Rocking Chair
A 30' Outboard-Powered Houseboat
By William & John Atkin
Outboard-Powered Houseboat for Florida Waters
The profile and deck plan give a clear picture of the exterior arrangement of our latest houseboat. The forward and after decks are 5 feet 6 inches long by 8 feet 6 inches wide. The bulwarks, to the top of the rail caps, are 12 inches. Above these are galvanized iron rail stanchions rove with two lines of 3/8-inch diameter galvanized iron wire; a high wooden rail will obstruct the helmsman's vision. The water tanks will fill from the forward deck; the gasoline tanks from the after deck. And, Shipmates, notice carefully the scuppers both sides for leading off water (or spilled gasoline) from the decks. A boat of this size will require regulation navigation lights and equipment, and must be registered and numbered by the Coast Guard.

The motor should be of about 25 h.p. and will be mounted on the stern by a Savage outboard motor bracket, or one made of galvanized iron by the builder. Steering lines and motor controls must be brought forward to the wheel box, using the remote control devices supplied by the manufacturers of the outboard inotor selected for powering Rocking Chair. The interior is laid out for the comfort of two persons. There is over six feet of headroom throughout the cabinhouse, which, by the way, is 19 feet long. The forward four feet is taken up with the helmsman's department; two comfortable upholstered seats raised to proper height to give a clear view for the skipper and the mate. The steering wheel and motor controls are mounted on a wheel box; a spoked wheel is shown; but this may be replaced by the automobile type.

Abaft the wheel department come two full-size berths, 6 feet 3 inches long by 2 feet 9 inches wide, the tops not too high for comfortable sitting. There is a lot of room below the berths for stowage of tinned food, or for three separate drawers which might be used for clothes, bedding, etc. Speaking of stowage -- there is also room under the forward and after decks for much of the gear and supplies always associated with a boat of any type. About amidships comes the toilet room to port; a hanging locker to starboard. Both these spaces are 3 feet 5 inches long and 3 feet deep.

The aftermost end of the cabinhouse forms the galley, dining and living space. On the one hand a coal-burning range, sink, water pump, wash tray, ice box, and lockers. And above this 6-foot length of galley a handy shelf with proper rail to prevent things from rolling off. On the opposite hand there is an upholstered settee, one end of which forms the seat for the head of the wardroom. A drop-leaf table, fixed against moving, stands before the settee forming a cosy little spot for an evening at cards, at food, at drinks, or at just plain conversation. Perhaps for the aged remembrance; for the newlywed? -- well, it might be anticipation.
Rocking Chair has a square-ended, parallel-sided, scow-type hull of very simple form. The sides stand square to the bottom as well as the stem and stern. The bottom is straight for a length of 16 feet, the two ends sweeping upward in easy curves as indicated. The bottom, from bow to stern of the boat, is straight across. Therefore the hull, and for that matter the deckhouse, is one which can be built by anyone handy with carpenter's tools. Despite the hull's simplicity, it can be propelled up to speeds of 7 m.p.h. with reasonable power; above this speed the stern will settle badly. The breadth is somewhat on the narrow side for the conventional houseboat hull but, in consideration of the wish for maximum speed with a 25 h.p. outboard motor, the beam is kept to 9 feet. The length is 30 feet inside the guard rails or sheer mouldings; the waterline length is approximately 26 feet and the draft to the designed load waterline, 13 1/4 inches. I have figured that the boat will rest well above this waterline and this is a very important thing. All too soon boats of any kind accumulate an astonishing weight of soakage, interior furnishings and supplies. In a boat of this size and type the figure will run into tons. I would advise against altering the proportions and construction of Rocking Chair. She is our 723rd design and a great deal of thought and experience are behind the conception of this, shall I say it?, home of the aged, or inexpensive nest for the newlywed. For living comfortably aboard, more than two will be a crowd.
Plans for Rocking Chair are $85
Study Plans are available for $20
(Refunded when full plans are purchased)
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