Given the extended distances we would like to travel here in Alaska and the high cost of fuel, I have been daydreaming about this type of boat ever since I first saw it in the March/April issue of the WoodenBoat magazine. This version is called Rescue Minor.
In an article at http://www.robbwhite.com/rescue.minor.html the builder Robb White reports that the boat at twenty ft long and 76” wide, strip built out of tulip poplar and powered by a three cylinder Kubota Diesel tractor engine rated at 20 hp, will run 20 knots in six inches of water top speed and at 10.5 knots gets about 28.6 nautical miles per gallon of Diesel fuel. In the WoodenBoat article the builder says he hauled all the shingles needed for his thousand sq. ft. house in one load, still got on plane and burned about the same amount of fuel as always.
An internet search shows that the original design was by William Atkin and was intended to be used for wartime shallow water rescue duty.
Think about it, would a guy be willing to give up higher speeds for 15 to 20 mpg efficiency? I don't know about running a wooden boat on the river, even though I read that the old timers did becuase it was all they had, but if the boat can be built in wood somebody should be able to build it in aluminum.
I just thought I would throw the idea out there. I know it is summer in Alaska and everybody needs something else to do between midnight and 6 when they can't sleep anyway.