An outboard powered Sharpie Houseboat, or River Cruiser
The first boat I built was "Whippoorwill", a Wharram Tiki 26 catamaran. I launched it in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1989, and took it down the Mississippi river and Tenn-Tom Waterway, and then on to Marathon, Florida Keys. I cruised in company with My Parents on their Pilgrim III from Alma, Wisconsin to Punta Gorda, Florida. My intention was to sail on to the Bahamas, but that never happened. On that cruise, I fell in love with river cruising, but a sailboat was not the ideal boat to use for that.
I decided that I really liked the lifestyle, but I needed a bigger boat. What I needed was a permanent liveaboard home, with plenty of space and headroom. I wanted it to be as inexpensive as possible to build and run, but I also wanted classic styling.
Construction is mainly plywood and epoxy. The bottom is one layer of fir tongue-and-groove flooring (from an old house) followed by two layers of plywood to finish 2" thick. The fir flooring is varnished and serves as the cabin sole.
It cruises at 8 knots with the Mercury 25 four stroke Bigfoot, at 4,500 rpm, which is 1,000 rpm below wide open. I think it should go 10 or 11 knots with a 40 or 50 hp motor.