Guiclémanac’h, a Wonderful Little Boat

Guiclémanac’h, a Wonderful Little Boat

Guiclémanac’h – I have no idea how to pronounce it and no idea what it means, other than to say it is the name of my latest love.  That’s what matters.

The image doesn’t give a full sense of this.  It is tiny.  14′ 5″ long and 7 feet wide.


It’s a design by Yann Quenett, a designer of boats who is unafraid of doing things differently.  (see another article on Yann here.) Exhibit A is his “Concepts” page, which is filled with some wonderfully unusual thinking.  A Chinese “Junk” anyone?

But back to the main subject, Guiclémanac’h.  The plans say,  in rather awkwardly Google translated English from French, “Guiclémanac’h  : Designed for a person with reduced mobility wishing to continue to sail, a simple boat with very little draft, and stripping perfectly, but with high performance, and very good bar sensations, appropriate also for valid thrill-seekers, hull length 4.50m width: 2.13m, te: 0.17m / 1.30m, inside fixed ballast 200kg, displacement full load 650kg. ”

One has been built, by a commercial yard that sells them for about 35,000 Euros a pop.

Check out the article in  If you are using Chrome as a browser it will do a modestly good job of translating for you.

It ticks off a bunch of boxes for what I am looking for in a boat right now.

  • Capable?  It claims capabilities up to Force 6 Winds and 6-foot seas.  It wouldn’t be a comfortable ride, but it feels safe in the conditions I could get stuck out in.
  • Sailing – I want sailing adventures.  Good weather.  Rainy weather.
  • Retreat- I love relaxing retreats for weeks on end on my own.  Must have shallow draft.
  • Friends (up to 4 aboard) – time out on the water with my wife and two friends – Well.. NO.
  • Seasons – A boat for a lazy Summer day and a rainy winter night.  All seasons, within reason.
  • Adventures-  Ideally, I’d like to do bigger adventures down the Columbia River or out on Puget Sound, including in tough weather
  • I Can Build- a boat that is a bit of a challenge, but I can finish her. Plus, do I have the space to build it?
  • Different- a boat that isn’t like everyone else, or even anyone else, which is an odd streak within me
  • Attractive- an attractive boat in a beautiful or an unusual way
  • Tow- lighter than 2200 pounds so I can tow it with my car of choice.
  • Cost- it can’t cost TOO much
  • Setup- a quick setup once you get her to the water’s edge.  Hmm.  Not too bad.
  • Storage- can it be stored outside without issue, and will it be too big to store reasonably?

I’m considering Autumn Leaves from CLC… and this boat right now.  How do they compare?  They are pretty close.  Here’s a quick report card, a rather subjective one.

Scoring:  Lowest number has prime consideration.

  • A = 1 to 3. For example, A plus is 1, A is 2, and A minus is 3.
  • B = 4 to 6
  • C = 7 to 9
  • D = 10 to 12
  • F = 13 to 15
  • Autumn Leaves   What a beautiful boat… to us and many others, at least.  And, while there are lots of fiddley bits/detail work, this boat has a lot going for it.
    • Grades:
      • Sailing- A plus  (1)
      • Retreat- B plus (4)
      • Friends- C  (8)
      • Seasons – B Minus (6)
      • Adventures- B Plus (4)
      • Build-  C plus  (7)  This one gets complicated compared to some others.
      • Different-A Minus (3)  The first build is getting close to complete as of this writing, but a lot of plan sets have been sold.
      • Attractive-A  (2)
      • Tow-B plus.  (4) The designer says it can be built to 1500 pounds.  Add 500 for trailer. It’s within bounds, but pretty close.
      • Cost- C plus.  (7) That lead is expensive.
      • Setup- B Minus  (6)  The mast has stays. There are two masts, one of which is fairly long.
      • Resale- B plus (4)
      • Storage-B minus  (6)  This is subjective, but there is the
    • Score:  62
  • Guiclemanac’h
    • Grades:
      • Sailing- A  (2)
      • Retreat- B plus (4)
      • Friends- C  (8)
      • Seasons – A (2)  There is an enclosed cabin that can be used, even while sailing.
      • Adventures- B (5)
      • Build-  B (5)
      • Different-A  (2)  One has been built.  At this point, mine would be number two.
      • Attractive-A  (2)
      • Tow-B plus.  (4)  Early details make it seem it should work.
      • Cost- C plus.  (7) That lead is expensive.
      • Setup- B Minus  (6)  The mast has stays.
      • Resale- B plus (4)
      • Storage-B minus  (6)
    • Score: 57 – However, once again the designer says I may be too big for the boat as drawn, at least if I want to take my wife on the boat, too, and I do.  Plus, if we both sit on the back, we’d be out of balance.  So… add 5 penalty points.   His English and my French are bad enough that I wasn’t quite sure what he said, but I think he recommended I add 50cm to the length.  That complicates the build.  Adjusted score:  62.. for now.  Details pending.
  • Silver Gull  – I bought the plans and paid more for them than many of my other plans combined.  I went temporarily crazy, I guess.  I like this boat on the “adventures”, “different”, and “seasons” side of things, at least.  Check out my Silver Gull link for more thoughts.  It’s a moderately large boat without much space for humans.
    • Grades:
      • Sailing- A   (2)
      • Retreat- C minus (9)  That pair of keels cuts down options in thinner water.  Also, there is precious little room aboard.
      • Friends- F (14)  It struggles to hold 2 people.  NO friends cramming in on this one.
      • Seasons – A  (2)
      • Adventures- A (2)
      • Build-  B (5)
      • Different-A   (2)
      • Attractive- hmm.  C plus. (7)
      • Tow-B minus (6)
      • Cost- B  Minus  (6)
      • Setup-B  Plus  (4)
      • Resale- C minus.  It is TOO unique. (9)
      • Storage-B (5)
    • Score:   73

All scores are subjective and subject to a few whims, which could change each day.  It’s a close “race”.

Construction plans are 300 Euros, at the time of this writing about $360.  That would make them the second most expensive plans I’ve ever bought.  Still, the study plans seem very good.  Autumn Leaves plans are $49, an impulse buy price.  Within reason I don’t mind supporting designers at all, but at this price I have to be sure I want to build it.  Pretty sure, at least.

I am awaiting word from the designer that I don’t weigh too much for this boat.  With my wife, dogs and supplies I could come up to 425 pounds or so.  THIS time, before buying, I am going to make sure I can fit.

Whichever boat I build I will document it extensively here.



More to come.


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