23ft (6.5m) Dayboat Cabin Launch – beautiful and simple

Nice Iconic photos here! 🙂

Stephen Foster built this lovely example of the 23ft Dayboat Launch Plan. A simply built boat for a 10hp high thrust outboard.

23ft dayboat launch - easy build in plywood 10hp high thrust outboard - by wharf on sydney harbour

Originally it was an open boat drawn up for the management team at Betty Bay (sorry, Elizabeth Bay) Marina in what is now a very well heeled part of Sydney. It was to be a hire and drive boat, but since that time I’ve released the plan for home boatbuilders.


Stephen lives further North out of the bustle of the city and built “Neptune’s Daughter” over a couple of years.

Stephen wrote:

Please find attached some photos my Day Boat Launch, Neptune’s

After several trips on the Hawkesbury/Nepean River system I took her out on to Sydney Harbour. I was a terrific day with perfect weather and finished with near perfect water.


There was a bit of chop, low swells and River Cat wash to contend with to get to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. She handled it all well and proved to be very stable and comfortable to be in. The trip back to Five Dock Bay was much calmer and very pleasant.


I hope that you find them pleasing and confirming as to your wonderful design.

I’m happy with that!

The photos show a very nicely finished boat – and Stephen and crew have been very careful to pose with a bunch of Sydney icons. Very nice!




We had a bit of communication through the two year building period as the plans for the Dayboat show a simple, but nice looking hull that can be largely prefabricated on the flat then assembled into the 3D boat. Be aware that it is not one of my super comprehensive boat plans – it consists of about 10 drawings and some notes and a basic materials list that will have to be adapted. Stephen spent a bit of time on the woodwork 🙂

23ft dayboat launch - easy build in plywood 10hp high thrust outboard on the river

Also the interior is not defined. Generally I recommend that customers do a sketch of the interior they want, I do a couple of checks to make sure it will fit (berths and settees and WCs are no good if they are drawng too small!) and will support the bottom and sided adequately. There is very little internal framing inside the boat – the built in furniture does the job of stiffening the structure. As far as adding a cabin structure, this has to be kept VERY light – 6mm ply with a 9mm roof at maximum. Most increase the adaptability of the boat and keep the weight down by having roll down canvas side curtains for the cockpit area.  This is also a great strategy for easy trailering.

23ft dayboat launch - easy build in plywood 10hp high thrust outboard - light enough to trailer easily

If you need more accommodation there is the 27ft Venezia – same width but 5ft more boat – though the roof and canvas side and rear curtains can go to through to the back of the boat.  This next photo is the Hawkesbury River.

23ft dayboat launch - easy build in plywood 10hp high thrust outboard - passing under bridge

This is a small boat for 23ft in terms of width – you can’t go any wider without making it a helpless pig in rough water – the slender hull is what gives you the good speed under low power and much less chance of being thrown around by wakes and reflected waves that you are likely to meet in her home habitat of rivers, estuaries and lakes. She is not an ocean going boat by any stretch of the imagination. Thing about her as a 13ft aluminium dinghy with a 8hp outboard (She’s 23ft with a 10hp outboard) in terms of rough water capability and enjoy the extra comfort, space, lack of vibration and shade from the sun and shelter from the wind.


She is not designed to go fast – a 10hp high thrust outboard will give you 7 to 8 knots and 15 a bit more – but because she is a low drag shape for low speeds she will stick her nose up in the air if you try to go faster.  The extra power is nice to have if the weather turns bad and you need to push against headwinds and a short chop.

23ft dayboat launch - easy build in plywood 10hp high thrust outboard- the owner and his very nice woodwork

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