A Flat-Bottom Shelter Cabin Utility

It is more fun to design some types of boats than others. The subject this month shows a little boat that was fun to design.

I have designed a great many flat-bottomed boats, large and small. The flat-bottomed hull form has many excellent features, not least of which is its simplicity. And, contrary to general opinion, a well designed skiff of this type is able, easy in rough water and fast with modest power. But, in connection with seaworthiness and speed, bear in mind that the heavy, beamy boat of this type is not the sort I am writing about. Excessive breadth in any motorboat should be avoided; in this matter it is better to lean toward the slimness of a tooth pick rather than the roundness of an apple. And always remember it is much easier to build a narrow hull than a wide one. By the same token the narrow one will require less lumber in its construction than the wide beamed type of boat.

With the hood or top up, a very cosy little cabin will be available. It will be noticed that there are two full-length bunks and an athwartship seat. Since tiller lines extend completely around the inside of the coamings the boat may be handled from the shelter of the khaki top. The sitting-up headroom under the top is 3 feet 6 inches; this from the athwartship seat and bunk tops.

Plans of Russell R. show a neatly turned skiff 21 feet 10 inches over all; 20 feet 6 inches on the water line; 5 feet 8 inches in breadth on deck and 8 inches draft to the bottom of the skeg. The propeller and protecting shoe of the outboard motor project 6 inches below the skeg; the total underway draft thus being 14 inches--little enough by any measure. The freeboard at the bow is 2 feet 10 1/2 inches, the least freeboard is 1 foot 7 inches; and the height at the stern, 1 foot 10 inches. Altogether, this latest baby of the family is a shapely little packet. She has ample topside flare and will be reasonably dry in rough water, more so than many of her larger sisters. And she will prove to have proper balance under good or bad weather conditions.

The outboard motor will be installed under the hatch in the afterdeck. My feeling is that a motor of about 12 h.p. is large enough for Russell R. The speed with this size unit will be a good 17 m.p.h. The motor will be installed in an open well. This, as shown on the construction plans, extends through the stern.

The side planking will be made of 5/8-inch thick white cedar. There will be five strakes each side with lapped seams; six if desired. The bottom planking will be made of 3/4-inch thick by about 4-inch wide white cedar, and will be laid athwartships.