General Purpose and Utility Boats  


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Five Dollar Boat, A (Pub. No. 5034)

(That's 1938 dollars, but this is still about as cheap as you can go!)
Five dollars for a combination row-boat, canoe, racing shell and sailboat. Surely. no one can complain of the expense. And that is just what you can expect for your money. Tell your sportsmen friends about it and the lot of you build a fleet of these little craft and enjoy some real sailing during the warm, summer days. Racing and pleasure sails will fill the season with real fun. Plenty of orange crates, a bit of dressed lumber and an old bed sheet will be all the essentials required for the building.

5 pages, 3 plate(s)

Lark, The (Pub. No. 5087)

by William Dickey

The “Lark” is a general purpose utility boat having a tendency towards higher speeds. She is light in weight, due to the plywood construction, and of such form that she planes nicely with a motor of approximately 10 h.p. Speeds of from fifteen to twenty-five m.p.h. sbould be obtained with the average outboard motor.  “The “Lark” handles excellently in calm water and will stand a moderate amount of hard driving in heavy water, although she is not particularly designed or suited for rough water.

18 pages, 2 plate(s)

Knock-About Boat, A (Pub. No. 5092)

by Louis E. Germain

You craftsmen who enjoy the thrill of streams, lakes and woodlands will appreciate this little boat; excellent for use as a tender, for hunting and fishing, or to take with you on your summer vacation as an all-around craft. It is small, measuring only 9’ 4” by 48”, and has a semi-V bottom. When finished, the boat will weigh approximately one hundred pounds. It should row easily, is fast when equipped with a two or four horse power outboard motor, and is suitable for a light sail. All essential dimensions for its construction are given in the drawings, and the attending description is clear and concise.

8 pages, 1 plate(s)

Vicking--12' 6" General Purpose Plywood Boat, The (Pub. No. 5093)

by William Jackson

The "Viking” is a utility or general purpose boat designed to embrace most every use to which a small boat may he placed and perform each well. Altho short in over all length, the hull is roomy and light enough in weight to be carried atop an auto or trailer if more desirable. Due to the efficient underwater line, rowing is effortless and small outboard motors from 1 to 6-H.P. will propel this craft further and faster with less gas. It is easily adapted to a small sail boat.

9 pages, 1 plate(s)

Fish-Hooker (Pub. No. 5098)

by William Jackson

"Fish-Hooker" is a general purpose boat adapted to rowing easily but producing its best performance when powered with outboard motors from1 to 16 h.p. Powered with the smaller outboard motors the "Fish-Hooker" produces economcial, efficient speeds for the fisherman or sportsman, while 6 h.p. or more will plane the boat at high speeds for safe, stable operation with exceptional maneuvering ability.

11 pages, 2 plate(s)

Widgett (Pub. No. 5186)

by William D. Jackson, Naval Architect.

Try this beamy utility boat. You’ll like its simplified construction

Building "Widgett" requires only ordinary tools and no steam bending. It may be built in a fraction of the time required for ordinary utility boats. It is beamy and stable on any waters anywhere and, despite its simplified construction, is immensely strong, and durable enough to give you real service. Everything about "Widgett" has been planned so that it can be built in quantity, quickly and cheaply, either for livery service or by boat builders who wish to earn a reasonable profit with a first rate design. However, if your intentions are to build just one boat for personal use, this boat will out-perform most any ordinary boat of its clhss sold on the market today.

6 pages, 1 plate(s)

Mule--A 14-Ft. Sailing Garvey (Pub. No. 5241)

by H. I. Chapelle

We had been sitting around my drafting table talking about small boat designs and Dick, a professional boatbuilder, had been complaining about the lack of plans for a cheap, easily-built boat that would do for both work and pleasure. “These utility boats, now,” he said, “the trouble with the designs I’ve seen is that they are either too expensive to build to be used for the rough work a real utility boat ought to do, or they are too specialized. We call lots of boats utility craft without thinking just what they really are. As I see it, a utility boat ought to be useful for going fishing along the shore or to be used for an afternoon sail. If it is too much trouble to ship a sailing rig or an outboard, then the boat ought to row well enough to be pleasant to use. She ought to be capable of carrying four or five people with at least a reasonable amount of gear, too. The boat should be stable enough to allow you to load and unload without having to do a tight-wire walking act. She ought to be a combination work-boat and pleasue-boat if that is possible, and, man she has GOT to be both cheap and easy to build, as well as being useful in the greatest variety of ways."

