You gotta love the atributes of a sharpie power cruiser

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Boston, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    They are shallow draft, easily driven, look easy to build, and contain a whopping volume.

    A few issues might be slamming and coasting abilities. I've been reading our old threads and there's quite a variety of thoughts on this type, which seem to run the full gamete.

    the particular boat I've got in mind is Raul Parker's commuter 44 which can be found at


    At 10,000 lbs its gotta be pretty delicate. I suppose you could add a few inches to the depth and beef up that hull some. Any of you who are familiar with my overall plan of world domination will remember that I'm always thinking of the pacific northwest inside passage.

    I don't really think I could afford to build or operate this large a vessel but its fun considering it on a cold and snowy winters day.

    As I'm looking at this design I can't help but wonder if it would survive up there in the cold north. Seems like its just to light and delicate to have a very good window of opportunity. That and overnighting could be trouble if a squall ran through. But still, that shallow draft and the easily driven hull looks very appealing.
  2. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    I'm skeptical as well......

    Light boats can be built but most people have no idea of the rigorous attitude necessary.....For instance we just checked the real weight of a Phil Bolger designed Windermere (30' by 8' ply houseboat), design weight is just over 7000 pounds, the owner built her to the plans and afloat she's just over 9000 pounds light ship, 10,600 pounds fully loaded with 3 crew aboard. The foam cored Yellow Cedar (38' by 10') and strongly built with lots of wood trim and generator etc was 13,000 light ship without ballast aboard. The first Hinckley Picnic Boat (foam cored glass, 36' by 10') was 10,400 pounds with strict weight control and no extras.......

    I think it will be almost impossible to build a 44' at 10,000......even more impossible to actually use her at that weight......
  3. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    There was a story in Professional Boatbuilder several month ago of a builder / designer in Key West that built a few of these in a range from about 29ft to around 44ft. He supplied some pretty good information about building, speed, range, handling and the differences as the series changed and progressed into larger versions.

    They had very nice classic lines similar to the ones in the drawing.

  4. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Professional BoatBuilder number 130, April/May 2011 Same person, Reuel Parker. Hull is shallow V-bottom, not flat. I consider a sharpie as having a flat bottom.

    More information about the Commuter 44 is here. Light plywood construction:
    "Cold-molded plywood/epoxy covered with epoxy-impregnated polyester cloth. The hull is built around longitudinals spanning ½” ply bulkheads, greatly simplifying lofting and construction. Bottom: double-diagonal 5/8” Ply; sides: one layer 3/4”; decks: foam-core/ply sandwich; twin 3/8” ply web frames fore & aft." Power is twin Diesels, 86 HP.

    First of the series was a 36 footer powered by a 90 HP outboard. Claimed weight at launching with full tanks was 5,500 lbs. Description is here.

    My guess is the first Hinckley Picnic Boat had considerably more power, and somewhat more content/features and a more sophisticated finish. It also may have been fundamentally stronger. Parker bills these boats as "intended for semi-protected waters and coastal waters with trips to Cuba and the Bahamas possible during calm weather."
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Was on board an early Huckins PT style boat , and the builder was so concerned about weight he outfitted with a light aluminum folding table and chairs as stock.

    EVERYTHING was that carefully thought out.

  6. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    I don't know David,

    The twin 4JH Yanmars in the Parker 44 are around 500Kg, whereas the 6LY used in the original Picnic Boat was 600Kg, the little Hamilton jet was maybe 160Kg with entrained water. Two shafts, props, bearings, rudders, exhaust systems, starting batteries, and cooling systems adds a bunch of weight.

    No question the Picnic Boat is tougher, designed to run at 30+ knots in the Ocean with a thick Airex cored bottom. But it was a dayboat, vee-berth, minimal head and galley bench, two helm seats and a bench across the transom was it......

    The Parker has 4 berths, two heads, a reasonable sized galley, two dinettes, and is intended as a cruiser. To me that implys a dinghy, several anchors, barbeque, a couple of kayaks, a bimini, some books and lots of charts, tools, spares, food, etc......I don't see doing that in a 44' structure at less than 15,000 pounds.....he's including tankage for 3000 pounds of liquids.......

  7. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    So right Tad. I try to press home the attitude that a builder must keep weight in mind at every stage of building my boats. Even so, I am pretty sure that none have built them as light as I intended. Luckily, the designs and building methods tend to force much lighter construction than most others. The result of the builders adding a bit of weight here and increasing "strength" there is that performance does not suffer as much as boats that don't have as much margin to begin with. In a displacement boat, this is not such a problem but, in a planing boat it can be crucial. The number of inquiries on this forum about what to do with a boat that won't plane or barely makes it onto plane with the designed power is an obvious indication of an overweight boat.

    I remember the first Bolger 22' Retriever pilothouse cruiser that was designed for a Yamaha 50hp High Thrust outboard. At WOT, it barely made 12kts with the bow in the air. After a Honda 90hp was put on, it ran well into the 20's. That boat was built by a professional so the inexperience of a home builder was not the problem. In a plywood boat, the most obvious weight issue is the choice of plywood species. Most designers want the builder to use occume but many will choose meranti or worse yet, kerung at a weight penalty of 24% and 40% because of cost. On a 22 foot cruiser, this is like having 2 to 4 extra guests aboard that you can't put ashore.

    In addition to that, very few realize the weight that is added in the final stages of building a boat. And then, as Tad said, all boats tend to collect stuff over time that adds weight. I guess boats are like people.
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