This is a new design done as a very simple and approachable powerboat capable of being the perfect companion to adventures on the water. Originally designed for Florida waters, I think she would fit in just about anywhere. Built as an open boat, a variety of other concepts and options can be worked into this relatively simple hull, all of them allowing the builder and boatman to tailor this vessel to suit their own needs and desires. She is on the narrow side being very similar to the Pangas of Mexico and the Caribbean that I am very familiar with. As a fishing boat on the bonefish flats, she really shines with a casting deck built into the forward area of the boat where you have plenty of room to keep your feet under you while standing up to cast into the clear waters.
Power can be up to a 90 horsepower outboard but keep in mind this hull does not need a lot of horsepower to be driven economically at a good clip over the water. There is a center console arrangement that helps keep the helmsman in an area of the boat with excellent visibility and control. The cockpit deck is self-bailing if you keep her on a mooring with the sole being 3 inches above the loaded waterline. Plugging the scuppers when carrying a load of friends on an outing is a simple solution to keeping the cockpit sole low enough to still keep you in the boat when fishing. There is 17 inches of height from the cockpit sole to the top of the side decks in the main cockpit area which is 11 feet 3 inches in length and almost 5 feet wide. The forward casting deck is over 4 feet in length and almost 5 feet wide at its widest point and stands up 14 inches higher than the main cockpit sole.
For seating in a boat like this I really prefer to use loose folding type chairs. West Marine sells a wonderful seat called the Kingfish II that has built in armrests and with its low stance, it stays put in any kind of waters and conditions. I like these seats so well that I keep a couple of them on the stern deck of my old salmon troller “Josephine”. On the Curlew we can also sit on the 6 inch wide side decks if we desire the 17 inch height of the railing above the cockpit deck which is just about the perfect height for seating.
Construction is our normal Stitch and Glue method with hi-grade marine plywood used throughout combined with epoxy resin and fiberglass and Dynel cloth sheathing for abrasion resistance. Paint her a light color with a gray or beige colored decking and she will keep well and look clean and shipshape for a long time. This Curlew 20 would be the perfect workboat, capable of doing just about any job required of her. Construction is straightforward and easy with her 4 paneled hull.
This type of hull design with her vee bottom running from a relatively sharp entry and reducing in deadrise gradually to the stern where the deadrise aft is the flattest of the run allows for great performance in a variety of waters. We ran a full length spray rail all along her sides just above the waterline and this will help keep spray down when blasting about on a brisk day. It is very easy to see myself beaching her on a sandy beach after a morning on the water with my fly pole and hopefully a couple of bright fish in the cooler staying fresh until I kindle a fire on the beach for their grilling. A couple of cold beers in my belly and some very tasty grilled fish makes for the conclusion to a great day. I hope you can see yourself in the same picture or even better make your own picture for the Curlew and you.
We are offering the building plans set at $125 dollars for the download version and $155 for a paper set printed for you. There are 7 sheets of drawings in the set total with panel expansions done for you and everything designed for the stitch and glue building method. She is planked up with ½ inch marine plywood in her single chined hull, set-up drawings are done for you and this is a very easy boat to build. With about 450 hours of labor and few thousand dollars of marine plywood and epoxy, you will be ready to use her in your own dreams. — Sam Devlin