Designing Miss Lavi

The New River runs from the central lowland plains of Belize North to Chetumal Bay. The gradient is very, very low. During the rainy season and floods, the river rises but doesn’t pick up much velocity. This influences the design a little since there’s no guesswork about the contribution current makes to the over the ground speed of the boat. Length is limited by the (only)rule(s), 19’. Beam (31”) was arrived at as a compromise between all out racing and the other intended use as a general expedition vacation cruiser for yours truly and others over the years. The other influence the character of the river had was to let me keep the forefoot buried in the water, no concern for shoal, rocky portages. That way would be easy to get the prismatic coefficient (P.C) Mitchlett/Godzilla recommended and there would be this really neat little curl of water rolling up along the plumb stem like an early destroyer.

This was the first boat I had designed using Mitchlett/Godzilla (shareware for the truly nautically obsessed). Safari type boats that are not length limited tend towards being long enough to have a P.C. of about 0.5 keeping wave drag at a minimum and paying the price in extra wetted surface. Miss Lavi, being limited to 19’ LOA needed a P.C. of about 0.54 according to the optimization routine in Godzilla.

Overall the design has worked out very well, the only real weakness being in the motor department.