Paul Gartside’s design #221 for a 17′ outboard runabout came about in 2016 when he had an inquiry from a resident of Victoria, British Columbia. The brief was for a 1950s/1960s-style boat with a pair of seats behind a protective windscreen, with room for gear or extra passengers aft, and to use in the Gulf Islands, an archipelago in the inland sea between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland. Paul says that this style of boat “has been standard since the first boom in outboard power in the 1920s, perhaps even earlier, and it’s still hard to beat. It’s fun, comfortable, and sociable—a lot like driving a car.” Knowing that the Gulf Islands area has “some of the most benign boating conditions salt water has to offer” but with “strong tides and wind chops from time to time,” Paul gave the boat’s planing surface a few degrees of deadrise to counter pounding. “In a small boat with the crew’s center of gravity at times high, we can’t give it much, but every little bit helps at speed,” he said. The original brief was for glued-plywood clinker (lapstrake) construction, but Paul also advocates clenched clinker, cold-molding or strip-planking, the latter being, he thinks, “probably the most practical option for most home builders.”When Tim Odling enrolled in the 40-week Boat Building, Maintenance and Support course at the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis, UK, in October 2021, he would have liked to have built a sailing boat with a fixed keel, but the academy’s workshop was unable to accommodate such a boat. So, he decided to build Paul Gartside’s #221 with strip-planked construction, not least because clenched clinker, plywood/cold-molding, and glued-carvel construction were being used for the other three boats the students were building, and it is BBA policy to expose the students to a variety of methods.

All photos by Nigel Sharp

The windshield included in the drawings hadn’t been built in time for the launching. The drawings also show a folding dodger that offers occupants of the two forward seats additional protection from spray and rain.

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