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Thursday 16th June 2022

Another example of Fanny the Fantail Launch hits the water - this one called Mable.

 This one is by Peter Dalby and uses a Yanmar 1GM10 diesel with a 142 x 8" 3 bladed prop. The Pete Greenfield of the then Boatman magazine asked me to design a pretty little launch with a fantail stern for home construction in plywood and primarily to be powered by steam. Most have been built as open launches although the drawings do show an optional wheelhouse and Peter has designed his own cuddy/cabin.

 According to Peter - "Thank you Paul for designing Mable she is an absolute joy to handle. Responds to the rudder so well, she virtually turns in her own length on full rudder and on tick over there is still plenty of purchase on the rudder."  


And in Australia another 11'6" Rhum has been built and launched by Marc Fleischmann
This example is a Mark 1 version with a 'V' bottom single chine (the Mark 2 which is also shown on the plans has 2 chines) and using the original gunter main with jib - a balanced lug rig is also shown on the plans.
Thursday 14th April 2022

 Building the 21' Ijssel Launch in Clinker

 Design work is rarely static - I have said that before! The Ijssel 21' was originally designed for Pieter Brittijn in 2003 to be built in strip plank over computer faired moulds. Several examples have been built and fitted with steam plant and diesel and I think at least one has been fitted with an electric motor - her generous beam and proportions are able to accommodate different power units as well as alternative fit-out arrangements - I have supplied the saloon details from other launches to be adapted for use on the Ijssel and you can see some of these at Motor Boats 21' to 30' ( 

 One particularly fine example of a slightly stretched version with a lovely saloon is the steam launch Moondance by John Whittaker which is currently up for sale (refer to the Steamboat Assoc. of GB) and another with a saloon is Titty by Graham Knight - both can be seen on our web site.

 But, although designed for strip plank, I am getting more photos of the Ijssel 21' built in clinker and the 3 photos below have just been received from Paul Cook in Tasmania. Planking is 12mm Gaboon plywood with Tasmanian Oak bent frames.

 The plans include the mould and building jig details for a clinker ply hull with 10 planks per side - details which I was asked to do in 2004. In strip plank she is a lovely looking launch but in clinker she is particularly handsome.

Further photos and details can be seen on the Motor Boats 21' to 30' ( page.


Wednesday 2nd March 2022

 The many faces of the Lambay Island/Howth Head 22' Motor Cruiser.

 Design work is rarely static - over the years that a particular boat design exists, different clients come alog and ask for changes which may involve alterations to length, beam etc as well as to keels, rigs etc. Here we have photos (immediately below) by Dennis Nissen of his 22' Howth Head, which he increased in length to 30' with a beam of 9', on the 'Building Wooden Boats' Facebook page, after I put up photos of Andy Frankland's 22' version with a fisherman style wheelhouse on the Selway Fisher Design Facebook page - Selway Fisher Design | Facebook.

 The drawings for the 30 footer do not actually exist as Dennis simply took the details for the 22' Lambay Island and 'blew' them up for a 30' x 9' version which turned out very well. When doing this you have to be careful of things like subsequent alterations to the displacement volume which, when increasing the size of a design, can become embarrassingly large making the hull sit too high - but this has not happened with Dennis's launch.

 Conversely, when decreasing the size of a boat, the displacement volume will drop quickly leaving you with not enough volume below the waterline to carry the boat's weight, making the boat sink lower than you would want.

Below - Andy Frankland's 22' version with a fisherman style wheelhouse.

 The Howth Head design started life as the steel 22' x 8'3" Lambay Island which I designed for Peter Nicholls Yacht Builders in 1996. She is a single screw 'V' bottomed design - see the example below of a Lambay Island built in Russia.

 Eventually, the design was adapted for plywood construction in 2010 and called the Howth Head.

And below, some photos of Andy's 22 foot Howth Head under construction

Further photos and details can be seen on the Motor Cruisers 21' to 30' page.


Wednesday 16th Feb 2022

Added a few more photos to the site:

First, for the Arctic Skua sailing canoe
 The example right of an almost complete hull is being built by Charlie Austin and the example below is by Charlie Wiggin - both are for the wider Mk 2 version with a beam of 36" and as you can see are built using stitch and tape plywood.


Second, for the 25'6" Snow Bunting strip planked steam launch with a counter stern which was being beautifully built by Larry Jacobson who got me to redesign the stern into a counter shape and which is now being finished by Joe Sabo - you can see the light weight canopy top frame suspended above the hull.
 She was to be powered by steam but Joe is now talking about an electric drive.

And lastly, a photo of a rigged 12' 4" Petite Brise - I am not sure who the builder is as it's a photo I found out for someone recently from my old photo archive. She is nicely built. I originally designed the Petite Brise as a tender for the Dauntsey School's boat, the pilot cutter Jolie Brise - the first was made at the school by the CDT teacher Ivan Hanson and pupils.