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WB Magazine


A Passenger Boat for Penobscot Bay

Design and commentary by Laurie McGowan and Michael Schacht

Posted: June 05, 2014

The idea behind Sketchbook is simple: Readers send us their requirements for a new and unique boat. If their letter is chosen, our Sketchbook designers, Laurie McGowan and Michael Schacht, will develop the design and present it on the pages of WoodenBoat, and on this web site.


For our inaugural installment, Devid Gelinas of Penobscot, Maine, wrote us seeking a powerboat “that can accommodate up to 10 adult-sized passengers for day outings on Maine’s Penobscot Bay.” David continues: “I want to explore islands, but not be constrained by the need to carry a dinghy to shuttle passengers ashore. Afternoons on the bay can have 20-knot breezes and 3–4′ seas. I won’t be driving hard in those conditions, but I want the boat to be safe and comfortable and still make a decent turn of speed.

“Currently I have a 21′ fiberglass outboard-powered production boat with a shallow-V bottom. It has two major shortcomings: It pounds in all but the slightest chop, and it is not big enough for the groups I entertain. I land this boat on island beaches stern-first, sometimes setting the hook off the bow and then backing the boat in to the beach. I’d like to continue with that method in my new boat, as I have found that using the stern-mounted swim platform is the easiest way to disembark passengers who are fit, but aging.”

David goes on to list a specific set of requirements, and the designers responded with the light and lovely Seahawk, a rendering of which we see here. Below is a rotating three-dimensional model of the boat. To read and view the full description of the design, pick up a copy of the July/August issue of WoodenBoat.


Submitted by rprwoodenboat on

are there plans available to buy?

Submitted by Sketchbook on

Thank you very much for the interest in Seahawk. The scope of a Sketchbook article is a design exploration dictated by a reader’s wish list, and not meant to be a final plan. On a month to month basis, we will gauge interest in the designs, and based upon the response, plans can be made available. We’d love to hear your take on our sketchbook projects! Comment here, or email Laurie or myself at the addresses given at the end of the article.

Michael & Laurie
The Sketchbook Guys

Submitted by on

Dear Designers,

This is a very exciting feature. How do I submit a letter to request a design exploration?


Neal Axon

Submitted by sswells1967 on

I love this design. I have been looking for something like this for a while.