24 pages, 4 plate(s)

Castabout--A Camping Skiff (Pub. No. 5265)

by George Daniels

For the beginning boat builder here’s an easy-to-build utility boat which can be equipped with a plastic shelter

You don’t have to wait for this boat to swell after you put her over. She’s dry from the minute she touches the water, and she stays dry because every seam is permanently sealed whether the boat is left at a mooring or on a hot, dry beach. The seams are bonded with resorcinol resin glue that doesn’t let go even if you boil the joints made with it. This type of glue consists of two separate parts, a liquid and a powder, which you mix together when you’re ready to use the glue. Be sure to use either a resorcinol resin (such as Cascophen) or phenol resorcinol type (such as U.S. Plywood’s Phenol resorcinol adhesive). The boat shelter is made from the type of yellow flexible sheet plastic used for shower curtains. When not in use, the shelter folds into a roll that is strapped inside the boat under the sheer stringer. But if you get caught in a shower while you’re fishing, you can erect the shelter in about 2 minutes and keep dry

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

Knockabout--A 14 Ft Utility Rowboat (Pub. No. 5288)

by Don Shiner

Basic tools are just a saw, hammer and nails and ou can build her in two days.

Like to have a utility boat tied out back on the lake or river, ready to use whenever you have the time for some relaxation? A boat that handles well with oars or outboards up to 10 hp and easily withstands the impacts of sunken logs or rocks? Then this fiatbottom skiff is for you. You can put her together in a weekend and have a coat of paint on before sunset Sunday. No screws are used in the boat, just nails (thus our knock-together terminology). The entire boat, with the exception of the stem and transom, is built of 3/4-in soft pine. The sides are 14 in. wide and 14 ft. long. The bottom is made up of boards four or five in. wide. Avoid use of tongue-and-groove lumber on the bottom; it would buckle. The stem is cut from 3x4½-in. white oak. The transom is two pieces of one-in, redwood or pine, laminated together with waternroof glue for strength and thickness.

8 pages, 1 plate(s)

All Purpose Knockabout (Pub. No. 7031)

by Hi Sibley

No-nonsense, workaday skiff will support three children, one adult. Takes only 11 hours to build.

This boat has half again the load capacity of a conventional 12’ skiff and is designed for the simplest construction with ordinary hand tools. All materials are available at any lumberyard; the mastic tape and marine glue at a boatyard. General over-all dimenslpns are given in Fig. 1.

2 page(s)

How to Build a Quahogger: A Narragansett Bay Type (Pub. No. 7066)

by Michael P. Smith

An extremely useful and practical shoal draft working utility.

Recently we hired a contractor to repair the concrete piers on one of our bridges here in Narragansett Bay. Among the items of equipment he used were three outboard skiffs each powered with a 40 hp engine. Boxy in appearance, high-sided, with little or no flare, a straight vertical stem, vertical transom, flat bottom with little or no longitudinal rocker, as wide at the transom as they were amidships, they did not leave an impression of a goodlooking boat. Details at the gunwales were different but other than this they were nearly alike. (See drawings.) “Quahoggers” is what the contractor called them. My respect for these boats began almost immediately. We used them to haul material and ferry men back and forth between the beach and job site. They proved to be extremely fast and were excellent weight carriers. On calm days they could get up on a plane even when loaded. On rough days we carried seven men each trip with safety. I became interested in these boats and searched for plans with the idea of building one, but apparently plans for a “Quahogger” have never been published. I then started on a private research venture to learn more about these boats and to draw up a set of plans. I visited the waterfronts in Bristol, Warren, East Greenwich, Tiverton, and Newport. In each of these places I found “Quahoggers” being used as work boats, fishing boats, tongers, lobster boats and as small family yachts. I talked to owners and knowledgeable persons about them. No one knew anything about plans. One inquiry earned the reply that “Joe S. in Bristol will build you one, $250 unpainted.” A visit to Joe’s back yard showed that he had no plans but that he did have a building jig, and that he would build me a boat. Where did he get the jig? “Oh, my father made it years ago.” The “Quahogger” is the beginning of a type. Except for the ordinary flat-bottomed skiff, it has no forebearers and did not evolve from any earlier models. It is, I believe, the forerunner of another local type which is a very good looking skiff and that is the “Dutch Harbor Skiff.” From what I can gather, Quahoggers were first built in the Narragansett Bay area after the advent of the outboard engine, the weight of the engine aft dictating the
need for the very wide transom. these boats were first built by men in the shellfish trade. The boat satisfied their requirements for a simple, practical, seaworthy, heavy load carrying and economical skiff. Basically, present-day Quahoggers are the same as those first built. The Quahog skiff is a local type that doesn’t get much publicity. They are so common here on the Bay that a potential buyer would look and then pass them off as being too ordinary and too simple. Surprising as it may seem, however, they are fast, stable, economical and practical. One man who knows says, “they are the best platform available for pulling’ pots and tongin’, and they are fast; they’ve won every work boat race ever held in Newport.” Another expert says, “ . . . one of the nicest boats in the Bay for the purpose for which they are built.” They are that they can be driven right up on the beach for loading and unloading. Our workmen boarded and left over the bow onto a sandy beach without getting their feet wet, and the boats have enough power to back clear of the beach with a full load. Most of the work boats have only two seats, one in the bow and one in the stern. The rest of the boat is wide open for plenty of working space and accommodation for such gear as pots, pot haulers, rakes, tongs and baskets. The interior of all boats varied with their use, all being quite functional. Building a “Quahogger” is quite simple—you just set up the forms and wrap the planks around them.

