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Bantam cruise. Best shoal water cruising powerboat ever designed!

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  • captjbturtle
    Hello all. Just a note to let you know the stretched Bantam Pelican has just completed her annual Florida cruise. This year she completed her Fl.
    Message 1 of 4 , May 4 8:51 AM
      Hello all. Just a note to let you know the stretched Bantam "Pelican" has just completed her annual Florida cruise. This year she completed her Fl. circumnavigation by the northern route from west to east coast.
      Previous winters she has several times gone round the southern route.
      With captain Herb Radisch she left Fort Pierce 2 months ago. First south to Stuart then across the Okeechobee waterway to Fort Myers. This is the 4th time she has taken on the Big Lake O and the calmest.
      After some cruising south of the Ft. M area Herb then headed north past Tampa Bay and up to the Crystal River. He voyaged to the headwaters of the Crystal then searched for a suitable trailer and tow. That description would justify a novel.
      Flat bed and truck hired she was towed 60 miles over 3 hours to Sanford at the heawaters of the St Johns river where the giant alligators live.

      She then head north to Jacksonville.A cruise Herb said was beautiful but deviod of revictualling facilities . After reaching Jacks he headed further north for a brief visit to S. Georgia.
      The 220 mile trip south down the intracoastal was eventful only for the constant headwinds and lack of sheltered anchorage in the northern parts of the state.
      She was p[laced safely back on her trailer yesterday and is being prepped to wait out another summer.
      All this voyaging after Herb showed up in Fort Pierce with nothing but little money. Bought a rare used Yam 9.9. had it restored, replaced lots of control cables and repainted the boat to Bristol condition.
      Previous winters "Pelican" has been south inside to Key West. Across Fl. Bay 3 times and north thru the glades with branches scratching the windows on both sides.
      She once sailed to safety with her windsurfer rig after being anchored with broken motors for three days, 6 miles west of the Keys in Fl Bay.
      Herb could talk to me in Canada on his cellphone while looking at the Keys far off in the East but didn't want to call Sea Tow for fear of a huge bill.
      On the third day the brisk S.Easterly subsided long enough for him to raise the windurfer rig and ride the light westerly back nearer to shore where he could attract a local tow.
      During these voyages. "Where no man has gone before" not kidding(Herb has taken her into ditches, gullies, streams culverts, canals etc where even a canoeist wouldnt go because of the bugs) I dont think he has paid for dockage more than once or twice , so easy is it to find an anchorage for her shallow draft.
      So once again I submit the stretched Bantam for title of "Best shoal water cruising powerboat ever designed.
      She is light,(single axle)lean and easily driven 26 foot long on a 24 inch center hull, economical, 9.9 half throttle cruise, quiet,roomy, cabin 8 by 12 feet surrounded by window, carries a hard dinghy and kayak, and shoal, 11 inches with the 9.9, 8 inches with the 2h.p and 6 inches aground.
      Not to mention inexpensive to build with not much thin ply. And did I mention 3 hulls with built in flotation fore and aft in each hull.
      But most important of all. The steering position from atop the bow.Visibility ahead cant be beat and looking directly down at the slender surface piercing bow surfing over and through the crests, hour after hour is like riding on the back of a dolphin (with a comfy cushion, backrest, company, music, food, shade,etc ).
      Can't understand why you guys have'nt built more than 3 or 4 of these
      But I can try. I think Phil,s marketing missed the boat.
      He originally drew the design for a man who wanted compact storage, safety scenic views etc and SPEED.
      Yes, right there we have trouble on the River.
      To go fast you need a big engine, you get noise, pounding, cost and limited range
      When Phil stretched the hull design for me rockering it up aft.she was transformed .One sheet more plywood but now she looked to the water like a Tremolino trimaran .And she went thru the water like one, slippery and easily driven. And those positive attributes I listed accrued.
      So give her another look builders.She's the best.
    • BruceHallman
      ... Thanks for the story. Yes, I think that a short list of truly great Bolger designs would include Birdwatcher, Bantam, Tortoise and a few others.
      Message 2 of 4 , May 4 9:07 AM
        On Fri, May 4, 2012 at 8:51 AM, captjbturtle <captjbturtle@...> wrote:

        She once sailed to safety with her windsurfer rig 

        <grin>

        Thanks for the story.

        Yes, I think that a short list of truly great Bolger designs would include Birdwatcher, Bantam, Tortoise and a few others.   
      • Brent
        When one buys the plans for Bantam #654, does one get the original 16/20 or the one with increased buoyancy or the 24 version please? Or is the longer one
        Message 3 of 4 , May 17 11:57 PM
          When one buys the plans for Bantam #654, does one get the original 16/20 or the one with increased buoyancy or the 24' version please? Or is the longer one another design all together?

          Interesting boat! Brent



          --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, BruceHallman <hallman@...> wrote:
          >
          > On Fri, May 4, 2012 at 8:51 AM, captjbturtle <captjbturtle@...> wrote:
          >
          > > **
          > >
          > > She once sailed to safety with her windsurfer rig
          > >
          > <grin>
          >
          > Thanks for the story.
          >
          > Yes, I think that a short list of truly great Bolger designs would include
          > Birdwatcher, Bantam, Tortoise and a few others.
          >
        • philbolger@comcast.net
          Apologies for not answering for so long. Slipped by me... Plans for #654 Bantam include the original, the changes and a simple layout for the 24 version.
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 1, 2012
            Apologies for not answering for so long.  Slipped by me... 

            Plans for #654 "Bantam" include the original, the changes and a simple layout for the 24' version.  The price is $200.- to build one boat, sent rolled in a tube.

            Thanks for your interest.

            Susanne Altenburger, PB&F

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Brent
            Sent: Friday, May 18, 2012 2:57 AM
            Subject: [bolger] Re: Bantam cruise. Best shoal water cruising powerboat ever designed!

             

            When one buys the plans for Bantam #654, does one get the original 16/20 or the one with increased buoyancy or the 24' version please? Or is the longer one another design all together?

            Interesting boat! Brent

            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, BruceHallman <hallman@...> wrote:
            >
            > On Fri, May 4, 2012 at 8:51 AM, captjbturtle <captjbturtle@...> wrote:
            >
            > > **
            > >
            > > She once sailed to safety with her windsurfer rig
            > >
            > <grin>
            >
            > Thanks for the story.
            >
            > Yes, I think that a short list of truly great Bolger designs would include
            > Birdwatcher, Bantam, Tortoise and a few others.
            >

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