The Song Wren 21 extends the Wren series in several ways. She’s a bit larger than the Winter and Marsh Wrens, with room for up to three berths, and plenty of cabin space for all the amenities of cruising. She maintains the light and balanced feel of the smaller Wrens and adds the performance of a larger gaff rig and cutter sail arrangement. Although she can be built with a traditional keel, Sam has designed a swing keel that allows the exploration of shallower waters. Perhaps more importantly, the swing keel allows the boat to be trailered on a powerboat trailer, which means simpler storage and the means to take her to new and isolated waters – new adventures in a Song Wren.

Read about the best place to make a BLT in Sam’s design notes below.

The Song Wren 21 is available in study and construction plans.


Song Wren 21 Specifications

Length on deck 21 ft. – 3 in.
Length overall 26 ft. – 7 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 5 in.
Draft   up/down 24 in. / 47 in.
Displacement 2800 lbs.
Ballast 900 lbs.
Sail Area 302 sq.ft.


Song Wren Design Notes

Here is a sailboat that might tickle your fancy, something that could be the recipient of many idle time dreams and musings. She looks very much the part of a good peaceful sailing scene and with her Gaff rig and Cutter arrangement for the sail plan, I can easily envision the Song Wren nicely heeled to the water. There is a smooth and steady breeze keeping the sails full and drawing and just the slight occasional water noise for backdrop as she gently glides along in her groove. After several hours of sailing, a nice quiet cove is a great place to round her up into, dropping the hook just minutes before the evening breeze completely dies down to nothing.

Now is the time to light a little fire in the Shipmate solid fuel stove warming the cabin up and heating some water for a tummy warming toddy as the last bit of light in the day drifts away into the still evening black. The stars are out, the cabin warm and cozy and the rum almost makes me drowsy but its really a meal that I am thinking about now. I know what is in the cooler and its an easy chore to add another couple of bolts of quick burning fragrant red cedar to the stove. Soon the skillet is hot and ready for its bit of business. After frying up 4 strips of thick cut bacon, I slather a bit of mayonnaise on a couple of slices of bread, lay on a bed of lettuce, top it off with a sliced thinly tomato and I have a meal that will not only fill me up but fills the cabin with fragrance. After the meal I sit in the cockpit again marveling at the night calm and puffing on a good cigar, its own fragrance and smoke drifting off very slowly adding its own spice into the night. The loons were calling at dusk and the memory of their calls just adds backdrop to the scene. Its not long though before I drop back into the cabin, splash a bit of water across my face and crawl into my sleeping bag. There is enough warmth in the cabin left over from cooking dinner that I leave the hatch open knowing that I can either get up a little later and close her up or bank up the fire in the stove for another dose of warmth. But what really happens is that I sleep so soundly that I don’t bother doing either of those chores and wake up to a well ventilated cabin and a bracing coolness to start the new day. Its a quick job to light the stove again, heat my water for tea and cleaning up from last nights dinner. All I have to do is sit up on the deck reading a bit and waiting for the days breeze to fill in.

After sailing home, putting the boat away is the conclusion to a really fine and satisfying couple of days. This is the sort of stuff that most likely only adds days to your life and doesn’t subtract anything. It can be done alone or with a crew, your choice, or you might find that taking along your Black Labrador best friend is the way to go. The conclusion should always be that time spent on the water, living by the whims of the breeze, is a fine way to spend time.

The Song Wren will do all this without much fuss and with her tabernacle mast, you will be able to drop her rig without much effort and trailer her home for the Winter where you can do your winter cruising sitting in the cockpit in some storage shed while the storms wail away. She also has a centerboard (although with our deep waters in Puget Sound that isn’t really all that necessary) that allow her to sneak into shallow spots or allows you the luxury of sitting her on a powerboat trailer for moving her about from one waterway to another. Some of the finest sailing I have ever experienced was in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness in Central Oregon near where I grew up.

The rest of this design only needs to be studied a bit and you will figure out your own ways to use her best. The only compliment is a nicely balanced helm and a boat that responds quickly and smoothly to the wind. You being able to spend some peaceful time in her and you will find the rest works its own way out.

Amateur plans consist of 15 drawings printed on 24×36 inch paper. We are planning to produce basic hull and bulkhead panel kits for her and look forward to seeing many of these fine looking Cutters on the water. — Sam Devlin

Artfully Designed and Crafted Boats since 1978

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