The plans of the 19-foot auxiliary which appear in these pages show a unique craft. Spread before us, after much thought and work, is a 19-foot overall, 18-foot waterline, 5-foot 10-inch beam, and 1-foot 3 1/4-inch draft V-bottom Seabright skiff. John and I put our heads together in the production of the design of Surprise. Primarily we have here a fast motorboat with hull characteristics designed for satisfactory sailing; not only for running and reaching, but also for windward work as well. One might well say, a lot of yesterday tucked out in the raiment of today. When built the little boat will perform exceptionally well under either sail or power.
The sail and deck plan of this latest of the family, bearing the lucky number seven-eleven, shows a small and able open boat with a small cuddy, big cockpit, ample decks, usable bunks for two, inboard engine, fuel tank, and a knockabout sail plan of the most simple, and, incidentally, proved design. The sail area is 156 square feet; 119 square feet in the main, 27 square feet in the staysail (this is a staysail, not a jib, Shipmates).
The cockpit is 7 feet 2 inches long by 4 feet 6 inches wide. There is a seat across the after end; an enginehouse a little abaft amidships and a hinged seat close by the side steering lever. The opposite side of the enginehouse is left clear as a walkway. The cockpit floor extends into the cuddy, the after end of the latter being open. In the cuddy there is an athwartship seat and two bunks, leaving room in the bows forward of the low bulkhead for ground tackle stowage. The headroom under the top beams is 4 feet, sitting-up room on the athwartship seat 3 feet 2 inches. If needed it would be a simple matter to run the tiller lines completely around the boat and place a second steering lever inside the cuddy. There is a good deal to be said for side lever steering, not least of which is its simplicity, economy of space, and lack of drag. It will be noticed that Surprise is fitted with the customary sailboat's tiller and that the steering lines are attached to and work from this well-tried implement. The centerboard trunk height is the same as that of the seat and bunks and about as much out of the way as possible.
The lines of Surprise are designed for speeds under power up to 20 m.p.h.; it is therefore important to bear in mind the matter of weight of materials and equipment, especially that of the engine. I would not advise the installation of an engine weighing more than 270 to 290 pounds with its complete equipment. The weight of the following engines come within this range: Universal Fisherman, 8 h.p. at 1,200 r.p.m., 220 pounds; speed 14.5 m.p.h.; Nadler 8 h.p. two cylinder two cycle at 1,000 r.p.m., 210 pounds, speed 15.5 m.p.h.; Red Wing Meteor, 18 h.p. at 2,800 r.p.m., 225 pounds, speed 18.5 m.p.h.; Universal Atomic Four, 22 h.p. at 3,000 r.p.m., 286 pounds, speed 20 m.p.h. There are other engines which might be installed including several of the air-cooled type all of which will weigh something below the maximum figures mentioned.