Power Boat Plans


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Mehitabel--An 18' Plywood Cruiser (Pub. No. 5669)

by Dave Beach

Reprinted from Rudder

The intense interest in inexpensive outboard powered boats for cruising has led the editors of  THE RUDDER to the realization that a modern boat of this type should be made available to amateur builders. I was commissioned to do the job, with the special request that I attempt to get away from the standard type and try to produce something different. "Mehitabel" is the result. She is 18 feet 8 inches overall, 16 feet 9 inches on the water, 7 feet 6 inches beam, 1 foot 2 inches draft, and should be able to make seventeen miles an hour with a good power plant when not overloaded.  The outboard profile shows a not too common appearance. Well forward, on a lively sheer, is a large runabout type windshield with ample side wings that protect an open cockpit with two comfortable seats and exceptional steering visibility.

8 pages, 4 plate(s)

Placida--A 30' Houseboat (Pub. No. 5670)

by Robert M. Steward

For a summer facation on a lake or lazy river, build a 30-ft. pram bow houseboat.

The amount of water within the boundaries of our country is not ordinarily appreciated by the native coast yachtsman until his eyes are opened by an inland trip. Especially on a daylight flight the facts are realized, as innumerable placid lakes and lazy winding rivers slip in and out of view over the edges of the wings. It is only then that we become familiar with the homes of the famous inland racing scows and the majority of the thousands of outboard motors and hulls that have been produced in the past few years. For decades families have lived on these rivers in shanty boats tied to the banks. Others use this type of boat for summering amid serene surroundings as relief from the city, sometimes remaining in one favorite spot on river or lake, sometimes shifting as the spirit moves them. It is felt that the design of the scow houseboat Placida will fill the vacation need of many families.

10 pages, 3 plate(s)

Holiday--A 20' Runabout/Cruiser Combination (Pub. No. 5671)

by William J. Deed, N.A.

Twenty ft. runabout and cruiser combination is made of plywood.

Reprinted from Rudder

Here is a small craft of moderate price offering two boats in one design, an open runabout and a cruiser for week-end or short cruises. We show one layout as an open boat, and a cabin unit of light weight which can be dropped in place to transform the boat into a cruiser. Holiday is 20 feet long, 6 feet 4 inches beam, and 2 feet 1 inch draft. Hull form is vee bottom with developable surfaces on the sides and bottom so flat plywood sheets can be bent in place. To convert the runabout into a week-end cruiser, the seat backs are hinged to let down and form a double berth, while under the seats are found a stove, galley stores, portable icebox, dishes, etc., and possibly a water closet or bucket under one of the seats.

8 pages, 6 plate(s)

Blackfish & Tautog--2 Cruisers (Pub. No. 5672)

by Al Mason.

This round bottom, 22 ft. express cruiser is inexpensive to build.

"Blackfish" and her cousin "Tautog" were designed to meet the growing demand for a small cruiser of moderate size that would be relatively simple to build and maintain in these days of high costs. However, while there are a number of stock boats of similar size already available on the market, few are of round bottom construction. For those who prefer a round bottom boat "Blackfish" is the answer, while "Tautog" is sure to fit the bill for those who desire the more common vee bottom form. The two designs are alike in many respects but variations in hull design will slightly affect actual details and the amount of room for accommodations. The superstructures of the two boats differ considerably and are a matter of personal choice. Actually arrangement of the main deck, framing and superstructure of "Tautog" and "Blackfish" are interchangeable. Hence if a number of these boats were being built, the main deck and superstructure could be assembled as complete units and installed on either hull as preferred.


The alternate plan for a faster boat features a vee bottom hull.

In any case where speed is a major consideration, attention should be given to saving weight throughout the hull by using such items as light weight controls, light tubing instead of heavy piping, and eliminating unnecessary hardware. Actually this saving of weight will have a greater effect on increasing speed and lowering costs than a larger engine and its heavier equipment.

31 pages, 10 plate(s)

Squid--A 32' Power Boat (Pub. No. 5673)

by Carter and Wittholz

Though inexpensive to build, this handsome 32-ft. power boat proves both seaworthy and comfortable.

