A 16' Metal Utility
By William Atkin
A Metal Utility Boat
Hardshell will prove to be a very useful and safe kind of small boat; good in rough water, and reasonably fast with modest power. She will be no heavier than a wooden boat of equally strong construction; and materials required for building the hull are much cheaper than for a wooden boat. Hardshell is 16 feet over all; 15 feet 3 inches on the water line; 5 feet 3 inches in breadth; and 1 foot 3 inches draft. The freeboard at the bow is 2 feet, and at the stern 1 foot 9 1/2 inches. She is intended to be welded, not riveted together. Given reasonable care the life of a steel or iron hull will be long. I am reminded of this fact often, having advised one of my friends not to spend much money on the conversion of an old iron life boat -- vintage first World War. That life boat is still going strong.
The arrangement shows the motor under a housing which extends from the side of the hull to the passageway between the forward and after seats. There will be plenty of room under the housing for the muffler, storage battery, oil tins, and tools. The forward seat carries a post for the horizontal steering wheel; this type gives better room than the automobile type steerer and has certain advantages for the amateur builder because all the parts can be made in the average small boat building shop. The cockpit is nearly 9 feet long and 4 feet 6 inches wide; the seats are well down in the boat giving the sense of being in the boat, not on it. The boat under way will not stand on her stern, and even at top speed the occupants of the boat can see ahead without standing up or sitting on the motor house. Hardshell is a little boat and I would say that four aboard are enough.
Hardshell is of V-bottom model, having straight sections above and below the corner of the chines. This is the simplest and most practical form for metal construction for you must remember that hollow and curved sections present double curvature which is a very difficult problem to solve using sheet metal for planking or, to be more exact, plating.
The motor should be of the four cylinder type like the Universal Utility Four which has a cylinder displacement of 95 cubic inches. The 25 h.p. at 2500 r.p.m. Gray Sea Scout, Kermath Sea Cub, Red Wing Arrowhead Junior, and others will each fill the requirements here. The speed of the boat with this will be very close to 19.5 miles an hour.
Plans for Hardshell are $50
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