LOA: 27'-2 1/2" (8.29m)
DWL: 22'-3 1/2" (6.79m)
Beam: 9'-5 1/2" (2.88m)
Draft (Keel): 15" (381 mm)
Draft (Max): 34" (864 mm)
Displacement: 6,100 lbs. (2,767 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 140 gals. (530 L)
Deadrise: 15 Degrees
Freeboard (Fwd): 52 1/2" (1334 mm)
Freeboard (Aft): 36" (914 mm)
Power: 260 hp Gas/230 hp Diesel
Construction: Foam Cored GRP
Finesse 27 Inboard Center Console
Sometimes on weekends I get a chance to watch some of the fishing shows on TV. One of these shows has a host who fishes from a center console built by one of the large production boatbuilders. You know the type of boat . . . T-Top, outriggers, downriggers, radar, GPS, 3 baitwells, 81 fishboxes, 7 coolers and of course, two large outboards hanging from a "Euro-Style" transom. In a few episodes, I have rolled with laughter as the host climbs out on the swim platform while fighting a fish, then maneuvered his way over and around all the rigging, only to have the fish either go up the side of the boat or double back the other way. He then climbs past all the obstacles again, or just climbs up and over the transom to get back inside the boat. All while trying to fight the fish. I am waiting for him to be pulled overboard, the fish towing him down to Davy Jones' Locker, never to be seen again! Wouldn't it be nice if he could fish off the back of the boat, from inside the boat?
Thus the reasoning behind the design of the Finesse 27. Now I don't claim to be the first to put an engine under a console (I am probably the thousandth or so!), but that doesn't invalidate the idea. The fact is that inboard engines are one of the best ways to power a fishing boat, leaving you with a wide open deck and a clean transom to work a fish around. They also have great balance with the engine mounted down low and in the center of the boat. Gas inboards are substantially less expensive than outboards of equal power, generally easier to work on, get good fuel economy and are very reliable. If you use your boat a lot, say as a charter captain, you also have the option of powering it with an efficient, long-lived diesel engine. The drawbacks? A little less speed, maybe a little more noise, more difficult trailering and less control in reverse.
Many will find that these trade-offs are more than offset by the more efficient cockpit layout. The Finesse 27 features a wide open cockpit with nothing to stop you from following your fish all the way around the boat if necessary. The cockpit sole is all on one level, with no steps to trip over. A toe kick under the covering board all around makes it easier and safer to brace yourself while fighting that Tuna on stand-up gear. A large fishbox is in the sole just forward of the console while another box forward offers dry storage. In the bow, an anchor locker stores your anchor and rode. Rod racks under the gunnel can be customized to fit your favorite tackle, be it spinning gear, heavy trolling sticks or lightweight fly rods. The large console offers plenty of room for your electronics and gauges. Although a leaning post is shown on the drawings, you can install any type of seating you like.
The console tilts forward to allow complete access to your choice of small-block gas engine or a 4-cylinder Yanmar diesel. The engine is mounted to the glass encapsulated wood engine beds using through-bolted aluminum brackets. The power is transferred to the water through a stainless steel prop shaft with a bronze strut and a NIBRAL propeller. Steering is accomplished through a hydraulic system turning a cast bronze, wedge shaped rudder. The rudder is offset slightly to allow the shaft to be pulled without removing the rudder. The exhaust runs under the cockpit sole on the port side and exits at the transom. Just aft of the engine compartment is the 140 gal. aluminum fuel tank, bolted to bulkheads fore and aft. Space all around the tank ensures good air circulation and long tank life. Hatches in the sole allow complete access to the tank as well as the steering gear and muffler.
The hull is a cored composite utilizing either Corecell™ or Airex® foam. The foam is glassed on both sides using isothalic, vinylester or epoxy resins. The stringers are foam cored in all areas except the engine room, where treated ply is used. The frames are treated ply encapsulated in glass. The cockpit sole is cored with balsa due to its high compressive strength and lower cost. Although the Finesse 27 is a relatively light boat, it has been conservatively designed to ensure a long, useful life.
Her hull shape is a straightforward modified-V with a fine entry tapering to 15° of deadrise at the transom. Beam is ample at almost 9.5 feet, while still being narrow enough to afford efficient planing. Her wide, down-angled chines should keep spray down and add to her stability. Her bow is high enough and has just enough flair to keep her from burying her bow in a sea. Too many boats these days have extreme flair in the bow which offers little added buoyancy until the deck edge is in the water. Top speed should be between 31 and 36 knots, depending on the power installed.
All in all, the Finesse 27 would be a good alternative to all those high priced, "Euro-styled" center consoles. Her clean styling and practical layout will make her a joy to fish from for years to come!
Study Plans are available below as downloadable PDF files. These can be opened with any PDF reader, most people already have the free Adobe Reader installed. Please remember that these plans are the property of Smith Marine Design and should not be used for any purpose without my written consent.
Profile and Arrangement
If you have any questions about the Finesse 27 or any of my other designs, please don't hesitate to contact me.