Ben 15′ 9″, Big Ben 19′
fine boatyard skiffs or small harbor ferries

A pair of boats that will feel right at home on the working waterfront.

15’9″ Ben Garvey

Here are a pair of boats that will feel right at home on the working waterfront. Both boats would make fine boatyard skiffs or small harbor ferries. Both would be fine for a little recreational fishing or getting around the lake on summer vacation.

19′ Big Ben

Garveys originated as shallow draft, burdensome, and very easily built boats for working the shallow bays and estuaries of the Jersey Shore. The advent of the internal combustion engine, and later, the outboard motor, ensured their survival since the hull form is actually much better suited to mechanical power than to the sailing rigs of the early boats.

Doug Hylan has refined the BEN garveys a bit from their original form. They show a strong sheer and more rake to the bow transom for good looks, the buttock lines aft have been straightened out for planing speeds, and the construction is updated to make use of plywood and epoxy adhesives. But they still display the same characteristics that made their forefathers popular: ease of construction, shallow draft, good stability, and great load capacity.

15’9″ Ben Garvey

The BEN garveys are built of plywood, upside down on a ladder frame over temporary molds. Lofting is required, but is extremely simple. The chines are easily made using epoxy fillets and fiberglass tape. Flotation compartments ensure that a swamped boat will float level and even support the motor head above the water.

The plans are on five sheets (four for Big Ben) and include lines, construction, details, and building jig. Also included are instruction sheets which cover tools and materials, scarfing plywood, construction, and use.


LOA – Ben 15′ 9″, Big Ben 19′
BEAM – Ben 5′ 7″, Big Ben 6′ 11″
DRAFT – Ben 5″, Big Ben 7″
HULL TYPE – vee bottomed Garveys
CONSTRUCTION – plywood with epoxy/glass chines
SUITABLE FOR – Somewhat protected waters.
PROPULSION – Ben up to 40 hp., Big Ben up to 85 hp.
SPEED – Up to 35 kt.
SKILL REQUIRED – Beginner to Intermediate
LOFTING REQUIRED – Yes, very simple
PLANS SHEETS – Ben 4 sheets, Big Ben 4 sheets
PLANS DETAIL – Above average
PLANS COST – $75.00 ea.

OTHER REFERENCES – Design review by Mike O’Brien, Boat Design Quarterly 9 (page 7)