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Thread: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

  1. #1
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    Default What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    I know this site and its members seem to be heavily biased towards sailboats, and to tell the truth, so am I. But as I live in a region pretty much bereft of really good sailboat-cruising waters, practicality causes me to consider power cruisers.

    Today we can find a few displacement cruisers, such as the Stambaugh Redwing series, or maybe Bateau's Maia-24, but if you look at their specified outboard's fuel consumption in gph vs their hull speed, the yielded mpg is not so hot.

    Looking at plans from, say, the 1950's or so, there were plans available for lots of small 18 - 20 foot cabin cruisers that were powered with small outboards. I keep coming back to the 18' Puffin by Sam Rabl as a perfect example. One of these would be just about perfect for use on the "Western Rivers" - The Ohio and the Mississippi and their tributaries. Economical to run, light to tow behind a small to medium car, and fast enough to yield decent mpg, yet not so fast that hitting a floating beer can will hole them.

    I have in mind something of about 18' LOD, planing hull, with a cabin just big enough to have a V-berth, a tiny galley, and room for a cooler and a porta-potty. With some lateral thinking, maybe the porta-potty could go under one of the seats in the cockpit, under the shelter of a Bimini top and drop-curtains for privacy. I know you'd have to keep it light, but stitch-and-glue plywood would seem feasible, or even plywood on frame.

    I think a good turn of speed would be necessary, as with the downturn in the economy and other factors (EPA?), fuel does not seem to be as readily-available as it was in past years where just about every floating dock along the river had a fuel pump. Fuel in portable outboard cans might be the best solution these days, as during a cruise it might be necessary to beach the boat, load the outboard can on a two-wheel cart, and hoof it to the local gas station.

    Anybody know of such a small cruiser suitable for, say, a 20 to 30 hp outboard?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    How about Weston Farmer --

    Simplex

    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/wf/simplex/index.htm




    Sundance

    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/wf/sundance/index.htm




    SureMike II

    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/wf...ike2/index.htm




    Or... how about the nifty looking design (from Glen-L, wasn't it?) that was in the latest issue of Small Boats?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    The Weston Farmer boats are the type I was referring to as being available from the '50's. I was hoping for something a little more current, designed for the transom-weight of modern 4-stroke outboards, which tend to be much heavier than the old 2-stroke motors of similar horsepower.

    That being said, the Simplex is pretty close to what I was talking about.

    The Glen-L boat perhaps requires a little more horsepower - it's hard to tell. For the Sea Knight they specify "Up to 100 hp", but they give no inkling about how small you could go.

    I'm thinking maybe something like Bateau's Classic 17 http://www.bateau.com/proddetail.php?prod=C17 would be about right, if, let's say, you incorporated a windshield, and extended the aft end of the cabin sides back to form a streamlined coaming. But again, they specify 50 hp.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    You can get pretty good gas mileage out of any boat if you run it slow enough, power it with a motor that is efficient at that speed and fitted with the right prop. S/l ratios around one works.
    But light, long and slim help a lot, low windage helps some, and a prismatic c that is consistent with the speed range.
    There have been quite a lot of successful conversions of medium displacement sailing boat hulls, remove the rig and most of the keel and run it moderately slowly and you'll have a comfortable boat that will use very little fuel to get you from one place to another.

    The other way to go is displacement power multihulls, I recently did a power trimaran that ran at 20 knots for 1500 miles on a 300 gal tankful, but it was so slender that I had to measure the owners wife across the butt to make sure she'd fit in the galley.

    John Welsford

    Quote Originally Posted by tpelle View Post
    I know this site and its members seem to be heavily biased towards sailboats, and to tell the truth, so am I. But as I live in a region pretty much bereft of really good sailboat-cruising waters, practicality causes me to consider power cruisers.

    Today we can find a few displacement cruisers, such as the Stambaugh Redwing series, or maybe Bateau's Maia-24, but if you look at their specified outboard's fuel consumption in gph vs their hull speed, the yielded mpg is not so hot.

