(Boat photographs courtesy of Robert Mason)
Robert Mason of Florida wanted a version of William Atkin's very popular design Rescue Minor, an unusual powerboat designed in the 1940's that features a tunnel hull. The inboard prop is completely enclosed in a tunnel aft. Robb White, a boat builder from Georgia, built and wrote about this design for WoodenBoat magazine. White wrote that he essentially faired the hull on the building moulds, something a professional builder could attempt, but I wouldn’t recommend it for an amateur. Atkin’s plans called for the tunnel to be built of plywood panels with a peak but the client was strip-planking the boat and asked me to loft a radiused tunnel. I was able to work out these changes, and complete the detail of the tunnel, on the lofting. Mason did an excellent job building the boat in late 2006, and he says BAR HOPPER performs beautifully.