Powerboats

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Introducing - Cooper Jr. (RYD-22.11)

This is Cooper Jr. and a typical example of RYD concepts. She's a 24' long, 8' wide cruiser, design for cold weather operation and can be done as a plywood over frame or taped seam build. Her pilothouse is fully enclosed, she has full standing headroom, even in the head. Her double wedge style hull will accept a wide range of power (50 to 250 HP) and handles varying sea states. The hull has a modest amount deadrise and a fairly fine entry, so she gets through chop well, planes off easily and is a stable platform. A great fishing boat or a fully equipped cruiser. The boom is more than just looks, it can lift a Harley into the cockpit.


A quick look at one of her frames shows she's simple, well built and easy to understand in regard to assembly. This particular frame is on the plywood over frames version obviously, but plan details are easy enough to see, right down to limber holes and fastener spacing. This one is just aft of a collision bulkhead.
Plans are inclusive and have tips and building tricks supplied, so there's no guessing. Most lumber and plywood are available from common sources. Seen here are frame pieces of 1x4's (20x100 mm) with plywood gussets holding things together. Pretty simple stuff. Glued and screwed, so it's tough.

   Her accommodations have full standing headroom, except in the V berth area, where most will prefer to lie down anyway. A stand up head, which is pretty rare on a boat of this size, can have a small shower pan installed as well. Storage is plentiful and on a cruiser this is mandatory.

Cooper Jr.'s general dimensions are:
LOD   24'          (7.3 m)
LWL   22' 11"    (7.06 m)
Beam   8' 2"       (1.24 m)
Draft    12"         (305 mm)
Displacement 4,627 lbs. (2,098.8 kg)
Hull weight 2,650 lbs.  (1,203.4)
Power  75 - 250 HP

   She call haul the mail with a big outboard (or twins), but she's really better suited to moderate speeds under 35 MPH. Her hull shape can pound if driven at much higher speeds, though in flat water, she's smooth as silk. Keeping here speed below this mark, is also much more fuel efficient too, besides boats shaped like this, run into a resistance wall and max out near 40 MPH (64 KPH), unless you have an atomic reactor powering her.

Performance expectations:
75 HP  -  21 MPH   (33.8 KPH)
120 HP - 27 MPH   (43.25 KPH)
180 HP - 34 MPH   (54.7 KPH)
230 HP - 38 MPH   (61.1 KPH)

   Study plans are $25 (USD) if hard copy and $20 for a downloaded version. Hard copy plans are shipped free to any continental USA address, while all others will require a shipping quote. Plans are printed on oversize, acid free stock in full color. Full plan sets are $180 (USD). Plans are available in imperial and metric and include; lines, offsets, station molds, framing guides, bulkheads, blocks, engine well, plywood panel layout and construction drawings. Also included are rough assembly guides, BOM, building tips and tricks, assembly photos and epoxy use techniques. You're not going to find a more complete set of plans. Email me if interested.

Introducing - Digger 17 (RYD-15.1)

Digger 17 is the bigger brother of Digger 15; both are flat bottom clamming skiff hull forms. This type of hull shape has been used worldwide since WWII and has been modified over the years to improve specific performance attributes. They usually fall into a couple of categories, short and fat hulls and longer, narrow hulls. The short, fat hulls are big load carriers, and can be fast with a big outboard, but aren't very efficient and can be difficult to operate at low speeds. The longer, narrower types are the ones that Digger is patterned after. This type doesn't have quite the load capacity as a fat one of similar length, but is an all around better boat for most folks. It's much more efficient, using less fuel, is more comfortable underway from the extra length, can be more maneuverable and can be poled around in the shoals much easier then the fat model type clamming skiff.
   Digger is a stout boat. There is a regular version and a heavy duty one. Most folks only need the regular version, but those that wish to work a Digger, can elect to toughen her up with the heavy duty (HD) version. The HD version can take a real beating and not have much more than dings and scratches. It has hefty rails, chine logs, bigger frames, rub rails and bottom mounted rub strips. The bottom is a full 1.5” (38 mm) thick, so you'll need a hand grenade to punch a hole in it. Now all this heft comes at a price, it's not going to be as fast or as fuel efficient as the regular version, but this isn't the point. If you're boating needs include rafting up against a barge and pushing with all the engine's might, then you want the HD version. If you just need a good, hefty, shoal waters fishing boat, then the regular version is the ticket.
   There is any number of interior layout configurations you can use on Digger. I've drawn up a center console, which seems popular, but it could be a side helm, tiller steer, even a bow mounted helm in a small wheelhouse. Which ever you elect to use, keep it light, as the biggest performance killer in small craft, is weight. There is also a lapstrake option for this design. It's just two planks per side, but really dresses up the boat, making her appear to be a lot more than just a plain old clamming skiff. Because the topside planks are all at the same angle, there aren't any bevels on the laps, which make planking up very easy. Lastly, the building options also include a false floor which is self bailing. This adds a fair bit of weight to the boat, so all out performance builds, should just consider a bilge pump and skip this feature.