4 page(s)

Buddy--A 13 Foot Uitlity Boat (Pub. No. 5549)

"Buddy", a general utility boat, was designed to meet the greatest possible variety of purposes and to serve each one well. With an over-all length of 13 feet and a generous beam of 56 inches, the hull seats three or four passengers and performs with stability and seaworthiness in rough or smooth water. Outboard motors from 1 to 6 hp. will propel this craft speedily and economically, while rowing it is easy. For those who love sailing, “Buddy” may be rigged as a sailboat and it will perform comparably with regulation sailing craft.  The construction requires marine plywood, making the boat easy to build, inexpensive, and producing a craft that is light in weight, easily transported and permanently leakproof under all conditions.

16 pages, 1 plate(s)

Silas a 15 ft Utility Skiff (Pub. No. 5609)

by J.A. Emmett

The very name implies strength and sterling old-fashioned qualities—all of which this design has. Larger and more strongly built than the usual skiff it is too heavy, of course, for car-top carrying but will make a fine outfit for general use and fishing, when its stiffness, ability, and roominess will be appreciated. "Silas" will row more easily than the average boat her size, and drive nicely , up to 6 or 8 miles an hour, with a 2 to 3½ h.p. outboard. The model and size is well suited to inboard power and with a small air or a water-cooled inboard motor will prove a very able outfit; or she will sail well if fitted with a centerboard. In all she’s a darn useful boat to build and have around whatever way you decide to power her—oars, outboard, inboard, or sail.

12 pages, 3 plate(s)

All purpose 11 1/2 ft Boat, An (Pub. No. 5699)

(For Oars, Sail, or Outboard Motor)

Designed for use with oars, sails, or outboard motor, the small all-purpose boat described here will provide exciting sport the year round on virtually any water. Its shallow draft makes it usable on streams and lakes that would bar some other boats of comparable size and utility. Weighing only 100 pounds , it can be transported atop a car or carried on a trailer. Two men can handle it easily, or even one if need be. Due to its simple construction, the boat is strong and sturdy, and will withstand any amount of banging around. It will seat three persons comfortably, and four if necessary. Regardless of how it is powered--sails, oars, or outboard--it will be found entirely seaworthy and stable.

6 pages, 3 plate(s)

Wanigan, The (Pub. No. 5740)

LOA 15', BEAM 63"

by Weston Farmer

As old as boating in America is the garvey design. It’s no wonder. These shoal-draft work horses combine super-simplicity with rugged carrying ability

