An 18′ daysailer/beach cruiser available in multiple configurations

SIRI’s design began when Brooklin boatbuilder Eric Jacobssen of North Brooklin Boats approached me about developing a set of plans for a cold molded version of IRIS, a lovely little canoe yawl that appeared in the August 2, 1888 issue of Forest and Stream Magazine. IRIS would have attracted the attentions of devotees of the canoe cruising craze that was sweeping Europe, and particularly England, at that time. At 18 feet and 1800 pounds displacement, she represents a middle ground in the evolution of a type that started with John MacGregor’s tiny ROB ROY, and, some would say, culminated in Albert Strange’s beautiful SHIELA. A similar boat, HALF MOON, resides in the collection at Mystic Seaport Museum.



Lovely as she is, the IRIS design has some shortcomings. Like many of her sailing canoe sisters, she is too narrow to stand up to her generous rig. With this, and the lack of a centerboard, her windward performance would be quite compromised. Perhaps “gentlemen don’t sail to windward”, but nowadays, they don’t like to row there either, particularly in an 1,800 pound boat.

So here is SIRI, an updated version of IRIS. Modern construction and a few extra calculations allow her to carry all her generous ballast on the bottom of the keel, where it does the most good. Five inches of additional beam will help keep her on her feet in a breeze. The centerboard will assist in getting to windward in good fashion. Flotation compartments will insure that she will remain afloat if the worst should happen. A few additional tweaks have been incorporated to ease construction or improve appearance.

I became so taken with SIRI that I began thinking of other possibilities for her. It occurred to me that glued lapstrake construction would be an attractive option for many builders. For sailors with no concerns about shallow water or trailer launching, a deeper keel with a cut away forefoot would give her a sportscar personality. If she could spend her season with her rig permanently set up, a gaff sloop might have some attraction. For those who love working with shavings instead of glue, there ought to be a traditional construction plan.

SIRI’s plans show all of these options, and many of these may be “mixed and matched.” The plans are highly detailed, as I have learned that extra time on my part results in better boats and fewer phone calls. No lofting is required — there are full sized patterns to get the builder off to a quick start. Hardware is fully specified, so you will not have to spend time hunting down rare pieces.

SIRI is probably not a good project for an inexperienced first time builder. However, if you have previously built a simple boat, or have well developed woodworking skills, she should present no problems. She would make a fine daysailer or beach cruiser and she will certainly turn a lot of heads wherever she goes.




LOA – 18′
LWL – 17′ 4”
BEAM – 5′ 6”
DRAFT – 15” Board up, 36” board down, deep keel version 2′ 7”
HULL TYPE – Round bottomed, double ended
DISPLACEMENT – 1800 lbs.
SAIL AREA – 200 sq. ft.
CONSTRUCTION – Cold molded, glued lapstrake plywood or plank-on-frame
SUITABLE FOR — Somewhat protected waters
SKILL LEVEL REQUIRED – Skilled amateur


Click here to download free SIRI Study Plans (PDF).
Includes specifications and examples of plans.


PLANS DETAIL – Very detailed
PLANS SHEETS: Lines, balanced lug sail plan, gaff sloop sail plan, cold molded construction, glued lapstrake construction, carvel plank-on-frame construction, building jig, full size patterns.
ALSO INCLUDED: Compact disc with full specifications, misc. builder’s info.
Please note that these plans are for non-commercial use only.


Cold molded version

Glued lapstrake version


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