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Thread: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    4

    Default Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    Hello all,

    I hope that title got a laugh. So I have an early 70s long shaft 7.5hp Mercury that looks basically new inside and out. It came with an old fiberglass runabout that I bought years ago. I had the motor running at that time and its been stored inside since so I think with a little refreshing it will be good to go. That is already planned for this spring. So I need a boat to hang it on.

    I have a small family with two little ones (1 and 3 years old). I live within walking distance of the Sakonnet River in Rhode Island with lots of small bays and Narragansett Bay around the corner. Essentially what I’m looking for is something that is easy to build and functions in the nearby waters to putt around with my family. None of us have any strong interest in fishing just general exploring etc.

    I keep coming back to the Bolger Diablo as a good multipurpose option that would work well with the low hp outboard I already have and have also looked at the lumberyard skiff. What I can’t seem to get my head wrapped around is what type of hull and size/displacment I will need to be safe in my local waters. The main driving force is having something ready to go sitting on a trailer in my driveway that when the mood strikes and the weather is good can be launched and in the water in five minutes (closest launch ramp is 2 minutes down the road).

    I have never built a boat before but I’ve always wanted to. I’ve been a member here for more than ten years and it has always been in the back of my mind. I’ve restored cars and I’m relatively handy. Stitch and glue looks like the way to go for a first/quick build as I’d like to have it done for this summer and we’re getting close to snow season being over.

    Thanks for any opinions and advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    SF Bay Area- Richmond
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    15,817

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    Diablo would be an excellent choice.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    5,872

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    Agreed, and since you have a long shaft you can make the transom height 20" and the stern wave won't be so likely to flow over the transom whenever you stop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    N62 5352" E27 4110"
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    274

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    I would look for some semi planing hull. 7.5hp is hardly enough to plane any hull big enough to take the family and if the hull is designed for semi planing speeds it will behave better at those speeds. A planing hull driven at the threshold is often a very bad choice.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ent-trailering

    Dreaming a schooner since 1988:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Providence, RI USA
    Posts
    1,463

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    Sam Devlin's Candlefish? A few builds have been documented on this forum. https://www.devlinboat.com/wordpress...candlefish-13/

    Let me know if I can help once you get going. I'm in Prov.

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    Look at Atkin & Company or Glen-L

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Southeast MA, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    Getting done by summer seems like a short time frame for a first boat - especially with 2 small kids. My advice is to pick a simple boat and get started soon. The Sakonnet is a nice area and it will be fun to explore.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
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    17,003

    Default

    It's hard to comment on the size-relative-to-safety thing because so much depends upon the skipper and his or her experience. A skilled boatman can be safe in a sailing canoe or small punt or dink. A, " Gilligan," risks life and limb running a cruiser.

    In general though, I'd say a boat of 16 feet will provide the comfort you seek. That will mean slow speeds with your intended engine; as stated, you won't achieve plane--but there's much to commend going slow.

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    15,642

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    That engine wants a tinnie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    N62 5352" E27 4110"
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    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!


    Dreaming a schooner since 1988:

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lakebay, WA
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    758

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    I have Glen L 15 with 7.5 HP long shaft Johnson.
    It's a very stable boat - practically flat bottom
    I am putting 15HP motor on it. We have it on the plane last summer - but with friendly tidal current.
    I think it will be very safe for 2 little kids

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0O_DU1uua8
    Last edited by 2dogsnight; 03-01-2019 at 06:21 PM.
    1955 Fontana 18' - 1958 Atomic 4
    1960 Skippy 12C FeatherCraft - 1947 Mercury KD4 Rocket
    1985 Glen L15 - 1980 Johnson 7.5 hp
    2016 kayak Mill Creek 13

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,356

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    The Diablo might be more tender than what you have in mind. Check out Spira International boats. Lots of easily built skiffs and power dories to pick from. A wider flat bottom is good to have with little ones on board.
    -Dave

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    Thanks all for the ideas. The candlefish seems like more boat than I thought at first glance so I’ll take a closer look.

    I also caught myself looking at the the Steve Lewis “chugger” shanty boat thinking it look liked a very cheap/easy enjoyable by kids option (its basically a 4’x12’ barge with a cabin).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    East Quogue,NY
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    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    ^

    Steve Lewis was a member here. He has now passed over the bar.

    Here is a thread about a Chugger, extended a few feet.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...Hits-the-water


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    5,872

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    A plain old Banks Dory built with ply over white oak with a well for the 7.5 will serve you very well. It doesn't get easier or cheaper than that, and nothing anywhere is saltier. I once built one of these in less than 2 weeks, alone, including the finish.

    Build a model first, and if you go for it I, among others here, will coach you through it.

    https://alchetron.com/Banks-dory



    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 03-02-2019 at 01:25 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    Oriental, NC USA
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    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    With boat and motor properly set up, a 7.5HP Merc of that vintage will plane a boat that suits your needs. It will not do that when heavily loaded though. Diablo is lightly built and will be about as fast as any designed to carry the load you want. A LYS will be more stable and slower but maybe less fun when you want to go out alone and scoot around. The boat market has created a base that thinks lots of HP is needed these days.... It ain't so.

    Many years ago we had fast boats but no readily available high HP motors so boats had to be more carefully designed to get performance out of the power available. People like Ross Lillistone and some others understand this and design boats accordingly. I design with this philosophy but don't have a boat that suits your needs. A 15 foot boat that fits between the LYS and the others and is good as a powerboat and a sailer is the Bay River Skiff by B&B yachts. My LOON (on B&B website) has cruised as far as Maine and the Sea of Cortez and is as good an all round small boat as can be found.
    Tom L

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Canada
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    3

    Default Re: Have 7.5HP merc need multipurpose family boat!

    If speed is not important and you might be on the water at nap time, maybe take a look at Jim Michalak's Twister. With its slot top cuddy it would provide some shelter and it would be pretty safe for little ones. And it can sail.

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