Power Boat Plans


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13' 6" Family Outboard Runabout (Pub. No. 5003)

Smooth riding and absolute safety at high speeds characterize this 13½’ round.bottom outboard runabout. Well adapted to both rough and smooth water, it may be used efficiently with any outboard motor of from 1 to 60 h.p.—a power range that can be achieved oniy with a round-bottom design.  Even if it should be recklessly driven, the boat is practically impossible to upset at any speed, excepting oniy in extremely high seas such as would be too much for any small boat. It is large enough to carry the whole family safely and comfortably, easy to row, and so light that two men can lift it onto a trailer.  The design includes various features never before offered in a boat for home construction. The combination of rocker keel forward, and flat planing surface aft, and the complete elimination of tripping chines make the design the safest it is possible to build. Clinker -built (lapstreak) construction with bent oak frames provides for exceptional light weight and strength. At high speed the spray is caught by each plank lap and forced back under the boat, which increases the speed.  Any one of four standard types of construction may be used. If made lapstreak, the hull will be found no more difficult to build than many V-bottom boats of the same size.

16 pages, 4 plate(s)

17 Ft Motor Cruiser (Pub. No. 5009)

(For Inboard or Outboard Motor)
Economy of operation, all-weather seaworthiness and superior handling qualities are features of this 17-foot de luxe cabin cruiser. It is especially designed for small motors, with their low operating cost. Cruise all day for less than a dollar spent in gas; go, if you like, with this shallow-draft boat through many rivers and creeks and through shallow water where higher-powered cruisers could never navigate.  Special improvements have been developed to give this small cruiser a maximum speed with the low-power motors—6 m.p.h. with a 21/2-h.p. motor and as high as 10 m.p.h. with the 10-h.p. models, or almost the same speed with which a similar motor would drive a rowboat.  Such a degree of seaworthiness and stability has been incorporated in the boat that it is well adapted for fishing in any rough and unprotected waters—even for ocean use. For extended cruises it will accommodate two persons, or three if one sleeps in the cockpit. On short trips as many persons as can be crowded into it may be safely carried.  For ease of construction, this little cruiser compares more with an outboard runabout than with other cruisers. The over-all length is 17 feet, beam 6 feet 2½ inches. A dinghy is not necessary as this cruiser can be beached almost anywhere

24 pages, 4 plate(s)

18 ft Cape Cod Dory (Pub. No. 5018)

(For Oars, Sail or Inboard Motor)
Long a favorite with commercial fishermen who meet all kinds of weather far out at sea, the true dory is a pracital boat for inland lakes as well. It combines many advantages, notably its roominess, its stanchness, and the ease with which it can be handled and launched in the surf. The original dory design had no thwarts, so that a number of the boats could be neste don the deck of a fishing schooner. This one, shown in the pespective drawing, is 18 feet long.

6 pages, 2 plate(s)

Balboa--A 17 1/2 ft Pacific Dory (Pub. No. 5028)

by Hi Sibley

This staunch dory is a good model for the amateur to build because with the flat bottom and straight sides no problems are presented in construction that demand special experience. This "Balboa Dory" makes no claims for beauty of line, but is about as inexpensive as one can build in a roomy and satisfactory craft. The original is now in its third season (as of 1938). It has never shipped any appreciable amount of water in its three trips to Catalina Island, 28 miles offshore from its home port. Like all dories with their peculiarly narrow bottoms, it rolls easily in a calm sea when passengers move about, but by virtue of this very design a rolling sea does not affect it as much as other types.

12 pages, 3 plate(s)

Snubby--A Floating Bungalow (Pub. No. 5029)

by Eddie La Crosse

One does not have to be a carpenter in order to build a houseboat such as "Snubby". Although using a carpenter the first week, or if you are one yourself, a helper, will save a lot of trouble later, and insure a water tight hull. You will have to set your own price, depending on what ever is handy to build with, but cost can be kept at minimum by careful shopping.

