Designs by Weston Farmer and Howard I Chapelle Commentary by Mike OBrien

Post-World War II America flaunted excess. Aggressively ugly automobiles serviced the ill-conceived tract houses that sprouted around nearly every city. As their contribution to this scene, boat designers — or at least boat promoters — contrived short, fat, and high plywood boxes that they marketed as "outboard cruisers." These monstrosities ran at high speeds only on the advertising pages of boating periodicals. In real life they were slowed by any sea larger than a ripple and by totally unreasonable fuel costs — a considerable achievement in those days of 23-cents-per-gallon gasoline.

Periodical advertising notwithstanding, not all naval architects lost their bearings. Fortunately for those of us who became posterity, the masters of the craft sailed through this period unaffected. Here's a quartet of clean-lined outboard cruisers that enjoyed no great popularity when introduced in the 1950s. Now, perhaps, we're ready for them.

Writing in From My Old Boatshop (Boat House Portland, Oregon, 1996), Weston Farmer referred to Trumpet as "the keystone piece in my ganglia of narrative design hooks " Clearly, he considered her to be one of his most significant efforts, and her businesslike lapstrake hull does yield some surprises. From the turn of her bilge to the keel, her bottom is out-lapped (reversed lapstrake). Farmer saw this as a way of providing "peeler strips" — longitudinal steps or ventilators — for the out-flying water. Though not everyone would agree in detail, he considered their function identical to that of the longitudinal strakes Ray Hunt was using on his early deep-V hulls at about the same time. Citing work done by George Crouch 20 years earlier, Farmer took no credit for the idea.

Trumpet's keel appears to be deliberately hogged. Her designer explained that this helps produce "inherent fore-and-aft trim components" resulting in a boat that lifts at speed but never points her nose at the sky. Farmer was quick to point out that the bottom isn't hooked. Indeed, the buttock lines are quite straight. In recent years, others have applied similar reasoning, with mixed results. One school of thought holds that the improved performance is offset by more complicated construction, and that adjustable trim tabs achieve about the same results more easily — if somewhat less elegantly. As may be, every photo we've seen shows Trumpet running level and looking fine. She's no easy boat to build, but those who have put her together say the work is well spent.

un Dance floated off Farmer's drawing table a ^ few years before Trumpet. She's a straightforward K.J piece of hull design and construction, and her layout is full of clever ideas and common sense. Compared to a trunk cabin, her raised deck provides greater working space and strength at a lower cost. Making it tight would be no trouble at all, whereas Farmer allowed that "no living man has yet made a cabin trunk that won't eventually leak."

Because she has no main bulkhead, Sun Dance's interior lacks distinct boundaries. The cabin is open to the cockpit, and between them sits the steering station — Farmer jokingly called it a "semi-demi flying bridge." Whether we perceive the controls as being in the cabin

Four Classic Outboard Cruisers or out in the cockpit seems to depend upon our degree of anxiety at the moment. Having had several childhood adventures aboard a boat with a similar layout, I can tell you that as the evenings became dark and cold, the bridge seemed to move below as if by magic. When things got scary, the dry ride, perfect vision, and good trim allowed by this arrangement seemed incidental to the psychological comfort it provided.

We remember Howard I. Chapelle for impressive books in which he showed lines taken off native American watercraft. His original designs are more obscure. As you might suspect, most of his work was heavy with the tradition and details of the boats he had measured while studying working watercraft. The two plans shown here display the Chesapeake flavor that marked much of his personal output. They are likable, easily driven skiffs with strong personalities.

In an uncharacteristically romantic description, Chapelle referred to Waterman as being "intended for use in open waters where a small boat must meet both sea and wind." At first glance she appears to be a typical outboard-powered deadrise, but closer inspection reveals that she's really a modified sharpie. The dead-rise's deep, staved forefoot that would have made her softer and quieter in a chop was eliminated in the interest of easier construction. The designer meant that the bottom should be cross planked — "Chesapeake construction," he called it in the plans — but he showed optional longitudinal and plywood planking. For what it's worth, the traditional method, with its minimal transverse framing, creates a cleaner interior on paper and in fact.

