a simple low powered cuddy cruiser intended for protected waters.
Kilburn Adams of St. Louis brought a boat similar in spirit to
AF4 to our Midwest Messabouts and it was easy to see what a good
idea this is. Kiburn's boat was a modified Sturdee Amesbury power
dory with a small cuddy added and a new 4 stroke Yamaha 10. He
thought the empty boat weighed about 600 pounds ready to go. It
planed quite well with two men on board at about 13 knots. He
made a 60 mile trip on the Mississippi (above the Alton dam where
the current is small) burning about 4 gallons of fuel. It's quiet
and cheap to operate. It's a good idea now that smaller 4 stroke
motors are more common.
Here is an AF4 by
Barry Targan. I think he is using a new 8 hp 4 cycle.
supposed to do about the same job. Its simple hull shape won't
handle rough going like the dory, but it's very easy to build
and roomier. This boat has an open bow well for anchors and junk.
The cabin is 8' long and 3' deep and 4' wide for minimal camping.
It should be comfy for one and snug for two. it has a slot top
to allow stand up boating in good weather. You cover it with a
snap on fabric piece in the rain and cold. The cockpit is a full
6' long and 4' wide and totally open. You could lounge there too
with a folding chaise. Aft of the cockpit is a draining motor
well which will take the standard 6 gallon fuel tank and then
I used to say 10 horsepower maximum but now I would say 15. My
boat has gained gear and weight over the past three years and
is more comfortable with the extra power. A light AF4 planes with
an old Sears 7-1/2 horse (single cylinder, air cooled, for $50
at a yard sale) as you can see here:
is John Bell & co. in his AF4. I think John is using a 20
hp four stroke having tested the boat first with 25 hp and found
it too much.
is one by Rhett Davis at the last Rend Lake meet.
Cook built this delux AF4 in Florida:
the simplest nail and glue construction. It takes five sheets
of 1/4" plywood and four sheets of 1/2" plywood.
is also a shorter 15' version called AF4Breve,
the prototype shown here built by Bruce Given. There is
also a somewhat larger version called, logically, the AF4Grande