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The Tahiti Rover build plans are conveniently provided as an instant download in our eBook. The cost for the complete set of plans is a modest $29.95

The download contains ALL DRAWINGS you will need to build the Tahiti Rover. Additionally, it includes two options for interior layouts and five options for sail plans. For more information visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or email us at


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Some boat designs elicit the urge to roam warm climates, anchor up in far away places and let the rest of the world pass by.  The Tahiti Rover is such a vessel and I wish I had one. 

John G. Hanna designed the original Tahiti Ketch over 80 years ago to be built of wood.  The plans appeared in Mechanix Illustrated, launching “a thousand dreams.”  Hundreds have been back yard built.  The design called for a seaworthy vessel capable of sailing the oceans in safety and comfort.  The design did all that as can be attested to by the fact that more Tahiti Ketches have sailed round the world then any other design.  And they are still being built today.

With the fast pace of world events, loss of personal freedoms and questionable economic situation, it’s comforting to think of complete independence aboard a stout vessel ready to go anywhere, just as it was during the great depression and the launch of so many of Hanna’s ketches.

Back in the 70’s I was approached by Dean Conrad, an interesting experienced deep water sailor, to design a 32’ double ended vessel for long distance voyaging.  Dean was one of the Washington D. C. Beltway employees stuck behind a desk day in and day out longing to get to sea.   His idea of a good vacation was to sail his 20’ double ender straight offshore, east into the Atlantic for half of the time he had off, then back to port.  He wanted a larger boat of steel, for its advantages of strength and ease of construction.

I pointed out to him that the design already existed.  The John G. Hanna Tahiti Ketch in wood and a steel version called the Tahitiana by Farmer.  Not satisfied with either, Dean commissioned me to do an engineering analysis and comparison of both the original and later design in an effort to improve windward ability and speed.  A good ocean cruiser should treat her crew kindly, point well, be self-steering, and be well balance with a good turn of speed.  Here are the results of my findings, and the resultant ketch I designed for Dean called the Tahiti Rover.  Since then, many Tahiti Rovers have been built.  The renowned author Robbie Johnson of the cookbook Gourmet Underway has one, check out his web site at gourmetunderway.com.   

L.O.A. 31' 11" 31' 7" 30' 0"
L.W.L 28' 0" 27' 0" 26' 0"
BEAM 10' 2" 10' 2" 10' 0"
DRAFT 4' 2" 4' 2" 4' 0"
DISP. 18,411 lbs. 18,194 lbs. 18,100 lbs.
SAIL AREA 581 sq.ft. 550 sq.ft. 470 sq.ft.
DISP./SAIL 31.68 33.08 38.51
PRISMATIC .528 .562 .577
BALLAST 6200 5300  

*Figures were taken from reproduced drawings, therefore, could vary slightly from the designer's original calculations.

Although several of the Rovers have been professionally built, the Tahiti Rover is well within the capabilities of the back yard builder.  The tools necessary are minimal.  A couple of come-a-longs, heavy duty grinder, cutting torch, welding machine capable of DC welding up to 1/4 “ plate and tools the average home owner has on hand is all. 

Yes you can do it.  The first schooner my sons and I built in our tiny yard was 65’.  We had only the tools listed above.  At the time, none of us could weld.  We started cutting steel, tacking the parts together and hiring a welder to come by for a few hours. By the time the framing was up, my son, Shon, was a certified welder, ready to do the rest of the job. 

Of all the experiences I have had over the years, nothing compares with the satisfaction of building that first boat.  The memories are still favorite topics at family gatherings.

Look at the pictures of Robbie’s rover.  She is a superb vessel, built by a retired Marine Corps colonel with no previous building experience. 

The e-book, costing $29.95, provides a complete set of building plans.  That is: set of lines, table of offsets (dimensions), inboard profile, outboard profile, two different arrangement plans, two deck house options, several rig types, spar details, frame details, and computer generated hydrostatics, all on CD.  Full size paper plans can be printed from the CD if desired at most any printing shop.


Rover Marine Lines Inc. is devoted exclusively to the design of traditional steel sailing vessels for both amateur or professional construction. I totally design each vessel from the first engineering calculations to final drafting by hand. This assures perfect integration of all the facets of each yacht design.

Rover Marine designs state the subtle, and very important, difference between vessels intended for vacation cruising and those for year-round living or world voyaging. As an engineer, licensed ship master and devotee of the art of "just messing around in boats", each design has a blend of solid engineering, pleasing esthetics and seaworthiness.

I endeavor to impart in each design the best traditional concepts of hand drawings mated with computerized calculations and table of offsets. The designs empahsize the advantages of modern materials and methods of fabrication but avoid the trend toward unnecessary gadgets. The success of this approach is proven by the many working Rover Schooners. If you are looking for a tradtional steel design of the highest quality that out-sails any other vessel in her class; precision, detailed drawings and enthusiasm for your project, then consider the Tahiti Rover design.


The Tahiti Rover build plans are conveniently provided as an instant download in our eBook. The cost for the complete set of plans is a modest $29.95

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Last updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2010
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