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© 2009 Mark Kennett

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Boat plans – Vergoyer 45
Design analysis

plan and waterline section of Vergoyer 45

Deck and waterline of the Vergoyer 45

The Vergoyer 45 is a tough, practical workboat with plenty of deck and hold space.

The design is closely based on the lines of fishing vessels that work out of the French Channel port of Calais.

These V-bottom boats are characterised by high, raking bows, relatively wide beam, moderate draft, and rugged construction, and are built in various sizes, usually between about 35 and 50 feet long. The earlier craft were carvel planked in wood, but later models have been built in both fibreglass and steel.

These boats usually serve as gillnetters, although some have been used for trawling.

They fish in the dangerous, tidal waters of the Dover Strait and usually have quite shallow draft to allow them to operate over the sandbanks that characterise the French side of the Dover Strait and English Channel.

Hull form

This hull is a simple, single chine, V-bottom form designed to be constructed in steel. Its strongly raking stem gives good outward flare, or slope of the sides forward, which gives excellent reserve buoyancy for driving the moderately heavy hull into a head sea. This is augmented by the high sheer line and bulwark forward which help to create a dry boat in adverse conditions. 

The chine line terminates above the load waterline forward and this, combined with the rake of the stem, imposes a marked forefoot and moderately sharp entrance, making for easy driving, reduced pitching and prevents the wide hull from pounding in a head sea. 

The gentle curve of the chine sweeps down to the lowest point of the hull, increasing load carrying capacity and positioning the centre of buoyancy just aft of amidships which makes for an easy motion in rough water. 

The run to the transom is also gentle and the V-shaped sections show constant deadrise. The chine and rebate lines are nearly straight as they approach the load waterline and these factors, combined with the lightly immersed transom, indicate an easily driven boat despite the wide beam. 

Above the waterline the hull shows good freeboard with moderate flare providing plenty of reserve buoyancy. The decks are protected by high bulwarks and rails, which improve safety for those working on deck. 

The tumblehome transom is an interesting feature that was no doubt intended to facilitate net handling over the stern. A vertical transom could be substituted if desired. 

Some of the older boats were built with very small skegs, no doubt to reduce draft to a minimum. However the Vergoyer 45 follows the modern trend for this type of vessel and features a substantial skeg and keel structure that adds additional safety factors in a following sea and produces accurate, predictable steering in all sea conditions. This structure is integral to the design and should not be reduced in size. 

The compact wheelhouse has been designed to maximise deck and hold space, but if more accommodation is required the wheelhouse could be extended aft to the forward engine room bulkhead.


The simple, gently curving lines of this vessel indicate an easily built hull that is relatively straightforward to plate.

It has an ample fuel capacity of 307 imperial gallons (1396 litres) giving a substantial range, and will show moderate, economical fuel consumption.

This hull has a payload of at least six tons to the indicated load waterline.

The large deck and hold space, easy driving characteristics, good form stability and the fact that the hull will dry out upright indicate a stable boat, well suited to a variety of inshore applications.

It could serve as a dive boat, either commercial or recreational, sea angling boat, survey, civil engineering or fish farm tender. It is well suited to commercial fishing applications such as trawling or netting, and the large deck area would be helpful for crab or lobster boats.

Because of its wide beam it is not suited to ocean passage making, but its other desirable features make it the design of choice if a roomy, practical and seaworthy workboat type of vessel is required.


The relevant regulations in the UK are: SCV code MGN 280 (M) 

The boat is designed to comply with the UK Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Commercial Vessel code (SCV code) as far as the plans can go. This means that the freeboard, freeing ports, general construction, load waterline etc. comply with the code. 

The full requirements of the code go beyond what the plans can show. A vessel built to the plans will not comply with the code unless the builder incorporates additional safety equipment etc. Consult your appropriate national code of practice if commercial operation is required. 

You can download the UK SCV code from .

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