   The construction is very basic and is a combination plank on frame and taped seam. In the regular version, the frames stiffen the topsides, but you could live without them if you wanted, without much fear things would break. On the HD version, the frames are twice as thick and dramatically stiffen up the topsides, which is handy if bouncing off a concrete sea wall. The bottom is 2 layers of ½” (13 mm) plywood (HD is 3 layers) and no scarfs are necessary, just Payson butt joints. This makes life much easier fitting bottom planks. The topside planks are also butted together, but if you want a varnished look, you can use a scarf or butt block to hide the joint.

   All the materials for this boat can be had from 11 sheets of ½” plywood. The boat should to be built from quality plywood. It's possible to use exterior grades of plywood, but in recent years in the USA, these grades of plywood have become so poor in quality, that it's hard to recommend them any more. Several have been built from materials available at the big box stores and they've worked out fine, but a real tough version should consider BS-6566 grade (or BS-1088) as the bullet proof way to go.
   Under way Digger is like all flat bottom clam skiffs and hops up on plane with little fuss. Her bottom rub strips also are shaped to help keep her tracking straight. Heading perpendicular to a chop will cause her to pound a bit, but this is typical of all flat bottom boats and is a signal to throttle down a little, to match your speed with the sea's conditions. The wise or experienced skipper will angle off and take waves on the quarter, rather than attempt to bash his way through. Fortunately, the thick, heavy bottom planking helps smooth out any rough water. The HD version in a chop feels like a casual walk on a city street, with its 1.5” bottom planks isolating the wave smashing that's going on under it. She turns very well and has no tendency to “trip”.
   All and all I think you'll find Digger to be a well shaped, easily built, tough little boat. With the lapped upper planks, she's very stylish and if you have something big bump into you, she's rugged enough to take it.
   Study plans are $20 (USD) if hard copy and $15 for a downloaded version. Hard copy plans are shipped free to any continental USA address, while all others will require a shipping quote. Plans are printed on oversize, acid free stock in full color. Full plan sets are $80 for hard copy or $65 (USD) for upload.

Her basic dimensions are:
LOD     17'       (5.18 m)
LWL     15'       (4.57 m)
Beam      6'       (1.83 m)
Draft      not much with the motor up
Dry hull weight  415 lbs.  (188 kg)
PPI       310 lbs.  (141 kg)

Performance expectations:
21 MPH (33.8 KPH) w/ 15 HP and 900 lbs. (409 kg) displacement
27 MPH (43.5 KPH w/ 25 HP and 900 lbs. (409 kg) displacement

Introducing Chiusa (RYD-22.9)

The second smallest of the riverboat series, Chiusa still offers all the things you'd want in a small weekend getaway craft. She's trim and flat bottomed, so she doesn't need much water to float and she's efficient, which is import with fuel prices being what they are now. More about the Riverboat series is available under the Riverboat tab.
   Like all of this series, she has several options and accommodations layouts. The three most common are shown. She's an easy plywood build with double bottom, for stiffness and toughness. This also saves the bother of scarf joint in these panels, speeding things up during the build.

Some of the options include different sheer lines, roof and accommodations layouts, an elliptical or transom stern, well mounted or transom hung outboard, etc.
   This series developed with folks asking to build a relatively low cost home or weekend retreat afloat and not wanting it to look like a box on a set of pontoons. All of the smaller boats in this series are efficient, comparatively to others in their class. They can exceed their theoretical hull speed limitations because of the hull shapes employed and their weight saving construction elements. The smallest 3 of this series are flat bottom, which is the easiest to build, but mostly done to save draft. The larger 3 in the riverboat series are V bottom.

