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.
FEBRUARY 2014
 
   
Length overall  22'   
Beam  8' 
Draft  24"
Weight  2,700 lb
Fuel  60 gals
Max Power  115 hp 
Base Price  $58,075

In the 1970s noted Downeast designer Royal Lowell produced a line of 22-, 26- and 30-foot fiberglass workboats for Sisu Boat Inc. in Ports-mouth, N.H. Even though the boats lived up to their name (sisu means fortitude or guts in Finnish), the builder went out of business in the 1980s and the molds got scattered. The lone survivor is the Sisu 22, considered one of most able small boats ever designed. It has been built under various names over the intervening years—most recently as the Lowell 22—but now it returns to New Hampshire, under the ownership of Eastern Boats.

Eastern’s experienced design and lamination teams have made a couple of tweaks to the hull shape, especially to make it run drier, and have updated construction with modern composite materials, as well as fitting it with a modern four-stroke outboard motor on a traditional notched transom. Under Eastern, the Sisu 22’s cabin offers a V-berth and a portable toilet. Buyers can choose a traditional framed “bass boat” windshield with Bimini top at the helm or an open-sided hardtop pilothouse. In either layout, the helm and companion swivel seats rest on storage boxes that also include aft-facing seats for passengers. The rest of the cockpit is readily adaptable to multiple uses, from serious fishing to serious sunset-watching, and there’s plenty of space for tackle bags and a fishbox or a set of folding chairs.

True to Sisu’s heritage, a 115-hp four-stroke outboard is plenty of power to cruise this updated model efficiently and comfortably at speeds from the mid-teens to the low 20s. Top speed is in the low 30s. Price for the Sisu 22 with a Yamaha F115 engine is $58,075. Eastern Boats, Milford N.H. 603-652-9213; www.easternboats.com.