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"The Little Buddy" Boat Plans


Image of "The Little Buddy" Boat Plans

I designed this boat for a buddy of mine, Mitch, to serve as a yacht tender to his 34' sloop Boomerang. He had a 10' rubber dingy with a 10 Hp. Tohatsu. It is about as much fun to row as a wheelbarrow full of bricks. The outboard lived on his stern pulpit, so he would have to wrestle the thing down a swim ladder on his reversed raked transom, then step into a floating dingy with a rubber floor, then proceed to try to get the thing mounted on the transom. By the time he got all this done, his wife had fallen asleep in the vee berth and he was too tired to go ashore and have dinner.

So his design requirements were for a tender that was 8' or less, so it could be hauled up over the rail and stowed on deck, it had to be light weight, stable, tow in a perfectly straight line with very little drag, take a 2 hp. Honda, have a great load carrying capacity, have plenty of leg room and be fast and fun to row.

So I solved the weight problem by planking the topsides with 1/4" and the bottom with 3/8" and 10 oz. glass. The towing issue was solved with a 3" wide keel running the full length of the bottom with a long and deep skeg aft. To get her to have good load carrying capacity and stability I made her flat bottomed with a lot of rocker and a lot of flair to her topsides. Instead of making her pointed at the bow I chose a double transom style, so there would be no loss of displacement forward. To solve the leg room issue I built her with just one seat running for and aft rather than three athwartships. She is a dream to row as the rocker keeps her transoms out of the water and her skeg allows her to track like a freight train. With the seat running the full length of the hull, someone 6'8" could stretch out and have a nap. I think the air just went out of the rubber boat for the last time.