Chiuas principal dimensions are:
LOD                 26'  (7.9 m)
LWL                 22' 9"  (6.9 m)
Beam                7'  (2.1 m)
WL beam          6' 3"    (1.9 m)
Draft                 8"  (203 mm)
D/L                   109
Cp                    .56
Buttock angle    4 degrees

Chiusa's build is simple and robust. Bulkheads, partitions and furniture are taped to the hull shell, making a monocoque structure that's very strong, for it's weight.
   As you can see the plans are fully dimensioned in both metric (shown in brackets) and SAE, for us old Americans that just can't wrap their head around metric yet. Plans are in full color, provided on over size, acid free stock and fully detailed, with options and alternative ways of doing things included. Build photos, construction details and method tricks and tips also come with each plan set.
   Study plans are $25 (USD) if hard copy and $20 for a downloaded version. Hard copy plans are shipped free to any continental USA address, while all others will require a shipping quote. Plans are printed on oversize, acid free stock in full color. Full plan sets are $180 (USD).

Introducing - Egress (RYD-25.3)

This is the third smallest in a series of riverboat design, ranging is size from 20' to 50'. She's a very simple build, flat bottomed and once again I've doubled up the planking on the bottom to make her tough. This boat was originally intended for construction with little more than big box store materials.
   She has evolved a bit, but she still can use mostly big box store goods. Outboard powered and because of her shape, very economical to operate, though restricted to displacement speeds. Intended as a weekend getaway, she'll comfortably house a couple in one a of a few different interior accommodation arrangements. Egress has a raised pilothouse for easy viewing and better vantage of the road ahead.
   She's built conventionally, with plywood over frames in the hull, but has foam cored, covered with plywood cabin sides and roof to keep her weight down. The mast and boom can handle several hundred pounds for easy loading several kegs of beer at once. Egress has self bailing weather decks and lots of storage space below.
Pilothouse accommodations
Typical frame.
   Plans are as detailed as you'd expect. Her power requirements are modest. She needs only a 20 HP outboard to get her to hull speed, though this doesn't offer much reserve for chop or cross winds, so a 30 HP would be a better choice. She can take a 50 HP outboard, but you're not going to go much faster, though you will have lots of extra push in a stiff winds and contrary currents. 10 MPH (16 KPH) is about the best she can do, with 8 MPH (13 KPH) being more economical. This is typical of a displacement speed craft of this length.

Her basic dimensions are:
LOD     28' 2"    (8.58 m)
LWL     25' 3"    (7.7 m)
Beam    7' 6"      (2.68 m)
Draft      10"       (254 mm)
Hull weight   2,520 lbs   (1,145 kg)
PPI       715 lbs. (325 kg)

A fine home afloat with a 360 degree water view.

Study plans are $25 (USD) if hard copy and $20 for a downloaded version. Hard copy plans are shipped free to any continental USA address, while all others will require a shipping quote. Plans are printed on oversize, acid free stock in full color. Full plan sets are $230 (USD).

Introducing - Floom (RYD-29.6)

This boat is about as big as is practical for the home builder and though a few have been completed, I can't highly recommend this for a backyard project. This said, with some help or a very experienced builder or a very dedicated home builder, it's possible.
   Floom has seen several upgrades and modifications over the years, as you can see in the accommodations drawing. This not a small boat, nor a small project, nor an easily trailered thing, so think about what you really need and want.
   Now that I've tried to scare you away, this is a hearty and very capable 33' on deck, V bottom, with gracious proportions and shapes. She can take on the "Great Loop" passage and other rougher water excursions, much better than a houseboat. Don't get too excited, nor disconcerted about her abilities, she's still a semi-protected waters vessel and shouldn't be confused with a true world passage maker, she's just not an ocean crosser. Bays, even large ones, rivers, even fast moving ones and coastal cruising, is what she's intended to do.
   Her beam is over the usual over the road limits, but she can still be towed around with a permit, which usually amounts to a $50 bill every year, in most states. As with some of the other riverboats, this feature is to save winter storage fees at the local marina or storage facility.





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