Trailerable Shantyboat Daydreams

So more on the thought of a boat that could also be a camper trailer.

What are the goals?

  1. Trailerable behind my Chevy.  2000 pounds max.
  2. Standing headroom.
  3. Ability to get into the boat easily while it is on the trailer.
  4. Not too expensive.
  5. Ideally, it would have the ability to fold or telescope down so that it would tow easier.
  6. Toilet.
  7. Ideally a shower.
  8. Queen sized bed.
  9. Place to cook… inside or out.
  10. My wife needs to like it because I want to do this with her.

There are three prime candidates I can think of.

Lisa B Good by the late Paul Browne.  He was a member of our Shantyboat group over on yahoo and was a bright spirit who was willing to share with all others.    The boat is 16 feet long.

Essential statistics

  • Length overall – 16′
  • Beam at trailer bed – 7′ 6″
  • Beam at rubrails – 8′
  • Weight – about 2500 lbs
  • Draft – 5″
  • Headroom – 6′ 5″ at center
  • Power – 5-10 hp outboard
  • Speed – 5 kts downhill

Sadly, Paul died of cancer.   His plans are available for free from Duckworks Magazine.

Next, is the Aqua Casa, which is available in a 16 and 20 foot length.  Very similar to Lisa B Good in many ways.

Bolger designed one, and it looks like all the others here to some extent.



While I respect the ideas Bolger had, for my own reasons I most likely wouldn’t build one of his boats.

And then there is my old favorite, the Atkins Retreat.

As Atkin said, “The over-all length of the hull is 18 feet; the breadth is 7 feet; the depth from bottom to deck is 2 feet. The sides are flat and stand plumb: just like a long box having slanting ends. With everything aboard the hull will draw close to 5 inches of water.”

There is only standing headroom in the taller section, so for my wife at least, that is a major shortcoming.  Actually, she is, for reasons unknown, totally entranced by those little motorcycle trailers.

The Timeout And Easy Camper Motorcycle Pullable Camping Trailers

I find that idea OK, but a little lacking in adventure.

All of these boats are very nice, and anyone would do. Always liked that Atkins, but I would also be delighted to build Paul’s boat, almost as a tribute.

Originally posted 2011-09-05 01:42:43.

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  1. I appreciate your posting of the various designs. I was glad to see the Lisa B Good design still floating around. I have spent many hours mulling that design over. I recall speaking with Paul before he passed away about stretching her out to 18 or 20 feet. I am working to stretch the plans now.
    Shanty boats are a great hobby. Thank you for keeping the dream alive!


    • Thanks for the note, Mike. Paul was an online friend of mine as well. A really good guy, who clearly had some great ideas! Bryan Lowe

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