45′ Plus Diesel Duck

Welcome! Bodie LIKES this boat!  Richard M. Viggiano of PRO-TECH MARINE provided much of the electronics on Ross & Gail’s ship. Rick did a demo for me, and showed me an aerial view of Whidbey Island, then zeroed in on my shop. I told him I was gonna paint a big vertical finger on my roof!    Still

47′ Plus Diesel Duck

Photos added 7/5/2017 Another model, just a bit different than the others. The way it’s going it appears eventually there will be a new DUCK available in 1 foot increments. That seems silly but, there’s been a reason for each new one so I’ve quite wondering about it! Like all the DUCKS she has a backup sail.

55′ Diesel Duck-Plus

New drawings 7/26/08 The 55 worked out just great but, as usual, a few guys wanted more room yet. So, I took the basic design and “tweaked” her a bit. I gave her a bit deeper bow and stern sections and a bit wider transom. This added 7,000 pounds to her displacement and also allows

41′ plus-2 DIESEL DUCK

This new DUCK steel design is a “fine tuned” version of the 41-Plus, which in its own right is successful. That “plus” and “2” stuff refers to the “sugar scoop” style transom the boats have, which makes the boat a bit over 44′ on the water but 41′ on deck, making a built in “swim

382 Seahorse Duck Plans

Revised 12/5/07 The 382 Diesel Duck! This little ship is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. She’s sort of an Evolution version of the original 38, but a but more so in that she really is a new design, beamier and with considerable more refinements. I don’t sell the plans; she’s only available as a

41′ Plus Diesel Duck

Last edit 7/16/2012 New Interior photos George’s Turkey Visit I’ve written before how no design springs from a vacuum and ALL designs are a combination of a lot of folk’s ideas, in most cases, going back years and years. This boat is MY combination of great ideas by several people. Bill at Seahorse’s ideas on

38′ Diesel Duck

12/12/17 new photos added documenting the building of a wood 38, in Brazil Making time This was the very first Diesel Duck and the following spiel is the description I wrote back then whenI sent the drawings out to various magazines. It repeats some of what you’re read elsewhere (so what else is new) but

492 Seahorse Diesel Duck

8/13/2014 The 462 has been very successful but as usual, there were people who wanted the same idea but just a little more  space. We call this new version the “492” although frankly, now that I think about it I don’t know why because she is about 53′ overall. But that’s alright. I did the

462 Seahorse Sedan

The DUCKS are a pretty specialized idea. Oh they work fine for day and vacation use of course. In fact some people love simply owning a ship like this even if they know damned well they’ll never do serious passage making. But there were people who liked the concept of the easily driven and seaworthy

60′ Seahorse Survey Vessel

Seahorse 60′ Long Range Survey Vessel This hull started off as the largest true Diesel Duck version; sail rig, cockpit behind the house, low forward cabin. We all liked this hull and thought it ideal to also be offered as a straight powerboat. Lily, Seahorse’s talented Naval Architect, and Bill, owner of Seahorse, took this

48′ Diesel Duck

Click Harry & Vickie’s Wooden 48 (shown above) to see step by step wood construction photos of this ship! At this length the DUCK concept gives us a pretty spacious cruising home. While certainly a substantial boat, she’s also quite trim. She has the same beam as the 44, but the extra length has been

34′ Diesel Duck

I think most of the small designs said to be for cruising are simply to “busy.” The designer tries to get to much stuff in ’em, and as a result, nothing is quite big enough to be actually comfortable. I do have a number of smaller cruising sailboat designs, but they don’t pretend to be

44′ Old Dad

(Andy’s Toy) “Old Dad 46” Big and simple plywood “day” or” vacation” boats used to be common up into the 60’s, but slowly, design emphasis has shifted more to maximum interior accommodations, and other than the serious sports fishing crowd, the bigger cruisers are more like luxurious motorhomes than vacation pleasure and fishing boats. This