12 pages, 1 plate(s)

Scram--A flashing 15 1/2 ft Runabout (Pub. No. 5032)

"Scram" is a fitting name for a boat that has the flash and sheer brilliancy of performance that this runabout has.  Can “Scram” travel? You get in her comfortable front cockpit alongside the dock, settle into the seat and press the starter button.  The downdraft carburetor shoots a charge of gasoline into the intake manifold, and the engine comes to life like a machine gun. Cast off of lines and thread out into open water as the engine ticks along. With wide water on all sides, you shove in the gun and get ready for a new kind of thrill.

16 pages, 6 plate(s)

Arrow--A Fast Outboard Runabout (Pub. No. 5039)

by Jack Williams

"Arrow" is fun to build and use. Fast, safe, highly maneuverable, and sporty looking, she is designed to be used with any outboard motor from 10 hp. up to one of the big 33-hp. jobs. With 10 hp. she does 20 m.p.h. and with 33 hp., about 35 m.p.h.  The first step in building her is to study the accompanying bill of materials and collect the various items listed. For a really attractive job, use mahogany plywood on the deck and sides. The increase in over-all cost will be slight, but the added beauty of the will be great.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Arpeggio--An Outboard Sedan (Pub. No. 5040)

by Charles M. Ungerbuehler

"Arpeggio" is nearly perfect for knocking about and cruising on the many lakes, rivers, and bays of our country. Incorporating most of the desirable features of both cruiser and runabout, she is a highly practical craft. Because "Arpeggio’s" usuable space is unobstructed by a conventional engine, she has as much room as a great deal larger craft of the inboard type.  Snug and comfortable cruising quarters for two are provided. No lavatory or galley are shown, but there is ample room under the berth tops for a stove and a small water closet if you desire to use the boat mainly for cruising.  While speed was not the prime consideration, "Arpeggio’s" performance will leave little to be desired. Powered with a 33-hp. Evinrude Speedifour, she’ll do better than 22 m.p.h. carrying two passengers and a full load of gas and equipment. The addition of two more passengers will reduce her top speed by approximately two m.p.h. She runs cleanly at all speeds and, if properly trimmed, won’t squat. There is no perceptible point at which she ceases to drive through the water and begins to plane; consequently there is no hump over which she must be pushed. This feature will be appreciated in rough water. Riding is soft, dry, and comfortable. It will take really bad weather to keep "Arpeggio" tied up in port.

14 pages, 3 plate(s)

Spanker--A Racing Runabout (Pub. No. 5041)

by Gerald Taylor White

Although it’s true that maximum speed with any given horsepower will always come from the hydroplane type of boat, it’s likewise true that interest in V-bottom racing ruriabouts is increasing rather than falling off. There are logical reasons for this. As anyone who has ever ridden in a hydroplane knows, it is uncomfortable and its passenger-carrying ability is strictly limited. The designer of a hydroplane must arrange the weights so the total load is properly apportioned between the planing surfaces. The addition of extra passengers throws the boat out of balance, destroys her speed, and, in many cases, makes her difficult to handle. An additional disadvantage is the fact that the hydroplane can be properly steered only when running at relatively high speeds. If you have to slow down for rough water—or to catch your breath—you find that the boat is sluggish, refuses to handle, and fails to lift over any sea that may be running.  The racing runabout overcomes many of these disadvantages at a cost in speed that many feel is amply justified. While no racing boat can be an ideal rough-weather eraft, racing runabouts can be relatively comfortable and can be used for purposes other than racing. Spanker is an excellent example of what the racing rules have produced in the way of a boat having extreme speed, yet one that is able to stand a moderate amount of rough water and to carry up to four passengers.

16 pages, 3 plate(s)

Ha'Penny--Midget Express Cruiser (Pub. No. 5042)

by John G. Kingdon

Here are plans for a pint-sized V-bottom express cruiser that will really get up and go. Under the impetus furnished by a 33-hp. outboard, she’ll do 23 m.p.h. with two people aboard, And she’ll cruise along economically with this power at 19 m.p.h. Her name? It’s taken from a couple of lines in an old English Christmas song that fit the desires of boat-hungry fellows in moderate means: “If you haven’t got a penny, then a ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!”  It is presumed that familiarity with boat terms is possessed by the man who is to build her. There is nothing complicated about Ha’Penny, but she should not be attempted without at least a modicum of prior boatbuildirig experience. Ha’Penny is a V-bottom boat having the following approximate dimensions: Length Over All: 18 ft., 0 in.; Length on Water Line: 16 ft., 11 in.; Beam: 5 ft., 7 in.; Draft of Hull in Loaded Condition: 8 in.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

