I'm looking for a boat with the following criteria:
Trailerable behind a reasonable sized vehicle (let's say less than 3000# on the trailer), berth for two out of the weather (small cabin, not interested in setting up deck tents, etc.) 5-7 knts. with 10 hp or so. I prefer glue & screw construction, and would also prefer designs that don't require lofting, though this isn't a showstopper. I can learn if I have to! My available building space could possibly allow a larger boat, but I don't think I need anything bigger than 18-20'.
Use will be mainly on rivers and mid-sized inland lakes, with an occasional near shore fishing trip on Lake Michigan. I'm considering the Hartely 18 Fisherman and either the 18 or 21' Redwing. I've also looked at Selway Fishers Rufus, which is buildable from 17-20 feet. and the Glen-L Bo-Jest. My take on each of these:
Hartely: Decent looking, easy to build, with a decent sized double berth. Small wheelhouse for operation out of the weather. I've read that it uses some odd size lumber which will require a little extra time on the table saw and planer.
Rufus and Bo-Jest: Interesting looks, versatile layout plans. Small wheelhouse for operation out of the weather. Support from Selway Fisher gets great reviews. My experience so far has been great even though I have only purchased study plans. Not completely sold on the "character" boat styling.
Redwing: Great looking boat. Wheelhouse available on 21' version, although that is a little bigger than I'd like to build. Not sure I'd like the narrow beam and flat bottom on choppy days on Lake Michigan. I do like the tiller steering on the 18' version for nice weather days.
Other than the Redwing 21, cost and build time should be similar, although cost isn't the determining factor. If it were, I'd buy a used boat. All would fit the need for weekending on lakes & rivers, and I think most would also be suitable for calm days on the Great lakes. I would question the Redwing 18 on this last point. What say you? Pros and cons of these designs? Any other suggestions?