Outward Bound 30
30' / 9.14m

The new Outward Bound 30 coastal expedtion boat is a rugged, fibreglass, sharpie-rigged open boat in the form of a contemporary, modified gig or Whitehall type, suitable for rowing and sailing in varied coastal sea and weather conditions. She carries a complement of 6-10 students and two instructors.

The new boat is self-bailing, improving her safety at sea. She has a traditional sheerline that provides the right freeboard amidships for rowing with thirteen-foot oars, and she has higher freeboard at the ends to keep the boat dry in rough weather. Her only motive power is sail or oar.

Yacht Specifications

Length Overall30' / 9.14m
Length Waterline27.6' / 8.4m
Beam8.45' / 2.58m
Draft4.8' / 0.537m (CB dn) ~ 1.0' / 0.305m (CB up)
Displacement3260# / 1478 kg
Sail Area340 sq.ft / 31.6 sq.m


Outward Bound 30 Expedition Vessel for Outward Bound Wilderness

For information on the Outward Bound program visit  www.outwardboundwilderness.org

For Cruising World’s latest article visit http://www.cruisingworld.com/article.jsp?ID=54866

The first time Outward Bound’s proposed new rowing and sailing ‘Expedition Boats’ were mentioned to me I knew it was something we absolutely had to do! It seemed a perfect opportunity to design a boat ideal for coastal exploration, for learning self-reliance and seamanship and encouraging a sense of adventure.

This boat is Rodger Martin Design’s interpretation of a brief for the new Outward Bound 30, to replace Cyrus Hamlin’s venerable, successful and much-loved double-ended pulling boats in service since the early 1960s.

The new Outward Bound 30 is a rugged, fibreglass, sharpie-rigged open boat in the form of a contemporary, modified gig or Whitehall type, suitable for rowing and sailing in varied coastal sea and weather conditions. She will carry a complement of six students and two instructors.

The new boat is self-bailing, improving her safety at sea. She has a traditional sheerline that provides the right freeboard amidships for rowing with thirteen-foot oars, and she has higher freeboard at the ends to keep the boat dry in rough weather. Her only motive power is sail or oar.

The cockpit sole is above water level, making the boat self-bailing to rain and water over the rail through scuppers set in the hull sides. In the event of a swamping capsize the boat will be self-rescuing upon righting. The sole is sealed to the hull all around, and bilge stowage compartments are sealed – there is 115 cubic feet of volume in the bottom of the hull, equal to 7360 lbs. of positive floatation. Fully laden with gear and crew, the boat weighs 5,600 lbs and provides 27.5 cubic feet (1,760 lbs) of reserve buoyancy. Therefore, she will float with her sole above waterline and drain. Sealed side deck ‘tanks’ and foam below the sole help righting ability in any circumstance.

The hull shape reflects a combined ability to row well when upright and sail well when heeled. The prismatic coefficient, an expression of a hull’s distribution of underwater volume into the ends of the boat, is 0.54 – a good compromise for both rowing and sailing for a boat with this intended use. Numerous studies were conducted on hull characteristics to find a shape matched for both power and sail power. Our upright waterlines are narrow and fine forward and aft for ease of rowing, and when heeled assume a shape suited to sailing performance and high stability. The boat has internal lead ballast and the bottom is protected from beaching and grounding damage by a tough UHMW grounding plate.

The interior provides extensive stowage for each crew member’s gear within each thwart. Small bins in the adjacent cockpit sides are provided for sun lotions, cameras, sunglasses, etc. Water-tight bins accessed through the sole provide ample space for food, water and boat gear. There is an enclosable head in the cuddy, with storage space for sleeping panels which are used to fill in between the thwarts and centreboard trunk to create a sleeping area.

On the port side there is a space between the centerboard trunk and the thwarts to allow passage from bow to stern at cockpit sole level. The oars can also be stored in this area while sailing. Aft in the boat there is a cockpit area where all eight crew can sit together for meals or for instruction.

The galley is located aft in a portable ‘thwart’ on the port side. The two- burner stove is in a compartment beneath a lid that forms a wind barrier when open, and a seating surface when closed. Two 11 lb propane tanks are kept in the forward end of the aft cockpit seating, secured on a raised cedar duckboard. This compartment is airtight to the rest of the cockpit seating. The galley thwart contains a bin on its forward face for storage of cooking utensils. The thwart opposite on the starboard side is also portable, and is an insulated cooler used to hold the day’s food. Both of these lockers can be detached and carried by the crew for use as a galley ashore.

The aft cockpit is also the instructor’s sleeping area, and contains their personal gear as well as navigation equipment, electronics and the electrical panel. The lockers in the transom corners are bins with tethered lids similar to those on the thwarts. They contain the stern anchor and rode and man-overboard gear, are sealed from the centre and outboard cockpit lockers, and have 1” diameter drains to the cockpit.

The forward cockpit can be covered by a dodger, to which the sleeping tent can be attached. This cockpit can be used while sailing and by the anchor watch at night. The cuddy containing the head and storage is reached through a companionway hatch that can be closed off by two hatch boards that are stowed on the bulkhead inside the opening for easy access. The sole of this area is the only part of the accommodation of the boat that is below the waterline, and is therefore not self bailing. There is a sump, covered by a grating at the aft end of the cuddy compartment. A hand bilge pump, mounted on the bulkhead on the port side, has its pick up in this sump and discharges through a vented loop to a through-hull fitting in the topsides. The bulkhead around the forward end of the cockpit is watertight to the rest of the boat.

