A 25' 8 1/2" Flat-Bottom Cruiser
By William & John Atkin
A Little Cruiser of Great Worth
This month we have the design of an inexpensive, easy-to-build and worthwhile cruising boat. The design was made to fill the requirements of hundreds of amateur boatbuilders, builders who have the ability to work with their hands (and their heads), but do not feel competent to build a hull of round or V-bottom type. For this great segment of boating folks, we, John and I, have prepared the plans of the very shipshape-looking, flat-bottom cruiser, Esther. We have always liked flat-bottomed boats and believe they, if properly designed, are just as able, comfortable and fast as any other model. And, most certainly, an easy and inexpensive boat to build or have built. Over many years of time we have designed scores of boats of this character and have yet to get anything but very favorable reports concerning them; which is a happy circumstance for the owners and us. I have always felt there is a lot to be said for flat-bottomed boats -- and there is.
The arrangement of the deck and above-water profile of design number 758 shows a low trunk cabin with its sides extending aft to form coamings for the cockpit. There is a 14-inch wide deck outside the house sides and coamings ; a feature which should be part of the design of every small motorboat. The doghouse, mast and steadying sail give the boat the character of the sea; a practical departure from the design of most pleasure-boat designs, and, by the way, a most valuable one. In a beam or quartering sea the small sail provides a steadying device, prevents excessive rolling of the cruiser, and dampens violent motion; one might call the sail nature's gyroscope. The doghouse's after bulkhead offers protection from wind and spray to anyone in the fore end of the cockpit. And below decks gives 5 feet 10 inches of standing room in the galley and head. The headroom in the sleeping part of the cabin is 4 feet 8 inches. All of which is a lot in so shallow a hull. The cockpit is self draining. There is a seat across its after end and the engine box at its forward end. As mentioned above, the galley is in the doghouse. It is fitted with a two-burner alcohol stove, icebox, built-in sink, locker and shelves for dishes, etc., and an ample hanging locker. The pump water closet is in this part of the cabin installation. The sleeping part of the interior contains a wide single bunk. This is 6 feet 2 1/2 inches long and has ample breadth for two average-size persons.
The new design shows a boat 25 feet 8 1/2 inches over all; 24 feet on the waterline; 8 feet 3 inches in breadth; and 1 foot 9 1/2 inches draft. The freeboard at the stem is 3 feet 10 1/4 inches; the least freeboard, 2 feet 5 1/4 inches; and at the stern 2 feet 6 3/4 inches. The forward topside sections show both flare and flam while those abaft station 6 are straight. The bottom sections, of course, are all straight. The forebody part of the bottom pinches in rather more than usually associated with this form of hull thus contributing to the ability of the boat in rough water. The afterbody is widest at station 8 and abaft this point is tucked in. The result is excellent balance and easy lines; slowed down, or at top speed. A long, straight skeg extends from the heel of the stem to a point close to station 11 giving protection to the propeller, shaft and rudder. Where a boat is to be used in water where shoals abound this feature is more than worth while.
The little ship, Esther, should not be over powered; the latter is a fault too many cruisers have. The plans show a four-cylinder Series 30 Scripps engine, an excellent piece of marine machinery. The cylinder displacement is 134 cubic inches. Turning at 3000 rpm this model will develop 48 hp, and the speed of the new boat will be a good 18 miles an hour. Most of the marine engine manufacturers produce a motor of about this size and type so if you prefer a Red Wing, Universal, Palmer, Gray, Lathrop, or some other power plant of comparable weight and power the new cruiser, with any one of these, will prove satisfactory in its performance.
Plans for Esther are $65
Study Plans are available for $20
(Refunded when full plans are purchased)
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