Weekend Cruiser

Thank you for considering my plans for BOWLER, a “cruising” version of my TOP HAT launch. These boats are descended from Harry Bryan’s inspired Handy Billy design, which in turn can trace it’s origins back to William Hand’s vee bottom designs from the early 20th century. One hundred years later, Hand would still recognize these boats – handsome, sea kindly, efficient, and attractive to the home builder. We’ve incorporated some extra beam, modern construction and today’s wonderfully quiet and clean burning outboard motors.

BOWLER uses modern glued wood construction. Her bottom is plywood and her curvacious topsides are strip planked. All is sheathed in Dynel/epoxy for a boat that stays good looking with less maintenance. Her fine bow will handle a chop with ease, and her semi-displacement hull can be driven up to 17 knots with just 60 horsepower.

Down below is a generous vee berth, followed by a toilet to starboard and a sink & counter to port. A step up brings you to the shelter, with 6′ 3” of headroom. The helm station is to starboard and to port is a “co-pilot” seat with storage under. A luxurious settee extends across the aft end of the cockpit just forward of the motor well. Lots of storage back here as well.



BOWLER’s motor is in a covered well, which makes engine noise almost negligible. The plans are based on an Evinrude E-tec 60 hp motor – if you want a different motor, you should plan to purchase it early, before the dimensions of the motor well are all glued in place. Please don’t call to ask me if a bigger motor can be installed. This type of hull is not appropriate for speeds over 20 knots.

While most will consider BOWLER a day boat, a weekend cruise is easily accommodated as long as simple eating is acceptable. A young and adventurous couple might head off for a week! With curtains around the shelter, even a pair of kids could be included in the fun.

The plans consist of six sheets: Lines, Outboard Profile, Construction Plan, Construction Sections, Joiner Details, Lofted Offsets. Also included is a CD of construction photos and other helpful information.


LOA – 26′ 6”
LWL – 25′ 4”
BEAM – 8′ 2”
DRAFT – 1′ 4” motor up
DISPLACEMENT – Approximately 3680 lb.
HULL TYPE – Vee bottom semi-displacement
CONSTRUCTION – Plywood bottom & sheathed strip planking on topsides
SUITABLE FOR – Somewhat protected waters
PROPULSION – outboard motor, 60 hp.
SPEED – Up to 17 knots
SKILL REQUIRED – Intermediate
LOFTING REQUIRED – No, corrected offsets included, full size patterns available.


The Nov/Dec 2016 issue of WoodenBoat magazine includes a writeup by Tom Jackson on BOWLER entitled “A Simple Change of Hat”.

See Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors (Issue 133) for a nice piece on BAGATELLE, the first boat built to this design.



We’ve built two boats to the BOWLER design so far, and we’ve posted photos and more information about these boats at BAGATELLE and SKYE.


Click here to download free study plans in PDF format.


PLANS SHEETS – 6 sheets, above average detail
PLANS COST – Including building rights for one boat and photo CD – $325.00 plus S&H, $20.00 in US, $60.00 USD international.
FULL SIZE PATTERNS – on mylar, $225.00 plus S&H $15 in US, $45.00 USD international


  • To order online using Paypal’s ordering system (which accepts Visa/MC/AmEx/Discover/eCheck/PayPal), please select one of the following buttons:

    (U.S. orders. $325 + $20 shipping = $345)


    (International orders, including Canada. $325 + $65 shipping = $390) 


  • You can see your Paypal Cart at any time by clicking the button below:


  • You can also order plans by sending a check or money order to Hylan & Brown – Boatbuilders, 10 Frank Day Ln, Brooklin, ME 04616
  • Many questions are answered in Frequently Asked Questions. Please check there first.
  • Contact us if you have any questions.