A 19' 2" Welded Iron Utility
By William & John Atkin
A Welded Iron Utility Boat
With few exceptions small boats always have been built in this country from wood; wood being a lovely material to work with, plentiful, long lived, strong, and throughly tested for hundreds of years as a boat building material. We all, I think, like the things we are used to. Wood to us boat-minded people symbolizes buoyant little ships that float lighty and bobble gayly in the soft short seas of summer days. Wood is the material that has kept us afloat for many, many generations. We have learned to build beautiful boats from it and have come to love these; learned to love and respect the white cedar, teak, yellow pine, strong white oak, mahogany, fir, butter nut, white pine, and hackmatack from which we build boats. And, withal, have mastered the technique of building with wood. On the other hand there are hordes of newcomers to the pastime of boating who live for the future, and to these metals and plastics are handmaidens that promise something better than the works of yesterday's masters. To these I address Ironsides, a welded galvanized iron utility boat. This late member of MoToR BoatinG's squadron of useful and practical boats has an over all length of 19 feet 2 inches; water line length or 18 feet; breadth, 5 feet 8 inches; and draft, 1 foot 4 inches.

The arrangement plan shows the motor under a housing which extends the full width of the cockpit. Forward of this there is a wide seat having comfortable room for three; a gasoline tank is fitted beneath the seat. Steering is accomplished by a side lever, the throttle and reverse controls being close at hand. The after cockpit contains a wide seat under which there is a locker. It may be well to mention here that the floor timbers, motor beds, motor housing, floor beams, floor boards, cockpit seats, lazy backs, coamings, and sheer moulding will be made from wood.

I should use a four cylinder motor having a cylinder displacement of 99 cubic inches; a Universal Flexi-Four is shown on the plans; at 2,200 r.p.m. this motor will develop 26 horse power. The speed of Ironsides with this installation will be 15 miles an hour. There is ample room under the motor housing to fit a starting battery, oil tins, tools, etc.

A small boat built from iron or steel like Ironsides, has these very good features: the hull will cost much less than a wooden hull; it will be stronger than a wooden hull of equal weight; it will stand more hard use than a wooden hull; it will not be eaten by marine borers, nor will it develop any kind of rot; it will not leak if properly built in the first place nor will drying out in the sun and wind open seams and create leaks. A welded iron or steel hull can be built more cheaply than one of wood because there are fewer parts to handle and the skin (plating) is of one texture and comes in large pieces. If you will tabulate the separate pieces that go into a 19-foot long by 5-foot 8 inch wide wooden motor boat like Ironsides they will add up to approximately 3,000 pieces without counting the boat plugs which fill the countersinks over the heads of the fastenings; these plugs will increase the number of separate pieces to something above 4,000. Tabulating the parts for a welded iron or steel hull of the same size it will be learned that fewer than 80 pieces will make up the bill of materials. It must be remembered, though, that these figures concern only the hull and deck with bulkheads, shaft tube, strut, rudder, etc. The interior fittings, motor installation, deck fittings, painting, fuel tanks, etc. will be equal for both kinds of construction.
Plans for Ironsides are $100




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