55′ DIESEL SWAN

Her profile is obviously based on the 48 Evolution DUCK. An inboard rudder version will be available too. The fellow building this one wants the outboard one. It still has the “ladder” down to the water cut into the transom, but because of the outboard rudder, the swim step can only be on one side

81′ Ellemaid

I love this hull. She makes me think of those beautiful New England Sardine Carriers that go up and down the coasts of Maine and Nova Scotia pretty much regardless of the weather. They were every bit as able and attractive as the west coast trollers, you know, just longer. Forgive me running on, but

63′ Schooner ALCA I

“We wanted to share with you how superb the Alca i performed this summer (2017), during its research cruises in the Gulf of Maine.” I was very flattered to be asked to work with the owners in designing this boat, because large wood boats like her are rarely built today and even less rarely are

71′ Wunderburg

70′ 8″ WUNDERBURG (a “kayak” yacht!) With all the emphasis I put on my designs as comfortable live-a-boards, I’m frequently asked why don’t I live aboard. I don’t; I live in the country on a couple acres. The thing is I’ve gone about all this (as usual) backwards. I had my first boat that I

39′ Cutter HERA

HERA is identical to JUNO, but blown up 15%. I originally designed her for myself, because JUNO worked out so well that I thought a larger version would really be nice. By adding the extra volume the interior really starts to get big enough where you can have some good living area. The version shown

36′ Block Island Cowhorn

The hull, originally designed in the 1600s(!) has a really lovely sheer. The original Cowhorns were between the low 20s and the high 30s foot long, and were usually rigged as two masted unstayed cat ketch. This Marconi cutter is much simpler…. Americans look to European designs like the Scanahoovian rescue boats when thinking of

50′ OTTER

OTTER/ORPHEUS The idea behind this design was to create a safe and comfortable ocean cruising and live-aboard vessel, while staying within guidelines of moderate costs and simple enough construction practices that the yacht could be built, and financed, by any amateur builder who sets his mind to it. I’m quite pleased with the way she

32′ Ruby B

This is an older design of mine that I always thought would be a fine budget cruiser for colder areas. There’s a few changes I’d make if I was building the boat for myself. The engine location is poor. There’s no room around it, and only room for the little Yamar. I think I’d use

28′ Captain Eddy

28′ 6″ Captain Eddy I read Wiley Miller’s Non Sequitur comic strip every day. I like all his characters but my favorite is Captain Eddy and his “lobsta boat” named Anoesis. This design looks a lot like “The Captain’s” boat in that strip. At just 28′, HE (with a name like Capt. Eddy it can’t

35′ Coot

35′ Trawler (not Troller) Yacht COOT COOT is a medium sized Trawler Yacht that is specifically planned out for NW cruising. Of course this doesn’t rule out her use anywhere else! The features that make COOT so appealing here will be appreciated anywhere. The Pacific Northwest is absolutely tremendous cruising grounds. That’s the sole reason

25′ Little Big Man

7/27/09 A rather “jaunty” look, if I do say so…. This was a design for my friend Vern, a man who’s ministry may be in Wyoming but who loves the ocean. Vern heads to the sea on his vacation, and needed a boat that could be trailed behind his pickup from Wyoming to the Gulf

60′ Diesel Goose

The GOOSE is sort of a “super” DUCK. She’s the same concept of simplicity of construction and very robust scantlings, but, at 130,000 pounds at her DWL can hardly be called trim and trollerish. That’s OK; she isn’t supposed to be. She looks a bit high freeboard for my tastes but that was required to

30′ Grizzly Bear

30′ Cutter GRIZZLY BEAR GRIZZLY BEAR is a heavy duty little ship. He is the same length as EMILY, but the GRIZ has more beam and fuller ends which make him displace80% more. The results are a lot more comfortable boat because the motion will be quieter, the load capacity greater, and there will be