A boat the size of "Squid", properly equipped, will be suitable as an offshore sport fisherman. As a general purpose and day boat the large cockpit and cabin facilities will take care of large inshore fishing parties. If "Squid" is used as an out and out cruising boat two upper berths can be added forward as indicated on the arrangement plan, making it possible for four people to cruise for a week in moderate comfort. .

12 pages, 4 plate(s)

Inland Clipper--A 31' Houseboat (Pub. No. 5674)

by Al. Mason

Exceptionally livable quarters for four people are provided in this comparatively small cruising houseboat. Length is 31 ft. 10 3/4 in.

The design shown on these pages is quite unusual, especially to those who are accustomed to seeing the staunch seaworthy boats generally found in any harbor along the coast or on the Great Lakes. In fact, the nearest approach to this type is the common scow type houseboat often seen anchored or even ashore on piles at the head end of our harbors, some of which are seldom moved year after year. This new type offers the maximum in comfort, space and accommodations and really is a home afloat.

8 pages, 6 plate(s)

15-Ft. High-Speed Outboard Runabout (Pub. No. 5675)

by Bruce Crandall

At last—a hull designed for up-front operation. She’s safer, with plenty of beam, and speeds up to 34 mph

An outboard boat for forward steering must be designed (as are most inboard runabouts) with some fore-and-aft curvature in the planing surface, or must be considerably wider forward or narrower aft than the average outboard design. From a glance at the lines plan of this design it will be obvious that the beam admidship at the chine is much greater than in conventional designs and that the planing surface narrows down somewhat aft.  As outboard boats go, this is a quite large boat for a 15-footer, with 28” depth amidship, enough to make good headroom with a convertible top, and almost 7’ beam, about the greatest of any 15-footer available. The great beam serves the double purpose of making the boat safe at high speed and also large and stable enough for a twin outboard installation. The exceptional flare aft eliminates the possibility of the chine tripping as well as would a conventional beveled chine. This simplifies the construction somewhat. There is plenty of buoyancy and stability to carry up to five persons in perfect safety under ordinary conditions.

16 pages, 3 plate(s)

Argo A Double-Cabin Outboard Cruiser (Pub. No. 5676)

by David D. Beach

Packed in 22 feet of hull space are the accommodations of a real ship—head, galley, two separate sleeping areas and a salon. Today’s big motors make her design possible

The design of the little yacht shown on the five drawings which accompany this article was based on a somewhat elusive dream that all the required items of equipment and gear for small-family cruising could be designed into one small boat. This is a true double-cabin, outboard-powered cruiser, with berths for four persons which can be either double or single, to suit the crew aboard. Forward, beneath the foredeck, but extending into the full headroom of the cabin is a pair of 6’4” berths. As shown, they are 27” wide, but a fill-in cushion between the heads makes a big berth 6’4” x 6’ wide. That’s a “lotta” bunk—enough for three youngsters, at least! The headroom between the heads of the berths is ample, well over 6’.

7 pages, 5 plate(s)

Baby Killdeer--A 12 ft Plywood Runabout (Pub. No. 5677)

by Weston Farmer

Convenient  in size for easy trailing is "Baby Killdeer", just under 12’ long and with about 57” of beam. Weighing in the neighborhood of 150 pounds, she can nicely handle motors of 6 and 7 hp, and won’t shy at 15 hp. She is too small for the 25 hp mills, as she is really a very small boat. With two people aboard (and this is quite a load, poundwjse, for any 12-footer) and with a 10 hp Mercury, she can do about 22 mph. For her length, this seems rocket sneed.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

Build a Dock Yacht (Pub. No. 5681)

by Weston Farmer

The outboard motor has been responsible for a development in sports afloat which has escaped general notice. This plebian but useful development is what the new crop of boatmen call a “dock yacht.” More properly, a dock yacht is a pontooned platform which forms an extension to a pier-and-plank dock when not in use, but which can be cast off at will and, under the urging of a kicker, slop about in great comfort for just plain rubbernecking, or fishing, or swimming.

11 pages, 2 plate(s)

24-Ft. Cruiser (Pub. No. 5682)

by Edson I. Schock

Seaworthy, economical, comfortable, this V-bottom power boat likes rough water and has good speed. Building presents few problems.

