Shapes and Types, Boat displaces and factors

Structures and Anatomy, Maintenance and Care

Fiberglass Hulls - type of hull defects

Basic Tools & Maintenance Supplies from 18 to 40 feet boat owners

Handling that vessel

A good Tender - The most important items of equipment, Size & Weight, Tender Power and Speed, Storage & Maintenance

Small boats
potentials and factors

Boat Articles, Guides, Commentary and archival articles & helpful sailing - information

 Small Boat and Factors



To be aware of the real potential

Unlike heavier boats, your little outboard boat,namely small motorboats under 15-20 feet in length, can be driven over land , and though your boat may not yet be flown, it can be used to realize your dreams of boating adventure like nothing else, carrying you on journeys of seeking and of self to the point where you are pushing the limits of boat. The small outboard boats is the ultimate magic carpet, with it you can visit thousands of places where big yachts, boats and heavier craft can never go, and yet you can go nearly every-where the larger pleasure boats do.

In order to take full advantage of a boat, one needs to know what can be expected of it and what cannot. This requires knowledge of hull shapes, what the addition of power does to the equation, how they behave in various stages of water, the effects of the presence or absence of seamanship, and a whole raft of pieces of information, both obvious and arcane.


The factor dividing small, as we define it. from big boats is weight. But the weight of the larger boats, all else being equal, will be between 250 and 500 pounds, a doubling of this critical factor.

To move that heavy hull through the water rather than over it calls for only a few of those 100 - 150 HP 10 should be plenty in most cases. That is why the majority of sailboats, which cannot plane with their rounded hulls, have such lowhorsepower auxiliary engines, and that's all they need.

20-foot factor

Winds of 10 - 20 m.p.h. are common on most coastal areas and lakes, such breezes create waves in the 1 - to 3.5-foot range that are no great challenge to boats over 20 feet but can give all sorts of grief to smaller type boats. To contend safely, if not always comfortably, with the waves, the boat skipper should use the buoyancy and quick response of his scat-back boat, working his way around and over this rough water rather than bucking straight into it. If this boat is loaded to its maximum or more, much of this advantage of light advantage of fast response and light weight will be lost.

[ Is Bigger Boat Better? ]

The boom Room

advantages to the smaller sailboat

There are many advantages to the smaller cruiser. You can sail it yourself, maintain it yourself. You cannot sink it, capsize it, ground it. You can beach it, anchor in shoal coves, dock along shallow bulkheads. It is easier to sail and easier to trail. All in all, it is more fun and more affordable than its big sibling.

boom Roomon board

Customize a cockpit

The boom, a few battens, a collection of zippered panels and you customize a cockpit enclosure so huge - most of us can stand in it. Or, you can make the room so small, it stows under a seat. Unlike a boom tent, the Boom Room is amazingly versatile.

Start with the top panel for shaded sun bathing or dewless outdoor sleeping. Add panels to one side for lean-to wind protection or unidirectional privacy. Add screen panels for cool verandering or, solid panels for hot philandering.

A family room on board

The Boom Room is the family's problem solver because it is so versatile. It is a guest room, a family room, a dining room, a private solar shower, a bedroom for king and queen sizes.

The Boom Room is the real "great" room. The kids can play games. Guests can play cards. You can stand, walk around, dress or just relax, couched in comfort: feet up, arm resting on the gunnel, back supported by the sloping cabin, book in hand. There is even the "U" shaped conversation pit for those who still know how.

The Boom Room is an expensive option, if it does not solve your needs. But, if adding the Boom Room spares you from giving away a few of the kids or buying a second Rhodes, that's another story. . . Or at least another room.

Notes: An alternate to the Boom Room, at a fraction of the cost, is the Boom Tent. The Boom Tent will let you sleep dew-free but not bug-free because it is not a full enclosure.

Another cockpit option is the Bimini. You cannot sail when using a boom enclosure. You can with a sun shading bimini. The Bimini Top can be folded forward when not in use and can be left dockside by releasing two gunnel thumb screws.