29′ Schooner Uncle Sam

SAM is an inexpensive, simple to build, and handsome little ship that would be a lot of fun for weekend and vacation use. You could certainly use him for cruising too, butI think in this small size a cutter rig is more practical for off-shore use. However, that’s the point. Just being “practical” is usually

38′ High Latitudes Drifter

In summer of 1994 there was an editorial in one of the American sailing magazines that absolutely set me off. The editor went on at length about how light displacement and lightly built, dinghy hulled, asymmetric, high SA/Displ. ratio typical contemporary production sailing yachts, are without doubt the ONLY sensible cruising sailboat type. Yes, as

60′ Big Mel

New 12/2015: Big Mel is now a charter sailing boat out of Scotland. More info at steaysail.nl Melquiades (Big Mel) 60′ This is an older design, done for a Switz guy. Several were built at the Gdansk shipyard right around the time the Polish workers were organizing to kick out the commies. Maybe right after,

39′ NW Cruiser

Several years ago Bill Kimley at Seahorse gave me the hull Lines to a 35′ hull he had been building, and invited me to create a version of it. I used this as an opportunity to develop an idea for a boat I’d like to own; something specifically suited for the Pacific Northwest vacation and

71′ Ellemaid

Low and lean with a “pilot schooner” rig for emergency power and roll control.This ship would be right at home rafted against a NW Halibut Schooner dock! Here she is under sail, either assisting the diesel on a cruise, or getting home if the engine quits. The description of the 81′ version goes into detail

37′ Juna Junosdautter

5/16/17 Schooner rigged JUNA in Russia 7/2014 a great review by Donal Philby sent to me by Scott McPherson, lifted from a chat site…. Jay Hoagland’s JUNA loafing along. While this is an older design she’s still one of my favorites in her size range of anything around. Strong statement, I know, but who cares.

54′ Idelwild

54′ Plywood (or metal) IDELWILD “We were informed that this is the longest passage ever completed by a Trawler Yacht. 29 days 6 hours, we can add another 6 hours for time zones if you like.” February 14, 2005 from IDLEWILD’s web site

55′ ULLIN

A less Gung Ho version of Idelwild While working on Idelwild’s design I decided I liked her hull a lot and that she could be an inexpensive plywood (or wood) boat as well as the rugged polar explorer Ben wanted. So, I came up with a version using her very slippery and as we’ve also

43′ Cutter “RUARRI”

Simple and clean traditional cutter, the most basic, seaworthy, inexpensive, and I think attractive too, for that matter cruising sailboat you can have. I like interiors to be set up to be comfortable for the owners, although this one will sleep 5 if you want to.But feel free to change it if you want. That’s

49′ Tasman Sea

Beamier, a bit shallower for the length, and carrying a bit more freeboard than the DUCK boats, this series is meant for folks who are going to be living more in one area than actually cruising. The TASMAN SEA is plenty ocean worthy, but the emphasis is placed more on “creature comforts” than cruising. I

53′ Schooner “BARBAROSSA”

Here’s what I call the “Modified Pilot Schooner” rig. It’s for those to chicken to use the old time version, shown below. It would be simpler to handle though, more weatherly, not as good off the wind, and easier to handle. There’s also a version with a boomed fore, gaff rigged, and a Marconi main.

57′ Schooner GETZ

This is one of my oldest, but still most favorite, design. It was designed for a guy with a sawmill in the Philippines, back in the late 1970s. As far as I know she was never built, which always seemed a shame to me. The design was done in the most traditional of fashion; I

44′ Schooner “RESOLUTE”

44′ Buccaneering ship “RESOLUTE” The sail plan is about as complicated and cumbersome as you can find on this size boat. Here’s a bit simpler rig and a pilothouse. I never did an interior for this version. Bush’s speech January 10, 2007, where, contrary to the advice of almost the entire General staff, much of

33′ Rufus

A Sailing Barge Some years ago I designed this boat, named RUFUS, for a guy who lived along the Intercostal waterway in Florida. I had alot of fun thinking it up, and I mean to own one myself some day. I’ve thought of building it way up the Columbia river, and floating down to Astoria.

