a 17' 4" gentleman's runabout
The word "gentry" broadly refers to high status or better than the rest. Our GENTRY will make you feel right at home anywhere where fine watercraft plies the waves. She will receive envious stares even from owners of the largest yachts.
GENTRY is in a class commonly called a gentleman's runabout, a term popularized back in the thirties. This type of boat conjures visions of a "gent" in a straw hat accompanied by a blond flapper. This was upper crust boating. The sleek runabouts were beautifully finished mahogany with deep leather seats and lots of chrome plated deck hardware. The aft seating provided an excellent ride and the long foredeck was meant to be impressive. These were not race boats, although friendly (?) match races were common. Due to available motors at the time, most had a top speed of 40 mph or less.
The GENTRY is a modern day adaptation of these classic boats. The mahogany hull and general appearance emulates its predecessors. A gleaming mahogany deck with outer finishing board, made from laminations of solid wood, attracts attention at the dock and underway. However, there are subtle changes made to improve the structure. The epoxy cold-molded hull is stronger and more durable than those of yesteryear. The old batten seam planking leaked like a sieve, that is, until the planking swelled, and even then a dry bilge was rare. Thus the boats were not practical to trailer as for the first day after launching, pumping was required to keep them afloat. GENTRY uses modern planking methods and materials that eliminate this problem. The cold-molded hull planking uses laminates of diagonal plywood or solid wood veneers, covered with mahogany veneers all bonded with epoxy. This method eliminates the leaking problem and makes a superior hull.
We've also tweaked the hull design to suit modern conditions of use and lighter, more powerful, motors. The forward entry features a convex area along the keel, flattening out to a reverse curve at the chine; thus providing a softer, drier ride. The forefoot has been lifted to prevent the bow from hooking when crossing a wake or wavelet obliquely; a common tendency of the older boats at the top end of their speed range. In short, it may look like the old gentleman's runabout, but it's much more.
The construction method starts by mounting the frames on longitudinals that are used as motor stringers. The plans even detail the simple stand or building form that holds these stringers in place; complete with a bill of materials for the form.
The diagonal planking is relatively easy to apply, although more time consuming than sheet plywood. But the sexy, curving hull shape makes it worth the trouble. The outer mahogany planking along with the finishing board around the deck perimeter is also more time consuming than using sheet material, but is well within the range of the typical builder. Check the price of one of these boats, ready-made in one of the upscale boating magazines. They will usually be custom built if even available. After you recover from the sticker shock, realize that with time and effort, this beautiful mahogany craft can be built at a fraction of the retail price. Look at the photos and comments on the web site about the other mahogany runabouts. Now imagine yourself being surrounded by an admiring crowd listening to how you built it yourself.
Can you build your own Mahogany Runabout? Read our article to find out.
- Length overall:
- Hull depth midship:
- Depth under hatch:
- Hull weight (approximate):
- 900 lbs.
- Cockpit size:
- 31" x 60"
- 2 or 3
- Hull Type:
- Cold-molded plywood with longitudinal veneers. Convex vee bottom with concavity along the chine and generous flaring sides forward blending into a barrel back styled transom tumble home aft.
- Centrally located inboard inline marine or auto conversion to about 5.6 liters or 350 cu. in.
- Can the hull be extended or shortened?:
- Yes. Up to 10% by re-spacing the frames from the aft end of the stem to the transom a proportional amount. We do not recommend increasing the beam.
- For use with GLEN-L SERIES 2100 trailer plans.