Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats

Dedicated for Offshore Boats

by David Pascoe

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Chapter 8

Details and Design

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Ultimately, the quality of a boat, the satisfaction and enjoyment that you get out of it, comes down to a matter of dozens, even hundreds of small details.

The importance of good, thoughtful design in boats can't be overstressed, but is frequently overlooked, particularly by those with little experience in boat ownership.

Is a door hinge made of stainless steel or plastic? Are the deck hatch hinges recessed into the deck so that you don't cut your bare feet on them? Are electrical switches and other apparatus located so that they don't get wet? The list can go on and on.

In this chapter, mostly by means of photos, we explore some of the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of the details of design, hardware and other important aspects.

I'll show you how to determine whether a boat has been thoughtfully designed by an expert with a lot of experience, or whether it's been hastily conceived by an amateur or just someone who doesn't really care about the quality of their product.


Some people don't mind spending a lot of time in a boat with very cramped quarters; others find cramped and cluttered layouts to be intolerable.

I am of the later type, and there's nothing I dislike more than a boat that is hard to move around in. When you figure you may spend entire days on a boat, it becomes very tiring to have to be constantly bumping into things, or trying to get around other people because, every time you turn around, some one is in your way. There's nothing like having to say, "Excuse me," 57 times in one day.

Regardless of the size of the boat, it can either be intelligently laid out or not. Just because a boat is small doesn't mean that it has to be cramped.

One of the big problems of interior design that has always existed is the tendency to put too much into a boat, thereby making it crowded or ergonomically uncomfortable.

But when it comes to outboard boats, which are naturally small, having good, ergonomically designed interior becomes critically important to those who demand a little elbow room. Shown on the following pages are a variety of different designs that make varying uses of interior space.

The center console boat, long considered by many as a fishing boat, has been notable for its lack of seating, mainly by reason of the fact that fishermen prefer open, uncluttered spaces.

Many designers have turned the center console boat into a multipurpose boat simply by adding more seating, adding a cuddy cabin up under the deck, or making the center console very large and creating cabin space therein. All of these things have a profound impact on cockpit area elbow room.

Moreover, the faux transom provides the opportunity, by making it very wide, to create space for tackle boxes, storage, and conveniently positioned bait wells, and other goodies, again at the expense of deck space.

Depending on how you plan to use the boat, keep in mind that for everything extra you get, you also end up loosing open space.

(Additional spaces are added for easy screen reading.)

Table of Contents: Chapter 8

Integral Platform Designs
Motor Well Designs
Interiors and Soft Goods
Faux Transoms
Electrical Stuff
Neat and Secure
Electricity on Outboard Boats
Battery Chargers
Fuel Systems
Bilge Pumps
Bait Wells
Sea Strainers
Plastic Through Hull Fittings
Foot Coves
Deck Drainage
Deck Hatches
Deck Hardware
Towers & T-Tops
Helm & Console Design

Copyright© 2004 David H. Pascoe

Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats
- Selecting and Evaluating New and Used Boats

Soft Cover
272 pages
Publisher: D. H. Pascoe & Co., Inc.
Published: 2002
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0965649628
ISBN-13: 9780965649629

Price: $19.50
In Stock



David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from over 70 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

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