LOW HOURS ON DIESEL ENGINE
CUSTOM – PLEASE READ BELOW
The owner built Low Cay (Low Key) for use in the flats and on the reefs in Belize. Every decision made in the planning and construction was based on creating a tough, seaworthy, economical, shallow draft boat that could be driven onto a beach and backed back off. Nothing that matched those goals was readily available. At least the owner could not find it if it did. So, he decided if it was going to happen, he would have to make it a bit of an experiment.
Low Cay has turned out to be a successful experiment based on the William Atkin WWII crash boat Rescue Minor, and inspired by Robb White’s experience with his own version of this Atkin design. Robb White also called his boat Rescue Minor; but the boat actually differs from the original in significant ways. You can see and read about Robb White’s boat at www.robbwhite.com and in WoodenBoat number 189. There is an article by Atkin about Rescue Minor from Motor Boating, which the owner received as part of the plans package he purchased from www.atkinboatplans.com. The owner actually bought plans for two boats at the time, Rescue Minor and Shoals Runner. Although Shoals Runner is the length the owner preferred, he chose to attempt his version of Rescue Minor for a number of reasons. The main one being that Shoals Runner was designed in the 1950s as a lightly-built recreational boat, whereas, Rescue Minor was designed in the early 1940s as a stout, war-service crash boat.
It was important to the owner when planning Low Cay to retain the advantages of the Atkin design, shallow draft, protected propeller and rudder, efficiency with low power, strength, and seaworthiness. But at the same time, he wanted to build the boat as a strip plank, epoxy composite, sheathed inside and out with glass cloth as White did. The other major change is in the length. The Atkin design is 19’ 6” overall. The owner wanted a boat with an overall length around 22’. He spent a bit of time worrying this issue, primarily with respect to the tunnel configuration, but also with respect to beam. After studying the hulls of both Rescue Minor and Shoals Runner, he finally stretched the Atkin design by 10%, with proportionate changes to the tunnel and box keel. And, he did this without any change in beam. Low Cay has a resulting length overall of 21’ 8”. His hope was that one effect of this additional length would be to limit the slight out of trim issue that Robb White experienced at higher speed with his version of the design. Low Cay in fact runs perfectly flat at any speed. So the additional buoyancy forward did solve the issue that Robb White discussed in the WoodenBoat article.
The forward and aft compartments are water tight when latched closed making the boat nearly unsinkable. As with the original Rescue Minor, the boat can be lifted using only the bow and stern eyes. All deck hardware is stainless steel and through-bolted. The stainless steel and Sunbrella bimini top can be positioned either forward or aft using the deck track.
The owner’s website’s for the boat can be found in the links below:
Please watch the Youtube walk through video in the link below: