The Original Ace
Plans for the Original Ace.
The Boat Builder's Handbook was published
periodically by Science and Mechanics in the 1950s and 1960s. It offered
plans for all types of boats including one called the "Ace" in 1956. This 12-foot design was created by William D. Jackson, a legendary naval architect and boating editor of Science and Mechanics who was famous for his many, many plans for the average boat builder. Click to read an article about Jackson from a 1988 issue of the Small Boat Journal.
The Sandes started with this 12-footer and at least one of these still exists. They finally improved on the design by stretching the plans for their Sande Ace to 13' 2". The beam width stayed essentially the same. They apparently also played with a 14-foot design although these are not as well documented.
Click the cover to find Jackson's original Ace plans.
The original Ace, shown on the cover, was a "speedy two-cockpit outboard runabout for towing water skiers and general family boating."
- 12' 4" long
- 5' 9" beam width
- 32 MPH with a 16 HP Evinrude
- 50 MPH with a 40 HP Mercury with a quickie lower unit
Its beveled chines - a William Jackson signature - allowed "safe turns at high speed."
The subassembly construction also lent itself to "mass production by the assembly line method."
EJ Builds a Texas Ace
Years after the original Ace plans were published, EJ in Texas used them to make this sporty runabout, shown below in 2004 with a 25 HP
Wizard outboard motor.
This four-cylinder motor was made by Kiekhaefer and sold through Western Auto stores. Note: EJ's photo has been flipped horizontally to make a better comparison with the above photo.
Here are two more pictures of EJ's original Ace. There were many two-cockpit runabouts made in the 1950s but this boat is yelling "Ace!" with its beveled chines at the transom.
Scott's Ace in the Midwest
Check out Scott Hushour's 12-footer by clicking here or on the photo.
Andrew's Grecian Ace!
Just what are these people celebrating? Successful sea trials of the Ace that Andrew Walters built in Greece from the original plans! Click here or on the photo to see his work.
Paul's Original Ace!
Paul Gager found the plans for the original 12 foot Ace and built the predecessor to the Sande version. Click here or on the photo for Paul's story.
Fred Droney has also used the original plans to build a 12 foot Ace. Click here or on the photo to see Fred's story.
Friends in Denmark Build an Ace!
Click on the photo to see their start. More later.