Sorensen's Guide to Powerboats: How to Evaluate Design, Construction & Performance

Sorensen's Guide to Powerboats: How to Evaluate Design, Construction & Performance by Eric Sorensen

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by Eric Sorensen

  • Softcover
  • 512 pages
  • 75 illustrations
  • Published 2002

The all-in-one guide that gives you the know-how of a boat designer and the market savvy of a broker.

Sorensen's Guide to Powerboats schools readers in the principles of powerboat design, construction and performance. It acquaints readers with all the major powerboat types over 20 feet, explaining what each type does well or poorly and what to look for in each. Also includes more than 100 rigorous, unbiased technical reviews of new and used boat models and shorter reviews of 200 more.

The first part of Sorensens Guide to Powerboats discusses the theory, engineering and practice underlying good powerboat design including hull form, seaworthiness, construction methods and materials, propulsion and steering systems, topside safety, helm station ergonomics and accommodations. In the second part, Sorensen applies theory to reality, and provides reviews of representative freshwater and saltwater boats, giving you the tools you need to assess design, construction, performance, comfort, and safety. Sorensens Guide to Powerboats will help you become an expert judge of a boat.


The clearest, simplest description of how and why boats work anyone has ever written. — Dean Travis Clarke, Sport Fishing Magazine

A solid, thorough look at powerboats. Eric Sorensen provides practical, real-world examples to illustrate the theories behind hull design and propulsion. Valuable to anyone in the market for a powerboat, new or used. — Bill Sisson, Editor, Soundings Magazine

An excellent resource for the powerboat owner. Sorensen helps you understand how powerboats tick, from the 17-foot runabout to the 75-foot motor yacht. — Christopher Landry, Editor, Powerboat Reports

An exhaustive and informative look at powerboat design. — Winn Willard, President, Hunt Yachts Inc.


  • Part 1. How Boats Work

    1. Introduction
    2. Seaworthiness and Other Mysteries
    3. Displacement and Semidisplacement Hulls
    4. Planing Hulls
    5. The Power Catamaran
    6. Construction with Fiberglass and Cold-Molded Wood
    7. Aluminum and Steel Construction
    8. Propulsion Systems
    9. Rudders and Steering Systems
    10. Engine Rooms and Outboard Systems
    11. Pilothouse and Bridge Design and Ergonomics
    12. Accommodations
    13. Finding Your Next Boat

  • Part 2. Boat Reviews

    1. So Many Boats: A Market Survey
    2. Freshwater Boats
    3. Bass Boats
    4. Bowriders
    5. Cuddies
    6. Deck Boats
    7. Multipurpose Boats
    8. Personal Watercraft and Sport Boats
    9. Pontoon Boats
    10. Ski Boats
    11. Wakeboarding Boats
    12. Walleye Boats
    13. Flats Boats
    14. Catamarans
    15. Rigid Inflatable Boats
    16. Center Consoles
    17. Walkarounds
    18. Dual Consoles
    19. Maine-Style Bass Boats and Cruisers
    20. Express Cruisers
    21. Open/Hardtop Sportfisherman
    22. Convertibles
    23. Sedans and Hardtops
    24. Pilothouse Motor Yachts
    25. Aft-Cabin Motor Yachts
    26. Trawlers
    27. Other Yachts: Marine Medleys
    28. Go-Fasts

Author Biography

Eric Sorensen has been on the water since the 1960s in all manner of commercial, pleasure, coast guard and navy vessels. Eric is the founder of Sorensen Associates, a Cape Cod-based consulting firm specializing in analyzing pleasure boat and yacht design, construction, performance and safety. His boat reviews and articles have appeared in many major consumer and trade boating publications including Boating, Power and Motoryacht, Professional BoatBuilder, Wooden Boat, Yachting and Yachts International.