I built the original Mark
V 39 six years ago, and I have sold over
sixty sets of plans for it. It has cruised over 10,000
miles, and I have lived on it since it was launched.
I know of at least two others that have been built.
There may be more, but I haven’t seen pictures.
The most common request from potential plans buyers
was for a smaller, trailerable version. I have just
completed the plans for one, the Mark
I chose the V-bottom instead of the flat bottom that
was on the Mark V 39. The V-bottomed hull will go
into a head sea a lot more smoothly, and won't pound
much. The Mark V 39 was a big enough boat that the
pounding wasn’t too bad when in small lakes
and rivers, but a smaller boat would be quite a bit
more uncomfortable. I also think that the V-bottom
shape would be easier to line up on the trailer. It
is not much more difficult to build than a flat-bottomed
The layout is very pleasant to use, you walk through
the cabin to get from the forward cockpit to the aft
cockpit. Anchoring is a breeze, since the anchor is
just a few steps from the helm. The forward side windows
hinge back against the cabin side, so you can hang
out the window while docking or going through locks,
making single-handing easy.
Loaded displacement is about 4,000 lbs, with a 3,000
lb empty weight, making it relatively light for trailering.
Beam is seven and a half feet, and the hull draft
is only fourteen inches.
It is not designed as a go-fast boat. It should cruise
at 6 to 7 knots with a 10 hp outboard, and 14 to 15
knots with a 50. I wouldn’t recommend anything
bigger than a 50.
The bottom is straight section V-bottom, which I
think is the best shape for moderate speeds. It won't
pound much, and doesn't throw much spray. Since the
forward part of the bottom has a lot of twist, it
has to be laminated from narrow strips of 1/2“
plywood. It is not too much extra work, since gluing
smaller pieces is actually easier than laminating
There is a full six foot five inch headroom in the
cabin, but if more is desired, the cabin roof can
be built a few inches higher. The cabin interior is
thirteen feet long. Forward to port there is a couch
that folds out to a double berth, with a hanging locker
and bookshelves behind it. On the starboard side there
is a swivel office chair mounted on a raised platform
that can be used as a helm seat or swung around and
be facing the dining table. Aft of the table is a
seat with storage underneath. Aft is a stand-up head
with shower to port and a good sized galley to starboard.
There is plenty of light and ventilation with the
The aft cockpit is self-bailing, with two twenty-seven
gallon above deck fuel tanks. There is no way for
spilled fuel to get below. There is also a self draining
locker for a propane tank.
There is a self-bailing forward cockpit with a 35
gallon water tank and lots of bulk storage underneath.
It is relatively easy to build plywood and epoxy
over frames. It is not stitch-and-glue, I think that
anything over about twelve feet is easier to build
the conventional way. Lofting is not necessary, all
the dimensions of the frames are in the plans. It
does have to be built over a strong-back, however.
Plans for the Mark V-28 are