Miss Congeniality 38

A modern lobsterboat of improved type

Originally conceived as an aquaculture research and teaching vessel, Miss Congeniality is the parent hull for our particular interpretation of the Maine lobsterboat. Over the designer’s lifetime the lobsterboat has changed a great deal. As a small boy I remember there were still a few lobsterboats to be seen with only a canvas-covered cuddy forward, a very small inboard engine and no pot hauler. These were game enough in rough water but were not fast by today’s standards. Many boats were quite small, narrow and most had very low sides to make getting traps aboard easier.

The hydraulic pot hauler appears to have changed lobstering forever. Where before the number of traps hauled was severely limited by the physical endurance of the lobsterman we now have to have regulations to limit the number of traps a lobsterman can have. Boats have become larger to transport more traps easily. Speeds have increased, especially with the introduction of lobsterboat racing. Boats have become wider and much higher sided. Bows are built to shed water better. Most of these changes have resulted in a better life for the lobsterman. As a group they remain one of the hardest working most fiercely independent of all segments of coastal society.

However, these changes have occurred essentially through evolution of traditional forms. This produced one odd anomaly. To promote planing the aft sections of the hull got broader and flatter, which is appropriate. However, this was done by making the turn of the bilge harder and harder. Unfortunately retaining this round bilge has tended to produce boats that squat at speed, use more fuel than necessary and throw more wake than is desirable. Therefore our one innovation in this boat is to break mildly with tradition and use a chine aft to give better separation of water from the hull and make the boat run flatter. Thus leaving less wake and requiring less fuel.

This is a very versatile hull. It is excellent for lobstering. It has enough accommodations as drawn to be a good cruising boat for a lobsterman and his family when not fishing. Half of the wheelhouse is enclosed so that the helmsman can run in comfort in cold weather. He only will need to go out to the outside steering station if he wants to haul a trap. Scallop dragging can be done much more safely on this higher sided vessel with a self-bailing well than in many types. However we still would not want to see any one lead the cable above the deck. Anyone wanting to drag scallops with this boat should have us design the drag equipment as well.

For pleasure use the wheelhouse can be moved further aft and fully enclosed with an aft cabin as well as a forward one. Arranged like this she could be a substantial live aboard vessel that would be well suited to extensive cruising and a little more economical to operate than most planing power vessels.  We've also done styling studies for a very beautiful yacht version with a generous aft cockpit for lounging or sportfishing a wheelhouse well aft and really great cruising accommodations.

The plans as they exist so far were done up for a professional shop which I was involved in at the time. As such we did not bother to put lots of information on them, assumed that the offsets would be pulled directly off the drawing for lofting, and intended to fully develop the construction on the lofting floor. As such these are at present best for the builder who understands that we'll have to hold their hands a lot more than usual. In other words you will want to look at these plans and talk with us about what you know how to do and what you need extra drawings and advice for depending upon your experience. As people ask for these items they are, of course, added to the plans. This benefits subsequent builders.

Study Plans $66
Complete Building Plans $568

Miss Congeniality 19 / Simplicity 25 / Stock Plans Order Form / Stock Plans List