I must admit, I have a sweet spot for classic launches. I reviewed the Martini 18 last year (Small Craft Advisory, July) and chuckled at her sweet lines and traditional finish. The R-21, however, is a little different than her open sistership. Designed for in-shore day cruising and maybe an overnight hop, the R-21 boasts purposeful contours reminiscent of Alaska’s famed Bristol Bay trawlers. And thanks to the beefy keel, the fantail displacement hull should track straight.
There is 6 feet, 3 inches of headroom in the pilothouse, and for overnight trips, the helm seat stows to allow extra room and easy V-berth access. Owners may order custom cockpit carpeting, cabin heat and a porta-potti.
Lounge seating in the cockpit provides a good place to stretch out and enjoy the day. Generous bulwarks and a welded stainless-steel rail surround the foredeck, and a bow roller should make retrieving the lunch hook a little easier.
Martini’s 40 years of boatbuilding experience shows in the R-21’s construction. The hull is cored with a vinylester skin coat, providing a displacement of 2,300 pounds.
Engine choices include the standard 18 hp Yanmar diesel or an optional 27 hp, also from Yanmar. Both should provide economical power, and both have freshwater cooling. The 2-foot draft will let you poke around sheltered backwaters.