Boat Ideas and Design Possibilities

The Savo 650D
Afloat at the MBHH show, August 2013
Here's a great boat for racing and recreational rowing, the Savo 650D. The D is for double. Using the Poseidon sliding seat system, this boat can be set up for singe or double sliding seat rowing, fixed seat rowing, or rowing with a passenger. Some dimensions are --length 6.5 meters =21'4", beam 1.27meters=4'2", weight 46kg=101 lbs. More info at - the designer's website. If you are interested in having this boat, or any other of this style, built, please contact me, or Rodger Swanson.

Afloat at the MBHH show, August 2013

Some more info on the Aborn rowing wherry
Copy of the lines blueprint
Here is some more information on Jon Aborn's rowing craft. I built it as a bare hull for Jon in 1993, and he raced it very successfully for a number of years. The lines image is poor, as I photographed an old blueprint and converted it to black and white. The other photos are of the completed hull as delivered to Jon.

I think he called it the Monument River Wherry, but I am not sure.


Copy of the lines blueprint

Another great rowing boat
Here's another great rowing boat, a design by Jon Aborn, a Master rower. I built this boat in 1993, to plans developed by Jon. It has some Herreshoff in it, but it's mostly pure Aborn, developed from his years of rowing his Pisquataqua River Wherry. This boat is light and simple, and can be rowed by one or two. In the photo, Jon and his daughter are rowing on a blustery day in Pleasant Bay.

Phil Bolger's 18' Lobster skiff
Here's another little known gem from Phil Bolger's drawing board - the 18' Lobster Skiff. I found it while looking through back issues of Mike O'Brien's Boat Design Quarterly, a great source of boat plans and ideas. Mike knew Phil well, and featured many of his designs through the years. I have every issue except #1, a rare one. I have posted the full lines of the boat, and Mike's commentary, on the Bolger Pages .

Suggested power is 50 HP.and I do have a 50 HP E-tech doing nothing at the moment...


Spur II
Here's another great pulling boat from Phil Bolger. Sweet lines, lapstrake, custom oarlocks - a beauty. More info to come on the Bolger Pages.Thanks to Susanne and Phil for permission to use these lines.

The Classic 17' Swampscott Dory
In these days of rising oil prices, the original Swampscott Dory deserves some consideration. Built to row and sail, or for rowing only, this classic craft is still a great way to get out on the water. Built in a hybrid style of construction, this boat uses minimal amounts of petroleum based resources. Propelled by human muscle and nature's wind, it is not dependent on the fuel dock . I have built 5 of these beautiful boats, and would be happy to build a few more.

Body plan

Built to row or sail

Set up for rowing and fishing

The Nauset Marsh Skiff
Here's one from the archives- the Nauset Marsh Skiff.This is a very nice custom designed flat bottom skiff, done for Bob McAdams when he was guiding in Nauset Marsh. Some of the design parameters were : LOA- 15 1/2' to 17',Beam, 6' +/-, transom height 20", for a long shaft motor, and about 1200# capacity. Strong but light, tough bottom for beaching, good shallow water operation, seaworthiness for dealing with wakes and inlet conditions. I think we did a good job, Bob guided out of the boat foe several years before he retired and sold the boat. I built it in 1994, using Okoume ply, with a Sapele transom finished bright.

The latest version of the MNS, built 2014

Another view of the boat

Black Skimmer
Here's a great shallow draft boat from Phil Bolger. More info on my Bolger Pages

Here's a really nice 18' boat, winner of WoodenBoat's first Design Challenge.


LWL - 15'3"

Beam - 6'10"

Draft - 8 3/4"

Engine size - 25 to 60 HP Approximate boat weight, including motor, gear, and fuel- 1050-1150 lbs.

This boat has what you want in a nice 18' size- good looks, good speed, good economy. Top speed with a 25 HP motor is 21 knots, or 24 MPH. read all about it Here.

Photo and link used with permission.


Sweet Pea
Sweet Pea Lines
Here is another design from Phil Bolger, Sweet Pea. This is a great little rowing boat, designed originally for Howard Payson. It's kind of a combination surf dory/peapod. I would not bother with the slipping keel and sailing rig, just build it for rowing. It is an excellent rowing craft, and has been built many times. It has enough stability to row standing up, like a peapod, so if you are looking for a nice rowing boat to fish from this design would be a good choice.

Sweet Pea Lines

Old Wharf Dory Company
170 Old Chequessett Neck Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667

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