    Looking at plans from, say, the 1950's or so, there were plans available for lots of small 18 - 20 foot cabin cruisers that were powered with small outboards. I keep coming back to the 18' Puffin by Sam Rabl as a perfect example. One of these would be just about perfect for use on the "Western Rivers" - The Ohio and the Mississippi and their tributaries. Economical to run, light to tow behind a small to medium car, and fast enough to yield decent mpg, yet not so fast that hitting a floating beer can will hole them.

    I have in mind something of about 18' LOD, planing hull, with a cabin just big enough to have a V-berth, a tiny galley, and room for a cooler and a porta-potty. With some lateral thinking, maybe the porta-potty could go under one of the seats in the cockpit, under the shelter of a Bimini top and drop-curtains for privacy. I know you'd have to keep it light, but stitch-and-glue plywood would seem feasible, or even plywood on frame.

    I think a good turn of speed would be necessary, as with the downturn in the economy and other factors (EPA?), fuel does not seem to be as readily-available as it was in past years where just about every floating dock along the river had a fuel pump. Fuel in portable outboard cans might be the best solution these days, as during a cruise it might be necessary to beach the boat, load the outboard can on a two-wheel cart, and hoof it to the local gas station.

    Anybody know of such a small cruiser suitable for, say, a 20 to 30 hp outboard?
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Phil Bolger and Friends have spent the last several years giving much thought to the reality of $5/gallon fuel in the near future, the the implications on commercial fishing (and recreational boating). They have developed a number of designs with the express purpose of having good "miles per gallon". All of them tend to be long, shallow draft and narrow. Canoe like.

    Their design "Advanced Fisherman 30" is one example.

    http://hallman.org/bolger/AdvancedFisherman30/

    Clipboard01_t.jpg

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Sundance is a good honest design,and the 25hp outboard rating is good for 25mph. Im sure you could build it stitch and glue and gain a weight advantage,maybe lose some of the frames and put in more longitudual stringers for a ply skin.

    The only other boat that comes to mind is John Gardners dory skiff,the stretched version at around 19ft, flys with a 25,only needs a lightweight trailer,simple to build.

    Atkins has many what i think are classy style boats,in the old style,but maybe not new enough for you?

    Its a constant source of amusement to some of us europeans to hear about you towing your rigs long distances behind your 5.7l chevies and your twin 300hp outboard, and start to complain about fuel prices, europeans have been trying to be more economical for a long time now,with gas prices at just over 6 pounds sterling($9.60) per US gallon, we cant afford to burn fuel like it comes out of a hole in the ground! Time to wise up to old economical ideas......

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    The magazine had a Design Challenge that addressed the parameters you list: http://www.woodenboat.com/wbmag/designchallenge2.php

    Paul Gartside among others has addressed the need: http://www.gartsideboats.com/wayward.php
    "Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." ~ Mark Twain


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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Vivier's "Koulmig".





    http://www.vivierboats.com/html/stock_motor.html

    5.9 metres long. Epoxy ply. Very detailed plans - mylar patterns. Designed for a 20-30hp outboard, 600kg. Plans, kits or fully built. 2 berth, small galley, port a potty and self draining cockpit - a big plus.

    Clint Chase is USA Vivier dealer. He'll also build you one or supply a kit.
    http://www.clintchaseboatbuilder.com/
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 01-24-2011 at 02:48 PM.

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?


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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Are we talking about a small cruiser with a planing hull or semi-displacement? I suspect that a boat like Koulmig pictured above is pulling a larger GPH than a displacement boat of similar size operating at hull speed or a boat that is actually running on plane.
    "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over." -Samuel Clemens

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    I was thinking of a hull that would get up on plane, but one that did not need to go 40+ mph. My reasoning was that a boat that could just make planing speed plus a little bit (so that it had a comfortable margin over and above so that it didn't get knocked back to displacement speed very time it hit a wake) would get the best mileage from each gallon of fuel (distance traveled per fuel burned). As I said in my original post, the Rabl Puffin seemed like a pretty good example, as it appeared to be pretty lightweight, not a lot of built-in systems, just enough accommodations to be livable for a long weekend, and would plane with a pretty small motor. Looking at that design, though, I was concerned that its relatively narrow transom would not have sufficient buoyancy to support a modern 4-stroke outboard.

