Happy Clam skiff performance

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by richardguglielm, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. richardguglielm
    Joined: Jun 2012
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    Location: Florida

    richardguglielm New Member

    Has anyone built a Happy Clam skiff and verified the 14 mph speed with a 5 Hp motor? Thank you for any info or direction to anyone that may have experience with this 17 foot skiff.
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    I believe that the Atkins had a design called Happy Clam. They drew good practical boats using old fashioned materials and methods. They were good salesmen and I believe that they were inclined to indulge in exaggeration from time to time.

    Five horsepower could achieve 14 MPH if the total weight of boat and occupant was light enough and the boat was designed as a planeing hull.
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Witch Happy Clam are you referring to? I know of several. Is it a "Sea Bright", a Jersey skiff or the common, typically flat bottomed clamming skiff?

    The Sea Bright skiff, by Atkins used a 5 HP inboard, turning a straight, nearly parallel shaft and though a claim of nearly 15 MPH was at best kind. Considering the weight and hull form, this would have been a stop watch type of thing and mirror smooth water.

    In short, it's not a light boat, which doesn't help it's preformance potential. At 15 MPH, she's all but maxed out anyway, so it must have been one healthy 5 HP flat head, that's for sure.

  4. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Billy and John produced another boat that they called Surprise. Planset #711 was a Seabright, 19 feet overall. It was rigged as a sailing knockabout as well as engine powered. They reckoned that a Universal Fisherman 8hp, a Nadler 8hp, Red Wing Meteor 18Hp or a Universal Atomic Four at 22 HP would make the boat go pretty briskly. The eight HP engines would give the boat 15.5 statute MPH and the 22 Hp Atomic four would yield 20 MPH. All that and a decent sailer too? They did not mention the wee little 5 HP Palmer.

    I respect the Atkins design abilities but I still suspect that they would have been pretty good used car salesmen. They often addressed the readers as "shipmates" and called small boats "little hookers".

    Drawings, table of offsets, and material lists appear in a 1953 vintage book: Sailboats And Auxiliaries You Can Build. Some real interesting stuff in that book with about 40 different designs with which to while away stormy afternoons.

    I have always wanted to build an Atkin design that they called Valgerda. It was a real viking looking double ended lapstraker known in scandinavia as a Hardangersjekte. Then there was/is the practically famous tunnel sterned Rescue Minor that does work as well as they claimed if not more so.
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