Heart's Desire
A 23' Flat-Bottom Cabin Utility
By William Atkin
An Inexpensive Day Cruiser
Here we have the nicest kind of little boat. Just the thing for the amateur fisherman; ideal for running the family down the lake for the dance, swell for day cruising; ample for folks who like messing around with a boat and who do not ask, or desire, all the fancy equipment some of us feel necessary for overnight cruising. Yes, a nice little boat. And inexpensive to build and operate. Heart's Desire is 23 feet long over all, 22 feet long on the water line, 6 feet 8 inches in breadth, and has a draft of 1 foot 10 inches. Her freeboard at the bow is 3 feet 5 inches, amidships 2 feet 1 1/2 inches, and at the stern, 2 feet 2 inches. She will be a boat that can be driven along without spray flying all over the cockpit and will be comfortable.

There is a big cockpit, 14 feet 11 inches from end to end. But only the forward end is covered. This provides a shelter 6 feet 6 inches long, and under this the headroom is 5 feet 2 inches; you just can't have standing headroom under a top in so small a boat as this. So what better than to leave the after end of the cockpit open? Here the tallest can stand. And it is an ideal arrangement for the fisherman. The open part of the cockpit is 8 feet 5 inches long. The best way to steer the boat is by side lever as Shown. This consists of a 14-inch tiller on the rudder post, tiller lines running around the cockpit through four single sheaves as shown; and the wooden lever. The foot of this is hinged at the floor under the port side seat. The tiller line attaches to the lever at a point slightly above the seat top. A brass guide will be required to support the upper end of the side lever. It is all so simple that it obviously belongs as part of the equipment of this poor man's boat, Heart's Desire.

I do not know of any model that can be built with less expenditure of time than a flat bottom boat. And by the same token this type will consume less material. Bear in mind, however, that there are flat bottom boats -- and flat bottom boats. During the last ten years or so I have designed several dozen boats of this simple nature. Some for sail; others for motor. At moderate speeds these craft have proved comfortable and able. The important features desirable are: as narrow a bottom as possible; generous flare to the topsides; and lightness. Build yourself a heavy slabsided flat bottomed boai and you will have a tub; stick to the plans of Heart's Desire and you will find her very much a lady.

Remember, shipmates, this Heart's Desire is not a fast boat. She is moderately powered and designed for comfort and economy rather than speed. Install a small motor like the new two cylinder 6-8 h.p. Universal, a Kermath of like size, a Palmer, or some other motor of approximately similar power and weight. Please don't write in asking "How about a six cylinder 60-70 marine motor?" Too much power, shipmates, too much power. Stick to the little motors recommended. Your way will be filled with comfort then. Don't expect anything over 8 miles an hour; that's the plugging kind of speed that brings solace to the heart, keeps money in the pocket, and keeps yachtsmen in the game.
Plans for Heart's Desire are $65
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