47′ Schooner Gulnare

47′ 7″ Staysail Schooner GULNA’RE 7/2/05 If you look closely you’ll see a great similarity between this boat and the Diesel Duck family. In fact, I guess if you wanted a DUCK set up to emphasize sail rather power, here’s what she’d look like. This is funny because I didn’t realize it until years after

35′ Cutter JUNO

36′ cutter JUNO stepping along. I built this particular one and lived aboard 4 years, back in 1976. Thanks to Wim Netens of Belgium, who retouched this photo for me. I designed JUNO for myself on the dinette of my first JUNO, a 26 footer, while hove-to for a week somewhere between Mexico and Hawaii.

35′ Cutter BUTTON

“BUTTON” A 10.7 meter (35 foot) Cutter I like this profile a lot; it has a very, very jaunty “attitude” to it. Personally I might go for a normal deckhouse rather than the raised sheer shown here but, this version sure gives a spacious interior. There’s only about 300 full time yacht designers in the

16′ POGO

2015 Youtube video about building and sailing POGO, by Llew Hebbard, in Canada. Happy Camper of POGO POGO I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to travel a good deal outside of North America and I’ve been both amused and distressed to learn the image people in other countries have of us. The only

43′ Gandalf

These are old hand drawings and some aren’t in the best shape. This shows her as a simple cutter This is one of my very earliest designs and as far as I know, only one was built. But that one was beautifully built of steel down near San Francisco, and has comfortably made several trips

57′ EGIS High Latitude Cruiser

New wood version Profile showing a raised deck house fwd. rather than the flush deck. I think the fly bridge doesn’t overhang the house far enough. I’ll fix that one of these days….   Here’s one of the interiors possible. This wood version has a passageway beside the engine.   Here’s the wood construction plan.

42′ OLGA

2015 photo of Fredrik Gustafsson, in Hjo, Sweden, doing a fine job of his OLGA. Like Archimedes, the plans for this boat are free in my Building Book, but, if you buy them, you’ll get all the versions drawn plus any consultation help you need. OLGA (originally Jupiter, a cutter) would be alot of fun.

30′ Cutter JACK

30′ Cutter JACK – added 4/4/10 This is a good building job but that little “chicken beak” tacked below the ‘sprit looks ridiculous! JACK is a simple  small cruising boat, just big enough to be comfortable for 2 adults.He was designed to be a boat that a person could build him (or of course her)

28′ Cutter Hagar

Dan in Port Angeles, Washington, built this fine HAGAR, launching her in 2011 I think it was. HAGAR is one of my oldest designs. She was meant to be an update of my first design, a 26 footer I launched in 1970 and cruised to Mexico andHawaii in. One thing led to the next and

55′ Idlewild

Ben and IDLEWILD Circumnavigated the earth and holds the record of the longest non-stop passage ever made in a power yacht!   Here she is in B.C. before heading to Baja and back on her shakedown cruise. Here’s the original version. As built she has a bit taller house (a good change), no fly bridge,

41′ Diesel Duck

2/19/09 Marlene & Benno sent this email from their 41 DUCK (above) via Satellite (what a world!) Note the well dressed German yachtswoman standing in the wheelhouse door! Hi George and Gail,It is time to celebrate. Your design, the Diesel Duck 41, just rounded Cape Horn from the west to the east today the 19,

54′ Seal Cutter or Ketch

This big boat was designed for a man retiring from the US Marines, who wanted a boat large enough for him and his wife and daughter to comfortably live aboard. She is one step up from OTTER and would make a great long term live-aboard cruising home. Her design is “traditional” cruising boat, based on

59′ Diesel Swan

This “bird” series of designs (“Duck”, “Goose” and “Swan”) all share the idea of being about as simple and inexpensive to build as a rugged boat can be. I’ve used a very simple hull form, long waterline, straight ends, transoms instead of pointed tails, that together make assembly fast and smooth, and gives maximum “performance”

