Hickman Sled design for a Bay boat hull.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Nico Crispi, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    New to this great forum and hello to all. I'm a long time reader and first time poster with experience in boat building, not the actual handicraft but the research-design-construction supervision side.

    The Hickman Sled attracted my attention in the early eighties at a time when I got interested in powerboat offshore racing -big departure for a sailor- but I ended up building a different design.

    I have recently moved to NE Florida where Flats and Bay boats are all the rage and I've taken rides on some of the best designs in search of a smallish hull that could be used in both the flats and in litoral rough conditions. You get the idea, fly fishing the flats in the morning and going after cobia 10 miles offshore in the afternoon, but I found nothing that could do both competently.

    This is where the Hickman Sled came to mind and I tried a Boston Whaler but, while fairly competent, it didn't shine at either task.
    A search for ready built Hickmans yielded no results but plans can be found, such as:
    | Boat Plans For Amateurs http://bateau.com/proddetail.php?prod=TX18

    Please comment on the validity of this design for my purposes since I'm not adverse to building one from scratch for my own needs. Alternatively maybe you can guide me to one of the early Boston Whaler designs which may have had more Hickman than the later ones.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. jfraymond
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    jfraymond Junior Member

    IMHO a flats boat and one I'd take offshore on any but the slickest calm days are mutually exclusive designs.... especially in a smallish design.
    depending on your definition of smallish, the 25ft tunnel hull Mowdys my father has owned are fairly decent in the rougher conditions with there high bows.
    Did see a few bay boats 30 miles offshore this past weekend for snapper season similar to my 25 bay ranger... but those aren't gonna run in 4" deep flats.

    there are still a few hickmans running around our coasts but ive never personally rode in one to give a opinion of there rougher water capabilities.
     
  3. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    The small number that got built might be a hint that they aren't all that great for all round use in spite of their potentially excellent speed.
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The problem was Hickman and his paranoiac personality. The design is good and has been copied in many forms; including Boston Whaler.
     
  5. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    Thank you Gonzo and yes it's all true. The design was tested and accepted by the Navy but he was so controlling that he turned people off. Ray Hunt took over from there.
     
  6. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Most of the recent versions I've seen on the internet are called IVB Inverted V Bottom boats. Apparently pretty similar to Hickman's design but this is definitely not a shallow draft flats boat. Never seen any practical boat that is great in calm shallow water as well as off shore and doubt that one exists.
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Inflatables are boats that do well in shallow and in rough water.
     
  8. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Well, they do float in both but are only good at that and little else.
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The Bateau version of the Sea Sled has addressed the known issues with the inverted V bottom design. Jacques did a good job on the plans and he's made the same hull form modifications all that have studied the Sea Sled, have. I've been a number of real "sleds" and a few of the Jackson versions. A Boston Whaler isn't really a Sea Sled or even an inverted V, so not a fair comparison. You might try the Bateau site and see if any forum members have built their sled.
     
  10. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    Thank you PAR, coming from a yacht designer it is valuable input indeed. I will contact the Bateau people and get more information.
    I seem to remember that boat dimensions don't scale and some study is required when making changes to LOA. Is this correct or would it be possible to change the Bateau's length and beam by equal percentages?

    I've located a Mako 19ft AIV -advanced inverted vee- whose owner speaks very highly of. He is not aware of the Hickman Sled and can not explain the hull design in any detail but he will take photos and e-mail them to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This type of design requires a great deal of hydrodynamic understanding to get your head around, let alone major changes to her physical dimensions. What changes do you need?

    I would be cautious of any owner comments, simply because they really don't offer much in critical terms. Basically I just toss any I receive over the side, out of hand, with a few notable exceptions.
     
  12. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    I thought you'd say so ^. Thinking maybe a 21ft LOA and as much freeboard as possible.
    Yes, opinions ....
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The skiff as Bateau has designed it is intended to be a flats boat, not a near or offshore fisher. A design that works well in both flats and offshore, just doesn't exist, as the requirements are too diverse. You have to make a decision about what you really need, so the design can address at least one of your needs well. An off shore design isn't as well suited for the flats, but most can make it work. On the other hand, a flats design just isn't well suited for offshore work and you can get into more potential trouble if you try. Look for a modest deadrise design, say 12 to 16 degrees, so you can have some level of comfort offshore, while not being too deep in the flats.
     
  14. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    Do you know if the early Hickmans had any deadrise at all on the transom? I spoke back in the early eighties with Harlan Orin, the man who worked on the wooden plug and was aboard for a run from King Harbour around Catalina and back and he reported a comfortable ride at high speeds, flat aft sections and all.
    The Navy had several built under contract by a third party and excellent rough water behavior was reported. Did they put a vee on those?
    How many extra inches of draft at the transom pencil out of a 12° to 16° deadrise? That would be all the difference for skinny water access.
    I am well aware of the love affair between the offshore crowd and the "magic" 24° deadrise but there are a great many other factors beyond deadrise that contribute to soft riding hulls.
    As you well know!
     

  15. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

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