55’ IDLEWILD

 

This was a custom design for a guy way north in Canada who wanted a boat he could take up larger rivers, and venture out into the ocean in ice. She had to be fairly light weight so she could be loaded on a crude trailer and portaged, but long enough to have enough WL to move and be fuel efficient, as well as be comfortable to spend time on.
She started off as a steel boat but then the guy decided he wanted aluminum, which made sense because of the weight savings. Personally, I think plywood is better because it’s considerably cheaper unless you’re hiring the labor of course; aluminum is fast to work so paying for labor is a much better deal than paying for a wood builder. But plywood isn’t good for ice, even if epoxied, and since the guy was adamant about going to the ice, metal was the choice, and the photo above shows her soon after the launch. Ben says she has worked out great. She has a very comfortable motion although being narrow, she can roll in a beam sea, handles well (I was a little concerned since the rudder is on the small side), and gathers lots of attention wherever she goes. Right now (July 05) she's in the middle of her journey around the world. In the NW Passage.... There's a link to her web site on my "Links" page.

 

LOA: 54’ 11” .... LWL: 52’ 6” .... Beam: 10' 10" .... BWL: 10’ 1/2” Draft at DWL: 3’ 6” .... Displ: 30,248 LB

Very simple appearance. She's low profile with lots of deck. This is the "original" profile. Ben decided to leave off the fly-bridge and raised the house a few inches for better visibility out of it. His version looks great but me, I would install the flybridge too.

The top interior is how the guy who commissioned her wanted her set up. The lower version is how I'd do it. It's almost the same except the bed is bigger to fit the wife and dog(s), and, I put a bigger galley in.

While working on her design I decided I liked her hull a lot and that she could be an inexpensive plywood (or wood) boat. Also, I came up with a version I liked better for the way I'd use her, which I call ULLIN. I haven’t done an interior yet but I see her as having the bed and the head in the bow, and the galley and a dining/sitting area in the cabin aft of the wheelhouse. I named her after an old friend who I think would be very happy in a boat like this, wandering back and forth between here and Alaska. He always wanted to do that but like what happens with so many of us, “stuff” got in the way and it stopped happening. Nothing wrong with that of course. But have you noticed in our lives we come to a real “fork” in the path, and which one we choose really determines and sometimes radically changes, how your life will then go......

Here's the "Ullin" version. I think this would be a wonderful boat to wander around the Northwest in.

Very simple and crisp lines make her a natural for plywood or metal.

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