Able Mabel
A 25' 3" V-Bottom Rescue Runabout
By William Atkin
A Seaworthy Rescue Craft
Here are designs of a little boat that has the ability to jog along at 18 to 20 m.p.h. in really rough water without being too uncomfortable about this kind of business. And by the same token here is a little boat that can go out and come back with safety from any action of the coastal seas she is likely to encounter on urgent voyages of mercy and rescue. The design is based on perhaps fifty or more small runabouts which I have designed and which have been built during the past 35 years. Nothing speculative about the design or the performance. She is a plain little boat with the plain and rugged name of Able Mabel, being just that and with a little to spare.

Able Mabel is 25 feet 3 inches over all; 25 feet on the water line; 6 feet 4 inches in breadth; and draws 1 foot 4 1/2 inches of water at rest -- under way about 2 feet at top speed. Suitable lifting eyes are fitted forward and aft and the whole hull designed for hard use in rough water and rough places where repairs are not easily available. There is no superfluous equipment carried, the intent being to have a simple and nearly fool-proof unit.

The arrangement shows a forward and after cockpit with a motor house amidship. Able Mable has a watertight compartment both forward and aft. These are ample to keep the boat afloat if they are not punctured. In addition to this safety precaution both the cockpits are of self-bailing type. The forward cockpit is fitted with an athwartship seat set well down in the hull thus giving a nice sense of security, most of the helmsman's body being below the tops of the coamings. Side lever steerer is located at the port side with the usual spark, throttle and clutch controls handily by. The after cockpit is 7 feet 8 inches long and wide enough to accommodate two stretchers as shown. Then there is a little quarter seat for the representative of the apothecary department. The after cockpit has an old-fashioned melon type spray hood. I know of nothing that is better than a hood of this kind for small craft. Easily folded when not in use, cheap, and easy to fit and install.

The lines show a V-bottom model having straight sections both above and below the chines. There is a generous deadrise which contributes to kindliness in jumping into a head sea and which eases the motion in other ways. The freeboard is high, especially at the stern, a feature I have found to be highly desirable from a point of seaworthiness. The balance of the hull sectionally is very even. The weights are balanced, all of which contribute to the excellent behavior of the boat under way. The keel extends practically the full length of the bottom. This will be especially appreciated in running off the wind or slicing diagonally across a following sea. And it is better construction than the more usual bent keel with propeller and shafting hanging on a metal strut. No damage will result from grounding with a keel and deadwood of this type. It is also stronger and much cheaper to produce. The topsides flare for the entire length; this contributes to both dryness and stability. While being handsome there is nothing worse from standpoint of stability under way in rough water than sides that tumble home, especially in the after section. The rudder is under the stern and of generous area. The forefoot is cut away rather more than is customary in runabout types. This helps a lot in making quick turns, and prevents the bow from griping when running down the wind.

Designed for a top speed of 20 m.p.h. with modest power Able Mabel will be reliable and sure of herself under any and all circumstances. I would use for power a Red Wing 25-45 four-cylinder Arrowhead motor; this has a cylinder displacement of 186 cubic inches and should operate at about 1800 r.p.m. Any motors of similar power capacity will give equal results.

Plans for Able Mabel are $100




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