The Latest

–by Glen L. Witt

We’ve always been mystified by large people, six foot plus and more than 250 lbs. who wish to build the smallest boat. Or the person who wishes to build a boat to carry himself, a passenger (both heavyweights) a dog, decoys, and probably several 12 packs in a boat of about 10′… and be capable of being out in four foot seas. Then there is the prospective builder who wants to build a small hydroplane, carry a driver, observer, and pull a skier. Ridiculous, but we are amazed at what people expect of a small boat.

When you contemplate building a small boat and you are edging into any of the above examples, investigate. The beam and length of the boat is in our online catalog.

Use a string and outline the size on the living room carpet or similar area. Get seated in the outline. Simulate the gear and passengers that may be aboard. Be practical. Do you really want to be bouncing across the water in a boat this size? Remember too, this boat is not on that level, flat, non-moving carpet. You must get into this craft that is going to tip, possibly severely, when you get aboard and move about. Is the available space adequate for your needs?

Many would-be builders want to build a small boat and increase the horsepower we have listed. The power we give in most cases is conservative, but based on USCG requirements. In addition, you may not be able to get insurance if the boat is overpowered. Again, be practical. A larger motor weighs more and, if carried to the extreme, can be downright dangerous. It’s generally not the hull strength; a reasonable increase should not be structurally harmful. However, overpowering can cause capsizing or other dangerous handling conditions.

No we are not stating you must build a larger boat. We’re just saying realize the limitations. A slightly larger boat will not add appreciably to the cost. Time and difficulty in building changes little. In fact, a smaller boat usually has sharper bends, and springing in longitudinals may be more difficult.

To be honest, I like small boats. The feel of skimming over the water is exhilarating and fun. Sailing alone in a small sailboat with a brisk breeze is a challenge and the maneuverability is a joy. I like the plop plop of the oars or paddles as I skim through the water in a small boat in the early morning or at dusk. And I like to show my small boat transom to some guy in a multi-thousand dollar boat. When built and used for their purpose, small boats are all fun. But please don’t expect more than a small boat is capable of.

See you on the water in MY small boat!

Your Thoughts?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *