Re: 15 or 19?

Bruce Hood (
Sat, 25 Dec 1999 21:55:28 -0800

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Robin, I am 64, my wife is 54... we have had our P-15 for 15
years.. We attended the recent Potter gathering in Oakland
and slept in the boat tied at a slip in the Marina for two nights..
This was great because we could shower in the Marina's
washrooms, and get breakfast or dinner at anyone of many
resteraunts within an easy walk. The Potter 15 is like sleeping
in a pup tent... it is awkward to crawl in and out of , and each
evening, cooler, stove, porta-potti etc. are necessarily moved
out of the cabin into the cockpit... the thick foam cushions
in the P-15 cabin are very comfortable and we have always slept
well on them. Someone once said that overnighting with the
P-15 is like back-packing, everything must be small, and nothing
much can be extraneous.. which is accurate. We love our boat
and have had lots of two day jaunts on her, but it is a minimalist
way of doing things. Since I am getting less agile, I really
don't like crawling in and out of the cabin very much, compared
to the early days of having our P-15. Nowadays, we take a large tent,
campstove and lots of other camping stuff, folding table, chairs, etc.
in our
little Ford Ranger pickup, on some vacations, and camp more
comfortably by lakeshore, or beach, and then daysail the boat,sometimes
for a week at a time.. I would love to have a P-19 which is simply
three times roomier than a P-15, and we hope to get one someday..
If your wife likes to camp, likes socializing with other enthusiasts,
sails, or learns to sail, and thus takes pleasure in handling the boat,
likes the out of doors, likes peaceful hours reading while relaxing
on the boats cushions in the cabin, or in the cockpit, she will probably
enjoy either of the boats. The P-15 is so easy to tow, to launch,to
sail that it is a boat which gets daysailed a lot,(ours always has been
daysailed 20-30 days each year ) especially
when you are learning and starting out. The P-19 allows a couple
to take two friends sailing with them, is very comfortable for two..
can hold tons of stuff, with storage for things, is a little harder to rig
and launch, and since it is three times the weight, and has three times
the ballast in its iron keel compared to a 15, it sails even more stably
than the 15 does.. both of them are remarkably stable for their type..

My observation would be that one's partner will soon find sailing
boring, unless they are enjoying sharing of all the processes involved.
It is great to have a partner who can sail the boat, while you take a
break, or turn to adjusting something better, and a safety consideration,
for if one should fall in the water the other can sail back to get
in the cockpit with nothing much to do, except hand food or drink
to the "skipper" I am sure can become as boring as sitting in a dentist's
waiting room reading old magazines, waiting to be immobilized
Of course there is always the extraodinary communion with nature, the
peace and satisfaction that cruising on a small boat can provide.
Here's another analogy.. the P-15 is like camping in a two seater
sportscar..( which can be great fun ). the P-19 is like camping in a
mini-motorhome...( which can be great fun too.. just a bit more comfortable..)
If one enjoys the sea and the sky,and good companionship, either boat
can provide the setting.. and they are both great fun to sail...
hope this helps.... best wishes..
Bruce Hood, P-15 "Aillte", sail no. 1246, since 1985
Chico, California