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New Boats


From lobster boat to bass boat

The John Williams Boat Company of Maine is putting a new twist on one of its Down East lobster boat designs with the introduction of the Williams 28 Bass Boat. It combines the semidisplacement hull of the builder’s Stanley 28 with the look and deck arrangement of a classic New England bass boat.

The semicustom boatbuilder, based on Mount Desert Island, originally created the Stanley 28 for lobstering but, upon the request of a customer, redesigned it as an open bass boat. “We have tried to maintain our commitment to a seakindly hull that rides easily in a reasonable seaway,” says Jock Williams, company president and founder. “We have a lot of open water along the Maine coast, so a steady, seaworthy hull is more important than, say, a fast, easily driven hull. We want people to be comfortable and secure when it gets a little rough.”

Indeed, the Marion, Mass., couple who requested the bass boat plans to fish and cruise hull No. 1 — scheduled to be launched in June — on the often choppy waters of Buzzards Bay. The couple previously owned a Stanley 36 but wanted something smaller. They also were drawn to the look of such Cape Cod, Mass., favorites as the MacKenzie bass boat, Palmer Scott, Crosby Striper, Dyer 29 and Fortier 26. The Maine-built Williams 28 draws inspiration from those boats, but has a Stanley look and feel, according to the builder.

“I think the Stanley 28 has a more traditional Maine workboat bottom,” says Williams, drawing the distinction. “That is, she is soft chine, with a small amount of deadrise and some rocker fore and aft.”

Williams says he also expects the boat to perform a little differently than other Stanley lobster yachts built by the John Williams Boat Company. “I think she will be a little faster than our other models because she will be lighter due to less structure,” he says. The boat is expected to cruise at about 21 mph and top out at 25 to 28 mph with modest diesel power of 260 hp.

Williams says the boat’s simple layout includes an open cockpit with the bulkhead “pretty far forward,” a small bridge deck with a steering console, port and starboard helm seats, an engine box that doubles as a seat and a V-berth and marine head with holding tank. “Really a pretty simple boat,” he says. She has a gently sweeping sheer line and tumblehome aft, along with a windshield available in varnished teak or fiberglass with a teak cap. Teak toerails and rubrails also add to her traditional profile.

The late Lyford Stanley designed the original Stanley 28 in the mid-1980s. Stanley, who died last fall at age 82, was the main designer for the John Williams Boat Company since its founding in 1971. “He was very pleased with his creation, especially after we made a few modifications to the sheer,” says Williams. In fact, Williams built Lyford Stanley a 28 at the time. That boat currently is for sale at the company’s yard.

The John Williams Boat Company also is introducing a second new design, the Stanley 42, on which construction began last fall. The 42 fits between the Stanley 39 and 44, but retains the narrower beam of the 39, according to the builder.

LOA: 28 feet

BEAM: 9 feet, 6 inches

DRAFT: 2 feet, 11 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 9,850 pounds

HULL TYPE: semidisplacement

TANKAGE: 150 gallons fuel, 14.5 gallons waste

POWER: single diesel

SPEED: 26 mph top, 21 mph cruise

PRICE: $160,000

CONTACT: John Williams Boat Company, Hall Quarry, Maine.

Phone: (207) 244-7854.


SportCraft 31 Sportfisherman

SportCraft Boats was acquired in 2006 by the owners of SeaStrike Boats. Now, SportCraft’s line of express and walkaround sportfishing boats are built alongside SeaStrike center consoles in the former SportCraft plant in Perry, Fla.

The latest entry from SportCraft is the 31 Sportfisherman. The builder’s largest hull carries a 10-year warranty and features flare forward, with a gently curving sheer line that breaks and flattens at the cockpit. It has a molded bow pulpit and a tall bow rail.

For fishing, the 31 has an insulated fishbox, transom door and bait prep center (with 40-gallon circulating bait well), self-bailing cockpit with non-skid sole, raw-water washdown, cockpit bolsters, rod holders, recessed rod racks and a built-in tackle box.

Below, the boat has a teak and holly sole, standard air conditioning, a double berth forward, convertible dinette, galley and head compartment. The galley comes equipped with a sink, stove and refrigerator, and the head compartment contains a shower and an electric marine head.

LOA: 31 feet, 3 inches

BEAM: 11 feet

DRAFT: 2 feet, 9 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 12,000 pounds

HULL TYPE: modified-vee


TANKAGE: 290 gallons fuel, 40 gallons water, 30 gallons waste

POWER: twin diesels to 750 hp

SPEED: 37 mph top, 27 mph cruise (with twin 350-hp diesels)

PRICE: $181,104

CONTACT: S1 Marine, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Phone: (954) 566-6320.