You are no doubt also aware that Phil did a test boat called Brick Flying Cloud, but other newer members may not have heard of it. He noted it made "noticable leeway close-hauled".
I really like the idea of a center cockpit except for maybe the need for remote steering. Sort of a miniature Col Hasler. Seems an off-centerboard was added to one side of the box keel for improved upwind ability with that design?
On the Alaska Motorsailer, the keel is relatively more shallow for it's size than on Flying Cloud, so the engine is generally used when close-hauled to overcome the leeway. A small diesel running at a steady low rpm burns little fuel and lasts forever, and the prop wash on the rudder improves steerage. Of course it also supplies continuous house power with a suitable alternator. Personally I don't mind the sound of a small diesel and it can be shut down when reaching or running if there is enough wind. Lovely potential for a central cockpit with wine cellar downstairs.
If you want to go just with an engine and a flat bottom, then Bee was the test boat.
- Great to have the weight down low,but that's the bilge... where that
inevitable water WILL eventually go, flooding engine/electrical !!
Better used for tanks imho
> Also the box keel is a great place to put that small diesel with
> little or no shaft angle. Batteries can also be put down there, all
> improving the self-righting likelyhood of the boat.