John page williams
The following review was written by John Page Williams, Editor-at-large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine. John, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been a regular contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 30 years, specializing in environmental issues, nature, wildlife, fishing and boats. He has been testing new and used boats for the magazine's Time-Tested and New Boat News departments since 1998.

LOA  28' 6"
Beam  9' 6"
Draft 20"         
Displacement 6,000 lb
Max. Power 300 hp

The Duffy 29H from Atlantic Boats in Brooklin, Maine is a new take on a classic Downeast hull. The Duffy 26, from which the 29H is derived, is a traditional “built-down” design with a full keel and inboard engine. The 29H, however, gets a 33-inch fiberglass transom bracket for a single or pair of four-stroke outboards. The design team removed the after end of the keel to ensure clean water flowing to the engine(s). Thus the after end of the hull and the bracket form a planing surface, so the boat cruises easily at 20 to 30 mph. Hull number 1, powered by twin Yamaha F150s, tops out at 36 mph.

Meanwhile, the 29H retains the graceful sheer, flared bow, sharp forefoot, and forward buoyancy that have made her 26 sister an able sea boat. With a closed transom, the new boat is quiet at speed, and the engine placement opens up space in the pilothouse and cockpit. While Atlantic Boats builds to customers’ orders, the standard layout provides a double helm chair to starboard and a navigator’s chair to port. Both are mounted on storage compartments that incorporate aft-facing seats at cockpit level.

Hull number 1 was outfitted with a broad stern seat for three, with a transom gate to starboard. It would be very easy to adapt the space for serious fishing. Forward, the cabin offers a V-berth and an enclosed head. With a hull laid up to shipbuilder standards, the Duffy 29H could easily take on heirloom status in a water-loving family. The base price is $169,000 with a single Yamaha F200 engine. Atlantic Boats, 207-359-4658, www.atlantic