This utility garvey was designed to fill a need for a simple work scow anyone can build to use in a summer camp. You can haul rocks with her, fish out of her, beach her easily. The garvey is a gussied-up scow. The name is a local one, in use on the Jersey marsh reaches, where the water is thin, money sometimes thinner, and where the scow type of hull has for generations blossomed forth as the “garvey”—plebeian, often homely, always plain, but what a work horse! But even in this simple design there were some problems. I knew she’d have to be trailable, whereas the true garvey is heavy. She’d have to be fine-lined enough to move with from 3 to 7 hp kickers, and she’d have to have the carrying power of a north woods wanigan—a lumberjack’s store boat—to lug the camping stuff Joe Doakes would. How to meet these conificting requirements may not loom large now, but they did at first. I was sitting on a cedar stump in my yard after supper, when the answer came to me. There, before me, bottom up on the muskeg, was a boat I have loved for 46 years—Badger. Badger had the feel I wanted this new garvey to have. Here was a boat sized by some ancient master in the old Toppan Dory shops. I’d cruised her into every pothole from Duluth to Rossport, and loved her. Notwithstanding some purely dory traits, such as crankiness until loaded, she has given more pleasure to several owners than any other boat I can recall offhand.

9 pages, 3 plate(s)

Lark, The (Pub. No. 5812)

by William Dickey

A particularly shapely plywood utility runabout.

Chemical research, while usually not associated with boats or boat building, has made possible the construction of the boat presented herewith. In the construction of this boat, a special waterproof plywood has been used for planking, decking and for the transverse frames. This material is a rather recent development of the lumber industry and offers to the boat builder a new material with which to experiment and to utilize in various forms of work. This waterproof plywood must not be confused with the ordinary varieties of plywood on the market. The ordinary plywood is made with a glue which when subjected to extreme moisture conditions, as encountered in a boat, will let go and cause the plywood to come apart. The waterproof variety of plywood is bonded with a special adhesive which is impervious to water and can safely be used in boat construction. This waterproof plywood has been used in the construction of the original “Lark” and proves very satisfactory. The “Lark” is a general purpose utility boat having a tendency towards higher speeds. She is light in weight, due to the plywood construction, and of such form that she planes nicely with a motor of approximately 10 h.p. Speeds of from fifteen to twentyfive m.p.h should be obtained with the average outboard motor. “The “Lark” handles excellently in calm water and will stand a moderate amount of hard driving in heavy water, although she is not particularly designed or suited for rough water.

12 pages, 3 plate(s)

Viking--A 12' 6" Plywood Uitlity Boat, The (Pub. No. 5815)

by Wm. Jackson

Viking is a utility or general purpose boat designed to embrace most every use yo which a small boat may be placed and perform each well.

Although short in over all length, the hull is roomy and light enough in weight to be carried atop an auto or trailer if more desirable. Due to the efficient underwater line, rowing is effortless and small outboard motors from 1 to 6-H.P. will propel this craft further and faster with less gas. It is easily adapted to a small sail boat. With the hull partially decked over with plywood, center board, rudder and sail rig attached “Viking” will sail to windward in choppy or smooth waters at a surprising speed. and with all of these uses remain stable and seawworthy upon any waters a small craft of these dimensions is allowable. Waterproof plywood is used for planking and not only produces a light weight craft, and one that will remain leakproof under a wide variety of conditions, but the use of this material eliminates labor and simplifies construction. The completed weight of “Viking” will approximate 150 pounds. Dimensions are snch to accommodate the greatest number of passengers in safety and comfort-—in short the ideal all purpose boat.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Susan (Pub. No. 7802)

by Robert M. Steward

This easily propelled 11-ft. flat-bottom rowboat requires little boat building know-how to construct.

2 page(s)

Combination Rowing, Sailing and Outboard Boat (Pub. No. 7804)

Designed by F.W. Goeller

Here is a handsome, heavy duty service boat that, properly built, will give years of service, and is well adapted to rowing, sailing or outboard use. She will take the largest outboards one would care to handle over her stern and she is designed not to squat at the stern. She will carry a big load and is not light. She is a heavy boat, built with all the trimmings that used to be seen in the old-time heavy yacht gigs.

3 page(s)

Whaleboat (Lines Only) (Pub. No. 7805)

Lines taken off by William H. Hand, Jr.

The New Bedford Whaleboat, in her time launched on all the oceans of the world, probably shows the maximum development reached in building small boats that were to be propelled by oars or sails. The men who manned them were interested in two things besides the first condition of seaworthiness: speed and silence. Lightness of construction was a prime factor in these craft. They were maneuvered entirely by manpower, lowered in the falls and hoisted again without the aid of such modern gear as power winches and the quick response needed during an attack could not be had in a heavy boat. The 28-footer shown in the accompanying lines weighed not much over 1,000 pounds.

1 page(s)

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