    It seems like a design like that would have a pretty good market these days, as I think folks are becoming disillusioned with their Sea Rays et. al. with 2 big ol' V8 I/O's.

    I like that B&B Outer Banks 20! Something like that with sheet plywood planking would be just the ticket.

    We're on the right track - keep 'em coming.

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    If the boat has enough power to get over the wave and a hull that allows a significant reduction of length at water line (LWL) you can see advantages in GPH assuming the distance traveled is long enough.

    I rarely travel more than 20 miles on a round trip and most trips are less than 10 miles. I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere. My single engined mid-50's 26' Chris-Craft cruiser gets me anywhere from 3 to 4.5 GPH at displacement speeds. Of course, the engine is not as fuel efficient as current engines. The hull is semi-displacement with hard chines. The boat will plane a little at full throttle, but it will gulp gas: three times as much gas as running near hull speed. Running this cruiser at displacement speeds is pretty economical.

    The long distance power cruisers who want fuel economy often chose single engined diesel trawlers moving at displacement speed.
    Last edited by yzer; 01-24-2011 at 05:29 PM.
    "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over." -Samuel Clemens

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by tpelle View Post
    I was thinking of a hull that would get up on plane, but one that did not need to go 40+ mph. My reasoning was that a boat that could just make planing speed plus a little bit (so that it had a comfortable margin over and above so that it didn't get knocked back to displacement speed very time it hit a wake) would get the best mileage from each gallon of fuel (distance traveled per fuel burned). As I said in my original post, the Rabl Puffin seemed like a pretty good example, as it appeared to be pretty lightweight, not a lot of built-in systems, just enough accommodations to be livable for a long weekend, and would plane with a pretty small motor. Looking at that design, though, I was concerned that its relatively narrow transom would not have sufficient buoyancy to support a modern 4-stroke outboard.

    It seems like a design like that would have a pretty good market these days, as I think folks are becoming disillusioned with their Sea Rays et. al. with 2 big ol' V8 I/O's.

    I like that B&B Outer Banks 20! Something like that with sheet plywood planking would be just the ticket.

    We're on the right track - keep 'em coming.
    Do you think a modern 4 stroke is that much heavier than a 1950's two stroke of similar HP? ... how much of a weight difference could there be, a few pounds? certainly not enough difference in weight to affect performance noticeably...

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    My early sixties 10 h.p. Johnson 2-stroke weighs about 15 lbs less than the new Mercury 4-stroke.

    I just tool a quick look at Chris-Craft: The Essential Guide and found a couple of 18' express cruiser kit boats from the early 1950's. This give you an idea of the engine power they recommended.

    18' Express Cruiser: 60 hp inboard or 10 hp OB max. 1952-1953

    18' Fiesta: 60-75 hp inboard max. 10-50 hp O/B max. 1955
    Both featured the streamlined look typical of most mid-fifties CC Cruisers

    19' Sports Express Cruiser: 35-120 O/B max. 60-95 hp inboard max. The pictured boat is shown with twin outboard engines. 1955
    This one had the late fifties Cavalier styling.

    I do like the styling of the Puffin, which looks to be inspired by an earlier era.
    "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over." -Samuel Clemens

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    20' long , sleeps 2 comfortably, 12 knots on 15 hp,space for potty and tiny galley, but it doesn't look like the '50's styling you speak of....

    Bolger Bantam http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/07/...ntam/index.htm

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by yzer View Post
    My early sixties 10 h.p. Johnson 2-stroke weighs about 15 lbs less than the new Mercury 4-stroke.

    18' Fiesta: 60-75 hp inboard max. 10-50 hp O/B max. 1955
    yeah, 15 lbs. in terms of boat trim on one of these cruisers is nothing, imagine the weight difference between a 10hp and a 50hp on the transom of the Fiesta mentioned above

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by yzer View Post

    I do like the styling of the Puffin, which looks to be inspired by an earlier era.
    Actually, I think the Puffin IS from that earlier era. Wasn't Rabl active in designing in the 50's?