Low and narrow by pleasure-boat standards, Waterman could earn her keep as a working skiff. When you're hauling several score crab pots over the side each day, an extra inch of freeboard is bad news. The cuddy certainly ought to be shortened if this boat is going to work for her living, but you might consider keeping the swinging "lift-top." It allows for useful headroom while at anchor and a low profile underway.

Hardly a new concept, this feature has been built into cruising canoes and other small boats for more than a century. The design details are well settled, and the system works — unlike some too-clever production "poptops."

/n drawing the last boat in this little fleet, Chapelle called upon his reservoir of grace and skill as a designer. Admittedly, he opted for the prosaic in labeling her an "18-foot Sharpie Outboard Motor Camp Skiff." She deserves better. This boat's perfect proportions reflect Chapelle's respect for her type. He often warned his readers that flat-bottomed craft might be easily built, but designing them properly requires experience.

Chapelle drew the Camp Skiff with a lift-top, and he included a companionway slide for unlimited headroom. Making use of her depth, he pampered the skiffs crew with raised berths. The motor gets equally good treatment, as it is camouflaged by its own house — also fitted with a lift-top. Twin skegs guard the lower unit, and the engine can tilt up into its well. On deck, the crew is protected by a deep cockpit, healthy coamings, and wide side decks ("washboards," if you're on the Chesapeake). A scuppered deck box just forward of the trunk holds ground tackle and its associated mess.

The 18-foot Sharpie Outboard Motor Camp Skiff would be much at home poking around somewhere miles back in an Eastern Shore salt marsh. Looking hard at her drawings, I can almost smell the dried grass and hear the redwings. She's a "right" boat — no doubt about it. If you build her, give her a proper name.

Plans for Trumpet and Sun Dance are available from Weston Farmer Associates, 18970Azure Rd., Wayzata, MN 55391.

Plans for Howard I. Chapelle's Camp Skiff are available from the Smithsonian Institution, Division of Transportation, NMAH 5010/MRC 628, Washington, DC 20560.

Particulars

Trumpet LOA 17'lV/i" Beam 6'6"

Trumpet demonstrates Western Farmer's ideas for a smooth-running outboard cruiser. The boat's owner reported that she lifted onto a level plane at about 9 knots and had a top speed of 25 knots when pushed by a 40-horsepower motor.

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Trumpet's bottom configuration produces level running at all speeds. Her lines drawings indicate the exposed face of the bilge strake, the lower edge of the topside outlap (T.O.), and the upper edge of the bottom outlap (B.O.).

This construction section shows Trumpet's conventional lapstrake topsides and out-lapped bottom. Her framing scheme, developed by Farmer and John Rollinson, was based on Art Doane's Hydrobout designs. The structure sacrifices simplicity in a search for rigidity.

\Four Classic Outboard Cruisers

Particulars

Sun Dance LOA Beam

Simple but refined, Sun Dance grew from Weston Farmer's 30 years of experience with similar hulls. A carefully planned layout provides comfort out of proportion to the boat's dimensions.

Simple but refined, Sun Dance grew from Weston Farmer's 30 years of experience with similar hulls. A carefully planned layout provides comfort out of proportion to the boat's dimensions.

Long Narrow Displacement Boat Plans

Particulars

LOA Beam

Based on the working skiffs of the upper Chesapeake, Howard Chapelle's Waterman could — with little alteration — earn her keep. Her straightforward deadrise construction is further simplified by a shallow forefoot. Chapelle predicted that this modified sharpie would make about 12 knots "with modified power."

Based on the working skiffs of the upper Chesapeake, Howard Chapelle's Waterman could — with little alteration — earn her keep. Her straightforward deadrise construction is further simplified by a shallow forefoot. Chapelle predicted that this modified sharpie would make about 12 knots "with modified power."

Particulars

Particulars

Llaut Plan Construcci
How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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