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Val design runabout

Vessel Number: HV000481
Date: 1962
Vessel Dimensions: 3.8 m (12.47 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The VAL design runabout was built in 1962 at Epping NSW. It is a 3.80 metre long plywood hull built from stock plans by an amateur builder, which was then a popular way for skilled handymen to acquire their own craft at an economical price, however in 2011 it is not as practical to undertake. This example shows the high standard that could be achieved by a careful builder using good materials that were readily available, and it remains in original condition with its original outboard motor and trailer. Until 2011 it had only had one owner, its builder.
DescriptionThe plywood single chine hull on this 3.8m long hull is planked up from coachwood marine plywood laid over sawn frames and longitudinals made from Oregon. The rounded bottom shows a typical conically developed forward section that flattens out to the stern, an easy shape for the plywood to adopt. The topsides finish aft with a little round and tumblehome too. It has a windscreen and the cambered foredeck ply has been engraved with parallel lines to look like a planked deck, bordered by a painted false covering board strip. All are features capturing the concept of the much more expensive professional craft, but they are made easy for the amateur builder to fabricate.

The builder and first owner has kept the plans which are titled "Val" and they come from Boat Plans Pty Ltd in George St Sydney. Unfortunately there is no indication who the actual designer or retailer was, but the plans reflect the work of an experienced designer. One drawing has all the details needed for construction, the other shows the profile and layout, with two seats forward, and a bench seat aft. It has wheel steering and cable controls, and is powered by an outboard, in this case the original Johnson, no doubt imported from the USA. The owner and builder has used the runabout around Sydney and nearby waterways for almost 50 years, and only sold it in 2011.

Amateur built craft like this were once relatively common starting back in the 1950s, and there was a modest range of designs to choose from with plans coming from local and international designers. Newer designs each decade have kept up with changes in style and materials leading into 2000 and beyond. However in the early period of the 2000s more restrictive regulation has been applied to powercraft in terms of their safety, involving certification of aspects of construction, power, buoyancy and capacity. In 2011 it is becoming quite difficult for non-professionally built craft to be assessed for registration, and the long period of do-it-yourself boatbuilding as small market but relatively common practice is now under threat.

Vessel Details
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:plywood/chineply/chine
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:vee-bottomv-bottomv-sectionvee-section
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Motor propulsion:outboard
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: YW7N

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