How to Build Gannett- 1 and 2 (Pub. No. 5043)

Among the hundreds of designs printed in the past in How To Build 20 Boats, one of the all-time favorites is "Gannet", which first appeared back in 1933 and is still going strong. For the benefit of the latest generation of amateur boatbuilders, here she is again. Her specifications have been modernized, but the simple beauty of her lines, as first laid down by that lovable and competent old-timer, Chaz Hall, are unchanged. If you want one of those “streamlined,” high-speed, over-powered, difficult-to-build creations that are loosely called boats nowadays, "Gannet" is not for you. But if you want a cruiser that’s sensibly planned for simple and straightforward construction, a boat that makes moderate speed with an engine that won’t keep you broke buying gasoline, then by all means consider "Gannet".

(Publisher's Note: We found a copy of the 1933 magazine and have included the original plans for Gannet in this booklet as well.)

48 pages, 7 plate(s)

Broncho, A Hand 29 foot Cruising Runabout (Pub. No. 5052)

Designed by William H. Hand, Jr.

BRONCHO, our latest Hand V-bottom creation, is a distinct novelty in modern boat building. This boat--while not intended for real serious cruising is provided with suitable berths and other essentials, so that should one desire to stay away from his home port for a night he can make himself and a friend or two quite comfortable on board without the necessity of looking up hotel accommodations. Broncho’s power plant has been selected with a view to reliable sustained speed and the motor specified will drive the boat at twenty miles per hour without undue effot. This boat will make one of the best balanced combinations that we know
of. The hull is particularly designed for fast work, and the motor will certainly do all that is expected of it. Anyone who builds a boat from these plans will certainly have a job to be proud of. The arrangement provides berths for two or three people forward under the deck. The motor is carried amidships, also inside the cabin. The gosoline tanks are distributed one each on either side of the motor and the smaller one aft under the stern deck. There is ample room under the cockpit floor for stowing miscellaneous gear and other essentials usually carried on small boats. This boat should make a wonderful outfit for its happy owner. The speed is exceptional and faster than the usual class of small runabouts. The additional features of sleeping accommodations will provide comfort for an occasional short cruise away from hotel life.


This is a husky runabout with exceptional seaworthy qualities and with the specified motor a speed better than twenty miles can be obtained. The large cockpit affords ample room for a party on day trips, and the arrangement forward provides accommodations for two for a weekend trip. For fishing, gunning trips and all round boating it is believed a craft of this type fills the bill.--WM. H. HAND, Jr.

10 pages, 6 plate(s)

How to Build a 16 ft Runabout (Pub. No. 5053)

If ,you’re a water ski enthusiast, you will enjoy this boat. Designed for speed and power, it will handle a 50 h.p. motor for speeds to 30 m.p.h., yet can also be used for trolling.  This runabout looks far more complex to make than it is. These plans have been specially designed by David Beach, naval architect, with the first-time boat builder in mind. She is seaworthy, rugged and safe

12 pages, 6 plate(s)

How to Build a 20 ft Cabin Cruiser (Pub. No. 5054)

David Beach designed this 20’ cabin cruiser, which will take an outboard up to 50 h.p., and an inboard up to 70 h.p. She is a really luxurious boat and goes along nicely at 30 m.p.h. There is full sitting head room in the cabin, while the galley, two berths and head are compactly designed. Alternate construction details are given for outboard- or inboard-powered cruisers. Optional inboard power installation details are also given for both the usual midship-mounted engine and a popular V-drive marine power unit. Single or twin outboards may be mounted either on transom-hung brackets or on a scooped transom. You can take your pick from the plans given.

