A Simple 23' 6" V-Bottom Cruiser
By William Atkin
A Wholesome Cruiser
In laying out the design for Periwinkl I pictured the kind of small motor cruiser which I should build for my own use, and have tried to incorporate in the craft the features which I have found to be essential and practical in a boat of this size and type. I have not tried to crowd the accommodations of a 30-footer into her 23 feet of length as I have found that it cannot be done. The cost of construction and fitting out has been well considered and all unnecessary equipment eliminated, and this for the reason that simplicity in anything is the keynote of its value.

In over all length she measures 23 feet 6 inches; on the water line her length is 22 feet; her beam on deck is 8 feet; on the waterline 6 feet 11 inches; and the draft is 1 foot 11 inches. The freeboard is ample to form a reasonably dry craft under the varied conditions of weather encountered during the months of the year through which most of us are wont to go boating. I know she will be an excellent little vessel in rough water as one of my clients has had a boat similar to her built and his boat is as able as any small boat can be. Periwinkl will be bouyant and fast, considering her moderate power, she should do at least 9 miles an hour with a motor like the Baby Doll Red Wing, the Gobest, Universal, or Niagara installed. With a single cylinder 5 to 6 h.p. two cycle the speed should be between 6 1/2 and 7 miles an hour. Since I am a firm believer in some kind of sail to use in an emergency I have laid out a sail plan that is both practical and easy to handle. One halyard and one sheet controls the lug sail and while it is hardly expected that Periwinkl will dash up to windward she will move along with a free breeze and a lot of fun and rest can be taken with the motor shut off and the sail spread.

Deck room on a cruising boat is quite as important as room inside, but neither one or the other of these features should be over or under done. In Periwinkl the idea is to balance these so as to have the advantage of both. The trunk cabin permits ample room for working anchors, landing at a float or dock, and permits easy boarding from a dinghy along side. These are items which must be considered. Also the open port lights in the for'd and aft ends of the house make possible perfect ventilation, while those piercing the sides give light. There isn't any doubt but that an old fashioned tiller is about as simple and serviceable an arrangement as any for steering and especially so in this little cruiser. The arrangement of the cockpit is ideal for a tiller as one can recline on the side deck inside the coaming (cushions, under, of course) and steer with a foot, an arm, or by pressing the body against the tiller, all of which puts a lot of novelty into steering. Folks who think a fancy steering wheel necessary will be surprised how handy a tiller is and with what facility the boat can be handled.

Now we must take up the cabin. In so small a craft a separate toilet room wastes space and is not desirable. As shown the toilet is installed under the tail end of the double forward berth. It is here out of the way and yet convenient; a curtain can be hung across the cabin trunk which in the simplest way divides the cabin and thus gives privacy to the toilet. The bunks are all big and there is plenty of room above them for air and comfort. With the motor entirely hidden under the bridge deck the cabin is clean and open with more than plenty of sitting room, despite the moderate headroom under the carlins of 4 feet 10 inches. Don't increase the height of the cabin or the freeboard, this will result in a high sided looking craft and destroy the balance of the whole thing. The galley is big enough to be practical and with its sink, ice chest (which is to be built in under the drain board) stove and lockers is something more than a tiny nook in which to prepare meals.

The design of our little V-bottom cruiser is simplicity itself. The straight sections which I have always used in my small boats are not only easier to plank but are stronger, lighter, and require less material than the sections usually employed in V-bottom construction. Another thing, straight sections seem more in harmony with boats of the V-bottom type. I can easily forgive the appearance of the straight sections for the sake of the labor saved in building them. The keel is straight along its bottom to a point about 4 feet forward of the propeller post; here it sweeps up to within 5 inches of the center of the propeller shaft. Several things are accomplished by this. There is enough drag and length to the keel to assure easy steering in troubled water and the cut up facilitates both turning and handling. It will be seen that the shoe under the propeller is dispensed with and yet the propeller is protected in case of grounding. A better stream of water reaches the propeller and places the maximum draft three-fourths the length of the water line abaft the stem, which is advantageous. Another thing worth considering in this form of keel and deadwood is that the lumber used can be somewhat shorter, which is both stronger and cheaper.

The center of gravity of the weights is somewhat abaft amidships for the purpose of keeping the bow light. All small craft travel drier and more comfortably if trimmed in this manner as demonstrated by the famous Seabright fishing skiffs, and also the Hampton boats used by the lobstermen Down East. In a bad sea the weak point of most boats is the large cockpit. If full speed is maintained a lot of water comes aboard, but so long as it cannot tarry here or there or some other place in the boat all is well. This is one of the reasons for the cockpit well arranged after the practice of a sailing boat. I feel this cockpit a most desirable feature. There is little use in making it l arger because after all Periwinkl is designed for the accommodation of three as crew. There is plenty of comfortable seating room for four or five persons and this is enough of a live load for a boat of this size.
Plans for Periwinkl are $65
Study Plans are available for $20
(Refunded when full plans are purchased)
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