instructions that come with the design package.