The 32’Schooner Boat is as small as we could go with this type and have it retain any practicality. At 48′ LBP, this cartoon is of a larger craft. Considering that boats gain volume and therefore displacement by the cube root of their length this is a significantly larger, heavier boat. This does increase utility and seaworthiness. At the expense of cost and overall handiness.
By the measures commonly accepted in the Nineteenth Century this is still a small boat for any useful occupation. We’ve grown accustomed to setting these issues aside and giving precedence in our pleasure boats to basing our choice on what we can afford to build, buy, maintain. When it comes to a working boat we need to add back the factor of utility.
As we consider Boats for difficult times, we need to reassess what we mean by cost and utility. Cost not only in money or even in money at all. If a boat is built outside the money economy many other factors take precedence. Likewise, if we remove the exaggerated cost/benefits provided by fossil fuels – so long as we ignore the so-called externalities – we must measure utility in ways we may not readily recognize.