Vamp Plans PDF
After the success Frank Kahr had with Robote I designed a smaller version with most of the same features. The idea was to get a fast and seaworthy boat that would cartop so easily that you would want to leave it on the car top more or less all the time, ready to go at a moment's notice. From cartopping smaller boats like Toto I had found that they hardly slow the car down or keep a compact car from getting 30+ miles per gallon on the highway. I thought the trick was to keep the boat small enough that complicated tie downs were not required. I also knew that Piccup, at about 90 pounds, is about the most a fellow would want to cartop. Lighter is better, of course, but once the weight gets below 70 pounds the boat becomes so easy to load that getting it super light is not mandatory. The prototype Vamp that you see here was built by Ken Prims of Layton, Utah. Here is his boat atop his compact car, a very nice package as I had hoped.
Why not stick to a canoe like Toto? It has the size, weight and shape (mild sheer and squared stern) that makes for easy cartopping. But a good rowing boat can be as fast, dryer, and take a passenger with more ease. The only problem I see with Vamp is that her V bottom can make beaching more challenging than a boat with a flat bottom plank.
Construction is with taped seams from three sheets of 1/4" plywood, the same bill of materials as for the larger Robote. Robote will be a lot better if you are rowing with a passenger all the time. Vamp might be a handier impulse boat for a solo boater, although it can take two adults in a pinch.
LIGHT ROWBOAT, 12' X 3.5', 60 POUNDS EMPTY