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Camano 31

Camano 31

Naval architect Bob Warman of Vancouver, Canada, drew the lines for the Camano 31. When he built, launched and sold the first 31 (originally referred to as the 28), his design immediately garnered interest, as it borrowed some of the form and functionality of working vessels in the region. Over the next nine years, Warman made more than 125 of the compact cruisers.

The Camaro 31 is a capable coastal craft with the bones of a workboat, one that can carry its crew safely across open stretches of water efficiently and comfortably. It has a well-flared bow and a sharp-angled, near-plumb stem that can part waves and shed spray quickly. Those elements give way to rapidly widening sections that disappear below the waterline.

A couple of features below the waterline are notable, including a pair of lifting strakes and full-length soft chines, which add lift and stability as the semi-displacement hull picks up speed. There’s also a full-length keel that widens significantly just abaft amidships to create a hollow, wedge-like shape that adds buoyancy and prop protection. It also allows for the installation of a single Volvo Penta diesel (150 or 200 hp) farther down in the hull, where it creates a low center of gravity and a comparatively flatter angle for the prop shaft. As a result, usable torque is optimized. The 31 can achieve a 12-knot cruising speed and 16-knot top end, on average.

Warman gave the Camano 31 plenty of interior volume, thanks to a 10-foot, 6-inch beam and draft of 3 feet, 3 inches. He also drew a deckhouse that uses nearly the entire beam. (There are side decks, but they’re not protected by bulwarks.) On the main deck, there’s a convertible bench seat to port, room for two single seats to starboard and a single seat at the helm. Down three steps is a galley to port and a forward cabin with a V-berth that’s steps away from the enclosed head. Interior finishes include teak and mahogany, depending on the year of manufacture.

After Warman sold Camano in the late 1990s, the tooling passed through several owners. About 270 models were built before the current owners, Scott and Lisa Helker of Seattle-based Helmsman Trawlers, bought the tooling and upated the design. —John Wooldridge

This article was originally published in the February 2023 issue.

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