Smith Marine Design
LOA: 21' (6.4m)
DWL: 17'-1" (5.21m)
Beam: 96" (2.44m)
Draft (Keel): 15" (381mm)
Displacement: 3,800 lbs. (1,724 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 60 gals. (227 L)
Deadrise: 18.5 Degrees
Freeboard (Fwd): 40" (1016mm)
Freeboard (Aft): 26 3/4" (679mm)
Power: 150 - 225 hp Outboard
Speed: 44 Knots w/225 hp (estimated)
Construction: Strip Planked Composite

Absecon 21 Center Console

The Absecon 21 started as an updated version of the Finesse 20. That design package is a bit sparse and over the years I have had some ideas of how to improve the design as well as the plan set. As these things usually go, before long it was obvious that I was no longer designing a Finesse, but something altogether different. Rather than scrap what I was doing, I soldiered on for the next 4+ years, working in fits and starts. Finally, it is now finished! Named after Absecon Inlet (say ab-see-con) which separates Brigantine Island (where I spent much of my childhood) and Atlantic City, the Absecon 21 will be a more capable boat offshore than the Finesse 20.

Her hull has the sweeping, unbroken sheer that marks her as a New Jersey boat. The unbroken sheer will be much simpler to build than the broken sheer that is typical of the Carolina style boats. She has a good amount of flare forward which transitions to tumblehome back aft. Her bow is designed to gain buoyancy quickly and not plunge down to her sheer before lifting in a head sea. While her topsides look traditional, her bottom is a modern convex V with a fine entry and 18.5 degrees of deadrise at the transom. Wide molded in chine flats are angled down to throw water out and away from the boat. Spray strakes on the bottom are also angled down and positioned to throw the water off further aft, where it is much less likely to be blown into the boat on a windy day.

Her deck layout is very similar to what has become the norm these days in small center consoles. An anchor locker is all the way forward, accessed through a door in the anchor locker bulkhead. Just aft of the bow she has wrap around seating with storage below the seats. The cockpit sole runs all the way forward to the anchor locker bulkhead, so these seats can be omitted if you'd like a flush deck forward. You will have to add a small stiffener to the hull sides though, as the seats are structural. The seats can also be extended across the boat if you'd prefer a raised casting deck with additional storage below. The storage areas below the seats can be drained overboard or right onto the deck. Below the sole there are two large storage areas on centerline. There is room just forward of the console for a cooler with a cushion on top.

I kept the console simple, not a giant overgrown monstrosity with a tiny head compartment that is actually impossible to use. Also included in the plans is a simple leaning post with room below for a cooler or baitwell. Keep the baitwell moderate in size though as they can be really heavy when filled. Aft of the leaning post there is a storage locker in the sole where I have placed the batteries and the fuel filter. This would also be a good place for a washdown or baitwell pump. Over 35" (890mm) aft of the leaning post is the dreaded and unfairly maligned motor well! It has been made as small as possible and features a fold down face in order to allow the motor to tilt all the way forward. Before you send me emails and call me on the phone, no you can't put a bracket on the Absecon 21! Regardless of what the bracket companies (who get over $1000 for their product) tell you, a bracket does not improve every boat. On smaller hulls, it will make your boat stick its nose in the air every time you hit the throttle, ruin the balance of the hull, keep you from fishing off the stern and force you to have trim tabs. That's right, further heresy from Timm Smith! It is a little known fact that you can have a planing power boat without trim tabs if it is well balanced. Unfortunately, most production boats these days seem to be designed to run lousy in order to justify the trim tab option! If you anticipate running with a lot of variable loads, such as your brother the offensive lineman, then you should probably install tabs. But if you will mostly fish alone or with one other person of similar size, you may be able to leave them off.

The Absecon 21 was designed to run well with a single outboard engine in the 150-225 hp range. I estimate a top speed of 44 knots with a 225 and even with a 150 she will still run 35 knots. Her fuel system is designed to meet the latest EPA and ABYC standards and holds 60 usable gallons of fuel. Range should be over 200 miles at a cruise speed in the low to mid 20's. The aluminum fuel tank is on centerline and over the center of gravity, where it belongs. It sits on 3/8" thick neoprene strips and has welded on brackets for fastening it to the stringers. Do not paint it, foam it or glass it down! These are all poor practices that will result in your tank having a shorter life and, most importantly, will lighten your wallet unnecessarily. There is a soft patch in the sole above the tank for inspection or removal. The tank is designed with clean out ports so you can get the inevitable gunk out of it in a few years.

To insure the Absecon 21 is light and strong, she was designed using a strip plank composite structure. If you want to see how this is done, check out the Crystal 16 pics in the Underway section. She is built over a form constructed from inexpensive particle board, mdf or plywood. Her hull is planked with 3/8" thick x 3/4"-1" strips of red or white cedar glued together with epoxy. After planking, the hull is faired and covered in two layers of 1208 double bias (+45/-45) fiberglass set in epoxy. It is then faired again and painted before being flipped. Once right side up, you remove the temporary framing, smooth the inside and lay in another layer of 1208 double bias. The stringers and frames are 1/2" Douglas Fir marine plywood, tabbed in with 1208 fiberglass. The 3/4" plywood cockpit sole is glued to the stringers and frames as well as tabbed to the hull side all around. The sole is self bailing with drains drilled through the transom.

The plan set for the Absecon 21 is very thorough and includes 21 pages of drawings and full size patterns printed on plastic film for the mold frames. A metric version is available for customers outside the USA. The most exciting part to me about the Absecon 21 is her kits. This boat is the first one where I have really tried to use all the CAD software to its full effect. Nearly every part of the boat is drawn in the 3D model which has made it easier for me to create very complete kits for building the boat. To keep the kit prices down, I have divided them into three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Bronze kit is the basic one and has the mold frames and transom. The Silver kit adds the stringers and frames as well. The Gold kit adds the deck and contains nearly every plywood part you'll need to build the boat. The kits make this boat one of the easiest to build I have ever designed!

Click here for a gallery of Absecon 21 images

The Absecon 21 was designed to appeal to the fisherman who needs a boat that can fish large bodies of water with confidence. Whether you are fishing in large bays or sounds, one of the Great Lakes or out in the ocean, the Absecon 21 is a boat you can count on to get you to the fish!

How to Order

Before placing an order, please read the Terms of Sale page. By placing an order, you are agreeing to the terms set forth. This page will open in a new window, just close the window when you are done.

If you are in the Continental U.S. and would like to order the Plan Set, just click the "Add to Cart" button below to pay online using PayPal. The cost is $425.00 plus $30.00 shipping. If you are in Alaska, Hawaii, outside the U.S. or would like to pay by check or money order, please contact me. The CNC cut Kits are too complicated to describe fully on this page. See below for more information.

Click here for a detailed description of the CNC cut Kits and Pricing!


If you have any questions about the Absecon 21 or any of my other designs, please don't hesitate to contact me.