    I bought his Boatbuilding In Your Own Backyard book several years ago, originally bought to get a look at the Picaroon. It has a chapter on the Puffin. When I flipped through the book and found Puffin, though, I was enthralled! I wonder if there's enough detail in the book to actually build one? It appears that plans are no longer available.

    Edit: Boatbuilding In Your Own Backyard was published in two editions - 1947 and 1958. Horsepowers listed for Puffin are 15hp to 30hp.

    I picture the Puffin with a Bimini top to keep the sun off of my bald head, and a mountain bike at the aft end of the cockpit to use for exploring those old river towns.

    But that transom still looks awfully narrow. So, are my worries about the weights of modern outboards unfounded?
    Last edited by tpelle; 01-24-2011 at 08:48 PM.

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    On the lower end of the power scale I won't worry about it. What power was recommended for the Puffin? Some of the two-stroke outboards like the Tohatsu/Nissan 10 hp of the 90's were very light: 50 lbs. Wish I had one. Earlier outboards were heavier.

    Original plans for the Chris-Craft boats are available from Mariner's Museum.
    http://www.marinersmuseum.org/library/chris-craft
    "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over." -Samuel Clemens

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    I am not sure what you think is good mileage for a boat. My Redwing 18 with a 9.9 four stroke Tohatsu gets 20 MPG more or less depending on conditions. It will top out around 8 MPH and cruisers very quietly at 6 MPG.

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    I built an 18 foot tolman skiff and added a small cuddy with 6' -4" bunks. I use a 40 horse "pre EPA rules" two stroke Tohatsu which is about as light as you can get in 40 horse. On a good day with one occupant I can do 30 MPH, and a 6 gallon tank seems to last a few hours. At 6 MPH a 6 gallon tank lasts so long that I don't bother measuring anymore. I have hauled the boat with a bottom of the line 4 cylinder truck per the picture, I don't have brakes on the trailer. No problems at freeway speeds.

    I picked the 40 horse carefully based on previous experience with that motor. Speed decreases markedly with additional passengers. Something to think about when considering 20 horse or so motors. Most builders use more horsepower than me. I can carry an incredible load at 5 MPH though.


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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Bolger's Tennesee may be longer than what you had in mind, but his argument is that the only way to get an efficient planing boat is to make it long, skinny and light. Despite the length, this is a very quick and easy build. And I like the looks quite a bit.


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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Load makes a huge difference in boat speed. Cruisers are heavy. Take my 26' Chris-Craft Sedan Cruiser as an example. CC was famous for their blue sky advertised speeds during the 1950's. Speed was a selling point for 50's boats as it is today. The boats would do the advertised speeds under ideal conditions: water like glass, no wind, bone stock, no anchor, brand new boat with light fuel and only a skipper onboard. CC advertised speeds up 26 MPH for my boat.

    My boat will never hit that 26 MPH at full throttle with it's 115 hp engine. For one thing the engine probably isn't 100% of what is was when new. Wind and current in an estuary are factors. More importantly, I equipped this boat to give me up to six days at anchor: so it's loaded with equipment and provisions and usually carries more than one passenger.

    At 3 GPH I'm getting 7.2 MPH and 2.4 MPG. I don't know how fast the boat will run at full throttle: I guess around 15 MPH. I do know from the engine specs that full throttle will consume from 9 to 12 GPH. The boat was built during a time when gasoline cost 25 cents a gallon. Length to beam is three to one.

    "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over." -Samuel Clemens

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Many of the boats at http://www.svensons.com/boats/ would fit your desires. I'm old enough to remember when a 40 hp ob was quite big and there were boats like these. Heck we used to water ski behind a 16' runabout with a 35 and think it was great.

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by tpelle View Post
    So, are my worries about the weights of modern outboards unfounded?
    completely, it is a non-issue

    if you were talking a difference of 150 lbs that might be cause for concern, but 15lbs or less? thats the weight of a cooler, or the difference between a full and half full gas tank...

