William D. Jackson's Original 12-Foot 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 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 theirs 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."
Nine Aces from the Original Plans
Click here or on the photo to see beautiful modern-day examples of the 12-foot Ace!