Boats Aren't Cars | Boating Magazine

Boats Aren't Cars

The difference is clear to see!

While the family SUV or minivan may be designed to climb a mountain range, cross a desert, and run in conditions that range from scorching heat to blizzard, most boats are much more specific in their design and intended use. Thus, the qualities that make a “good boat” vary wildly. As a result, many boats possess features or attributes that are tough to figure out, unless you happen to belong to the subset of boaters for which the feature or attribute was designed.

Automobiles are much more inclusive. Boats are all about cliques.

Dyer Dhow

A classic Dyer with the translucent bottom option:It fits nicely, inverted over the deck hatch, and still allows some light belowdecks. Its not meant to be a, " glass-bottom boat," but rather is a design feature incorporated to suit a certain subset of cruisers

Photo by Lisbeth Miner; Courtesy Dyer Boats.

Case in point is the Dyer Dhow. The Dhow is a dinghy--designed by Philip C Rhodes and Charles Wittholz, and built by The Anchorage in Warren, Rhode Island since 1948, the Dhow is the longest continuously produced fiberglass boat—that can be motored, rowed or sailed. One can order a Dhow with a translucent bottom, made possible by the use of clear gelcoat. So molded, the Dhow allows light to pass through when it is stowed inverted over a deck hatch, on the deck of a cruising sailboat. So if you come across one for sale, don’t think for a moment that the previous owner sanded the bottom too aggressively, as did one misinformed yard sale denizen I happened to overhear. Its supposed to be opaque, to allow in light light to the cabin when stowed, not to provide a viewing pane like a glass-bottom boat. Another example is the Texas Scooter, such as those built by Boat Right Marine. Designed to run expansive flats, such as those found at Lower Laguna Madre, scooters may be the only powerboat type in which the draft exceeds the freeboard. They are tunnel hulled, outboard-powered and can damn near be run on damp sand. A scooter’s most dramatic feature may be the flat deck, just inches above the water and around which there is usually no railing. This last facilitates the casting to, and the landing of, various Gulf of Mexico fish species. Obviously, a scooter is not a rough water boat, but for their intended use, in the environment for which they were developed, a scooter is tough to beat.

Texas Scooter Boat by Boat Right Marine

Texas Scooter Boat by Boat Right Marine

This Texas Scooter Boat, built by Boat Right Marine, is ideally suited for the mission for which it is designed

Couresy Boat Right Marine

Ever seen the rat-tail boats of Asia or the stump-jumping boats, powered by engines like the Go-Devil, that ply the swamps of the southeastern United States? If an obstruction, or the bottom of the bayou, is encountered, the shaft pivots up, drops back down, and the boat proceeds without a hitch. Air-cooled, these are loud as all get out—and in Asia, the engines are usually sourced from scrap cars, which makes them cheap. Of course any kind of docking or close-quarters maneuvering with such a driveline would be challenging, to say the least. But for its use, in its environment, they are tough to beat. There is no perfect boat. But there is likely a boat that is perfect for you.), used in the swamps of the southern United States? They are powered by a system consisting of a four-stroke motor installed on the inboard end of pivoting shaft that angles into the water well behind the boat while the propeller and a skeg are mounted on the outboard end of the same shaft.

Go-Devil Engine

A Go-Devil boat is ideally suited for its mission of plying shallow, obstruction-riddled waters

Courtesy Go-Devil Engines

If an obstruction, or the bottom of the bayou, is encountered, the shaft pivots up, drops back down, and the boat proceeds without a hitch. Air-cooled, these are loud as all get out—and in Asia, the engines are usually sourced from scrap cars, which makes them cheap. Of course any kind of docking or close-quarters maneuvering with such a driveline would be challenging, to say the least. But for its use, in its environment, they are tough to beat.

The boats shown here exhibit design features more specific than many others. They provide evidence that there is no perfect boat. Just remember that there is likely a boat that is perfect for you.

Takeaway The thing that works best on an old boat is the owner. --Anonymous

Boats


Gear


How-To