Mark Kaufman—a high-school woodworking teacher and collector of vintage runabouts—spent years looking for a classic runabout design to build that would complement his antique two-cylinder Mercury outboards. He had in mind something small enough to hum along with a 10- to 20-hp outboard and with a roadster-style cockpit to accommodate two. Kaufman knew that runabouts with hard chines could get tripped up during tight maneuvering and throw their pilots, so he wanted a boat with beveled—or “anti-trip”—chines. He found such a design while perusing a 1938 issue of Motor Boating magazine, which featured plans and building instruction for a boat designed by Bruce N. Crandall. The article, “Flyer—A Midget Runabout,” written by Crandall’s brother, Willard, stressed the 10′ Midget’s ease of construction, overall lightness, low cost, and ability to plane when powered by a 5- to 10-hp outboard.Some 82 years later, these same attributes appealed to Kaufman, who opted to power his Midget with a 1950 Mercury KG7 Super 10 Hurricane—“the hotrod of the day,” he noted. “It’s a ball of fire.” In practice, the KG7 performs more like a 16- to 18-hp, which bumps up against Crandall’s maximum power recommendation of a 16 hp.

Donnie Mullen

The outboard is equipped with a yoke for steering. The arrangement of the steering cable and pulleys adds to the wheel’s mechanical advantage for a light touch with firm control. The plans called for spartan accommodations in the cockpit: just a plywood backrest and the floorboards for a seat. The cushions are a wise addition.

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