July / August 2020

Building a Midget Flyer Runabout

Little boat, big fun
Midget Flyer runabout

The author’s 10′ Midget Flyer runabout, designed by Bruce Crandall, carries a Mercury Super 10 outboard motor, and can reach speeds up to 27 knots.

As a collector and restorer of vintage wooden runabouts and vintage Mercury outboard motors, I wanted a traditionally built boat that would be suitable for my two-cylinder Mercury outboards. After years studying race-boat designs from the 1920s and ’30s, I eventually decided to build one, using period-correct construction techniques, without plywood or fiberglass. I wanted a lightweight boat with beveled “anti-trip” chines, small enough to perform well with a 10- to 20-hp outboard, but big enough for a roadster-style cockpit for two people. After much research, I selected Bruce Crandall’s 10' Midget Flyer runabout. The designer’s brother, Willard S. Crandall, wrote a construction article on the Midget Flyer for the January 1938 issue of MotorBoating magazine, describing it as a “A Fast, Little Runabout Designed Especially for Lightweight Outboard Motors.” It sounded like just what I was looking for.

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