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NHSC
10-06-2000, 10:16 PM
I am looking to build a motorized boat in the 17 - 20 foot range for use in Long Island Sound and other New England coastal regions. It will be used for recreational boating for a family of four. I have built a CLC 17 ft. kayak and I'm a skilled woodworker. I looking at building a center console type boat. To limit the cost, I'm trying to use a lower horsepower motor (<50hp).

I'm attracted to the 18 ft and 20 ft Simmons Sea Skiff. Does anyone have any opinions on these boats? How are they to build? I've looked at Glen-L and Clark Craft boats but I seem to like the traditional boats.

Todd Bradshaw
10-06-2000, 11:58 PM
I did a pretty complete rebuild on an 18' Simmons for a friend a few years ago. I removed and refinished every piece except the lapstrake side planks which were cleaned-up, recalked and painted but not disassembled. The MDO ply bottom panels and parts of the motor well were shot, so they were replaced with new wood. In general, the construction is very straight-forward and logical, simple to the point of being elegant. Working on the boat was fairly painless as I could roll it over in the garage by myself.
The owner put a 25 H.P. Yamaha on it and it seemed to be plenty. I'm not too big on powerboats, but I think it was a wonderful boat in the water and a lot less hassle to deal with due to it's light weight. He ran it around on Lake Michigan for a couple of years and encountered swells up to about 6' with no problems. I'm sure he would still be using it but one night it was tied up to a pier near Green Bay when a storm came in. The boat, dock lines and fenders were holding-up fine... until the pier fell over and smashed it to splinters. Some times you just can't win, but while it lasted, it was a lovely boat.