L’Arche Dinghy

We have been wanting a good all-around hard tender to be towed behind our larger sailboat for some time.  It needed to be easily rigged for sailing, be lightweight, outfitted with electric power, and have more modern flair than the traditional looking wooden tenders.

The L’Arche dinghy is the result of that seemingly simple design brief.  A free standing cat-rig was the obvious choice for being easy to setup, lightweight, while keeping the Center of Effort low to help with stability.  She has proven to ghost along with barely a ripple on the water or she gets up and goes when the wind picks up.  Using foil-shaped rudder and daggerboard, she is responsive without the drag of simpler designs. 

Instead of purchasing an expensive commercial inboard electric drive unit, we decided to design an electric system with easily obtained parts.  With the lower unit of a 55 lb. thrust trolling motor and a 12 vdc deep cycle battery she hits a top speed of 4.2 knots or cruises along, whisper quiet, at 3.5 knots while consuming 15 amps for a safe 3 hour sail.  She is rigged to be plugged into her mother ship to top off the batteries at night, but with the option of regeneration capabilities and removable solar panel, her charge times can be greatly reduced. 

Her construction is of 1/2″ foam core laid into a female half hull mold and then glassed inside and out.  All major components of the dinghy are foam core, creating a very stiff but lightweight structure.  The building technique is simple to follow and large professional power tools are not required, although professional results are easy to obtain. 

Building plans with full size templates are now available via PDF download or as paper plans sent through the mail.  Study plans, build book, and electric propulsion plans are coming soon. 

Check them out here – L’Arche Plans 

Check out The Nav Station Blog   for build pictures of the L’Arche dinghy. 

Please contact us for any questions you may have about this, our other designs, or your own custom design.