A gentleman came into my shop a few years (Decades? Wow, time flies.) ago to discuss a small cruiser for protected waters. His requirements were fourfold: trailerability, shallow draft, a displacement hull, and a proper cruising cabin. Following the usual back and forth involved in a new boat design, we came up with the River Crawler.
This little cruising boat gives her skipper access to the little gems of anchorages that are off limits to larger boats. Drawing less than a foot, she would be equally comfortable in the Florida Keys or upper tributaries of the Columbia River. This shallow underbody is ideal for beaching and the keel protects the running gear. Generous access is given to the diesel sail drive via a large hinged hatch aft or this boat could conceivably be powered by an outboard in a well. An adequate self-draining cockpit leads to a cozy, yet comprehensive cabin. With a fully enclosed head to port and a galley to starboard, the skipper and mate have a lot of comfort for a boat only slightly over 22 feet. The helm and co-helm seats are afforded a great view through large windows. The bow has a large v berth, as indicated in the drawings. With an optional drop-in insert, the sleeping quarters can be made roomy enough for even the most acrobatic of sleepers. The River Crawler would be hard to beat for a couple who wanted to launch on a quiet creek on a Friday, explore for a couple days, then pull her out on the trailer ramp on Sunday. The humble River Crawler gives her skipper the full spectrum of gunkholing possibilities without the headaches that inevitably come with larger boats.
Unfortunately, the gentleman’s circumstances prevented the completion of this design. I’m hoping that somebody will come along and give the River Crawler the chance to come to life; she certainly deserves it. – Sam Devlin
The River Crawler is available as study plans. Contact Sam if you would like to see them developed into construction plans.
River Crawler 22 Specifications
|Length||22 ft. – 2 in.|
|Beam||8 ft. – 2 in.|
|Power||Inboard diesel with sail drive or outboard|