Fifth “Installment” – 21 foot Shanty Trawler

Feb 4, 2013

The decking is all complete now. It looks good and works well. It forms a nice
level, uncluttered area forward of the cabin. The pressure treated boards should
last a long time and I still intend to stain them light grey after they dry out a bit.

The new gunnel boards are finished on both sides. I’ve added docking cleats near
the rear.

The big news is the sea trial. I took the boat on a 10 mile trip today. All in all I
was very pleased. She sat level in the water. She did not feel top heavy. If you
stand on one side, she will tip a little, just like the 21 foot sailboat she came from.


The 6 HP four stroke outboard pushed it along very well. One quarter throttle
moved the boat at about 5 MPH. That’s my preferred cruising speed. When I
tested giving it more throttle, I discovered my motor bracket was not up to the
task. It flexed and made a funny noise. So, I backed off and it seemed safe for the
rest of the trip. I’ll need to redesign the bracket so it’s much stronger.

As far as tracking straight ahead is concerned, I’d rate it as fair. Letting the swing
keel down about a foot at the rear improved tracking. Letting it down further did
not help. I’m going to test the effect of adding a 3 inch high tracking guide on the
bottom of the boat. It will run from the aft end of the swing keel opening to the
rear of the boat, making it about 6 feet long.


When the boat was in the water today, I marked the actual waterline. I’ll paint a
waterline stripe on when I get a chance.

Visibility from the steering position was excellent.

The next big piece of work is adding the top above the cockpit area. It will be
made of the same exterior 3/8 inch plywood as was used elsewhere on the boat.

It will have a slight bow in it to shed rain water. I’ll give it about a 3 inch overhang
all around. It will get painted white, same as the roof on the “doghouse”.

After that, I’ll turn my attention to the cockpit seats and the hatch that goes into
the cabin.

Until the next time – Shanty On.

Rod Edens

PS: you can contact me at


Originally posted 2013-02-04 15:57:26.

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    • Bob,

      Yes, I did pay attention to fuel usage. I had a three gallon tank with a gauge on it. We
      (two buddies and I onboard) went 10 miles on a little less than a gallon of gas. That was five miles up river and five miles back down. We moved along at a steady 4 to 5 miles per hour. There was no wind. I was very pleased. The motor is a four stroke, 6 hp Tahatsu.

      Thanks for your question. Rod Edens

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