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Re: Small Boat Design Concept...

Hello Falk,

Above is a skiff that has been seen a few times on this message board… Here, however is a couple of interior shots of this highly modified small Pacific City Dory. LOA 15’ 2”, Max. Beam at Sheer 6’ 4”, Max Beam at Bottom 5’ 4”, Hull Depth 22”

Back in the mid ‘80’s I too was not enamored with small open boats use of space and seating arrangements. It seemed that the athwart ships seats were to high in relation to the hull depth (creating a higher than necessary center of gravity). These seats offered no back support and most tin or ‘glass boats offered no other ergonomic amenities as to how the boat might be used. Just a shell shaped like a boat to keep the water out.

Here we see some interesting ‘improvements’. The T-section in the middle of the boat allows a number of things to happen at once (besides acting as an integral support – stiffener- to sides and bottom – note no frames). The middle section stretching forward of the motor well is quite a bit higher than the forward facing back supported front seat to allow the skipper an over the passenger view of the seaway. A nice swivel seat is mounted here slightly off set to Starboard to allow tiller steering and throttle control of the outboard with the left hand. This section going forward creates a long covered storage box that keeps weights to the center of the boat fore and aft (dories behave best when weights are ‘centered’). The gas tank, 2-cycle oil, 2 fenders, 2 paddles, various lines, spare parts, tools, fishing gear and fire extinguisher are stored here. This keeps the remaining bottom of the boat –- 22” each side to the chine and over 6’ fore and aft -- free and clear of all bits and pieces, allowing a backpack style air mattress to be placed with a sleeping bag providing occasional overnight capacity.

The slightly above sheer height centered Bridge Deck has storage shelves under to provide an almost dry space for hand held radio, GPS, charts, flares, binoculars, horn and all manner of goods to aid the skipper. The Bridge Deck itself is curved and scuppered to the underside of the gunwale to allow water runoff and with a cutting board fish can be cleaned with out getting the inside of the skiff all gooed-up. The stem to stern gunwale is shaped to ‘fit the hand’ providing a secure grip to the forward passengers when traveling at speed or in a rough sea. This also allows the skiff to be man handled, moving on the long round bumpers, up or down a beach at the campsite.

Note that under the forward passenger seat is more storage. The bow deck is built below the sheer of the boat and with a 2” aft lip. This deck is also scuppered and a crab pot or two can be retrieved, then rebaited, without getting the inside bottom to the boat wet. The space below the bow deck stores the PFDs.

We have added a Bimini top with removable windshield since these photos were taken and now have the ability to stay dry, keep sun exposure down and lower wind fatigue when moving out at higher speed. The outside bottom is also ‘trick’ but we will save that for another day...

Falk, sure would like to see the results of your research and design project. Well thought out small boats – power or sail -- are a rarity indeed.

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