Howard Chapelle 34ft Downeast Looking Powerboat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by fpjeepy05, Feb 23, 2024.

  1. fpjeepy05
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    fpjeepy05 Senior Member

    Does anyone have a copy of "Boatbuilding" by Howard Chapelle?

    I found a boat I am interested in purchasing. The owner says his dad built it from Chapelle's plans. Before I purchase a copy of the book myself I figured I would ask in case the plans I'm looking for aren't in there...
     
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  2. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Nothing resembling a 34 foot "downeast" powerboat in Chapelle's Boatbuilding.

    The Smithsonian has a large collection of Chapelle's plans. The sell a catalog with a list of plans. Copies of the plans are available. Ship Plans https://americanhistory.si.edu/about/departments/work-and-industry/ship-plans Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has some Chapelle plans. The CBMM catalog is online. This search may be helpful: Museum collections | Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland https://collections.cbmm.org/MResultsGlobal.aspx?pS=chapelle%20ship%20plans#

    A 34 foot Maine lobster boat built by Will Frost in Portland, Maine in 1946 was on the boats in "Model Tests of Some Fishing Launches", Thomas Gillmer, 1960, pp341-347, "Fishing Boats of the World: 2" published by the FAO in 1960. The boat was designated M-1 by Gillmer and is a skeg built boat with a 9 foot 1 inch beam. The lines were taken by Phil Bolger. Howard Chapelle is credited along with John Gardner of initiating the test program. It is conceivable Chapelle provided copies of the M-1 lines to someone inquiring about the lines of a downeast power boat.
     
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  3. fpjeepy05
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    fpjeepy05 Senior Member

    Wow. Thank you. You probably saved me 80 hours of work there. I don't think it's the Frost boat though. This one looks to be about 5ft wide. I'll see if I can get some photos from the owner.
     
  4. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    That sounds like a pre-1940 boat.
     
  5. fpjeepy05
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    fpjeepy05 Senior Member

    I think the owner is 50-60 years old, so his dad might be 70-90. Possible but not likely he built it before 1940, but I agree it's probably a design from before 1940.
     
  6. fpjeepy05
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    fpjeepy05 Senior Member

    Owner says design is from around 1910. Chapelle utility design. He said it was an open boat and his dad designed the cabin.
     
  7. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Boatbuilding Plates 52 and 53 are Lines and Construction Planes for a 21-Foot Fisherman's Launch. LOA is 21' 9" and beam is 5' 9". Construction is "built down" with a straight keel timber which runs under the propeller to the bottom of the rudder stock. It is possible a builder started with these lines and enlarged/stretched the design.

    Chapelle was born in 1901 so not his design if from around 1910. Chapelle did spend time in down east Maine in the 1930's and recorded numerous boats while there. His own designs tended to be strongly influenced by traditional designs. To me the 21-Foot Fisherman's Launch appears similar to some early Maine powered lobster boats.
     
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  8. fpjeepy05
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    fpjeepy05 Senior Member

    I think it might be Plate 42. 35' Utility Launch. That shows a beam of 6' 9-3/4" I think. Hard to read the table of offsets.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I have the book. I have read it cover to cover and agree with @DCockey . However, it is possible many of the build techniques described by Chapelle we used.

    I will also check and see if I'm wrong, but doubt it.

    We'd love some pictures of an old launch.
     
  10. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    If the guys father built the boat; there is a high likelihood they have the lines plan. If I were you, I'd ask him to look real hard. Most builders would never toss the lines plans.

    Also, want to push back on you a bit, 34x5 would be a very impractical beam..
     
  11. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    I was assuming when you said "downeast looking" the boat has a round bottom. The plate 42 design looks very Chesapeake Bay to me, not Maine coast.

    Why? Stability depends on much more than the length to beam ratio starting with the displacement and CG height.
     
  12. fpjeepy05
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    fpjeepy05 Senior Member

    Agreed. I only saw the boat from the waterline up. A lot of the Chesapeake boats I have seen have a straight steam and this one had a little curvature to it. Also the house looked more DE than Chesapeake. I got fooled.

    I prefer the looks of DE over Chesapeake, but most the modern DE boats have gotten to fat in my opinion. I love Frost's Redwing but I digress.

    Well the actual beam was 6' 9". And I would agree if your definition of "impractical" means for the common idiot driving a boat in 2024. But for someone who understands the limitations of the tool they are using I don't seem a problem. People have been using canoes for thousands of years without issue.
     
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  13. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I was only doubting a Maine lobster launch had a 5' beam is all. A couple of traps and a fisherman would be a pretty tight fit. It was about the practicality of fishing is all. My 16' skiff is about 5' lwb, but I had a hard time appreciating 34' at same for said use.

    Not suggesting in any way that such a vessel would never exist.
     

  14. fpjeepy05
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    fpjeepy05 Senior Member

    Agreed. Redwing and Thorobred by Frost fit the bill, but they were runabouts, not necessarily working lobster boats.
     

    Attached Files:

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