Has anyone built one of the Kasten Marine boat designs ?

  • 23 Sep 2020 04:14
    Reply # 9258604 on 9247058
    I wonder how much offshore sailing Mr Kasten has done?  Galleys forward went out with paid hands! I also feel that if I'm going to build an unsinkable boat, a good place to start is to build it with wood, which floats rather than with aluminium, which sinks.  You might as well give yourself a head start, bearing in mind how much potential stowage you will lose to flotation.  I might add that James Caird was not originally intended as a boat to go cruising in Antarctic waters.  Nice looking boats, certainly, and attractively and romantically presented.  It would be interesting to know if any have been bult or sailed.  I recall coming across this designer when researching for SibLim.

  • 19 Sep 2020 09:21
    Reply # 9247992 on 9247058

    Hi everyone and many thanks for your replies and advice.

    I guess I should have mentioned this def wouldn't be our first boat (or even a couple more before we look to build) and we're planning on starting on smaller converted boats to learn/take RYA courses etc 

    This was just something that we wanted to ask as the designs do look very intruiging, but I've not found any info on if anyone has built/sailed them. 

  • 19 Sep 2020 09:08
    Reply # 9247959 on 9247058
    Anonymous member (Administrator)


    I agree with David. The Kasten designs surely look sexy, with their detailed drawings, but I question how practical they are. I don’t find any of them on YouTube.
    The junkrig on Shackleton also looks more elegant than practical. However, if there already are boats of this design out there, sailing and sailing well, I will admit that I was wrong.

    I also wonder about the position of the cockpit. That space would be very useful in the (fore) cabin, while it looks to me to be a terribly wet place to be in, if used as an open and unprotected cockpit.

    Remember, there is also another alternative to building: Convert a second-hand boat to JR instead. Converting a boat to JR may take a year, while building a boat of this size will keep you grounded for three to ten years+. The question is then, do you want to build, or do you want to sail?

    I don’t write this to discourage you, I just want you to get out sailing as quickly as possible, and thus learn what it is all about. After a season or two in a junk-rigged Coromandel, Westerly or whatever, you are much better prepared to make a qualified choice for the next boat.

    Anyway, good luck!


  • 19 Sep 2020 08:03
    Reply # 9247909 on 9247058

    Hello Jane,

    I see in your membership profile that you are "Complete beginners to sailing, but we love how Junk sail boats look, and reading further seems they've exactly what we're looking for".

    On that basis, I would have to say that although the Kasten designs are intriguing, they are perhaps better suited to sailors with enough sea miles behind them that they know exactly what they need for the kind of sailing that they propose to do, and also that they have enough experience to consider what is a very idiosyncratic kind of design. 

    Much more mainstream in the junk rig sphere (but still with a lot of individuality when compared with all the stock GRP cruisers, and still double-ended like the Kasten Ernest Shackleton and Valhalla) are the Jay Benford Dories, particularly the 34ft one, with a well established track record as a long distance cruiser for one or two people. The Kasten boats look very expensive to build, compared with the Badger alternative.

    Last modified: 20 Sep 2020 09:38 | Anonymous member
  • 19 Sep 2020 05:53
    Reply # 9247741 on 9247058


    Welcome to the JRA, I'm sure you'll find lots of information here that will be helpful in getting a junk rig.

    If you have a particular design in mind you can search the list of members boats: 

    members area/directories/members boats 

    Good luck with your search


  • 18 Sep 2020 22:59
    Message # 9247058

    Hello I'm a new memeber and have been reading around various parts of the site as I'm hoping to own a Junk rigged boat.

    I'm particularly intruiged by the various Kasten Marine designs - just wanted to ask has any members built one of those?

       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

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