A 44' Motor Houseboat
By William Atkin
|A Scow Houseboat|
|An unusual design for a houseboat with an abundance of room is this one, which is for a boat of the scow type, designed to be sufficiently mobile to allow it freedom of motion, and still not be overburdened with power plant to such an extent as to make the machinery an encumbrance on other more desirable space. This boat In her 44 feet of length and 14 feet of beam provides as much accommodation and comfort as will be found in many a large summer bungalow. It has the additional advantage of being able to float about, and change its location at will, so that the most agreeable surroundings and the most desirable waters can always be selected by the fortunate owner.|
Many readers have asked for the publication of plans for a house boat; not the type which is associated with a cruise in Southern Waters ; but just a big, plain, square ended craft with a lot of deck space and plenty of room below for the living quarters. The wishes of these readers have been gratified in the design of Slopoke. The name will fit well, for if she isn't anything else she will be slow. One cannot expect speed and comfort to be gathered together in one boat; but on the other hand she will move along in still water and this will add much charm to living afloat for the summer. A motor of approximately 15 h.p. and turning at 450 to 500 r.p.m. is the best type machine to use in a craft of this description, for it will handle a large diameter propeller and the latter will be necessary. The form of the stern is not conducive to speed and one cannot expect over 4 1/2 miles an hour. There would be very little gained by turning the propeller in a tunnel and so it seemed best to keep the hull in the simplest form possible. Slopoke is 44 feet in length, 14 feet in breadth and draws 2 feet 2 inches. She is a square ended and parellel sided scow not difficult to build and should be quite within the capability of a first class house carpenter.
The cabin plan shows, a lot of room; there is a separate motor compartment and in this there is full headroom for a length of 3 feet 1 inch. The flywheel of the motor protrudes from under the after deck just far enough for convenient starting. There will be room on the bulkhead above for switch board, fire extinguishers, etc. Under the deck to port is an ideal place for the Homelite electric plant with its batteries. Then there is also room here for two 110 gallon gasoline tanks which should be ample for the limited amount of cruising a vessel of this kind is likely to make. The motor room can also serve for a sleeping place for a paid hand and with this in view, install a toilet under the bunk as shown. In addition to this there should be a folding basin and a small work bench; the latter arranged to fold against the bulkhead. Just forward of the starboard, tank there will be a locker for lights, spare gear, paints, etc.
The main cabin will have 6 feet 6 inches headroom, enough for anyone making a living outside of a side show. There will be two built-in bunks which in the day will be used as sofas. The dining table is designed to hinge on the bulkhead and can thus be pushed up out of the way when not in use. A large hanging locker stands near the companion stairs for the accommodation of coats and wraps. A built in buffet, and dresser complete the furnishings of this compartment.
The galley is a room 6 feet long by 4 feet 6 inches wide and has the usual equipment. There is nice. room for everything including a No. 112 Shipmate range. And by the way if you expect to live on a boat for weeks at a time a coal stove is a most valuable asset. In damp weather it keeps things dry, in cold weather the cabin is warm and snug, and if it is very hot charcoal can be burned which makes a quick hot flame which soon dies out; and taken all in all, there is not a piece of equipment more vital to the comfort of the folks aboard than a Shipmate coal range. The ice box is located under the forward deck and has hatch above for replenishing ice. This saves lugging the drippy stuff through the cabin and getting on the carpet as well as the nerves of the housewife aboard.
There is a double stateroom to starboard with dresser and closet; the latter having a window of its own. Of course there is a lot of room under the bunks for clothes and it would be well to have drawers for these things rather than to be forever shifting cushions and things to reach whatever happens to be needed at the time.
It seems that a boat of this kind, even without a motor, would be a fine habitation for the long months of summer. With a tender having power, supplies can he quickly brought off, and one has the means of getting about easily and. in a most delightful way. There are thousands of sheltered waterways where Slopoke will lay as quietly as a cottage ashore, and where one can be away from mosquitoes, flies and the noises of the village and roads.
|Plans for Slopoke are $150|
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