Masthead28_Dec2013 - page 6

The Masthead
Dec. 2013 Page 6
Hill 16
design concept originated from the rambling
imagination of an Annapolis boatbuilder. As most boat-
builders do, he was dreaming of the next boat to construct
as his current project was coming to an end. It was impor-
tant that this next boat
be easily trailerable,
lightweight, seaworthy,
and cruise above the 20-
knot mark with minimum
horsepower. But the
most important, and
most challenging, was
this boat was to have the
very distinct styling of an
express sportfish but in a
much smaller package.
Not only does the
Hill 16
resemble its famous
older brother, with its
generous flare to the
bow, sweeping stepped sheer, wrap-around wind screen,
and center console helm station, but it will prove to be safe
and comfortable even when the conditions are ideal.
The construction method uses a strip-
plank core built over a male-mold sys-
tem and then covered in and out with
fiberglass set in epoxy, creating an ex-
tremely rugged but lightweight compos-
ite structure. The strip-plank method is
unique in that all planks are fit and se-
cured before they are glued together.
Using thickened epoxy, a grout is
squeezed into the v-groove between the
planks. This method saves an enormous
amount of time compared to traditional
strip planking and increases the
builder’s sense of accomplishment as
the hull goes together so quickly.
The interior structure is fashioned in the
egg carton fashion. The full-length
stringers interlock with the frames and
bulkheads to support the hull bottom
while supporting the sole above.
Hill 16
was carefully designed to meet ABYC recommen-
dations for buoyancy when swamped and weight and horse-
power capacities. Flotation foam is installed under the sole,
in the transom, and in
the bow to meet the re-
quirements for level flo-
tation when swamped,
creating a safe situation
if an emergency were to
Designer's Notes
As in most boat design
projects, the final
Hill 16
concept was a mix of
compromises. The boat-
builder requested a boat
with the aesthetic of an
express-style sportfish
that would turn heads in
any harbor by showcasing some of his skills. He set a maxi-
mum length for the boat at 15' 9", so the boat, on a trailer,
could fit in a typical American garage. The length limit pre-
sented a challenge incorporating some of the more notable
features of the express style sportfish, like the wrap-around
windscreen, stepped sheer, and flared
bow sections on such a small package.
The next challenge was adapting those
features to a hull that would be seawor-
thy while cruising at 20 knots and pow-
ered by a 40 horsepower Yamaha out-
board. To achieve the efficiency, the
ideal beam of 5' was coupled with a 15-
degree transom deadrise. This created
a narrower waterline beam than is
found in most skiffs of this size and
reduced the carrying capacity, but that
compromise was acceptable to the
Seaworthiness was addressed by first
identifying the desirable characteristics
of small powerboats; The
Hill 16
had to
be dry and soft riding. A rather deep
and sharp forefoot and the extreme
flare of the bow would keep the passen-
Hill 16
Designed By Kurt Cerny
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