The Vagabond is an excellent first boat for coastal cruising or club racing:
simple but elegant, ideal for a couple with two children.
Start building in the fall for spring launch: the Vagabond is fast and
easy to build.
She is a perfect coastal cruiser: fast, lively, stable and roomy.
interior is exceptionally roomy thanks to the raised deck design: 4 full
size berths, galley with sink and stove, an optional folding chart table
and a dining table that slides under the cockpit. The forward cabin can
be isolated by a curtain. A Porta-Potti is located under the V-berth.
Roomy cockpit with storage for an inflatable dinghy or raft under the
floor, lockers for sails and outboard : the Vagabond is designed as a
real cruising boat. A 3HP outboard will push her at hull speed but she
can carry larger engine: up to 10HP.
The Vagabond is a true composite boat: she is built from 1/4" plywood
sandwiched between two layers of biaxial fiberglass: light and stronger
than solid plywood. No plywood is exposed and the maintenance is minimum.
The hull structure is light and stiff: most bulkheads and longitudinal
elements such as berths sides and cockpit sides are part of the structure.
Fiberglass-epoxy seams act as stringers and frames.
The hull panels are easy to shape and bend, no lofting is required and
there is absolutely no beveling or delicate wood work.
The boat can be built much faster than a classic plywood boat.
The new plans include full size patterns for all the frames and bulkheads
and expanded plates dimensions: no tricky measurements to take from the
lines plan or from lofting, all the dimensions figure on the plans and
every part can be cut flat on the floor from standard plywood sheets. New (2001): we added plans for a new
composite keel. Same dimensions as the steel keel but much easier
to build, in stitch and glue, same as the hull.
rigging uses swept back spreaders for better performance, the centerboard
version has a profiled CB and less draft thanks to the gain in hull weight
and the interior was redesigned for longer berths in the saloon.
all our stitch and glue boats, the VG20 is very easy to build. No woodworking
skills or special tools are required. She is however a more complex boat
than our dinghies and Caravelle. The plans include all dimensions and
patterns to cut all the structural parts flat on the shop floor. No scarfing
required. See our tutorials pages for a complete description of the building
The plans are very detailed, see a picture of some, not all the drawings,
Skirt or not:
The plans show two hull versions: with or without the hull extensions
(skirt). The Vagabond and Vagabond Plus are basically the same boat except
for the last two feet (60cm). This explains why some of the drawings do
not show the "skirt": the part of the hull that extends behind the cockpit.
You can built the boat with or without the skirt hull extension from the
same plans.. The skirt is a highly recommended option, it stretches the
dynamic waterline improving performance: more speed, better pitch dampening.
It also serves as an outboard bracket: we show the correct height for
common outboard shaft lengths (6HP or less) and the other side is an ideal
boarding platform. The only reasons to build the shorter hull are: limited
room for winter storage in a garage or class restrictions for club racing.
The two versions are built exactly the same way.
Fin keel or centerboard in ballasted keel:
Two keel versions are proposed: fixed keel or centerboard. In each case,
the keels can be made locally from welded steel plate filled with lead
or we supply all dimensions for keel castings. The center board version
is easier to tow on a trailer and plans for a lifting rudder are included.
Of Materials: (Excerpts
from our BOM)
BOM list materials based on our standard layout and includes a 15% waste
factor for resin and fiberglass. For plywood, we use standard sheets 4'
x 8' (122 x 244 cm). Please read the building notes and see the plans
for detailed specifications. Marine Tech boat building plywood from Plum
Creek can be substituted for marine ply in stitch and glue construction.
Marine Tech cost, on the average, less than $ 20.00 a sheet in 1/4" (6mm).
Okume marine can also be used and cost usually less than $ 40.00 a sheet
(1/4"). Good quality exterior is acceptable if it has no voids.
The hull and deck part will cost between $2,500 and $3,000.00 depending
on the type of plywood.
Spars and sails will cost another $2,500.00.
offer kits for each component groups: see the main page for a list,
top left panel.
is possible to save a lot on spars and sails with second hand equipment
and the boat could be build for as little as $4,000.00.
The Vagabond hull and deck will require around 250 hours, you will need
another 150 hours to finish.
Visit a web site with 100+ pictures of the building of a Vagabond Plus:
see our message board, help pages, tutorial pages and read our FAQ: most
questions are answered there.
boat is made of 22 detailed sheets including: