I was up on the White River trout fishing last Saturday and
came across an interesting boat design. The boat caught my attention
when I noticed how easy the little 9.9 outboard moved it against
the river current. At a glance it appeared to be just another
boxy jon boat (although longer and narrower than you usually
see) but, after a little study I realized this was no "box"
at all and certainly not something "off the shelf".
I nearly always carry a camera on outings - "nearly"
being the key word! You know I am actively gathering information
for the "skiff" I want to carry on Tentboat and this
boat was a virtual floating laboratory! Since the owner looked
like he was done for the day, I asked if I could look the boat
over - maybe take some measurements. He said, "Be my guest."
So, while he cleaned his catch I went back to
the car where I just happened to have a tape measure and notebook
pad and in about ten minutes had recorded about everything I
needed to know about the design elements. Unfortunately, I was
so wrapped up in what I was doing I failed to ask about the
boat's history! But, I would guess it was a home made fiberglass
hull - at least twenty years old.
Attached is the data I recorded. If anyone wants
to put it into a boat design format - "be my guest"
(send me a copy!). You will notice she is long - nearly twenty
feet, making it possible for her to achieve a good pace with
a small outboard. With so much flare I did not realize she was
so narrow until I started taking measurements - at the waterline
she is 31" at the transom, 41" amidships, and 29"
at the bow. Note the bottom is not a rectangle - narrows at
both ends. While measuring I also noted lots of fore and aft
rocker (5" aft, 7" fwd) - this would help such a long
boat stay nimble in the currents.
There were two seat mounts amidships - not sure,
but they appeared to be glassed over six gallon plastic buckets!
I saw three 1"x3" stringers equally spaced across
the bottom and running the length of the hull. Inwales and gunwales
stiffened the shear. There were 16' benches (thwarts?) at each
end - the aft bench had a seat for operating the boat. When
I asked, the owner confirmed the center "bench" (which
was 20" wide) contained flotation and a small simple livewell
to keep fish fresh. The outboard was mounted on what looked
like a pine 2"x10" board that was offset and reached
5 inches above the transom. The motor offset lets the operator
and motor counterbalance each other and makes operation much
more comfortable than with a center mounted motor.
Of course this boat should only be used in protected
rivers where there will not be high winds or waves - but for
its purpose I have seen few better.