12 pages, 11 plate(s)

Bayou Belle--Sport Utility Fisherman or Houseboat (Pub. No. 5059)

"Bayou Belle" is a 25’ scow that can be built as a sports utility, a fishing boat, or a houseboat, depending on your requirements for pleasure offshore. As a sports utility, she can be used for towing water skiers and for cruising; as a fishing boat, she offers a stable platform with plenty of elbow room and stowage space. As a houseboat, she has roomy interior accommodations for a leisurely life afloat.  Construction of Bayou Belle makes use of prefabricated sections, which means that much of the work can be done indoors in the average garage during the cold winter months, and the boat completed outdoors in time for launching in late spring.

6 pages, 5 plate(s)

Skipper--Low-cost Outboard Runabout (Pub. No. 5061)

Ideal for river or lake use, yet big enough to ride rough water, “Skipper” is a smart little craft combining graceful lines with low-cost, simplified construction.

24 pages, 2 plate(s)

Hi-Ho--A 14 ft Family Outboard Runabout (Pub. No. 5062)

"Hi-Ho” makes a nice little all-purpose boat which you can build during the winter months for the coming season. It has plenty of beam for comfort and safely, enough freeboard for a rough chop, and the lines to “go” with either light or heavy motors.

16 pages, 4 plate(s)

Claire, A Hand 36 foot Express Cruiser (Pub. No. 5063)

Designed by Wm. H. Hand, Jr.

Our plans and specifications of Claire, the 36-foot Hand Express Cruiser presented herewith, are the last to be published in the present series. This boat for its length embodies all comforts and improvements to be found on a larger craft. The double cabin arrangement provides privacy for the party on board and at the same time affords ample accommodations. The lines and general appearance of this boat follow along the lines of other famous Hand V-bottom boats, and with the powerful motor specified should be able to give a very good account of herself. As a fast cruiser able to compete in any and all long distance races and competitions, Claire will be a hard one to beat. The seaworthiness of this type of boat has been amply proven. Many of these V-bottom cruisers have been out in weather and reports of poor behavior on the part of the boats still remain to be heard. On this particular design the sections have been so developed to give a maximum amount of speed and seaworthiness for the power installed. In addition the interior arrangement has been well laid out. Ample storage space forward, together with a roomy lavatory. A forward cabin with transom berths and clothes lockers and a sizeable galley with stove, sink, ice box and cupboard and locker space. The motor is in a compartment by itself under the bridge deck and is very accessible. Tanks, storage batteries and all mechanical items are also concentrated here. The after cabin is complete and contains a pair of transom berths with suitable lockers. It does not seem that the construction of this boat comes quite within the possibilities of the amateur builder. This boat is a big one and the amateur builders who can make a successful job of this size boat are few and far between. A properly equipped shop can turn this boat out in a short order, while the amateur builder would be required to spend month upon months of spare time on the job. The specifications which follow are unusually complete and require no further explanation.

12 pages, 5 plate(s)

El Cid--Mini inboard Hydro (Pub. No. 5065)

"El Cid" is a mini inboard hydro that’s powered with a 4 H.P. air-cooled engine. Its top speed is about 16 mph with a 100 lb. teenager aboard. It features a “dead man’s” throttle that shuts the motor off when the driver lets go of the throttle, so there’s no danger if the operator falls off the boat. Safe enough for a young person, it’s a great little boat to start out on. Use is limited to well-proteqted waters, of course.

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

Deep-Vee Sea Angler (Pub. No. 5066)

This 20-foot offers a variety of power options--150 horses are suggested for a cruising speed of 32 mph.

"Sea Angler" is a 20-foot cruiser of the deep-vee hull type that has gained so much in popularity in recent years because of its ability to provide a high turn of speed with minimum pounding in rough seas. Actually, the concept of the deep vee is not new, but early attempts to produce hulls of this type—almost 40 years ago—were unsuccessful. At that time use of lorigitudinal steps, or lift rails, was not understood, and the engines lacked the power needed for this type of hull.  For "Sea Angler", an engine of about 150 hp is recommended, either as a straight inboard, an inboard/outboard, or a pair of outboards. This can give the boat a top speed of about 38 mph, and a cruising speed of about 32 mph, The flexibility of power options allows you to use an automotive conversion of your own choice, in addition to stock marine engines.  Construction is of plywood panels over hardwood frames, which makes the job simple for anyone familiar with the use of common hand tools.

8 pages, 4 plate(s)

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