23' Fantail Launch by Philip C. Bolger
Although we might argue that a fantail stern makes good sense because it combines substantial room on deck with an easily driven shape at the waterline, we must admit to liking this boat for purely aesthetic reasons. She’s possessed of a timeless elegance that, among other things, ensures her future value.
For those familiar with Philip C. Bolger’s well-publicized Instant Boats (easily built with plywood), this plan would seem to represent a radical departure for the Gloucester, Massachusetts, designer. In fact, a consider-able portion of his prodigious output (more than 500 designs) displays equally shapely hulls.
This is not an easy boat to loft and set up. But builders with sufficient experience will be rewarded with a hull that presents no awkward perspectives—she’ll look fine from any angle. Bolger originally intended that his launch be cold-molded: four courses to finish at 1/211. However, the prototype was put together plank-on-frame by professional builder Larry Dahlmer, and our plans show both types of construction.
Bolger comments on the launch’s performance: “A hull this size and shape will have a maximum possible speed of about 61/4 knots and will be happiest at about 5 knots. Probably 5 hp would be enough to produce these speeds in a dead calm and smooth sea, but she should have two or three times that power to make sure she can buck a breeze of wind and choppy water. A much larger engine will do her no harm; she might make 6 1/2 or even 6 3/4 knots, but at those speeds her forefoot will be high in the air and her stern wave will spill onto the deck. More to the point, she would become a more powerful tug.”
The prototype carries sight-seers and picnickers on the Annisquam River. For that service, her designer claims she has one distinct advantage compared to con-temporary powerboats—”She looks very elegant at speeds at which they look most inelegant.”
Plans consist of five sheets and include lines, offsets, profile and arrangement, large-scale sections, and construction details for carvel planking and cold molding.
For more information about this design, contact us