A modern 29' auto-boat
WB No. 253, Nov/Dec 2016: FLAIR is an update of the early 20th-century auto-boat type. Auto-boats took their styling cues from the fledgling car industry; they were the precursors to the later runabout.
- LOA: 29′ (8.84m)
- LWL: 27′9″ (8.47m)
- Beam: 6′9″ (2.06m)
- Beam WL: 5′9″ (1.76m)
- Draft: 22″ (0.56m)
- Displacement (half-load): 2,840 lbs (1.29t)
- D/L ratio: 59
- Prismatic coefficient: 0.64
- Electric motor LEMCO Swordfish
- twin 200-D135 @ 72V system
- 26kW (35 hp) continuous
- 53kW (71 hp) peak output
FLAIR’s hull shape combines a narrow waterline, a nearly flat run (and flat sections) aft, and a sharp entry, all of which promise good semi-planing speed and economy. The tumblehome continues below the water’s surface, presenting a non-tripping shape in tight turns.
At 35-hp, FLAIR will travel in the mid-teens. And she’ll do that in near-silence with an electric-propulsion unit.
FLAIR’s shapely hull is meant to be cold-molded or strip-planked and sheathed in fiberglass. The deck receives a decorative overlay of teak or mahogany.
The boat’s three-bladed propeller appears conventional, but it’s not: This is a Juan (“zjou-ann”) treated prop, meaning its tips are shaped to direct water in a nozzle-like fashion. The result is a smoother and more efficient boat.
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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