There is another watertight bulkhead forward of the head compartment, just abaft the foremast. This forms the after face of the anchor locker, which is open at the deck, has a forward-sloping bottom to it and drains through the stem. A fore-and-aft divider separates two anchor rodes, each with a length of chain and an anchor. A hole through the forefoot is provided for towing.
The masts are round, tapered, sealed, carbon fiber tubes providing excellent strength and stiffness at low weight. They are un-stayed, allowing them to bend off in a puff spilling power – requiring less crew attention to ease sheets and keeping the boat from heeling abruptly. They can be easily un-stepped by first disconnecting watertight electrical and lightning connecters above deck and lifting out of their sockets by one or two crew. The spritsail rigs are designed to be simple and efficient, perform well at all points of sail, and have as few pieces as possible. Both fore and aft rigs are identical, making them easier to maintain and interchange parts, and keeping costs lower. The sprits are set high at their forward ends keeping them out of the way of the crew, and keeping the leech of the sails taut. Masts are stepped in fibreglass tubes with bearings top and bottom for rotation. Each mast will have electrical wiring suitable for a VHF antenna and a white masthead light, exiting the masts above their upper bearings through sealed, grommetted openings, terminating in a short pigtail and a waterproof plug to the boat’s wiring loom.

The triangular sail plan keeps sail centres of effort low to reduce heeling forces. To reef, the snotter tackle at the forward end of the sprit is eased, the halyard lowered, the shouldered, aft end of the sprit fitted to a new grommet higher up on the leech, the snotter tackle taken up, and excess sail at the foot is tied in with reef points. Extra sail power may be desired off-wind, and a staysail can be rigged between the two masts. A light flying jib can also be flown from an oar, used as a bowsprit, protruding a few feet over the stem. All sail control will be by block and tackle without the need for winches.

The solid fibreglass centreboard is raised and lowered by a tackle on the side of the centreboard trunk, exiting through the forward end of the trunk to a block on the deck and then aft along the trunk to cam cleat on the trunk, accessible from the helm. The rudder is a dinghy type with a kick-up blade and an aluminum rudder-head. Control lines hold the rudder and centerboard in both the down or up positions.

Electrical power is provided by a deep-cycle battery below the sole near the centreboard trunk and charged by solar panels. All navigation lights are LED with very low power drain. There is an anchor light at the top of the foremast and a VHF antenna atop the main. A 12 volt power outlet aft in the cockpit face below the tiller powers a cell- phone charger and hand held navigation instruments. The head is discharged into the holding tank for pumping out in port.

Soon after the second OB 30 was launched in late July this year, the two boats left on a week-long course with twelve young dinghy-sailors chosen from around the country by Gary Jobson. The course was filmed by Jobson’s crew for an upcoming Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television special. The boats performed well and were praised by Jobson, who praised the rig and said “I wouldn’t change a thing.” There is a preview clip of the film on Jobson’s website at   www.jobsonsailing.com/reports/48

I had a chance to sail on the first boat a couple of times in the week before the course started. Having owned an ‘Egret’ sharpie of about this size, I was familiar with the rig. The maiden sail was in very light air, from about 2 to about 4 knots of wind. Up to about 3 knots, the boats will fetch at windspeed in smooth water. I was very pleased with the feel of the boat, and paticularly with her good balance and handiness. With good hands on the main & fore sheets, the boat is extremely maneuverable; much more so than a sloop as the sails control each end of the boat. For the same reason, course stability can easily be achieved by trimming the sails well. The rudder is balanced, so the right amount of helm feel can be achieved on any point or speed by adjusting the blades angle to the pintle axis. The hull is fine forward, and, as we found on the second sail in winds between 8 and fourteen knots, the boat is quite close-winded for a two-masted rig, tacking through an angle of about 85 degrees in these conditions. The rig likes, and has, good, fairly flat sails, by Maine Sailing Partners. Off the wind, the boat can be sailed wing-and-wing, and can be sailed on gybe-angles by setting the foresail by the lee. If you hit a lobster pot you can let the sheets go and the sails will flag forward while the boat is ‘anchored’ by the rudder. The lift-up rudder makes it easy to get rid of snags of this type. There are identical 1.5 ounce reaching staysails fore each mast; one on the main set as a staysail, and the forward sail set on the end of an oar-handle lashed to the bow as a reacher. The boat is very easy to row with her narrow, double-ended waterplane. Each boat carries six thirteen-foot carbon-fibre oars weighing 5 pounds each; single thole pins are used instead of oarlocks.

While ultimate speed was not an essential part of the brief, we always work to achieve it as a seaworthiness element, and because it is fun! On this sail we achieved 8 knots on the GPS in about 14 knots true!

The Outward Bound project has been an incredible journey so far and an achievement of teamwork. We signed the design agreement in mid-October 2006, and two production boats were ready for their long-planned first course 9 months later!












Rodger Martin
Ross Weene

Newport RI, September 2007