by Stephen Cifka
really is a remarkable boat. We use it mostly here by our home
in Olympia Washington. This is the south end of puget sound,
so lots of wonderful places for day cruising. I also use the
boat in big water at Neah Bay which is the entrance of the Juan
de Fuca Straight where the Pacific enters Washington state.
This is pretty scary water, but the boat works great for salmon
fishing. It handles rough water beautifully, but as in all small
craft, you have to keep an eye on the weather.
We just came back from a week cruise in the Canadian Gulf Islands.
These islands are at the Southeast corner of Vancouver island
in British Columbia, and are really fabulous.
The boat sleeps two very comfortably and we have
full canvas so can sit out bad weather and rain if need be.
It has a canvas windshield for cool weather. I have a simple
gimballed stove for coffee, steaming vegetables and a propane
barbecue for the stern when needed.
The boat is a constant source of attention and
comment, which is fun (most of the time!). My boat does about
19mph top speed with the 25 Yamaha 4 stroke. We like to cruise
at about 3700 rpm ...a cruising speed of about 12-15 mph. The
boat gets (no kidding) 12 mpg cruising. I have a 12 gallon tank
so the range is about 120 - 150 miles between fueling.
The boat is shallow draft (18 inches motor down) and can easily
run up on beaches with its raised bow. We often anchor in areas
too shallow for most boats and this almost always guarantees
us an anchor spot even in popular spots.
A very remarkable feature of the boat is that
it maintains an almost constant level fore and aft (is that
pitch?) as it comes out of the water. This lets you cruise at
any speed. At 2,000 rpm it is a displacement hull, similar to
a sailboat (about 7-8mph) and mid throttle the bow raises a
bit (but the boat does not squat) so 3-4,000 rpm it cruises
at avery comfortable planing speed of 12- 15mph and at 5,000
it really flies.
Building the boat was a joy. Kilburn's plans are extremely detailed
and straight forward (there is a lot of information on his website).
I was fortunate to have a friend that is a professional boat
builder, and he did the majority of the construction (I would
help evenings). I did all the finish work, sanding, varnish,
paint, electrical and rigging the boat. We began work in April
of 2003 and the boat was constructed in 3 months and took another
month to do finish work and outfitting. We took our first cruise
at the end of July in 2003.
I have included some some photos from our Gulf Island trip.
Thanks for your interest!