30′ Cutter Emily

EMILY is sort of a large “pocket cruiser.” The idea was to create a simple and seaworthy boat that was as small as was possible to carry two people, provisions, and personal things on a long cruise. You might think that 30′ doesn’t sound very small. But, EMILY is a small 30, if that makes

46′ Diesel Duck

DIESEL DUCK 46 (Traditional) This mender of the flock (somebody else called it that and as silly as it sounds, I rather liked it I’m afraid…) is just a bit different than the others. She has a bit less rake to the transom, a bit more rake to the bow, and just a little “fuller”

55′ Diesel Duck

At 55′ our Duck becomes almost palatial, especially if you follow my thoughts about interior design which boils down to making it comfortable for THE OWNERS rather than devoting space to spare bedrooms. It’s an interesting fact that if you want to see good small space interior live-aboard design, don’t look at boats. Go to

452 Diesel Duck

Sometimes it seems odd to me that so many “variations on the theme” appear. After all, why do this DUCK when there’s so many others? Well, they all have little features that are different. I don’t really know if any are better than the other but at the time, there was something that seemed to

43′ New Cutter RUARRI

The only difference between this new version and the original is the stern. I took a lot of the “curve”out of the stern stem which doesn’t look as good on paper but gives a bit longer waterline, allows the engine to be a little further aft, and makes hanging the rudder easier. Otherwise, this design

44′ PILGRIM an economy cruiser

Who ever heard of a long-range cruising powerboat within financial range of a burger flipper? Well, why not? It’s about the only entry level job our economy is creating any more. Pilgrim is designed for single handing or for a very friendly couple, and will be extremely simple, fast, and cheap to build;I don’t see

17′ 1964 Thompson Sea Lancer

In July 05 I found a boat I had always wanted; a 1964 Thompson 17′ Sea Lancer Express. While there were a number of fine lapstrake production boats built in the 1900’s,Thompson was always considered one of the very best because of their solid construction. The fact that there are still some around proves that.

45′ Little Ullin

A retired woman in Florida asked me about a boat for cruising the “Intracoastal” which extends 3,000 plus miles between New Jersey and Texas. This called for a boat that would be easily driven so fuel efficient, relatively seaworthy because there are times when you’re in open water, and comfortable to spend extended time aboard.

72′ Reg’s Boat

Reg’s Big Ketch “Rainbow” I’m frequently asked about building a wood boat in some third world country where exotic hardwoods are plentiful and cheap, skilled labor is cheaper, and “the living is easy”as it’s said. I always advice against it unless you first go and really get the lay of the land, speak some of

30′ Jullian Adderly

30′ Cruiser JULLIAN ADDERLY JULLIAN was, I believe, my first power cruiser design and was the basis for the first DUCK, the 38. The DUCKs are a bit more”sophisticated” in that they have more displacement for their length. But they needed that, and JULLIAN doesn’t. She’s meant for a different use; messing around! She was

37′ Cruising Cutter JENNY

Her cutter rig has multiple reefs, a straight leach so can’t hang up in the rigging, a large boomed staysail, and a jib mounted on a tackle off the sprit. This is the most functional cruising rig for a couple or a single hander. There’s more details about it in the Random Thoughts section of

28′ Cutter Njord

With substantial freeboard and a moderate rig, NJORD is a good choice for a single hander or friendly couple who are on a budget but want a safe and reliable cruising boat. Somebody sent me a wooden boat forum discussion of this design and I was surprised at the negative talk. Few understood the concept,

50′ Dragonfly

Here’s a sister that is the pilot house version, built by Jim Dell, down in Texas. He did a beautiful job. Following are two emails he sent me about her. Here’s the first: “Hi George, Well…she’s a boat. First sail last weekend. Took awhile to get to it because I had to replace the Perkins