A Class AU Utility Racer

THOSE fellows who are fortunate enough to have time to spare these winter evenings and the necessary funds to build Lipperty Lip are, to my, way of thinking, going to have a whale of a lot of fun.

This little boat was drawn in strict accordance with the rules governing the racing of stock utility outboards. And these rules are simple and plainly written for the most part. They are readily available from the office of the American Power Boat Association. The rules cover all phases of the sport including membership qualifications, the assigning of racing numbers, types of motors, permissible hull forms and other pertinent information.

Quite frankly I have not followed very closely the progress of the outboard utility program. From its name, and from odds and ends I've read and heard, it originated with the idea of racing strictly stock utility boats. The word utility being defined by Mr. Webster as "quality or state of being useful: usefulness; profitableness to some desired end; as the utility of manures upon the land, etcetera."

My own definition, and I feel the generally accepted definition, of utility boat would be one designed and built for useful purposes in relative comfort. The old Dodge utility boat, for example, was a wholesome open boat for general chores around the water. Quite apart from the fast runabouts or other "racing" boats.

I strongly feel the fathers of the utility outboard program had in mind boats of this kind when they inaugurated the class competition a few years ago and feel this could easily be substantiated if I had time to investigate the thing. From its name, utility outboards, I picture boats of the nature of Mr. Lyman's excellent models or like the Miller's utility hulls and the Barbour boats. Boats that you would feel relatively secure in taking sister Sue and brother Jimmy off the Point for an afternoon's fishing -- or a comfortable run down the river and back of an evening with the "missus" aboard. Utility in the generally accepted manner.

Quite evidently some folks ideas of utility boats have wandered far afield. But definitely! I scouted back through issues of MoToR BoatinG in an effort to size up the situation after Mr. Chapman suggested my preparing plans for a class AU stock utility. I found my definition of utility needed considerable revision.

From the results of the various open races and marathons, and from the types of boats that won leading regattas I could see no point in preparing a design of a true utility boat of more or less high freeboard, comfortable seats for three or four people, stability, dryness and so forth, with seats for the helmsman, for Mommy, Jimmy and sister Sue. In the kind of boats produced by the rules they simply must be left ashore and Pop dash down stream in his "utility" hull, kneeling on a sponge rubber pad and risking a thorough dunking in the process.

I felt there was no sense in getting together a design of a boat to compete with the present day boats and make it any sort of genuine utility boat. Just follow the rules and see what can be developed in the way of the boat creating the least possible resistance at the highest possible speed. I was not pleased with the prospects.

But after getting along with the design work I began to enter wholeheartedly into the spirit of the thing -- and that is why I feel the fellows who are fortunate enough to be able to build the "skimming dish" called a "utility" boat shown on these pages are going to have a lot of good fun.

Mind you now, I am going on record as strongly advising against taking folks off fishing aboard Lipperty Lip. She will comply with the present rules in connection with "circling the course at a fair speed with the required number of people aboard." As a matter of fact for the purpose for which she was designed I feel she will be a particularly dry and able little boat. She has ample flare forward and will, I know, behave herself -- as a stock "utility racing boat of class AU specifications" but NOT as a utility boat to use for fishing, camping, and so on. I trust that is clear.

The name, Shipmates (and that ought to ring a familiar bell in the minds of the old and regular readers of MoToR BoatinG and my father's articles) the name is borrowed from the activities of a well known creature of the Green Forest called Peter Rabbit by his creator Thornton W. Burgess. Mr. Burgess' Nature Stories are absorbed every night by me for the wonderful wisdom they contain. Peter Rabbit went "lipperty lip" down the well worn path of the old Briar Patch -- and you know how fast that is! So if our little outboard boat can manage to go lipperty lip around her racing course she may stand a good chance of winning the silver.

The little racer is 11 feet 5/8 inches long over all and 8 feet 6 inches on her designed water line at rest. She has a breadth of 4 feet 4 inches and draws but 2 inches of water. Her lines, showing a plain straightforward boat, must he laid down full size prior to making up the single sawn frame, the watertight bulkheads and so forth. This is to assure the fairness of the lines drawing and to assist in securing accurate measurements for all the components.