  26. #26
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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    check out atkins surprise, motor sailer. two versions, one 19' and one 22'.
    they will do 20mph using 20 miles per gallon on a 22 hp inboard*( rough figures).
    nice cuddy on the big surprise, hull can be lapstraked with ply.
    and with a balanced lug rig, she would be easy to strike and set up- should one find the conditions ideal for sailing.
    lots of space in the stern for fishing etc, no o/b to contend with.
    prop is protected.
    no planing step, to get on or slip off- she will troll nicely.
    i am going to build the big surprise, and i think her weatherly design is going to work for me up here on the queen charlotte islands- ideal fishing and exploring design.
    g'luck.

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    How about Tom Lathrop's "Bluejacket"? At 24', maybe a little bigger than you have in mind, but a great design for economical cruising. Pretty darn good looking too!



    http://www.bluejacketboats.com/bluejacket_24.htm

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne nicol View Post
    check out atkins surprise, motor sailer. two versions, one 19' and one 22'.
    they will do 20mph using 20 miles per gallon on a 22 hp inboard*( rough figures).
    nice cuddy on the big surprise, hull can be lapstraked with ply.
    and with a balanced lug rig, she would be easy to strike and set up- should one find the conditions ideal for sailing.
    lots of space in the stern for fishing etc, no o/b to contend with.
    prop is protected.
    no planing step, to get on or slip off- she will troll nicely.
    i am going to build the big surprise, and i think her weatherly design is going to work for me up here on the queen charlotte islands- ideal fishing and exploring design.
    g'luck.
    Wayne, please do let us know if this works out. I was looking at several of the sea bright skiffs by Atkins,and find the speed/ power predictions somewhat hard to believe. I was toying with the idea to build the 17ft "happy clamshell" just to test the theory, but one already built did 17mph with a Palmber 6hp inboard......quite incredible.I think clamshell could be built using lapstrake ply,but interested to see if the hull would work just as well with an outboard,i think it would have to be on a transom bracket,as a well would remove too much under hull lifting surface.

    Happy Clamskiff can be found on the Atkins site,and build plans and instructions are availiable online....try Google.

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    My very light version of Ninigret (Bateau LB22) has been extensively tested by my cheap self to confirm fuel economy at various speeds:

    Just off idle she gets 11.6 NMPG

    Cruising at 15kts, 5.2 NMPG

    Full tilt at 26kts, 4.6 NMPG

    I did all the GPH curves as well, but for my inland lake usage of this particular boat, the miles per gallon are essentially the same at all states because we don't have rough seas on a 3/4 mile wide lake, and our load stays consistent at 2-5 adults.

    Plus, she rides like a dream with that sharp forefoot and tracks like a freight train with the big skeg.

    E

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Spokoloo.....what data do you have for speeds under 15 knots? Is she riding some kind of hump under that speed? Cheers

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Absolutely not. It dropped from 11 to 9, then down to the 5-6 range up to 15kts. It is relatively linear, and she never really has a hump when planing. Obviously she's best with a light load in the front and the transom barely immersed at just above idle, but still a good performer at semi-displacement.

    E

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?


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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Here's the one I can't get away from. Functional, economical, and to my eye- beautiful. Not sure it's fast enough for you, but it sure sounds close to your description. http://www.bandbyachtdesigns.com/obx.htm

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Here's the Outer Banks 20, noted above. Is sure looks like more than 20', but somehow it isn't. Nice trick.




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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Thanks for the feedback spokaloo.

    I think the outer banks 20 is a great design/performer. Im trying to limit any future boat to a 25hp,as this is just about manageable to man handle(im starting to struggle with the 40). No shortage of good designs really, just depend son your personal taste. Cheers

  36. #36
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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    The OB 20 in the photos is powered with a 25hp.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    Mark V 20 is a little dissapointing on speed and power requirements,which is a pity as i like the raised fordeck style. I still think Gardners stretched 19ft semi dory would take a lot of beating, and easy to construct in comparison to some others here.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    This should be considered the "GOLD STANDARD" in economical fast power cruisers......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vox3gnHtAE4

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Beaufort, NC
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: What about an economical "fast" power cruiser?

    I picked up a 10 hp diesel last week and I am going to wrap a 24 foot hull around her. An inboard diesel gets you the best bang for the buck and with centrally located mornings, make transom weight a no issue. You could build an Atkin's Judge Hooker.

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