A Shallow Draft Utility Skiff

Where water is very shallow one requires a very shallow draft motor boat; but a very shallow draft boat would be a poor thing indeed if it did not have ability to proceed about its business in very rough water. There are always rough places to cross, and suppose the wind pipes up and a snug anchorage lies a matter of, let's say, twenty miles away? Then what? It is then high time to seriously consider the building of an open shallow draft boat like Nibble.

The design of Nibble is a recent development of a long line of motor boats which are unusual in several respects, not least of which are the double-ended flat bottom straight keel, the chines of the typical V bottom hull, the positive V sections below the chines in the forward sections, and the negative V sections abaft the middle of the boat. Nibble is not in the usual sense a tunnel sterned boat; the entire after body is the tunnel, or rather twin tunnels, through which the water is drawn to the propeller. The hull above the water line is in all respects like ordinary boats; flare and flam forward with slight tumble-home in the sections aft.

I have found, and many owners of boats of this kind have found, that this particular model is very much at home in rough water. After all in many essentials, the model is the model of the Seabright skiff, a type of hull famous for its seagoing ability, safety, speed, and comfort in any kind of weather or water. With the exception of deep draft auxiliaries, small boats after the manner of Nibble are the only ones in which it is possible to install a motor with little, if any, shaft angle. And for the motor this means the best possible distribution of gases in the inlet manifold, the most even flow of cooling water in the cylinder jackets, and the perfect distribution of oil to the bearings, pistons, etcetera. Then, too, the efficiency of the propeller is increased, to say nothing of lessened vibration and cavitation. Therefore with less effort boats of this kind will give the utmost in speed for any given motor installed.

The plans of Nibble show a wholesome appearing open boat the over all length of which is 17 feet 10 inches; the water line length, 17 feet; the breadth, 6 feet; and the draft under the rudder shoe, 13 1/2 inches. The freeboard at the bow is, 2 feet 9 inches, the least freeboard, I foot 8 3/4 inches, and the freeboard at the stern, 1 foot 11 inches. Despite the modest over all dimensions she is a very big little boat. The motor shown in the plans is a four cylinder unit of approximately 133 cubic inch cylinder displacement. The power should be about 35 h.p. with the motor turning 2,000 turns per minute. The weight should not exceed 500 pounds. If the boat is built very close to the form and structure shown on the plans the speed will be something in excess of 18.5 miles an hour.

I know of no more suitable craft for fishing in shallow water, coasting along in a wholesome sea, breasting the current of a strong river current, skirting the shore line of a lake, or for camping and general use, than Nibble or one of her smaller or larger sisters.