This is the story of the construction of a river boat to cruise the mighty Murray River across south eastern Australia in my retirement. It is especially designed for very shallow water by using an unusual Tunnel Stern design.

Although physical construction started in July 2008, the boat is still far from finished. However, the evolution of the requirements definition, the development of the plans and the construction so far, already represent an impressive list of mistakes, misunderstandings, false starts and the bliss of sheer ignorance. It has also been great fun and I hope that the story will be of interest and perhaps inspiration to others.

The unique underwater profile of “Rhapsody in Glue” is taken from a plan published by William Atkin in 1943 under the name "River Belle", whilst above the chine, the design both inside and out, is no one else's fault but mine.

The overall length is now 36’ 5½” (11.11m), the beam 10’ 5” (3.17m) and the draft only 15” (381mm). Weight will be about 4 tonnes and its 80hp petrol engine should give a maximum speed of about 13 Knots.

The hull is complete and the fitting out well under way. Links in the Sidebar will take you to a gallery of photographs of the project to date and to documents discussing the construction process in significant detail.



I can be contacted at alan (at) boman (dot) com