WB No. 254, Jan/Feb 2017: SKIMMER is a light and fast houseboat, merges the idea of a livable Dutch motor barge with a fast and light Hickman Sea Sled. Motor barges are generally flat-water boats that maximize living space, and they can be found throughout Europe’s canal system. The Sea Sled, progenitor of the ubiquitous Boston Whaler, is fast and seaworthy.
- LOA: 37′10″ (11.54m)
- LOD: 33′6″ (10.21m)
- LWL: 31′10″ (9.70m)
- Beam: 8′6″ (2.59m)
- Beam WL: 7′7″ (2.32m)
- Draft: 7″-8½″ (0.18-0.21m)
- Displacement: 5,440 lbs (2.47t)
- D/L ratio: 75
- Power Twin long-shaft four-stroke 40- to 50-hp motors
The afterdeck makes a welcoming entryway to the interior. Two davits arc above it, for convenient dinghy stowage. Ample windows make for a light and airy cabin.
Vertical hull sides minimize the amount of spray (and energy) cast to the sides, while ample spray rails help keep water from coming aboard. A jog in the tunnel’s top, near the bow, deflects water that might otherwise climb over the bow.
To reach a modest 15 knots, the boat requires a mere 24-hp; 40-hp will push the boat to nearly 30 knots.
Space is maximized by the boat’s near-rectangular cabin plan. The accommodation includes a galley and dinette, a queen-size bed, and ample stowage.
Laurie McGowan is a Nova Scotia–based boat designer in with a diverse on- and below-water work history. He specializes in energy-efficient commercial and pleasure boats. More of his work may be found at mcgowanmarinedesign.com.
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