A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The riverfront’s my beat

Written August 8th, 2013 by
The view from starboard.

The view from starboard.

The stem forms almost a prow.

The stem forms almost a prow.

Builder went for a boxy look.

Builder went for a boxy look.

Here’s a boat of a kind you don’t see every day. I spotted it Thursday afternoon in the parking lot at Albany’s Takena Landing Park. I loitered for a while hoping to learn more about this apparently home-built craft, but the owner didn’t show.

What struck me was the unusual shape: Completely flat on the bottom — no fore and aft rocker at all, and not even a shallow V across. Sitting on its trailer, it even looked as though the bow and stern were a little lower than the mid-section, but I think that was an optical illusion.

The trapezoidal shape of the transom required the sides to have a pronounced tumblehome. Put another way, the aft section was wider at the bottom than the top. The craft was equipped with a small outboard, and in case that failed it also had oarlocks.

From the aroma of varnish in the summer sun, it smelled and looked like a project only recently completed in somebody’s garage. With its boxy shape, this vessel would have a hard time in any kind of a seaway with the wind blowing, but it might just be the perfect shape for a flat river like the Willamette.

If you know who built or owns it, please let me know. Meanwhile, I hope this boat does everything the builder hoped. (hh)

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