Naval architect Bill Garden is well known for traditional sail designs that have graced the waterways for decades, but I've always been a fan of his power designs. Perhaps that's why I was taken by the Ventor 20 at the Miami International Boat Show, though it would be quite a while before I reviewed her plans and realized she was some of Garden's handiwork from the 1940s.
Today's Ventor 20 is built with new tooling and has a tweaked bottom with a modified-V and drive tunnel. This reduces the propeller shaft angle to 12 degrees and draft to 1 foot, 8 inches. Modern construction materials are used in the hull, which is Coremat, and in the decks, which are balsa-core and mahogany planking. Inboard V-8 power is standard.
Like many boats from the 1940s, the Ventor design relied heavily on automotive fixtures for such components as controls, instruments, steering wheels, dash panels and windshields. That style is reproduced on the new model with solid chrome, brass and stainless-steel components that meet current building standards. Leather-wrapped seats, a mahogany-rimmed wheel with a chrome horn button, and a chrome bezel dash create the air of a vintage sports car.
Ventor does not plan to mass produce the 20, so each buyer will have to wait while his craft is constructed. Most owners won't mind when they find themselves driving a boat from a builder celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Ventor Boat Works LLC, (423) 326-1600.