for more information about Jim Betts' new magazine
Notes from the
(International Amateur Boat Building
(excerpts from the magazine of the same
by Jim Betts
Would a Small Boat Appeal
to a Wide Audience of Builders?
One of the stated goals of IABB is to attract new
people to boat building. Toward this aim, it would seem that a small,
easy-to-build, cheap, yet capable boat would have wide appeal. Something
that most any person can build with simple tools, and little or no prior
But the major emphasis on such a boat would be the simplicity of
construction and the short time required. A design that calls for
immediate action! So the name DO iT NOW. Such a minimalist dinghy-sized
boat - suitable for two people - is easy to haul on a utility trailer.
Construction would be of the stitch and glue method.
So, a few of us toyed with an idea. DiN will sleep two
if you can squeeze into a 3ft berth. There is a galley/nav station desk
with storage lockers. The boat may be steered from inside the cabin or
from the cockpit. In both positions, you may control the boat seated or
standing. The 6ft seat/berth allows you to shift your position (one person
or two) to trim ship. (Important on so small a boat!) A large hatch in two
parts allows plenty of room to stand as you enter or leave the boat and to
stand and steer. In order to keep the cabin low enough to see over from
the cockpit, you sit in a race car position.
A 9.9 or 15hp motor should give 35mph and a 13 gallon off-the-shelf fuel
tank will give about a 200 mile range. There is no head, but a large can
or bucket will do. (Or go ashore.)
The “mast” is a bit odd, with combination bow light on top. This is also a
handy thing to hang onto when you are standing. It also has a rope to
control the opening windshield. (No expensive hardware.)
Yes, this is different, but no one said a boat must be
three times as long as it is wide, especially when it will be operated for
the most part at speed and on a plane. Well, in any case, it will surely
be stable! Construction is 1/4 inch plywood with 3/4 inch transom and bow.
The hull is reinforced with runners on the bottom and three rub rails on
each side. An alternate use of 1/8 inch aluminum is under study, and this
would use Sikaflex rather than welding.
Your thoughts are sought. Let us hear from you.
LOA 8' 0" Beam 6' 0" Hull Weight 540lbs. With one person, fuel, etc., call
it about 700 lbs. The sides are 2 ft wide, so get both out of a sheet of
plywood. There is already thinking about a more straight-sided hull and a
bit more fullness in the bow. See the dotted lines.