This little V-bottom power cruiser was designed as an easy-to-build (and therefore relatively inexpensive) boat for short cruises and fishing. The first boat built from the design was used between Point Judith, Rhode Island, and Block Island, and in these habitually rough and troubled waters she gained the reputation of being a good sea boat and a remarkably comfortable vessel for such a small boat. Also, she had very good speed for her power, making her economical to operate from a fuel standpoint. And her builder said she was easy to plank.

20 pages, 2 plate(s)

So He Built a Houseboat! (Pub. No. 5683)

A 30-ft houseboat with its own boathouse.

by Townsend Godsey

When Jim Owen, nationally famous Ozark float outfitter, decided to heed the advice of his own literature—”If you’re too busy to fish, you’re too busy”—he might have chosen to do it all on float trips. But he couldn’t do that because a series of government dams on White River has just about ended his float-fishing operations. So he looked around and found the next easiest way to fish—off a plush houseboat.

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

Warrier A 15-Ft. Ouboard Runabout (Pub. No. 5684)

by William Futrell

"Warrier" is a high-performing runabout of the popular walk-through deck, two-seat type. The bottom design makes it especially suitable for water skiing. Enough deadrise has been permitted in the bottom section to let her heel comfortably in tight turns. Toward the bow the bottom is V’d sharply to permit smooth riding in choppy water. The sheer has been flared sharply to keep the passengers dry and comfortable. Warrior is an easy boat to build. Even the first-time builder will have no trouble with this design, and the professional will find a real pleasure in building it.

16 pages, 2 plate(s)

Barnaby--A 16-Ft Cabin Cruiser (Pub. No. 5687)

by Henry Clark

This is it!  Roomy but trailable; it’s small enough to keep our lot uncluttered. It carries a slew of camping gear, plus my wife, three kids—and a dog! Yet it planes easily, just like a runabout. Good stability, sturdy oak framing, 3/8-inch plywood hull and mahogany trim for that “cruiser” look. The cabin sleeps two adults plus a child.  The wheel and controls in the cabin are for use in wet weather. They are coupled to the helm in the open cockpit for stand-up or sit-down steering. Portholes for Junior to watch the splash, a memory every boy should have—wide gunwales for walking—grab rails on the roof—windows that open for ventilation—an upper windshield to keep the wind off the skipper—fuel tanks under seats, which are hinged—seat back that lowers, for motor attention—a self-bailing water well to keep out following seas—a high freeboard to keep out spray. Barnaby’s got ‘em all!

12 pages, 8 plate(s)

Ellen Ann--A Fast 10-Ft. Runabout (Pub. No. 5690)

(Small enough to be a really cool dinghy!)

by George and Robert Schleier

On one of those long, cold winter nights when one reminisces, thoughts of summer can bring on a discussion—with us, it’s boats. A 13-year-old youngster sounded off one night regarding his ideas on an ideal “small boat” Putting his ideas down on paper and polishing off the rough edges gave us this 10 footer—”Ellen Ann.” For an all-purpose boat, she is fast. Using a 7-8 hp outboard, she will plane at an honest 18 mph, carrying a 125-pound “pilot.” With 15 horses, she’ll move the same weight along at 24 mph. She’ll ski one 125-pound youngster with only 7-8 lip, with a 125-pound “pilot.” Cartopping is a snap, and sharp turns can safely be made within a boat-length. Suitable for dinghy service, she’ll do very well as a “fisher” if you don’t crowd more than two aboard. For inclement weather, a detachable, folding windshield will give ample protection against the elements. A hatch in the foredeck allows convenient stowage of ground tackle.

12 pages, 1 plate(s)

Build the Spencer 23--Inboard/Outboard Cruiser (Pub. No. 5691)

by John Brandlmayr

This cruiser takes inboard or outboard motors.

A twenty-mile-per-hour cruiser that sleeps four, has a dinette, enclosed head and 5 feet 11 inches of headroom, opens up a world of comfortable cruising. These are requirements quoted time and again by people stepping up from camping to true shipboard cruising. In addition, they want seaworthiness, ample strength, attractive modern styling and beam within the limits for trailer clearance.  The Spencer 23 is a thoroughly proven design that meets all of these requirements at minimum cost.

