The Newfoundland Speed Boat

© Gary Barfitt 2007 All Rights Reserved, Used with Permission

As the power available in outboard motors increased, and planing became a possibility, the traditional boat builder was presented a design challenge. In the traditional process, David Taylor suggests in Boat Building in Winterton, “there were right ways and wrong ways of building and designing a boat [based on past experience] but no governing principles. Decisions were made according to custom and originality in decision making was not particularly encouraged”.

Typically design modifications were implemented slowly – small steps at a time.
But the speed boat demanded a major paradigm shift. The boat no longer just pushed its way through the water but was expected to be lifted above the waves. The unspoken underlying principles on which all previous boats were built no longer applied as the quest for speed took place.

In the end, the once elegant wine glass counter of the punt gave way to the long flat bottom and deep transom demanded of a planing hull while the hard chine was dismissed in favour of a slack or rounded bilge . The forward end retained much of the traditional shape won from generations of experience at sea.

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