16 pages, 3 plate(s)

Build the Spencer 26 (Pub. No. 5692)

by John Brandlmayr

This plywood cruiser is a sister to the Spencer 23

She is a fast, seaworthy cruiser with all the style of a fine custom product but adapted for home builders. It is a sister ship to the Spencer 23 described on the left.  Her accommodation layout provides two berths forward with a locker and a dinette folding into a double berth to port and a galley, enclosed head and locker to starboard. The open cockpit is 61/2 feet wide and 81/2 feet long in the inboard version. A convertible canvas top is normally fitted over the flying bridge windshield with a second section as a full cockpit cover. This is the most popular and probably the most practical arrangement for all around cruising and fishing. .

10 pages, 3 plate(s)

Blue Fin--A Steel 31-Ft. Sport Fisher Cruiser (Pub. No. 5695)

by Al Mason.

(Inboard Power)

The Blue Fin was designed primarily for sport fishing, yet she will be suitable for cruising. While it is true that one can fish from the average cruiser, the sport fisherman has much more cockpit room for fighting chairs, full visibility in all directions for spotting fish, and the many other sport features. Regardless of whether a boat is to be used primarily for sport fishing, a large cockpit Is always desirable as this is the place where most waking time is spent In Blue Fin, outside of indicating a single fighting chair with a footrest and a folding helmsman’s seat, the cockpit is left to be arranged to suit individual taste. Depending on the engine hatch arrangement, fixed or folding chairs may be used. In lieu of the fighting chair, if the boat is not to be used for sport fishing, a full width seat could be fitted across the after end.

4 pages, 2 plate(s)

Little Bubble--Nine feet of Runabout Fun (Pub. No. 5696)

by Hank Clark

There are 130 pounds of darting delight in only nine feet of boat. And so simple to build. Designed at first only to turn loose two of the crew of "Barnaby" (described earlier in this page) it was to be light for car topping, and just something to be independent in. As construction went along, we put some beef here and there, and today, after a whole season, we find we’ve built a bomb! Linda 16, and Carol or Bub now have a real “rod” complete with 10 hp Evinrude Sportwin, remote controls, Voilrath racing steerer, 6-gallon (could be 4-gallon) tank, cushions, paddle and lines. The same rig could be a father/son project, or teen-team effort for kicks, camping, or plain joy on the water. This is not a hydro. It’s only a little over 9 feet, a midget runabout with semi-round bottom that affords soft ride, yet flies around with a hydro’s performance. It paces our cruiser at its 24 mph clip, with two aboard, safely cresting most waters of lakes, rivers and bays. But here’s the hottest news of alL It pulls a 150-pound skier! Or two tots! Tie that! Long mahogany fins are rakish, and are transom braces, and fence against sloshing water. Wheel column is seat back, and allows astride sitting or kneeling, folding for car-topping. Round bow makes for easy building, gives some “deck” area, and imparts more bottom area to support the passenger in so small a craft. No spray rails. Raked sides keep cockpit dry. A 5 hp motor was first used, putting out 17 mph. But with 10 hp on, you fly.

16 pages, 2 plate(s)

River Queen (Pub. No. 5701)

by Charles Bell

LOA 24', BEAM 8', DRAFT 10", WEIGHT 2,500, FLOTATION TO 8,640 pounds.

River Queen is a real houseboat that will accommodate a family of six.

She has all the comforts of home plus the ability to navigate inland waters. She is V-bottomed and has good stability even in a brisk breeze and moderate waves, but, of course, none but the foolish would try to traverse large bodies of water in a houseboat of this type because she is not intended for that. The barge on which the house is erected has 3 feet of freeboard so that she is a boat and with a Universal “C” drive 113 h.p. motor she will cruise at about 5 knots. The boat is ideal for calm river passages and secluded lakes and her 8-foot beam and light weight (for a houseboat) allows her to be trailered anywhere. The layout provides a spacious fore deck and an adequate after deck with controls located at the bow on the main deck and directly overhead on the sun deck. The sun deck spans the whole size of the boat and is reached by ladder from both the bow and stern. A most unusual feature of River Queen is her side decks which fold up quickly against the sides and let down in one-half minute once the boat is at anchor or nosed in against the bank This provides a walkway, fishing platform and boat landing around the boat which can be reached without going through the cabin. River Queen draws 10 inches of water, weighs 2,500 pounds, and has enough rigid Styrofoam in her bottom to float 8,640 pounds. Water could run through the cabin but the boat would not sink more than 2 or 3 inches.

4 pages, 1 plate(s)

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